Message from John and the Team: Friday 6th May 2022

Hi everyone,   

Hope you had a good Bank Holiday. I’ve always thought that weekends are a day too short! ???? So it’s been a shorter week, but a good one. It’s nicer to see people doing more things outside, and it’s even nicer to meet the children at taxi-time in better weather! This is only a short half term, so we’ve got a lot to fit in, and then we’ve got that last half in June and July where we do a few nice things and plan for September. So, anyway, I hope you have a nice weekend this time, and enjoy at least some of the stories and items in the blog this week

Oh, and coming next time: MOVErs & Explorers! We are getting going again with our nursery-age support group in school on Monday, which is really lovely. I’ll let you know how that goes

You Said, We Listened: Lunches!

Thanks for the feedback on the food and the Taster Days. It really was good last week

The next one, on the 19th May, is going to feature choices for puddings and sandwiches – sounds great! I’ve seen a list of what the guys are going to offer, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be something for everyone on that list, whatever their tastes and needs. Got to keep improving in this area, as it’s so important!

Yes please……  Mm-hmm

 Achievement & Progress: Parent Consultations, and Coffee & Catch-up

I’ve spent several weeks talking about how we measure Progress through The Wheel. What we want to do now is to share that with you through a proper Parent/Carer Consultation. What will happen is that the Class Teacher will make contact towards the end of this term with a two-week period where you can book a twenty-minute session, in person or on Teams, on a time and date that suits. At the meeting they’ll go through those measures that I’ve talked about over the past few months, and anything else that’s relevant too. I hope that it will be helpful and interesting, and indicate to you how your child is making Progress – and if not, what we are doing about it. If that goes well, then we’ll do one of those every term, so three times a year

Also, we want to bring back something some of you may remember, but was before my time and stopped because of Covid. We want, in addition to a Parent Consultation, to have informal Coffee & Catch-up sessions where you can chat with each other, see some aspects of the school that perhaps you haven’t seen yet, and talk to people in a slightly more relaxed manner. We’ll do these departmentally so it isn’t too crowded at any time, and again, three times a year. Please do look out for messages about these from us

Hopefully both of these events will be helpful – one more formal than the other, but both useful to you. We want to work in partnership with you, and we are trying to move on post-Covid to open up a bit more – finally! Of course, we’ll see how the first ones go, listen to what people say, and revisit them from September, but we really want to get you back into the school and talking with us again

The Wheel

Therapy Focus – Looking after Ourselves

Our marvellous OTs do a lot of work on things like personal care, looking after yourself, and similar topics

Puffins have been doing this, which is great – a very nice class, by the way, with a lovely atmosphere whenever you go in there. They’ve been applying jam to fake teeth and laminate faces and cleaning them off with wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Lots of fun and mess had! Messy lessons are the best lessons! Have a look at some of these pics!

Everyone in the class is really good at all of this now, Gracey and Bobbie in particular!

This term, we have introduced “self-care” bags which the students decorated and designed with their names. They each made a shopping list of items to put in their individual bags, which was really good. Next step was that they all went to the shops and bought everyone’s items. What a great topic, where all the staff team work together to achieve the best kind of results in a particular topic. Nice one, Puffins, and nice one everyone

Lesson of the Week – Blackbirds in Outdoor Learning

Now we’ve got a heart-warming success story for Outdoor Learning

Blackbirds are learning all about Friendship and what it means to be a good friend, so in Outdoor Learning they’ve been looking at teamwork. Before the session on Tuesday they boys spotted a plank of wood and wanted to know if they could make a seesaw. Obviously their great teacher said yes, as they had to work as a team to try and get the items needed and then needed to problem-solve how to make it work. And they managed to do it easily!

Once it was made they continued on with their pre-existing “Crossing the Swamp” challenge, which again they all managed really well and communicated fantastically with one another to successfully get their team across the swamp with only just enough islands to stand on

Anyways, after the session the boys asked if they could play on their see-saw

They then spent 10 minutes all taking it in turns to have a go, working out who needed to stand where to make it see-saw and just having a really lovely time playing on the seesaw

It was really lovely to see that James went and collected the tyre and plank and worked out how to create this surf board/seesaw, and watching the rest of the boys work out the seesaw and play with it was also really nice to see

These boys have come on really far in Outdoor Learning, from not wanting to go outside at all to now being able to comfortably stay out for a whole lessons in almost all weathers

Here are a few nice pictures of James and Jayden on their seesaw/surfboard

Lots of science happening here as well as Outdoor Learning!

Sunflower Watch with Woodpeckers!

Woodpeckers are still doing their thing with the sunflowers. Do you remember last week’s picture? Here is an update on them. They’ve been watching them grow. Emilia in the class said “Our sunflowers are amazing. We water them.” And Connor said “They need sunshine and water every day to keep them alive.” The whole class have loved watching them get bigger each day. I can’t wait until next week

Last week!

This week! There’s a bit of growth there I think!

The Woodpeckers have also been learning about 2D shapes. This week they went on a shape hunt around lower school and found lots of 2D shapes including a triangle, circle, square and rectangle. They really enjoyed looking for all these different shapes and managed to find them all! Fabulous. I think that Woodpeckers are going to have to be Class of the Week!!!!!!

Makaton Signs of the Week

Come and Go

We’re doing some work to get better at Makaton, and the wonderful thing about this school is that we have the colleagues to do it. Julie is providing sessions and a sign of the week, and this week it’s “Come” and “Go”. Pretty sure this one is “Go”

This is a nice little video which shows “Come” as well

Engagement Star of the Week 

Our star of the week for engagement is Amelia. She has been off school for a bit, but has come back and settled in really well and adapted fantastically to being back in the school environment. Here is a picture of her sitting long legged, mixing in cookery to make a Lemon cheesecake. Yum


ELTBA Star of the Week  

This week the team would like to give the ELTBA Star of the Week to Josh in Skylarks.  Josh has been working super hard recently on developing his resilience and is a determined young person. He is growing daily in his confidence and independence.  Josh is always happy and super polite, a total pleasure to have in Lower School. Fabulous work, Josh, total STAR!!!

A Special Sports Star! 

The amazing Imogen did another two runs last weekend, one of which was a 10K!

Very well done to Imogen for running her first official 10k this weekend at the Gateshead stadium! Imogen’s sureness in her abilities has grown through her running and she proudly brought in her medal to show her friends. She even represented her running club too! We are so delighted to see Imogen’s achievements and her increased self-confidence which has shown in her work at school!’ WHAT A STAR!!!!!!!!

Two fabulous pictures of Imogen running at Gateshead!

Chef Taylor’s Tasty Treats!

So Taylor down in Starlings is a budding chef, and he always brings really nice things to eat. I…sometimes….have a small taste of them myself……..

Anyhoo, I thought it might be nice if we started to take photos of what he makes and shared them with you all. Today we had these really nice granola bars

Taylor’s Granola Bars – mmmmmmmmmm!


Finally…..#1 PROM!

Prom news again!

Our first official Prom, happening at the school in July!


Finally finally…..

The Summer Fair! On the 16th July!

Eileen and our marvellous PTA will undoubtedly have loads to say on the whole matter! Can’t wait!

Stop press!

The Active Mile amount reached 166 miles!!!!!!!

Well done to everyone and thanks to Helen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the very best to all of you, from all of us here

John & the Team

The Wheel