Message from John and the Team: Friday 8th April 2022

Hi everyone,

Well, it’s been busy! But good busy! We’ve had the last week of term and all that that brings; Easter coming into play in various ways; another lot of work from the marvellous MOVE Team; loads of classes doing fabulous things; and something about Ukraine! I hope you’re all ready for the holidays, and that they bring the promise of something nice. When we come back it’ll be the summer term, which is always the best! (OK, in my opinion…..). Have a lovely time when Easter does come for you, and I hope you enjoy some of the stories and things in this week’s blog from the team. All the best

Mmm, from the post-16 café….

KS4 did a light-hearted Easter Egg decorating competition as well today, pupils and staff, and there were very worthy entrants and winners – here are some pictures of them!

You said, we listened

We’ve been doing a bit of listening – and thinking – and are currently reviewing our lunchtime menus (lunch is such an important time in schools, isn’t it?)

Pupil Voice will be very important in ll of this – we’ll be running a Tasting Day on the 29th April when pupils will have the opportunity to taste a selection of dishes and feed back preferences in order to influence the menu design

Individualised menus, representing the variety of dietary requirements our pupils have will be created in accessible formats to facilitate appropriate choice-making and promote independence

We’ll also be gaining pupils’ feedback to influence Themed Days which we plan to run every month – things like Italian day or Chinese New Year and similar things.  These days will tie in with significant monthly events and aim to provide opportunity for pupils to experience foods that they may not have already tried and provide a fresh and varied menu for our pupils, as well as think about the wider world and other peopleWe’ll also run Winter and Summer menus

It’s the year of the Tiger


Achievement & Progress: The Wheel 

It’s been very difficult to look at Attendance during the Covid period accurately. Also, of course, some of our pupils are absent sometimes for health reasons separate to Covid. We think we can start to look at Attendance more accurately now, and we discuss it regularly in Senior Team meetings. Attendance of course directly impacts on achievement and progress, so we need to be doing all we can to help our pupils be in school, or at least be involved in learning. Thank you for your support with your son or daughter’s attendance, in sometimes very trying and difficult circumstances

The Wheel is an easy way to show how we bring together the ways that our pupils make progress. These are the Strands

  • Therapy
  • EHC Outcomes
  • Curriculum Pathways
  • Wellbeing
  • Case Study Profile Portraits
  • Key Drivers
  • Appropriate Accredited Awards
  • Destinations & Next Steps
The Wheel is holistic, fits the lessons we teach, is based on the professional judgements of our excellent staff, is monitored regularly, and indicates where we need to intervene to improve things. Pupil and Home Voice are threaded right through it

We want you to be able to contribute to our assessments, like you do already on the 6.Key Drivers, in Annual Reviews, with 8.Next Steps, and in other areas, like 1.Therapy. We’re just arranging how we do this with you

The Wheel

 Post-16 Café

Over the last two weeks some of the students from the post-16 Employability Group have been demonstrating their customer service skills by running a temporary tuck shop during their breaks. They’ve worked incredibly hard to manage money, stock the trolley and talk to their customers. They even worked during their break times!

They raised money for a good cause and made a variety of snacks including sausage/bacon sandwiches for staff to buy for their break.  The students were supported to create the menu, take the orders, cook and make the sandwiches and deliver them to the staff

They made £120 profit which the students have chosen to donate to help the Ukraine. Well done guys!

Therapy Focus – MOVE to Relax

Here are some photos from some recent “Move to Relax” sessions. This is one where Dylan moved towards a switch which turned lights on and off

Millie worked hard holding and pressing the plunger on a spinning top. She wasn’t sure about the spinning lights though! ????………..but loved the vibrating bumble ball!

Nieve on the other hand, below, used a squeeze switch to turn a vibrating pillow on…she enjoyed it so much she fell asleep! Move to Relax certainly lives up to its name…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Therapy Focus – EGGcited to MOVE

EGGcited to MOVE! Look at those pics!

That MOVE Team have been at it again, and arranged something brilliant for the pupils. This is from Mary

This week we had great fun going on an Easter Egg Hunt around school! Our students were all EGGcited to MOVE around our school following the clues and completing a number of tasks!

Each carboard egg which was decorated by a class during their weekly MOVE session, and each egg had a task and a clue on it. The students had to complete the task before reading the next clue and guessing where the next location might be!

1st Clue: I play sports here, I learn how to play team games or play boccia here, where am I?

1st Egg was at the Sports Hall: Task was an easter toss, the students had to throw, look or reach to put a bean bag or an egg through a target

Clue: There’s a trampoline here, it has a nice relaxing environment with a interactive white board, where am I?

2nd Egg  was in the Garden Room: The students had to find easter objects lost in the hay!

Clue: I can use my fingers to create a melody, it makes beautiful music, where am I?

3rd Egg was in the Dining Hall where the piano is located: The students had to throw the hoops over the bunny ears whilst someone is wearing them. Can you look to the bunny ears as someone moves?

Clue: I can read a book here, there’s lots of books to chose from here, where am I?

4th Egg was in the Library: Ball drop – can I pull a stick out without dropping any of the balls. What colours can you see?

Clue: I can make a meal here, I could bake a cake here, where am I?

5th Egg was at the Food Tech Room: The students had to pass through the sensory tunnel, can you reach for the balloons? What colours can you see?

Clue: It’s a tall pink bird that stands on one leg, a room is named after me where am I?

6th Egg was in the Flamingo room: The students had to scoop the ducks out of the pond? Can you look and count the ducks?

Clue: My wellbeing is always better here, I could talk to someone about my feelings here, where am I?

7th Egg next to the Wellbeing room: The students had to hop, jump, walk, look, propel, or drive along the duck footprints and carry an egg to the duck.

Clue: I travel through here to go outside, there’s staff lockers here and a meds room, where am I?

8th Egg was in the middle exit corridor for going outside: WOOOHOO you made it to the last egg! CONGRATULATIONS!

Can you travel with your egg and spoon to the finish line?!

For finishing the easter hunt each student received a little scratch activity in the shape of an egg and a chocolate egg! Well done everyone!

Here are a few more photos from the Eggcited to MOVE event yesterday

James is wearing the bunny ears and Jayden is doing the hook-a-duck – these were their favourite bits of the whole day!

Now have a look at these photos that were taken around the school. These were some of the comments of the children about it too

Teddy: ‘I really enjoyed it, especially finding the clues and playing the games with my friends’

Toby: My favourite was finding the ducks with my friends and using the fishing net’

Abi: My favourite part was playing the egg and spoon race with Toby and Teddy. it was so much fun especially finding the clues

Subject Focus – the Active Mile in PE

Some of you will remember that we took part in the North Tyneside Active Mile last year. Well, it’s on the time table again for the 27th& 28th April 2022

The aim of The Active Mile is simple – to help all children improve their Health & Wellbeing by doing 15 minutes of physical activity outdoors each day.  Children can walk, jog or run with their classmates  in the safety of their own school setting

The Active Mile is fully inclusive and is a profoundly simple but effective concept, which any school can implement completely free of charge and without the need for staff training.  Immediate benefits include a sharper focus and greater concentration, leading to better learning, and longer-term benefits include increased physical fitness as well as children who are more aware of their own H&WB. Last year 61 settings took part – which we were one of – with 14,973 pupils and 993 staff who covered 15,934 miles!

The Active Mile is usually done in one day but we are going to do it over two days. More info later! Helen’s on it! Here’s a few pics from last year

Beating the Odds – Core Self: part of the Resilience Framework

Here’s a little extra on the Beating the Odds Project from last week, from Louise B

Last week’s collapsible day again went well, and again we had a lovely atmosphere in school. We hope too that perhaps children came home and shared something of the day; please do let us know any feedback via your child’s home/school diary or by word of mouth to staff as we would love to hear what the students might say about our project!

The children looked at the ‘Core Self’ from our Resilience Framework and we also tried to cross-reference where appropriate to the Zones of Regulation, which is also an important part of this year’s Beating The Odds project. The Zones link well to this strand as they allow individuals to reflect on their own emotional, psychological and physical states at any one time. The core self elements are as follows

  • Knowing yourself
  • Expressing yourself
  • Taking responsibility for yourself
  • Being authentic
  • Valuing individuality
  • Owning your own self with confidence/esteem
  • Celebrating uniqueness
  • Disability awareness
  • Thinking practically about how pupils get help for problems

In terms of what we did on the day……  pupils all decorated a feather which had on it something they are proud of. These illustrated pride in themselves and their achievements. They were genuinely delightful and moving for staff to see.  These feathers will be displayed in due course in a peacock display highlighting our students’ core strengths. Some children also took pleasure in seeing video clips of a peacock

Many pupils wore something that they felt reflected themselves and many came well prepared with a talent to show and share. Such richness of talent was indeed borne out in a show in the hall and in classrooms!

Many students set themselves a personal target and these will be monitored and later we hope celebrated at the end of term. Staff also have ways of enabling them to consider progress even if the journey to the individual target may be or feel sometimes slow due to a child’s needs and the barriers they face around progressing certain skills

Please do talk about the Resilience Framework at home and please feel free to have it up in the house ????

It’s easy to find on-line,but also please do ask your child’s staff team if you would like a hard copy sending home

Stars of the Week

A very nice decision this week, to have two of our cracking girls as Joint Stars of the week! Casey and Shannon took on the role of sorting the girls’ football strips for me making sure all the players had the kit for the matches on Wednesday and made sure they were all returned. They look after the team when out and make sure all players know their positions and, when they are on the pitch both girls are outstanding making Helen one very proud coach. ????


This is fantastic stuff – very very well done, and thanks to both Casey and Shannon!


ELTBA Star of the Week

Now here’s a nice end-of-term thing: this week the ELTBA Team would like to give the ELTBA Star of the Week to ALL of the wonderful pupils following the ELTBA Pathway.  They have ALL had such a super term and each deserve a huge round of applause for the progress they have made.  They have shown great resilience, determination and done it all with huge smiles on their faces!  They should be very proud of themselves, as we are them. It really is a great team of pupils and staff – I love being in that part of the school


Finally…..Ukraine Day

It’s been Ukraine Day at school today.  People who want to do so have been wearing blue and/or yellow and donating £1, if they can, with donations going to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.  Our catering team have also be making some Ukrainian desserts for our pupils to try and enjoy at lunchtime. It’s good to think about the wider world and what’s going on, even although we all have our stuff closer to home too!

Finally finally…..

Here’s a picture of our lovely kitchen staff, who at the end of term and a few other times, send off any leftover food to homeless services locally. Thanks for doing that, guys, and thanks for making things so nice today and on other days. I love my school dinners!

So lots been going on, and I think the theme seems to have been something along the lines of thinking of others – so that’s not a bad theme at all. Thanks for all your support this term, and the very best to all of you over the next two weeks

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

Happy Easter! Happy Holiday!

John and the Team…

       …and the owl

The Wheel

Moving, Learning, Growing Together