Message from John and the Team: Friday 13th May 2022

Hi everyone

Happy Friday! Two nice days to celebrate above there…………

Anyway, quite a big blog this week, because there’s so much going on! Lots of nice pictures too, if you only have time to look at them! ????????????

Please do have a look at the information about the Parents’ Events we have lined up – we would love to see you in the school, and have been so frustrated that we haven’t been able to for so long. I’m sure you have too

Also, check out the PE, Reading, Outdoor Ed and Baking items today. Lots of good stuff happening. Hope you’re happy with it all


I really hope that some of this stuff is proving to be useful to you. We are working very hard on this, and seeing some comments appearing too on the site, so thanks for engaging. Please do let us know what you would like more information or sessions on. We want to do much more with regard to communicating and training with you all. Philip and Maria like working with you on this. Here’s the link


This is all going well. Just to keep you in the loop, this is the menu for the tasting desserts and sandwiches






















Mmm, yes please!


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

So, we are wanting to share your son or daughter’s progress on The Wheel through a Parent/Carer Consultation appointment

The Class Teacher will make contact and arrange a date and time with you within the weeks beginning 27th June and 4th July. You can book an appointment at a convenient time during these two weeks, face-to-face or on Teams, whatever suits you better. We think that about twenty minutes will be enough

At the meeting the teacher will go through progress on The Wheel, and anything else that’s relevant too, like the Key Drivers, or Annual Review targets – natural things to talk about

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, towards the end of each term, so probably in late Nov/early Dec; March or April; and in early July

Also, remember I mentioned last week the 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. Departmental heads will be in contact about those – they sound great. Again, these will be three times a year, but in the first half of each term, so roughly in October, February and perhaps May. Please do look out for messages about these from us

Hopefully both of these events will be helpful. We are trying to move on post-Covid to open up a bit more – finally! We really want to get you back into the school and talking with us again

 The Wheel

Becky is leading phonics and reading in the school. Here’s a message from her

Phonics is continuing to be a big focus particularly within the ELTBA pathway, with students continuing their daily lessons and trying out some of our new books. When learning early reading skills it’s really important that students have a chance to read books that include only the sounds they know (these are called decodable books). It’s great for building confidence and we’re seeing students really respond well to being able to read a little more independently!

 All of the books in our Phonics Library are fully decodable, so the staff team know which week of our phonics program the students are on, and which books they can choose from. We’re building our Phonics Library gradually and getting feedback from students and staff as to the types of books they’re enjoying. The non-fiction ranges were proving very popular, so we were pleased to add more non-fiction books in today. With the help of Abi & Jayden, two of our school council reps, they’re ready for students for next week!

Many thanks to the parents who have sent in their preferences about literacy/phonics training. We’re working on a plan now and you’ll receive more information shortly

Great stuff. And here are some pictures!

Jayden and Abi enjoying a bit of reading – marvellous!


Therapy Focus – MOVE to Grow!

In Paris Major MOVE session, they are transforming the Sensory Garden/Quad! This morning the class went out to make a start and wow what a start they made!

Finlay and Aidan were tidying up the ground planter, removing the weeds and dead plants as well as rubbish. James and Phillip were pruning the herb planter and re-potting some of the plants. Katie and Owen were planting sunflower seeds in the tray planter and sweeping up the area!

They can’t wait to see what grows and how fantastic they can make it look this term; everyone had a wonderful time outside this week, and they’ll continue to photograph the progress they make. Fabulous! And look at these photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Allotment Corner

A lot (!) of people are into allotments here, which is great. I think it’s something that our pupils can really get into. Green spaces can be very therapeutic by their very nature. A group of students from Sandpipers visited a local allotment this week where they enjoyed all on offer. They’ve all participated in “Anna’s Allotment” sensory story and now they managed to visit one in real life to link their classroom learning with outside learning. From bus rides, sensory rich experiences to nurturing plants….it was a fun day for all and we can’t wait to visit again!

Jack enjoyed cleaning the pond of duck weed using the net (carefully not catching fish!), replanting a hanging basket, finding worms and looking at plant roots through see through cups

George found, dug out and cleaned horseradish, created a rhubarb umbrella (keeping him dry in a shower), and helped plant a runner bean which the class have grown from seed

Nieve enjoying everything about our allotment trip especially travelling on the bus, smelling lavender, inspecting pumpkins and watering the plants using the hosepipe

Loving all the allotment stuff, guys. Such a lovely thing to do in the spring, summer and autumn


Baking Therapy!

In social communication lessons this week, the Blackbirds and the Magpies have been taking part in Baking Therapy sessions. Baking Therapy is very similar to Lego Therapy whereby students work in small groups and are each given a role to play. ‘The Chef’ has the recipe and communicates the instructions, ‘The Supplier’ has all the equipment and the ingredients and ‘The Baker’ has to make the food item. They then need to communicate and work together to create a delicious food item. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to work on their speech, language and communication skills

This week, the Magpies made fruit and marshmallow kebabs

The Blackbirds made coconut ice. They also created gift boxes to take home and share their treats with friends and family

Lesson of the Week – Outdoor Learning with The Magpies!

Now this is the sort of thing we like. A trip out, some Outdoor Learning, and good day had by all. The Magpies had a great time on a trip to Plessey Woods recently as part of their Outdoor Learning sessions.  They participated in team building activities and explored a range of different habitats.  They even saw a deer!

Magpies have also been investigating the relationships between minibeasts in the Outdoor Learning area. There are so many at this time of year!  The boys have been finding out how they can attract more insects to the area to attract a larger variety of birds and small mammals


Another Lesson of the Week – Music

Paris Major are also learning about the Orchestra. Philip brought in his childhood Violin from home for everyone to experience. How lovely does this all look?


Another Fabulous Subject that we do – PE!

School Games Boccia

The PE department was very busy last week starting with Tuesday a small group of primary students went to their very first primary school games boccia event. They played against nine other schools from around North Tyneside and Newcastle and played really well. Both teams played 5 matches each and managed a win and a draw. They were super well behaved and a real credit to themselves and the school, so needless to say they will be going out to another school games event in the future! Well done to you all

Girl’s football

Final games of the league played this week and true to form the girls won their matches! By Helen’s calculations we might just have won the league – so go girls! ???? We’re all so proud of how they have played as a team this term and all season. They still have a cup game to play in June so watch out for an update on that. The girls are currently receiving coaching from the Newcastle United Foundation on a Monday lunch time so hopefully we might be in for a chance at the cup. Woohoo! Go the Percy Purples

Wanderers Badminton 

Well, we are beginning to see some real up-and-coming sporting talent in the school

On Thursday Helen took another group from primary to their first Wanderers event – badminton at John Spence School – and they only went and came in second place!

The event was made up of six different stations all to do with badminton, teamwork, shuttle run, Keepy-uppies, pass the shuttle, target throw and serve. They moved round the stations having four minutes to gain as many points as they could. There were five other schools taking part and the atmosphere was brilliant

Duke of Edinburgh Cycling

Students have started their skills section of the DofE with Bike4Health. They have been learning all about their bikes, looking at gears and how and when to change them, balance and control and road safety. The second lesson this week was at the Risin

g Sun Country Par. They cycled six miles in total crossed roads and cycled on various different terrains. Next week they are out again looking at hill climbs

PE, physical activity, movement of all kinds and Outdoor Learning are all so important for our students, and we can’t ever really do enough of it. It really is proper learning, and enjoyable as well


Sunflower Watch with Woodpeckers!

Shall we check in with the Woodpeckers and see how they are doing with their sunflowers? I think we should The update last week was that 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.” With the whole watching them get bigger each day. So………………







First week…………………………….Last week!

This week! They’ve grown!

  Engagement Star of the Week

Our Star of the Week for the Engagement Pathway is Charlie Burridge in Seagulls

She has been really engaged during sessions this week and has been using her Eye Gaze fantastically!! Great job, Charlie, you ARE a STAR!!!

 ELTBA Star of the Week 

This week the team would like to give the ELTBA Star of the Week to Amelia in Woodpeckers.  Amelia is relatively new to Percy Hedley and has worked super hard to become used to her class and her daily routine.  She is making new friends and enjoys sharing during lessons with staff. Amelia is trying new things with a lot more confidence, even if it takes her outside of her comfort zone.  The Woodpeckers love having Amelia in their class.  Amazing Amelia! 100% STAR!!!

More Stars of the Week 

Ruairi in Guinea Hens is the Star of the Week for in Kay Stage 4. He has independently been travelling to and from school, which he has done brilliantly and he has been participating in PE. What an impressive young man he is becoming. Thank you for being a STAR!!! in our school, Ruari

Brandon has prepared for his Maths exam brilliantly and even asks for additional work to practise! Fair play! That is the sign of a complete STAR!!! Well done, Brandon

Jensen has impressed everyone by showing great maturity and resilience – both really great qualities. Great work, Jensen, keep at it. STAR!!!


Game Day!

Here are a few photos of Matthew and Benjamin playing a game of Connect 4 (love Connect 4!) whilst working on their communication targets using symbols and switches to direct the game. Nice one guys!


Finally…..#1 PROM!

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


Finally finally…..

The Summer Fair! On the 16th July!

Look on Eileen’s blog! Can’t wait!


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

John & the Team

The Wheel