Messages and News from John & the Team: Friday 21st October

Happy End-of-Half Term!

Hi everyone, and Happy End-of-Half Term! (though I can’t believe it’s come round so quickly!)

Hope you’re all well. It’s got to the stage now where I have too much to put into the blog every week! Loads going on. Well everyone’s wearing pink today, because we’re celebrating Pink Day. I hope it wasn’t too much hassle for you finding something for your sone or daughter to wear, but thanks for taking part. We love a dressing up day here, but don’t want to impinge too much on you at home!

I can’t resist a few photos about it though, and I know that the cake stall has already raised £194 (that’s abut 400 cakes by the way, and I only had a few!)

Cakes! Many cakes!


Elsewhere, there are loads of things to see in this week’s blog, and I hope there’s something there that you like. Have a lovely break together, and we’ll see you soon

First up, it was fabulous to see some of you at the Engagement Pathway Activity Session this week – thanks so much for coming

Here are some photos. It was a truly lovely afternoon, and so nice to see parents there. There were lots of spooky activities for the students to get involved in, lots of chats about the curriculum as well as catching up with therapists


One of our priorities this year!

Great to have Becky as our Literacy Specialist. Here’s a message from her

We’re all set up to enjoy more of our library next half term, and there’ll be a letter going home today with a little more information. Keep a look out for the green stickers in the front of books! 

For our students following Essential Letters and Sounds, our phonics programme, the publishers have updated their website with some really useful information for parents. Have a look here

The video about how to produce sounds by themselves is particularly useful, as that’s a crucial part of being able to help students with their reading and spelling. We’ll be organising some more training for parents on this soon for those who are interested! 

Also from Becky

Thank you to those parents who were able to join us at the ELTBA Parent Coffee Afternoon on Tuesday this week. It was a lovely opportunity for parents and carers to speak to teams informally about their child, but also gave parents another chance to meet other parents. The coffee afternoon started with a brief explanation of the ELTBA curriculum pathway and what ‘ELTBA’ actually is – which we’ve attached for parents who weren’t able to make it in person but may want to catch up after! If there are any questions please contact Sarah Hamlin, Becky Finn or John Strachan and we’d be happy to chat this through further

There’s a really interesting powerpoint that Becky has done:

ELTBA Parent Presentation_

But just to give you a flavour, here’s one of the slides

And also on Communication-type things…..

4JF were developing their communication and writing skills by giving instructions to their peers on ‘How to carve a Halloween pumpkin’.

The best way to instruct someone how to do something, is to do have done it yourself!

Students discussed equipment needs, safety tips and step-by-step instructions before carving their pumpkins and then had a go at writing a guide for others to follow.

And here are some pictures related to reading up in post-16

With a vision of building and improving our Class and Post 16 mini-library, 6PH have started browsing the shelves to seek out some fitting books for the students of Post 16. With the time of year in mind, we focused our efforts on finding a range of suitable texts that shared a certain… ‘spooky’ theme

And yes, the penguin did help

Personal Development

Another one of our priorities this year!

Also great to have Jo leading on this. Careers and Citizenship are both part of Personal Development!


A group of students visited Coxlodge Allotments to attend a “Making Serious Stuff Fun” project taster session, which we were invited to by The Children’s Foundation. The charity sets out to improve the health and well-being of children and young people from birth to 18 in the North East. The session involved viewing an allotment space, planning what to do with it and sampling some of the edible plants they could grow. The students really enjoyed it and have decided to attend for the rest for the project. We’ll keep you updated on how they’re getting on!


Today the PD team met up with the Inclusion North ‘Citizenship Team’ who aim to raise awareness of the new health care system called the Integrated Care System (ICS) and make it easier for people with a learning disability and their families to have their voices heard about what support and services they need in the North East and Cumbria. They run a programme called “The 7 Keys of Citizenship” and we are keen to explore how this could benefit our students. Watch this space….

E-safety is also part of Personal Development, so here is the link for Maria’s e-safety blog. I can recommend it, there are a lot of things that parents, carers and students ask about. And please do contact us if there are aspects that you would like to know about or work on together

Childnet – Supporting Young people with SEND | Percy Hedley School

The internet is a fantastic enabler for all of our children. Allowing children to access through VOCAS, adapted hardware a myriad of resources.They can keep in contact with their friends who live in different parts of the country. Supports great communication and great pleasure of games, music etc.  With use of the wonderous world wide […]

Lesson of the Week – Hannah F with Kingfisher!

Kingfishers enjoyed a spooky art session creating some sugar skulls from black card, masking tape, white paint and glitter.  A design was masked onto the card, and everyone used the painting tools to cover the whole area, adding finishing touches with glitter and sequins.  We waited for the paint to dry, peeled off the masking tape and revealed these truly terrifying skulls! Sugar skulls are often seen in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) which is a little bit like our Halloween. We had fun with this technique and it is an easy one to try at home.  Here’s another masking tape Halloween craft you can try – Masking Tape Mummy Craft – from Somewhat Simple

Have a spooooooky holiday!

Great stuff, Hannah and Kingfishers – thanks!

STARS!!! of the Week!!!!!

Based on our 3 School Values!!!!!!!!!

Some great ones this week! Have a read!

ELTBA – Resilience!

This week we would like to give Seb in the Skylarks our ELTBA Star of the Week.  Seb’s resilience in swimming has been amazing! Even though he was very nervous he managed to take two hands off the adult in the pool, put two hands on a float and kick his legs behind him which is massive progress and shows great determination He’s a genuine STAR!!!!!!!!! Well done, Seb!

ENGAGEMENT – Teamwork!

Our star of the Engagement Pathway this week is Dylan from Kingfishers! He did amazing switching, using his finger switch to turn fibre optic lights on and off. He showed amazing initiation and persistence. Well done Dylan!!!!!!!! STAR!!!!!!!!!

Dylan switching! 100% STAR!!!!!!!!!


 Grace for amazing Resilience!

Grace has shown incredible strength this last week working on a difficulty with timings. Grace has worked with staff and used her music and timing herself to support transitioning, and has made exceptional progress which she should be very proud of herself for!

Very well done Grace! What a STAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Grace the STAR!!!

Josh, for showing Respect to his peers!

Josh has had a fantastic start to the term and showed great maturity in his behaviour. Josh has made fantastic efforts to show Respect to his peers by congratulating their efforts and strengths, recognising areas his peers have worked really hard on.

Fantastic work Josh!

Josh the STAR!!!!!!!


Makaton Signs of the Week

Here are a couple of additional Makaton signs for Halloween activities and a YouTube link to a spooky Halloween signed song (some scary masks involved…you have been warned!))

Halloween (close V fingers over eyes and move outwards then cover eyes with hands)

Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep signing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Garden Bit- Hebron’s Herons Garden Update

All plants are now in! The students enjoyed getting their hands in the soil and helping with planting, others enjoyed watching and shouting instructions. The trailing plants are hanging from the hanging baskets; climbers are happily climbing up their frames and bedding plants are cosy in their beds. Keep watching for further updates.

Finally…Halloween Food!

On Monday 31st October, the kitchen staff will be providing a spooky soup and creepy cupcakes to celebrate Halloween. This will be alongside the regular menu so students can choose whether they would like to try the soup as well as or instead of the regular lunch menu.

We received some invaluable feedback from the students regarding the new menu options on the Taster Day this half term. The Autumn/Winter Menus have now been created and will be available on the school website after half term, with some delicious additions such as mince and dumplings and beef hot pot to keep everyone feeling cosy as the days get colder.

Thank you for your ongoing support and Happy Half-Term!

Decorating biscuits for the cake sale!

Finally… finally….  Supporting Health in Education Document (SHED Form)

We have updated and amended our SHED document, please can we ask that all parents and carers complete the online document.  This is very helpful and vital information that supports our understanding of our pupils individual needs

We’re all really looking forward to seeing you all here at our Coffee & Catch-up sessions, Consultation Afternoons, and other times too, this term. We’ll see you all soon in school hopefully for various things. Take care!


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

from John & the Team