Messages, News and Christmas Stars from John & the Team Thursday 22nd December

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School blog.

Hi everyone

Happy Christmas! It was great to see so many of you at the Christmas Fair yesterday – thanks for coming, and for your many kind words. I hope you had a nice time

We have a Staff Training Day scheduled for tomorrow, so this is the last day for our pupils!

Because of that we’re just doing a shortish blog today and trying to let you know about a few of the nice things that have happened

I hope the break is lovely for you all at home. We’re back on the 9th – so in a full fortnight’s time. It’s often quite hard in January so at least there will be less of it at school! In any case, we’ll look forward to when your son or daughter comes in again and we get back on with it. All the very best here from all of us

Here are some of the lovely things that have happened this week – but I can’t cram them all in. The video in the library is amazing! And the Songbirds were singing at the Fair yesterday and in some other places! Have a watch!

Carol Singing at Killingworth library, thanks Andy and team!

Performances from our lovely Songbirds  20221221_140740.mp4

And scroll down to the end at some point and say hi to our fabulous catering team who sorted us with the best Christmas Dinner this week!

If you’re up for more bloggery, have a look at the Foundation one, Eileen’s Family Liaison Blog or Maria’s. Cheers!


Happy Christmas from John & the Team 😊


MOVE 1 – Made for Movement with Lucy!

We had an assessment day with Made For Movement who brought us two Innowalks to try. The students loved it and many were able to complete over 400 metres (or one lap of an athletics track!) Here’s what they thought of it:

“It feels weird”

“I feel happy and relaxed”

“I’m faster than Usain Bolt!”

We are planning to borrow an Innowalk early next term to allow more of our students to have a try in one. There are so many benefits! The Innowalks can help to regulate tone, improve circulation, improve sleep patterns, increase bone density, improve postural alignment, reduce the risk of contractures and maintain joint health, as well as many others! We are excited to have them on loan in the new year.

MOVE 2 – in a Winter Wonderland

This was from Mary last week

MOVE-ing in a Winter Wonderland

The students participated in lots of Christmas activities in the MOVE event. The students followed a lit-up pathway through the sports hall stopping at different stations with lots of activities such as posting a letter to Father Christmas, building a snowman, throwing snowballs, MOVing through a snowy tunnel and sorting out presents. They all loved it and enjoyed different aspects with varying levels of challenge.

This was so amazing, I had to put it in again!

The Christmas Fair!

We had a Christmas Fair and it was lovely! The students raised £515.05 for Enterprise Week, and this will be re-invested in more Enterprise opportunities! Great stuff! And lovely to see you there! Have a look at some pictures!

Lovely news of an ex-student! – Danny! I’ve nicked this from Gateshead SEND Network News

A young Gateshead student has taken the next steps in his educational journey. 19 year old Danny started a mainstream Level 2 Computer Science course at Gateshead College in September, after leaving the independent special school he had attended since he was a child. “I was at Percy Hedley School since I was four,” says Danny. “I’m enjoying my new college but it’s been quite difficult. If you’re thinking of moving to a mainstream college I’d say start extremely early with transition – I started in June 2020! I’m still trying to get things better but I’m managing really well. In some areas I’d say I’m managing better than some of the other students in my class who’ve been in mainstream. I’ve gained a lot more independence via my education I’ve had my own drive to get into college.” “I’ve found it a challenge and I’ve found it tiring – as soon as I get home I just want to relax! But college has been really flexible – mostly I’m only in for half days. The Learning Support Officers help me out – we come up with new ways of working so it’s kind of trial and error until you find what works best. I’d say that if you feel that you need to make changes or you’re not happy with something let a member of staff know. I’ve had to adapt and to be honest I’ve found it alright. I’m pleased I’ve done it. I feel my needs are being met

Reading 1

Here’s Beccy about the Jokabokaflod


As part of our mission to celebrate reading, this year we chose to adopt an Icelandic Christmas tradition- Jolabokaflod! Across Iceland, books are wrapped and given to loved ones on Christmas Eve, a tradition that gained popularity during the World War when paper was one of a few items that were not rationed. The books are shared or read that night, accompanied by hot chocolates, blankets and cosy fireplaces. We thought that sounded too good to refuse!


Every student received a wrapped book on Tuesday after a delicious Christmas lunch, and then each class had their interpretation of cosy reading times. Fireplaces were lit in almost every classroom (on the whiteboards, of course) and books were shared and discovered.

An enormous thank you to our PTA for funding this treat for students, and by the sounds of the feedback the staff teams had a lovely time too! We hope you enjoy these books at home over Christmas, and perhaps make some extra time for snuggled cosy reading for yourselves too

Reading 2 – World Cup Challenge. Philip to finish it off!

Hi everyone, just a final update on the World Cup Reading Challenge

As the year reaches its end, so too does the World Cup Reading Challenge

After a fantastic, nail biting, penalty scoring, tear filled World Cup final… we have our champion!

A huge congratulations to ‘James and the Giant Peach’ (Argentina) for a well-played competition.

We’re looking forward to reading some of these amazing stories in school over the new year.

Merry Christmas everyone

Attendance – sorry to repeat but it’s important

We’ve been reviewing attendance in light of the new government guidance. There’s now an expectation that we work more closely with our host LA, North Tyneside. We’ve begun this process already, with meetings and discussions about what this will look like and what it might mean for our families. Angela, our Attendance Officer from NTC, has been in for our first attendance review meeting and the team all felt it was a very positive thing. As a result of this meeting with Angela, some parents will be invited in to school to chat with Angela early next term; the purpose of this will be to explore if there is anything more that can be done to help support your child to attend school more consistently. We know and understand that there are a wide range of reasons why pupils might miss school from time to time, some of which are unavoidable, but equally there are some circumstances that, with the right help, can be changed to enable better attendance, which is what we are all working together to achieve. We really do appreciate your support in this difficult area. We need to approach it as a team and provide as much support as possible


Personal Development – I really liked this last week so I decided to leave it in!

Jo and the PD Team have been doing loads recently; here’s a flavour! There’s really good stuff here!



We have been continuing interviews with Julie Dorey, our North Tyneside Connexions advisor in post 16 this week. Connexions provide free and confidential information, advice and guidance service in England to all 13- to 19-year-olds and to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities up to the age of 25. They work to ensure that young people make a smooth transition to adulthood and working life.

Enterprise Week

The Accreditation Pathway have been working hard this week creating winter-wonderful products in preparation for the Christmas Fayre next week. The Robins practised their sales skills while role playing on a pretend stall in class.

SMSC, British Values, Citizenship & RE

SMSC facilitates growth of the human spirit (spiritual), consideration of what is right and wrong (moral), confidence of how to get along with others (social) and an understanding of heritage, tradition and identity (cultural). We define “British Values” to be: Democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

On Thursday KS4 had a whole department trip to St John’s Church for Reverend Sarah Moon’s Christingle service. Students made their Christingles in school then enjoyed a wintery stroll down the road in the snow. Here’s a very Christmassy Claire in a photograph taken by our resident photographer Charlie


Trip of the Week – The Owls Going to see a Christmas Donkey! From Lena


The Owls have been working super hard in Lifeskills and Employability to plan a trip and stay within a budget. The previous week we had a successful trip to Killingworth buying Secret Santa gifts and snacks for a movie afternoon. As a class we decided to celebrate our hard work by visiting a Garden Centre to see the Christmas decorations, eat lunch and also see resident Donkeys, Rolo and Wispa!

The Class Team and therapists are very impressed with their hard work this term. Super Work!

‘Best day ever!’ – Harvey

‘The donkey’s stunk! But it was nice to go out’ – Grace

‘It was really good!’ – Eve

‘The donkeys stank but I loved eating marshmallows’ – Shannon

Winter Wonderland!

The Short-Eared Owls! – wanted to share some lovely pics of when they had a fantastic time ‘Moving in a Winter Wonderland’ yesterday. Thanks to everyone who made it so special – and the class wanted to say Happy Christmas too!

Post-16 Christmas Lunch!

It looks fab!

Engagement Christmas Assembly

Just come back from this, and it was great. The videos will go on to the website somewhere at some point, but here’s a link from Andy too. Thanks so much for coming! It was great to see you and well done to everyone in all the videos and in the hall!


DJs of the Week! With Russell!

The Key Stage 4 Radio Group have been busy compiling another playlist for Hedley’s Radio, this time a Christmas one (of course) as part of their curriculum enrichment

Those DJs – Callum, Jak, Mohammed, Faith, Jay and Michael have chosen the songs and have recorded links between them to introduce each one.

It was broadcast to coincide with our Christmas Fair and is being broadcast each evening at 7pm until Christmas Eve

If you wish to hear one of the broadcasts, the app for the radio station can be downloaded on to Android devices



Daniel Gray from The Magpies had a massively, successful day yesterday selling his ‘Floofy Chickens’ at the Christmas Fayre.

He made £131.00. We are so proud of him.

Some of the money will be going towards a charity of Daniel’s choice

Definitely a Christmas STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Makaton Signs of the Week

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

1st Sign – Merry

2nd Sign – Christmas

3rd Sign – Happy

4th Sign – New

5th Sign – Year


……………..keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep signing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And finally…….

A huge thank you to SOS Group Ltd who supplied our Library Christmas tree again this year, it has been a wonderful addition to our festive celebrations throughout December and the school council loved decorating it!

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

from John & the Team