Messages, News and Stars from John & the PHS Team Friday 13th January

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog

Hi everyone

Happy New Year to you all! Here’s hoping that 2023 is a great year for you and your whole family

For schools, of course, January is halfway through the year, and we need to be cracking on with all our plans, the ones we’ve been talking about since September

There are also things to look forward to such as the Residential Trip, and some excerpts from the draft Attendance Policy too

It was really nice to see those of you who were able to attend some of our events in December – thanks for coming. I hope we can keep the momentum going with events

I know the website has a bit of a new look but do see if you can find our previous blogs on various matters and also Eileen’s too – there’s always good stuff on there. It’s great that some of you are expressing interest in the PTA – thank you – I know that numbers are always needed!

I hope you enjoy this first blog of the year – I’m sure there’ll be more to come as we get into the swing of the term! All the best again for 23!



Well I thought I’d start off with something nice this week – two of our pupils doing great work in the classroom. Don’t forget that last term the MOVE Team not only won the Gold Award after only a short time of working on it, but also won a MOVE competition! It won’t be long until they are one of the leading teams for it in the country! If they aren’t already!

Amelia has demonstrated some excellent independent movement opportunities in the classroom using her walker, and Joseph has impressed us all with some great independent cycling using the Motomed in PE! Have a look at these pictures of them – both complete STARS!!!


Well, the Christmas Book Flood was just a gift that kept on flowing! A huge thank you to the PTA for supporting the wonderful occasion.

In our endeavour to try and provide a book that could be shared and enjoyed by each student, we found ourselves with a small collection of books in reserve. Another thank you is in order to the PTA for letting us find these books a new home in our school library

The post-16 Buzzards class alphabetised, organised, labelled and deposited the books this week, and is a lovely way to start the year as we mean to go on. Great stuff, guys, many thanks!

Happy New Reading Year to everyone! Carry On Reading!


I’ve talked about attendance quite a bit recently, what with changes to guidance and procedures recently, so I thought it might be helpful to actually produce some bits of the draft policy here. This is still a journey for all of us, and we’re all of us just trying to do the right thing, but it’s best to be as clear as possible about how things stand and look

This is all straight from the draft policy currently on the website, and the link is included too

Parental Responsibility

Significant adults have a primary role in ensuring the attendance of pupils. Good examples of attendance and timekeeping provide role models for pupils. Parents and carers are notified via the school blog, and parent meetings about the importance of attendance and timekeeping, and their responsibility in ensuring regular attendance and the importance of reporting absences to school.

Parents and carers have a responsibility to notify the school if their child is going to be absent. This may be via:

  • Email or a note in the school diary if the absence is known in advance (e.g. medical appointment)
  • A telephone call to the school office before 9.30 on the first day of absence if the absence was unplanned (e.g. illness)

Parents and carers have a responsibility to engage constructively with school staff to support the child to attend school. Where a pupil is transported to school by parents and there is a pattern of consistently late arrival school staff will discuss this with parents and seek to offer support to resolve it. Please note, the register closes at 9.45. Anyone who arrives after this time will be marked as unauthorised absence. This will have an impact on their overall attendance.

If parents and carers would like to request leave of absence for a pupil to have time off during term time they should complete a Leave of Absence form available from the school office and submit at least 5 working days prior to the date of requested leave

The headteacher will only authorise leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances. If the headteacher grants a leave request the head teacher to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. Leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday as a norm.

School Procedures and Responsibilities

Morning registers close at 9.30am except on days of particularly inclement weather, when the Head teacher will declare when the school register should close. Afternoon registers close 5 minutes after the start of the afternoon session. The register will be completed by the class teacher or delegated to a specific member of the class team. Class teachers and leaders will carry out ongoing monitoring of both attendance and punctuality. If a child is absent from school with no reason given, or if a pupil does not return when expected to, the following procedure will apply: Issue date: November 2022 Version No: V1.0 Status: Approved Review date: November 2023 Page 9 of 12 On the first day:

  1. A member of the class team will contact the office to check if a call and reason has been received. If no contact has been made a call parents or carers will be made to seek an explanation.
  2. If no contact can be made by 12.00, the emergency contacts will be called. If no contact can be made with any emergency contacts by 1.30, staff will visit the home. They may knock on neighbours. If staff are unable to get a reply from the home the child will be reported as missing from education and a DSL will inform social services and the local authority.

Where a reason for absence is sought and given, the register will be amended to reflect this. However, a late arrival after the register has closed will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

If a child returns to school where no contact has been able to have been made during the absence, the parents or carers will receive a letter from the Headteacher reiterating the school procedures for pupil absence.

If a parent contacts the school to say a child is ill and will be off for 4 days or more the school will do a “Safe and Well” check after the third day. This may be via telephone, video call or home visit. Where possible staff will communicate directly with the child.

The full Attendance Policy can be viewed via the following link:

Parent Partnership

Thanks for filling out questionnaires and doing responses! It’s very helpful and will help us create the best possible action plan, which the guys are doing now. We’ll keep talking about this at the Coffee & Catch-up mornings that you come to, and times like that. Excited about this!

You’ll be hearing from Tracy and the team on this in due course!

Residential Trip in March

Well, I couldn’t believe that there are only two months until this happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so great that Louise, Linda and the gang arranged this last year, for the first time in many years, and their plans are going full steam ahead for this year’s trip to Keswick too. I’m sure we’ll talk about this more as time goes on.

Sport of the Week

On Wednesday, four pupils took part in the Newcastle & North Tyneside Senior Swimming Championships. We had a very successful morning with


Taylor (3TW) claiming 3 x 1st place finishes, 1x 2nd place finish and a 3rd place finish

Camilla (3JS) claiming 5 x 1st place finishes and 1 x 3rd place finish – as well as being named as swimmer of the day!

Casey (4JF) claiming 5 x 1st place finishes

Santi (P16) claiming 1 x 1st place finish, 1x 2nd place finish and 2x 3rd place finishes – as well as personality of the day!


All pupils represented the school extremely well and were totally respectful of the other schools, the organisers and their competitors. Have a look at this great pic!

Class of the Week – Albatrosses!


The Albatrosses practised their early reading skills this week. SaLT Julie prepared the series of circle group time activities, including scrunchie and rhyming activities. Students were working on increasing awareness of key events in the session by following keywords and song cues and demonstrating anticipation of key events

Supporting staff members provided a tapping/clapping rhythm with the students (eg tapping on knees, back of the hand, shoulders) whilst the rhymes were being chanted in the group. This increases awareness of rhythm and rhyme and engage the students in the activity. Great stuff!

Stars of the Week!

With added School Values!

ELTBA Star of the Week – Resilience from Lucas from Blackbirds!

Lucas has shown a lot of resilience this week. He had a fantastic start back after the Christmas holidays. He has persevered and kept trying his hardest all week! At everything! Great work Lucas. Total STAR!!!!!

Accreditation Star of the Week!

The team are awarding Aiden with their STAR!!! of the Week Award for showing resilience by attending school every day for 5 days!


Star of the Week for Engagement is……………..John-Joseph from Pufflings, who managed independent bouncing as well as stepping up onto the trampette independently. Well done, John-Joseph! 100% STAR!!!!!

Makaton Signs of the Week

And welcome back to Makaton with Julie! According to one website, Monday 9th January is ‘Clean Off Your Desk Day’ which seems appropriate for our first day back. Here are some words around that: From left to right – Clean, dirty, desk/table. 

And here’s a video of how to produce the signs

Keep signing in 2023!


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

from John & the Team here at PHS