Messages, News and Stars from John & the Team: Friday 2nd December

Welcome to the Whole School Blog.

Hi everyone,

Happy December! Winter is finally here, although it’s been a bit chilly for a while down my way! December is a lovely – if frantic – month in the school, and there are some dates at the bottom of the blog; we’ve added a few since last week. There’s quite a lot of actual information this week to digest too! There’s brilliant news about MOVE. There’s an exciting new app that we are sharing information about with you for reading. And there’s a letter about the Parent Partnership that went out earlier

There are also of course some STARs, some lessons, some PE, Makaton and Personal Development and other stuff. And one or two nice pictures too

Check out the new website as well! Nothing is ever finished of course, and lots of things are being revisited, re-written or added, but there is something there that is a bit clearer, more open and modern-looking

Have a lovely weekend when it comes for you, and hope to see as many of you as possible in the school for one reason or another

My favourite bit of the week is when I hung out with Heidi the therapy dog – lovely stuff!

OK, on we go!

All the best,

John & the Team


MOVE- Competition Win and Gold Award!

Well. I haven’t spoken about MOVE for a little while in the blog, and that’s because I was saving it for this announcement. So, having only adopted the MOVE program about a year ago, this week the school, thanks to the MOVE Team, gained the Gold Award in super-quick time. This is what Steph has to say on it, and another lovely thing they’ve achieved too

Something really great happened this week… We have been formally assessed and awarded the Gold award for MOVE! Not only are we Gold, but we have been applauded by the MOVE Network for being the fastest developing school on the MOVE programme, progressing from Bronze to Gold in such a short timeframe!

And it doesn’t stop there… remember in the summer term we held our ‘MOVE-ing all around the world’ theme for the National MOVE day event? Well…we only went and won that too!!! That means we have £500 to spend on Jiraffe therapy equipment! We can’t wait to choose this and will of course update you in good time with a picture or two! This really is a huge achievement for the school, and for the children who access the MOVE programme. So much hard work, dedication, creativity and vision has contributed to its success from not only the MOVE Co-ordinators, but from each and every staff member who supports all our children to access the programme. We’ll be sure to take a photo of our shiny new Gold award when it arrives, but of course we won’t stop there…. next stop; Centre of Excellence!!


What a lovely picture! And scroll down to the end to see what MOVE put on Facebook about us!


Parent Partnership Award!

This is the letter that has gone out this week to you all, if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. This looks good!


This year we are completing our reverse advent calendar project for the Northeast Homeless charity, a charity we work with throughout the year donating any excess food from our school kitchens at the end of term.  Our Duke of Edinburgh Group have chosen to support the charity as part of their volunteering project, and would appreciate any donations, no matter how small.  We are looking to collect both items to support people who are living on the streets as well as supporting their social supermarket project which provides food for families who are struggling


We are looking for:

  • Warm, good quality clothing (used or new).
  • Shoes or boots (used or new)
  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • New blankets
  • New underwear
  • Sleeping mats


The current wish list for food items is below, but they would also appreciate tinned goods etc.

  • Instant noodles/ Pot Noodles/ Packet pasta
  • Tinned meat or fish
  • Hot dogs (tins/ jars)
  • Microwave products (non-refrigerated items)
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Sugar
  • Crisps
  • Biscuits/ chocolates/ sweets
  • Jam/ Marmalade/ Peanut Butter
  • Condiments


Please could any items be sent into school before Friday 16th December to allow for us to sort and deliver before Christmas.  We realise this is a tough time for everybody and appreciate anything you can give.


Any questions please contact Rebecca Fletcher



Reading – the latest from Becky!

Reading Update

For our reading update this week we’d like to introduce you to ‘Pickatale’, an app based e-book library that we’re going to be trialling over the coming months. Pickatale are passionate about developing a Love of Reading, and their focus of making reading as engaging as possible for students is something that we also believe very strongly in!

We’ve agreed to trial their e-library as they make exciting changes in the new year, and we will be working with Pickatale to make the experience as accessible as possible for all students. There’s an audio book function for many books and a range of familiar characters which we know will engage many students (and staff!)

We’ll be able to share log-ons for home soon, so watch out for further information in the coming weeks. If you’d like to have a little look around now, please see:

Here’s some nice stuff on Reading from Philip

With the World Cup underway, and for a bit of Reading/Football fun, students and staff across the school have helped set up our World Cup Reading Challenge. 32 brilliant classic and modern children’s books were selected by the students & staff, and then randomly drawn and assigned to a country to create a tournament following the real-life results of the World Cup


Copies of the 4 books that reach the semi-finals will be purchased for the library, and the winning book will be championed across school. (Let’s hope it is ‘The Guinness Book of World Records 2023’ – England!)

For those who are interested, at the time of writing this entry the following books/teams have been eliminated!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman – (Qatar)

Holes by Louis Sacher – (Ecuador)

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin – (Wales)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – (Iran)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – (Saudi Arabia)

The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – (Mexico)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – (Denmark)

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – (Tunisia)

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm – (Germany)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – (Costa Rica)

The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – (Belgium)

The Iron Woman by Ted Hughes – (Canada)



In terms of attendance, last week we were up tot 88% – so the picture is improving, for which much thanks to all of you for your support and partnership!

As I said, we have a new website, and the DRAFT new policy is up on there, if you have time to take a look

Here’s the link to the website in any case have a look!


Personal Development

Jo, Louise and the PD Team have been looking at a really key area of PD this week – Careers. This is what they have to say – great stuff guys!


This week we’ve had Sam and Kerry from Hedley’s Beyond visiting us and we’re looking forwards to seeing them on a regular basis! They have been consulting with students about the employability project work booklet. Post-16 students Josh and Jamie got stuck in and were brave enough to lead some of the session!



We’ve also started interviews with Julie Dorey, our North Tyneside Connexions advisor. We’re starting with leavers then will be offering interviews to students across the school during transition phases


Lots of wonderful things happening in Careers – be sure to check out the area on our new website


SportSTARs of the Week

North Tyneside Primary Sportshall Athletics

On Friday 25th November 2 RC and two children from 2LL class went along to The Parks Sports Centre to take part in Sportshall Athletics. They took part in 6 different activities Target throwing, Chest push, standing long jump, slalom, speed bounce and sprinting. The children took part as a team, showed brilliant resilience by keeping going and trying so hard to do well, and showed respect to the other teams by waiting their turn and, to the young leaders running the activities thanking them when they had finished. I do believe that those are our school values displayed so well.

What the children thought

Abi – I feel proud

Isaac – I loved running!! and getting the certificate at the end!!

Harry – it was really good, I liked going on the bus! i like running and throwing

Toby – I enjoyed todays trip, I liked throwing a ball and beanbags and having a race with Oliver 

Josh – said it was exciting!

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

Grace, Harvey and Imogen have been collecting lots of warm clothing, sleeping bags and tents for the North-East Homeless hub at North Shields. With winter fast approaching and the weather getting colder the students chose to collect for the Homeless as part of their DofE volunteering unit.

They delivered all of the collections today to the Hub where they were greatly received.

The students would like to thank everyone who kindly donated to this very much needed charity.

Throughout December our pupils undertaking the DofE award will be organising a reverse advent calendar, and the money will be going to the North-East Homeless…..

There will also be our annual Christingle with Reverend Moon, True Colours festive party and Carols at Killingworth library – dates to follow.


Lesson of the Week – Magpies and STEAM (used to be called STEM)

The Magpies looked at conductors in their STEAM lesson this week and tested different classroom objects within a circuit to see if they would conduct electricity. They worked brilliantly in groups to test their items, and all loved testing out the vibrating spinner!

Great lesson guys, and love to see some STEAM work in the school!


STARS!!! of the Week!!!

Based on our 3 School Values –

Resilience, Teamwork and Respect!!!



Teamwork & Respect with Sam!!!

This week the team would like to give the Eltba Star of the week to Sam in Starlings.  Sam has shown great teamwork and respect in maths this week with addition even when it was tricky……..Sam decided to become class teacher and show his friends in class how to do it, supporting them in such a lovely manner to get the right answer.  This is a great achievement for Sam and we are all very proud. STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Teamwork with Benjamin!

Our star of the Engagement Pathway this week is Benjamin Cameron from Woodpeckers! Benjamin has had excellent communication during all sessions! He has been initiating interactions and greeting his peers. Well done, Benjamin! You’re a STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Makaton Signs of the Week


Fabulous Christmas signs this week


Christmas (First Two) Christmas Present (all 4).

And finally…….

Christmas!  there are some new dates in here, so please do check them against yourt diary and see what you can get to – love to see you here!

  • 2ndDecember – Disability History Day
  • 8thDecember – Christmas Jumper Day with donations to Save the Children and Percy Hedley Foundation
  • 9th December – True Colours Festive Party
  • 13th& 14thDecember – MOVE activities
  • 15thDecember – ELTBA Pathway Coffee and Christmas Crafts afternoon (Parents invited)
  • 16th December – Carols at Killingworth
  • 19thDecember – Talent shows
  • 20thDecember – Christmas lunch
  • Also 20th – Icelandic Book Flood! (me neither!)
  • 21stDecember – Christmas Fayre hosted by our Accreditation and P16 pupils (All parents invited)
  • 22ndDecember PM – Engagement Pathway Christmas Assembly (Parents invited)


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


from John & the Team