Messages, News and Stars from John & the Team Friday 9th December

Welcome to Percy Hedley's School's Whole School Blog.

Hi everyone,

Well the first thing to say is that our parents & carers are clearly wonderful. You know this of course, but my reason for saying it today is because we have a lovely collection of food and clothes that you all yourselves have sent in, as a result of us collecting for North-East Homeless. You are lovely to do this, and it feels particularly right at Christmas, with the weather, the hardships people are facing, and everything else. Thank you. Please do send anything else on if you want to and can.

Sticking on that kind of theme, I thought you’d also like to know that we received a nice card from the Royal British Legion thanking us for raising £168.75 in the recent poppy appeal. It’s a good thing. Both my parents were in the services before they were special needs teachers (!) and I’ve always admired the work that they do too, as well as the guys who do things for the homeless locally mentioned above. Anyway, this was raised in the school, that’s a very nice Christmas message

Have a lovely weekend when it comes for you. I hope you enjoy the blog, and please do check on the dates at the bottom of any things that you might be able to be involved in. There is also Eileen’s blog, Maria’s on e-safety, or the Foundation blog which often has pictures from us too, that you can always check out

And there are some great STARS!!! this week too, as you would expect!!!

As always since Covid, it really would be great to see you for any or all of the things we have planned.

All the best,

John & the Team 😊

MOVE- Competition Win and Gold Award from last week!

Here is a picture of our lovely MOVE noticeboard, showcasing some of the events and activities that take place. Congrats and thanks again to the team on the Gold Award and competition win that we talked about before – it’s great to know that things are pressing on and improving all the time! Look how nice it is!

It’s opposite the photocopier too, so you can look at it while you’re waiting!

Parent Partnership Award!

I sent out a copy of this letter last week, but responses close at the end of the day today – so please do spend a few minutes getting something back to us. It really doesn’t take long! Here is the letter again that has gone out to you all, if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. It’s really good! Here it is:

Dear Parents,

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


Becky and the team are continuing to push on with all things to do with reading at the moment – pretty much everyone is involved with this aspect of literacy in some form or another. This is the latest update from her:

We’ve had a meeting with the writers of our phonics programme, Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS), this week – along with a number of other SEND schools around the country. We meet once a term to discuss how ELS is working for us, and what further resources we would like to see. It’s great to meet with other schools that are also using ELS and to share our passion for reading! The writers of ELS are really keen to continue to develop the programme for students with SEND, and are very happy to take our feedback and suggestions on board

They’ve recently published decodable books which match the teaching of sounds within ELS, so we’re looking forward to getting those in our phonics library and continuing to grow our offer of what is available for students


Reading is obviously crucial when we are preparing all our students for adulthood and the world, so it’s great to have such a good team working on this every day.

Reading 2 – World Cup Challenge

Do you remember Philip’s World Cup Reading Challenge from last week? Well, here is where it all stands and how it all looks this week

Just a short update for the blog concerning the World Cup Reading Challenge

As the World Cup enters the Quarter Finals, leaving behind a series of shocking upsets, amazing victories, and terrible penalties… so to does the World Cup Reading Challenge continue.

For our students eagerly following the football and to encourage their love of reading, we have some brilliant match-ups to watch play out

Charlotte’s Web (Croatia) is going up against The Iron Man (Brazil)

Goosebumps (Netherlands) faces off with James and the Giant Peach (Argentina)

The classic Little Women (Morocco) takes on Flat Stanley (Portugal)

And the one we’ll all be watching…

The great Guinness Book of Records 2023 (England) strives for victory over Treasure Island (France)

Copies of the lucky semi-finalists will make fine additions to our school library

Excellent stuff, Philip, many thanks – and good luck to whoever you are supporting yourself at home! Hopefully you can get a sense of it from the three pictures below.


As you know we have been reviewing this recently in light of the new government guidance, which you can find here if you want to have a read of it yourself…

Working together to improve school attendance

Section 1: The importance of school attendance 7. Improving attendance is everyone’s business. The barriers to accessing education are wide and complex, both within and beyond the school gates, and are

One of the big changes for us is that there is an expectation that we work much more closely with our host local authority, which is North Tyneside. We have begun this process already, having meetings and discussions about what this will look like and what this might mean for our families

Angela, who is our new attendance officer from NTC, has been in this week for our first attendance review meeting and the team all felt it was a very positive thing for us. It was great to have the right governor with us for that meeting too. 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 reason 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 know that some of you get a lot out of Maria’s e-safety blog, so please do also pop over to that and have a read about what Maria has to say this week

Animal Activity!

Do you remember that I mentioned last week how my favourite time of last week had been the time I spent with our “therapy” dog, Heidi. They do some lovely sessions, individually and as a group, and play games. We played Hide & Seek! (Although I called it Heid & Seek! Sorry). Anyway, here is the fabulous Olivia with Heidi, having a good time. Great stuff

Lesson of the Week – Weddings!

I don’t usually do staff things in the blog, but Puffins had a surprise wedding! Beth has given us a full wedding-themed report!

The class had a themed day for Amber as she is getting married on Saturday! William’s Mum very kindly sent in her wedding dress for us to explore and we all enjoyed feeling the dress; we loved the jewels and also the very soft material. We have talked about the different roles in a wedding, then chose which role we would like to be before playing ‘weddings’!  We all brought in smart clothes so we would look fancy and Amber even put on the wedding dress to look the part! We enjoyed a party lunch afterwards.

Good luck for your big day Amber! Lots of love from the staff and children

Go on, have a look at some pictures – you know you want to!

Very Nice Art That Has Been Done of the Week!

Two classes did this ‘Shading’ with charcoal, and some rubber drawings of bottles this week. Natalie our Art teacher, and everyone else who has seen them, think they look great!! Well done everyone in those two classes! There is some lovely art and displays around the school!

Therapy STAR!!! of the Week!!!

Joseph trialled something new to him this week, the sensory swing! He was excellent at listening to and following instructions to position himself correctly and was super at communicating with staff that he wanted more. He was able to maintain his balance independently too. Some transdisciplinary working at its finest and Joseph being a total STAR!!! as always! Well done, Joseph!!!!!



STARS!!! of the Week!!!

Based on our 3 School Values –

Resilience, Teamwork and Respect!!!



Resilience with Harry!!!

This week the ELTBA Star of the Week is Harry in the Doves for showing resilience, particularly in swimming! He used to be worried about sinking and now he can float on his back by himself with only one woggle


Teamwork & Respect with John Joseph!

Our star of the Engagement Pathway this week is John Joseph in Pufflings. John Joseph has had a lovely week, working hard in all learning activities, engaging and attending well with all of them. His favourite part of the week was exploring the sensory room! Well done John Joseph! 😊

Makaton Signs of the Week

More Christmas words this week: Toys, Sing, Reindeer, Snowman, List

And also, apologies for the (deliberate? 😊) mistake last week with one of the words – great that that was spotted! 😉 It wasn’t Julie, honestly!

Thanks Julie. Happy signing everyone, happy Christmas signing, and…..

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

And finally…….


We wore Christmas Jumpers yesterday, as many of you will know. There are a lot of pictures on the Foundation website and social media, so have a look at them. I think I’m gonna wear mine until the end of term now……..thanks for supporting it when we have silly dressing up days, they’re great!


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!


  • 13th& 14thDecember – MOVE activities
  • 15thDecember – ELTBA Pathway Coffee and Christmas Crafts afternoon (Parents invited)
  • 16th December – Carols at Killingworth Library
  • 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