News and Stars from John & the PHS Team 17 February 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog!

Hi everyone,

Well, this is us half way through the year, and what a time it’s been! We’ve had a fabulous two days based on our Resilience Framework Project, Beating the Odds; we’ve done STEAM Week with some great lessons; there’s been lots of reading, of course; and sport, of course; and you may have noticed that it’s also been Valentine’s Day 😊 Phew. I think everybody’s ready for a few days’ rest from that…………………

On a serious note, it has been lovely – the school at its very best, with some parents coming in too, and the students all seeming to have a good time somewhere or another. Equally, I hope something on the blog appeals to you. I know that some of you just scroll to the STARS – quite right too! – and there are some great stories there this week as well

It’s been lovely in school, and I hope that you have had what you need from us too. The second half of the school year is about spring, summer and thinking about next steps

Have a lovely break, we’ll see you soon, thanks for your support and do enjoy this blog, Eileen’s, and any others on the Foundation website

Oh and good luck to all those in black & white on Sunday week down in That London. All the best.

😊 John & the PHS Team 😊


This is from Louise B and is part of our Resilience Framework Project – you’re gonna love this! Have a read of Louise’s take on the project and see some of the pictures

Thursday’s non-uniform day was another special timetable day for students in school and is part of our Beating The Odds project. The theme was ‘Acts of Kindness’, and thinking about belonging to our immediate school community. This was specifically linked to the ‘Belonging’ strand in the Resilience Framework which students are becoming more aware of. The day saw students displaying kindness by making gifts for other students and classes. A wide variety of activities were undertaken including baking cakes, making milkshakes and cookies, making bookmarks, friendship bracelets, scrabble name cards, devising a quiz, making folded cards and name cards sharing genuine compliments about other students and recording a class song to send to a classmate in hospital.


As a special act of kindness for all students in the Engagement and ELTBA pathways, circus skills workshops took place throughout the school day and the children were mixed from the pathways to promote social cohesion and the sharing of an activity. The children were all animated, engaged and many were able to be successful with the new circus skills challenge. I saw different sides to students being out of their familiar class environments and likewise out of their comfort zones. I saw one quiet child studiously keep his eyes open to gaze at the others from a distance, another to unusually initiate some interaction with the leader to take and swap chiffon scarves and someone to volunteer in front of the group who I might not have expected to. Others were supported to come and watch with good levels of support to ensure they were all included.


With small groups of around 7 to 12 pupils per workshop, this allowed for a very personal and interactive approach between the show leader and students. He has previously been to Percy Hedley ( ) and was simply superb!  After an initial demo, there was then plenty of audience participation including balancing peacock feathers on your finger nose or elbow, opening a magic box (which of course won’t open!), rolling flower sticks from face to arms and plate spinning. As well as circus skills, there was also some magic thrown and we had a lot of giggles when Marty fell off his unicycle and when he was just plain silly; everyone loved it and I do hope you enjoy the pictures showing the fun we had in school. At times, some of the children’s faces were just a joy to behold. We couldn’t coordinate everything on the same day so part 2 and 3 of more Acts of Kindness from school towards students are to follow. This sort of thing isn’t always easy but can be especially hard for some of our students who naturally have their own perspective about life.  Amazing ideas and kindness shown all day to others. My thanks too to all staff for their ideas and creativity. What an important thing to focus on!

Acts of Random Kindness on our Belonging Day



Here’s our weekly update from the Literacy Squad

The Usborne Book Fair was here this week, and it was a sight to behold. The Rookery room made for a lovely venue to help showcase some of the amazing books that Usborne had on offer. From sensory books to Young Adult fiction…dinosaurs to unicorns…graphic novels to activity books; there was a lot to browse and many happy faces.

Another big thank you to Vikki Macdonald from Mini Macs Magical Bookshop for being our local link to Usborne and being with us for 2 enjoyable days, helping the staff and students with their selections and providing some brilliant recommendations.

There’s also the upcoming ‘World Book Day’

And Coming Soon……………..!


In the first week back after a much-needed half-term holiday, schools around the country will be celebrating World Book Day!


Here, we like to have days like these at the end of the week, as a wonderful stepping stone into a relaxing weekend. Therefore PHS’s World Book Day, will be on Friday 3rd March.


This year, we are asking that students have a think about and discuss at home, all of the things that they love to read! Absolutely anything that can be read and bring a sense of enjoyment. (Like a winning scoreline for Newcastle in a Cup Final).


Letters are going out this week and there will be reminders closer to the date.

Have a wonderful week!

The Literacy Squad

Personal Development

LBGT History Month

Accreditation Pathway have been celebrating LBGT+ History Month this week, learning about the abolishment of Section 28 and the Stonewall riots in assembly

PSHE – Responsive Curriculum

After a rise in use of inappropriate language used by a small number of students in Key Stage 4, we have been providing some intervention sessions to educate about the protected characteristics under the Equality Act and how this is enforced within schools, colleges and workplaces. The students responded really well and provoked some interesting conversations! If you are concerned about language your child is using at home and would like some support, please contact me via email:, or speak with your class team.


Continued thanks for your feedback and support on this difficult area, it’s all very helpful in getting us where we all need to get to

As I’ve said, all schools are doing this all over the country. It’s a tightening of the rules, so we all have to adjust or do things differently from what we have done in the past here

So many lovely things happen in the school every day, as we see in the blog every week, and you can’t avoid by just walking round here any day 😊 and we want our pupils to be a part of that as much as they possibly can

Appointments, health matters and other difficult things sometimes get in the way of that. We really do understand that. We’ve been working closely with North Tyneside Council, as we are required to do, on this. The draft policy is still on the website


Valentine’s Day Great Session of the Week – Hannah F’s class!

Hear what Hannah has to say!

We were thrilled to have a personal visit from Cupid himself, this week.  On Valentine’s Day, George brought the power of love to school with his gorgeous outfit.  He wore beautiful feathery wings, had a quiver full of hearts and a lyre to play the music of love on.  He even played us ‘Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow,’ using his Big Mack!  George embodied the spirit of kindness in a week where we have been thinking about resilience and belonging.  We have all enjoyed making Valentine’s Day pictures and taking part in some of the wellbeing activities that have been organised across school, such as the circus skills workshop and the Valentine’s Disco


Lesson of the Week – all the STEAM sessions!

You might remember STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths. All good stuff. But it’s better now because they’ve added an “A” to it, for Arts, and made it into STEAM Week. Chris and the gang have been putting on lots of exciting activities on these topics

Rahme’s class for example did this. Fabulous

We engaged in a number of activities designed to mimic astronaut tasks, where pupils built their own space gear such as boots and helmets using aluminium foil, paper plates..etc and collected moon rocks to match the exact drawn number. Wearing astronaut gloves, pupil sorted different sized moon rocks into small and big categories

And look at Rahme’s pictures

Proper STEAM Week lessons!


More STEAM stuff! – and this also sounds Brilliant!

Also as part of STEAM, a lot of the Appropriate Accreditation Pathway students have been having a go at creating and launching rockets. They started by creating paper rockets in the classroom before using a stomp launcher to send them flying across the yard. They then had a go at launching water rockets. A few ELTBA pupils have also had a go at launching the rockets during their morning or lunch breaks. Have a look

And Yet more STEAM! This time from Leanne!

They have had a busy week in 6LD. Lots of STEAM fun and some lovely independence work in the local community. George has been an absolute star, even though he has found some of the week difficult. Great teamwork when creating the 6LD Labyrinth of Adventure’!

The students are looking forward to the disco and the Dib Dab performance

Happy ‘Random Acts of kindness’ Day 😊


MOVE! MOVE Session of the Week!

We have Aiden, Nikhit and Finley in their KS4 MOVE session playing a game of balloon tennis working on teamwork as well as developing their gross motor skills

We also have Leon who has been focusing on his balance and coordination riding his bike outside.

This is all lovely – huge thanks to their physio, Abbie for doing this, and for not getting phased when her session was interrupted by the fire alarm


More Valentine’s Stuff!

Have a look at these pictures of our Valentine’s Day puddings, enjoyed by all of the students; I especially love the photo of Blanche and Susan – “PHS very own catering Cupids”! Yet again, huge thanks to our marvellous catering team

Stars of the Week!


With added School Values!


The ELTBA Star of the Week is…..Isaac! And Resilience!


Isaac is a fabulous chap, and a real pleasure to have in the school! He has shown resilience for consistently wearing his new insoles. This would usually be tricky for Isaac but he is taking it in his stride 😊 Well done, Isaac, a proper STAR!!!

ACCREDITATION Stars of the Week! Resilience, Respect & Teamwork – we have all three!


Finlay – has received a new VOCA, he has actively used it to communicate, even though its been a little difficult, he has tried really hard; fabulous resilience


Alex – for completing a half term in a new school, integrating with students, making friends and following new rules. Amazing Respect


Callum – Showed amazing resilience when the fire alarm sounded, well done Callum


Kristian – for following the rules is Pilates, joining in and following instructions, he was given the challenge of completing 4 exercises, and showed everyone how amazing he was by doing 5 pilates exercises. Amazing Respect


Bradon showed excellent teamwork, by supporting their friend Laiton in his wheelchair, after his operation



And there are more, from post-16………..


George for showing true resilience and turning the week right around and completing a whole AQA unit in computing.  Well done George!!


Santi for being really resilient in computing and altogether having a brilliant week


Shannon, Eve and Harvey for working so well together to design and make a model to transport tomatoes safely down a hill.  Excellent teamwork and no squashed tomatoes


WHAT A LOT OF COMPLETE STARS!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you all for being such quality students!

ENGAGEMENT Star of the Week! John with Resilience!


The team would like to nominate John as the Star of the Week on the Engagement Pathway. He’s been working really hard on all sorts of things, including walking, for weeks now, and is showing real progress. Look at his smile! The smile of s STAR!!!

Makaton Signs of the Week


For Valentine’s Day and Random Act of Kindness Day – love and kind





Great stuff, Julie, thanks. Really good signs for everyone there


PE News because you have to have PE News!

Here’s a selection of photos from the NUF Participation football league this Wednesday. They played so well this week, including scoring two fantastic goals from Finley and Shannon. Let’s hope this is all replicated at Wembley on Sunday Week!

Leading Parent Partnership Award – from Tracy!

It has been lovely to meet lots of parents this week during coffee afternoons.  I have left literature about the LPPA and I am happy to respond to any questions via my email

We as a school value our parents, extended families (I had some super conversations with grandparents) and carers input, which helps us to support and guide our students to achieve to their potential.  I look forward to hearing from you


Thanks Tracy – love this piece of work you’re doing, and it’s all crucially important stuff!

And leading on from this….

The Engagement Department enjoyed a Valentine’s Day-themed Coffee & Catch-up afternoon on the 14th! The class made ‘stained glass’ effect hearts, iced biscuits and made Valentine’s Day cards. Parents also had the opportunity to learn more about MOVE from our MOVE To Learn display

Circus Skills Activity

Now this was part of a few different things, but no matter – it was just lovely. Who doesn’t love circus skills!

And finally…..


John Joseph enjoys taking the menus to the hall every morning. His peer Shay from ELTBA came to help him do his job, they shared the job and were very kind to each other! Well done JJ and Shay 😊


All the very best to all of you at home, from all of us here at the school – have a lovely half term and we’ll see you all again soon

from John & the Team here at PHS