News, Messages & Stars from John & the PHS Team 24th March 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog!

Hi everyone 

Now, first things first – I got the photos from our St Patrick’s Day lunch too late last week to include, so have a look at some of the nice dishes we had last Friday. These days are about more than just the food – they do the dining room really nicely, and it’s a great opportunity to look at different cultures and experiences too. We had a traditional Irish menu of Irish stew, colcannon, soda breads , Irish greens, and Toffee apple Cupcakes for dessert – yes! It’s all really nice! Thanks to our great catering team! And of course  

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit! 

Mmmmm, soda bread, colcannon, Irish Stew…yes please!

But it was also Nutrition & Hydration Week! Lots of fresh fruit, nice breakfasts and all sorts of other healthy things! This team really have been busy! So here’s a few more picture of food! (I tend to write this blog on a Thursday night, and I have to tell you, I’m sitting here groaning!)

All the best, enjoy the blog, there’s loads of it this week!

😊 John & the PHS Team 😊


OK, they’re at it again, that squad! Have a read of this

There are so many areas of reading for us to celebrate, that at times it can be a challenge to acknowledge them all!


Recently, recognising literature linked with ‘International Women’s Day’ and ‘LGBT History Month’, have been wonderful steps towards diversifying our library and highlighting the books that are out there for our students to experience


Although it can be a challenge to give every author the attention that they deserve, there is one British writer out there that truly requires our recognition. In preparation for ‘Shakespeare Day’ next month, we are providing our students with the opportunity to access and read a variety of Shakespeare’s plays. From the original Shakespearean, to much more simplified stories, students can read about the taming of shrews, the prophecies of witches, and the tragedy of lovestruck teenagers!


Who knows, maybe it will inspire a playwright amongst our amazing bunch

…“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

Romeo & Juliet, and the Literacy Squad

Wow, that Literacy Squad have certainly gone for it this week! Thanks to Philip and the gang!



The draft policy is on the website, so do please have a look at it when you can. One of the main differences in terms of attendance across the country now is that fewer requests for absence are going to be authorised, most often when they are for simple holidays. The reason I’ve been mentioning this and other related matters in the blog each week for a while now is so that everyone understands why we are making changes to our procedures. We work with the Attendance Officer from North Tyneside, who is meeting some parents. We need to be following the same rules as everyone else in the country, and we have more “Persistent Absentees” than others, so we need to work hard on any of our pupils who have attendance figures of below 90%. We’d very much like to thank you all at home for your understanding and co-operation with what I completely understand to be a difficult and sensitive area. Ultimately we just want our school to be a safe, happy place where our pupils make progress and attend as much as they possibly can. Thanks again

Lesson of the Week – Woodpeckers!

Now this is a proper school trip! This is from Andy!

As part of our theme ‘Rivers and Water) the Woodpeckers had an amazing day out visiting the River Tyne, it’s bridges and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

We were lucky with the weather and it felt great to watch the river flowing by in the sunshine! We saw the bridges that cross the River Tyne and crossed the Millennium Bridge and visited The Baltic

After a spot of lunch, we visited the galleries, the Sensory Room there then travelled back to school on the Metro

We were all very tired when we got back, but it was worth it

Therapy! – EGGcited to MOVE!!!!!!


The amazing MOVE Team have been at it again, with their Easter project, Eggcited to MOVE (great name by the way). This is from Mary

The students have been at it again this easter for EGGcited to MOVE. They have been following clues around the school to find locations with physical activities to complete. Some have included a large Kerplunk,Easter limbo, finding eggs and chicks in the hay, egg & spoon races and plenty more. They have all loved it and have all worked hard on the activities

A massive thank you again to the PTA for supporting us to get all the resources for the MOVE days

Thanks so much, the MOVE Team!!!!!!!


And these are the Rock Ptarmigans enjoying the activities too

And here are some things they said too……

Dylan said, “It was amazing, I enjoyed everything.” Whilst Nikhit remarked, “I liked the egg and spoon race.” Tom, in his understated way, explained, “It was fine.”


More Fabulous Therapy of the Week, this time OT – Allotment visits are back! Yay!

The Puffins visited the allotment on Red Nose Day

(Hang on, Puffins don’t have Red Noses!)

The sun was shining and they managed to do a lot of garden jobs such as painting, sowing seeds, sanding wood, weeding and working up an appetite for a spot of lunch

Jackson thoroughly enjoyed exploring the soil and filled all of our plant pots

Maisie enjoyed making a grass head, filling an old sock with grass seeds and sawdust. We are excited to see these grow

William thought the soil was a little cold, but he managed to fill his grass head. We love experimenting and can’t wait to see what will grow best – soil or sawdust heads

Nat enjoyed using the sandpaper to prepare wood for painting. He is working on a special project for his bedroom door

Leon was a master weeder. He even explored seed heads and happily scattered these ready for the new growing season


Perfect – thanks to Jo and this team. Brilliant Occupational Therapy in action!



LPPA – The Leading Parent Partnership Award 

Tracy and the LPPA Team are working hard on this award, and I think it’s going to make the school a better place. Have a look at this message from Tracy and the Team. Cheers all!

As mentioned last week we are sharing a questionnaire with all parents today to gain your feedback about communication between school and home.  It is a five-minute questionnaire, there are also spaces for your comments.  This will be shared with you in a variety of formats.  If you have any questions or comments about the questionnaire, please drop me an email on the address below. We will share our findings with you after the Easter break.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Please do have a look at the questionnaire, and thanks for your support with it all

Tracy and the LPPA team can be reached on


KESWICK!!!!!!!!!!! RESIDENTIAL!!!!!!!!!!!

The residential trip to Keswick really was amazing. There are literally hundreds of photos and stories, and I hope that those of you who had students who went have enjoyed them, as well as the knowledge of what went on. It sounded so great, and it’s such a great place. This to me is one of the best things we do, and I’m so grateful to all of you at home, and al the staff who went, for supporting it. It’s so important for our students, and it’s the ultimate test of so many things we try and do well, such as Outdoor Learning, Personal Development, and other things like Preparation for Adulthood and Independence, and so much more


As a reminder, this is what Louise F said about it last week


The 2023 post-16 Residential Trip to Keswick has been an incredible experience for everyone involved!


We’ve had hail, wind, rain, and rainbows… and we’ve had thunder, lightning, snow, and sun…. but the weather has done nothing to dampen our spirits


In fact, it has made this week all the more exciting! (And the views of the snow-covered mountains all the more amazing)


The sheer resilience and fortitude we have seen in our students (and staff), has been off the charts


Amazing stuff from Louise and the team – and they’ve sent some photos too

Another Great Trip!

Lauren and the Albatrosses have been out a lovely trip as well this week

We have just returned from our trip to the Centre for Life and we have had an amazing day!

We enjoyed looking around the space exhibition and learning all about what it is like to be an astronaut, even about their toilets! We also were able to watch the Science experiment show, which was so much fun! There was lots of explosions, bubbles and wind! We also went into the planetarium and looked closely at the stars in our sky and the consolations they make. We really have had the best day, full of fun and laughter!

This is really lovely, guys – let’s have a look at a few pictures as well

Outdoor Learning!

Students from KS3 have been working on an Enterprise project this half term in Outdoor Learning and will be holding a Spring Craft fair next week

All students are invited to come and have a look at all the lovely things they have been making and do they wish, they may even purchase some items too!


There may also be some sweet treats for sale too

Items that students have made in Outdoor Learning, that may be for sale in the Spring Craft Fair!

And Now…..

Stars of the Week!


That reflect our School Values!

The ELTBA STAR!!! of the Week is…..


ELTBA star of the week goes to …

Sebastien from The Skylarks

For being very resilient and brave in swimming. Fantastic work!

Well done, Sebastian!!!

ENGAGEMENT STAR!!! of the Week!

Amelie for resilience!

The team wanted to nominate Amelie for star of the week, in Hannah’s class. Amelie has started using her Pacer around school and is so excited. They are going to practise each day and work on walking to different places around school!!!

Amelie the STAR!!!


And also……………….a bit of a special one…..

George has been an absolute star this week! 

He is a real asset to the class, showing that he is extremely resilient and a team player. In his Social Communication sessions he’s been working really hard on using symbols to choose his activities. He loves to request the robot, and it really makes him smile. George has also shown lots of resilience when working with his switches to make things happen and puts in the hard work to get the results he wants, such as switching on lights, or the vibrating cushion, or even changing images on the Smartboard. In VOCA group, he works as part of a team to carry out different activities – he loves working with his friends.  To top it all, George had a big birthday this week and we enjoyed celebrating with him!

Accreditation Pathways STARS of the Week!

All the values displayed here!

This is very much on the residential trip to Keswick, and the fantastic dance performance at Whitley Bay Playhouse based this week – so all about teamwork!


STAR Harvey was so very resilient at residential.

He took part in everything. He exhibited fantastic teamwork – and some funky moves at the Dance Festival. Well Done!!


STAR Robyn and STAR Imogen for fantastic teamwork and resilience at the Dance Festival.  Amazing!


STAR Jensen and STAR Sid for being incredibly resilient at the residential. They took part in everything.  Well done!




And here are even more – what a week!


Kacey, Casey, Faith, Jay, Katie our fabulous representatives for the North Tyneside Dance Festival.

This group have shown amazing resilience. They have spent a number of lunch times practicing their dance, and their hard work paid off. The performance was amazing, and each one of them shone like the stars they are. Teamwork



Had his first community visit this week, he was extremely polite and an excellent representation of our school. Well done Matthew (Respect)



Has shown very good resilience in Maths and English, he has moved up steps in phonics which is fantastic



Has really had a great half term, he has excelled in the Radio group, worked together as a team with his class, and overcome issues around talking in public, and was a fantastic member of the group. Amazing work Owen Respect



Shown amazing teamwork, each morning in form group she organizes the menus for our class, and check the allergy list for what we can and can’t have. Casey is a great help to class in the morning



Amelia asked to go into a standing frame after seeing her friend in one, and loved being in there! We are so proud because this is her target. Well done Amelia! THERAPY STAR!!!!!


Prom #2! – Yes, another one really is happening!

Rebecca and the team are on this already! Have a look at the lovely poster!


This years Prom will be a combined celebration of our 70th birthday celebrations as well as celebrating our leavers and achievers. Formal invitations and further information will be winging their way to all upper school students to allow for us to have RSVPs well enough in advance to book tables and buffet for the right number of students. It will be a great night, and anyone who attended last year’s Prom will agree how much fun the students had


Any questions please contact Rebecca Fletcher at

Makaton Signs of the Week

Julie’s chosen British Summer Time this week, with the clocks changing, warmer weather starting and the end of winter – hooray!


Here is the video:







To change

To start

To finish/end

And finally…..another excellent sports bit!

Here are some photos from Wednesday’s Football Club ran by Newcastle United Foundation for girls and boys. This is an extension of the girls’ football coaching which has been extended to include students from lower school where they are being supported by some of the senior girls in the club. Great stuff!

Stop Press – Fantastic Patrick! An extra special achievement by a fabulous student!

In Rebecca’s class the children have been looking at E-Safety and creating posters on how to be SMART online.  Patrick really got into this and independently created an amazing poster to show how he can be SMART……….It’s so good it is going to get displayed around school to remind people.  Fantastic Patrick! Great achievement! Let’s have a look at it!


All the very best to all of you at home, from all of us here at the school – we’re pushing on now with the second half of the school year, with the weather getting a bit better as well, and hopefully seeing you here some time at Consultation Evenings, Coffee & Catch-up afternoons, or other funky events




from John & the Team here at PHS