News, Messages & Stars from John & the PHS Team Friday 31st March

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog. Happy Easter!

Hi everyone,

Well, Happy Easter! I know it’s not for another week or so, but today marks the end of the school’s Easter Term, so we won’t do this again for a few weeks. If you miss your Percy Hedley news over this time – and I’m sure you do – you can get extra fixes from Eileen’s Family Liaison blog elsewhere on the site; Maria e-safety blog here too; and also Rebecca has done a Safeguarding Newsletter, which will come out every term from now on. They’re all on our website but of course you can get more Foundation News on the main one too

It’s been Personal Development week here, which is great. This is one of our priorities this year – and probably next year too – and encompasses many really crucial topics, like personal, social, relationship, sex and health education, wellbeing, careers, citizenship, cultural values and so many more things. Jo writes about it below

It’s been great to have so much going on this week and this whole half term, with the residential, loads of careers stuff, a surprise celebrity appearance, and so many other good things happening. Roll on the summer term I say, but until then have a lovely break and a lovely easter. Thanks for all your support, it’s great to be part of this community, and we’ll see you all soon. Take care

😊 John & the PHS Team 😊

Personal Development Week – let’s start with this from Jo!


Personal Development Week

This week we have taken the time to educate our students on the provision we offer in school to support them with their personal development. Classes focused on a different strand of PD each morning and then went on to produce art work for their allocated boards in the afternoons.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the boards that are beginning to take shape (FYI they aren’t finished yet more pics to follow after the holidays!)

This is terrific stuff, thanks to all who are taking part in this essential whole area. It’s good fun too! More to come!



This is from Philip

Personal Development Week has been a massive success. Students all across school have been learning about key aspects of life, and to the delight of the Literacy Squad, their learning has been supported by reading a variety of books

Whether it has been reading books like ‘Pink is for Boys’ or ‘Bears Don’t Read’ to support with PSHE, or reading ‘Everybody is Different’ or ‘The Election’ to support British Values and Citizenship… or even reading ‘The Huge Bag of Worries’ to support Wellbeing… seeing our students reading some amazing stories to help them better understand themselves and the world around them has been fantastic

A huge thank you to Jo and the PD Crew for the efforts that they have made to incorporate reading into this week

Have a great Easter

The Literacy Squad

I don’t know, The Literacy Squad, the PD Crew – it’s like we have trendy people here, like Philip and Jo!. All good stuff anyway. Have a look at a few more pics of PD books and things.

Beating the Odds – the Resilience Framework

This is the latest on this amazing project from Louise B

This week’s off timetable day was in relation to neurodiversity and all of us being unique! This links in with the ‘core self’ strand in the Resilience Framework and is part of our bigger ongoing project called Beating The Odds, which is ultimately about improving student resilience


Some students researched famous people in the film, sports, music and TV industry and discovered so much they didn’t know (and neither did the staff!) Have a look at Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey and Emma Watson to name just a few. It seems too that other famous people like Einstein and Mozart were probably considered to be neurodiverse and is really important that we celebrate individuals’ personal and professional success stories. Some of our students focused on their own facial features using mirrors and produced some self-portraits. Older students also considered expectations around gender and how this has changed over time, such as women once not being able to vote and also debated real life scenarios to consider what was fair/unfair, such as men and women earning different amounts for the same job


The highlight of the day was a mystery celebrity for all our VOCA users in school. Only a handful of our VOCA users were ‘in the know’ that they were going to meet Lee Ridley, a former Percy Hedley student, who is perhaps better known as Lost Voice Guy who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018 using his VOCA. The students were VERY excited indeed!!! Lee was sent some questions from our students beforehand; these asked about his favourite holiday destination, favourite football team and being famous. He made us all laugh with some of his stories and he even asked for jokes from our students. He was really relaxed and seemed genuinely so pleased to offer this opportunity for students and staff to meet him. Likewise, we were proud and privileged that he was happy to come into school for no charge and play a part in our resilience project

Lost Voice Guy is brilliant – I’ve seen him a few times at gigs locally (maybe some of the jokes might have been different then 😊 and is such a great person. The students got so much out of it! Cheers all!


Power Chair hero of the week! – Nikhit!

Louise R gave this lovely report of Nikhit

The Power Chair Football Newcastle United Foundation Game in Leeds

Nikhit joined the Power Chair Football school team in September.  He has progressed his skills so much that he now plays for the Newcastle United Powerchair Football team on a Thursday after school, here at the school. He attended his first external team match in Leeds on Sunday. Nikhit really enjoyed the Football Match and even scored a goal in his first away match. Well done Nikhit, what an amazing achievement. First Match, First goal!!!!

“I had fun and look forward to many more matches”



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 meets some parents about this. We have to follow the same rules as everyone else in the country, and we have more “Persistent Absentees” than others, so we need to work hard with 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

There has been some amazing Careers and Work Experience things – have a look at this. Have a look at all this

Post 16 and KS4 have had a busy week out and about on Work Experience

On Monday Harrison and Harvey were working at the Discovery Museum meeting and greeting people attending The Volunteer Futures Learning Conference 2023 they escorted them showing them the way to the Great Hall.

On Wednesday our allotment group did some weeding and planted some seeds they watered the vegetables and bulbs they planted before Christmas

On Thursday James attended his work placement at the NHS PPE factory at the Seaton Delaval Manufacturing Hub. This was James’ 3-week working on the production line. He has made packing boxes, folded and packed blankets that were going to Ukraine to help people keep warm. Today he was checking hats that will be worn by surgeons and theatre staff in hospitals, he must check that there are no loose threads or faults in the material before they are sent out.

LPPA – The Leading Parent Partnership Award 

I’m putting Tracy’s message from last week about this in again. They’re working hard on this award, and I think it’s going to make the school a better place

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


Party of the week! – Friendship in the Engagement Pathway!

The Engagement pathway had a party this morning to celebrate end of term and friendship. We all had a lovely time, with lots of dancing and singing. A brilliant way to see how the half term!


Stars of the Week!

That reflect our School Values!


The ELTBA star of the week goes to …Sadie from Starlings!!!!!!!!

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! And here she is!

STAR Sadie has shown super resilience. She has been very mature when dealing with friendships. Great work Sadie, what a STAR!!!!!!!!


ENGAGEMENT STAR!!! of the Week! Its Max!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The team would like to nominate Max from the Albatrosses for STAR!!! this week. Max is an amazing friend to all his peers and always has a smile on his face. This week he has excelled in his communication, and used all his senses to identify features of Spring. Well done Max, we are very proud! Great team player (just right for a NUFC supporter too!) STAR!!! Quality, Max, well done!



It’s Physio!

Well done to Beth’s class for working so hard in their Easter hydrotherapy session 😊


And the names of these THERAPY STARS!!! are……

STAR Leon!

STAR Jackson


STAR Charlie

STAR Masie

STAR William


Fabulous stuff, have a look at them here too…


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

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 at


Makaton Signs of the Week

And it’s all about Easter from Julie this week!

Easter, egg, chocolate, bunny, spring



Easter Egg (sign for Easter + the last sign)




Lovely stuff, Julie – thanks!

Keeeeeeep signing everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And finally…..Daffodils with Christian!


Look at the daffodils that the Herons planted in November! As part of their OPT Award in Helping Others, the students in the class planted daffodil bulbs in front of the school, we are all so proud and happy to see how well they have grown. Nice one guys!

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


PS, this was so good from Patrick from last week that I just had to put it in again!