News & Stars and fabulous outdoor stuff from John & the PHS Team Friday 10th May

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog!

Hi everyone,

Well, I hope you enjoyed the long weekend last week – the weather certainly seems to have turned for the better since then. About time I reckon! It certainly makes things even nicer in school

Anyway, we’ve had a shorter week back this week, but a very good one nonetheless. Going back to last Friday afternoon, it was very nice to have the special assembly for Nieve – thanks to all concerned who were involved or came. I thought it was lovely

This week you can read below about some great outdoor learning and experiences, with Hannah T, and Natalie, it really is an important part of our curriculum, and enjoyable and great preparation for life too!

There’s some important stuff in the safeguarding parts of the blog, from Aylisha and Joel, and good Family Liaison content from Eileen over on her blog too

Otherwise, have a great weekend, I hope the sun shines for you, and we’ll look forward to a full and exciting week in school next week

All the best

Oh, quick reminder: Friday 24th May is a Staff Training Day! That’s only two weeks today!


😊 from John & the PHS Team 😊


School Photos

This is from Beth and Hannah and they were really lovely last year

Building on the success of last year’s fundraiser for FoPHS, we are offering this lovely event again.  Photographs will be taken and edited by one of our talented teachers, Beth Edwards. Based on feedback from last year, we are now streamlining the process, and will be taking the photos on set days, so children can look their very best! A letter has been sent/emailed home today with more information. Please follow the link on the letter to sign your child up. Dates for photographs are

13th May – Engagement

20th May – Accreditation


Any queries, please contact Eileen Robinson on


First, let’s hear from our three Super Steering Groups which deliver our Key Drivers through the curriculum



Let’s hear from Becky, our Literacy Lead! It’s always good stuff! First up, the return of our most intrepid Literacy Squad member, Philip, who’s been doing some good stuff in KS3

This Summer term, many of our amazing students in KS3 have been looking at the wonderful literary world of ‘Animal Stories’!

The Starlings in 3RM have been reading ‘Space Tortoise’ (by Ross Montgomery) and ‘The Marvelous Moon Map’ (by Teresa Heapy). They have done some brilliant work thinking about how ‘adjectives’ are used to describe characters and animals in stories, including how character’s emotions are shown.

It is always good when the opportunity arises to read a good book, learn some new words, and work on our understanding of feelings as well!

Well done to 3RM and all of the other classes working so hard in their English lessons.

The first of our parent training sessions around literacy take place next week, with parents of students accessing Essential Letters and Sounds invited into school for an informal training session. Just a reminder if you haven’t filled out the form via letter or online form that there is still time to do it!

If your child doesn’t access Essential Letters and Sounds we have a range of other relevant training sessions for parents planned for the Summer term, so keep an eye out for the invitation letter next week!

Lovely stuff from The Literacy Squad


Personal Development

One of the best things about our school! Let’s hear from Jo and the team! This week’s focus is a particular PSHE topic, VE Day, Wellbeing and all sorts. Here we go! Enjoy!

PSHE – “The World I Live In “

Students on the Engagement Pathway learn through the LSTE (Learning Skills through Engagement) curriculum.  There are five aspects of Engagement:  exploration; anticipation; initiation; persistence; realisation.  We like to practise our skills and demonstrate how we engage with the world around us through sensory exploration.  This week, we explored some wet textures.  We used the paint to make marks and to experience the feeling of the sticky, colourful paint.  We used our hands to move the paint around and noticed what happened when we did so.  We had to concentrate really hard to coordinate our movements, and this resulted in some beautiful shapes and patterns.  One of our students had shown us their pictures of some beautiful butterflies she had hatched during a previous sensory news session, and our paintings reminded us of those!


6LWC tried some new breakfast foods as part of their Wellbeing Wednesday snack club. The group tried a selection of fruits and Greek yogurt and got to spend time as a class talking about their week. The class continues to discuss topics such as Respect and their own Wellbeing

VE Day

6LA have been enjoying doing some activities to mark V.E. Day. They have completed a reading comprehension and made models of a spitfire. Santi said, “I learnt a lot about what happened at the end of the second world war.” Whilst Robyn said, “I liked making the plane. It was fun.”

May Day 

2RC explored May Day traditions. We talked about the history and customs, from maypole dancing to crowning May Queens, celebrating the season’s arrival. After crafting our own baskets, we headed outside with them to gather flowers.  It was heartwarming to see everyone connecting with nature and filling their baskets with colourful blossoms. Happy May Day, everyone!

Physical Development

And of course everything that is fabulous in the world of Physical Development too! This includes physio, hydro, MOVE, PE, HI, VI, a lot of OT and all sorts of key areas for us, including all of the Outdoor Learning, John Muir Award and many many other aspects…

John Muir Award with Natalie

I’m really enjoying following this story each week now, and I’m loving these pictures – cheers Nat!

What a fabulous time had by all this week on our John Muir adventures! The weather is starting to get much warmer, making our afternoons out even more pleasant. This week, the students arrived at Plessey Woods to be greeted by Lee with a very special animal trail challenge. Students had to follow a map to find clues around the park, drawing each clue on their grids. The students had lots of fun and did a lot of walking – plenty of steps this week! At the end of the trail, the grid revealed a picture of a very popular habitant of Plessey Woods! (We’ll keep it secret in case you fancy having a try yourself)

Take a look at our lovely photos, it might inspire you to visit the park yourself and try out the trail 👀 The students finished with plenty of time so had a lovely chill time around the park afterwards. Well done guys!

And here’s the website address as well if you’re interested –

Lesson of the Week – Outdoor Learning!

For a second week in a row! Hannah T is on a roll! Let’s hear what she’s been up to!

Here is some lovely stuff about 3TW and campfires! And let’s see those pictures as well!

Campfire and S’mores

This week 3TW had the pleasure of being the 1st group this year to have a campfire during their Forest School Session. We looked at all the safely elements involved first, before discussing what a fire needs to burn, known as the Fire Triangle. The group did well using the flint and steel to make a spark, each taking it in turns to light a small amount of cotton wool before helping collect some sticks to make the fire. Callum had the pleasure of being the one to light the fire once it was built and then they all waited patiently for the flames to die down before being invited to take the “respect position” and roast the marshmallow over the embers. As you can see, they all thoroughly enjoyed eating their homemade S’mores and drinking some well-earned hot chocolate!”

Art Trip of the Week with Kasia G!

Love this kind of thing! I wonder what they got up to?

As part of the post-16 Art Award, we visited the Laing Art Gallery

Students had a chance to explore and appreciate both historical and contemporary artworks, fostering their understanding and appreciation of art and culture. Students had a chance to see artists from the 12th century up to the modern day, from around the UK, as well as a range of local Northern artists.  We took time to hunt for popular art motifs like jewellery and dogs. We even had time to have a little sketching session!

Here are some photos from our arty trip


Excellent Sporty Thing of the Week – from Abbie!


Sport and Physical Activity is great here, and Abbie has sent us some great pictures of her and Helen’s class doing some badminton. Excellent!


Helen’s class went out on a trip to a Badminton event, Wren, Chloe, Archie and Joshua were able to practice their skill and all came home with a medal- great work!

Safeguarding Updates – this week, Knife Crime and the Knife Angel

Aylisha is our Safeguarding Officer, Rebecca is the DSL, and there is a great team, including Claire, Tracy, Corin, and other colleagues who look at other aspects too. For the blog, they give us weekly updates, which cover a range of topics – some of them pretty heavy! Here’s Aylisha with another important one, and don’t forget the Online Safety blog too

 Knife Crime

The impact of knife-related incidents on victims, their families, and the wider community is devastating.  Tackling knife crime is a priority and the government is determined to crack down on the scourge of violence devastating our communities.  Efforts to address knife crime involve a combination of law enforcement, community engagement, and support services.  It’s crucial to continue raising awareness and implementing effective strategies to reduce these incidents and keep our communities safe

Knife crime is any crime involving a knife or sharp object.  This includes: carrying a knife, owning a banned knife, trying to buy a knife if you are under 18, and/or threatening, injuring or fatally wounding someone with a knife.  An offensive weapon is defined as any item that has been made or adapted for the intention to cause hurt or harm to another person.  Self-defence or self-protection are not valid reasons for carrying a knife or offensive weapon, and this choice could have serious consequences for that person, including serious or fatal injury to themselves or others, and a criminal record

Operation Sceptre is co-ordinated police action on knife crime, led by the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs Council commences 13th May- 19th May

The Knife Angel is a sculpture made from over 100,000 seized blades and was specifically created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour.  Not only is the Angel the most travelled UK monument but it was created with no funding and is the only UK monument addressing social change.  The Angel acts as a catalyst for turning the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour, but it also acts as a beautiful memorial designed to celebrate those lives who have been lost through these violent and thoughtless actions.  The artwork is coming to Keel Square, Sunderland in June.  For further information please visit Official Knife Angel Page | The British Ironwork Centre

For further information and support with knife crime please visit Knife crime advice & support | LiveSafe

Always contact Aylisha and the DSL Team if you need to

And here’s the Online Safety Blog from Joel

Navigating the Online World: Age Restrictions and Safety Tips

In this blog, we talk about an important topic – online safety age restrictions. It’s exciting to explore the vast world of the internet, but it’s crucial to be aware of age restrictions and safety measures to protect ourselves

Safeguarding is lots of different things!


Updated Code of Conduct

Here’s a link to our Code of Conduct, which is also on the website in the  Parent and Carers Area – Percy Hedley School’. Most schools have these now, so please do have a read – they aren’t used very often


Friends of PHS – the FoPHS!

So excited by all the things that the FoPHSare talking about and planning. A huge thanks to all of them for their time, commitment and support, with projects, ideas and all sorts. They’re also talking about the Outdoor Learning area – my favourite part of the school! It could be called the FoPHS Outdoor Learning Zone or anything! Great to have you guys on board, thanks again

The fabulous Friends are always looking for volunteers for events!  If you can offer any support, please contact Eileen at

Exams with Kat!


The background preparations are ongoing for the upcoming exams series. Alongside the GCSE and Functional Skills Level 1 and 2 examinations that take place in May and June; there are also Entry Level Certificate Qualifications and Functional Skills Entry Level Coursework our students have been working on so hard and the deadline to submit the marks and send of all the coursework is approaching fast. Teachers are busy marking paperwork, completing necessary forms required to be send of with the coursework. The Exams Officer will submit the marks to the Awarding bodies, make sure proof of work is stored before packing up and sending of the work to the Awarding Bodies Moderators.

Important information to mention:

Exams are sat under strict exams room condition to adhere to JCQ and the awarding bodies regulations. Inspections are happening and are due in the summer series

Please see below the JCQ posters that are made visible to all candidates on the exams day before they enter the exams room. Students are under exams rooms condition when they enter the exams room. Any malpractice must be reported to the awarding body who decides thereafter on the overall outcome of the Qualification depending on the evidence submitted.

Results will be made available on Results Day, 22nd August 2024.

Busy bees are everywhere😊

Best of luck to all candidates


Skylarks – Teamwork

ELTBA star of the week go to 2HR the Skylarks.  This week, 2HR took part in a badminton skills competition alongside some other schools at John Spence school, which you can read about above this article.  The students demonstrated some lovely teamwork when passing a balloon between each other and supporting one another. Well done, 2HR! Many STARS!!!


ALEX – Resilience

Our star of the pathway for resilience this week is…Alex!

Alex has been practising rolling, lifting, being prompted, reaching out and pressing – all with a huge smile on his face, demonstrating fantastic realisation! Well done Alex! STAR!!!




Michael K for waiting patiently for a member of staff, who is currently struggling with mobility, for them to get past!

Daniel Gi for being respectful of other people’s romantic relationships!

Kacey Mc for apologising to someone after tackling them too hard at girls’ football competition!


Faith D has been really conscious of personal boundaries and has tried really hard with everything!

Ellie for joining our school and doing a full week!

Kacey M for joining in with cricket in PE even though she doesn’t like it!

Jess for joining in with PE this week!


James R for communicating nicely with Olivia in the social area, giving her lots of high fives and making her feel part of the community!

Girls football team for representing Percy Hedley School this week!


A huge well done to all of these stars at the upper end of our school – STARS all!


Benjamin for being so kind and thoughtful to his peers.  He brightens up everyone`s day. What a shining STAR!!!

Harrison for being so well mannered and polite. Well done, Harrison – STAR!!!


Andrew and Shannon for their excellent work in STEAM over the past few weeks.  Wonderful work from 2 STARS!!!


Milly for being so very responsible with her routine. Brilliant! And a STAR!!!

Joseph and Jack for getting through their first exam with such good spirits. Great attitude, guys – proper STAR!!!

Makaton Signs of the Week with Julie!

Gardens and Parks

Now that the weather is warming up and we can spend more time outside, it’s time to revisit the signs for gardens and parks

Here are the signs

Garden Centre

This is from Rebecca!

Just a reminder that our Upper School Prom is coming up on Friday 12th July.  All our students within our Upper School should have received their invite with the details of the evening

Please ensure that you have sent us your reply by the 23rd May to allow for us to arrange with our suppliers for numbers.  Please also let us know if you plan to stay with your child.  Any children needing personal care or support with feeding will need to have a carer with them to support with this

RSVPs can come to either your class teacher or by ringing the school office on 01912161811

                 …..from John & the Team here at PHS