News & Stars and signing for the FA Cup Final from John & the PHS Team!

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Whole School Blog!

Hi everyone

It’s a training day here today, and everyone is in various training sessions, ranging from Moving & Handling, to curriculum things, safeguarding, and a whole range of other things besides. Although schools are much much better when they are full of pupils, there’s a nice atmosphere today….

Yesterday we had another of our Resilience Days, and it was on Coping, which is my favourite of the headings for those days. Lots of great things happen, there’s always a great atmosphere in the school, and I think people enjoy them – and get some good learning out of them too of course!

Exams have been taking place as you can hear from Kat too – so good luck to all involved there…

And of course there’s half term next week, so I hope you all have a great time together before us coming together again for the last half of the year, in June and July


Strachan’s Den our Outdoor learning pod.

Sequencing learning…a rich display on a key educational principle…..and a very nice display too!

😊 from John & the PHS Team 😊

School Photos

We hope that by now your son or daughter has had their photos done by our smashing photography team! They were really lovely last year, and looked amazing, and I do hope that you have managed to receive something worthwhile for your family

Let’s hear from our three Super Steering Groups which deliver our Key Drivers of Communication, Wellbeing and Independence through the curriculum




Becky, our Literacy Lead, is going to get us going! It’s always good stuff!

It was assessment last week for our ELS students, which meant this week the Literacy Team spent lots of time reviewing results with Class Teachers and generally chatting about progress. We’re really lucky to be able to deliver phonics in such small groups that there is ongoing assessment each session, with staff keeping daily records, but each half term the students complete simple reading tasks to check how they are remembering and applying what they have learnt. We very regularly suggest that students repeat sections of their phonics learning to give extra practise or come up with different ways of them accessing ELS to keep them engaged – it’s not just about rushing through to the ‘next bit’. Class teams work hard to try to make sure that our students are motivated to learn to read and enjoy their progress too, wherever possible!

Teachers and Therapists have come to the Literacy Team with some lovely feedback from parents as well, as part of the Annual Review process this last half term. This is always really fantastic to hear and definitely testament to the dedication of class teams. Students new to the school this year appearing much more motivated with their reading or writing, or even appearing to enjoy reading at home for the first time, as their confidence in their abilities has improved. A massive thank you to those parents for letting us know those little pieces of feedback that mean so much to the staff teams! 

Finally, another gentle reminder for any parents/carers who haven’t yet returned their forms or completed the form online to book their place for reading training in school to please do so – it would be lovely to see you! If you can’t find a form feel free to email

This photo attached was a cause for much celebration in 2KR as a student had worked incredibly hard to get to this point and the team were incredibly proud!

Personal Development

Another one of the best things about our school! Let’s hear from Jo and the team

National Walking Month

As part of ‘National Walking Month’ and ‘Walk to School Week’, pupils in 6LA had planned a Wellness Walk around the local area. Sadly, the weather had other plans, but we decided that this wouldn’t stop us from enjoying an indoor walk. Pupils completed an indoor scavenger hunt to prove it is possible to enjoy a walk wherever you are!

Exam Wellbeing

Some classes in post-16 have been working extremely hard working towards gaining qualifications in Functional Skills. 6LA and 6LW considered strategies to support their wellbeing during times of high academic pressure. We created ‘mini stress balls’ and practiced ‘guided meditation’ with relaxing lighting. If you would like your child or young person to practice guided meditation at home, please see link for recommended YouTube channel.


At the end of last week, the Department for Education released a draft version of the new statutory RHE and RSHE guidance. You can find a summary of the proposed changes here:

They are now asking for views from parents, schools and others before the guidance is finalised. You can find the consultation and a full copy of the draft guidance here:  

It was lovely to chat with parents at the coffee afternoons, where I had the opportunity to share our curriculum and resources. Please contact me if you were unable to speak with me and would like to arrange a time to discuss anything at all relating to PSHE. My email address is

Next half term the school will continue to deliver the overall topic of ‘Changing and Growing’. Please see below to find out which sub-topic your child or young person will be accessing:

  • KS2 – Different Types of Relationships
  • KS3 – Friendships
  • KS4 – Intimate Relationships, Consent and Contraception
  • P16 – Long Term Relationships and Parenting

We use learning outcomes from the PSHE Association SEND Framework to allow for us to deliver age-appropriate content at the correct assessed developmental stage

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 other aspects…


Award That We Have Gained of the Week – the PQSM!

Huge congratulations to everyone who has worked on the PQSM Award, which we gained this week. The team managed to get the highest version of the award at the first attempt. It’s a really good sign that we’re improving all the time at maths, as we are in all the STEAM subjects

Well done and great stuff – the assessors said really nice things about the school and the work that we do

We’ve got it from 2024 to 2027!

Wellbeing Walk of the Week – with Beth!

 Some students have summarised a nice walk they’ve had with Beth. Sounds lovely

Today we went for a walk to Killingworth lake. We went to the shop to get some food and drinks to eat by the lake

Shaye decided to get a nice treat of some cupcakes for his class

Grace had a good idea, she wanted to go and find some baby ducks and new birds. We found out that they were called ‘coots’. We found the baby birds, there were 6 babies. We brought back some leaves


Grace said: I enjoyed the walk and seeing the birds

Safeguarding Updates – this week, Domestic Violence & Abuse

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 Rebecca with some interesting info

Last week we worked with Northumbria Police to complete our Domestic Violence Champion training to ensure that we are a centre for support for those who have experienced, or are a survivor of domestic violence and abuse and to ensure that we are set up to support pupils who are victims of domestic violence.  Last year there was a change to law that stated that children are victims of domestic abuse if they have been in the house during incidents, whether they have witnessed violence and abuse or not.  We work with the local police in each LA  to complete work with them around Operation Encompass, which is the police alert system for schools when they have visited domestic abuse cases

We worked with the police to gain a deeper understanding of what domestic abuse looks like in our society today.  One of the growing areas of concern is the use of technology assisted abuse within domestic abuse cases.  This involves perpetrators using devices in the home to abuse, harass or control victims through; these include home camera systems, listening or controlling through smart speaker such as Alexa or google  devices, and controlling heating or broadband wirelessly

The charity refuge has been working with police to set up a section on their website to support victims to understand how this kind of abuse may be being used and to spot the signs of this early.  If you want to look at this further the information can be found at

As always if you are worried and would like to talk our safeguarding team is always available

For further support and advice around domestic violence and abuse please use one of the following links

  • – supporting children and families
  • – supporting victims and perpetrators
  • – for support on sexual violence and abuse


Always contact Aylisha and the DSL Team if you need to

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!

“And we are off….

The GCSE season has started and with some exams already complete there are many more to come until the end of June. We are busy before and after the half term break. Weeks will fly by quickly to the end of this academic year

The marks for Entry Level Certificate Qualifications have been submitted and coursework has left school for external moderation

Functional Skills Entry Levels are the next point on the list to complete and get sampled by the verifier visiting us before the summer each year

In the next week, students who are doing exams will be given a letter to bring home; which includes the details about the Results Day and how to contact the exams team, a Consent Form that must be signed and returned to school by 14/6/24 please – to enable the exams team to give out results over the phone to parents/careers and guardians in the likelihood the student doesn’t want to speak to the exams team. Results ultimately belong to the student – hence we require the consent form completed please. Additionally, there will be information about Post Result Services

Keep up the good work

Thanks everyone!”


Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA)

This is from Tracy and her LPPA Team. Nice one, guys

Hello from The Leading Parent Partnership Award

I have been asked by the Senior Leadership Team to include in the home/school diaries for September 2024 a statement about our commitment to continue to build on the success of gaining the LPPA.  I hope this statement captures the aim of the award and our vision for developing communication with parents, carers and families

Percy Hedley school gained the Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA) In January 2024

The aim of the award is to ‘develop positive partnerships with parents.’

This award helps our school to work in partnership with all parents, carers and extended families involved in the everyday life of students.  Research has shown that including parents and families throughout a child’s school journey, improves attendance, learning outcomes and behaviour.  It is our aim in school to provide a wealth of information and learning opportunities for families to ensure our children and their families receive the best possible support while at Percy Hedley School


I attended a webinar this week with Parentkind who we as a school have membership.  The main speaker was Sir Martyn Oliver, the new Head of Ofsted.  He was discussing an initiative to encourage parents to share their opinions about the Ofsted process called ‘The Big Listen’ Having looked through the contents the following statement caught my eye:

Our Top Priority

‘We will always put the interest of children and learners first.  We work for them, and their parents and carers. That is shy we are so keen to hear from children, learners, parents and carers through the Big Listen.’

I have included the link if you would like to contribute.  There are two surveys, one for parents and one for children

I would be interested to know if you complete the survey, if you have time, would you drop me an email to say you have participated?

Have a good half term


The LPPA team

Please get in touch with me via the email below and I will be happy to respond to any queries, suggestions about the LPPA and other issues for parents

 From Tracy and the LPPA team Contact

Stars of the Week!


That reflect our School Values!



All three School Values!


As it the last day of this half term can we take the opportunity to just say how amazing each and every student has been this term in ELTBA


We have had some fantastic teamwork opportunities where classes have participated with other schools in sport activities


The children in 2HR are still working together as fishkeepers this has been a fantastic experience for them, and other students have enjoy going into visit them


Resilience has taken place in many different forms from being push out of their comfort zone in their hydro sessions and learning new skills in outdoor learning


Respect has also been shown by many students especially when we have had visitors in school


You should all be immensely proud of yourselves and enjoy the next week off


Well done, ELTBA guys!







And Independence!

Masie has shown amazing resilience and independence by clapping during the ‘Days of the Week’ song in the morning routine. Well done Masie, we are so proud of you! MegaSTAR!!!




What a great bunch our post-16 students are this year! Have a look at the proof!




Casey for being so kind and caring towards a peer who needed a friendly face. What a shining STAR!!!




Grace for coping so well with a stressful situation and managing to do her exams. Wonderful!!


All of 6LA for working so hard in class and not having so many movement breaks


Owen for coping so well and managing to communicate without his VOCA

Makaton Signs of the Week with Julie!


 Football signs for the FA Cup on 25th May


Football, win and lose

And here are the signs:


To win

To lose

Below are The Singing Hands singing and signing about a football match.

Enjoy the match if you’re a football fan!

Keep signing!

All the best, everyone 😊

Finally…it’s that time again – our Third Prom!

This is from Rebecca!


Just a reminder that our Upper School Prom is coming up on Fridy 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