Percy Hedley School competes in Panathlon Challenge

Panathlon is a national charity which gives thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs the opportunity to take part in competitive sport. This year, students at Percy Hedley School have taken part in lots of activities. All the activities are skill-based and feature simplified and varied competitions which will develop confidence and self-belief in every individual.

We’re incredibly proud of our students that have been representing Percy Hedley for the Panathlon challenge.

From target throwing, curling, basketball hoops and tennis… a lot of fun was had, while getting active in competative sport!

See a video roundup:

Please see our full gallery below:

The Active Mile at Percy Hedley School

Each year pupils and staff across North Tyneside come together and take part in The Active Mile as part of the North Tyneside PE and Sport Team. This is part of “The Daily Mile” as supported by INEOS.

This year students at Percy Hedley School joined in by doing laps around the yard.

10 laps of the yard equate to 1 mile and students either walked, ran, or wheeled around in the lovely sunshine to build up their miles. The Active Mile is a social physical activity, with children running, jogging or wheeling– at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends. 

The aim of The Active Mile is to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and well-being of children.

In total, our students covered 150 miles! What an achievement!

National Careers Week 2022

Last week we did our (slightly delayed) Careers Week which is about linking students with the world of work.  Students from our schools and college have been meeting with a wide range of employers and learning about lots of different careers. 

We kicked off Careers Week on Monday with TeenyWeenyVR who gave a demonstration with VR headsets and how they help children and young people with SEND.

On Tuesday, students also had a talk from Newcastle United Foundation, about their workplace, including a virtual tour of St James’ Part and a video about Club Manager Eddie Howe and player Matt Targett. There was also a presentation from Atomhawk, an art and design studio that provides animation and interactive design in the gaming industry; They spoke about roles within the industry. 

On Wednesday, Students and Members had an interactive visit from Newcastle Castle, where they dressed in Medieval clothing and made gingerbread with a 1400s recipe.

On Thursday, Impact Workwear visited to discuss Health and Safety in the workplace, with former student, James Piet, who discussed what he does for work there. 

On Friday morning, some students visited Eldon Square to help with an accessibility review of the centre with their Community & Events Coordinator, which helped them learn more about accessibility in the workplace. 

Students have had a very enriching week learning from a range of different employers, discussing careers and opening up their future opportunities.

Get in touch with the form below if you would like to be involved with any future employability programme events:

Please see our full gallery below of the full week.

Red Nose Day Fun 2022

Red Nose Day is always a fantastic day to support other charitable causes here at the Foundation, and this year was not disappointing!

Percy Hedley School held some brilliant fun, games and events, including getting to soak teachers and support assistants! What could be better than that?

While residents at Chipchase enjoyed cake decorating and dressing up!

Percy Hedley School Photos:

Chipchase House Photos:

Working with Employers – Impact Workwear

As part of Percy Hedley School’s Employability sessions, a group of our 16+ students had a visit to Impact Workwear, hosted by Arjan Piet. Arjan gave important Health and Safety information out to students, including how important protective wear is in the workplace.

Students learnt about machinery in the workplace and how Impact Workwear embroider and heat transfer logos and other text or images onto clothing pieces. As well as how to prep and pack the clothing for customers.

Students were then able to see hats embroidered with a Percy Hedley logo, and were given generous gift bags to take home with their new hats. A number of students opened interesting conversations about health and safety in the workplace and expressed an interest in possible work experience opportunities at Impact Workwear, which Arjan was more than happy to discuss.

We’re very excited about our future partnership with Arjan and Impact Workwear to give our students incredible opportunities to learn and grow.

If you’re an employer that is interested in working with The Percy Hedley Foundation on Employability opportunities for students, please get in touch with Dionne Smith, Employment Liason Officer at

Pip, former PHS student, achieves Learning Disability and Autism Leader status

Pip, who used to attend Percy Hedley School, has taken our motto “Inspire, Beleive, Achieve” to a whole new height.

She has been added to the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List under Sports, Art & Entertainment for her amazing achievements in rock climbing.

Pip has severe learning and communication difficulties, autism, and cortical visual impairment as a result of the development condition DDX3X syndrome, and has been encouraging more people with learning difficulties to take up rock climbing. The Learning Disabilities category was removed as a para-climbing category in 2018 and what better way to campaign to get it re-instated than to show just how many people with learning disabilities want to do rock climbing.

Pip made a film with Benrigg Trust, to show that rock climbing is a safe and accessible sport for those with Autism and learning difficulties. The film won an award at Genetic Alliance UK. Pip also helped to start a learning disability and autism climbing festival.

Her mum, Clare Millington, got in touch with us to give special thanks to Pip’s PE Teacher, Helen Jackson, who tailored all lessons to each individuals needs and ability and has given Pip something she has been able to take to the next phase of life.

“Pip is now a strong minded, adventurous person. Her enthusiasm for the outdoors is infectious and it’s where she wants to be, as an advocate, a leader and a role model.  She’s a very deserving winner of a spot on the 2021 Leaders’ List.” – Lisa, Care Worker

African Drums at Percy Hedley School

Students at Percy Hedley School enjoyed a drum workshop with Mark Barfoot. Mark was fantastic at engaging students of all abilities in making music and songs using their imagination to create the rhythm.

Mark has been teaching West African drumming rhythms for 12 years and his drumming methods come from Nansady Keita, a djembefola (master) from the village of Sangbarella in the Republic of Guinea.

The rhythms are played on Djembes – hand drums with goatskins and bass drums.


Take a look at our full image gallery below:

Virgin Media Volunteer at Percy Hedley School

We were so grateful when Glenn, who’s grandson attends Percy Hedley School and who works for Virgin Media, approached Percy Hedley School to ask whether he could come in to participate in some volunteering. Both himself, and his colleague Geoff then arranged to come into the school for some volunteering days.

After looking at the Outdoor Learning area, rather than just helping out with some weeding, Glenn explained that they would team up with their contractor, Utility Support Solutions (USS) to see if they could get a better path installed, all at their expense.  In only a few days, the whole of the existing path, including a paved area, had all been taken up and re-laid with fresh tarmac!  Glenn and Geoff returned to tidy the area ready for the Grand opening on Monday.  

The work that these generous people have carried out has made a huge difference to school.  We now have an area that is accessible all year round, by ALL students at school. Here they are enjoying the grand opening complete with soup and marshmallows!

John, teacher at Percy Hedley School said “We whole-heartedly believe in the benefits of Outdoor Learning, and we want to bring learning outdoors to as many of our students who like, want and need it. Thanks to everyone involved in this. Hopefully in time many of you will get to see the sensory parts, the dens, the raised beds and other things that the team put on there. Thank you again to Virgin Media and Utility Support Solutions.”

Virgin Media O2 gives staff paid volunteering days to support community projects – either in-person or digitally – which helps them build connections to their local community. With 18,000 employees working for the business, its staff donates thousands of hours of time each year to help charities, community groups, and schools throughout the UK.

Glenn Hughes said: “We’re thrilled to have put our volunteering days to good use and made a difference for a truly incredible school in Newcastle. This project will help future generations of children going to Percy Hedley and seeing the happiness it brings to the children is amazing.”

Thank you so much to all involved!