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Familiesfirst Putting Families First in North Tyneside

Summer 2009 North Tyneside Council is already committed to developing and nurturing the individual talents and personalities of the borough’s children and young people. For example, through its unique ‘Be Spirited’ programme, the successful ‘Gifted and Talented’ scheme for pupils, the popular schools' music service, and through its Year of Sport.

Your child’s talent in the frame

North Tyneside talent is in the frame this summer - with every single pupil hoping to get involved in the national ‘Shine 2009’ schools festival. Shine 2009 is a window of opportunity for young people to showcase their talents, and a chance to focus on their positive contribution to society.

It’s about celebrating all that is good in our young people - their talents, achievements and everything else they are proud of, throughout the festival and beyond.

Gill Alexander, Strategic Director, Children,Young People and Learning, says: “Everyone has a spark and something to offer, and every child and young person matters. Here in North Tyneside we want to broaden how we look for potential in young people and make sure we give every young person the chance to shine. “There are many forms of talent and creativity and many kinds of achievement – and we need them all. Recognising that is important to young people individually, and to all of us. Quite simply, it’s our future.”

Keeping you informed |

North Tyneside was also selected as one of only ten ‘Find Your Talent’ pathfinder authorities in 2008, in partnership with South Tyneside Council and the Customs House, to develop a programme to create access to high quality cultural experiences and projects for young people.

Inside this issue





Days out

Time to have fun

Staying safe online

Working closer with communities

2 4 4

Fancy a day out?

St Mary’s Lighthouse and visitor centre at Whitley Bay provides a fascinating day out for young and old alike.

During the summer, staff will be running a series of rockpool rambles, which last for about an hour and are suitable for children over five. Cost is £1.50 per person – please check with the lighthouse (200 8650) for a list of dates and times.

There’s also an opportunity for youngsters (aged 7 to 12) to take part in a junior lighthouse keeper’s training day on August 15 and learn all about the skills needed to keep the lighthouse working. Cost is £2 per child, booking essential. Segedunum Roman Fort, in Buddle Street,Wallsend, is the gateway to Hadrian’s Wall and features a large interactive museum and a 35-metre viewing tower with outstanding views across the world heritage site.

A new exhibition,‘Names set in stone – the builders of Hadrian’s Wall’, runs until January and paints a fascinating picture of the centurions who supervised this massive project.

For details of other exhibitions being staged at the museum during the summer, phone 236 9347.

Or, relive the glory days of steam at the Stephenson Railway Museum in Middle Engine Lane, North Shields.

The museum is home to George Stephenson’s Billy, a forerunner of the famous Rocket, and other engines. For details of activities during the summer, phone 200 7146.


Summer playschemes

Keeping youngsters occupied during the summer holidays can be demanding but we can help!

The borough’s summer playschemes – which run from July 27 to August 21 – offer a wide range of activities and outings to local attractions.

Among the activities available this year are sports and team games, arts and crafts, street dancing and a new ultimate sports craze – street/urban surfing.

A play ranger team will also be out and about in our parks, providing organised play activities.

The playschemes cost 50p per child per day and run from 10am to 3pm with a supervised lunch break. Lunch is not provided but children can bring a packed lunch. Although the playschemes are aimed at 8 to 13 year-olds, children under 8 are welcome, if they are accompanied by a responsible adult (16 or over).

A parent or carer must complete a consent form on the first day a child attends. Playschemes operate on an ‘open access’ policy, whereby children are free to leave if they choose.

Consent forms are available at all venues during the playschemes or by ringing the Play and Urban Games team on 643 8383.

Summer playschemes

Carville Primary School,Wallsend (Mon & Tues), Hadrian Education Centre,Wallsend (Wed), Oxford Centre, Longbenton (Thurs & Fri), St Paul’s community project,Willington Quay (Mon & Wed), East Howdon Community Centre (Tues), Howdon Community Centre (Thurs & Fri), Oswin Terrace Community Centre, Balkwell Estate (Mon & Tues),Whitley Bay Young People’s Centre, Back Hillheads Road (Wed), New York Primary School (Thurs & Fri),White Swan Centre, Killingworth (Mon & Tues), Rockcliffe Primary School (Wed), John Willie Sams Centre (Thurs and Fri), Backworth Village Hall (Mon),West Allotment Young People’s Centre, Benton Road (Tues), Shiremoor Primary School (Wed, Thurs, Fri)

Mobile Play Ranger Team

Springfield Park, Forest Hall (Mon), Richardson Dees Park,Wallsend (Tues), Burradon Recreation Centre (Wed), Churchill Playing Fields, Monkseaton (Thurs), Lockey Park, Wideopen (Fri).

All the fun of the fair

Summer fairs are taking place at the borough’s community centres during July and August.

Thursday,August 6 – 10am to 2pm at Howdon Community Centre (200 7344).

Thursday, July 23 – 11am to 2pm at the Oxford Centre, Longbenton (200 7540).

Thursday,August 27 – 11am to 2pm at the John Willie Sams Centre, Dudley (643 2030).

The entertainment includes arts and crafts, bouncy castle, face painting and admission is free.

Thursday,August 20 – 11am to 2pm at the Shiremoor Centre (200 8596).

KidZ NE Thursday, July 30 – 11am to 2pm at the White Swan Centre, Killingworth (643 2040).

summer programme

Leisure centre staff are ready to meet the challenge of keeping your child active during the school holidays. The ‘Year of Sport’ KidZone summer programme runs for seven weeks – starting on July 20 – and offers a selection of sporting activities for boys and girls, led by qualified coaches.

Sessions include multi-sports, Brazilian soccer schools, street games, dance camps, swimming lessons and much more.

Activities are split into two age groups – younger children aged 4 to 7 and older ones aged 8 to 15. Your child will have the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and have fun in a safe and friendly setting.

All sessions are operated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. For more details about the summer programme, call your local leisure centre (for contact details, see p16).

Family fun days The ‘Year of Sport’ fun days are a great way to get the whole family in on the action!

equipment is provided. Contact your local leisure centre or Sports Development on 643 7447 for more information.

Please note: Children must be supervised by an adult and all sessions are weather permitting.

Our sports development and urban play teams are staging a range of activities at the following venues between 1pm and 3pm:    

July 28 – John Willie Sams Centre August 4 – Norham playing fields August 11 – Longsands beach August 18 – Churchill playing fields

Booking is not required – just turn up and play! All activities are free and

You can book for a full week (£29 with Ease card); a full day (£6.70 with Ease, £10.60 without) or a half-day (£2.90 with Ease, £4.40 without).

Parents First in North Tyneside


Staying safe online

The Internet opens up a world of exciting opportunities for our children and young people, but their knowledge and understanding of the risks, such as being exposed to inappropriate content or being bullied online, is often very low.

To help keep your child safe online:

 Don’t place a PC or games console

with Internet access in a child’s bedroom – make sure it’s kept in a communal family space

Improving services for disabled children A group set up to provide a voice for the parents of disabled children is going from strength to strength. The North Tyneside Parents Steering Group is working with council staff and other agencies to shape services in the borough. Its aim is to bring families together to share experiences and help those in similar circumstances.

The steering group is keen to show it’s not just a talking shop but can actually bring about improvements.

Parents said a lack of leisure opportunities for their children was a big issue.The group took this on board and has launched a new youth club, exclusively for children with disabilities and special needs. It is also in the process of organising a family fun day, to be held in August.

Time to have fun! GR84ALL is a new youth club for disabled children of all ages. It is held every Monday (including school holidays) from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Cosmic Kids in Killingworth.

The club is for any children who are disabled or have additional needs or behavioural problems. Brothers and sisters are welcome to come along and special entertainment – such as music or creative play – is regularly provided.

The parents steering group has also arranged a free family fun day at the Blue Flames club in Benton on Monday, August 24 (10am to 4pm). The day is for all families in the borough who have a child with disabilities or any additional needs. Bring a picnic and enjoy the bouncy castle, face painting, magic show and ventriloquist!

For more details on either GR84ALL or the family fun day, contact Lynn McManus on 280 8163.

Families First is your newsletter. If there is an issue you would like us to address in a future edition you can email us at

 Do get involved in what your child is

doing online – ask them to show you and ask questions

 Don’t be afraid to limit the time

your child spends online

 Keep your home PC as secure and

up to date as possible – install a virus checker and regularly accept genuine system updates

 Social networking sites such as

Facebook,Twitter and MSN are for 13-year-olds and above. If your child is under-13 and has an account, it means they’ve had to falsify their date of birth.You can check the sites they access by going into your internet browser history

 If you have any serious doubts or

worries about your child’s activities, contact your local police who can advise you on the next steps

 If you come across a site which

looks illegal or inappropriate, let the Internet Watch Foundation know. Their details can be found at

Further advice for parents is available at

Families First  
Families First  

Summer 2009