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Summer Term 2018






I am writing this message to you all hoping that we have a great summer of hot sunny days. We certainly deserve good weather after surviving last winter! I cannot believe that yet another school year has almost finished. It is the time of year where we say goodbye to Y11 and Y13 students and wish them all the very best for the future. As always staff and students have worked very hard in the run up to the exams and I only hope that they are rewarded with great results in the summer. To those students who are leaving us, I wish them all the very best for the future and hope they achieve all that they want to. We have had a positive year in the Federation; the students have all worked hard and made good progress. Like so many other schools our ACHS staff are waiting to see how the new GCSEs go. On the sporting field and in the music and arts areas we continue to impress as a Federation and go from strength to strength, and I would like to thank everyone for all their hard work in these areas. We have a number of staff leaving us this year and I would like to thank all of them for their efforts on behalf of the Federation and our students. Joining us in September will be a number of new staff and I welcome them to the Federation. This is a fantastic place to work with wonderful students; I am sure that all of the new starters will be very successful here. I hope you enjoy reading SVF Focus. You will yet again be amazed at what happens across our three schools. I never grow tired of telling people how great the schools, staff and students are. It truly is an honour to lead this Federation. All that is left for me to do is wish you all a super holiday, may it be fun and rewarding but most importantly a safe holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again in September.

John Barnes

Executive Headteacher Seaton Valley Federation

TERM DATES SEATON VALLEY FEDERATION SEATON VALLEY FEDERATION Summer holiday School finishes on Friday 20 July 2018 and reopens on Tuesday 4 September 2018. Monday 3 September is a teacher training day. Autumn half-term holiday School finishes on Friday 26 October 2018 and reopens on Monday 5 November 2018. Christmas holiday School finishes on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopens on Tuesday 8 January 2019. Monday 7 January is a teacher training day.



IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS WITH SCHOOL GATEWAY We introduced School Gateway in January, enabling you to receive all your information from school quickly and reliably via email, text and app notifications.

WITH SCHOOL GATEWAY You will • • • • • • • • • •

Receive letters more reliably and promptly See letters in your inbox like any other email Get a short text or app message if we need to contact you urgently See your child’s timetable for the current week Not need to rely on your child for delivery Be able to reply by email or text Be able to send us any reasons for absence via app, text or email Be able to top up your son / daughter’s lunch account quickly and easily, as well as monitor their spending Be able to pay for school trips and activities online Still get paper letters if you don’t have email

We can • • •

Send more letters and information regarding your child / children Save money on administration time, printing and paper Contact you urgently if necessary

THE SCHOOL GATEWAY PAYMENTS FEATURE This feature enables you to make online payments for school meals via the School Gateway smartphone app or website. You can also view school meal balances and top them up at any time. We will also notify you by text or email when new items such as school trips or tickets for events are also available for payment on School Gateway. Aside from saving the school time and money on administration, School Gateway also makes it easier for parents to pay any time, 24-7, and reduce the amount of cash being carried by children on school premises.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCHOOL GATEWAY APP If you haven’t done so already a free, smartphone app for parents is available for download called ‘School Gateway’ for Apple (iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S or later, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android (4.0 / Ice Cream Sandwich or later) devices. Let us know your current mobile number and email address - we need both of these to communicate with you via School Gateway. The School Gateway app set-up process is simple and will take no more than a couple of minutes:

select ‘New User’ and enter the email address and mobile telephone number you have registered with the school.

1. Search for “School Gateway” in the Apple App Store / Google Play. 2. Install the app and if you are asked then say yes to “Allow Push Notifications.”

As soon as you’ve got the system set up, all of the text messages we send you will appear in the app; you’ll receive notifications / alerts as normal.

3. When you launch School Gateway for the first time, please

4. The system will send a PIN code to your phone; please enter this PIN code and the app will be activated for you.

If you have any questions about School Gateway please contact us at



TRANSITION TIME It’s that time of year when we say goodbye and good luck to those in Y8, Y11 and Y13, while welcoming all new pupils joining our Federation. As the popularity of our Federation Schools continues to grow, this September we will be welcoming pupils from Blyth, Wallsend, Forest Hall and Dudley as well as the Seaton Valley area. We’ve highlighted some basic information for pupils and parents and carers to help you settle in and get to know our schools – more detailed information can be found in your school transition pack and on our school websites:

SCHOOL UNIFORM Each Federation school has its own uniform that helps give our students and our schools a sense of identity and belonging. We ask all students, parents and carers to support our uniform dress code. Emblematic are our uniform and PE kit suppliers. All orders must be placed with Emblematic either by visiting their retail shop at Longbenton or by ordering online at each of our schools’ dedicated web pages listed on the Longbenton Store link at: You can either collect your order from the Longbenton Store or arrange delivery to your home - please note: a delivery charge applies. Emblematic Longbenton Shop Unit 26 North Tyne Industrial Estate Longbenton Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 9SZ Phone: 0191 270 1449 Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm The shop will also be open on Saturdays 10am - 4pm throughout school summer holidays only. Please note: all orders for uniform and PE kit for the 2018-19 school year must be received by Emblematic by Tuesday 31 July 2018 to ensure they are ready for the start of the school year.

TRANSITION EVENTS We’re happy to be welcoming pupils and parents to our transition events during the Summer Term. Y4s have five days getting to know the pupils, staff and their new Middle School, spending time with teams of Y5 pupils both in their own First Schools and at either SSMS or WMS. Y8 pupils experience the school day at ACHS by attending timetabled sessions over a week including academic subjects, library, youth team, first aid and sport.

TOP TIPS FOR SETTLING IN Uniform – get to know what we DO and DON’T accept so that your day gets off to a good start – check your transition pack or our school websites for uniform information. Homework – remember to write your homework tasks in your planner. PE kit – always bring your kit, even if you have a note to say you can’t do PE, you could still umpire! Punctuality – be on time! If you are late you will be expected to make that time up. Attend – regular attendance increases your chance of getting good qualifications and a good job. Mobile phones - if pupils bring mobile phones to school the following rules apply: • Seaton Sluice Middle School – mobile phones must be handed into the office at the start of the day and collected at the end - no access is allowed during the school day. • Whytrig Middle School - mobile phones must be switched off and placed in lockers while at school. Phone use during the school day is not allowed and phones must not be switched back on until off the school site at the end of the day. • Astley Community High School - students are not allowed to use mobile phones in lessons or in the school corridors. They can only be used at break and lunch time in the dining hall. Social media – don’t bring this into school. Issues arising from misuse of social media will not be tolerated.



TRANSITION TIME TIMES OF DAY Astley Community High School

Whytrig Middle School


8.50 – 9.05


8.55 – 9.05

Period 1 / 2

9.05 – 10.05

Lesson 1

9.05 – 10.05

Period 3 / 4

10.05 – 11.05

Lesson 2

10.05 – 11.05


11.05 – 11.20


11.05 – 11.20

Period 5 / 6

11.20 – 12.20

Lesson 3

11.20 – 12.20

Period 7

12.20 – 12.55

Period 8 (Lunch)

12.55 – 1.30


Period 9 (Lunch)

1.30 – 2.05

12.20 – 1.05 (students will be accompanied to the dining hall from 12.10 onwards)

Period 10 / 11

2.05 – 3.05

*End of School


Lesson 4 (Including registration)

1.05 – 2.05

Lesson 5

2.05 – 3.05

Tutor time/Assembly

3.05 – 3.30

End of School


*Please note: ACHS End of School Day is 3.05 (except 2.05 for Y10, 11, 12 and 13 on Wednesday in Week 1). Y9 remain in school for Enrichment activities until 3.05.

KEEPING IN CONTACT We want to be able to keep in contact in the best way possible, therefore please can all parents and carers provide us with accurate mobile phone numbers and email addresses. You can do this by completing and returning all of the forms in your transition pack at the start of the new school year in September. If you haven’t already, please sign up to the FREE School Gateway App and help the school save money, details are on page 2 of this magazine.


Seaton Sluice Middle School Registration

8.55 – 9.00

Assembly / Form Time

9.00 – 9.15

Period 1

9.15 – 10.10

Period 2

10.10 – 11.05


11.05 – 11.20

Period 3

11.20 – 12.15


12.15 – 1.15


1.15 – 1.20

*Reading Time

*1.20 – 1.35

Period 4

1.35 – 2.30

Period 5

2.30 – 3.25

End of School


*Please note: At SSMS every Friday, period 4 will be 1.20-2.10 and period 5 will be 2.10-3.00. At 3.00 there will Pastoral Tutor time where pupils will come together to discuss matters, have circle time, play games, receive feedback from the school council, etc.

Our Catering Team is highly committed to serving healthy food and linking this to education and life skills to promote health. Our morning break and lunchtime services offer a range of hot meals, snacks and refreshments. We provide a rotating three-week lunch menu which changes each half-term to refresh the food choice for students and to use seasonal ingredients wherever possible. You can view our menus at:




THE WILDERNESS SCHOOL Y7 children are more than halfway through a six week programme, attending one day each week at the Wilderness School. The venue used this year is Seaton Delaval Hall - not all classrooms have four walls!

The Summer Term is probably my favourite one – days are longer, we all spend more time outside and it is a great time to look back at everything that has been achieved this year. Pupils have been very busy in all year groups, with Synagogue visits, the Dukeshouse Wood residential, School Elections and Charities Day. Looking at the pupils now, we are immensely proud of what they have achieved and how they are developing as young adults. I wish everyone a great Summer and good luck to the Y8s who are leaving us – I’m sure you will continue to thrive at the High School.

Mrs Lindley DOVE MARINE VISIT In April, Y6 pupils were lucky enough to have some very special and unusual visitors come and meet them in the Science lab at school. All Y6 classes were treated to a very different Science lesson hosted by Olivia and Phoebe from Dove Marine Laboratory, part of the University of Newcastle based in Cullercoats.

Wilderness Schooling is managed and run by the education charity whose aim is to help schools to meet the well-being and educational needs of children. They deliver the core curriculum in Maths, Science and English using the outdoors as the classroom and their aim is to raise standards in core subjects. The children look forward to every Wednesday, and last week I joined them along with a writer from the Guardian newspaper who was writing an article about forest and wilderness schooling. He was so impressed that he is now looking for a local school for his own children. Our children started the day knowing that they were going to do poetry. I heard lots of moans about how they don’t like poetry, yet by the end of the day they were performing the poems they had created as a group. Their opinion had completed changed. Teachers have already commented on the children’s improvement in their writing skills, and we’re not finished yet! Mrs Long

VISITORS FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC On April 24th, Seaton Sluice Middle School had a visit from teachers and children from the Czech Republic. They had travelled by bus and ferry to the UK and had visited York before travelling by train to the northeast. They arrived at break-time and we were able to get to know some of them. They were really nice and knew a lot of English.

Olivia and Phoebe brought with them some very interesting creatures which inhabit our local coastline and the pupils learned about each animal and had the opportunity to hold the creatures if they wished. Everyone found the sessions fascinating and most enjoyable.

I took some of them to the ICT lesson my class was in, and we went onto Google ‘Translate’ so we could talk to each other. We also asked them some questions about life in the Czech Republic and they presented us with some presents – sweets and toys that were made in the town they come from. We all had lunch outside and then they said their goodbyes. It was fun to meet them.

Mrs Cook

By Peter



SEATON SLUICE MIDDLE SCHOOL OUR LATEST NEWS SAVING OUR WILDLIFE AND OUR SEALIFE In May we took Y6 pupils to the beach to support the Daily Mail’s ‘Great Plastic Pick-Up’ campaign. The children were very enthusiastic about the good that the campaign would do to help the wildlife and sea animals in our area. They had recently had a visit from some marine biology students (see page 5) who brought along some sea animals, so the children were fully aware of the importance of helping to save these creatures from the harm caused by litter (particularly plastic) in our seas and oceans. We were joined on the day by a photographer, writer and film crew all wanting to capture the children in action, and over a three week period we were quoted and photographed for the newspaper and their website. Mrs Long

An extract from the Daily Mail article:

WE’RE SAVING CRABS... AND SEALS Seaton Sluice Middle School A biting wind whipped in from the North Sea but it could do nothing to deter the 49 plastic pickers, aged 10 and 11, from their labours on the beach opposite the school. Pupil, Reece, 11, said: ‘I found a crab that was tangled up in a rubber band. I quickly untangled it but it was too late, he was already dead. Maybe people don’t think crabs are important when they throw rubbish down on the beach but they are. All life in the sea is important.’ Friend, Cameron, 10, added: ‘We see all kinds of animals like seals and dolphins. If we can see the damage that’s being done to animals, why can’t adults? The creatures in the sea have been here longer than we have, they deserve to be protected.’

YEAR 8 SHOWCASE On Tuesday 1 May, Y8 pupils at Seaton Sluice Middle School presented a showcase to parents and families, highlighting the talent of our students. The Showcase was compered by Dali and Evan and featured several acts, including comedy sketches, dances, gymnastics and even a live bake-off. It also had two special solo dance performances by Zoe and Hollie, both of whom compete in national dancing competitions. The evening ended with an entertaining sketch of synchronised swimming which made everyone laugh! The showcase was brought together by the hard work of members of staff. Although they weren’t onstage, there was additional help backstage from: Eve, working sound and presentation; and Gabriel and Joe, working on lights. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience for the pupils participating and the adults attending. By Evan and Dali




At the time of writing this Summer Term Head of School message, thirty two of our pupils have just left us for the week to go to Allendale for the annual Y6 residential trip. I must admit I can’t quite believe how fast the last year has gone, knowing that we are once again at the time of year where we prepare to say goodbye to our Y8 pupils and welcome our new Y5 intake into school. Our staff and students have worked hard to improve our school in a number of areas; we have embedded the work started in Key Stage 2 English last year as we look to raise standards in writing and have also developed a Mastery approach in Maths in Key Stage Two as we look to continue the work the children do in the First Schools towards becoming competent and confident Mathematicians! We have recently completed the End of Key Stage 2 tests for another year and we expect to see an improvement in results compared to the disappointment of the last two years. We do realise however there is still much to do as we strive towards the excellent experiences and outcomes we demand for all the children in our daily care.

Mr Souter


Y5 had a fabulous day visiting the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to take part in art workshops, which enhanced their learning about rivers and local history. We were blessed with glorious weather and so got stunning views from the viewing areas. It was great to take a close look at the architecture around us and notice how the structures were made – as well as spotting the famous kittiwakes nesting! We also took a stroll along the Quayside to find the Blacksmiths’ Needle and were inspired by the amazing designs that we found there, not only to draw but also to write about: Roaring dragon, Belching smoke But breathing life into metal. Sparks fly as the hammer falls, Sweat drips as shapes take form. A mermaid swims free From her iron chains… By 5M Mrs McClellan

GREAT WHYTRIG BAKE SALE! In May, we organised a mouth-watering cake sale to raise money to reduce the cost of our end of year trip. My mum made two huge boxes of lovely, fondant-iced animal cakes which were AMAZING and made LOADS of money! Lots of my friends brought in delicious cakes and cookies too, some home-made and some from the supermarket. (We ‘baked it and faked it’!) Everyone was impressed with our stall and the staff and pupils munched their way through £160 worth of treats in twenty minutes! (We think this could be a world record!)

We want to say thank you to everyone who donated cakes and obviously to everyone who ate them! We’re planning more fundraising events next term so we hope they will be brilliant too! By George



YOGA ENSURES OUR STUDENTS ARE SAT MOTIVATED Well done to our Y6 pupils for surviving their End of Key Stage 2 Tests in May! We had a fantastic turnout of 41 pupils at our annual Saturday School on the weekend before the tests, giving them their final preparation push. Mrs Kerridge, Mrs Campbell, Mrs Chadwick, Mr Souter and Mrs Telfer were happy to give up their Saturday to ensure the children had food, drink and the activities to be prepared for their tests. A big thank you must also go to our children who gave up their time too! In fact our children and staff put in a lot of extra time in pre-school boosters and after school clubs this year to ensure they were prepared as well as they could be. As a school, we recognised how stressful the SATs can be and decided to do something a little different this year. We employed Relax Kids to come into school on the mornings before the SATs to do some yoga sessions with the children to ensure they were relaxed and were focusing their energy and minds in the right

direction. The sessions ran from 8.30 to 9.00 each morning of SATs week (after the free breakfasts we offered) and were really well attended. The children and staff really enjoyed it, as did Louise from Relax Kids who ran the sessions. In order to make sure that the children got the full benefit from the sessions, we had done some taster sessions in the run up with Y6 too. The feedback from Louise was really positive about our children and school and we look forward to seeing her again next year! We are pleased to say the test week passed quite quickly and the children can now look forward to their results in early July.

AN AWESOME DAY WITH THE NYPD! Whytrig pupil, Sebby recently gave a presentation to Y5 about his experience of spending a day with the New York Police Department, who we now have links with for other KS2 projects that we may do in the future. For the Easter holidays my parents took me to New York City. We spent a day with two officers of the New York Police Department, it was so cool. They picked us up in a police van and let me say “Hello New York!” through the speakers. We went to the Police Headquarters, where I met the Commissioner, and then the Chief swore me in as a real cop! They then showed me around the headquarters. Next we went to the docks and they let me steer the six million dollar police boat; I drove it under the Brooklyn Bridge and up to the Statue of Liberty. I also got to ride two of the police horses and play with a police sniffer dog. We went to a real police station and I got to give jobs to 35 police officers and check they had their bullet proof vests on before telling them to ‘fall out’. Finally we went to Times Square, and they had closed 44th Street with horses and cars so that Batman could come in the Batmobile and drive me around Times Square. It was awesome! By Sebby




INTO FILM Y9 enrichment Film Club enjoyed watching ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, ‘Inception’ and ‘Red Riding Hood’ this term. Club members are encouraged to write film reviews, with the best ones selected to win great prizes. Our latest winners, for their brilliant ‘Fantastic Beast’ reviews, were: Owen, who won first prize of a pair of cinema tickets; and in second and third place respectively, were Ryan and Josephine, who both won film club merchandise.

Another busy and exciting year draws to a close….. Well, I am not really sure where this academic year has gone, but it has been a really rewarding one for me personally in my first year as Head of School. Some amazing achievements by our students and staff, in all manner of activities, have made the job a very special one indeed. In the final weeks of the year, we continue to immerse ourselves in some great opportunities, including Milkhope visits, Leavers’ Assemblies/Proms, Intake Week, Activities Week, Sports Day and Work Experience. I hope that you all have a lovely summer holiday and thank you for your support this year.

Mr Scott MATHS FEAST! In April four outstanding students took part in a Maths competition at King Edward VI School. Brooke, Alisha, Eleanor and Beth worked exceptionally as a team and despite the high pressure, were cool, calm and collected. Lots of imagination and ingenuity were required to think about Dice Cycles! Our students did ACHS proud and beat a few other local schools in the process! Well done mathematicians! Look out for their ‘Maths Rules’ badges around school… Ms Tyler

Well done to all club members who submitted reviews - keep them coming! Don’t forget that you can also submit your reviews on the Into Film website for a chance to win their “Review of the Week” competition, where there are even more chances to win great prizes. Ms Da Prato and Mrs Lloyd

HEALTH AND WELLBEING Supporting positive mental health is an important aspect of student welfare at ACHS. In the lead up to the exam season, Y11, 12 and 13 students all attended assemblies about the usefulness of ‘mindfulness’ in increasing concentration, focus and remaining calm. The exam season can be a time when students are more prone to struggle with panic and generally feel more anxious. During the assemblies, all students were encouraged to participate in the interactive experience of mindfulness and had an opportunity to appreciate how a simple technique can bring about calm and peace. All students who attended left equipped with the knowledge and skills to continue practising the technique if they wished to do so. Ms Da Prato

ATTENDANCE CUP WINNERS Congratulations to 11E and Mr Hiscock for reaching 97.71% in the Attendance Cup Final. Well done to runners up 10T and Mr Pallas with 94.55%.





Congratulations to our Y10 Bronze Award students who successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh practice and assessed expeditions this term. Well done also to the Y12 Silver Award students who completed their practice expedition in May and will be doing their assessed expedition in July.

In May, a group of students participated in a dance workshop led by Dance City choreographer, Geoff. The students were invited to attend based on skills shown in PE lessons and their involvement in dance outside of school. The group were guided through several different activities in a contemporary style.

Mrs Pawsey

They learned sequences that became more challenging and were expected to be familiar with specific dance terminology. The students did exceptionally well and were then given the opportunity to develop the taught sequence and demonstrate their own style and skills. Some groups were even brave enough to perform their dance. At the end of the session, four dancers were given a “You’ve been spotted” talent spotting card and invited to an audition at Dance City! An excellent, enjoyable experience for all involved. Well done! Mrs Hewitson

NATIONAL FINALISTS! As we go to print our Year 10 Girls’ Rugby Team are making final preparations for the Champion Schools National Final against Castleford Academy on Friday 6 July at Victoria Park, Warrington. The team progressed to the National Final with a fantastic Semi Final win over St Peter’s from Manchester. Displaying hard work and commitment throughout the season, the girls are winners regardless of the final score. Please visit for news on the final result.

AREA ATHLETICS COMPETITION 2018 In May a group of Y9 and Y10 pupils travelled to Monkton Stadium to compete in the Area Athletics competition. The pressure was on as it was our turn to organise the whole event! The day couldn’t have been more perfect for an athletics competition; the sun shone from start to finish. The ACHS Junior Girls’ Team was one of the only teams to have representatives in every single event! The sprinters went first with many making it through their heats into the final and a short while later the field competitors got underway and did us proud again. The team members showed excellent sportsmanship, dedication and support to their fellow team mates. Well done!

boys’ triple jump with no real training or specialised kit and came an outstanding 4th place (out of 12) narrowly missing out on qualifying for nationals by 87cm. With a bit more training we are all looking forward to next year to see how far Cameron can go! Lily competed in the junior girls’ 1500m a year early! She qualified from the area competition in 2nd and came 7th out of 10 at county level.

A massive well done to the students who qualified from the area competition in May, and went on to represent ‘East Northumberland’ at the County Athletics Championships in Hexham on Saturday 9 June . Cameron competed in the junior

A great weekend for our students, they were an absolute credit to us and demonstrated great commitment to sport. We are all very proud of you! Mrs Hewitson

A selection of the fantastic work created by our GCSE and A level Art and Design students.

SVF Focus Summer 2018  
SVF Focus Summer 2018