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Summer Term 2019






Welcome to our summer edition of the SVF Focus. I can’t believe that another school year is coming to an end; it does not seem possible that the school year has gone by so quickly. As I look back over the year I am once again impressed by everything that has been achieved and accomplished by the students and staff in the federation; our magazine only captures a small element of what has been happening across our three schools and I hope that you enjoy reading about the different activities. At this time of year we say goodbye to staff who are leaving us to join new schools and hello to staff who are joining our federation. I would like to warmly welcome new staff and say many thanks to the staff who are leaving. I would especially like to say a massive thank you to Steph Lindley who is leaving us at the end of this year to go and teach abroad. I wish Steph all the very best and express my sincere gratitude for all she has done at Seaton Sluice Middle School. We also say goodbye to our eldest students who are leaving the federation. I wish them all the very best for their futures; I also wish the Y8 pupils all the very best for their move up to high school. Finally I would like to welcome those pupils who will be joining us this September in Y5. I wish everyone a super holiday and thank all staff, pupils and parents for their efforts to make the Seaton Valley Federation the wonderful place that it is.

John Barnes

Executive Headteacher Seaton Valley Federation

TERM DATES SEATON VALLEY FEDERATION Summer holiday School finishes on Friday 19 July and reopens on Wednesday 4 September. Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 September are teacher training days. Mid-autumn term holiday School finishes on Friday 25 October and reopens on Monday 4 November. Christmas holiday SEATON VALLEY FEDERATION School finishes on Friday 20 December and reopens on Tuesday 7 January 2020. Monday 6 January is a teacher training day. Please note that next year’s early May Bank Holiday, usually held on Monday, will be on Friday 8 May 2020. This change has been made by the government to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day. For the full list of 2019/20 term dates please visit:




VISIT SVF.ORG.UK The website for the Seaton Valley Federation is a one-stop-shop for information and latest news about our federation, three schools, sixth form and community provision. All of the federation news and upcoming events can be found on the home page. The website is divided into six key areas plus a series of quick links to help you find the information that you’re looking for.

KEY AREAS ‘Our Federation’ includes information relevant to the whole federation such as: admissions, policies, governance, safeguarding, school meals, SVF Focus magazine flip books and more. Each federation school has its own area with information relevant to that school including: curriculum, exams and performance, extra-curricular, letters, news and more. ‘Sixth Form’ covers information relevant to Y12 and Y13 students including the prospectus. ‘Community’ includes swimming, football and premises hire information.

OUR FEDERATION SEATON SLUICE MIDDLE WHYTRIG MIDDLE ASTLEY COMMUNITY HIGH SIXTH FORM COMMUNITY QUICK LINKS SVF News: latest news from across the federation. SVF Events: key upcoming events for the federation. SVF Term Dates: federation term dates. SVF Calendar: subscribe to individual school calendars. Staff Email: allows staff to access their emails. School Gateway: electronic communication and payments. Vacancies: job vacancies across the federation. Contact Our Schools: how to get in touch. We hope you find a useful place to find information and latest news about the Seaton Valley Federation.




CELEBRATING SUCCESS When I started in the role of Head of School, one of the first things I wanted to do was further celebrate wonderful effort and attitude in school, so the Tea Party was created. Many children show these traits week in, week out so deciding who I invite is often a difficult decision, with lots of discussion and debate from members of staff!

I love the Summer Term, the days are longer, it’s warmer, we can use the field every day and there is so much going on in school. Already there have been lots of successes; we have budding civil engineers, sporting legends and politicians in our midst! It’s lovely looking back on the year, reflecting on how hard everyone has worked. We are in the middle of assessment season and we are ever hopeful that the pupils’ results reflect this effort. And, as this is my final message, I’d like to personally thank all of the pupils, parents, staff and governors in the Seaton Valley Federation, past and present – SSMS is a wonderful place to work and I will truly miss everyone.

Mrs Lindley REACH FOR THE STARS Astronomy club is very popular with 32 regular attendees. It takes place every Friday lunch time in the Science Lab, led by Mr Russell our Site Manager who is also a STEM ambassador for the Newcastle Astronomical Society. It covers a wide range of Astronomical topics including star life - formation of stars, life cycle and star death such as supernova. Pupils also have the chance to use astronomy equipment such as telescopes, filters and specialist materials and books. A highlight is the end of topic quiz. The first prize of a model orrery (Solar System) went to Charlie, with an impressive 25 out of 30 points. There is also a prize for the pupil who made good progress, ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ written by the Commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield. This book went to Callum. Fancy it? Then come along to the club. We meet on Fridays at 12.30pm in the Science Lab. Mrs Lindley and Mr Russell

Every Friday, eight pupils join me for cake, biscuits and juice and we find out lots about each other, it is a great way for students who don’t know each other to meet and chat in an informal situation. We get to find out what we want to do when we leave school, where we would like to be (if not at school of course) and which famous people we would like to invite to the tea party amongst other things! A perfect way to end a busy week! Mrs Lindley

RAISING MONEY FOR GOOD CAUSES In SMSC lessons last term, Y8 pupils began preparing for their Charities Afternoon that took place on 14 June. Each pupil pitched to their class about their choice of charity and then everyone voted for the charities to benefit from the proceeds of this year’s event. Over the remaining weeks, pupils planned and prepared their charity stalls and activities for the day. They did research, sent letters, made phone calls, created advertisements, budgeted money and much more. This year’s event had some new activities such as a photo booth and an escape room as well as old favorites such as dizzy penalties, hair and face art and a tombola. Of course there was also the obligatory cake stall and mocktail stand to provide refreshments. We hope that everyone enjoyed Charities Afternoon. Miss Staines



ENGINEERS OF TOMORROW In May, for the second consecutive year, all Y7 pupils at SSMS took part in an exciting, interactive and hands on STEM activity led by Tomorrow’s Engineers. Two local STEM ambassadors supported the sessions. During the first part of the sessions pupils considered what engineering really means and its importance both today and in the future. Pupils then worked in teams and considered different types of energy resources and some of the pros and cons associated with each. The final and most enjoyed part of the session involved the teams working together to build and charge a model car and these were then raced in a track the length of the school hall. Many of the pupils found charging the cars the trickiest part!

Pupils really enjoyed the day - here is a selection of their feedback: “It was very interesting. The people who came were very helpful and humorous. I really enjoyed the experience.” “It was a nice day and I enjoyed it a lot, the activities were very fun and interesting.” “We learnt a lot more about engineering.” Mrs Cook

TALK THE TALK WORKSHOP The Talk the Talk organisation offer workshops and online resources designed to help pupils to become confident communicators. Recently a group of 31 Y7 students completed a workshop led by Talk the Talk.

The day started with a KS3 assembly which highlighted the importance of face to face communication and confident speakers in everyday life. Confident students achieve higher grades, perform better at interviews and succeed in work experience. Following the introductory assembly the pupils spent the day completing the course which covered: speaking and listening skills, structuring and delivering a speech and improving confidence. The day was a huge success and many awards were given out. Stephanie, Calvin and Charlie were awarded ‘Best Speakers’ and Anthony, Jack and Celia were awarded ‘Most Improved Speakers’. Mrs Elliott

MOCK ELECTION Once again, election fever hit Seaton Sluice in June when the whole school had the opportunity to take part in our annual mock election. In the run up to the election, the Y7 parties produced their own manifestos, prepared their speeches and talked to voters to try to gain their support. Each party bravely presented their speech to the whole school and then, class by class, the students swapped their polling cards for ballot papers and cast their votes in the private voting booths. The Y7 election administrators were extremely efficient and by lunchtime the votes were all cast and counted. All parties had attracted a respectable number of votes and the winning party was the Global Health Party whose policies to improve the health of people all around the world proved extremely popular with their constituents. Miss Staines said: “Well done to everyone involved in the election, you all did a fantastic job and helped us all to experience how a real election works.” Miss Staines




KS2 BUG CLUB Y5 and Y6 students and parents were introduced to our new reading programme, called Bug Club, in February this year.

At the time of writing I cannot believe that we are into our final half term and another school year is about to come to an end. In the past twelve months, we have accomplished a lot as a school, working hard to improve, whilst ensuring our pupils continue to have the broadest of opportunities afforded to them. As always at this time of year, we are looking forward to weeks packed with visitors, sport, trips and a range of other activities in and out of school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our pupils and staff for their hard work this year and our parents and carers for their continued support. I would also like to wish our leaving Y8 pupils the very best for the future as they continue their educational journey and also welcome our newest intake into our school family. Finally, as a school community we would like to show our appreciation to all of the staff who are leaving this term for all their efforts, although we can look forward to some returning at some point in the future!

Mr Souter

BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS Y6 have been working on a project, where they must turn £5 into as much money as they can in a specified time limit. The children worked in groups of two to four and had to think of a product that could potentially make a huge profit, and then sell it. They brainstormed, designed and began to sell their products. Things on sale included: slime, cakes, peppermints, a sweet shop, hand-crafted art, stationery, and many other items. Some groups sold out very quickly and made plans to spend their profit on more ingredients to make more!

Bug Club is a finely-levelled reading scheme. Books are allocated based on an individual student’s reading age, therefore they are exactly the right level for the student. What’s more, WMS opted for the online versions of the books, where each student has their own personalised website. A huge benefit of using the online Bug Club is that the students can access their books online wherever they are and whenever they want to, including holidays! Their books appear in the ‘My Stuff’ area of their personalised homepages. Throughout the books there are quiz questions to complete and they do this by clicking on the bugs. Quiz questions earn ‘Active Learn Coins’. Students can spend these coins on different games and activities. By reading more books, the children earn enough coins to buy a reward in one of the many reward schemes. As an incentive, we have a Reading Champion Celebration every two to four weeks, to celebrate and recognise the students who are making outstanding progress in their reading. The ‘champion’ criteria changes every cycle to make it fair to those who have different reading strengths. Champions are rewarded with a variety of different prizes. The reading programme has already proved successful with many students and parents. A Y6 parent talked about their son’s new enthusiasm for reading and said: “He is enjoying it so much that he has actually been asking to read where previously I generally had to ‘make’ him read. He loves getting some merits and prizes as well.” So well done KS2! Keep reading! Mrs Linney

FIRE SAFETY On 20 May, Y5 received a visit from West Hartford Community Fire Station firefighters. The firefighters showed us around the fire engine and told us how they use different pieces of equipment. They explained the things that we can do to stay safe in our homes and what we should do in the event of a fire in our home.

Well done Y6 entrepreneurs!

We also discussed how to stay safe on the roads, whether we are in a car, on foot or on a bike. The children considered the impact of listening to music when using the roads and why they should always use a seatbelt when they are a passenger in a car. The visit was very interesting and made us all think twice about how to stay safe.

Mrs Linney

Miss Chadwick

It was exciting to see how well the children embraced this project and we praise them for their teamwork.



OUR TRIP TO GOSFORTH NATURE RESERVE In May, all of Y5 jumped on a bus to go to Gosforth Nature Reserve. We were talking and singing the whole way there, we were so excited. First, our group went pond-dipping. On the way to the activity, we heard birds and insects surrounding us in the reeds. Once we got to the pond, we stuck our net into the mossy water to collect fish and other water creatures. We pulled out a bug called a water boatman. They’re very interesting; they can even walk on water! Our group then went to a different part of the forest to do a bug hunt. (We made sure we didn’t hurt the insects!) Suddenly, we saw a deer dash across the forest. It made our day! We walked up to the viewing platform for the last activity of the day. Everyone had a pair of binoculars so we could look at the birds in the distance clearly. It was quiet and peaceful when suddenly we

CYCLING THE SANDSTONE WAY In preparation for the Sandstone Way Cycling Trip, a group of Y5 and Y6 pupils took part in practice cycle rides during the summer term to help build their stamina, strength and cycling skills. The practice rides were each approximately 25 miles in length to destinations including: Tynemouth, Bedlington, Blyth and Cambois.

saw a rare bird laying eggs on the platform while a cute family of geese swam by. It was a lovely way to end the fun-packed school trip. By Lewis, Vincent and Paige

ARTS AWARD BRONZE Congratulations to the ten Y8 pupils who passed their Arts Award Bronze in June. All of their work was submitted for the award and the moderator came to school in June to talk to the pupils about their work. The pupils were great when talking to the moderator and they loved talking about their work. It was a really positive experience and both Mrs Telfer and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the pupils. Here is some of the pupils’ work:

The Sandstone Way cycling route runs from Berwick to Hexham and is a challenging 120 miles / 192 km in total. The trip involves overnight stays in youth hostels in Bellingham and Mount Hooley. The Sandstone Way trip took place 9 – 12 July and we hope that all of the pupils involved enjoyed the challenge. The trip and the practice rides were made possible by Sport Premium Funding with Cycle Generation providing cycling expertise, bikes and cycling kit. Mr Robinson

Mrs Lawton

CHEMISTRY FESTIVAL In June four Y8 pupils from WMS took part in the annual Salters’ Chemistry Festival at the University of Newcastle. The team of four engaged in two competitive two hour chemistry challenges against 16 schools from the north east region. Although the team didn’t place in the top three, they performed very well and came away with a certificate and a small prize. The group were also treated to an exciting chemistry demonstration in a university lecture theatre, involving dry ice and several explosions. The day was an excellent experience for all. Mrs Campbell




DANCING STARS! The dance floor keeps siblings Abbie and Hollie busy in their spare time. From dancing at Northern Dance Stars, attending competitions to performing in shows the girls have a passion for all things dance!

A REALLY POSITIVE YEAR COMES TO A CLOSE! Another busy academic year is nearly over, with some fantastic performances, events, activities and achievements throughout that time. Students have engaged in some great Summer Term activities including: Milkhope visits, Leavers’ Assemblies and Proms, Intake Days, Activities Week, Sports Day and Work Experience. My overriding memory of this year is hearing the many positive comments that visitors and people not connected to ACHS have made about our students, staff and school. We have lots of positives to be really proud of. I think our school is really special, as most of you know! I am immensely grateful for the support we have received from the majority of parents, who realise what we are trying to achieve. I will put on record now that most of our students are wonderful young people; and they deserve the best opportunities and support we can give them. They have reached great heights in many areas this year, particularly in sport, music and academically. Our student numbers are increasing and we will soon be approaching capacity, which is great news. It shows that students want to be here and parents trust us to gain the best outcomes for their child. The prospect of a new build school is also a really exciting proposition for us all, giving the chance to create a legacy for the whole community. I hope that you all have a great summer holiday!

Mr Scott A QUESTION OF TASTE Y13 biologists attended the ‘A Question of Taste’ workshop at the Life Science Centre in April. Students analysed and replicated their own DNA to identify whether they had the bitter taste gene, PCT. After a full day of using biotechnology techniques, such as PCR, electrophoresis and restriction enzymes digests, about half of students identified that they had the PCT taste gene. Mrs Pawsey

In April, Abbie and Hollie attended the Blue Dolphin Championships in Scarborough where they each performed in five dance events including: a qualifier, two solo and five pair dances, a team dance with their whole dance school and the parent and child dance event! They performed brilliantly, gaining a mix of first, second, third and fourth places across the different events. The icing on the cake was a family effort in the parent and child dance. Abbie and Mum won, while Hollie and Dad took second place from the heats! When asked what they enjoy most about dancing, Abbie replied: “You can let yourself go and express yourself”, while Hollie said: “Within dance you can show all of your emotions whilst dancing, which helps express yourself.” Well done girls… keep dancing! Mrs Roberts

FIRST AIDERS Well done to First Aid Club students who completed the practical elements of their First Aid Assessment, including CPR and ‘Recovery Position’ in March. Ms Da Prato



DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD From practice and assessed expedition planning and preparations, to giving up time for voluntary causes, our fantastic groups of Y10 and Y12 students have been busy working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

A group of resilient Y12 students completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award expedition practice run over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Students braved very cold conditions and even experienced ice forming on their tents!

Y10 Bronze Award students completed their practice expedition on 16 and 17 May walking along the South Tyne Trail, across Lamley viaduct and camping at Alston. The sunny but cool weather conditions were ideal. Both groups did fantastically well in all aspects and look forward to their real expeditions in July.

Excellent Volunteering Although expeditions are a significant part, there is more to the D of E Award than hiking with a rucksack and camping! Volunteering is a key aspect of the award encouraging young people to give up their time to help others either individually or as part of a team. Students have had an excellent impact through their volunteering in school, running the library storytime sessions, creating displays around ACHS and WMS, assisting the running of Film Club, helping at local Brownie groups and litter picking.

We are always looking for new ways in which students can complete the volunteering section of the award. Any charity or not-for-profit organisations out there that need a helping hand - please get in touch. Mrs Pawsey


Test Your Wits! There are four people, some of whom always tell the truth. The others always lie. The first person said, “An odd number of us always tell the truth”. The second person said, “An even number of us always tell the truth”. The third person said, “A prime number of us always tell the truth”. The fourth person said, “A square number of us always tell the truth”. How many of these four people were telling the truth? A: 0 B: 1 C: 2 D: 3 E: 4 Answers to Mrs Ward

Four talented Y10 mathematicians visited Northumbria University in February with Mrs Ward to compete in the annual Maths Feast organised by the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme. This is a fun educational activity that tests problem solving and teamwork skills. Students were challenged to solve an all you can eat feast of problems. Several different rounds of questions including beat the clock, relay, decision maths networks, were presented over the course of three hours. The organisers praised our students for their excellent mathematical knowledge and particularly enthusiastic and successful teamwork: a credit to the school. The buffet was rather nice too!

Maths Challenge Students also took part in the United Kingdom Maths Trust (UKMT) national Intermediate Maths Challenge earlier this year. Students from Y10 and Y11 were given one hour to tackle a variety of super difficult maths problems - no calculators allowed! We are very proud of our award winners. Mrs Ward



SVF SPORTS ROUND UP CELEBRATING OUR NATIONAL FINALISTS We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our Y11 girls’ rugby league team; not only for reaching consecutive national finals in 2018 and 2019, but also for their continuous determination and successes since they started playing rugby for our federation in Y7. A snapshot of the girls’ exceptional federation rugby league journey: • They played together in the Champion Schools for WMS and SSMS in Y7 and Y8, and ACHS in Y9, Y10 and Y11. In Y7 and Y8 WMS were crowned North East Champions and SSMS were runners-up. • On joining ACHS in Y9 the girls became part of the same team, building on skills developed while playing for the federation middle schools; reaching the national semi-final in 2017 and the national final in 2018 and 2019. • They are the first ever side in our federation’s history to win a clean sweep of North East Champions trophies, and for a fifth consecutive year progress to the national festival. • In February 2019 the girls became North East Champions going through to the national festival for the fifth consecutive year where they achieved a team record; playing 6, winning 5, losing 1 and securing their place in the national final by beating St Peter’s, Manchester. • In May 2019 they became the first federation team to play back to back national finals, playing their 2018 national final opponents, Castleford Academy in the Champion Schools National Final 2019. In the 2019 Champion Schools National Final at Post Office Road, Featherstone in May the girls gave an admirable performance against Castleford Academy. Half-time score 6-0 to Castleford. Full-time score 22-0 to Castleford. Mr Carbutt, Teacher and Rugby Coach said: “Words cannot express how proud I am of our Y11 rugby girls. We acknowledge that in 2018 we didn’t play as well as we would have liked, however

our performance could not have been any better. It is often said the score line did not reflect the game, and in this case, this is absolutely true. For large periods of the game we dominated Castleford, we just couldn’t find a way over their line, credit to them for that. We are obviously upset to have lost a national final, but after the game we had a weird feeling of satisfaction that we did ourselves justice and made it a contest this year. I doubt Castleford have ever had a tougher game than we gave them in this final. I hope the majority of our team will remain with us in Sixth Form where we will continue to play some rugby games and I look forward to the possibility of working with this team again. I am so happy and proud of the girls for ending on such a strong performance and they will always be remembered as one of the greatest teams in our school’s history. Well done and good luck with your GCSE exams.” Mr Carbutt and Mrs Roberts

THUNDER OPPORTUNITY ACHS students Will and Jack have been scouted by Newcastle Thunder in their rugby league academy selection process! Spotted while training and playing for Whitley Bay Barbarians (WBB) recently; the boys are currently among a group of 16 players from four north east teams who are training with Thunder every Tuesday at Kingston Park. In August, Will and Jack will find out whether they have been selected to play for Newcastle Thunder Academy when the season starts in the autumn. Will plays scrum half position and has been playing for seven years at SSMS, ACHS and WBB. Jack plays prop or second row and has been playing for three years at WBB, WMS, ACHS and for Percy Park RFC. When asked about what they enjoy most about playing rugby, Will said: “The intensity when playing and if losing, trying to win”, while Jack said: “The determination that you feel to win and the enjoyment I get out of playing.”

Mr Carbutt said: “It’s well known the success the girls have had over the last few years, however it is really pleasing to see the boys now getting in on the action. I have taught both students for a number of years and they are fantastic players, who will do well, if they continue to apply themselves, watch the game more and work hard. Our Y9 boys have had a fantastic year and Will and Jack have been a key part of the team. I am hoping these two are the first of many boys who will go on to achieve this accolade.” Mrs Roberts





The ACHS Y9 and 10 football teams played Cramlington Learning Village in the League Cup Final on Friday 3 May. The ACHS Y9 team were runners up and Y10 shared the cup following a 2:2 draw. Two very closely fought games - well done to all players. Mr Day

PROFESSIONAL PLAYER Former Seaton Valley Federation student Sam Hulme has become the first female from the Seaton Valley Federation to play rugby league at professional level. Sam is playing for the Women’s Super League team Leeds Rhinos. Sam began her rugby journey at SSMS, continuing at ACHS, and leading the Y10 rugby league team to the Champion Schools National Final and winning in 2015. Sam also plays rugby league for Whitley Bay Barbarians and has represented Morpeth Rugby Union and Northumberland Rugby Union.

In May, schools from across our federation, the Seaton Valley Partnership and also from further afield came together at ACHS to participate in the mass annual School Games Rugby event! Thanks to all of our student helpers for ensuring that the day ran smoothly. Mr Carbutt and Mrs Dowson

THUNDER CUP Newcastle Thunder rugby league launched the Thunder Schools Cup in May, a new schools competition for Y7 rugby players. The competition is open to boys’ and girls’ teams. Our middle school boys’ teams were up against each other in the quarter finals on 6 June. SSMS beat WMS reaching the semi-final against Churchill on Friday 21 June where SSMS won 48-24 to go through to the final. Meanwhile the WMS girls’ team beat Joseph Swan 60 – 8 on 6 June and went on to play a great game of rugby in the semi-final on 13 June. Unfortunately the girls lost 6-4 against a strong Richard Coates side. Well done to our Y7 rugby teams. Check for updates. Mr Robinson and Mr Barkley

WMS Y7 NATIONAL RUGBY FINALS In May, our Y7 girls’ rugby league team travelled to Oulton, Leeds to compete in the National Festival for Y7 Girls. This included teams from Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and London. Our girls’ team had won all of their qualifying games - 11 out of 11, but were still very nervous!! Game 1 - we defeated Knights Academy from Kent 12-8. Game 2 - a close defeat to Deanery from Wigan 16-12 and then Game 3 we played a really strong team from Yorkshire - St John Fisher and lost 28-4. Our girls, some who had only started playing rugby in January, have been brilliant throughout the season and the competitions. Lots have now joined local clubs and are already looking forward to next season!! Well done girls, we are really proud of you. Mr Robinson

Holiday Sports Camps At Astley High School


1. Multi-sports 2. Football coaching 3. Gymnastics, dance and trampolining

Summer week 1 – Monday 22 - Friday 26 July 2019 Summer week 3 – Monday 5 - Friday 9 August 2019 For more information call/text: 0771 324 4023 Or email: Book online at:

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SVF Focus Summer 2019  

SVF Focus Summer 2019  

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