Valley Gardens News

Kindness - Resilience - Respect

27th May 2022

Message from the Headteacher

Dear Parents/Carers

It's been a busy half term with all sorts of things going on for our pupils. We have enjoyed some incredible successes in the sporting arena, particularly with our girls football teams who have had local and national success in competitions. We have also had two great evenings of musical performances which showcased soloists and ensembles and were well attended by parents. Over recent weeks, we have been conducting parent tours so that parents can see the school in operation during a normal school day. The feedback from parents has been fantastic with parents commenting about what a calm and industrious environment the school is. We will be offering more tours of the school in the future, so please feel free to come and take a look.

I'd like to say a particular well done to all pupils in Year 6 who worked so hard this year and took the SATs tests in their stride; they have done themselves proud regardless of the outcomes.


David Godfrey


Upcoming Events, Activities & Holidays

28th May - Lost Property open morning 9am-11am

in school hall

w/c 30th May - Half Term Holiday

6th June - School Closed for Jubilee Holiday

14th - 15th June - Author Visit Peter J Murray

17th June - Year 8 Careers Event

19th - 25th June - Year 8 Germany Trip

20th - 23rd June - Year 5 Bikeability

23rd June - Try and Buy Uniform Sale Evening 6-8pm

24th - 26th June - Year 7&8 Hawes End Outdoor Activity Trip

27th June - 1st July - Year 6 High Borrans Adventure Trip

4th July - Year 5 Theatre Sans Frontieres

5th July - Transition Day

6th July - Transition Day

7th July - Golf Trip to North Berwick

8th July - E Praise Afternoon

8th July - Year 6 Camping on the Field

11th July - Year 5 Sports Day

12th July - Year 6 Sports Day

13th July - Year 7 Sports Day

14th July - Bastille Day

15th July - Year 8 Sports Day

15th July - Year 8 Leavers Prom

18th July - Year 8 Flamingo Land Trip

19th July - Year 8 NHS Careers Interactive Theatre Workshop

20th July - Year 5 End of Year Trip - The Alnwick Garden

20th July - Year 8 Leavers Assembly

21st July - Teacher Training Day

22nd July - 2nd Sept - Summer Holidays

5th Sept - Teacher Training Day

6th Sept - Pupils Return to School

Lost Property Open Morning

School will be open on Sat 28/05/22 between 9-11am and lost property will be out on tables in the hall for parents to view and take.

Mrs H Tate

Congratulations & Thank You from Mr Baggett

Thank you to all sports leaders and staff who have helped with the Year 4 to Year 5 transition projects this half term. It has been lovely to see the next cohort of pupils working with existing staff and pupils.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs May on the birth of his second child , Henry, this week.

Thank you to the Parents Forum for the recent meeting where we discussed Mental Health provision in school.

It was lovely to welcome in parents this week for a look around school during the day in our regular Parental Tours. Thank you to the Key Stage 2 pupils who spoke so eloquently about the new assessment system, memory and retention, live feedback and other such topics.


The Valley Garden Artsmark journey continues with a range of wonderful Music and Art activities happening in school. There's a fabulous music concert arranged by Mrs Scott this week, showcasing the talent of our wonderful, young musicians. Visitors should notice the fabulous artwork produced by the Valley Gardens students, many of whom enjoy creating, drawing and painting at home too. We welcome input from our families including ideas for workshops, artwork or offers of support in continuing our journey towards our Artsmark Award.

We also have a new section of the website under development by Mr Dibden who is creating an Arts Hub for our community. If you have an Arts-based workshop or event (music, art, dance or anything else arts-related) and would like to advertise it on our website please email Mr Dibden and or Mr Grundy at school.

Valley Gardens Middle is now an Arts Award Centre and as part of our Arts Award Bronze Award accreditation, we have a group of Year 8 students off to London with Mr Grundy and Mrs Butterworth this month to visit The National Gallery and the London Transport Museum. We will be exploring the wonderful art in our capital, drawing the sights and absorbing the diverse culture. This will lead to a final 'Legacy' artwork produced by our amazing and very talented year 8 art students! The artwork will be on display around the school from September 2022, so look out for it when you visit.

Mr Grundy

Head of Art

Bronze Arts Award London Trip

On Thursday 26th May, Mr Grundy took 16 Year 8 Art students on an enrichment visit to London as part of their Arts Award course.

They visited the amazing National Gallery in Trafalgar Square where the students completed research on an artist of their choice. This work will inspire their future research and subsequent final piece for the course.

After a quick walk to Covent Garden and a look around the market, they visited The London Transport Museum which was fascinating and pupils gained an insight into the cultural history of the capital.

They travelled on the iconic London Tube which was very busy but blasted up to Kings Cross for the 4pm train back to Newcastle.

The students were brilliant and a credit to themselves and their families. They worked really well and were polite, hardworking and mature throughout the day.

Spring Concert

We were thrilled to showcase the many musical talents of our pupils last week in our Spring Musical Concert. Our excellent wind band, string and recorder groups, choir and a Year 8 soloist performed an eclectic mix of music to a packed audience.

Thanks to all performers, Mrs Scott, Mr Flood, Mrs Critten, Mrs Teoh and everyone in the audience who came to support us.

Spring Concert Set List

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Bee Keepers

A number of KS3 students have been enjoying Thursday afternoons at Meadowell Connected learning about beekeeping and apiary management. We've started building the very first Valley Gardens beehive and spent time developing our resilience and teamwork skills. All the students have progressed in confidence, overcoming early nerves and are getting comfortable being surrounded by 400,000 bees in the apiary!
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What is Metacognition?

Metacognition refers to a pupil's ability to be aware of what they're thinking about and then choose helpful thought processes and strategies to help them learn.

At the beginning of this year, we started an exciting three year metacognition programme in Valley Gardens Middle, across all subjects and in conjunction with North Tyneside Learning Trust. Developing resilient, independent learners is hugely important to us as it boosts pupils’ chances of doing their best both in school and in life. Metacognition is the approach that will support us with this priority because research suggests that it is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to help students:

  • improve their learning;

  • improve independent learning;

  • reflect and learn from previous mistakes;

  • choose effective revision strategies;

  • enhance motivation; and

  • improve academic performance.

Staff professional development has and continues to focus on effective ways to embed metacognitive strategies and particularly metacognitive talk into the classroom.

This week, all pupils have been introduced to the language and meaning of the word, metacognition, with their form teachers and we are currently trialling a range of projects in lessons to explore and embed positive learning habits.

We ask parents to encourage their children to think and do for themselves, where possible, emphasise that sometimes not getting things right first time, is a necessary part of learning; and try to encourage your children to replace ‘I cannot do it’ with ‘I cannot do it yet!’ Sometimes as parents we think we are helping or that it would be quicker for us to do it for them, but actually, that is not helping them to become independent thinkers. If we can both work together on these strategies, we stand a far greater chance of success.

Please talk to your children about what their understanding of metacognition is at this point, its benefits and see if you notice improvements in their awareness of their own thinking and resilience as the year goes on.

Click here to view our webpage which includes a slideshow shown to all pupils.

Y8 had a great time with rap artist BREIS at WBHS Literary Festival.

Extra-curricular clubs: Aqua Club

Group (A) have successfully completed their Aqua club sessions. There has been lots of fun and laughter and pupils have learnt a variety of new sea based skills. Pupils have experienced kayaking, paddleboarding and coasteering. All pupils worked so incredibly hard.

Group B and Group C sessions are after half term and Ms Grimshaw will be taking names for the Autumn Aqua club after the half term holiday.

Gymnastics Club

Pupils have continued to have a lot of fun at Gymnastics Club this half term. They have continued to develop their floor and Equipment skills. Ten of our Year Five pupils were selected to represent VGMS at the North Tyneside Key Steps Gymnastic competition at The Parks. The pupils did our school proud in their sequences and enjoyed the specialist equipment available on the day. Well done to all who participated. Ms Grimshaw.

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Athletics Fitness Club

There has been a wonderful turn out for the Thursday morning Athletics Fitness Club. Pupils have enjoyed some gruelling sessions always with a big smile on their faces. We are confident they will be setting some personal bests on Sports Day. Well done to all for being so resilient and respectful of one another. Ms Grimshaw

KS2 Design Technology

This term KS2 Design Technology homework was to create a piece of bunting to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. We had some wonderful designs that pupils had clearly spent a lot of time creating. Each piece of bunting has now been sewn together and displayed at the front of the school and in the hall. Thanks to everyone who participated and has made our hall look amazing!

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What's been happening in Y5?

Year 5 were invited to decorate bunting to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee hosted by St Pauls Parish Church, Cullercoats WI, Newcastle Building Society & North Tyneside Learning Trust. Their bunting will be part of a trail over the next month and be displayed in a variety of locations around Whitley Bay.

We were thrilled with the designs and the care and detail added to so many.

Look out for their bunting when you are next in Whitley Bay or take part in the trail competition.

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Newcastle University STEM Outreach

Newcastle STEM Ambassadors visited a few weeks ago and gave an assembly entitled 'Story of Earth: this scintillating show tells the story earth from its very first day 4.6 billion years ago right the way through to the present day. It included a variety of exciting experiments and demonstrations: including dry ice, elephant’s toothpaste, fire hands and more!

I really enjoyed it when the science ambassadors came in to tell us a story about the earth and perform some science experiments with us. It was really good and I would love it if they came in again - they were so talented.

Ellie, Y5

Spot the mistake - homophones

It's always great to see pupils creating challenges for their peers to work on.
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Interclass Basketball Competition

A week long competition took place a couple of weeks ago in year 5. We were so proud of the sportsmanship and team effort displayed during these games each day.

Well done to 5AGO who won the competition and all those involved.

Project Based Learning - Eco-friendly action


I have really enjoyed the variations of clubs this year. My favourite club so far has been the Eco-club which I go to with my friend Ellie. We have currently been doing a project with a man from the Green Influencers, called Robson. We are looking at helping the environment and have split our money into 2 groups. The first group is using their £360 to make reusable water bottles and our group is clearing out the back garden and pond to make it a nicer place.

The club is run by Mrs Goel and Mrs Webb and is a really good club to go to because you can have fun and can also help the environment. We are currently using a jamboard on the computer and next term we are going to introduce some new wildlife to the garden and pond. I am going to bring in some froglets to have once we have cleared out the pond.

Eco-Club is in room 6 and is on Wednesday lunch time. I would recommend this club as it is a good way to spend lunch.

Alice Y5

National Numeracy Competition: Number Heroes

Pupils in KS2 were asked to create a picture of themselves doing their dream job or hobby and include how it involved numbers. This excellent design is by Emma and includes how dressmakers use numbers to measure fabrics - we love that she has created this using fabric too!
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Year 5 Greenpower Car

This term a group of year 5 pupils have been using their engineering skills to make the Greenpower Car we have in schools. Some of our year 5 pupils have already driven the car in their PBL lessons and enjoyed it so much, they wanted to begin the project of making the car from scratch in their own time after school on Wednesday evenings. Pupils will be competing in the regional Greenpower car competition in July, where they will get a chance to show off their Lewis Hamilton driving skills!
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crowned Tyne and Wear Boccia Bronze

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1st place at the Panathlon School Games

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Theatre Trip

A group of pupils from year 5 and 6 had an amazing afternoon at the Theatre Royal watching a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!
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English Schools Athletics Success

Congratulations to the KS3 team that competed in the ESAA Track and Field Cup last Tuesday at Gateshead Stadium. The girls and boys teams worked hard on their events coming home with 2nd and 4th place respectively. The girls now progress through to the regional finals which will take place after half term.

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Huge congratulations to Lucas in Y7 who has recently been given a new 2 year contract with NUFC.

We’re all very proud of you!

Friends of Valley Gardens

This term the FoVG have been raising funds by selling sweets as a treat at break time. The pupils really enjoy these little treats from time to time and the FoVG will be in school next half term selling lollies. We would like to thank all the volunteers for helping in these events.

Still to come, so watch out for dates;

  • Second hand uniform shop
  • Valley Gardens take over the Park Run (sponsored run)
  • Prom for year 8 leavers Friday 15th July

Please remember all monies raised are invested back into the school to make sure as many pupils as possible benefit from the fundraising activities.

School Uniform

There is a try and buy uniform night coming up on 23rd June, arranged by Friends of Valley Gardens. We accept cash or cheques (made payable to Friends of Valley Gardens Middle School) or Card Payments in person. The order form is available on our school website.

Uniform can also be purchased from local suppliers Ann Thomas in Whitley Bay, Emblematic in Benton. The uniform standard can be viewed on hour website via this link.

Breakfast and After School Childcare

Do You Need Child Care?

Our Out of School Club offers breakfast and after school care where children can enjoy a wide range of indoor/outdoor activities in a happy, safe and caring environment.

We are based within the school in the Music Block and have our own area, designated just for us, which is packed with activities and games for the children to enjoy.

All of our staff are very experienced, appropriately qualified and DBS checked. We are registered and approved by OFSTED.

For more information please contact Jill on 07769037094.


Follow us on twitter to keep up to date with the exciting activities and sporting events that our pupils enjoy all year round.

Thought & Action of the Week

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