Valley Gardens News

Kindness - Resilience - Respect

20th July 2022

Message from the Headteacher

Dear Parents/Carers

The end of another academic year is upon us, and we once again say goodbye to our Year 8 pupils as they end their time with us. In a year where the real and long term impacts of the pandemic have surfaced, the pupils throughout our school have worked hard to catch up academically and socially. It is increasingly clear that the two years of disruption affected our young people in a host of different ways and that for some, the return to normality has not been as easy as it has for others. However, we are so proud of our pupils for the way they have coped with these challenges, from individuals with personal mountains to climb to whole year groups working hard and supporting each other to succeed.

Although I am looking forward to some time off over the summer, I am excited about returning in September to face the challenges that next year brings. I predict we will face the challenge that all schools dread, Ofsted, in the next academic year. Those of you who follow the news and educational matters will know that there is an assault on Outstanding schools currently and that only a small percentage of current outstanding schools will retain that grade on re-inspection. Naturally, it is our ambition to be one of that small number of schools who manage that feat. We have always been blessed with incredible support from our community and our parents, and I think that we can achieve the outcome that we want by working together and promoting the things that make Valley outstanding.

Many thanks to those people who have taken the time to write to me over the last couple of days and throughout the year with messages of encouragement and thanks. I always share such positive messages with the staff in our staff briefing to remind them that they make a positive difference to people's lives. Taking the time to write means a lot to us and we really appreciate it.

I hope you all have a great summer.


David Godfrey


Important Dates

21st July - Teacher Training Day

22nd July - 2nd Sept - Summer Holidays

5th Sept - Teacher Training Day

6th Sept - Pupils Return to School

Term Dates 2022/23

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School Meals

All of the information parents require is on the school website, under public website, parent area and school meals, see link below and it will take you directly to the page;

You can also view the menus, contact Caterlink directly with any queries you may have and check your child's balance.

Buddy Up

A team of our current Year 7 students have been chosen to become Buddies. After receiving some basic training in low level mental health approaches to supporting younger pupils they will, in Year 8, use their training to help new students settle into the school.

The aim of the Buddy is to be kind, friendly, approachable and supportive to others. They will interact with the younger children, helping the anxious ones around the school, provide guidance and advice on who to speak to if they need help. The Buddies will also help support at break times looking for children who appear isolated or lonely, helping them make new friends and guiding them to join clubs and activities.

The Buddies have already proved themselves to be invaluable, putting in a tremendous effort with transition days for the new Year 5’s, making sure that each and every child felt welcomed and comfortable at Valley. Their professionalism and helpfulness ensured everything ran smoothly and equally as important; that no new pupil felt anxious or got lost!

We are sure the new Buddy system will be an invaluable support for the new Year 5’s in September and the following months and a HUGE thank you to them for their help so far!

Year 8

It has been a busy last term in Year 8. The children completed transition days and activities for High School, which further increased their excitement levels for moving on and starting in September. From speaking to the children, transition days were a huge success and the feedback from them was extremely positive.

The Year 8 sports leaders were busy last week helping to support the other year groups with their sports day activities. Mr Best said the children were all fantastic and positive role models for our younger children. Well done to all involved.

Well done to Gwen Lewis-Hedley (1st), Charlie Furness (2nd) and Anna Ward (3rd) for their brilliant entries into the Whitley Bay High School Creative Writing Competition. Their entries were very impressive and a pleasure to read. A big thank you as well to those children who have read with and supported some of our Year 6 pupils.

Prom last Friday was a big success and an enjoyable night for the children and staff who helped with the evening. It was great to get back to the Village Hotel and celebrate the end of their time at Middle School. The children all looked fantastic and a big thank you Friends of Valley Gardens and all who helped out to make the evening a successful and enjoyable one.

Monday 18th July saw us return for our annual visit to Flamingoland. This was an enjoyable day out, even with the extremely hot conditions, and a great final trip for the children as a year group.

Our leaver’s service will be taking place on Wednesday 20th July at 13:30, where we will be saying goodbye to the children as their Middle School journey ends. Straight after the service, there will be the opportunity for the children to take pictures together at the front of the school and say their final goodbyes to Valley Gardens. We hope that families will also be able to join us for this service and look forward to welcoming you, as for some families, this marks the end of their time at Valley Gardens as well.

Arts Award update

Sixteen of our talented Year 8 students have now completed all of their coursework and their work has now been sent away for moderation. They have given their all and produced some lovely work for the school display, we're all hopeful of a positive outcome in their Bronze award.

Look out for the new student planners currently in production by Mr Wragg. They will be ready for September 2022. Four of our talented Art students have been selected for the front covers of the planners and one of our super talented Year 6 students has produced the artwork for the front of the staff planner! We're looking forward to sharing the names of the talented students very soon.


Bastille Day Celebrations

Bastille Day 2022 was a huge success! We celebrated la Fête Nationale on 14th July with a whole school event. La Petite Crêperie visited us and served us all Crêpes and showed us how they were made - we even ordered them in French! As well as that, we took part in our virtual walk to Paris, raising sponsorship for the MFL department. All subject areas took part with DT lessons focussing on redesigning the Fleur de Lys; PE creating a boules tournament and a Tour de Valley; Maths looking at Pascal and Descartes; and History looking at the Terror! We even made mini paper versions of Paris in MFL lessons and learned about the Bastille Day parade - we all had fun but the best part of the day was talking to Julien and Morgan and tasting the yummy Crêpes!

Greenpower Goblin Event

Some of our Year 5’s took part in this years Greenpower Goblin event at Gateshead Stadium. The pupils had to construct a go-kart, create a design and portfolio. They came up with their name ZigZag racers and worked well as a team. Pupils had a wonderful day and represented the school well, coming 8th out of 22 teams. Well done ZigZags!

Chinese Club

Chinese club finished this week after a successful two terms, which saw pupils, learn how to write using inks and brushes and create Chinese fans! We are so grateful to the Confucius Institue who sent Giulia to be our teacher and to help us learn Chinese. We have really loved it and can't wait to start again in October!

School Trips - 4 Year Offer

We will be sending out our four year trip offer in September to all parents, to hopefully prevent any misconceptions regarding trip selection. We envisage that the trip offer will be valid for the time your child will be in school and will allow for your child to go on at least one trip in this country and one trip abroad, subject to acceptable conduct in school. We have 8 trips in Britain and 5 trips abroad which allows over 300 places for British trips and just over 200 for trips abroad. Once a child has been on a trip in Britain, priority will be given to others who have not. Once a child has been given a place on a trip abroad, priority will be given to those who have not . Trip selection is random and fairly done by trip leaders. Hopefully this helps to understand the process and once the trips are confirmed, we will send out the four year offer.

Kind regards, Paul Baggett.

Year 6 School Camp

A huge thank you to Mr Roys and the staff for running our first every school camp on the field for Year 6 pupils. It was a lovely end to a great week for Year 6 following on from Beamish. The pupils who came were such good company and smiled and laughed all night (literally all night for some!) Thank you to the pupils for making it such a great event and the parents who helped pitch the tents.
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This half term, Valley did a camp on the field for year 6 to celebrate the SATs. It was an incredible experience from start to finish, with sport, a treasure hunt and a movie. The first part of the camp though, was to find a spot to pitch up a tent. But this was incredibly easy because of the size of the field. After we (me and my friends) had pitched the tent it was straight to the 3G for football for us! But there was so much variety of other sports and activities that everyone had something to do. Next they set up a treasure hunt from 7pm to 8pm to win prizes. After that it was back to football for me, but there was a new movie on, in the hall, that a lot of people went to. At 10pm everyone went to their tents.

James Robbins

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Y6 Beamish Trip


The schools back in the 1890’s were very strict and you had to write in weird fancy writing with an ink pen and to write with that ink pen there was a built-in ink pot in the desk which I thought was pretty nice. Back then, as punishment you would get the belt or the cane which really hurt because of the speed of it coming down and cracking on your hand. No one in our class was naughty enough to get this but another punishment was to stand in the corner with a cone on your head as a form of humiliation. My sister's friend got that punishment when she went to Beamish in year 6.


The shops back then were quite strange with wooden balls going along the ceiling as a form of transaction. Those balls would go back into the main office with the payment and roll back after- I thought it was a really clever invention. In the shops, all the products were sold in different colour bags instead of bottles and tins; this is because most people back then didn't know how to read so they went off colour, for example, sugar was blue and peas were orange.


In the 1890’s the house that you got varied based on your role/job, for example, if you worked in the mines you would go into a cottage and if you were rich you would have multiple houses for different purposes and also running water. When I went there I noticed that most people grew their own crops and had their own livestock - this is because they were very self-sufficient back then.

Lily Wilson

Scottish Open Golf Trip

What a fantastic day we had at the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick. We were delighted to be able to provide a group of children with the opportunity to watch live golf. With fourteen of the world’s top fifteen golfers playing, there was plenty of action for us to witness and the weather could not have been better.

After an early start (a 6am departure from Valley Gardens) we arrived at the Renaissance Club and immediately set out to locate some of the world’s best players. There was plenty of action for us to witness and we were able to locate some good spots to break up the walking for a little while. Both children and staff had a great day, although some a little sunburnt. The highlight for the children had to be getting some merchandise signed from some of the players, and some were even lucky enough to be given some golf balls and accessories.

Thank you to Mr Godfrey and Mrs Tate who accompanied us on the trip. We look forward to

returning again next year.

Mr May and Mr Grundy

Germany Trip

Our postponed Germany trip took place this Summer. Although this meant we could not visit the Christmas markets, the weather was fantastic and we had a brilliant time! We visited Aachen cathedral, Cologne, The Lindt Chocolate museum and Rüdesheim! We even beat the teachers in a bowling tournament! We had a brilliant time but the highlight was our visit to Phantasialand! We wish we could go again!

Our next trip to Germany will be running in December!

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Lake District - Hawse End Trip

Well done to all of the Year 7 and 8 pupils who took part in the recent trip to Hawse end in the lakes . The pupils showed the 3 core values of Kindness, Resilience and Respect when spending the weekend in a beautiful setting doing team building and outdoor and adventurous activities; they were great company. Thank you to the staff for giving up their weekend to accompany the party.

Year 7 Trip to the Lighthouse & Beach

Year 7 thoroughly enjoyed their end of term trip to Whitley Bay beach. The day was filled with friendship, fun and sand bridge building! A quick paddle in the sea cooled everyone down before we enjoyed a picnic lunch and the obligatory Ice cream. The cafe staff complemented the lovely manners from our students. Well done Year 7.

Scottish National Ballet

Ms Grimshaw will be running two trips to the Newcastle Theatre Royal next year to see the Scottish National Ballets performance of The Snow Queen and Matthew Bournes Sleeping Beauty. Full details will be shared in the autumn term.
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Year 5

This year has been absolutely jam-packed with experiences and memories for our youngest members of the school. Clubs, fixtures, trips, visitors, drop-down days, assemblies and shows have all returned and have made this year incredible with too many highlights to mention. It has been a pleasure and honour to see them settle into their new school, make new friendships, try new clubs, grow in confidence, make progress and seize opportunities that have arisen.

This term alone, we have had inter-class rounders and basketball competitions; won the Skip4Fit Skipping competition; watched a theatre performance with Théâtre Sans Frontières; celebrated Bastille Day - with delicious crepes; some have caved, ghyll scrambled and kayaked at High Borrans; some have watched the Masters Champion at the Scottish Open; some have joined the Year 6 girls football team and enjoyed incredible success; some have performed in musical extravaganzas; some have won medals at the Boccia and Panathlon events and some have even designed, built and raced an electric car at Gateshead Stadium.

Well done to Holly Dargavel (1st), Jacob Kenny (2nd) and Ava Deane (3rd) for their brilliant entries into the Whitley Bay High School Creative Writing Competition. Their entries were based on the poem, 'I come from' by Dean Atta. The anthology of all of the poems are in our library.

The wall of fame is jam-packed with photos showcasing the many talents of this year group. I am in awe at what they have achieved, how hard they train and the determination they show.

I wish every pupil continued success in Year 6 and I know they will flourish and have another great year under the support and guidance of their new form teacher and Mr Roys. I look forward to teaching some of them and catching up with others at clubs, on trips and around school.

May I take this opportunity to thank parents and carers on behalf of all staff for the cards, lovely messages and generous gifts that are never expected but always thoroughly appreciated.

Have a wonderful summer and well deserved break everyone.

Miss McElderry

The Alnwick Garden

Everyone was so excited to spend the last day of Y5, as a whole year group, on a trip to The Alnwick Garden. The timing could not have been better as the temperatures dropped from the previous days and the forecasted rain did not appear - although that did not stop Y5 from getting drenched!

There was a carousel of activities, including: getting lost in the Bamboo Labyrinth; getting soaked in the Serpent Garden; learning about which noxious plants to avoid, contained in the locked and guarded Poison Garden; peacefully, swinging in the Cherry Blossom Orchard; smelling the sweet scent of the flowers in the Ornamental Garden and watching the Grand Cascade's choreographed displays where 120 jets create a volcanic eruption and cacophony of sound. Pizza and ice cream were also a highlight - the queues not so much!

Alnwick Garden staff and members of the public went out of their way to praise the children's manners and bahaviour. We were all so proud of them and what an absolute credit to Valley Gardens they are.

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Y5 Sports Day

This was a wonderful day and so well organised. Huge thanks to Mr Best and the Y8 sports leaders for ensuring it went without a hitch and for holding it at Churchill Track - this always elevates the excitement. A mixture of competitive and just-for-fun (although, often became more competitive) events, ensured all could participate in something, if not everything.

Classmates competed against each other in races but ultimately were striving to do their best as a collective to compete against the other form classes.

Pupils and spectators had fun and a giggle in the egg and spoon race. (Whose idea was it to buy bouncy eggs? That added another dimension.) The three-legged races are always packed with hilarious techniques and those who have clearly practised to perfect their three-legged strides, with a few falls along the way of course. Running, throwing and jumping events were also part of the day and a firm favourite was the tug-of-war event.

Thanks to all of the friends, family members and pets that came to support the children and encouraged and sympathised when needed.

The final results were: 1st - 5AGO, 2nd - 5VSC, 3rd - 5SBR.

Careers Top Trumps

We have had lots of visitors in school this term with a focus on Careers Education. This time, it was the turn of Year 5 to take part in an activity called, 'Careers Top Trumps'. The team from North Tyneside Learning Trust delivered an engaging and game-style workshop to all Year 5 classes so they could develop an understanding of careers, skills, salary and working conditions.

Y5 Bikeability

Over 60 pupils in Y5 have now achieved their Level 2 Bikeability badge.

Bikeability Level 2 teaches them to:

Start and stop with more confidence

Pass stationary vehicles parked on a road

Understand the road: signals, signs and road markings

Negotiate the road: including quiet junctions, crossroads and roundabouts

Share the road with other vehicles

Not only is this incredibly valuable training for the safety of the children, it is also a fantastic experience for them to spend a day with a small group of peers and instructors and show resilience and support to each other.

The instructors know our school really well and always give positive feedback about our pupils' attitude and behaviour while out on the roads.

Huge thanks to Mrs Butterworth who organises the logistics for this important life skill to take place and be successful for our pupils.

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Girls Football

North Tyneside Assoc Presentation Evening

Valley U13s and U11s were rewarded for their fantastic achievements at the Linskill Centre:

County Cup wins, National and Premier Cup Runners Up.

Presented by Newcastle Utd’s Longstaff brothers.

Festival of Football

Valley Gardens Year 5 were fantastic at the North Tyneside PE Euros Football Festival at Cochrane Park. Great fun with interesting adjustments to the traditional game. The girls loved it!

Year 6 Summer League Winners

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Incredible achievement

Huge well done to Emily in Y7 for her performances in the Scottish National Swim finals. She won 1st place in the 50m breast in a time of 36.43 which currently makes her 17th place in GB and 2nd fastest in Scotland! She also got 2nd place in the 200 breast and 4th in the 100 breast.

Friends of Valley Gardens

This term there has been lots of activity happening for FOVG. We have supported ice lolly sales each week, music concert refreshments and also held a try and buy for uniform night. We are supporting the Year 8 leavers Prom by contributing towards the cost of the event.

Teachers are currently sending us bidding requests for funding using the monies we have raised and we look forward to sharing with you which bids were successful and how they will benefit your child in the next school year.

We are always looking for volunteers to help out with events, so if you are interested in becoming part of FOVG could you please contact Amber on 07944558322

School Uniform

Uniform is available all year round from the School Office. We accept cash or cheques (made payable to 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.

Summer of Cycling

From keeping you fit to being an environmentally friendly way to travel, there’s many benefits to cycling. If children are never going to forget how to ride a bike, have them learn how to ride safely and encouraging cycling as a way to have fun is key. The Summer of Cycling is designed to do just that. There’s something for children of all abilities to get involved in with activities taking place right across North Tyneside.

Follow this link to see what's available and to make a booking

Summer Metro Travel Offer

With summer holidays nearly upon us we wanted to remind all parents of the offer below. We cost of living rising every little helps.

Take the kids for free, all day, every day– Metro offer

Tyne and Wear Metro are excited to announce that their Take the Kids for Free offer has been extended permanently, making Metro travel even more affordable.

Up to three children aged 11 and under can travel anywhere on the Metro or Shields Ferry for free, if they are with a fare-paying adult.

We hope this offer will encourage families to explore new places and spend more quality time together.

For more information please visit: Take the kids for free |

School Drop-off and Pick-up

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