Valley Gardens News
Kindness - Resilience - Respect
Message from the Headteacher
This has been a fantastic term with the pupils having the chance to take part in all sorts of activities and trips; it has been great to see our pupils enjoying these experiences again after such a long break. I'm sure you are aware that the COVID situation has not necessarily gone away, and the infection rates are rising quite quickly again. It has been a real struggle keeping our school fully staffed so that learning is not interrupted over the last term. Staff absences have been high and the availability of supply teachers is very poor. We expect these pressures to continue into next term.
We will be saying goodbye to three long serving members of staff at the end of the term. Ms Laidler, one of our Teaching Assistants is retiring. We wish her a long and happy retirement and thank her for her many years of service. Mr Wallbank and Miss Horsman are also leaving us to take on new challenges in a different school. Both teachers will be sorely missed by children and colleagues alike. We wish them every success in their new ventures and thank them for everything that they have done for our school community over so many years. Mr Wallbank will be succeeded as Head of Year 8 by Mr May.
We hope you have a great Easter.
See below a brief outline of some of the key points.
Safer Schools App - Valley Gardens can offer parents access to this app which offers information on issues affecting young people and communities.
Digital/Online Safety - you can find links to useful websites to help parents determine the dangers in unfamiliar apps and online games.
Mental Health Support Pathway - which shows services to support children and young peoples mental health. https://valleygardensmiddle.org/information/safeguarding/how-can-we-help/
If you have any safeguarding concerns you can email our Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Head, Mr Hope, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Events, Activities & Holidays
8th April - Teacher Training Day
11th - 22nd April - Easter Holiday
28 April - Active Daily Mile
2nd May - Public Holiday
6th May - Year 5 Skipping Workshop
w/c 9th May - SATS Week for Year 6
9th May - Parent Focus Group
19th May - Instrumental Group Concert 6.30pm
26th May - Year 5&6 Theatre Trip
w/c 30th May - Half Term Holiday
6th June - Jubilee Holiday
19th - 25th June - Germany Trip Year 8
20th - 23rd June - Bikeability Year 5
24th - 26th June - Hawes End Outdoor Activity Trip
27th June - 1st July - High Borrans Adventure Trip Year 6
4th July - Theatre Sans Frontieres in School
5th July - Transition Day
6th July - Transition Day
7th July - Golf Trip to North Berwick
8th July - E Praise Afternoon
14th July - Bastille Day
15th July - Year 8 Leavers Prom
20th July - Leavers Assembly Year 8
21st July - Teacher Training Day
22nd July - 2nd September - Summer Holidays
School Uniform on Sale
There is also a try and buy night coming up in June (date tbc), arranged by Friends of Valley Gardens, in the Summer Term. 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.
Friends of Valley Gardens
As we entered the new school year in Sept 2021, the Friends met to discuss the possible calendar of events for the up and coming school year. Sadly COVID has resulted in us having to scale back activities as we try and keep the pupils safe and follow the government guidelines. We’ve still been active and managed to still host;
- Halloween tuckshop
- Christmas Movie night
- Christmas Raffle
- Disco night and hotdogs for years 5 & 6
- Serve refreshments at the music soloist concert
- Easter Egg tombola.
Still to come, so watch out for dates;
- Second hand uniform shop
- Valley Gardens take over the Park Run (sponsored run)
- Tuck shops and ice lolly sales
- 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.
CyberFirst Girls Competition
Earlier this term, four Year 8 girls from Valley Gardens Middle School competed in the North East Final of the CyberFirst Girls Competition run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ. Having qualified through the online round from over ten thousand girls across the UK, the girls were among ten schools who attended the regional final at Teesside University. The university were fantastic hosts for this prestigious event. The girls competed in a morning and afternoon session, tackling logic, cryptography, networking and programming problems. The problems were graded attracting different point values, the object being to accumulate the highest number of points. The results were delivered in reverse order in a fabulous new lecture theatre at the university. The tension built as the results were announced. The girls were stunned when it became apparent that they had emerged victorious. A tremendous achievement when competing against such a talented group of girls from schools across the NE!
Behind CyberFirst are GCHQ and NCA with the objective of encouraging more girls to pursue qualifications and careers in Computer Science and in particular in Cyber Security. If the standard of the girls in this competition is anything to go by, the future is looking bright for the tech sector.
As a result of this achievement the winning teams from across the United Kingdom were invited to the inaugural CyberFirst Awards Dinner at The National Museum for Science and Media in Bradford. They enjoyed a private viewing of the Code Breakers Exhibition, mocktails, a three course dinner and inspirational talks from people from different areas of cyber security. Poppy, Jessie, Beth and Anna should be very proud of their achievement which will hopefully inspire more girls to get involved in cyber opportunities in the future.
Counselling Team New Arrivals
Save the Children in Jan raised £507.54.
For Ukraine we have raised £2438.37 but then on top of that 6SBU bake sale raised £370, half of which has been donated to Ukraine (DEC), the other half going to Cancer Research.
Comic Relief raised £638.75.
Bake Sale Success
Year 7 have been very busy. Sports teams have represented the school, they've taken part in residential visits, musicians have played in our assemblies and we also have a prize winning mathematician in our midst. They have taken the change to Key Stage 3 in their stride and are demonstrating wonderful talents across the entire curriculum.
Two visits to High Borrans have allowed the year group to develop their team working skills away from the classroom.
We visited Whitley Bay High School this week for them to participate in transition activities in preparation for their move to High School-you'll be applying for their places in October! They were enthusiastic and engaged in all of the activities. The High School staff commented on how wonderful they all were and how much they enjoyed working with them. It was clear that they were wonderful ambassadors for the school and made a fantastic first impression.
Enjoy a restful Easter break.
Valley Girls footballers have had an extremely successful term with the U11s reaching the Premier League National Finals to be held at Watford FC in May. They made it through qualifying rounds at Cochrane Park and then, on NU Foundations fantastic new rooftop 3G, beating Ovingham Middle 2-0 in the decider.
Later that week the U11s travelled to Liverpool FC Academy for the Northern Finals of the ESFA 6-a-side Cup performing amazingly to qualify as runners up for the forthcoming National Finals.
To cap off a fantastic hat-trick the U11s reached the County Cup Final to be held at the end of April after convincingly beating Highfield Middle School in the semis.
Further to the U11s success the U13 Girls will play in the County Cup Final on the 4th May at Longbenton Sports Grounds after beating Newminster Middle 3-0 in the semis.
The Year 7 Girls reached the Tyne and Wear Finals of the 5-a-side tournament after winning the North Tyneside round and performed well at the Stadium of Light.
British Science Week
The week began with Year 5 experiencing what it would be like to be in an F1 team. Pupils had to plan, design and make working F1 cars that used high pressure air propulsion to launch down a 20 metre track.
Year 6 learnt about structures and how important triangles are in construction and made tasty spaghetti towers - not many marshmallows survived the day.
Year 7 became forensic scientists for the day and had to work through a variety of tasks to help solve the mystery of the crime scene in the hall, they even had a parental expert who gave them an insight into what a forensic Scientist would do to help them be prepared for the day.
Our year 8's became myth busters, coding in computing, making an egg parachute in DT and wondering if dock leaves really do help with nettle stings in Science.
The week was a huge success and all pupils involved embraced the activities with enthusiasm and resilience.
School Council visit the Houses of Parliament - by Logan (8SHI)
Wednesday, April 30th
7:50 - At the very beginning of the trip, all members of the Student Council met at Central Station in Newcastle, prepared to board the train at 8:02. After 3 hours on the train playing games we arrived at Kings Cross Station in London, before walking straight to the London Underground. The Underground took us as far as Victoria Station, where we then walked down to the Houses of Parliament. After we had all eaten lunch, our group entered the Houses of Parliament.
The visit started with a tour around the Houses of Parliament, which led us through the House of Commons, The Main Lobby, and some of the many corridors winding around the building. This tour of the Houses was a very unique experience, as the place is like no other, with intricate mosaics and stained glass windows throughout. When the tour was complete, we went back to the entrance building we passed through to get into the building before. Here, we took part in a workshop detailing how Parliament makes a law, and the processes which are used to make this law. This part of the trip was interesting, involving a debate between all of us for the law of banning smoking. This involved every person who wanted to talk. This debate between us gave some good points, and it was a great way to simulate a real debate. We had a great tour guide who gave us a brilliant tour (and he had a good Boris impression too).
I really enjoyed this trip to the Houses of Parliament. When we did this, we learnt about the stages of making a law, from the idea, the bill, the House of Commons and House of Lords, up to the royal palace and finally as a real law. When we were having our own debate, we took part in ‘Bobbing’, the process of standing up to alert the speaker that you want to talk about something, and I did this and spoke about the effects of smoking on people. Overall, I enjoyed this trip and had a great time in London, learning about the important process of making a law to make the UK a better place.
After we had completed the workshop, our group started walking back to the Underground, after stopping to eat something first. After this, we went back on the underground, switched trains once, and made it back to King’s Cross. Then it was only a 3-hour train ride back to Newcastle and we had returned from the trip, having had an amazing time in the city of London, and back with new knowledge about the way to make laws.
SEND & Kooth Coffee Morning Dates
Kooth Coffee Morning - Friday 6th May at 9am - The Kooth Team will be at school to showcase how parents/carers can support mental health through their service which is aimed at 11-15 year olds. (Please call the office to reserve a space)
SEND Coffee Morning - Tuesday 17th May at 9am - North Tyneside's parent/carer forum will be at school to signpost local groups and services for pupils with additional needs.
Valley Gardens journey towards Artsmark is now back in full swing with activities and displays of wonderful creative work going up all over our school. The standard is truly remarkable for students of this age! Watch out for more Arts-based developments coming up soon as well as more opportunities for students, parents and carers to participate in Arts activities at Valley Gardens.
Our Year 8 students continue with their own Arts journey through Artsaward at Valley Gardens, which is now a recognised Artsaward Centre. The students are already through their first term and have produced some wonderful artwork to promote the Arts in school. Watch out for their A0 canvases around the school inspired by artist Bob and Roberta Smith...they are fantastic! They are looking forward to a visit to London at the end of May too, where they will explore the wonderful culture our capital city has to offer.
Year 5 High Borrans Trip
Ski Trip to Austria
Valley Gardens Out of School Club
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.