Headteachers Blog April / May 2016


Two months to cover so a lot to catch up on! Keyboard warriors – make yourself comfortable and get ready for another insight into the life of Park View!
On Saturday 23rd of April, the world commemorated 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. The English department decided to get in on the act, with a week of activities, kicking off with a ‘Do you know your Bard from your Bottom?’ quiz – for those of you who are wondering, Bottom is the name of a character from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’!! Every subject participated, teaching a lesson in some way connected with Shakespeare to show just how much influence he has had and how is still relevant today. Miss Smith and Mrs Gibson also had the pleasure of leading two assemblies during the week to two fantastic audiences and it was good to see how much had been remembered during English lessons.   We were also delighted to see how the audiences grew during lunch times that week, for both modern adaptations and traditional versions of Shakespeare’s plays – so much so that our reading champions are going to be setting up more regular screenings! There was also a treasure hunt and a match the teacher with the Shakespeare character activity to keep everyone busy with prizes for the winners.
Our roving reporters also spent the week taking some fantastic pictures and will be putting together a newsletter of all that went on this week. Watch this space!


Dean Slater is going to Nottingham in July as he has been entered for the GB championships in a quad boat for rowing. Go Dean!!
James Robinson added another Gold to his collection in the recent Judo National Championships in Nottingham. Incredible achievement from an incredible young man!
Rebecca Warwick earned a gold medal at the Whitley Bay U16 ‘Polar Club’ Ice skating competition meaning she progresses to higher ranking competitions. Another superb performance!
A belated congratulations to Charlotte-Destiny Crawford who, on the ski trip, won the Coaches’ Award for Best Skier: attitude & determination .
A return to form for our Athletics Sides at this Year’s District Championship as the Junior Girls, Junior Boys and Intermediate Boys all won their team events. The following students became District Champions:

Year 8 (Competing a Year Young): Jack Percival – Javelin Phillipa Ellis – Hurdles and Shot Putt Courtney Clark – 200m
Year 9: Josh Bishop – 100m Aaron Trotter – 300m Matt Ward – Hurdles and Shot Putt Matthew Whiting – Triple Jump Eve Percival – 100m Eva Hardie – 800m Eve Southern – High Jump
Year 10 (Competing a Year Young): Ryan Emerson – Javelin and Discus, Neve Jackson – 100m Hannah Watson – Javelin
Year 11: Will Gibbon – 100m and Long Jump Jack Young – 200m (and a School Record time!) Adam Jefferson – Hurdles and High Jump
More amazing performances in the County Pentathlon:

The Junior Girls  (Philippa Ellis, Eva Hardie, Eve Southern, Eve Percival) were Team Winners, with Philippa Ellis 2nd Individual overall despite being a year younger than others in the competition.

The Junior Boys (Matt Ward, Josh Bishop, Matthew Whiting, Dillon Openshaw) were 4th Overall, with Matt Ward 3rd Individual overall, thus qualifying to represent the County Team later in the summer, along with Philippa.
Meanwhile, rounders fever has gripped the Year 7 and 9 girls, with both teams playing 3 matches per week at present!!


Our Year 7 and 8 peer supporters have been out and about, leading  assemblies at different primary schools in order to communicate a powerful  anti-bullying message. All were impressed by their maturity and passion.
Durham County Council approached the school about a competition they were running to raise awareness of speeding. Students were asked to design a safety sign which would be featured below the 20mph Zone road signs in the local area.  Of the many entrants from Years7/Yr8 which were sent to the judging committee, Ethan Arkle (Yr7) was chosen as the winner and Maggie Barksby (Yr7), Grace Maskell (Yr8) and Dan Hart (Yr8) were runners up. The school and Ethan were both presented with a miniature commemorative sign on Monday in the Yr7 assembly and the achievement of all was recorded in this press release:

‘Schoolchildren who have seen their artwork turned into important safety signs have paid a visit to see them in situ. Pupils from Cestria Primary School and Park View School in Chester-le-Street came up with designs for signs to enforce Durham County Council’s new 20 mile per hour speed limits. Children at Cestria Primary and Park View took part in competitions in school organised by the council’s road safety team to come up with images and messages for signs to encourage drivers to comply with the new speed limits. A judging panel made up of representatives from the council’s Slow to 20 for Safer Streets project, which is overseeing the implementation of the reduced speed limits, chose the winning designs. These were then used in the creation of signs which went up on Front Street and Station Road in Chester-le-Street last Thursday night. The four pupils whose designs were used – Josh Lowe, Lauren Roberts and Faye Haynes from Cestria Primary, and Ethan Arkle from Park View – visited to see them in situ on Friday and were accompanied by county councillors and road safety officers. John Reed, head of technical services, said: “We are delighted with the fantastic artwork produced by these talented students and think they will have a real impact locally.  “They will help to reinforce this important road safety message both in Chester-le-Street and across the county.” The county council has meanwhile agreed to almost double the number of schools outside which 20mph limits are introduced. At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, recommendations were agreed which will see 20mph limits introduced at up to a further 33 locations.’

Healthworks Newcastle aim to provide support for people wanting to make positive changes to maintain or improve their health. They are working with 10 of our young people on a Garden2Table 6 week project which will see the group complete their Food Hygiene certificate; learn about food and nutrition and where our food comes from, preparing, cooking and eating some delicious meals; planting vegetables and herbs to harvest for future cooking projects and making  a birdhouse and table for the school garden. They all loved the whole project but particularly the opportunity to cook and eat vegetables which they had grown.
The boys are all members of the Church Chare Gardeners and some have already visited Kirkley Hall to look at possible careers in horticulture.  They also work with the Cestria Primary School Council, potting up herb and flower pots to sell to staff and teaching the children about gardening.


Tynemouth Visit – On the 6th and 13th May, the Year 10 Geography students were in Tynemouth to collect data for their coursework. They spent the day undertaking a range of activities ranging from completing questionnaires with local residents and visitors to observing the environmental quality of different locations. The students also had the opportunity to see what improvements are being made for tourists in Tynemouth, such as the new children’s park near the boating lake and the new restaurant on the beach at Longsands. They also were able to find out more about the possible redevelopment of the ‘lido’ and up and coming festivals, such as the Mouth and the Tyne festival and the Food festival. The students now have the data they need to produce fantastic coursework by the end of the year. Thanks to all the staff who were involved in the day and our students who were a credit to the school.

Glenderaterra Beck – George Atkinson has submitted the following report: ‘Glenderaterra Beck, where do I start? The day started slow as early morning starts are hard for everyone. Finally, the bus arrived after nearly one hour of waiting and I noticed that all of the other students seemed ill-prepared in comparison to me. I was there, in my prime, protected by my uswanka scarf, thermal shirt, long-sleeved shirt thermal socks and my salopette. As we were driving through the frosted Bad Lands, I wondered what was lying ahead. The bus journey that took a few hours seemed to turn into an eternity – a pleasant eternity I might add. We were transported to the plains of Western America, the hostile hills of Scandinavia, and finally to the behemoth that stood in our path – Blencathra. We left our metal protection to land in the elements, a cold, dank and dark land, untouched by urbanisation. We had a brief introduction to the equipment that we would depend on. Then, as soon as we left the bus, our ascent began. After climbing for at least 10 minutes (It seemed longer) my ankles started to give way. I needed my walking boots – urgently! After changing my footwear, the walk became heavenly;, we were finally at peace with nature itself, an eternal plain, seemingly out of this world. As we walked along the twisting path, the landscape converted from the initial barren vista to a rich environment full of history and secrets to unlock. As we looked down, we realised the enormity of our task:  the river below us could have been 3 metres or 300 metres below, the only perspective we had were the matchstick sized trees, dwarfed by Blencathra itself. After what seemed like hours of trekking, hours of being judged by the watchful eye of our woolly comrades, we arrived. The river seemed arctic; the icy water could freeze the hottest coal. We took the measurements we needed; the stones we measured frosted our gloveless hands. We moved further down the river, the variety of minerals around us would have been a geologist’s dream. Finally, meal time arrived. As the group retreated to the sanctity of their yellow sepulchre (tent) , a handful of individuals, including myself, enjoyed our sustenance in nature’s embrace, guarded by the rocky giants. This tranquil path continued, measuring as we travelled down the highway of water. The trek back was harder, we were exhausted. Then, finally, we had to write down our data. After this information was recorded, we were at last in the safety of our metal guardian. We were travelling back, when I nearly choked on my scarf, but was saved. We landed back home after a day I can only describe as, decent.’

Imogen Clarke’s incredible contribution to the murals on Blackett Street in Newcastle city centre was celebrated in the Evening Chronicle:  http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/stunning-new-mural-newcastle-takes-10377128  
She really is a very talented young lady and it is well worth a visit to see her work!.

Following submissions of poems from pupils to the Routes into Languages North East regional Mother Tongue/Other Tongue poetry competition, Grace Maskell was awarded joint runner-up position in the ‘Other Tongue’ category with her poem Erinnerungen. Her poem was praised by the judging panel for its profound subject matter combined with the refreshing simplicity of language used, all of which left the judging panel in raptures! She will now go to Manchester Metropolitan University on Thursday 30th June 2016. Alongside fellow winners and runners-up from the North East and other regions, she will have the chance to take part in an exciting range of cultural activities before the presentation of prizes by honoured guest Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala Yousafzai and co-founder of The Malala Fund. Poems from across the participating regions will be displayed for general viewing. Well done, Grace – a truly brilliant achievement!

To celebrate the upgrading of the Church Chare theatre to community cinema level, two showings of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ were shown to over 100 excited students/prospective Jedi knights. The Dolby surround sound made the event a truly memorable one, with many Chester-le-Street residents looking to the skies as the Millennium Falcon took off. The next step will be to build a programme of events which will give the residents of the town a cinema to be proud of: watch this space!

Finally…do  not forget that the School Musical, ‘Oliver’, runs from 4th July in the Church Chare theatre – it promises to be an absolute treat!