Headteacher’s Blog

  • Head Teachers Blog – Summer 2017 19 July 2017 - Head Teachers Blog – Summer 2017 This is a blog packed with adventure, excitement and achievement so take a deep breathe and get ready to plunge into another half term of action at Park View.   Sport Team Success A long and successful athletics season for boys and girls at Park View in 2017. Intermediate […]

    Head Teachers Blog – Summer 2017

    This is a blog packed with adventure, excitement and achievement so take a deep breathe and get ready to plunge into another half term of action at Park View.



    Team Success
    A long and successful athletics season for boys and girls at Park View in 2017.

    • Intermediate (Year 9/10) Girls reached the Regional final of the National Team Competition and performed very well in Hull. They also won the Tyneside Schools Championships.
    • Intermediate Boys (Year 10) Were 2nd in the Tyneside Schools Championships.
    • Lots of students competed at the various County Multi-Event competitions with strong performances from a number of Teams and Individuals.
    • Philippa Ellis won the Individual County Pentathlon Championships and went one better by then winning the Regional Final as well!
    • In our District Championships we won 3 of the 6 team competitions and narrowly held on to win the overall shield for all age groups. We also produced 14 Individual District Champions who went onto the County Competition.

    District Champions

    • Junior Boys
      Kieran Jervis Hurdles and HJ
      Charlie Bishop 200m
      Fraser Young Hammer
    • Junior Girls
      Philippa Ellis Hurdles and SP
      Daisy Percival 100m School Record
      Courtney Clarke HJ
    • Inter Boys
       Matt Ward HJ, SP and Hurdles
      Ryan Emerson Jav
    • Inter Girls
      Eve Percival 100m
      Eve Southern 300m
      Eva Hardie 800m
      Beth Attis 200m and TJ
    • Year 7 Boys
      Chris Perkins 1500m
    • Year 7 Girls
      Mia Openshaw LJ
    • Molly Finley/Aaron Beckford/Grace Maskell/James Davison and Lilly Gardner swam for Durham in the Tri National Sports Challenge. We received the following from the organisers: ‘The swimmers are a credit to the school and the swimming clubs they represent. They were extremely well behaved throughout the 2 day event. It was noted on several occasions by the public and event organisers how well behaved the swimmers from Durham had been. I’m extremely proud of all of them and it was a pleasure to be the coach for a team of very mature young adults. I really hope they enjoyed the experience of the 2 days and made some lasting friendships.’ Well done to all!
    • The Year 8 boys and girls football teams were successful in winning the CLS & Washington Schools Centenary Cup, a competition which combines the results of 2 separate girls’ and boys’ tournaments to get one overall school winner: the girls played 5 games, winning 4 and losing 1 and the boys won all of their games.


    Individual Success

    • James Robinson continues to impress the judo world. At the British Schools’ Championships, he refereed on the first day and competed on behalf of Park View on the second, making it through to the semi-final but lost to the gold medallist dropped into the bronze fight and fought another top Dan Grade (Black Belt) and lost so finished 5th A tremendous achievement!
    • Following the recent GB rowing trials, Dean Slater and his rowing partner are now officially the 5th best pair in the country! Brilliant!
    • Katerina and Tatiana Dubov recently competed at the International Acro Cup in Geneva and returned with the bronze medal. The girls have been selected to attend qualifiers to be on the British Team and could possibly represent Great Britain at the European Acrobatic Championships in Poland next year. Katerina has decided to continue working in Gymnastics and, all being well, they will also trial for the World Championships next March in Belgium and are expected to compete in the Vegas Cup next February. What an amazing duo!
    • Katie Wall and Elena Porter were both accepted into English Youth Ballet’s production of ‘Swan Lake’ at The Sunderland Empire and performed magnificently.

    The Post-16 Academy of Sport
    Our latest venture, an academy to cater for elite athletes post 16, is proving to be a runaway success, with 50 young footballers signed up for next academic year, with a view to us expanding into other sports in the near future.
    Pictured is the Park View squad at their hotel in Lilleshall, having been invited by the FA to take part in an under 18 tournament. Good to see the gold and black present at England’s finest training facility!


    The Duke of Edinburgh Award is back at Park View
    In May, a hardy bunch of year 9 students completed their practice expedition as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Spirits were high as we set off from North Lodge on Saturday morning with rucksacks piled high with all the essential items needed for an adventure in the wilds of Northumberland. As we approached our destination the heavens opened, but this did not deter our intrepid explorers. The day was filled with tales of soggy sandwiches, the comfort of a steamy storm shelter, and the vows to make sure they packed less the next time. After an epic day of strenuous walking we set up camp and made delicious meals (well mainly pasta and noodles) and rested our aching shoulders. The morning brought new experiences as each group attempted to pack of the contents of their camps back into their bags before the next days walking. The day again was filled with most of the students eating their body weight in haribos to fuel their superb efforts. All the students completed the weekend with amazing resilience and a hunger to do it all again (well maybe after a week off).

    In June, they undertook the real expedition in possible the worst conditions of the year. Battling through torrential rain and wind, despite being absolutely sodden and freezing, they kept their spirits up and not one of them thought of quitting. Mrs Shields, our Outdoor Activities Coordinator, sent this text on their return: ‘All kids back safe and sound. They were amazing! They were an absolute credit to Park View. I’m so proud of them, because it was so tough! The D of E assessor was also impressed with them, so they are now well on the way to achieving their bronze award! The staff were also brilliant – Ms Norris, Mr Brownlee, Mrs Whiting and Mr Main, as well as Mrs Baillie and Mr Jackson, all gave up time to support the expedition. Well done one and all, you did Park View proud!’


    Ex-Students visit

    • Many thanks to Grant Leadbitter who returned to North Lodge to coach some Year 8 footballers and to answer questions from the. It was a great afternoon, at the end of which Grant presented us with two framed shirts, one for each site. He proved to be a superb role model for all of the students, a true gentleman.
    • Antonio Lulic, fresh from touring Latin America with Ed Sheeran, was guest of honour at the Year 7 Presentation Evening, handing out awards and also singing. He had been in a packed 50,000 seater stadium the week before yet came back to give us his time, despite only flying home the day before. It is that type of desire to give back to the school which makes us what we are: many thanks, Antonio!



    • The Community Theatre group, ‘The Riot Act’ performed a drama piece to all year 7 students about the importance of road safety and the sometimes very serious consequences of dangerous behaviour on the roads. The performance was followed up with a workshop which emphasised just how much our students had gained from the performance. Following this, a small number of students took part in a Durham County film making competition on the subject and, amazingly, won best film, best actor and best director. To view the film, visit: https://youtu.be/XV0oXj_5TW4
      Watch out, Oscars, here we come!
    • Year 7 students, led by Mrs Danby, held a very successful Charity Day, putting on a wide variety of fund raising activities to raise money for If U Care Share.
    • Year 7 gardeners have created a floral welcome to the North Lodge site in the shape of a giant P and V in blue and gold pansies!! Well done to all involved. They are now also in the process of harvesting the fruit and veg in the North Lodge garden, a just reward for the fantastic work they put in at lunchtime throughout the year. 
    • Eliza Barker (Year 7) took part in the memorial services in Benouville, a community in the Calvados region of Normandy, at which Great Britain was represented by a company of Army Veterans. She was the only young person present, being part of the Durham Constabulary Band – a big ask! She did herself and the school proud – well done, Eliza!
    • Various North Lodge students have been chosen to take part in the North Lodge Award. This is our mini version of Duke of Edinburgh in order to help them prepare and maybe put themselves forward in year 9 for the DOE. Students raised £216.87 in the first part of the award, the charity badge, through organising games, as in Eat Your Answer, Basketball shoot out and Penalty shoot out,  ‘Name the Pink Flamingo’ and a Treasure Hunt as well as selling lots of home made cakes.  The have since camped out overnight at North Lodge in order to complete the Outdoors element.
    • Dane Bainbridge was presented with a Young Achiever’s award for his contribution to the Sunderland Youth Parliament.



    Election activities
    During the run up to the general election students have been involved in a range of activities linked to the election.
    Tutor groups in year 9 and 10 have worked on their own political manifesto with policies on how they would run the school.

    In registration they produced a party political broadcast based on their manifesto promises. On the 8th of June year 9 and 10 went to the poles to select the party they would choose to run the school when the rest of the country choose our next government.
    A group of year 10 students ,Jessica Errington, Sophie Kilker, Stephanie Murphy, Aaron Trotter and , Jackson Ward, have worked with Citizenship Tyne and Wear to develop an civil action project they are interested in promoting.
    Students have selected access to sports and musical activists for people from all economic backgrounds as a key improvement they would like to see in the local area, having considered the mental and physical health benefits of extracurricular activists.
    After spending time working to develop their ideas with Citizens Tyne and Wear the students arranged a meeting with Kevan Jones the Labour candidate to be MP in North Durham and communicated with Laetitia Glossop the Conservative candidate via email and phone.
    Both candidates were happy to agree with further collaboration with the students if they were elected. The meeting with Kevan Jones was particularly successful Mr Jones agreed to see students again in 6 months if he is elected to review ideas for how they could move their action forward.
    The school has committed to working more with Citizenship Tyne and Wear, our MP and local government in the future to get more students involved with the political process.


    English: A Grand Slam at North Lodge
    North Lodge welcomed internationally renowned poet Ash Dickinson to  our English Day. Ash is a poet, author, comedy performer and workshop facilitator who is also a multiple slam champion, Edinburgh Fringe regular and UK show headliner. He has also shared bills with many other national and international poets as well as comedians, such as Frankie Boyle, and has been widely published in newspapers and magazines. His many media appearances include: BBC Radio, The Times, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Metro and Sweet TV.
    Given that Ash is in high demand, we were delighted he had time to spend the whole day with years 7 and 8. The stage was set as he introduced the day with a bang, entertaining both year groups and staff alike with his humour, poetry and wit. In Mr Wilson’s words, he had all of us ‘hanging on every word.’
    Both Ash and all of the staff were, in turn, hugely impressed with the students as they got into the spirit of the day, experimenting with ideas, language and the physical side of performance poetry. The students produced work of an extremely standard and a fantastic day culminated in a brilliant poetry slam in the hall. Winning students were then presented with Amazon vouchers by Ash and Mr Glass who certainly dressed for the occasion as you can see from the photograph.
    Mrs Gibson said: ‘It was brilliant to see the students engage with Ash’s poetry – they were transfixed from the beginning to the end of his presentation in the hall. The energy and enthusiasm that we also saw in their own poetry and performances is testament to how their confidence has grown in English and Oracy this year as well as the hard work and commitment of a fantastic teaching team. I was very proud of everyone’s efforts.’
    Ash himself later tweeted:  ‘It was ‘a wonderful day. Huge praise for year 7 and 8 for their ability and attitude. Everyone’s a winner – and that’s a fact! Let’s do this again.’
    I think we might just have to take him up on that.


    Performing Arts
    Four year 13 students have successfully completed their Gold Arts Award – Beth Amos, Caitlin Ball, Ethan Cliff, Taela Jones. They have all completed and produced portfolios of evidence that cover the following areas:

    • a personal arts challenge
    • work experience/volunteer placements in the arts (equivalent of 25 hours)
    • research into advanced arts practitioners
    • reviews of live theatre performances
    • research into an arts issue and then the presentation of an argument about the issue

    A project where they develop their leadership skills by running an arts activity (all four have worked with younger students to produce a performance that has been publicly shared).
    The principles of Arts Award is that they plan, do, share, get feedback and review. It teaches them to think and work independently, to build new skills and experience in the arts and to develop the skills and confidence to be an arts leader.
    A great achievement, folks – well done!

    Go Ahead CEIAG Activities
    As part of the Go Ahead programme year 7 were involved in a morning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related activities delivered by Newcastle University Graduate Ambassadors.
    The fun-packed morning was aimed at raising students’ aspirations in terms of careers and higher education, as well as developing key employability skills required in the workplace such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and decision making.
    For the ‘Island Escape!’ activity the students were ‘stranded’ on a desert island and had to work in small teams to complete a number of engaging and challenging tasks such as cracking the code on a broken radio, navigating a route off the island and sampling soil for crop cultivation.

    ‘Student Suitcase’ introduced the year 7s to 10 essential student items linked to a different aspect of undergraduate life and how students prioritise their weekly budget.
    ‘Universi-Tree’, rooted by GCSEs and branching out into degree courses, enabled the exploration of graduate careers into which they could blossom.
    ’Student Fortunes’ encouraged discussions based on questions such as; ‘What’s the best thing about university? Which are the most popular subjects? Where do students spend their time?’
    By far the most popular activity was ‘What Floats Your Boat?’ which saw teams compete in an engineering activity to create model boats stable enough to float when a cargo was added. This produced some interesting and extremely creative results.