School Blog – 8th October

Covid news

We have a single positive case at the minute and all staff members and students identified as close contacts in school have been informed.

If your child / young person is identified as a close contact of a positive covid case, we strongly advise them taking a PCR test followed by 10 days of LFD tests. This is to ensure that we catch any cases later if they are incubating covid.

Please log all positive LFDs and both positive and negative PCR results as well as the date of test and date results received at:

Remember – if your child has any symptoms at all – think covid first. This is really helping us to limit cases in school and promotes school attendance and learning.


This week you should have received a letter from the office with your login details. Please log in so we start sharing stickers etc about your kid’s awesomeness with you. There is not cost to you at all for using the service, you just need to download the MarvellousMe app for apple or android. You can also access this at

School Choir Send Message To Rose Ayling-Ellis

Some of the signing choir sent a message to Rose Ayling-Ellis the first deaf participant in Strictly Come Dancing and we were delighted when she retweeted and commented on the post!

Ashleigh Sinclair Wins Silver at Pearsons National Teaching Award

Following on from #NationalTeacherDay earlier this week, we have some photos to share from The Pearson National Teaching Awards.

Ashleigh and her colleagues went down to London for the awards evening hosted at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London It was a lovely evening celebrating all the amazing things that teachers do and Ashleigh was a Silver Award winner!

Northern Counties School 2021 NASS Outstanding Impact Award – Nomination

The Percy Hedley Foundation are delighted to announce that Northern Counties School has been shortlisted for the prestigious National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools (NASS) Awards.

The school has been shortlisted for the 2021 NASS Award for Outstanding Impact in recognition of the work that Northern Counties are doing around Positive Behaviour Support, which leads to improved quality of life outcomes for our young people. 

Read more here

Covid19 Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

As you will be aware, the government has now opened the covid-19 vaccinations roll out to all 12-15 year olds. These vaccinations will be undertaken in school following our usual processes: once consents are given, then the school vaccination nurses will attend site to administer the vaccinations.

We do not have a date for this to happen at Northern Counties but have been asked to share some links with you so you can learn more about the process:

Link 1 – COVID-19 vaccination – A guide for children and young people (

Link 2 – What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination – Advice for children and young people (

Link 3 – COVID-19 vaccination – Information for parents

School Blog – September 2021

Friday 24th September

Northern Counties are awarded a Music Therapy Grant

We are delighted to announce that Northern Counties School, part of The Percy Hedley Foundation has been awarded a £10,000 grant from The Candy Foundation, which will enable us to have an additional music therapy day every week this year. 

At Northern Counties School, we have three key drivers which run through our school, which support the overall development of our students as they move through our school. These are; Communication, Wellbeing, and Independence / Functionality 

Throughout the Foundation we have seen the enormous benefits of music therapy, particularly for our non-verbal students, and this amazing grant will enable us to increase from one to two days per week.  

Music Therapy allows us to reach into our students’ minds. It helps students to improve their regulation (relaxation state) and helps with early communication skills, so that they are able to access their learning. 

Music therapy also provides them with a creative outlet, which in turn can benefit their mental health. For our students who are at the earliest stages of development it will give them the opportunity to have increased receptive and expressive communication, and for some of our students it will give them the opportunity to better manage their emotions and behaviour.  

Music therapy enhances our offer and will be in addition to the occupational therapy and speech and language therapy that students receive as part of the educational package. 

Our art classes have certainly been busy recently! Here is a little round up of what they’ve been up to.

Deaf department – 14-19 have been working on still life drawings

Younger deaf children have been making pop art style posters that show their favourite foods!

PMLD has started a lunchtime art club on a Monday

Hillcrest 14-19 classes have been exploring mark making

Covid Update

We have updated our school risk assessment regularly, but essentially, most of the covid security measures have remained in place – this is to ensure the minimum disruption to school life, should we need to step up our actions. However, since returning for the Autumn term we have had six positive staff cases and four student cases, including those where we are awaiting confirmatory PCRs. We continue to work closely with Public Health and to follow all advice given to us.

Close contacts all strongly advised to have a PCR then 10 days of LFDs. Most people can return to work, as long as they are not displaying any symptoms.   If your child is at all poorly, please ‘thick covid first’, do not send them to school and arrange to get them a PCR test.

Please report ALL PCR test results and LFD positive results only to 

Please click below to read the latest school risk assessment:

Northern Counties School retains Healthy School Status

We are delighted to announce that Northern Counties School has continued to meet requirements, and has successfully retained Newcastle “Healthy School Status” for a further 2 years.

Newcastle Council said Northern Counties School continues to meet the requirements of Newcastle Healthy School Status and is maintaining and improving practice in relation to supporting pupil wellbeing. Some excellent and outstanding health promoting practice is evident, with some key areas for development identified to support continuous improvement.”

Northern Counties nominated as a Music Mark School

Northern Counties School has been recognised for our commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum, and the value that we place on music . We have therefore been nominated by Music Partnership North to be a Music Mark school for the 2021/22 academic year. 

Music Mark is the UK Association for Music Education, championing and supporting access to music for all children and young people, who they believe have shown a commitment to providing high-quality music education.

A nomination means that Northern Counties school’s commitment to music has been recognised and we want to celebrate it!


Huge thanks to the team at NCFE for coming along to Northern Counties School to help improve our outdoor space.

Philip Le Feuvre, Kim Pattison, Mary Pooley, Janine Oliver, and Dawn Baker all rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into the work at the school. They spent their time cleaning, tidying, sweeping, painting… all with a big smile on their face!

Amber Giles Fundraiser

The Giles family have set up a fundraising campaign in memory of Amber to buy an Innowalk for Northern Counties in her memory. The Innowalk is a powerful 3-in-1 device for sitting, standing and moving. It allows safe and comfortable movement for the user and Amber was part of a really successful trial of it in school.

We would really appreciate it if you could show your support by sharing this amazing story on Facebook, and if you can donate to this wonderful campaign, please do. Thank you.

Have a lovely weekend everyone


Tuesday 8th September 2021

Good morning

The covid risk assessment below has been updated to clarify that staff and students must be 14 days past their second covid vaccination in order to not self-isolate and during what would have been their self-isolation period, they must not work with people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Best wishes


Friday 3rd September 2021

Good afternoon,

We have all been busy in school this week preparing for the return of our children and young people.  There have been some building works in school over the summer and we have some exciting news and projects that I will update you with through this blog.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing everyone back in school, however we’re sure many of you have concerns around covid, so I wanted to say a few words about our approach this term, ready for Monday 6th September.

There have been changes nationally with many restrictions being reduced on 16th August, and we want to try and reflect those changes as best we can in the right way for everyone in our school.

The most important thing is that we make the best arrangements for our children, and so we will be asking our staff to continue to take all reasonable precautions as before. This will include wearing masks and distancing where possible and appropriate, and all cleanliness and sanitary arrangements. We continue to encourage our staff to be vaccinated, although most already are. We will also be continuing in our school bubbles as much as we can.

We will make further changes slowly and only when we know it is right for our school.

We’re also sharing with this post a copy of the lastest school covid risk assessment.

Best wishes

Jo Allen