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Primary Weekly Update 07/09/2018 from Dr Nici Wood

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Dear Parents,

I hope that you all feel rested, having enjoyed your National Day and long weekend break. Another week has flown past, with the children busy both inside and outside of the classroom. 

On Tuesday, our Year 1 children were treated to a visit from the Circus as an opener for their new class Topic. There were many exciting performances for the children to observe. There were acrobat dancers showing great skill with the strength to be able to lift each other up in the air; at one point they were head to head, balanced without holding on to anything! There were clowns, one using a pole and hoop to perform various tricks, another dressed up as a giant mosquito, pretending to sting the children and a ballerina who was able to stack lots of glasses on her head whilst walking around on stilts. You can imagine how excited the children were to see all of these sights and how much conversation this will now initiate within their lessons. Miss Thu has taken lots of photographs, some of which you will have seen on your Class Dojo feeds.  My thanks to the staff who worked hard to organise this opportunity for the children.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, we were delighted to see so many parents attending our ‘Bring Your Own Device’ or ‘BYOD’ workshop led by our Head of Learning Technology, Mr. James McMeekin, and our Deputy IT Manager, Mr. Chi Kieu. The workshop, intended for our families of Years 6 to 9 students, aimed to highlight best practice for BYOD devices, providing helpful guidance on keeping our children safe at home and at school. In addition, there was a discussion about the new mobile device management software that will be installed on the Y6 to Y9 student devices. This software provides an extra layer of security that supports the safer use of BYOD devices. Please keep an eye out for more e-safety and digital literacy workshops later in the year.

We are currently making preparations for a visit to the school by a well-known children’s author, Adam Bushnell.  He will be holding creative writing workshops with the children on 24th and 25th September. There will also be the opportunity for the children to purchase signed copies of his books ‘Quests in Epica’ (age 7-11) and ‘The Evil Unicorn of Doom’ (age 3-7).  Please see a synopsis of Adam's experience below.

On closing, I wish you all a restful weekend.

Adam Bushnell was a primary school teacher and is now a published author of both fiction and academia. He works as a ‘visiting author’ in the UK and internationally delivering writing workshops and staff training.

He is the author of thirteen books of fiction including ‘Snakes Legs and Cows Eggs’ (Selected by the School Library Association for the Boys into Books list for 2008). He has also recorded audio versions of these books.

His first novel, ‘Quests in Epica’ was released in the summer of 2016 and was illustrated by multi award winning illustrator Ross Collins.


He is also the editor and author of ‘Beyond Early Writing’ an academic book for teachers on how to help children to write creatively which was published in June 2015.

His latest academic book, ‘Inviting Writing into Primary Schools’, a book on cross curricular writing, was published in April 2017.

He has both new fiction and new academia due for publication in 2018/19 including new chapter books, his first picture book and reading scheme books published by Hachette. His next academic book has been co-written with Rob Smith from the Literacy Shed

He is a full member of the Society of Authors, Society for Storytelling, Children’s Discovery Centre, National Association of Workshop Providers, Speaking of Books, Authors Abroad and Equity.  

He is featured as a recommended author on the ‘Reading is Fundamental’ and the ‘National Centre for Language and Literacy’ databases.  He regularly appears as guest author at the Northern Children’s Book Festival as well as other Literature Festivals across the U.K. His books are on the ‘Boys Into Books’ recommended reading list.


He is the Cultural Ambassador for Gateshead Council and takes part in voluntary work for several children's charities including Abraham’s Children in Crisis, helping the social, emotional and educational needs of children in the Holy Land.


Nici Wood (Dr.)

Head of Primary