LIGHThouse – issue 35 – 24/06/21

Click here to view the latest issue of our LIGHThouse newsletter.

In this edition:

  • Last chance for free uniform delivery from Michael Sehgal
  • School Diversity Week comes to NCEAT!
  • Year 6 transition – virtual open evening resources now online
  • Staff humbled by National Thank a Teacher Day
  • County athletics success for Duke’s pupils
  • Growth Mindset Day at Grace Darling Infants
  • Warkworth Primary needs your help!
  • Duke’s student turned pro football star hosts special assembly
  • CEO’s blog: Bishop’s changes get green light from Department for Education

LIGHThouse – issue 34 – 18/06/21

Click here to view the latest issue of our LIGHThouse newsletter.

In this edition:

  • Free uniform delivery offer extended through June
  • Library gets a boost thanks to efforts of Castle School pupils
  • New Reading Corner launches on Bishop’s website
  • James Knott pupils’ Race for Life raises over £3k for Cancer Research UK
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, EVERYTHING blue!
  • Roundnet comes to Duke’s
  • CEO’s blog: Should we extend the school day?

A generous donation towards books and resources is helping early years’ pupils at a Northumberland primary school to play ‘catch up’ in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Young learners aged between two and four years who attend Bishop’s Primary School’s early years’ facilities have received special ‘Story Sacks’ filled with books, educational games and learning resources to enjoy at home thanks to a £2,000 donation from Newcastle Diocese Mothers’ Union.

Mothers’ Union is a Church of England affiliated organisation with over four million members worldwide, whose primary aim is to support Christian family life and the nurture of children.

When the pandemic first hit, Mothers’ Union members realised that children’s development, especially those in isolated communities or areas of high socio-economic deprivation, would be particularly affected by an extended period of lockdown.

With over 900 members in the Newcastle Diocese area alone, the charity’s Diocesan President, Barbara Packer, wanted to explore how the charity could best support the children deemed most in need throughout Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Barbara said: “Since we are a Church of England organisation, I approached the Diocesan Education Department for advice as to the best way to help children in our Church communities to gain access to educational resources which would support their development in the aftermath of lockdown.

“The department suggested Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust and more specifically, Bishop’s Primary School. We had already decided that we could afford to give £2,000 and that we would be guided by ‘those on the ground’ as to the best way to use it.”

Trustees from the charity were directed towards Bishop’s Primary School’s Principal, Melanie Hinson, who launched a staff consultation to determine who would benefit most from the initiative.

“Staff agreed that it was our early years children whose education had been most affected by the prolonged period of lockdown,” Melanie commented.

“While our older children have been able to engage in a full programme of remote learning, for our two and three year olds, the lack of interaction with children their own age has seen them return to our early years settings less confident, more anxious and in some cases, less independent than they were before.

“Liaising with Mothers’ Union, we agreed that ‘Story Sacks’ – or something similar – seemed to be a good way in which quite a lot of children could benefit, and receive resources which could be used at home to support their speech and language development, fine motor skills and confidence building among other things.

“The Story Sacks have been really well received by staff, parents and our young learners. We can’t thank Mothers’ Union enough for their kind donation.”

Serving South East Northumberland with campuses across Ashington, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Lynemouth, Bishop’s Primary School (part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust) is one of the largest primary academies in the region, with over 1,600 pupils aged 2-11.

With early years provisions based at four out of its five campuses, Bishop’s Primary is an early-adopter of the new EYFS framework for high-quality early learning.

For more information, visit or to find out more about Mothers’ Union, see

Spring has sprung at an Ashington primary school following a generous donation from a local garden centre.

Wansbeck Garden Centre has kindly pledged hundreds of bedding plants to Bishop’s Primary School’s Josephine Butler Campus for use in its flower garden.

The flower garden, which is tended by pupils as part of the school’s ‘Gardening Gang’ is the centrepiece of the Academy Road-based campuses’ outdoor space; which also comprises a potted courtyard, a poly tunnel and an allotment area, complete with its own chickens, rabbit and ducks.

Using the donated plants, the children decided to update a planted version of the school’s logo using a mix of Stokesia and Lobelia to capture the purple and yellow colours of the Bishop’s crest.

“Our Gardening Gang is an immensely popular part of our enrichment and mental health and wellbeing programmes at Josephine Butler,” said Mrs Clare Marriott, Head of Campus at Bishop’s Primary School – Josephine Butler Campus.

“The children enjoy working outdoors and seeing the difference that their work makes to the garden. It’s also a great opportunity for us to teach the children about the importance of looking after the natural world around them.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the staff at Wansbeck Garden Centre for their kind donation of so many flowers! It’s really allowed our children to be creative and we’ve had so many compliments from staff and parents about the work the children do outdoors. These generous donations mean we can continue to develop our curriculum and the community links that are so important to us.”

Nic Crofts, Plant Manager at Wansbeck Garden Centre, commented:

“At Wansbeck Garden Centre, we pride ourselves on being an active part of our local community and regularly work with schools and other not-for-profit groups.

“We’ve had an unseasonably cold start to the year, which has meant that many of our plants which would usually have gone flying off the shelves have been sitting in our greenhouses. We would rather see these go to good use than get wasted, so we were delighted to support Josephine Butler’s Gardening Gang with their flower display.”

Bishop’s Primary School – Josephine Butler Campus operates as part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT).

For more information, visit

A top London security firm boss, whose bodyguards protect the rich and famous, has stepped in to support the Northumberland primary school which set him on the road to success.

A former Major in the British Army Reserve, Bob Morrison, owner of Mayfair-based Sec-Tech, now provides close protection for VIPs from the UK and abroad and advises on personal and corporate security.

But over the years he has also kept a watchful eye on his former school, Lynemouth Country Primary School, now named Bishop’s Primary School – William Leech Campus, which operates as part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT).

And, when he learned it had applied to the Greggs Foundation Breakfast Club, which provides a nutritious pre-school breakfast for primary pupils, he stepped in to help, providing two years’ worth of sponsorship.

Bob, whose father Jim Morrison ran the Post Office at 47 Albion Terrace from 1958 until 1987, attended Lynemouth County Primary School from 1963-69 before moving, at age 10, to King Edward VI Grammar School, Morpeth.

He said: “I received a great education at Lynemouth CP School and it has served me well throughout my life.

“It’s helped me achieve many things – 22 years with the Territorial Army in the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Logistics Corps, a commission at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and even an Honours Degree in International Business Studies with French and German – for which I am eternally grateful.

“For me, the opportunity to sponsor the Breakfast Club at my old school is simply a wonderful way to say thank you and it was also a pleasure to work with Greggs Foundation who made the whole process really easy.

“I know that there are other schools that could benefit, and I really hope more businesses will get on board and support this fantastic initiative.”

Amy Thompson, Head of Campus at Bishop’s Primary School – William Leech Campus, commented:

“We have been completely blown away by Bob’s generosity toward our school.

“As the cost of living has gone up and more recently, as Covid-19 has seen more and more people go without a full-time regular income, many of our families have found it increasingly difficult to fund their children’s place at breakfast club.

“Breakfast is such an important meal for kick-starting children’s metabolism and making sure that they’re properly ‘awake’, so being able to ensure that all of our pupils have eaten well before they begin their lessons each day is fantastic. It improves their attention span and their levels of concentration and also their overall behaviour in the classroom.

“On behalf of all of the staff and pupils, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Bob and his team at Sec-Tech, as well as the team at the Greggs Foundation, for helping to make this possible.”

Lynne Hindmarch, Greggs Foundation, Breakfast Club Manager, commented:

“We currently support over 620 breakfast clubs nationally in areas of high disadvantage. The need is even greater due to COVID-19 as families who have always just about managed now find themselves in difficult circumstances asking for help for the first time.

“As part of Greggs Pledge, we hope to have 680 schools open by the end of 2021. We cannot do this alone and by working collaboratively with 106 wonderful partners such as Sec-Tech, we are able to support 40,000 children each school day access a FREE nutritional breakfast who otherwise might go without.”

To find out more about the programme please visit

For more information about Sec-Tech visit

LIGHThouse – issue 30 – 06/05/21

Click here to view the latest issue of our LIGHThouse newsletter.

In this edition:

Year 9 virtual parents’ evening coming soon
Important Covid-19 testing notice
Great news for eco-friendly Warkworth Primary

Castle School Parent Governor nominations open now
Cycling fun in the sun for William Leech pupils!
Sixth Form Business students plan virtual quiz for Duke’s staff
James Knott pupils scoop Active Maths prize
CEO’s blog: Why literacy is so important for all of us

Bishop’s Sports Bulletin

We were delighted to welcome our children back to their Campus on 8th March; the buzz of excitement around our corridors of friends getting back together and classmates meeting again for the first time in weeks was very special.

Since returning to school, our PE focus has very much been getting children back together in social environments, interacting with one another in PE lessons, re-visiting fundamental movements and re-capping key skills. We appreciate the difficulties some people have endured over previous months with home-learning and the changes in routine regarding exercise, but now we are hoping that children can be more engaged with physical activity outside of school hours, and also more active when on Campus.

This Bulletin showcases the cross-curricular work that Bishop’s teaching staff have engaged in since their children returned in early March; in particular Active Maths.

Download (PDF, 3.34MB)

LIGHThouse – issue 29 – 29/04/21

Click here to view the latest issue of our LIGHThouse newsletter.

In this edition:

Year 9 virtual parents’ evening coming soon
The Big Ask at Bishop’s Primary School
Money talks with NUFC Foundation at Warkworth Primary
Castle School’s musical makeover of ‘Baby Shark’
Castle School Parent Governor nominations open now
After school clubs reopen at Grace Darling
Sixth Form pupils gain skills for life with Barclays
CEO’s blog: What do we want for our children? (Part 2)

Have your say on the future of Bishop’s Primary

Bishop’s Primary School is currently one of the largest primary schools in England, with over 1,500 pupils across five campuses.

Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT) is proposing to split Bishop’s Primary School into five separate primary schools, one on each of the current campuses.

There are a number of reasons why we feel that separating the school into five separate primary schools will be of benefit both to existing and future pupils.

To find out more and participate in the consultation, please visit

The consultation will close on Friday 23rd April 2021.