Mr Carr - Headteacher

Monday 20th May 2019

The summer term is now well and truly underway and our Year 11 students begin their final GCSE examinations this week after working so hard since last September. The students have worked tirelessly all year round and I must also praise the effort, dedication and commitment of all of our teaching and support staff who have guided and supported them in making them all feel as prepared as possible for the exams which run over the next several weeks.

Elsewhere across the school, Benfield continues to be a real hive of creativity, achievement and activity. From careers guidance to mental health and sporting achievements, to name just a few areas, here we provide our latest showcase of the achievement and successes of our students, staff and the school over recent weeks.

I hope that you enjoy this edition of the Blog.

Richard Carr



Eco Garden


Here in school we have started an after school club to work on our eco garden and quad area. So far, this has gathered lots of interest from eager students with a passion for the environment and global issues. We hope to encourage wildlife that the students can study. We plan to make some bug houses and bucket ponds alongside bird and bat boxes.

Please look out for future updates and information about how this project grows.

Eventually we hope to have a night vision camera so the children can see what visitors we have at night. We will section off an area that won't be cut and we will plant wildflower seeds that will hopefully come back every year. Come the autumn time we will plant as many bulbs as we can.

To the left are photos of the type of bug houses we hope to start making soon and any donations of broken pots, bricks, pallets, pine cones, bamboo canes etc. would be gratefully received.

If you are interested in attending the club then please speak to Ms Willis or Ms Studholme.


Our students at the visit site.

Last Friday, 68 Year 7 Spanish students participated in the trip to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios in London. They have just started their unit on ‘School’, which we are teaching through Harry Potter and they will be exploring literary texts based on the novel.

After an early start, both coaches set off for the long journey and after a short stop en route, we arrived at our destination. The awe-inspiring magic was visible from the start and the gasps of surprise from our students were lovely to hear for both Benfield staff and the staff at the studios. We began our Hogwarts journey through the Great Hall and then boarded the Hogwarts Express in the station before we refuelled at the ‘Leaky Couldron’ with a Butterbeer (or two) and a chocolate frog. We had a wander past the ‘Knight bus’ and saw Harry’s house that was destroyed by Lord Voldemort before dancing in the mirror with Dobby. Our major highlight was the new addition of ‘Gringott’s Bank’ complete with fire breathing dragon - I’m not sure we have ever seen our students so excited. After a quick look on Diagon Alley we bought some souvenirs at the gift shop then it was time to head home.

On behalf of all the staff that took part, I would like to thank all of our students for their excellent behaviour on the trip. They were a credit to themselves and our school and were praised by Warner Bros. staff and the coach drivers.


How many of us chose our future career path based on the jobs we heard about at home, or from friends or saw on TV?

At Benfield we are committed to helping our students widen their understanding of the huge variety of careers open to them and gain a clear understanding of the routes they can take to access these after they leave us. Benfield has worked hard this year so that the school is compliant in meeting the criteria expected of schools in relation to careers guidance.

We are also working hard to achieve the national standard for careers education by 2020 and National Careers Week at the beginning of March gave all students an opportunity to focus on their own goals for the future through assemblies looking at labour market trends in our region and where jobs are likely to be in the future.

There are so many exciting and inspiring careers activities going on throughout the year and here is a flavour of some recent highlights that have taken place this term.

A group of year 7 students attended a daylong event at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle finding out about how the Construction Industry is changing and the increasing use of digital technology.

Year 8 had a visit from Gibber theatre group who gave an entertaining performance highlighting the range of careers available in the NHS. Who knew the NHS is the 5th largest employer in the world and that it employs people in 350 different job roles, many of them with apprenticeships as an entry level?

Year 9 and 10 were fortunate enough to meet staff from the BBC who came into school as part of a tour of schools in the North East promoting careers in the creative and media industry. They brought along a Radio 1 Extra presenter, a presenter from Metro Radio, a freelance hair and make-up artist and a producer for programmes with BBC Sport and Learning, all of whom talked about their background and training and took questions from our students. They also showed students the new Careers section on the BBC Bitesize website which if you want to have a look at can be found on https://www.bbc.com/bitesize.

Year 11 students interested in Apprenticeships have attended sessions to help them register and begin applying for vacancies and heard a talk by a current apprentice with BT promoting their apprenticeship programme for school leavers.

Year 12 and 13 students are offered opportunities to attend University and subject taster sessions and several Year 12 recently took part in a walking tour of Creative businesses based along the Ouseburn, getting an inside look at some local firms in media and design who have international customers.

We’ll keep you posted with updates on other careers activities throughout the year and if you as a parent would like to be involved with our careers programme please do get in touch.

'Barclays Lifeskills Award'

LifeSkills for Young People

Whether you’re at school, college or uni, you just graduated, or you’re looking for your first job, LifeSkills is a very helpful project which Benfield is now using to help support our learners with plans for the future and how to be best prepared.

Benfield has recently been successful in being awarded recognition for our promotion employability with our students via Barclays. We hope to build further upon this:

By using this scheme with our students we can help them build confidence, boost their employability and help advise them as to how they can stand out from the competition.

• Identify their own skills

We help students work on the specific skills that employers are really looking for.

• Build a strong CV

We support students with showing their best selves through the use of a smart online CV Builder tool.

• Find interview advice

The majority of students asked said LifeSkills helped them feel more confident about interviews.

• Develop digital skills

We help students better understand their digital footprint and how the digital world can help them secure a real job.

• Get money savvy

Students report financial advice has helped them save money.

  • Gain valuable work experience

Nothing beats real-life work experience. That’s why we want to help every student during their time at Benfield secure the perfect placement.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

(Mr Waters - Assistant Headteacher)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of those books that just seemed perfect to me when I was growing up. I absolutely loved sweets and chocolate; my imagination went wild at the thought of unlimited chocolate whilst touring the chocolate factory. I would often run to the ‘top shops’ after school and spend all of my money on a 10p mix-up. I often wished I was rich just like the kids in the book who were able to buy hundreds of Wonka bars.

My favourite part of the book is where Grandpa Joe suddenly can get up and walk again - this is a miraculous recovery after years of inactivity. It is like his inner child is released as he ‘is suddenly full of energy and spry’. By the time he enters the factory he describes it as ‘absolutely fantastic.’ From that point on, Grandpa Jo acts like a boy again.

Remember that he is actually ‘ninety six and a half!’

Go on…. Take your first step into Chapter 1 of this terrific novel.


A number of our Sixth Form students enjoyed and participated in an excellent day out at Northumbria University for our Women in Sports Science Day!

The girls loved working in the laboratories using the state of the art equipment.

Hopefully this has inspired the next generation. A big thanks must go to Miss Hall for organising the event.

My Favourite Invention - Mrs Reeson, PA to the Headteacher

The Food Processor

"My favourite invention is the Food Processor, the best piece of equipment in the kitchen. It saves so much time in food preparation and makes brilliant coleslaw and pastry."

Invention factfile:

One of the first electric food processors was the Starmix, introduced by German company Electrostar in 1946. Although the basic unit resembled a simple blender, numerous accessories were available, including attachments for slicing bread, milk centrifuges and ice cream bowls. In a time when electric motors were expensive, they also developed the piccolo, where the food processor's base unit could drive a vacuum cleaner. In the 1960s, Albrecht von Goertz designed the Starmix MX3 food processor.

In France, the concept of a machine to process food began when a catering company salesman, Pierre Verdun, observed the large amount of time his clients spent in the kitchen chopping, shredding and mixing. He produced a simple but effective solution, a bowl with a revolving blade in the base.

In 1960, this evolved into Robot-Coupe, a company established to manufacture commercial "food processors" for the catering industry. In the late 1960s, a commercial food processor driven by a powerful commercial induction motor was produced.

Robot-Coupe's Magimix food processor arrived from France in the UK in 1974, beginning with the Model 1800. Then, a UK company Kenwood Limited started their own first Kenwood Food Processor, 'processor de- luxe,' in 1979.



Huge well done to the U13 girls football team who have just won the city cup final 3-2, with a fantastic hat-trick from Elivia Bruce Yr8.

Our talented winners with the trophy!

The girls represented the school exceptionally and we look forward to what the future holds for this team! Well done girls! ⚽ #TeamBenfield


Year 9 played their last game of the academic year winning against NSB!

They have had an excellent year reaching the National Cup semi final and County Cup quarter final.

The future of football is looking bright at Benfield!

Congratulations to our able winners!
Mr Charlton with our Year 8 team.


Once again, the school held its summer Dance festival! A Big thanks is extended to Mrs Sayer, Miss Tanner & Miss Hall for organising the night, plus all other staff who supported which as always is very well supported and attended. Another huge success!

Police Event – Kick Off @3

The Benfield Squad in the team photo.

It was an awesome day for some of our Year 9 boys and girls! They competed in the regional Kick Off @3, which was hosted by the police at Durham University.

Both teams made it through the group stages; however, did not quite make it to the final!

Another Benfield success - Non Noiwan Yr10!

We came away with the Fair Play award and Non Noiwan Yr10 won the player of the tournament!

Thanks to Michael from Hat-trick who has been working with our students every Monday. Also, a big thanks must go to Mr Forshaw & Mr Hadley for getting the students to the event.


Kieron in action.

Kieron Sale - Yr7

Since the start of March, Kieron Yr7, has competed in 5 martial arts competitions. Within those competitions, Kieron has fought exceedingly well and continues to push himself to become better every time he fights. He trains at least 4 times a week at Universal Martial Arts and also cycles to and from school which helps develop his aerobic endurance.

Kieron has travelled over 1000 miles up and down the country competing and since March has won 5 gold's and 3 silver's. He has also qualified in 2 separate kick boxing organisations to represent England on a world level.

We look forward to following Kieron's success in the future.


Mobin Khalafzadeh - Yr7

Mobin has been boxing since the age of 10 and currently trains at Howdon Boxing Academy.

He recently took part in the National Quarter Finals, held in Yorkshire organised by England Boxing. He fought tremendously and qualified to take part in the Semi-final in Gatwick this month which we are proud that he has also now won. In winning this competition, Mobin has been named the England Boxing National Champion in the 12 years old, 59kg category.

Mobin after his success.

We wish Mobin all the best with his future boxing career. We are very certain that he will go on to achieve bigger and better things.


Newcastle Law Courts –

Mock Magistrates' Trial

A fantastic day took place at Newcastle Law Courts for the Mock Magistrate's Trial. Year 8 and 9 performed really well, thinking on their feet and challenging the opposition. All students were fantastic ambassadors for the school.


Mrs Brown’s Year 7 worked very hard in their tunnel challenge during British Science Week.

The group who displayed the best teamwork have been awarded an Easter Egg.

Mrs Brown also decided to award the students with the best working ethos and showed the most enthusiasm.

Well done everyone #BSW19


Congratulations go to our dedicated readers!

Congratulations to all those who received their certificates and the new Reading Champion badge for exceeding their reading targets for last half term. Check your progress towards your own personal target each time you take a quiz – this could be you at the end of this half term.

Mr Wardle - Year 7 Leader

What do you do at Benfield?

I am currently the Year 7 Leader here in school.

Who was your favourite teacher at school and why?

Mr Hind was my favourite teacher when I was at school. I remember him being an excellent role model and Head of year. He knew all of his year group and was an excellent sportsman.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I go to the gym, socialise with my friends and spend time as a family making memories for my daughter Erin.

Who is your favourite musical artist or band?

My favourite band are called Orson – a hugely talented band with excellent albums and lots of HIT singles! My favourite Orson song is a tune called 'Bright Idea!'

What's the best thing about Benfield School?

The Y7 students!!! An excellent group of students who strive to be the best they can be!

What's the one thing you could never be without?

My daughter Erin, she amazes me very day. Her attitude to life and school is brilliant! I am very much one proud dad!



This year, the competition organisers received 700 nominations for individuals, organisations and groups from across the region, all making a positive contribution to LGBTQ life.

The standard of nominations was incredibly high this year, and the judges had an extremely difficult job in selecting the four finalists for each category.

We are delighted to inform you that of the six finalists in the 'Ally of the Year' category, Benfield's very own Mrs Liddle-McGhee was nominated and despite not being judged the winner needs to be commended for all of her efforts both here in school as well as in the community and across the country for her work.

We are also delighted to reveal that Benfield School was judged to be the winner in the 'Creating Safer Spaces' category in a field of very stiff competition and we have been awarded a very special trophy to highlight this of which we are very proud. Congratulations go in particular to Mrs Liddle-McGhee, Mrs Crozier, Ms Carr, Mrs Sayer, Mrs Hall and Mrs Irving for their leadership and contributions to the leading work in this area which makes it a real strength of our school and so valued by our students.

The judges decisions will be made public on Thursday 16th May 2019 at an event in South Shields.



May 13th - 17th

– It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.

– An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.

– Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.

– It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.


Benfield School would like to congratulate the following students for their participation . Students made an excellent effort and were very competitive in representing us against other students from across the region.

Alfie Whitlie

Adam Bell

Daniel James

Callum Watson

Charlie Wilkinson

Thomas Smith

Sabarina Lojan

Rebecca Learmouth

Josh Hilpert

Frankie Thompson

Over the past term the Student Council have continued to monitor life in school and gather and seek the views of their peers which they have then fed back to senior leaders here in school across three key strands.

The focus of these councils' three key areas in school remain:

a) Health

b) Culture

c) Change

Students have over the past term contributed to giving feedback on the catering and refreshemnts available here in school, have fed back on how teaching, learning and assessment has developed since last September and have recently been asked to give their views and ideas on how our 'Behaviour for Learning' system can be improved for next academic year.

Look out for the next issue of the Blog where an interview with a number of our Council representatives will feature.


Daval Clarke Yr10 - Proud owner of the winning i-pad as a result of his 100% termly attendance record!

And the winner of the iPad for 💯 attendance last term was...Daval Clarke Yr10.👏👏

Remember, every half-term all students with 100% attendance are entered into the draw for Eldon Square vouchers or an i-pad.

You have to be IN to WIN! Another i-pad will be issued to the lucky 100% winner at May half-term....... Could it be you?

The form class with the weekly highest attendance receives a free breakfast reward!


Summer sports clubs up and running!

Year 10 had their last game of the season but unfortunately lost to Kenton.

All years were involved in the start of the Summer 5-a-side League, so grab five of your friends and your boots then get yourself there every Tuesday.

Rounders has also started with Miss Hall and Miss Tanner every Tuesday, fixtures start the week after!

Thursday is cricket club with Miss Hall & Mr Lawson with a competition scheduled early June!

Please ask your PE teachers for a full schedule!


Reach for the skies!

Are You A Former Student?

Return to Benfield School to inform our current students about what life beyond school is really like.

Sign up to our former student network to receive news, updates and invites to events: https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/signup/benfield


On the Slippery Slopes!

In March,17 students and 3 members of staff returned to Serre Chevalier in France for Benfield's annual ski trip, staying once again in the excellent Hotel Frejus.

The students had 4 hours of ski lessons each day and made excellent progress developing their skiing technique and mastering the different ski lifts as well as experiencing varying weather conditions with warm sunny days early on and heavy snowfall later in the week.

A presentation on the final afternoon saw all students gaining certificates to recognise their skiing abilities. Our Sixth Form students, who were there on their 5th trip, were put through their paces by Mrs Robertson and had skiied the whole ski area by the end of the week, regularly stopping by the beginner groups to offer their support and advice.

For the apres-ski we had bumboarding, quiz night, movie night, Taskmaster and games night as well as the traditional Benfield bingo night and students had free time to familiarise themselves with the local shops in Villeneuve.

All of the students were impeccably behaved and a credit to the school as well as having a fantastic time...evidenced by the fact that so many of them have signed up again for next year's trip!

Benfield – Free Breakfast for Every Student

Benfield school has joined the government’s National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), which is being delivered by the charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast.

As a NSBP School we are pleased to offer a healthy school breakfast, available to all our students, and enjoy the benefits that brings, with children settled and ready to learn at the start of the school day.

Benfield School – Reducing Food Waste

Here at Benfield School we have pledged to reduce food waste. Our year 8 students have been busy promoting this and as a school community we are investing time to help contribute to reducing our food waste.


Taylor Minto Yr13 & Amy McElvanney Yr11 proudly show off their well-deserved awards.

Benfield was very proud to have 3 students win awards at the annual Newcastle City Council Student of the Year Awards 2019.

The council runs this scheme each year and students are nominated by staff in each school within the city for achievement in a range of categories.

These can range from academic achievement, sporting prowess or overcoming personal challenges. After a difficult selection process we were very proud that all three Benfield nominations were judged as winners by the selection panel.

Taylor Minto Yr13, Amy McElvanney Yr11 and Katie Proctor Yr8 were Benfield's 2019 nominated students, but due to sporting commitments, Katie was unable to personally attend the event to receive her award which was collected by Mr Carr on her behalf and presented to Katie the following day in school.

Both Mr Carr and Mr Derrick from school were proud to join the families of Amy and Taylor, along with the students themselves to help celebrate their wins.


Last half term 30 students in Year 8 who have been identified as ‘More Able and Talented’ took part in a Spanish study trip to the Tyneside Cinema. Our school was joined by seven other schools from around our region and our students were excellent ambassadors for both our school and themselves. They completed language activities in Spanish with representatives from Newcastle University based on the film Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica.

Our students outside the Tyneside Cinema.


For each of the following, which numbers should replace the question marks?

A) 34 - - - 12 89 - - - 72 25 - - - 10 66 - - - ?

B) 12 - - - 49 89 - - - 81 7- - - 29 25 - - - ?

C) A train covers its outward journey at 110mph. It returns, over exactly the same distance, at 73.3333mph.

What is the train’s average speed over the entire journey?

D) A car has travelled 60 miles at 40 mph. It started its journey with 8 gallons of fuel but has been leaking throughout the journey and is now dry. The car completes 24 miles per gallon.

How much fuel has it leaked per hour?

Created By
R Carr


Created with images by ejaugsburg - "environmental protection nature conservation ecology" • Robina Weermeijer - "untitled image" • scottdavis2 - "Football ready to be kicked." • Michael D Beckwith - "untitled image" • Hal Gatewood - "untitled image" • Wokandapix - "mental health wellness psychology" • annca - "tartan track career athletics"

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