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Bernard Gilpin Primary School

Hall Lane


Tyne & Wear


Tel: 0191 917 2999


Click here for further contact details and a map.

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The Living Room

On Tuesday 10th

December the Mayor of

Sunderland, Councillor

Bob Heron, opened 'The

Living Room' at Bernard

Gilpin Primary School.

He praised the school for

its groundbreaking efforts

to become dementia-friendly.

The city’s civic leader, whose mother died of dementia, spoke out as school headteacher Andrew Bainbridge prepared to open a special ‘Living Room’ that is aimed at people with dementia in the Houghton-le-Spring area.

The school is taking steps to be dementia-friendly as it is only one of 21 schools nationwide that is part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia which aims to revolutionise the way people think about the condition.

The ‘Living Room’ will play host to a series of activities aimed at helping people with dementia live well within their own communities.

From January the school’s ‘Living Room’ will play host to monthly Singing for the Brain sessions that aim to use music as a form of therapy for people with dementia. It will also stage a monthly Dementia Café, which aims to provide a relaxed environment for people with dementia and their carers to get together with Alzheimer’s Society staff in an informal setting.

There will be an inter-generational choir and dancing in the purpose-built ‘Living Room’ as the school gives a warm welcome to people with dementia and their carers.













Councillor Heron said: ‘I’m really proud to be chair of governors because the work they are doing to be dementia-friendly is fantastic. ‘The school is a real beacon and the pupils have really embraced this whole initiative with terrific enthusiasm. It is a really forward-thinking school and this shows that it wants to play a key role in the surrounding community. ‘There is a huge amount of great things going on at the school and the ‘Living Room’ is a result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes. It makes me proud to be the chair of governors at Bernard Gilpin School. It shows they really care about their community.’

The school’s Living Room project manager Fiona Bridle added: ‘We’ve been really impressed with the enthusiasm and interest our pupils have shown in dementia as a whole.‘The number of people who have dementia is on the rise but there is still a stigma attached to the condition and we all want to tackle it. It is more and more likely that families in our community will experience dementia and this is a way of increasing awareness and understanding. ‘The Living Room' is about giving something back to our community and telling the children what dementia is all about and how we can help people with dementia live well within the community.’

Alzheimer’s Society operations manager Danielle Hayes said: "Bernard Gilpin really seems to be leading by example when it comes to making our communities

dementia-friendly.” ‘The Living Room' is an excellent

project and we’re really excited about it opening up because it will be a great facility for the rising number of people in the Houghton-le-Spring area who have dementia and their carers.”

News & Events

September 2013

New Year, New Uniform

To celebrate the school's 20th Anniversary each child has been provided with a brand new school uniform. We have also changed our colours from red to navy blue and everyone agrees that the children look very smart. Click on the picture to get a better look.


Bernard Bear Toddler Group opens its doors

Our Monday morning toddler group is now up and running. All families are welcome for just 50 pence per session. Our first session was a huge success with parents, grandparents, carers and toddlers all having a wonderful time socialising and playing with the toys in our newly built community room and refurbished hall. Click on the pictures below to see a bigger image.


National Science Week

Every child in Key Stage 2 has had a visit to Newcastle to take part in some of the many activities arranged for National Science Week. The children and staff had a great time and returned to school with stories of exciting experiments and crazy scientists.


Great North Run

Congratulations to the staff that completed the Great North Run this weekend (Sunday 15th September). All ran for a range of good causes including The Alzheimer's Society, Motor Neuron Disease and Get Kids Going. Despite their achimg limbs they all still managed a broad smile for the camera. A great effort - well done.

Fire Service visit

Firefighters from the Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service made their annual visit to discuss fire prevention and safety tips with the children. A number of children also got the opportunity to climb aboard a fire engine and see the equipment in action.


Bernard Bear Toddler Group

On Monday 21st October  'Scales nTails' Animal Encounters visited the Bernard Bear Toddler Group. Children and adults got the chance to to handle a range of creatures including a tarantula spider, giant snail, millipede, tortoise and some stick insects. Click on the pictures to get a closer look.

Click  here  to read the Sunderland Echo article

October 2013

scaless n tails

Thank you all for supporting our Halloween Disco in such large numbers.

Special thanks must be given to the Friends of Bernard Gilpin for organising the event and our very own DJs 'Sam the Man' and 'Jackie Chan' who kept the dancing going from start to finish with their popular song choices. Well done boys!

Halloween Disco October 2013


October 2013 - Derwent Hill Residential Visit

Teachyour monster

to read is a series of

free games to practise

the first stages of reading.

Combining top quality

games design with

essential learning, the

game is built on the

principles of synthetic

phonics and follows the teaching sequence of the Letters and Sounds programme.

It has been designed in collaboration with academics from Roehampton University.

Visit to set up a free account.


December 2013

Choir Performances

It's a busy month for our wonderful school choir. They have recently performed to shoppers in the Bridges in Sunderland and the residents of Myre Hall Retirement Home in Houghton. Click on the pictures below to get a better look.

2 1 3

Xscape and the Leeds Armouries

Children from Years 4, 5 and 6 have returned from a two day visit which included skiing, tubing and sledging at the brilliant indoor slope at Xscape near Castleford and a visit to the fantastic Royal Armouries museum in Leeds.

Christmas Lunch

Our Christmas lunch was once again a whole school affair. Every child and adult in school shared a special Christmas lunch togeter with some invited guests and friends of our school. Click on the pictures...

TV Cameras back again

Tyne Tees television sent the cameras to report on our new Living Room and the work we are doing in school relating to dementia. The choir performed before some special guests who joined in with a range of Christmas songs.

December 2013

Living Room Launch - Tyne Tees Coverage

January 2014

Amazing visit to the Theatre of Dreams

Children from our mixed and girls

football teams have just returned

from a fantastic visit to Manchester.

They visited the Manchester United

Museum which included a mini tour

of the Old Trafford Stadium. This

was followed by visits to the Imperial War Museum and the National Football Museum.

The day was rounded off by the match itself which couldn't have been more exciting. After a nailbiting game which resulted in the dreaded penalty shoot-out, Sunderland were victorious and will now meet Manchester City in the final of the Capital One Cup. Unbelievable.


February 2014

S.A.F.C. Fanily Learning

S.A.F.C. invited Parents/Carers to attend their Family Learning course.   There was a huge response and 18 families were selected to access the course.   In the first hour Parents/Carers are learning about basic numeracy skills that their children will use.  In the second hour children are invited to join in the activities.  These have been centred around physical activity.  

Feedback from

Parents/Carers and

children has been

very positive.  At the

end of the eight

weeks, all those who

have attended will get

a tour of The Stadium

of Light, and receive

two tickets to a home



February 2014

Valentine Disco

Our Valentine Discos were a great success and the children had a great time. Thanks to the 'Friends of Bernard Gilpin' for organising another fantastic event and our year 5 DJ's Lawrence and Tyler for playing some great tunes. Click on the picture.

valentine disco

Red & White City

Our children raised over £200 in support of the Foundation of Light's Red & White City event. Click on the collage below to get a flavour of the day.

March 2014

The Big Pedal 2014

A big thankyou to all the children who travelled to school on their bikes and scooters during the Big Pedal fortnight. Overall we finished in 3rd position in Sunderland which is a fantastic achievement.

Every child who participated received a raffle ticket for each day they brought in their bike or scooter and the draw to win a range of prizes will be held in school shortly.

Congratulaions to

Miss Bridle's year 3

class who will be

receiving a special

class prize for

participating in

the greatest numbers.


big pedal

March 2014

World War I Adventure

Children from years 5 & 6 have just returned from a wonderful visit to France, Belgium and London as part of their studies about The First World War. Click on the poppy to learn more.

poppy transparent collage 1

May 2014

Dementia Friendly Awards

Bernard Gilpin Primary School was one of the finalists in the inaugural Dementia Friendly Awards, organised by the Alzheimer's Society, that took place in London this week. Our school was 'Highly Commended' by the judges at the ceremony, hosted by Angela Rippon and attended by many including Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, who paid tribute to individuals and groups who have fought to change public attitudes towards the condition by helping people living with dementia and their carers in the community. More information can be found at:

dementia awards

December 2013


Bernard Gilpin's Got Talent

Our School Council presented the first annual Bernard Gilpin's Got Talent Competition.

20 very different and talented acts performed to a packed hall of appreciative parents and pupils.

Members of the School Council had the difficult task of judging the competition and the winners on the night were The Bubble Guppies.

Click here to see some pictures.

Thank you to all who took part and helped raise money for School Council projects.


July 2014

BG talent