16 Mar


We should never underestimate the value of teamwork. By working together as a team we benefit from the different perspectives, experience and skills of each team member so that we can solve complex problems or create new solutions and ideas. I witnessed an excellent example of teamwork during a lesson observation this week in which a group of Duke of Edinburgh’s pupils, in preparation for their upcoming expedition, were presented with the problem of putting up a tent. The class put themselves into two teams and set about figuring out what to do, discussing their ideas and taking on a role or having some element of responsibility. The result was two correctly erected tents and two teams feeling more confident in their ability to repeat this on their expedition.

On my walkabouts around school I have also seen the benefits pupils gain from the teamwork of the staff. One fantastic example was a sensory story created by drawing on the individual skills of each team member in one of our Interactive Bases. The story incorporated handmade props and audio-visual effects, all of which helped to create a stimulating and immersive experience in which the pupils could practise their early communication skills.

No single member of staff could have created such an engaging story, no single pupil could have put up one those tents; teamwork enabled them all to achieve a greater outcome together than they ever could have done alone. One very big example of teamwork taking place at the moment and one that involves both pupils and staff working together is next week’s production of The Jungle Book. All have been working very hard during rehearsals and on set design, prop making, costume preparation, music and lighting, ticket sales….the list goes on. It’s going to be very special series of performances so if you haven’t reserved your seat yet, please call Lucy Shannon on 0161 883 2401 soon!

We have seen yet more teamwork at the Learning Centre – while Mr Blackman is off, Monday’s horticulture options class have very kindly decided to use their amazing horticulture skills to help out the Interactive Bases. Through group discussion they identified different ways in which they could improve the IB yards. They have then been working hard as a team to clean and tidy the areas before moving on to painting. The students have developed their outside maintenance abilities, using different paints and stains to paint the IB fences..

Once this is completed, they have decided to use and develop their gardening skills by planting pots for the IB pupils to enjoy! Hortus have also been in the spotlight when they were featured in an article in the latest edition of The RoSPA Leisure & Education Journal who have kindly given us permission to share it with you (you can also read the pdf version here)

Mr Smith’s Year 8 travel group had a wonderful surprise when they visited Oldham Library this week….who should be on hand to help them apply for their new library cards but our very own Terry! As you may be aware if you read our Future Finders blog, Terry gained paid employment at the library and took up his new post at the start of this month. It was lovely to see him enjoying his new job and fantastic for our Year 8s to see a former pupil working there..

Some of our Year 13 students wanted to tell you themselves about their recent adventures at the Calvert Trust..

The only thing I didn’t like about Calvert was my bed because it wasn’t comfy like my memory foam at home. I loved everything else, the activities were great. I can’t pick a favourite because they were all brilliant. We did canoeing, zipwire, orienteering and map reading, horseriding, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, night walk and bushcraft where we made a fire and cooked marshmallows on it in the snow. We were lucky because we managed to do a lot of offsite activities before the snow came in. I’m a bit of a fussy eater so I wasn’t too keen on the food but I enjoyed the full breakfast and the chefs made me things that I liked at tea time like sausage butties – Liam

I liked having a room to myself. I had fun and I would like to go again. I enjoyed the rock climbing, it was easy. I liked the zipwire, it was scary at first but then it was good – Imnaan

I loved the zipwire. I was excited and nervous. It went really fast and I laughed at the end. I shared a room with my friends. We had bunkbeds. I slept on the bottom bunk. The food was yummy! – Rezaul

I enjoyed the night walk. It was great being on the top of a mountain in the dark. I enjoyed the rock climbing even though it was hard. Me and the others in my group got on better than we usually do – Danny

My favourite activities were rock climbing and swimming. I was a bit scared about the climbing but the Calvert staff helped me. The food was great and I enjoyed sharing a room with my friend – Kerrie

I liked sharing a room with my best friend. I liked swimming in the big pool. Archery was hard – Sian

I enjoyed the zipwire. It was scary at first but I was proud that I did it – Kieron

I really enjoyed it and I loved the food! – Sarah

I enjoyed Calvert because I thought the views were absolutely stunning, especially when I went canoeing on the lake. I also went on a night walk where the moon was so bright you could see everything. I stared at the view when the moon was lighting it up, it was so beautiful. I just love the Lakes full stop. It’s just a fantastic atmosphere. I could easily live there. It snowed while were up there which made it so cold but it made the scenery even more beautiful. The food was tasty especially the homemade soup. I kept going back for more. I would recommend Calvert to friends and family because it is such a fantastic place – Ellis

I had a really good time and enjoyed the whole experience, my favourite was the zip wiring – Charlie

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I enjoyed the night walk – Daniel

We now have some more pictures to share with you and we will be putting an album on our Facebook page where we will upload photos from all the groups once they have been collated – thank you for your patience while we track down the correct camera leads so the pictures can be downloaded!

In PE lessons this term, our young people have been really enjoying using the trampolines, both at the school site..

..and the Learning Centre..

Our Year 9s have also been getting to grips with the art of table cricket..

On Wednesday afternoon Natalie Stenson, Transitions Health Practitioner, came to talk to the Learning Centre Parent Group about the complexities of transition from child to adult services from a health perspective. By all accounts it was a very productive meeting with a lot of useful information handed over. There may be a change in the time and day of future meetings to ensure that Shamin Akhtar, our Home School Liaison Officer, is able to attend – please watch this space!

Thursday saw our three Digit4ll IT pathway groups descend on Medtia Square for this year’s BBC News Report Day. They worked really hard researching, writing and presenting the news and you can find out more about the day and watch their finished broadcast here

Invitations have been sent home to our next coffee morning on Tuesday 27th March at 10am – we hope you can join us!

We hope you have a lovely weekend,

Gavin and Dawn

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

You can find our full blog here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham