Hello and welcome back. After a very busy end to last term, it was a relatively gentle return on Monday following the Easter holidays. It was great to welcome everyone back after a well earned rest and no time was wasted in getting back into the swing of things. It’s going to be a busy Summer term with plenty of events and announcements in the pipeline; more to come on those in future blogs.
One piece of very exciting news we can announce though, is that over the Easter holidays we received confirmation that we will receive just short of £1 million in funding from the Department for Education to extend the building on the school site. This is incredibly exciting news and will allow us to continue to develop the school building to ensure it provides the very best environment to support our pupils’ learning. Planning work will continue this term with a view to begin building work in September. If all goes to plan, we intend to have everything completed by Easter 2019. We’ll be sharing more details on the progress of this development in our weekly blog.
Back to this week where our young people have been out and about doing an excellent job of representing New Bridge, applying the knowledge and skills they have been learning in class. On Thursday our table cricket team took part in a regional event at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, coming fifth place overall – find out more here.
Also on Thursday, several of our pupils visited Gallery Oldham to take part in a special research workshop set up by our Creative Arts team in partnership with the Gallery and the SLiCE (Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education) programme from Curious Minds. They had a wonderful time and are looking forward to attending a follow-up workshop in June..
On Wednesday, our IT students on our Digit4ll pathway were at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School competing in the Young Enterprise Greater Manchester Final following their success in winning the highly coveted ‘Company of the Year’ Award for their company ‘UnITe’ at the Oldham Young Enterprise Awards before Easter. The team were successful once again, scooping the award for ‘Best Use of IT’ – please click here for more about their fantastic achievement.
Yet more of our young people have been out and about, this time our Duke of Edinburgh’s groups. Just before Easter our Bronze Award participants tackled their first practice expedition in the Peak District and this week our Gold Award group set out on theirs. Mr Taylor is delighted with the teamwork our young people displayed, motivating and supporting each other to successfully complete the challenge – his report on the Bronze expedition is here.
Next week our Silver Award group will be venturing out to complete their own practice expedition, we hope the weather will be kind to them.
Meanwhile, back in school the groundwork continues, developing those knowledge and skills little by little as the learning carries on. Miss Warner’s Interactive Base class is no exception..
Last term our topic was ‘Paddington on Tour’ and in keeping with the story, we based our activities around different popular tourist spots around London. All our lessons and activities have focused on engagement, response, communication and developing independence skills.
We began by first making backgrounds for our displays. The students did some fantastic independent art work, using their communication books to choose colours and equipment whilst also following simple instructions..
Some groups worked on finding preferences of different textures and materials to collage Paddington and the royal guard..
We also had time to make a fantastic Big Ben..
Our journey began at Fortnum and Mason where we made, exploded and tasted marmalade!! We made stained glass windows for St Paul’s Cathedral whilst listening to their beautiful choir..
As a class of ladies, we thought the perfume department at Harrods would be our first stop so we made scented bath bombs. Some groups followed visual instructions to weigh and measure the correct ingredients whilst others explored different essences through hand/foot massages. For Madame Tussaud’s we created some beautiful wax pictures! Can you guess who is who?
At Camden Market we filled the classroom with the different sounds and smells you would find at the markets – I decided on making Belgium doughnuts as apparently this is really popular! (and didn’t they smell and taste amazing!) We couldn’t finish our topic without afternoon tea with the Queen. The students did some fantastic following of instructions to make Victoria sponge cakes and scones..
Other groups explored tea leaves in cornflour and different textures of cakes and their fillings..
As you can see from our pictures, we were joined by some rather important members of royalty!
In Maths we helped Paddington pack his lunch box for his adventures. We counted his Marmalade sandwiches one by one – these weren’t ordinary sandwiches but UV ones!
The students did some fantastic tracking of the UV objects..
We also made marmalade bread which tasted delicious. What a fantastic topic! We saw our wonderful Performing Arts team produce an amazing show, the Jungle Book. A special ‘well done!’ to Leah who played the part of a monkey..
..and Rachael who was a lion..
They were both fantastic! Each morning in class we have a structured morning routine. This term the students have made significant progress using the Boardmaker program on the interactive touch screen..
In Living Skills we have been learning lots of new symbols and implementing them into our breakfast club. With visual prompts and faded adult support, the students have been finding their own equipment, making their own snacks and using their communication books to communicate their preferences..
We have been out and about in the community, transferring our skills to different environments. Ability Wheelz has been fantastic, all the students and staff have enjoyed the bikes and the fresh air..
Of course, we always warm up in the cafe afterwards! The students have been using their communication books to requests snacks, further developed their communication, social skills, independence skills, handled and exchanged money..
We had a fantastic coffee morning. Thank you to Mrs Dickson and Josie for coming to visit us. A special thanks to Mrs Mills’ daughter Natalie for the beautiful Victoria Sponge cake and Mrs Fletchers’ Dad for a delicious coffee and walnut cake – we were very much spoilt for choice!
I would especially like to thank Mrs Fletcher, Mrs Mills, Mrs Dransfield and Miss Dickinson for all their outstanding support with IB1. I’m extremely grateful for everything you do with our amazing class #veryproudteacher
Next term our topic is the 70s and 80s….. keep your eyes peeled for our Saturday Night Fever moves!!
Miss Allison has really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things and welcoming back our students and staff to the Learning Centre – the warm weather has been an added bonus and it’s always heart-warming to see how happy our students are to return to college! Those of you who know her will be aware of her love for walking and painting (the artistic type, not DIY). Mr Quinn has football, she has hiking and Art (although they both have a secret penchant for musical theatre!) Whilst meandering through the hills in North Wales over Easter, she had the opportunity to focus her thoughts on how we can best meet the needs of our students and improve our curriculum offer. As an organisation we are currently working through the huge task of organising next year’s timetable.
At the Learning Centre, we are in the middle of overhauling and improving both our Pastoral structure and our Options programme. We know that both Key Stage 4 and 5 students are keen to make their option choices for September and we aim to provide an offer which can broaden our students’ skills and knowledge. Alongside our core subjects of Maths, English, Living Skills, ICT and Employability, the Learning Centre options offer a wide range of subjects based on the 3 strands of leisure, employability and academic, together with vocational options which are based on realistic destinations for our young people. Over recent weeks we have been asking our students what they would like from our options offer and we would like to thank the student council for their insightful input. As soon as these are finalised we will be letting students and parents know.
Our students continue to engage with the work experience programme with placements at the Atrium café. Next week we will be sharing success stories and we look forward to Mr Barker’s report from his visit this week. Just a reminder, Mr Barker….please remember the cakes next time!
This week the staff team at the Learning Centre has been joined by Mr Garside who is working alongside our Pastoral team and Mrs Wilson who is supporting Mr Barker and Miss Allison. We offer them both a very warm welcome and hope they enjoy their time with us.
Letters have gone home to families with details of our next Holiday Club – don’t forget to return your form by Friday if you would like to request a place for your child. If you need another copy of the letter, please contact the office.
As those of you who regularly read this blog will know, we are big believers in the power of teamwork and the idea that we can achieve more by working together than we can on our own. Our young people, supported by our incredible staff team have demonstrated this yet again this week – who knows what the rest of the term might bring!
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
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