18 May


One of the reasons why we love our jobs so much is because we get to work in a such a vibrant and positive community made up of people focused on learning, growing and developing and striving to be the best they can be. Certain moments remind us of this, often unexpectedly, and we find ourselves stunned once again at how lucky we are to work at New Bridge. Maybe the sunshine played a role, but this week provided a number of those moments. Parents’ Evening was one of them. Just talking to the parents about their child’s learning and experience in school, it was clear how much they felt their child was progressing and how much they valued the hard work of our team in making this happen. If you have not yet had chance to give us your feedback, please take a moment to click here and complete our short questionnaire.

Another moment was our Super Learning Day on Friday in which all our young people were off timetable to experience a themed day of learning centred around the topic of ‘Commitment’ in honour of the royal wedding this weekend. The day was a celebration of inclusion and diversity as pupils and students explored the ways in which people within different cultures demonstrate their commitment to each other. There was a real buzz around the school and Learning Centre as every class got hands on exploring all things wedding related, culminating in a street party at the Learning Centre and a fantastic assembly at the school site showcasing the creative work of the pupils throughout the day.

Whilst big events like these often provide the “wow” factor, sometimes it’s the little things that can also make the biggest difference and many of the moments that also inspired us this week involved our team working in their pastoral roles. Inevitably, as our young people grow and develop, they are learning to understand, express and manage their emotions. We’ve all been there ourselves and it takes empathy and sensitivity to help our young people through this learning process. In his rounds of the school this week, Mr Lyons came across many excellent examples of our team delicately managing this process. Seeing our pupils making those connections, linking their feelings and behaviour and resolving issues with such maturity was inspirational. These small steps now, will make a huge difference in their future.

Tuesday saw the launch of a new disability cricket initiative called Super 1s, an inclusive sport which all young people with any form of disability are able to access. Students from New Bridge and the Learning Centre participated in the launch and played cricket with 2 Lancashire cricket players..

Sky Sports were there to film the action with our young people and to look for players with potential to play for the disability cricket team. It was a fantastic afternoon and everyone enjoyed the cricket..

If any of our young people would like to find out just how much fun it is, please see the flyer below for more details of the free sessions every Monday at Mahdlo..

There was yet more cricket on Thursday when a group from New Bridge attended the table cricket final at Old Trafford cricket ground. Our team of seven played extremely well, batting and fielding to a high standard..

After playing three hard fought matches, the team ended the tournament runners up..

Every pupil was a real credit to New Bridge, displaying a high level of sportsmanship whilst enjoying the day. After the tournament had finished, the team were invited into the cricket stadium where Lancashire were playing Nottinghamshire in the Royal London One Day Cup! They all thoroughly enjoyed their visit and the chance to see the cricketers in action..

On Friday we took part in a Unified Football event with pupils from Middleton Technology School. The teams from New Bridge and Middleton worked really well together and supported each other..

Mr Smith was delighted by how readily they made friends and helped each other throughout the morning – the perfect illustration on our Super Learning Day of commitment and friendships. It was yet another of those moments that make us realise nothing is impossible with our young people. They should all be very proud of themselves and of how much progress they have made to be able to join in and enjoy an event like this.

We now have the pictures to go with Mr Taylor’s report on the IB’s amazing Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition! Please click here to find out how the group coped with their adventure, including their very first night of camping..

Now more on our Super Learning Day. At the school site, the Year 11 pupils from DIGIT4LL were busy taking photos and recording video to capture some of the great activities happening around school. Josh was our very own David Bailey..

..Josie helped edit the photos..

..whilst Danielle edited the video footage which Kubrick would’ve been proud of!

Here are just some of the activities that took place to explore what commitment means, from looking at wedding ceremonies in different religions..

..learning the traditional dance moves (thank you Miss Tajwar!)..

..taking part in wedding ‘ceremonies’ in our very own chapel..

..lots of lovely art and craft work..

..cake decorating..

..and parties..

..to some wonderful team building games devised and facilitated by Activ8..

We had to be suitably dressed, of course..

Well done Activ8, we’re glad you found a way to cool down after all that hard work..

Hopefully this has given you an idea of what Super Learning Day was like down at school but we will have more details to share with you next week. At the Learning Centre it was great to see the enthusiasm from staff and students alike – thanks to all those who donned red, white and blue! We started the day with an assembly looking at how we are all committed to different things or people. We had lots of suggestions: football teams (Mr Barker was not amused at the loud cheer for Everton, we can’t think why!), charities, school or college, friends, each other and, of course, partners. There seemed to be two camps at the Learning Centre – those who would be watching the Royal Wedding and those who would be watching the FA cup final!

Mrs Keane’s form made flowers to wear at the street party, coloured in flags to wave and made bookmarks with Meghan and Harry on. The students also watched Mrs Keane’s wedding dvd which made everyone laugh, sing and cry (a bit). Great fun was also had in EBase..

..although Miss Allison was a bit disappointed she didn’t get chance to sample the patriotic cakes..

One of the highlights at the Learning Centre had to be our very own wedding ceremony! Mr Fairest looked resplendent as the vicar, Sophie and Josh as the bride and groom, Nathan as best man, Ananya, Kimchi and Serish as bridesmaids with Miss Wilson on the organ, Mrs Robinson as official photographer, Mrs Joubert on video and the unforgettable Mr Edwards as father of the bride..

There was not a dry eye in the house as vows were made, rings exchanged and with the words ‘you may now kiss the bride’, Josh gave a very respectful kiss on Sophie’s cheek..

Forms were busy making garlands, posters and, we’re told, IB have made a large wedding cake although you’ll have to wait till next week to see the pictures. Students also made bunting which was used to good effect for our Learning Centre street (well, courtyard) party. A wide range of cakes and drinks were consumed, Dominic was our resident DJ and we’re definitely looking forward to our prom if today’s dancing is anything to go by – Kyle, Miss Allison is booking the first dance when it’s your turn, he can definitely bust a move! We had a fantastic time as you can see..

Finally, it was shortlisting time in the ‘design a tie’ competition. Our Local Leadership Team selected a shortlist of five designs and then from the shortlist tried to decide on a winner. This proved very tricky and in the end it was a draw between two designs. So, we will be putting the final decision back to the pupils and asking them which of the two designs will be the winner. We will be posting the winner along with a selection of entries soon so watch this space!

We hope you have a wonderful weekend,

Gavin and Dawn

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