21 Sep


Ensuring our pupils are available for and can access learning is essential if they are to be able to engage with the curriculum we offer and achieve the outcomes we aspire to for them. For our pupils, this means addressing the communication and interaction needs, the social, emotional and mental health needs or the sensory or physical health needs they may have identified in their Education, Health and Care Plans.

Part of our work this year is to review our ability to address these needs collaboratively with the various teams working in school. Over the past few months Mr Lyons has been meeting with our Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy and Rebound Therapy teams and discussing how we can further refine how these teams work in partnership with our teaching team to address the needs of our pupils.

As a result of this review we’ve engaged with a pilot of The Vision Friendly Mark, supported by our Visual Impairment team and in collaboration with Positive Eye (click here to visit their website). This will see us strengthen our existing work in this area and receive recognition for the support we offer our pupils with a visual impairment.

Two further areas we’ve identified where there is particular scope for development have been around supporting mental health and sensory integration differences. As a result, we have collaborated with a professional counsellor and a qualified sensory integration therapist to pilot two small scale projects exploring how we can offer counselling support to pupils in school with social, emotional and mental health needs and sensory integration therapy for pupils experiencing sensory processing difficulties. Our hope is to scale up these offers in future to cover the wider range of need across the school.

It continues to be a busy time for our young people as they settle into the new academic year. We’ve been delighted to witness some ‘Wow’ moments during our lesson pop-ins this week. Here is a short report from Mrs Gillett..

Ellie, Joseph, Harry, Jacob, Cordelia and Jasmine prepared Tortilla Toasties. This week is a demonstration week where the students practise the dish to work with increased independence the following week. All the students stayed on task and listened with enthusiasm throughout the lesson. Well done, all!

Miss Allison is pleased to announce that her previous offer to provide taste tests has been noted and this week saw the reintroduction of the Learning Centre’s culinary feature, ‘Cooking with Nurture’. Thanks to Ryan for the lovely dish! We’ll start sharing recipes in the weeks to come.

This week our curriculum focus is on Maths and we have a number (ahem!) of lessons to share with you..

Mrs Fennelley’s class were using an interactive jigsaw to create numbers followed by matching them to the correct number and sequencing them. First they made the number on the board by solving the jigsaw..

..then they had to find the same numbers that were strategically placed around the classroom..

..before placing them in order to make a number line to 20..

Mrs Patchett’s life skills pathway are working on this term’s topic of money. They have been looking at what we use money for, how we keep money safe and identifying and recognising different coins..

Mr Holban’s Year 11 group have been also been working on money..

..while his GCSE group are studying hard – just look at the concentration here!

Mrs Brierley’s Year 12 students have been working on place value with base 10 equipment..

..as have her Year 13 class..

We captured another ‘Wow’ moment during Mr Smith’s Sports Option with our very own Kyle, Nathan and Sabiha taking on the role of Young Leaders. They confidently led their fellow students in warm ups and are learning how to plan and deliver a fitness session..

The sporting theme continued when Kade challenged Mr Smith at table tennis. It was a close game with Mr Smith just taking the match. We’re assured Kade will be practising so watch out next week, Mr Smith!

On Friday both the school and Learning Centre will be joining in the Macmillan fundraising event…..and yes, it involves plenty of cake! The school will be busy baking in preparation and the Learning Centre is asking staff and students to bring in cakes of any variety, either bought or home-made. In the afternoon our young people will be able to take their pick of the cakes on offer in exchange for a donation to Macmillan – please remember to send your donation in if your child would like to take part. There is also an opportunity for those Learning Centre parents and carers who collect students at the end of the day to support Macmillan by purchasing any cakes remaining or simply making a donation.

This week the Learning Centre starts the Student Council election process. Please encourage students to put themselves forward as representatives for their year group. Student voice remains an integral part of Learning Centre life and we are looking forward to hearing the candidates’ speeches to their respective year groups.

You may remember how we brought you the news that Thomas won ‘Swimmer of the Year’ in the Matt Walker disability swim at the City of Manchester Aquatic Swim Team annual awards last week..

Thomas is training with the team and Matt is one of the coaches supporting him (you can find out more about Matt’s sporting achievements here). All that hard work is certainly paying off for Thomas as he came away from the first competition of the new swim season at the NE regionals para swim with a medal this weekend – well done, Thomas!!

We hope you have a great weekend,

Gavin and Dawn

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

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