26 Jan


It has been another busy week! The needs of our children here at New Bridge vary so widely and some of our young people have quite complex needs, often as a result of significant and sometimes multiple health difficulties. It was therefore a real pleasure to welcome Nahida, Mohammed and Thomas back into school this week after long periods of absence due to some quite challenging illnesses.

The transition back into a busy school environment can be a time of anxiety, not just for pupils but also for parents worried how their child will cope, so it was fantastic to witness the teamwork of our class-based staff, Pastoral Team and Health Team working together to support Nahida, Mohammed and Thomas and their families with this delicate process. It was great to see all three pupils enjoying their return to school and their families feeling reassured that their child was not only coping with their return to school but clearly having a great time in the process. We’re all looking forward to seeing them continue to build up their time in school in the coming weeks and months.

On Wednesday Trusha Velti from Touch Solicitors in Oldham came to talk to parents and carers at the Learning Centre about legal matters pertinent to their families. We were delighted at the fantastic turnout – 18 parents attended the talk. Trusha has experience of supporting our families and talked at length about the importance of making trusts in their wills to safeguard their child’s future security.

Such trusts are a way for families to put financial arrangements in place for their child and they are particularly useful for disabled people. The two key reasons for having such discretionary trusts are to manage money or other assets for a disabled person, and to avoid that person’s benefits and care funding being stopped. Trusha also spoke about the importance of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal document that lets you appoint people to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make your own.

If you would like to get in touch with Touch Solicitors regarding legal advice, their number is 0161 241 9400.

The next Parent Group meeting will be taking place on Wednesday 7th March from 2pm – 3pm at the Learning Centre when Natalie Stenson has been invited to give a talk to families. Natalie is a Transitions Health Practitioner and she will be explaining the transition from child to adult services from a health perspective. We hope you can join us!

Wednesday also saw the latest round of Manchester City’s Disability League at the Etihad and Mr Lawrence has a report for us on how the day went..

On Wednesday, students from New Bridge, Hollinwood Academy and Spring Brook travelled to Man City to play the next round of the Manchester City football tournament. The squad has increased which shows how popular this event is getting. We now field three teams in the competition which allows students to have more game time..

All three teams did very well, managed by some excellent staff (Mr Oughton, Mr Hickie and Mr Holban). The A team won 3 lost 2 and had a draw, the B team won 5 and drew 1, with the C team winning 3 drawing 1 and losing 2. All the students were a credit to themselves and school and showed fantastic team spirt, enthusiasm and commitment. Mr Lawrence would like to thank all staff from New Bridge who went, Manchester City staff for a structured and engaging event and Mr Cottrill for helping with transport..

The assembly at the Learning Centre this week was based around the feeling of fear. We talked about what we are scared of and realised that, if we are honest, everyone is scared of something and we are all scared of different things. Mr Barker is scared of coming into college when Liverpool lose to teams like Swansea!! We talked about practical things we can do if we feel scared and the importance of supporting each other and, when ready, confronting our fears.

This week our English department are sharing some of the work they have been doing. Mrs Holland teaches several groups across the school..

This term in Year 7 the students have begun their ‘mini beast’ topic and we have started to research different bug facts. To really bring the topic to life, Year 7 now have their very own stick insects! We are very excited to be able to watch them grow. To take care of our stick insects, we are working extremely hard on following and writing instructions..

In English, Year 8 arrived back to school to discover a very special chest in the classroom. It was filled with many treasures and also a copy of a new book, ‘Jake Jellicoe and the Dread Pirate Redbeard’! We are enjoying our English lessons in true ‘pirate style’ and we are busy working hard on writing a diary entry..

This term in English Year 9 are working very hard. Our new topic is food where we are discussing healthy and unhealthy options. The class have enjoyed sampling different foods and sharing their opinion with the class..

Year 11 have been taking on the role of working in a café – they have carefully followed the menu and Mrs Holland is delighted to say that their customer service is second to none..

Mrs Taylor’s Year 8 class’ focus this term is on the story of the Titanic and the students have done some excellent research, looking closely at that fatal night. They have created their own storyboards and sent text messages to friends and family about how they felt. Her Year 9 class are really enjoying reading ‘Ratburger’ by David Walliams. They have recently been working on their own short speeches about how to look after their chosen pet. Shaan was the star of the class with his excellent presentation on ‘How to look after a pet polar bear’ – it was very informative and he had the class hooked from the beginning of his presentation!

This term Mrs Keane’s Year 13 group are learning about rhyming words and rhythm by looking at Dr Seuss books. Everyone has enjoyed the funny words and the colourful pictures..

They have visited the Dr Seuss website and enjoyed playing rhyming word games..

After listening to a variety of books (Mrs Keane is exhausted!), the students have chosen their favourite one. They are going to be writing a book review in the next couple of weeks..

Mrs Robinson is delighted to report that her students have been working hard on preparing for their upcoming Edexcel Functional Skills tests, completing their mock papers ‘in the most lovely silence’ – we’re very impressed!

Year 7 have been piloting our exciting new online phonics programme, Teach Your Monster To Read. Students have fun playing games while developing their literacy skills and their progress is tracked and shared with their teacher. Several of our students have already won awards! What we love about it, apart from it being a fun way to learn, is that the students can play at home too. It has been so successful that we will be introducing it to the whole of New Bridge after the half term – watch out for details coming home soon.

We’re all very excited about the finals of the British Education Awards 2018 which are being held in Manchester on Wednesday. Our very own Jack Bayley, last year’s Head Boy who is now studying at Oldham Sixth Form College, is one of only four Special Achievement Finalists this year!

Mr Quinn has been invited to attend the awards ceremony and we’re sure it will be an evening to remember. Good luck, Jack!!

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