We’re sure those of you who read Graham’s blog or follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds are well aware of the outstanding achievement of our former Head Boy, Jack, who won a Special Achievement Award at Wednesday night’s British Education Awards held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. Jack talks openly about his exclusion from primary schools, his struggle to achieve mental health and how the support he received from the New Bridge staff helped him to overcome his difficulties and achieve the success symbolised by Wednesday’s award..
It’s young people like Jack that are helping to challenge perceptions of mental health and encourage young people to talk more openly about it. Meanwhile, national campaigns like Thursday’s Time to Talk Day are encouraging all of us to talk about our mental health and on Tuesday the government announced its intention to provide funding and training for schools to help them support the mental health needs of children and young people.
Coincidentally, a portion of our time this week was involved with some of our pupils who are experiencing mental health difficulties of their own. We witnessed first hand not only the impact this can have on their behaviour and their ability to engage in learning but also the dedication of our staff and the team work with parents to guide each child through these difficult times. Stories like Jack’s remind us that with the right support, mental health difficulties can be overcome and success can be achieved.
Now a student at Oldham Sixth Form College, Jack’s journey has come full circle; he is still involved with the Oldham branch of Andy’s Man Club, a talking group for men aimed at improving their mental health, having benefitted from the group that runs at Medtia every Monday for our New Bridge students that supported Jack when he was with us..
On Wednesday our student council representatives met with two of our governors to discuss every aspect of life at the Learning Centre. In the days prior they were canvassing opinions from their peers and within the meeting itself they certainly made it clear what issues there were and what action needed to be taken. The students were very articulate in describing a number of concerns regarding the facilities, such as the blinds in the café area being an issue at dinner time as that’s when the sun is usually up.
The students particularly enjoyed discussing what to spend the fantastic sum of £135 that was raised during the Christmas fayre. There were lots of suggestions, far too many to mention, and the student council representatives will be going around early next week to find out from their peers what the preferred option to spend the money on would be. We look forward to showing you all how it’s spent and the actions put into place by our student council representatives over the next few weeks. Thank you to our Governors, Ken and Cathy for taking time out of their schedule to come and speak with our students.
Pure Innovations have also been in at the Learning Centre on Friday to start the first session with a group of students supported by Mr Hagan – the students are doing bespoke work as a stepping stone towards accessing independent travel in the future. Vicky and Freda from Pure Innovations were really impressed with our students’ knowledge throughout the session and we’d again like to thank Anthony at transport and the team at Pure Innovations for facilitating the sessions with our young people over the next few months.
This week’s curriculum focus is on Maths and here is a taste of what the young people have been doing in their lessons.
AB3 have been doing some fantastic work on ‘shape’ this week. The class are working on identifying 2D shapes and grouping them together, also colouring shapes by number. There have been some fantastic examples of independent work in class and Sheriff was awarded Star of the Week in assembly on Friday for his efforts in Maths..
Mr Goup’s Year 10 class have been working on ordering days of the week and months of the year..
..and his Year 11 group have enjoyed working on repeating colour patterns..
The Hortus students have been working hard on their preparation for their Level 1 examination next Tuesday morning. They have been completing coursework modules and more recently have been working through practice papers. Whilst completing these papers they have been focusing on reading the questions carefully, completing each part of the question ensuring that they show all their working out to gain essential marks and writing a final sentence to illustrate that they have met the criteria. We wish them every success for next Tuesday!
Mr Holban’s GCSE group have also been working hard on practice papers and he was delighted with how well they coped with their mock exam..
His other classes have been busy measuring all sorts of lengths around the school..
Miss Silvester’s class have been working on the interactive screen, practising their counting and adding..
They have really enjoyed using their topic ‘Land before Time’ in their Maths sessions, going on a dinosaur safari!
They have ventured out and explored the corridors to see how many dinosaurs they can find..
..before bringing them back to count, match and check off on their dinosaur check list, as well as working on sizes and ordering of their dinosaurs..
The class aren’t the only ones to be working on their counting, here’s Abbie using beadstrings to help her count in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s..
..while Snakes and Ladders is a good way to reinforce numbers to 100..
Our Pathways groups have been using concrete manipualtives to help with their Maths mastery..
Tuesday 6th February is Safer Internet Day and we will be taking part in lots of different activities to help ‘build a better internet’. Safer Internet Day is a nationwide event and we will be joining schools from all over the country in looking at how we can use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively..
As usual, we are running a competition on the day for the best poster from each site – the winning designs will be uploaded to the school website, printed on canvas to display in school and the Learning Centre and earn their creators a special prize! We’re sure everyone will have lots of good ideas! Please click here to visit the UK Safer Internet Centre and see their ‘Top Tips’ for parents and carers.
Don’t forget that all our sites are closed this Friday for our staff training day and our young people will be breaking up for half term on Thursday 8th February.
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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