09 Mar


Well, with no snow to disrupt proceedings we were straight back into it this week and what a week it has been as it saw the beginning of our termly lesson observations. As a special school, we pride ourselves on overcoming any number of barriers that can stand in the way of our pupils accessing learning and making progress.

Lesson observations play a crucial role in ensuring we continuously develop and improve the quality of teaching so that it supports the ever changing learning needs of our pupils that come through the school. What was so inspirational to observe this week was the skill with which our teachers were able to achieve this, sensitively creating lessons which engaged all pupils so that by the end of the lesson they left having learnt something they didn’t know when they arrived.

Equally inspiring were our outstanding teaching assistants, whose in-depth knowledge of pupils’ individual needs played a vital role in supporting each child to access lessons and engage in learning. Having been a classroom teacher for many years myself, I understand that having someone observe you teach can be a potentially nerve-wracking experience. It was therefore a huge privilege to be able to spend time in our classrooms this week and witness first-hand the learning taking place as a result of the hard work of our pupils and the outstanding teaching of our staff.

As you know, at New Bridge learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom and our Year 13s have enjoyed telling everyone about their adventures at the Calvert Trust last week, as Miss Morris explains..

Our Year 13 students thoroughly enjoyed their residential to the Calvert Trust in Keswick this year despite the adverse weather conditions. They experienced a wide range of activities including a night walk on the top of a mountain, canoeing, horse riding, rock climbing, zip wire, orienteering, bushcraft and high rock and rope!


The instructors and New Bridge staff worked extremely hard to enable our youngsters to experience these activities and keep them entertained despite being snowed in at the Outward Bound centre rather than going off-site and getting out and about for 2 days..

Students overcame their fears and pushed themselves to the limit during the activities and enjoyed social times together in the evenings culminating in the disco on the last night. A huge thank you to all of the staff who ensured that our young people had a fantastic time and stayed safe during the residential..

We have some more Living Skills pictures that didn’t quite make it into last week’s blog that we thought you would enjoy. Year 14 did a wonderful job of cleaning the staff room at the Learning Centre with Mrs Buckley as part of their topic ‘Looking after you home’. They followed health and safety instructions and left the room looking spotless..

Year 11 have been learning about healthy food choices..

..and food that is not as healthy..

Year 13 have been practising what to do in a fire drill by following safety rules..

..and they have also learnt how to recognise safety signs..

Rehearsals are now in full swing for our upcoming production of the Jungle Book and the theatre has undergone a transformation. We don’t want to spoil the surprise but we can promise you won’t be disappointed..

Don’t forget that Natalie Stenson, the Transitions Health Practitioner, will be coming to the Learning Centre Parent Group on Wednesday 14th March to talk to families about the transition from children’s to adult services from a health perspective. Parents and carers are very welcome to attend and we look forward to putting the kettle on at 2pm.

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