08 Feb

rsz_1matthew_walker
I was lucky on Monday to have the opportunity to visit Manchester Central to deliver some sports leadership with Manchester City. The event was a massive success and proves that Activ8 can work at the highest level. Ironically, this was the same day as the appointment of Pep Guardiola, when Manchester City confirmed their new manager. I find it great that I had the opportunity to lead, supporting the coaches of my favourite club.

This past week was the second to last week before our much due half term holiday. It saw the beginning of the borough-wide celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the inception of the Oldham Youth Council. This is a massive achievement for the council that merges fun with promoting the constitutional rights of young people (click here to visit their website). They have campaigned on our behalf, serving our best interests, and the outgoing councillors should be extremely proud of their achievements. However, there is more to be done. Young people across Oldham are growing up in tough times in which we are having to struggle with the pressures of exams and the pressures of home. I would like to extend an invitation to the Oldham Youth Mayor to come and see the great examples set by students around our school.

On Tuesday, we will mark the annual Safer Internet Day for 2016 (click here for details). Our E-Safety project has been around for two years and it has been a massive success with many students passing the training required. Furthermore, we have been inspired by the programme which is a positive thing. The Safer Internet Day will provide a chance for many interesting discussions on cyberbullying, fraud and other things which prevent the internet from being a completely safe place.

Dodgeball is quickly becoming a major sporting ‘player’ within New Bridge. I was in a Year 8 PE lesson and I saw some excellent skills – I was even tempted to join in, although unfortunately the Activ8 team lost to the Year 8s. Seeing the skills in that lesson, as well as during the dodgeball match played the week before, makes me wonder whether we should have a whole school dodgeball tournament…

Carrying on with the sporting theme, my friend Nathan is to swim a mile in memory of a Manchester City fan and his fellow wheelchair football player, Sophie Jackson, who unfortunately passed away at the age of just 10. Nathan is doing the sponsored swim in aid of Francis House Children’s Hospice, who provided great care to Sophie. If you would like to support Nathan you can donate via his JustGiving page here.

This coming week is the final week of the half term and the Year 13s are on their way to Calvert Trust (we will finally get some peace and quiet in Activ8!). It is also the halfway point of the school year. This school year has been really busy so far, however it gets busier as we get closer to July. On a personal note, I have Duke of Edinburgh’s expeditions coming up, as well as the much anticipated Year 11 residential to Haven in May which I am really looking forward to.

Going off topic slightly, I attended the Oldham Roughyeds v. London Broncos match on Sunday. The players displayed a lot of our characteristics, especially in the home team. Despite Oldham not showing great application on the field of play, the mental toughness is what I see in all of us inside our school every day. Oldham did lose the match 22-0, however I would like to wish the team well for the rest of the season as there is nothing better than a local team doing well.

Hopefully the weather will improve for our last week and for the half term holiday – I have begun to lose count of all the different names for the storms at the moment. Due to the half term break followed by the staff training day on Monday 22nd February, I get to have a couple of weeks off from writing my blog. My next entry is scheduled for the 29th February. Thank you for all the support on my blog so far, I promise my weekly updates will be even better when I come back in refreshed after half term.

Have a good week, and may all of you have a safe and restful half term break.

Matthew