28 May

This week’s blog has a decidedly green feel as our students have been getting active outside.

Firstly, we have a short report from Mr George..

13AGE have been sowing more seeds for the allotment area and tending those already resting in the polytunnel. When the weather warms slightly we will put these with our others already outside.

Within this week’s blog I’d like to shine a spotlight on one of our groups. Mr Blackman and our amazing Year 14 students never cease to amaze me with their work ethos and dedication. Mr Blackman explains what they’ve been up to this week..

Year 14 have been getting creative painting pebbles to add a dash of colour to the water feature in the Wellbeing Garden..

As you can see, the garden is looking fabulous!

The group have also been preparing the ground ready for the bug hotels..

The whole group have also been involved in designing, building and installing their own bug hotel!

The group continues to work hard on the Learning Centre grounds. Here we have the Year 14 students working on trying to make the grounds look a wee bit tidier by removing the weed growth from the edges of the building and from the curbs around the car park..

It’s also the time of year when students can start to see the fruits of their labour throughout the year. Mr Blackman’s group have been harvesting their radish and lettuce crops.. (I can testify as to the quality!)

The students have also been fully involved in preparing produce for sale..

The Year 14 students have also been keeping up with lessons inside the building, including using their iPads during an ICT lesson..

They’ve also been getting ‘arty’ creating some very colourful mosaics..

This is Year 14’s first attempt at making a mosaic pattern on a wooden tile. They had such fun we are going to try something bigger next time..

Mrs Keane’s Year 12 class have been learning some new skills outside..

Almina used one of our new litter pickers to tidy up the garden area.

On Thursday, warmer weather arrived so we got out the power washer and everyone had a go at cleaning some of the staff cars. The students had a great time and our cars looked sparkling clean!

It was during our weekly calls to parents that Haider’s dad mentioned that Haider loved to wash cars. This gave us the idea of getting the whole group to have a go. Haider loved washing the cars and getting in the spray! 


This morning Miss Wright held a special Learning Centre assembly to announce the results of the ‘Learning Centre Student Photographic Competition’, held as part of the Mental Health Awareness Week. I’m delighted to share the results within this weeks blog:

Overall winner

  • Adeel (Employability Pathway VPK)

Adeel was also placed 1st in the Main Body bubble and within his class.

  • 2nd place went to Mariam (Nurture Group)

Mariam was also placed 2nd within her class

  • 3rd place went to Jason (Employability Pathway VPK)

Additional Bubble winners

  • Interactive Base winner – Zara (IBComms2 WBY)

Zara was also placed 1st within her class

  • Entitlement Base winner – Wany (E-Base2 CMD)

Wany was also placed 1st within his class

 Additional Class results

  • IBComms1 HKX 1st place – Faiza

  • Year 12 AKE 1st place – Kaneez

Kaneez also received a ‘Special Recommendation’

  • 2nd Place – Ellie

  • Year 13 AGE 1st place – Anthony

  • 2nd place – Melissa

  • Year 14 TBN 1st place – Sophie

  • 2nd place – Bobby-Joe

  • Nurture Group CKN 1st place – Malcolm

  • There was an additional special recommendation for Louis (Year 12AKE)

What a talented bunch of students we have, I’m very glad I didn’t have to try and judge and that it was a team decision!

And now to the staff competition! I have to admit, I found the task of judging was a very difficult one due to the high standard, however I put my artistic head on and have reached a decision on the top three.

In 1st place is the entry from Mr George, a beautifully close up shot of a bumble bee collecting pollen from a flower. I love the clear detail of both the bee and the flower, and the strong composition contrasting the dark and light..

In 2nd place is the photograph from Mrs Keane. This is a beautifully composed picture taken against a dramatic sunset. I really like the walking figure and long shadows, depicting a narrative within the picture..

3rd place goes to Mrs Kershaw. I love the composition of this picture and the stillness it portrays. I also really like how the position of the heron echoes the verticals of the reeds..

Well done to everyone who took part, I look forward to seeing the photographs displayed in the Learning Centre Gallery.

On Monday we were finally able to hold our first Student Council meeting. This was attended by our elected representatives – Year 12 Reps Philip and Daniel, Year 13 Reps Aimee and Subhan, and Year 14 Reps Joe and Bobby-Joe. Unfortunately, Mason from E-Base and Saniya from IB were unable to attend, however we do hope they can join for next time. Mr Barker and Miss Wright were joined by our Chair of Governors Cathy Williams, and fellow governor Ken Stapleton who joined remotely.

The meeting started with introductions and a discussion about the role of both student councillors and Governors, It was heartening to hear that the students already had a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities as student representatives.

The meeting talked about the important role the Student Council has played in previous key Learning Centre developments, including designing the Options programme, mobile phone policies, end of term activities and charitable events in addition to supporting whole Learning Centre events. The council has also led on practical things like improving the lunchtime offer and installing extra dropped kerbs, a zebra crossing and external lights.

The reps discussed what was important to themselves and their peers; suggestions include outside play equipment and a Learning Centre gym. Aimee also suggested individual worry boxes should be placed in each class in addition to those located around the Learning Centre. Mrs Wright is currently preparing a student survey to move ideas forward.

We also discussed students’ experiences of the positives and negatives of the static model, along with feedback from the staff steering groups which will inform our curriculum model for September. A big thank you to our reps for their mature and considered contributions and to Ken and Cathy for their continued and much valued support. We look forward to meeting again in July.

Mr Thompson and the Employability Group have also had a busy week..

This week the Employability Pathway students swapped roles within the newscast productions they have been working on, thus giving them the opportunity to try different tasks and learn new skills:

  • Adeel created a great music track for the intro and outro
  • Joseph was this week’s newsreader and I think the anchor spot may now be his, he was fantastic!
  • Subhan and Jason did some brilliant work to film and edit the videos, also making a great new background and intro video. They are using effects such as ‘picture in picture’ and various filters within iMovie to enhance the footage
  • Lisia, Jamey and Ellie did some great research and had some great production ideas
  • Regan did some behind the scenes work within music and editing
  • Kamran and Terry also made some great music tracks which will be used within upcoming videos

Lisia put the final script together for this week’s report..

Again, it has been a lot of fun and everyone has worked really well together. Well done guys!


I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the Learning Centre staff and students who have continued to respond in a positive manner to every adaptation and change that has been introduced this term as we gradually plan our roadmap out of lockdown. We have an amazing staff team who continually go over and above for our students and who make a real difference to the young people in their care. We were visited this week by a member of the MAT team who was blown away by how well our students have adapted to a ‘new norm’! When we’re here week in and week out, we forget just how much things have changed over the last 15 months!

Have a great half term everyone, I hope the weather is kind and we can enjoy special time with family and friends.


Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find Gavin’s blog for the school site here

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

You can find our previous Learning Centre blog posts here