25 Jun

This has been a year like no other and over the next few weeks in the Learning Centre blogs we are going to hear the reflections and experiences of staff and students during what has been a very different year.

We are going to start with Mrs McDonald’s class, Ebase2.

Ebase 2 students’ reflection

  • Umar ~

When I returned to college in September I noticed that things were a little different especially when the staff in my classroom were wearing a face mask, this was something I had to get used to. I had to walk a different way to access my classroom and when I was going home. I struggled with this at first as it was very new to me, but now I am very confident and will walk appropriately with staff. Staff were also very conscious of washing my hands more often than before, which I am now co-operating a lot better with. After Christmas I spent some time at home due to being in lockdown, Mrs McDonald would send home some work for me to do which included sensory activities, stories and messy play activities. I enjoyed spending time with my family during this time.

I returned back to college in March, since then the staff have continued to wear their face masks. I have really enjoyed being back in college with all my friends and staff. Staff have continued me to encourage me to participate in lots of different activities. Most recently we have been able to go out on the bus, which is one of my favourite things to do.

  • Wany ~

I started my journey at New Bridge Learning Centre in September 2020. I had not had any transition to the Learning Centre due to the COVID pandemic so I was very nervous on my first day. The staff were very friendly and introduced themselves to me when I got off my bus. Staff then walked with me to my new classroom. This was all a bit strange for me at first but I soon settled. The staff were very supportive. I also had to get used to staff wearing facemasks all day. I struggled to begin with as I could not see staff’s facial expressions but I am now comfortable with this. I am now wearing a facemask myself when I am travelling to and from college. I started to adjust to my new setting, staff and peers when I found myself at home again during lockdown. This was from Christmas to March. During this time Mrs McDonald would send work home for me to complete. The work was related to what I had already been doing at college – stories, Maths, messy play activities and sensory activities.

When I returned to college in March I was very happy to see all my friends and staff and soon settled back into my routine. I have continued to work really hard this term with the support from all the staff. I have enjoyed my first year at the Learning Centre and look forward to next year.

  • Tylor ~

When I returned to college in September I soon realised that things were very different. I really struggled to understand why I was entering my classroom by a different door but after a couple of days I was able to adjust to this. I also struggled to grasp the concept of why staff where wearing a facemask all day. At times I would try to remove them from their faces as this was very unusual. Again, after time and prompts from staff I became used to seeing this. I quickly adjusted to having my hands washed more often throughout the day and will now hold my hands out for staff to wash them. During this time, I engaged in many different activities with lots of support from staff. After Christmas I was fortunate to be able to remain at the Learning Centre during lockdown. I was in my own classroom with one of my peers and 2 members of staff. We had lots of fun creating art work for Chinese New Year. Our theme that term was “Jack and the Beanstalk”. I enjoyed staff supporting me in stomping my feet like the Giant. The classroom was very quiet which I thoroughly enjoyed. When lockdown was lifted all my friends and staff I had not seen came back into the classroom. I really struggled with this as it was very loud and very busy. It took me a few weeks to re-adjust, but with the support from staff I was able to. I have since enjoyed listening to different stories, making bird food for the garden, lots of art and messy play activities.

  • Huan ~

I started my journey at New Bridge Learning Centre in September 2020, I had not had any transition to the Learning Centre due to the COVID pandemic so I was very nervous on my first day. The staff were very friendly and introduced themselves to me when as I was getting off my bus. Staff then walked with me to my new classroom. This was all a bit strange for me at first but I soon settled. The staff were very supportive. I also had to get used to staff wearing facemasks all day. This was difficult for me at times as I had not met the staff before I started at the Learning Centre. I struggled to see staff’s facial expressions, which is something I rely upon, I am now comfortable with this.  Staff had to get used to my unique signs as I am non-verbal, I can quite often change these on a daily basis. They soon became accustomed to me.

I was fortunate to be able to remain at the Learning Centre throughout the lockdown. However, I had to change classrooms and I was not with all my peers. I was in a different classroom with one other student from my class and 2 members of familiar staff. During this time, we participated in lots of fun activities which included edible messy play, sensory activities and Chinese New Year. Our story for this term was Jack and the Beanstalk, I thoroughly enjoyed pretending to be the giant and stomping my feet. Once lockdown was over I was able to go back into my original classroom with all my peers and staff. I was very happy to see everyone. Since then I have continued to work well in my lessons and have continued to maintain my relationships with staff and my peers.

  • Thahmim ~

When I returned to college in September I noticed that things where a little different especially when the staff in my classroom were wearing a face mask. I struggled with this to begin with, I would try to take the masks off staff. After time and encouragement from staff I slowly became used to this and adjusted quite well. I had to walk a different way to access my classroom and when I am going home. I was a bit confused on my first day as I was used to walking in the side entrance. But with encouragement from staff I realised this was my new routine. Staff were also very conscious of washing my hands more often than before. Staff would prompt me throughout the day to participate in various fun, messy activities. I was fortunate to be able to remain at the Learning Centre throughout the lockdown. However, I was not with all my peers. I was with one other student from my class and 2 members of familiar staff. During this time, we participated in lots of fun activities which included edible messy play, sensory activities and Chinese New Year.

Our story for this term was Jack and the Beanstalk. I really enjoyed playing the part of the giant and singing “Fe fi fo fum”. The classroom was very quiet at times which I really enjoyed. When lockdown was lifted all my friends and 2 members of staff came back into the classroom. I have since enjoyed listening to different stories, making bird food for the garden, lots of art and messy play activities. It took me a while to adjust to everyone being back in the classroom but I am now comfortable with it.

  • Moinur ~

I started my journey at New Bridge Learning Centre in September 2020, I had not had any transition to the Learning Centre due to the COVID pandemic so I was very nervous on my first day. The staff were very friendly and introduced themselves to me when as I was getting off my bus. Staff then walked with me to my new classroom. This was all a bit strange for me at first but I soon settled. The staff were very supportive. I also had to get used to staff wearing facemasks all day. This was difficult for me at times as I had not met the staff before I started at the Learning Centre. I started to settle into my new routine and started to build positive relationships with my new staff. Staff encourage me to participate in various activities throughout the day. I struggle to sit down for long periods of time, I enjoy watching from a distance or from over a member of staff’s shoulder.

After Christmas I was unable to attend the Learning Centre due to the lockdown, I spent this time at home with my family. Mrs McDonald would send work home each week which included messy play activities, sensory activities and stories. I returned back to college in March. Staff were very friendly and welcoming. I was very happy to see my friends and all the staff. I have since continued to work well with the support from all the staff and have enjoyed participating in lots of different activities.

  • Joe ~

When I returned to college in September I noticed that things were a little different especially when the staff in my classroom were wearing a face mask. I struggled with this to begin with, I would try to take the masks off staff. After time and encouragement from staff I slowly became used to this and adjusted quite well. I had to walk a different way to access my classroom and when I am going home. I am now confident with this. I really enjoy coming to college and seeing all my friends and staff. Staff were also very conscious of washing my hands more often than before. I enjoyed taking part in lots of different activities which included exercise, messy play, sensory stories and activities. I was fortunate to be able to remain at the Learning Centre throughout the lockdown. However, I had to change classrooms and I was not with all my peers. I was in a different classroom with one other student from my class and 2 members of familiar staff. During this time, we participated in lots of fun activities which included edible messy play, sensory activities and Chinese New Year. Our story for that term was Jack and the Beanstalk, I enjoyed taking on the role of Jack. I quickly became accustomed to my new classroom and using a different door.

When lockdown was lifted I was able to go back into my original classroom, I was very happy to see all the staff that I had not seen as well as all my friends. I have continued to participate in various activities and maintained my relationships with staff and peers. I have since improved during morning routine where I am co-operating well with staff to place myself and other staff members onto the interactive T.V. I am sitting much better at the table for my lunch and continuing to follow the structured timetable within my class.

Ms Thornhill’s Ebase1 group have also been looking back at the year..

It’s been a bit of a funny old year, but the students and staff in Ebase1 have managed to keep on smiling and having fun. We’ve had to make quite a lot of changes but the students just took it in their stride and accepted all the unusual things we needed to do. The staff are so proud of all the students in the way that they have just got on with things, and most of the students have even managed to wear masks throughout the day. Sanitising our hands frequently has become “the norm” and the young people just do it now as part of their daily routine.

  • Junaid spent some time at home during the first lockdown and couldn’t wait to get back to the Learning Centre. He settled straight back in after 6 months at home and the first thing he asked when he arrived back in September was, “Can we have the karaoke out?”
  • Zachariah arrived back in September after the long period at home sporting a very fancy mask which featured an electric guitar. The first thing he said was, “Did you miss me?” Of course we did Zachariah, things are not quite the same without you!
  • Sarah Jane was all kitted out with a mask, a visor and her hand sanitiser. Sarah accessed all her work at home during the lockdown, well done Sarah!
  • Suleman was thrilled to be back and continued to shout, “happy, happy”.
  • Kausar couldn’t wait to get back into the classroom and bounced down the path with a big smile on his face. He then approached the staff with a big “I missed you!” Kausar wanted to hug his favourite staff members, but accepted well that we couldn’t hug due to social distancing.
  • Louis wasn’t as thrilled to be back at the Learning Centre after a long time away. He preferred to do his work at home with his Mum during the lockdown. Well done Louis for all your hard work during lockdown!
  • Usayd was excited to be back at the Learning Centre and spent his first day back with a big smile on his face, singing and dancing.

We had two new students who arrived in September a little worried about how they would be in their new surroundings. I am pleased to say that they both settled in really well and have built and maintained some really positive relationships. Well done to Adam and Mason!

Well done to all the students and staff in Ebase1. We have all kept smiling and together we did it, and got through this really strange year as a team.

One of the effects of the pandemic has been the understandable negative impact on work experience opportunities and placements for our students. Throughout the Spring and Summer term, Employability has been included within the cross curricular project work our students have been completing, much of which I’ve been able to share within my blogs. We’ve had to come up with more imaginative ways for our students to experience work themed placements. Aimee is demonstrating that the pandemic does not have to stand in the way of ambition. She would love to work with young people and has been getting a taste of what it is like to be a teaching assistant. Here is a report from a very proud Miss Peace..

Aimee completed a full week’s work experience programme within the Nurture Group supporting Malcolm and the other students. She demonstrated a mature and helpful approach and attitude throughout. Aimee followed the guidelines explained to her at the start and she completed a dinner duty in the dining hall as part of her role. Aimee thoroughly enjoyed her work experience and we all think she did a wonderful job.

Ebase2 have been quite busy recently. We have continued to practise our signing skills, which include please, thank you, the weather and the days of the week. Our theme this term has been The Rumble in the Jungle. All the students have really enjoyed listening to the story and exploring various sensory items related to the story. We have also created a lovely display with jungle animals and participated in making animal masks using Paper mache.

During Maths the students have engaged in various activities including matching and ordering numbers, colour sorting, adding numbers and using Play doh to create various shapes and numbers. We have had the pleasure of listening to the jazz band which the students thoroughly enjoyed. We all wore Sombreros and made musical notes with the tambourines and shakers.

For the past couple of weeks, we have been fortunate enough to be able to have access to a school bus. We have enjoyed going for a drive, readjusting to the environment and also looking at all the different scenery and surroundings.

Well done everyone for your continued hard work this term ~ Mrs McDonald.

In Year 14 the students have been doing a fantastic job of watering the potato crop during the warm weather we have been enjoying..

Mr Thompson has an update for us on our Employability Group..

The guys in Mrs Peacock’s class have been working hard over the past few weeks creating news reports, playing lots of cricket and doing their Record of Achievement folders. The gang have created some great videos and are picking up new skills in a variety of ways such as editing, filming, communication, independence, plus being fitter and healthier through daily games of crickets where the guys are getting pretty good. There is some footage they put together below. Credits go to Noorul this week for some amazing work on the camera, creating numerous videos picking up new skills very quickly. He’s done a great job. All the class have worked well and it’s been a lot of fun spending some good amounts of time with them allowing us to work on these fun projects. They are a great bunch. Well done guys.

video

Here are some pictures of Noorul and Subby making the music track on GarageBand for the cricket video.

Please can I remind families about the importance of carrying out twice weekly lateral flow tests. Nationally, there has been a significant drop in the number of people carrying out lateral flow tests and PHE are concerned, especially with the increase in the variants and growing numbers of cases.

Have a lovely weekend,

Dawn

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