13 Sep

Well, it’s only two weeks in and I’m already able to report progress and achievement. The PE sessions with Mr Lawrence have got off to a flying start, as he explains..

With the fantastic Ashes cricket series between England and Australia coming to an end, Year 12 have been working on their cricket skills. We have been playing the fast and furious game of French Cricket. All the students really enjoyed it and put in loads of effort. Congratulations to Kelsey and Kyle for being the top scorers closely followed by Jamey and Umer!

Think I’ll need to bring my kit and join them next time!! I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Ryan who over the last two weeks has almost single handedly helped Mr Blackman to tidy up the summer’s growth from around the Learning Centre. He has also not been put off by the rain (which would, I’m afraid, have stopped me!)

This week they also had the help and support of Miss Kindon’s ‘Supporting Others’ options group who worked hard clearing weeds from the entrance of the Learning Centre. Mr Blackman stated that he was very impressed with their work..

This year one of the Learning Centre’s main focus areas is around promoting positive mental health and well-being for both students and staff. One of our September training days focused on well-being and staff have already been introducing mindfulness techniques within lessons and activities. Here’s a report from Mrs Keane who introduced the theme within one of her English lessons, encouraging students to use all their senses to become more aware of their surroundings and themselves..

This term in English our topic is Weather and Seasons. On Thursday morning, we went outside to look at our outdoor space and see what we can see, hear, smell and touch..

This is what we came up with:

  • See ~ green and yellow, leaves, blue sky, birds, apples, pears, red berries
  • Hear ~ birds, cars, aeroplane, dog barking, wind blowing
  • Smell ~ fresh air
  • Touch ~ soft leaves, apples, hard pears, small berries

Doing this exercise helps the students to produce a range of words which can be used in their work in the coming weeks. Listening carefully can be difficult so we put our hands on our hearts, closed our eyes and breathed slowly and deeply. This helped us to really focus on the sounds around us.

I was really impressed with how quiet and focused the class were. We also did some mindful breathing to clear our lungs and oxygenate our brains.

Names are coming in of those students who have put themselves forward as representatives on the Learning Centre Student Council. I really can’t wait to hear their speeches next week. Watch this space!!

Finally, I’d like to share a certificate we received at the Learning Centre thanking everyone for raising money for ‘World Down’s Syndrome Day’ on the 21st March this year. A big thank you to everyone who ‘rocked their socks’ with us and bought a giant gingerbread sock!

Remaining on the fundraising theme, last year the Student Council voted to support the Macmillan coffee morning so on Friday 27th September we will be inviting parents and carers to come along with their cakes to support. Letters will be going out next week, I do hope you can join us.

A letter has been sent home (click here to view it) with details of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission’s upcoming return visit following the Oldham Local Area SEND inspection. As part of the re-visit, they would very much like to have your views which you can give through the online survey available here until 12 noon on Friday 20th September or at an open meeting on Monday 23rd September. You can find more details on the POINT (Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum) website here.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather!

Dawn

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