29 Nov

I have to start this week by announcing the grand total raised by the Learning Centre for the recent ‘Children in Need’ was £230.42. A big well done to everyone for their efforts!

Continuing the theme of charities, last week the Student Council met again to decide on their Christmas charity. Previously they had chosen the Oldham Foodbank who we supported last year, however the Springboard Project and Hollinwood Academy have decided to support the foodbank, so it was agreed this year the Learning Centre will support ‘The Lighthouse Project’ with one of the organisers being Neil Meuse from ‘The Brew Café’ next to Villages on Fitton Hill. Our students regularly go up to the café as part of their curriculum offer and some students have also been there on work experience placements. Sabeel and Josh, two of our Student Council representatives, were also keen to support a local and worthwhile cause.

‘The Lighthouse Project’ was set up 12 years ago by Neil alongside the Salvation Army to provide hot food and food parcels for the homeless. In addition to hot food, they now have the capability to help with benefits, housing issues, job searches, food parcels, clothes parcels, vanity packs, tents and sleeping bags. They work all year round with young mums, the elderly, the homeless and those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Collections are made all year round and the following item are gratefully received:

  • Clothing including hats and gloves
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
  • Ground mats
  • Winter Blankets
  • Food
  • Baby foods

This Christmas they are asking for our support in collecting extras such as:

  • Chocolate treats
  • Gift sets for men and women / toiletries
  • Toys for all ages

We are asking if parents, carers and students can help and bring in any of the items above to support the Lighthouse Project. If you have any empty shoe boxes, please could you wrap them in festive wrapping paper so they can be filled with gifts for Christmas Day.

Neil shared some of his story within Friday’s Learning Centre assembly and told us how he himself was once homeless and now works to try and help anyone in a similar position. Our students responded really positively, even Michael came to the front to join (and mirror) him.

I’m immensely proud of the care and concern our students continually show towards others.

This week saw our second ‘Well-Being Afternoon’ – here’s a report from Miss Wright:

“Once again there were a range of activities on offer all based around the key themes of ‘The Five Ways to Well-Being’. This was to encourage the students to independently understand that carrying out an activity is good for their wellbeing.
Activities included:

  • Problem Solving
    Be active, learn, connect.
    This activity helps to build resilience. Developing the skills to control our emotions so during stressful situations we can express our feelings in a way that can help. It helps us to control our impulses, encouraging us to think before we act. It encourages us to reach out, asking for help when we need it and offering help to others. It helps to bounce back from setbacks.
    The group was made up of Year 12 male students. The activity promoted team work and was used to encourage the students to develop friendships as new members had joined the form group.

  • Health Walk
    Be active, take notice
    So students can appreciate how being outside improves wellbeing and to further develop their mindfulness skills.

  • Movement Therapy
    Take notice, connect, be active, learn
    Exploring friendship and trust through actions and movement and also developing the skills to say “yes” and “no” to interactions with others.

  • Friendship Café
    Connect, take notice, give, learn
    This involved coming together in a social setting to discuss what friendships mean to us and to talk about how important they are for our well-being. Students were given an opportunity to make a friendship bracelet with many students finding it therapeutic and asking to be able to make more. The café was run by the staff and students in Nurture Group with Mrs Walters helping with refreshments. The Nurture Group students had researched lots of information and made posters to be ready to discuss friendships. They also supported other students to make the friendship bracelets. (The posters are still on display in the dining hall)

  • Exploring Wellbeing Apps
    Learn, connect, take notice, give
    Students were given four wellbeing apps to explore and then completed an evaluation about them. The apps they suggested that would be good to use at the learning centre are now being used by some students who are finding them relaxing and helping them to stay calm.

  • Afternoon Spa
    Take notice, connect, learn
    To provide IB students with a relaxing environment they could enjoy with their peers. They enjoyed a variety of activities including proprioceptive massage, foot massage and foot spa, sensory experiences and relaxation.”

Thanks to Miss Wright and all the Learning Centre staff for working together to create another effective and what I’m sure will be a very helpful afternoon of well-being activities.

Have a great weekend,

Dawn

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You can find my previous blog posts here