04 Dec

I’d like to start this week’s blog with a nod to technology. As you may be aware the New Bridge iPad one to one project ensures that every student has their own iPad which they can use in lessons wherever appropriate. One of our key aims is to ensure accessibility for all. Our students in Ms Thornhill’s Entitlement Base are already getting experts as we hear from Ms Thornhill..

The students and staff in The Entitlement Base have really got to grips with using their iPads, not only for social and fun activities but also to support their learning in all curriculum areas.

During lessons, the students have their learning activities on their iPads and have become used to navigating their way around the activity to allow independent learning. These have been created by classroom staff using pages or keynote. It took some time to do this but it has been well worth it! Each activity is tailored to suit the individual ability within a subject area.

The photos below show some of the activities that are used during our English Lessons. Some of the students are finding the missing word from a sentence in their reading book and dragging and dropping it into the box..

Some have an activity that enables the student to drag and drop the letters in the correct sequence into the boxes provided to spell a given key word from their storybook..

Some are focusing on the names of characters and are able to choose from a choice of two, clicking on the correct one. This then enables them to move onto the next page..

All of the reading books are on the students’ iPads so they can access these electronically..

The students also have access to their Assessment for Learning on their iPads. This has been adapted to allow self-assessment where the students can colour in the relevant boxes..

The students really enjoy accessing these activities and have made good progress in their use of iPads.

Technology has also been supporting delivery and engagement within our Music lessons as Mr. Thompson explains..

It has been a challenging time at present for students to access music as they normally would without access to musical instruments, singing and many other constraints we have all encountered. However, the Year 12 students have utilised their iPad skills to access music in a virtual way and have produced some outstanding musical performances using GarageBand. As we are not able to join groups together, a great function of the app allows us to connect the iPads together and record/perform songs or jam sessions without personal contact. The results of this can be viewed on the Christmas Showcase. All the students have worked really hard and have produced some amazing work.

We have learned that although we are going through some negative experiences, we can take some very positive things from the way we have used resources and will continue with them when things return to normal.

Great stuff guys, well done! Miss Hamner has been doing a sterling job covering in Year 13 and the students have been getting festive..

We have all been very busy making Christmas decorations for our tree and classroom. Kyle and Sham put the tree up which was tricky to do, then they decorated our tree and what a fine job they did !

We have safely been taking turns opening our solar system advent calendar and learning facts about the solar system and we have Elvin the mischievous elf doing naughty things at night, can you spot him in our picture?

We wish you all a lovely Christmas to those who celebrate with love from Year 13

Continuing with the festive theme, Learning Centre staff and students have been busy over the last few weeks preparing and filming our very own Christmas Show showpiece entitled ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ with each class filming their own section. Thanks to Mrs Keane and Mr Thompson for all their hard work. You’ll have to wait I’m afraid for the video however here are a few stills as a teaser! (in no particular order!)

Please watch out for the full version to follow shortly!

Our Nurture Group students have once again been really busy tidying up the horticulture area at the back of the Learning Centre. I have to say I’m very impressed, especially in this weather!!

Once again, a big well done and thank you guys!

This term we are producing a Learning Centre Christmas Newsletter with news from the last few months. I’d like to share the overview from Mrs Keane as it doesn’t seem right to not have a Year 12 report within my blog!

The activity that 12AKE have loved doing most this term is without doubt going outside. We are very lucky to have beautiful grounds at the Learning Centre and we have certainly made the most of them since our return in September. With a focus on our mental and physical wellbeing, we have spent some time outside nearly every day.

Gardening and looking after our environment is something some of our students have never done before. Under the instruction of Mr Blackman we have weeded, swept, hoe’d, raked and tended to the beds at the front of the Learning Centre. Over the weeks the students have gone from needing a lot of direction and support to working almost independently and more importantly together as a team. We have learnt the names of small creatures and studied them in the classroom and we have learnt the names of and watched the trees as they have gone through the seasons.

The group have also enjoyed playing games outside. As with gardening, the group have come together over the weeks and really enjoy the small team games we have played. The students have cheered each other on when winning and been good sports when they have ‘lost’. They have run, walked and jumped, played boules and kicked footballs. The fresh air and mostly fine weather has lifted spirits and played an important part in our recovery curriculum.

I’m also in the process of completing my message for the Learning Centre Christmas Newsletter and I’m definitely in reflective mode. Although it has been a challenging start to this academic year, I look towards the end of term with positivity and immense pride in both our students and the staff team. Last night I joined Mr Lyons and Mrs Walton from the school and college sites at our termly New Bridge governors meeting. I always love the opportunity to celebrate the amazing work that’s going on within the Learning Centre which is all the more impressive when we consider we are working within the challenging restrictions of the pandemic. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our governors and trustees for their continued support and dedication.

Please can I remind families that this Christmas we are supporting ‘The Lighthouse Project’ a local charity which looks to support local people and families in need. We are asking for boxes of chocolates and toiletry sets for both men and woman. These can be left with Jill at reception where they will be safely stored.

Have a great weekend and let’s hope we don’t get snowed in!

Take care and stay safe


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 my previous blog posts here