05 Feb

This week we have been joining young people from schools and colleges across the country in taking part in Children’s Mental Health Week It was wonderful to see how our students embraced this year’s theme ‘Express Yourself’, they really never cease to amaze and enthrall me!! There were also some wonderful ways students ‘expressed themselves!’

I’d like to start this week’s blog by sharing a very powerful piece written by our very own Aimee..

Well done Aimee, not only on how far you’ve come, but also on having the courage to share your story with others in the hope that it may help someone who is struggling.

Here Aimee is ‘Expressing herself’ as only she can, you’ve got to love DM’s with bling!

Aimee also made her mark (with permission!) on a work bench in one of the polytunnels, written with the charcoal end of a piece of willow (on the right of the picture) she had been heating on a camping stove.

She started to experiment with the mark making which developed into her very expressive masterpiece.

Mr Taylor said, “I love the way it was totally driven by her and the way she was absorbed in the whole process. She was quite surprised we had been watching her and even more so that I wanted to take a picture.

The Nurture Group have been getting really creative using colour, texture and text to express emotions. They have used oil pastel over their black and white photocopy portraits applying line and colour to emphasize the moods. The final results were both personal and striking. Malcolm was ‘Happy’..

..Daniel ‘Chilled’..

..and Aimee ‘Overloaded’..

As part of mental health awareness week, Year 12 and 13 students have been really busy, so I’m handing over to Mrs Keane to report on their week..

Yr12 and 13 students took part in ‘Circle time’ activities, finding out more about each other and listening and learning about others. We sat in a circle and passed round a ball to each other and asked each other questions to find out what everyone liked or what made then happy. We found out about people’s favourite food, drinks, tv programmes, music and holiday places.

The students have been getting creative, making hats and decorating them with things that they like. They also had an opportunity to dress up to express themselves. Melissa loves being a pirate, so she dressed up as one.

On Thursday the students were given an emotion and asked to express that emotion in their own way. Ellie had the emotion ‘frustrated’..

Rares had the emotion ‘sad’ and used his iPad to take photos in the room which he then printed and arranged in to a collage.

Anthony had the emotion ‘scared’ and wanted to write down what things he was scared of. Melissa had the emotion ‘excited’

..and wanted to express this emotion through dance.

video

Daniel wanted to talk about the things that made him happy..

..and he made his very own video, here’s a screenshot.

Today we have decorated biscuits to express different emotions we can feel, and some of us chose to express feelings through being colourful

I just had to include these pictures of Melissa and Ellie expressing themselves through what they’re wearing and carrying!

I absolutely love how individual our students are!! Moving to our Year 14 and Employability students. Here’s a report from Mr Foster..

Today we worked outside with Mr Taylor and learned how to make and cook scones outside in the grounds of The New Bridge Learning Centre. We used flour, oats, raisins and some water to make up the dough, we then used a lid from a Dutch oven which we placed onto the fire to cook the scones.

All the students enjoyed the experience and Joseph described them as ‘the best scones he had ever eaten!’

Mrs Peacock has been working with the group around ‘emotions’..

Students produced videos displaying different emotions. Joseph was displaying sadness in his dance..

video

..whilst Joe displayed anxiety and fear of the unknown..

video

Adeel displayed happiness..

video

..and Jacob displayed apprehension..

video

Jacob then had a choice of acrostic poems to choose from. He selected the Wellbeing poem. He then filled it with words that enabled him to feel that he was looking after himself both mentally and physically.

Jason produced a set of pictures related to a book that had been read to the group. He said he had fun doing it as he prefers drawing to writing.

 

The final piece was written by one of our Y14 students and it sums up positive thinking precisely.

Connecting with students at home is really important for everyone involved and the live link-ups have been proving very successful. Mrs Peacock explains how it works:

Today we had a few students who joined the live link. There were actually more students participating from home than there were in college which is great to see. The students at home join us regularly and will often just sit looking at each other. They are always happy to see each other even if they are all reluctant to talk at times. They’re certainly quieter on the live link than they are when they are in college.

We had discussed what makes them feel happy. We watched the video of Jordan North on I’m a Celebrity who struggled greatly with the trials set. He used to go to his happy place in Turf Moor, Burnley’s football ground, whenever he had a trial. We discussed how going to your happy place doesn’t actually need to mean you were there physically.

Lovely to see you all, hope you’ll be back with us very soon! Missing you all loads!!

Our students in E-Base have been equally busy as Mrs McDonald tells us:

Thahmim and Tylor have both enjoyed their morning exercise this week. They have completed the 3000 steps in 30 minutes each day.

They have listened to a feelings monster story, Thahmim was able to show different facial expressions when prompted by staff. Both Thahmim and Tylor engaged in an arts and craft activity where they created a feelings monster, Thahmim created a mixed emotions monster and Tylor created a happy monster.

Joe has enjoyed exploring with a range of sensory items linked to a variety of music this week as part of Children’s Mental Health Week. We enjoyed using a Tac Pac resource and responding to a range of sensory stimuli.

During Children’s Mental Health Week, the students in EBase 1 have been looking at different feelings. We listened and danced to some happy music and then listened to some sad music. They then communicated, through the use of symbols, how each piece made them feel.

We then looked at pictures of people showing different expressions including happy, sad and angry and used worksheets to categorise them. The students in EBase really enjoyed this activity and showed that they had a good understanding of these emotions and why somebody would feel that way. Well done EBase 1!

The Interactive Base students have also been getting creative with their decorated ‘Happy hats!’

Unsure how happy Sam is with his hat by the looks of things!!

Our students continue to work really hard with Mr Blackman in Horticulture and DIY. This week’s task was to re-cover the students’ beds with a membrane cover that stops the weeds growing saving lots of time and effort later on. The cover blocks out the light thus stopping the weeds from growing. The group collected bricks to place around the edges of the beds to stop the wind from getting under the covers and lifting them.

I’d like to thank Jason for all his hard work putting the finishing touches to a bird table to go outside the main entrance of the Learning Centre, just outside my office window. Jason cut, drilled and applied screws to fit the top

I’d like to thank Jason for all his hard work putting the finishing touches to a bird table to go outside the main entrance of the Learning Centre, just outside my office window. Jason cut, drilled and applied screws to fit the top.

Next week our staff team will be contacting families to let them know about the Learning Centre Parents Group, following the letter Mr Barker sent home in December (click here to read it). We understand that this is a very challenging time for families and want to do whatever we can to offer support. The meetings will of course be held virtually at present. Here is some previous feedback from families on how they felt about the group..

  • “The parents group is very important to support parents at this transition time in young people’s lives”  – Year 13 parent
    “It was a great experience to meet parents and share our experiences and services to support our children.”  – Year 12 parent
    “I have found the group helpful.”  – Year 12 parent
    “Ability to discuss similar issues and discuss other parents’ experiences.”  – Year 12 parent
    “Brilliant group, thank you for organising.”  – Year 13 parent
    “So lovely to get together with other parents/professionals to brainstorm etc.”  – Year 13 parent

The provisional date for the first meeting is Monday 8th March, 2pm – 3.pm and we hope you are able to join.

Have a lovely weekend.

Take care and stay safe,

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 my previous blog posts here