08 Feb

I’ll be frank. I was ‘super excited’ this week (a term I heard used several times by Apple Execs at the recent Apple Leadership Summit I attended a few weeks ago). This was because it was the next big step in the roll out of our Apple One to One Project, which saw every member of staff provided with their own iPad. To launch this next stage, we shared with the staff team the vision we have developed which will shape the way we use cutting edge technology such as iPads, to enhance and transform teaching and learning at New Bridge. We believe it will help us to:

  • Break down barriers to learning and enhance the inclusiveness of our classrooms by increasing access to learning
  • Further personalise the learning experience for each pupil
  • Respond innovatively to the ever changing needs of the pupils that enter our school
  • Support collaboration across the school

Now that every member of staff has their own iPad, our next step is to ensure that we all develop a core understanding of how the device works and what it can do, so that in the coming months we can further explore, as a staff team, how we can turn our vision into reality. Next week then, we’ll all be enrolling on the Apple Teacher Programme (click here for details), a free professional learning programme designed to support us to use Apple products for teaching and learning. I’ll keep you posted as we all start earning our ‘Badges’ in recognition of the new skills we’ve learnt.

In the meantime, I’m also ‘super excited’ at all the learning that has been going on this week! Our Living Skills department have an update for you on their work this term, starting with Miss Patchett’s Living Skills Pathway..

We start the day with our breakfast club, communicating with each other about our wants and choices..

Our pathway has a weekly visit into Oldham to do some shopping. We go on public transport so the students can practise waiting at a bus stop, boarding the bus safely, showing their travel card and knowing where their final destination is by spotting key landmarks on their journey..

In Oldham we have been learning about identifying different shops and the items they sell. We have been working on following a shopping list, waiting in a line, paying for items and knowing how to behave appropriately in a store..

Then it’s time to catch the bus back to school..

We also purchase some items that we then use for our cooking lesson in the afternoon..

After all that hard work, our pathway have been relaxing with yoga in learning for life, developing gross motor skills, co-ordination skills, listening to instructions, and relaxation and breathing techniques..

KS3HBF have been identifying both healthy and unhealthy foods with Miss Sarwar. They’ve been playing ‘food bingo’ and are looking forward to their tasting session next week..

KS3MFY have been practising setting the table and identifying the correct equipment needed..

Year 8 have been practising cleaning routines around the house by following a job rota..

Other classes have been carefully making hot drinks, practising using the kettle correctly by following health and safety instructions..

Mrs Cook’s classes have been very busy too..

It doesn’t seem like the cooking department have taken a breath since our last blog post, as always the students have been working hard, developing their independence and pre-employment skills whilst making some delicious dishes along the way.

After a brilliant but very hectic run up to Christmas which saw our students make all manner of festive treats, we were quickly back at it with our new topics in January. AB have been enjoying preparing and sampling some delicious Chinese dishes to tie in with their theme of Chinese New Year.

Year 7 have been busy learning all about the Eatwell guide, using this to plan meals and look at their own diets. We have been focusing on lunch and in our practical lessons have been making a range of lovely nutritious sandwiches. We have been looking at the importance of eating a balanced diet and how to make some sensible choices with our food..

Year 8 have continued to build their skills and confidence using the cooker, preparing some delicious kebabs under the grill last term. This term we have been trying out a range of cooking methods on the hob using eggs, as well as understanding a little more about where our food comes from. It has been great to see how engaged and compassionate our young people are, discussing the benefits and problems with caged, barn and free range hens. I expect by the time we get through to Easter they will have had enough of eggs (hmm, who are we kidding?!)..

Year 9 have been looking at the hidden surprises that can be lurking in our food, most were amazed at just how much sugar is in some of their favourite treats…. Almost one whole cube of sugar for every tablespoon of ketchup was a particular shock!!

They have also been using their sensory analysis skills to see if there is actually much difference between full fat and lower fat options. On the plus side they have also been learning about the functions of fat and sugar in certain foods which has meant cooking things Mrs Crook rarely allows – who doesn’t love a nice cup cake, jam tart or meringue though?

Our Key Stage 4 students have been cooking all manner of tricky dishes, with our pathways and Year 11 enjoying their new topic ‘fake aways’. This term they have been put in the driving seat with each class selecting their favourite ‘trashy teas’ and challenging Mrs Crook and Mrs Hickman to convince them that not only is it cheaper and healthier to cook at home but that it can be every bit as delicious!! (Even Mr Lyons was impressed with the fake away Donner Kebabs). Not that we’ve let them slack, everything has been made from scratch, from the naan bread in their kebabs to boning out chicken thighs for their curry..

As always, we hope all of our budding chefs are putting their skills to good use at home, it makes a huge difference to abilities if as many opportunities as possible are provided to practice practical skills. So, parents and carers, next time you are busy in the kitchen please invite your child in to help – chopping vegetables, stirring pans, making their own lunches. Every little helps.

Last but not least, Mr Lawrence has a report for us on this week’s trip to Manchester City..

On Wednesday the PE team supported 18 girls to Manchester City to compete in the ‘One City’ all girls football league. The students were split into 2 teams and played several games against a variety of schools from around the North West. Both teams won numerous games which put a smile on everyone’s face. The girls displayed plenty of resilience and excellent sportsmanship throughout the day. Mr Lawrence would like to thank Miss Ward, Miss Wright, Mr Garside, the transport team and all the Man City staff for supporting our students and making the tournament so successful.

On Tuesday we celebrated Safer Internet Day across the school with a wide range of activities. Our IT department will be bringing you all the news next week of how our young people are working ‘together for a better internet’..

If your child is taking part in our Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s expeditions this year, don’t forget the meeting this Tuesday 12th February at 4pm at New Bridge School where you will be able to talk to the DofE staff who will be supporting them and ask any questions you may have.

See you next week,

Gavin

You can find Dawn’s blog for the Learning Centre here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find my previous blog posts here