01 Mar

Welcome back. What a week it’s been! We returned on Monday for what was an incredibly positive whole school development day. Over the course of the day we reviewed the strengths of both our pastoral support and our curriculum offer and planned how we could further strengthen each of these so we continue to ensure our pupils reach their aspirational destinations. As mentioned in my last blog, we included in this an exploration of where technology will support us in our aims. It was a fantastically collaborative atmosphere throughout the day and I’m really excited to see how we take the ideas of our team forward.

Tuesday and Wednesday morning saw every single member of the team formally begin their Apple Teacher Programme. We welcomed Graham Trick in from Jigsaw24, a company who are supporting us on our Apple journey, to get us all started on our first badge. Whilst individuals were taking it in turns to attend their startup workshop, the rest were leading themed lessons in which the children were encouraged to design their ‘school of the future’ by imagining the role new technology may play in their learning in years to come..

Today our 8SHN were looking at ‘schools of the future’. There were so many to choose from! Everyone had their own opinion as to which was the best. Some decided that energy efficient schools were the way forward and others thought that a boat school in Bangladesh was brilliant, even though it only had minimal equipment and helped to teach students and their parents.

After watching the videos and reading several articles, the students came up with their own ideas of how we could make our school more technologically advanced. Aliyah drew her own touchscreen app for lunch..

The students came up with some fantastic ideas..

  • Touchscreens to register yourself in school and choose your dinner
  • Keycards to collect points and use as credit in a school shop
  • Lockers with charging points and fingerprint access
  • Moving around school on Segways
  • Teachers with cameras in their glasses
  • Robots on the doors to give you your iPads
  • Escalators instead of stairs
  • Apple watches to text teachers
  • Energy saving ideas to reduce waste.

Some of these ideas may be a bit futuristic now BUT WATCH THIS SPACE…………………. 🚀

As you can see, we had lots of interesting and futuristic ideas, including one vision that children won’t need to go to school because they will have all the knowledge they will ever need uploaded directly into their brains! Maybe it’s time I started exploring other career paths as I might soon be out of a job?

Tuesday also saw Tina Voizey from TobiiDynavox visit us in school. We are very excited about them joining our technological journey and helping us to work with our Speech and Language Team to explore how new technology can support the communication and interaction needs of our pupils; we will be exploring a range of new apps that we can make use of through our One to One iPad Project. In the meantime, their visit on Tuesday walked us through an upgrade to their existing Boardmaker software which has been a staple product in specialist schools for many years. The new upgrade will enable greater collaboration and resource sharing across the Trust as well with Kingfisher Special School, a capability that will enhance the transition of their pupils into Year 7 here at New Bridge.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent with our Curriculum Leads and Pastoral Leads evaluating the progress of our pupils during the last term. This is something we do once a term and is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the achievement of our pupils and challenge ourselves to sustain and improve this further. Both teams demonstrated the positive impact of the work they do and highlighted once again the crucial role they play in achieving the very best outcomes for our pupils.

Lastly on Friday, we met with our Visual Impairment Team to review progress towards achieving our Vision Friendly Mark in collaboration with Positive Eye. It was clear that there is much to be celebrated. Our partnership with our Visual Impairment Team and the development of our in-house VI Champions are ensuring that our pupils with complex VI needs are receiving high quality support to develop their visual skills and access the curriculum. Our next steps will be to explore what role technology will have in creating a vision friendly environment that supports access to the curriculum for all pupils with VI needs.

We’ve also been busy preparing for Shrove Tuesday by perfecting our pancake making!

We might need to pay Mrs Hickman another visit on Tuesday!

Letters have now gone home to families with details of our Easter Holiday Club (also available here). Please remember to return your forms by Friday 8th March if you would like to book a place for your child. If last week’s Holiday Club was anything to go by, they will have a wonderful time..

 A long-standing favourite (well, maybe not so much standing!) for many pupils here, our famous bouncy castle certainly got a lot of use..

Who needs MasterChef when we have our very own New Bridge chefs working hard to create their own specialities! 

Unlike this time last year, the weather allowed plenty of chance for scooters and football..

In the Nail Art studio, the girls got chance to sit back, listen to some music – oh, and have their nails painted!

The foot spas proved extremely popular too (and no, there’s no such thing as too many bubbles)..

Holiday Club always means lots of dancing..

..swimming..

..arts and crafts..

..and fun!!

We are also looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on Thursday (click here for more details) and seeing which book characters come into school!

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