15 Mar

Having hung up my Mr Tod outfit from last week’s World Book Day (and recovered from being mistaken for the fox from the Foxy Bingo ad), I returned to my usual shirt and tie for a very exciting meeting with the team from Ace Centre on Tuesday. I’ll let a quote from their website (click here to visit it) explain what the team are all about:

The ability to communicate is fundamental to a basic quality of life, yet for many people effective communication is difficult because of a physical impairment, language disorder or learning disability. Here at Ace Centre we work with people of all ages who face such challenges.

We were joined by members of our wider school and Group team at the Learning Centre and Horizons who, along with us here at school, are working to meet the needs of many of our children and adults who face such challenges. Collectively we believe that technology can play a big part in helping our children and adults to take increasing control over their lives and play a part in the communities in which they live.

This comes at time when through our One to One iPad project, we are exploring how technology can help our pupils develop the skills they need to reach the destinations they aspire to. We are hoping that by bringing together expertise from the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT) from organisations such as Ace Centre and TobiiDynavox, along with our Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment and Occupational Therapy teams, we can work in partnership to create a truly special offer that delivers amazing outcomes for our pupils.

On Friday we all got into the spirit of Comic Relief with the school a sea of red as the pupils and staff donned red shoes, t-shirts, hats, dresses and more to raise money for charity. Our Interactive Base team enjoyed a sponsored cycle around Alexandra Park and held a very successful cake sale and cake sweepstake, which together have raised over £300!

Grand totals to be announced once the totting up has been done but it’s safe to say that we had a wonderful day..

We have an update for you this week on some of our Key Stage 4 pathways, starting with Lumenus..

The Lumenus pathway have had an extremely productive week. We have been working hard on the school production of ‘The Greatest Show’. We have been focusing on the characterisation of our acts; some of our pupils are going to be acrobats, strongmen and we even have a wolf woman.

During rehearsals this week, Ashanti, one of our students, practised her leadership skills by leading a warm up.

After Lumenus had warmed up their bodies, Millie lead some drama games; these games are used to engage the mind and warm up the vocals.

One of the main focal points of this week has been to perfect the dances we are performing in the show..

Lumenus have been trying to improve their performance skills by using strength throughout the dances, ensuring that their arms and fingers are fully stretched..

In Tuesday’s art class Lumenus have been finishing off their Greek Mosaics. We were inspired to create these whilst researching Greek Mythology during pathway lessons last term..

On Wednesday Key Stage 5 Lumenus joined us at New Bridge School to rehearse for the show. We practised singing with the piano and worked our way through the script, blocking scenes and learning our lines..

On Thursday Lumenus continued to work on their Arts Award Accreditation. The students have been creating a PowerPoint all about their Arts Inspirations and why they feel inspired by them..

During our Duke of Edinburgh’s session on Thursday, some of our Lumenus pupils visited Gallery Oldham. We explored how Oldham used to look and searched to see if we recognised any familiar areas. Ellie, Donna and Adam took a few minutes to appreciate some photographs of some singers of the past..

Friday has also been a busy day. Some of our students have completed an English exam and we have also been improving our badminton skills in P.E. 

This week has certainly been a busy one in Lumenus!

Our Digit4ll pathway groups have been hard at work too..

It’s been a very busy term for Year 11 in Digit4ll as we have been working towards our external qualifications. Some pupils are entering the WJEC Entry Level for which we have completed units on using Word, Spreadsheets, Using the Internet, Digital Graphics, Desk Top Publishing, Video Editing and using email. Other pupils are bravely entering the iMedia GCSE. They are completing units on Digital Graphics, Web Design and Game Design and are busy preparing for their exam in June. Good luck! The standard of their work is amazing and keeps Miss Dickson busy marking in the evenings.

Alongside this hard work there have been some exciting times. Last Wednesday we took part in the BBC News Report Day. In the past we have gone to use the facilities at Medtia but this year we made great use of Miss Dickson’s new iPad. We made a news studio and green screen in our classroom and recorded with the iPad..

Joseph even took the opportunity of interviewing our visitors during the school’s peer-to-peer review. We all took part in the news report, but not all our pupils are allowed to have their photos and videos shared on social media. Respecting individual privacy is very important to the Year 11 group. Jake and Sarah are happy to share their reports with you..

video

We also participated in ‘School of the Future’. We built a prototype in cardboard and made a video. Sarah bravely was our virtual teacher. Ethan experimented with the iPad Apps..

Then James used iMovie to put together footage from our day..

video

For World Book Day, Jake and Ethan helped deliver the whole school story writing – we’re looking forward to reading the finished story!

Miss Byrne’s Digit4ll group have also been working hard..

Our group have been very busy completing the e-portfolios they have to submit for the IT qualifications they are taking this year. The e-portfolios are the pupils’ responsibility and contain all the evidence of their hard work and progress (although unfortunately we’re not able to share them with you).

To develop our skills in PowerPoint, DIGI2 have been creating a user interface for either an iPhone or a Samsung phone and the pupils have added their own apps. They have used hotspots to hyperlink the slides together, so when it is in present mode, they have a working user interface. Each student has also created an app named “The School Of The Future” where they have designed their ideas of what a school might look like in 20 years time!

As you know, last week we shared news from some of our Autism Base classes. This week AB4 have an update for you on the work they’ve been doing..

In AB4 this term we have been exploring our new topic of The Twits in English and Maths. We have been busy creating Mr Twit’s beard for our display where all the pupils’ great work will be showcased. The class have enjoyed looking at The Twits story book and exploring all the yucky things in Mr Twit’s beard such as chicken nuggets, bananas, toast and slime. Their work has involved addition, subtraction, counting up in 2, 5 and 10 in Maths and in English they have been working on their reading, writing and communication skills.

The pupils have also spent time visiting local outdoor areas and parks, exploring the woodland forests and park apparatus. They have been working on their social skills, gross motor skills and safety skills when out. This is always the most enjoyable lesson for our pupils as they thrive when out and about in the community..

The class have been working on their fitness through accessing trampolining in PE. Again, this has been a favourite lesson for the group and they have been building their confidence and learning new skills..

In their life skills lesson, the group have been working on independent skills and how to look after their clothes and household items such as folding items correctly, pairing socks and sorting items. The group have also been having great fun in music, they recorded their own songs and have now started exploring the new musical equipment, mixing sounds together and learning how to be a DJ.

Don’t forget our ‘drop in’ Options Evening at 4pm on Wednesday for parents of Year 9 children when staff will be on hand to explain more about the options available to your child as they move into Year 10 and answer any questions you may have.

Have a great 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