26 Oct

It’s been a busy old week this week. Throughout the week I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several new volunteers who’ve expressed an interest in supporting the work we do here at New Bridge School. People who volunteer with us are typically looking to gain valuable experience either because they are considering a career in special education or are currently in some form of training or education that will lead them into working in schools such as ours. Knowing how fun, engaging and rewarding working in a special school can be, we’re always keen to support individuals at the earliest stages of their careers. It’s not unusual for volunteers to move into paid apprenticeships or teaching assistant posts with us. Some even move on to some form of initial teacher training, which we offer through our Everyone Learning Teaching School Alliance. So, anyone out there thinking about or actively planning a career in special education, let us know, we’d love to help you take the first steps on your new adventure.

Thursday was a very busy day for our newly created New Bridge Basketball Team at the inaugural New Bridge Trust Basketball Tournament. Organised by Mr Smith and Mr Bird, the event brought together teams from across our Trust schools. The pupils have spent the last eight weeks learning and developing their basketball skills in weekly PE lessons so Thursday’s tournament was the perfect opportunity to put those skills into practice in a competitive situation. Our Key Stage 3 team put in a very strong performance in the Key Stage 3 tournament but it was ultimately Hollinwood Academy who walked away champions. Congratulations to them and their well deserved win. Our Activ8 team showed great resilience in the Key Stage 4 tournament, pushing through to a sudden death finisher against Spring Brook and clinching the title by a single point. Well done to our New Bridge team for an outstanding achievement and well done to Spring Brook for being such commendable opponents.

Thursday was also a special day because Zeina Din, our ‘Design the School Tie’ competition winner, took a trip to the factory in Nelson, Lancashire, where the new school tie is currently being hand made. Zeina Din, along with Mrs Soltyk and Mrs Chappell, were given a grand tour of the factory and shown how his tie design was transformed into our new school tie. The tie is now available to order for any families wishing to purchase one.

Friday morning was our Rewards Morning in which pupils were able to translate the points they had earned over the past half term into an activity of their choosing. The pupils had great fun enjoying everything from Halloween cookery to Maths games and crazy Science experiments and even hooking up with some Manchester City players! (Mr Smith will reveal more later in the blog.) Some of them chose to have a trip out to the park in the Autumn sunshine..

..while others enjoyed a lively Music session..

After half term, we’ll be changing the format of this slightly. Instead of a Rewards Morning every half term, we’ll be introducing a weekly Enrichment Afternoon on Friday afternoon. Our intention is to develop this afternoon to provide activities that enrich our curriculum offer and give each of our pupils access to activities that will support their learning and development.

This week, our curriculum focus is on PE so I’ll hand you over to Mr Smith..

We have had a very busy 8 weeks in PE with lots of events and competitions and some very hard work from the pupils in lessons. Where do I start..

This half term pupils have been learning the skills to play basketball. Basketball is a team sport and the pupils have been working extremely hard developing skills which enable them to compete in a game situation. They have developed skills which enable them to show different types of passes in a game situation and understand the rules which apply to basketball. I have seen some outstanding team work and resilience shown in PE lessons. Resilience is a word that I will continue to use as this describes our young people well and how they never give up, no matter how difficult things are or how challenging a task may be..

We held our first very own MAT basketball tournament this week where 80 pupils participated in a very competitive event, a Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4/5 tournament for New Bridge, Hollinwood, the Learning Centre and Spring Brook. We had a wide range of young people playing across the MAT and one thing that I was very proud of was the sportsmanship between each school. They would all shake hands after the match or if a foul was made, they would help the person up and say sorry..

The Key Stage 3 tournament final between Hollinwood and Spring Brook was fantastic to watch with some outstanding basketball being played. Hollinwood Academy were victorious on the day with a well-deserved win over Spring Brook. Spring Brook showed resilience throughout and fought hard until the final whistle.

The Key Stage 4 tournament was another heated battle and some outstanding basketball was played..

This time it was Activ8 vs Spring Brook in the final..

Both teams were evenly matched, so much so we had to go through to extra time and next point wins…. With blood, sweat and tears put into each pass, finally a winning point by Matthew gave Activ8 the win. A fantastic day overall and very good behaviour and sportsmanship by everyone involved. Well done!

On Friday we took 10 pupils to the Manchester City Academy to play in a small football event..

Well, when I say small, they also got to meet some of the players…Benjamin Mendy, Philippe Sandler and Leroy Sané popped in to say hello! Philippe Sandler even put on a bib and joined in a game of football with our pupils. Our head boy and head girl both introduced themselves to the Manchester City footballer – a great way for the pupils to finish the week!

Earlier this month, Activ8 were lucky enough to attend the Rugby Super League Grand Final and they had a wonderful evening..

We have plenty of upcoming events planned including our first MAT cross country event in December, college football, more matches in both the boys’ and girls’ Manchester City ‘One City’ football league and an indoor rowing competition! Starting after half term we will be joining the after school ‘Ability Counts’ football at Hathershaw College – I will be taking the pupils who have returned their reply slips, with parents collecting their children at 5pm from Hathershaw College.

We also wanted to let you know that the Swimming Department have a new ‘Super Swimmer’! Congratulations to Daygon who was presented with his award in recognition of his perseverance – even though he was very frightened, Daygon really wanted to learn how to swim. Now he really enjoys coming into the pool and has loads of fun, well done Daygon!

We also have some more Living Skills pictures for you that didn’t make it into last week’s blog. Mrs Hickman’s Year 7 group have been looking at where their food comes from and working on the safe use of a knife to prepare fruit smoothies and fruit kebabs..

Her Year 8 group have been learning about the safe use of electrical equipment including a kettle, a toaster, a toastie machine and a microwave..

Year 9 and Mr Meadows’ Nurture Group have been working on their knife skills, learning complex cuts to prepare shredded, sliced and diced vegetables for pizzas and pitta pockets..

Year 11 have been getting to grips with the can opener..

..and pastry!

Digit4ll have learnt about handling raw meats and cooking to the correct temperature, making shepherds pies and chicken fajitas..

..while Mrs Coleman-Celis’ class have really enjoyed their Monday morning breakfast club with toast, toasties, eggs and pastries..

They aren’t the only ones who can whip up a good breakfast at New Bridge..

I hope you all enjoy the half term break and I look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 5th November,

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 previous blog posts here