07 Feb

This week I’d like to highlight the brilliant work of Donna Ward, one of our Interactive Base teachers, who is also a pdnet Champion for the north west of England.  She reflects on her first 10 months in a role that has seen her working to raise awareness of pdnet in schools and settings in Greater Manchester, as well as signpost to free training and resources that are available (please click here to visit the pdnet website).

“I have found the role extremely rewarding so far as it has allowed me to channel my strong passion to bring education, health and care support to families of children with a disability together and enable these amazing young people to have the most comfortable, enjoyable, educational and accessible lives possible.

Through the pdnet meetings and networks I have met some amazing people who work so hard to change people’s’perceptions and influence policies relating to how we can support children and young people with disabilities within our schools and other establishments.  There are many professionals out there with great stories describing the positive changes that have been made who are sharing information and resources to support others to do the same.

One woman who really stands out is Beverley Searle, CEO of Unique (www.rarechromo.org). This charity supports and informs families of children with rare chromosome and gene disorders. Their research is extremely impressive and they have many downloadable leaflets relating to over 250+ different disorders and the leaflets are also available in different languages too. 

Similarly, Pam Stevenson from Create Development (Jasmineactive.com) has developed a more holistic approach to P.E. for children and young people of all abilities.  This is planned around Physical, Social, Health, Fitness, Creative, Cognitive and Personal areas. There are 6 units and although mainly aimed at mainstream primary aged children, it could be a useful resource for specialist schools as it has planning cards, an assessment tool, video demonstrations and songs relating to the themes.

A person I have found particularly inspirational is parent/carer and former SENDCO, Elizabeth Stanley, who has created her own business, Wraparound, (wraparoundpartnership.org) to support families of children and young people with SEND.  It was through Elizabeth that I also had the pleasure of meeting Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and shared my views with him on the challenges associated with transporting children and young people with complex medical needs to and from school.  This has led to an invitation to attend the Greater Manchester SEND Revolution event in March, at which he will be the ‘Guest Listener’.  The event will focus on finding ways to improve the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities across Greater Manchester.  It will be a collection of people passionate for change including parents, carers, local Councillors, Teachers, Paediatricians, Sports, Colleges, Care organisations and many more and, most importantly, the young people themselves.

 

In the meantime, I am leading the work here at New Bridge School to meet the pdnet standards which demonstrate that we meet the diverse needs of children and young people with physical disability.  So far, I have delivered the first of three staff development sessions and supported many of the team to complete their Level 1 pdnet training.  Next Wednesday I will be speaking about pdnet at the Greater Manchester SEND Forum in Wigan as I continue to raise awareness of the pdnet website to as many educators within my area as possible. 

I’d like to thank pdnet for the opportunity of becoming a Champion and allowing me to play a role in sharing their important work.  I am also grateful to New Bridge School for all the support they have given me during this very rewarding journey. I look forward to continuing to spread the message of inclusion, fairness and fun in schools with pdnet.”

This week Ms Taylor is inviting us to pay a visit to our Autism Base to meet AB3..

Welcome to AB3! Here in AB3 we have lots of fun learning in lots of different ways! We like lots of movement activities that keep us healthy and help to regulate our behaviour. We take part in lots of activities that form part of our sensory diet including scooters, trampolines, body suits, rocking chairs and physio balls..

We especially like swimming and outdoor education. In swimming we have become much more confident in the water by trying lots of different activities including bridges and mats..

In outdoor education we have been visiting parks and trying lots of equipment. Some of our pupils can display high levels of anxieties when going out of school so we have been going to the same park for a half term so our pupils become familiar with their surroundings and feel comfortable in different environments..

When back in our classroom, we follow a timetable that suits our individual needs that focuses on building communication skills, increasing engagement, using our fine motor skills, meeting our sensory needs and self help and care skills..

In science we like to explore and experiment with different materials. Here we are blowing bubbles, making foam boats and investigating ice..

We have been working on rolling, spreading and sprinkling in cooking. We also like to wash up and clean the tables..

We have been exploring different apps on our iPads including teach your monster to read and coin matching games..

For our English and Maths lessons we use a range of activities. We include group and individual work around the whiteboard and at the table..

Although it’s a bit late, we had a great time at Christmas dinner and wanted to share with you some of our pictures..

We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting AB3!

To finish off this week’s blog, Ms Shaw would like to tell us about 7JFN’s cooking lesson on Thursday..

Year 7 made hotdogs for the first time in cooking this week. They were very careful chopping and frying onions..

..watching for the hotdogs to cook..

..and buttering their hotdog rolls..

They were very proud of their work and they all did an amazing job – as you can imagine, they also really enjoyed eating their hotdogs!

Next week sees a new Trust wide initiative, ‘Safeguarding Week’, with a different safeguarding focus each day from online safety (linking with Safer Internet Day) to ‘It’s good to talk – mental health awareness’. Staff have been invited to attend a wide range of training opportunities across the week being delivered by both external specialists and senior leaders within the Trust on areas including safer working practices, weapon enabled crime, substance misuse and e-safety. The week will highlight the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our young people and we are looking forward to strengthening our understanding across the different areas that will be covered.

I hope you have a good week,

Gavin

Click here for this week’s news from Graham

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

You can find my previous blog posts here