28 Feb

Welcome back. We returned on Monday for what was an incredibly positive whole school development day. Our pupils and their learning needs are constantly changing, as is the world in which they live and the research evidence on how best to teach them in order to support their learning. It’s important we keep pace with these changes so we can continue to provide high quality teaching that enables our pupils to learn and make as much progress as possible. High quality teaching can only come from a team of staff that are committed to continually learning and developing themselves in order to be the best they can be and I’m very lucky to have such a team working here at New Bridge. Our whole school development days are an essential opportunity to explore a particular area of our practice and consider how we can further strengthen our teaching so that our pupils continue to learn and progress as much as possible. This reflective culture ensures we continually review everything we do so that we always meet the needs of all pupils.

To help us through Monday’s reflective process, we set ourselves the question: ‘How can we ensure we meet the speech, language and communication needs of all our pupils?’. We then invited Lynsey and Susan from the wonderful team at Ladywood Teaching School to guide us through a review of principles and strategies in this area and prompt us to consider both our strengths and areas for development in our current practice. It was an amazingly collaborative and creative atmosphere throughout the day with the team coming up with lots of ideas to strengthen their practice. To follow up, our Speech and Language Champions in each department are now working with each team to identify and plan next steps to turn these ideas into practice.

Meanwhile, in another part of the school, our team of Curriculum Leaders were also engaged in their own process of learning and development as they completed the first day of their leadership programme led by the amazingly talented Louise from another Teaching School; Oldham Sixth Form College. As I mentioned above, outstanding pupil progress is the result of high quality teaching. Our Curriculum Leads play an essential role in ensuring the quality of teaching in their curriculum areas is outstanding. Their leadership programme will, amongst other things, explore how they can support the continuing professional learning and development of their team through a process of mentoring and coaching.

All in all a brilliant day then, and one that highlights that the continuing professional learning of all our staff team is what underpins the learning of all our pupils. What better example of our mission statement in action: “Learning together, learning for all, learning for life”!

There has certainly been plenty of learning taking place in school this week. Our Year 9 class, 9SHN, would like to share a few of their highlights..

This week was a short week for us as school was closed on Monday but we still managed to pack lots of fun and learning in!

In our class based Learning for Life lessons, we have been running a class cafe and practising our waiting and serving skills. We have taken orders from our class mates and have independently made hot and cold drinks as well as serving snacks. As you can imagine, these were some of our favourite lessons! 

Mrs Hickman was so pleased that we had done so well being independent and safe in the kitchen all week, that we were able to choose a reward on Friday afternoon – one group thoroughly enjoyed their class football match..

..while the others chose to spend time together relaxing..

In Science with Miss Dunkerley, we have been focusing on contagious diseases, how they spread and how to contain the risks. It has been so interesting and researching the topic has been fun.

In History we have been discussing slavery and how people’s attitudes to the subject have dramatically changed over the years and how the law has changed through the years too. It was interesting to hear how slavery has been viewed over the years and how other countries are all different.

Cooking has been really fun this week. We are looking at recipes focused on pastry. We have made pastry from scratch and practised our rubbing in, rolling out and cutting skills and we made some amazing sausage rolls. We also made some very tasty pizza bread!

Our skill focus in PE this term is trampolining and correctly executing several shapes in a sequence, including spotting, half turn, full turn, Pike, Straddle, Tuck, Seat Landing and Back Landing. It is so much fun practising our skills and cheering on our friends, some of our sequences are looking really professional.

In English with Mrs Holland, we are reading the book ‘Touching the Void’ which is a true story of how Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climbed the Siula Grande mountain and the dangers and adventures they faced. We have done some independent research and watched some videos of other mountain adventures which have started some really interesting class discussions. It has made us realise how dangerous mountain climbing is, even though it seems very exciting.

ICT has also been a highlight for us this week. We have been working with Mrs Grogan on operating SPHERO robots using our iPads. As you can imagine, this was lots of fun and has been a great way for us to access coding and robotics. We are excited to see where this topic will take us and what else we can do with coding and robots.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about what we have done this week. 9SHN

The Year 7 pupils in 7LHA also enjoyed their Science lesson this week..

We thought you might like to hear about a fantastic Science lesson that 7LHA had with Miss Dunkerley this week. We were so excited because we did our first experiment which was testing liquids to see if they were acid, alkali or neutral. We used several different liquids and used an indicator to see what colour the liquid changed to, then matched it to the colours on the Ph scale to see what type of liquid it was. It was so much fun and we felt like real scientists when we were making the liquids change colour!

One of our pupils, Abdul, was very pleased to end the week by presenting Ms Bradley with some gifts from her colleagues as she starts her maternity leave. We wish her all the best and look forward to meeting her new baby soon. Abdul also took this picture of some of the staff who came to say good luck..

I am looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on Thursday and seeing which characters our pupils (and staff!) will be coming to school as. Children’s writer and illustrator, Pippa Pixley, will be coming into New Bridge on Monday to deliver some story telling sessions and a festival draw along themed session as part of our week long focus on reading – please click here to see some of her previous work with schools.

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