16 Nov

I’ve spent much of this week in a state of ‘high alert’ with my phone in my pocket, anxiously waiting for that all important call that I’ve known will be coming around this time for many months now. There have been a few false starts in which the phone has rung and I’ve jumped to it, pulling the phone out of my pocket to check who it is only to find it’s not the call I’ve been waiting for. Ultimately however, the call didn’t come this week so I’ll continue wondering whether next week will be the week when it finally arrives. “He’s a bit panicky about Ofsted calling, isn’t he?” you may be thinking, but this isn’t the call I’ve been waiting for, the call I’m waiting for is much more important and life-changing than that, it’s the call that tells me my wife has gone into labour and I need to drop everything and get to it as quickly as possible.

This isn’t my first step into parenthood, my wife and I already have a four year old son and the experience of being a parent has brought with it so much joy and excitement that we chose to have a second child. Don’t get me wrong, being a father hasn’t been without its challenges. I spent a long time getting to the point where I had a good work-life balance, so throwing a baby into the mix caused some serious disruption! Four years later and I’ve got that balance back but, as I stand on the verge of being a dad for the second time, one thing I’m anticipating will be a struggle, for a period of time at least, will be maintaining that work-life balance.

In the current educational climate, we are all being asked ‘to do more, with less’ which puts considerable strain on everyone’s ability to maintain a good work-life balance. Like New Bridge School, the best schools up and down the country have, and always will be, run on the good will of their incredible staff teams who go above and beyond on a daily basis to meet the needs of our children and in doing so achieve outstanding outcomes for each and every one of them. If we are to sustain the outstanding work we do in these challenging times it is important that now, more than ever, we ensure these external pressures don’t damage the good will of our teams by disrupting the ability of each individual to maintain his or her own work-life balance.

This week, our curriculum focus is on our Nurture Base.

This term in the Nurture Base, we have been going out to Morrisons in Failsworth as part of our Living Skills curriculum. We have been forming a great community link with Gail who also happens to be our very own Mr Cotterill’s Mum.

During our visits, we have been looking at the different jobs that people do at Morrisons..

Morrisons have very kindly allowed us the use of their Community Room which has allowed us a quiet space from which to base ourselves..

This has then in turn allowed us to go out into the store, purchase items and take them back to the room. We took the opportunity to do a few taste tests to see if we could tell the difference between expensive brands and the Morrisons saver deals..

One of the best bits for us was being allowed to work as check out attendants. Everyone really enjoyed this job and we felt part of the team..

We have also been looking at healthy options; we did a taste test and then went out into the store to purchase low sugar options..

Morrisons have been fantastic with us and even gave us some treat bags for Halloween..

All of us here within the Nurture Base would like to express our sincere gratitude to Morrisons and especially Gail who has looked after us so well. We have all really enjoyed our visits and I would like to say a personal thank you to all of the staff at Morrisons who have given up their time to make us feel so welcome..

On Monday we started our new after school football team at Hathershaw College. The session was a great success and our young people had a brilliant time..

Tuesday afternoon saw Paul from Live Music Now! visit our Interactive Bases with his ukulele and his trombone. He sang with the staff and pupils and they all had a turn exploring and interacting with the instruments. Eve really enjoyed playing the trombone and liked joining in when they were singing Yellow Submarine..

Maryam, Georgia and Rachael liked the Intensive Interaction using the bells..

..and Callum responded to Paul when he played the ukelele and the trombone by stilling and following him around the room..

We’re really looking forward to Paul’s next visit!

Our communication groups are now keeping fit in PE by accessing Oldham’s Abilty Wheelz cycling programme at Alexandra Park – as you can see, they have got off to a great start on the bikes..

On Thursday Activ8 went to a cricket session at Mahdlo run by the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, learning new skills and putting their cricket skills to the (ahem!) test..

On Friday everyone took part in raising money for Children in Need. The corridors were very colourful at break and dinner times with staff and pupils alike dressed in a wide range of spots or Pudsey outfits. IB2 made eye patches and photo frames using their fingers to print spots..

Miss Silvester’s class worked hard decorating their classroom and preparing a wonderful array of cakes…which didn’t last long!

We had lots of fun today and raised money for a good cause in the process – we’ll be posting an update on the total amount raised later in the week.

Just another reminder that Parents’ Evening is this Wednesday 21st November from 4 pm. If you haven’t yet booked an appointment then please contact the school to arrange one. We look forward to sharing your child’s progress with you.

Another date for your diary is our Christmas Concert, coming soon on the 11th December. There will be a morning and an evening concert which will consist of a variety of performances showcasing the talent of various groups of pupils across our school and include pupils from Hollinwood Academy. We will also be teasing our up and coming Easter production with a surprise piece from the show, which is sure to be ‘The Greatest’!

I hope to see you on Wednesday,

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