15 May

As those of you who follow the blog on a weekly basis will know, during this lockdown period I’ve been dedicating these blogs to the outstanding efforts of all our pupils who are keeping up their learning at home. This week is no different and I have yet another bumper batch of examples to share with you. However, it’s important that I begin this week’s blog by addressing the government’s announcement and I would like to draw your attention to the following update from Graham:

As you will be aware, this week the government has announced the aspiration for more children, in mainstream schools, to return to school sites.  Mainstream schools will be expected to support more children, in years R, YR1 and YR6 from the 1st June.  The guidance for all our schools is different and outlined below.

In relation to Special Schools, the government state:

‘Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools will work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.’

Special Schools are not expected to work to the same timelines as mainstream schools.  Many of our children have additional and specific needs that need to be particularly considered.   I can assure you that eventual safe re-opening of our schools continues to be our aim – but we need your support to co-produce these next steps.

We have spent the past few weeks working on a comprehensive strategy that relates to our ‘New Schooling’ offer, how this might look and how this will impact children, families and staff. We are hoping that by next Wednesday, we will be in a position to contact all of our families to consult upon this strategy and to get your collective views on how we move forward as a community. It has never been more important to work together to ensure that we get this right for our children.

We will however ensure that our children and young people continue to access our outstanding and personalised virtual learning offer. The Trust is working tirelessly to ensure that any decisions made for the future are the safe and right decisions for our staff, children and young people. Ultimately, our overarching priority continues to be that:

“We will maintain and secure the health and safety of every single child, young person and member of staff.”

We currently continue to have a very small number of young people attending schools that are children of key workers and these arrangements will continue. We are well aware that many other families are experiencing particular challenges. The last thing we want to do is place families under more pressure.  We’ve got to keep you, our children and staff safe.

Take care,

Graham

In the meantime, it’s another opportunity to celebrate the outstanding effort of our amazing pupils. So it’s on to our examples of your home learning. I’ll start this week with Holly, one of our very talented artists, whose creativity seems to know no bounds. She seems to be constantly producing new sketches and drawings as she draws inspiration from her everyday experiences. Mrs Keane has kindly shared with us one of Holly’s most recent creations inspired by the film 1917. Simply stunning Holly!

She’s also given me her weekly update on Raresh, who busy as always, has gone all scientific with his skittles rainbow, and historic with his COVID-19 time capsule. So impressed with your continued learning Raresh.

Mr Hanif has been keeping me posted on the activities of his group. He shared some beautiful photos of Josh spending time with his family planting their garden..

Joshua has also been using FaceTime to keep in touch with his fellow classmate Jack. It’s wonderful to see friends still taking time to have a laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

Mrs Coleman-Celis’ class have been trying out a range of different activities. Jamie has been developing his understanding of shapes and practising his reading..

William has explored the countryside around his house and planting sunflower seeds in his Outdoor Education lesson..

James has been outdoors as well, heading out for a nature walk..

He’s also shared with us the progress he is making with his reading, writing and spelling. Love the video James – rarrr!

video

Lastly Tes is coming along brilliantly with his understanding of size and in between a spot of colouring, he’s been learning how to ride his bike. Brilliant effort all of you. Looking forward to hearing more about the progress you’re making.

From one brother to another, Cena, a regular feature in our blogs, is extending his learning in art to a spot of painting and decorating. This week, he’s gone from making glow in the dark sand art..

..to helping his dad paint the bathroom. Looks like you’re getting the hang of it Cena!

From the IB, it’s all about the boys this week. Dylan’s got all painted up as a clown for the IB’s ‘A Day at the Circus’ theme; cracking smile Dylan!

Finley has been sure to get out for his daily stroll and making the most of the sunshine – I hear there’s more sunshine to come Finley.

Meanwhile, I have to say, I’m very jealous of Callum’s incredible swing and swimming pool in his back garden! Looks amazing Callum.

video

Mr Holban (Senior!) has been in touch to let me know how proud he is of his ‘Maths Champions’. He has singled out a number of pupils for extra praise because of how much of their Maths learning activities they’ve completed on Showbie. He’s been particularly impressed by their passion for Maths and their hard work and resilience. So who are this motivated Maths mob? They are: Katie (Year 7) Katie-Leigh (Year 8), Corey and Joshua J. I’ve also been asked to give a special shout out to Seeraj who has thrown herself into her Maths learning with great determination. Lastly, a special mention for Vincent, I’m hearing good things about you from Mr Holban so well done from me on taking on his advice. Keep it up! 🙂

Being able to read is such an important skill, so it really made my day earlier this week when Mrs Taylor shared with me the leader board from Literacy Planet.

Clearly many of you have been on the app, developing your reading and writing skills and well done to Matthew I for getting top place on the leader board this week. What really really makes my day however is being given the opportunity to listen to you read, whether it is from a book or a sentence you have created yourself. So, I was really thankful to Mrs Taylor for sharing with me video of Antonia and Rose doing just that.

video

Absolutely brilliant and a big round of applause from me.

Now it wouldn’t be a weekly blog without some mention of cooking or baking! You lot are going mad for it whilst you’re all at home. I’ll kick off with Millie and Tahmina, who have both been baking chocolate cakes..

Then we’ve got Aliyah who last week had baked some buns to celebrate VE Day..

..whilst this week Kyle’s been getting in on the action with his butterfly cakes..

..and Matthew I. has been baking with his siblings..

Building on the general enthusiasm for a spot of catering, Mrs Newport and Mrs Hickman launched their ‘rainbow inspired cooking’ last week, in which they encouraged you all to get creative in the kitchen based on the idea of rainbow themed recipes. Several of you have whipped out your wooden spoons and the like and come up with some wonderfully colourful dishes. Sophie E. for example, has made some sweet and savoury kebabs, her own original creation as you can see from her planning notes. Grace on the other hand has baked a delicious Victoria sponge cake complete with rainbow icing. However, it’s not only you pupils that have been inspired, Miss Williams has conjured up her very own bake-off entry, and even Mrs Newport herself found time over breakfast to create her own rainbow. Well done everyone!

However, it’s not just been at home you’ve been baking. As promised last week, I said I would share with you what our pupils have been up to in school. Well, given how popular it seems to be, it’s no surprise that, guess what, they’ve been cooking and baking as well! Last week, it was for the special VE Day celebrations which involved much sampling of the finished products. This week it’s continued with more cooking and baking, including some sensory exploration of the ingredients..

..and some very tasty looking tuna fish pies. Special mention goes to Charlie, who cooked carbonara pasta for his group..

..and Jasmine, who did the equally important job of making sure the kitchen is spotless after everyone had enjoyed their meal..

This has been accompanied some independent learning activities using their iPads and some practical art and design activities..

..whilst making sure there’s an opportunity to fit in a go on the bouncy castle..

Great to see you enjoying continuing your learning in school everyone.

So another week of busy activity. I’m struggling to keep up with you all!

Keep it up and look forward to sharing more of your experiences this time next week.

Take care, stay safe.

Gavin

You can find Dawn’s blog for the Learning Centre here

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