23 Oct

So here we are at the end of our first half term of our new school year. It’s been different to say the least but as ever, our pupils and staff team have approached it with a ‘can do’ mindset. Their creativity and positivity have shone through and together we have found new ways to teach and learn, to connect with each other, and support each other. As we pause for the half term holiday, I’d like to express my gratitude to all our families for your assistance with the many new measures we’ve had to put in place and your swift cooperation when it’s been necessary to ask your child to self-isolate. Your help in challenging circumstances has been overwhelming. Thank you for your continued support.

As usual, we’re focusing on the learning and achievement of a particular class in school. This week it’s Miss Carter’s Interactive Base class. I’ve just got a few Halloween highlights to sneak in before I pass over to Miss Carter.

Getting us started is Miss Orgacki’s class who have been up to some spooky shenanigans! They’ve set up a Halloween Ghost Hunt, a challenge for our Daily Mile walkers, to see if they can spot the creepy characters as they clock up their miles whilst walking around the grounds.

As I mentioned last week, the Nurture Group have been making Halloween figures using salt dough and their own wands using twigs gathered from around the grounds. This week they’ve added potions and carved pumpkins to their list of creations all culminating in a Halloween party on Friday. Here’s a few photo highlights.


Miss Jarvis’ class have been using the Halloween theme to develop their team work and listening skills throughout the week, and what commitment, dedication and concentration they’ve shown. Highlights of the week have definitely been papier mache pumpkins with electric tealights and bobbing for apples!

Congratulations to champion apple bobber, Callum!


Mr Hollinworth’s class didn’t waste any time getting into the Halloween spirit. Mrs Cockcroft tells all:

We started the day by donning matching witches hats and braving the autumn weather for a Halloween themed daily mile. Unfortunately we had to walk the course as we had left our broomsticks in class! The rest of the morning was spent in our usual Maths and English lessons but with a Halloween twist, as well as spending time reading Halloween themed poetry. There might even have been the odd sneaky treat whilst we were learning.

After lunch we joined the rest of our bubble for Halloween games. Mr Hollinworth hosted Pumpkin bowling with prizes given for those who could knock down the pins in two throws of the pumpkin.

Mr Jackson hosted a Trick or Treat game (push your hand into a sealed cup and either win a trick (shaving foam) or a treat (chocolate)..

He also hosted a pin the monster on the cauldron game with prizes awarded to the person who stuck their creepy picture closes to the centre of the cauldron.. 

Mrs Evans hosted a trick or treat balloon popping game – would your balloon be filled with treats or glitter?) Made a few of us jump but the chocolate was plenty compensation.

Miss Shaw tell us that Mr Flanagan’s class have had a lovely last week before half term..

We’ve been making pumpkin plates, enjoying decorating Halloween biscuits and finishing off with a fancy dress party today in class. We have had class party games and played trick or treat within the class as well as having Halloween ‘Just Dance’ competitions. The students have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to what’s to come for our Christmas celebrations.

So it’s over to Mrs Carter to tell you all about the learning and achievement in her class this term..

This term our topic is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We have been so busy this half term. I am really happy and proud of the way the students in IB3 have settled back into the school routine. The recovery curriculum offer has been fabulous in enabling us to do this, we have been working on emotional well-being and reinforcing expectations within the classroom, as well as re-creating routine and structure. Each morning some of the class take part in a daily mile walk and others take time to regulate their sensory emotions, this really helps to set them up for their learning.

We have been doing lots of messy play and mindfulness session’s including TAC PAC and body awareness. This year we have also introduced a story massage related to our topic which all the students really enjoy.

In English we have been reading the story and learning about the all different character’s in the story. We have been using lots of Positive Looking techniques, guided by our VI champion Mrs Fletcher, to aid our understanding of each character, these include lots of lights, scents and sensory stimuli for us to explore..

The story is a massive hit in class and all the students love taking part as you can see from the photographs.

We have been creating lots of beautiful art work for the display board in class too. We have made sweets using glitter and sequins, golden tickets, candy canes and lollipops!!!

In Maths we have been working on our number recognition by knocking over Oompa Loompa skittles whilst lay on a bean bag. We shout Ready, Steady, GO and slide across the floor to knock down the skittles. We then count how many we have knocked over and match that number to a number card. 

Imad has been working on his addition skills and has been adding all the scores together to see who the winner is, the winner then wins a trophy and receives a massive applause from everyone. It is so much fun and the students really anticipate when we shout ‘go’. They love being slid across the floor to knock over the skittles!!!

We have explored all things Halloween this week. We have been carving pumpkins and using the seeds for messy play, also jelly mixed with eyeballs and gloop. We have made blood splatter biscuits and Halloween covered cookies plus art work with Mrs Sheehy in which we made a pumpkin using ripped tissue paper and spiders made from handprints.

On Friday we had a Halloween party with lots of sweets and treats. In the afternoon each class in our bubble thought of a party game to play. We all rotated around to get a turn of each game to adhere to social distancing guidelines. There was pin the spider on the web, balloon popping to win a prize, pumpkin bowling and trick or treat cups. Imad, Eve and Charlie won a couple of games and enjoyed their sweet treat prizes and Katie enjoyed eating a banana ghost…. yummy!! Lots of fun on the last day of half term. Well done to everyone involved.

I would just like to personally thank all the staff involved in supporting IB3 this half term. It’s been different to what we are used to but you have gone above and beyond to make sure the class still receive the very best learning experiences. Happy half term everyone!!!

Happy holiday, happy Halloween.

Take care, stay safe.


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 New Bridge College please click here

You can find Gavin’s previous blog posts here