30 Nov

Regular readers of the blog will be aware that Gavin and his family welcomed a new baby last week and he is therefore currently on paternity leave. As his Deputy, I now have the job of updating the blog with this week’s news. Everything has been running smoothly in Gavin’s absence and this is due to the hard work and dedication of all the school staff, from the cleaners and site team to the kitchen staff, teachers, support staff and senior leadership. I would like to personally thank colleagues for all their support; the way that we have come together as a team is truly inspiring and fills me with pride.

This is the third week that we have been running our Enrichment Sessions and I felt that this would be a good opportunity to share with you all the exciting activities our young people are participating in. Enrichment takes place during period five on a Friday afternoon. All pupils have chosen activities that they would like to take part in and this is linked to our behaviour management points system. There are a range of motivating activities which take place to reward young people for positive behaviour and engagement in learning. We have a film club in the theatre, an ICT group and a range of arts and craft activities. As you can see from the photographs, Mrs Gardiner and Mr Firth’s group have been making Christmas snowmen..

..and Mrs Hobson has been doing some Christmas sewing..

Mrs Soltyk leads the board games group and we have a very successful Yoga session led by Mrs Shaw. The sports option is very popular, as well as Hamma beads led by Mrs Needham. The singing group are very busy practising their Christmas Carols..

..and Miss Carter continued the festive spirit by making Gingerbread biscuits..

The pupils have expressed how much they enjoy these sessions and the value of being rewarded at the end of each week rather than every half term is resulting in positive behaviour and engagement choices from the pupils.

All these sessions also enable our pupils to improve and practise a range of Learning for Life skills which are critical for their personal development. Pupils have the opportunity in these groups to interact socially with a wider group of peers and form new friendships. They may practise fine motor skills or turn taking; they have the chance to develop new or existing talents which enrich the curriculum offer and strengthen their self-esteem and well-being. We will continue to innovate and develop this offer to further build on its success.

This week, Mr Hanif has an update for us on the work that has been taking place in Humanities this term..

In the Autumn term, Year 7 pupils have been focusing on key historical skills. We have been learning about chronological order and how this helps us to learn about History..

We have been exploring historical artefacts and objects and investigating how they help us to learn about History..

We have been able to look at how things have changed over time. The pupils were particularly fascinated by how much telephones have changed over such a period of time. I hadn’t even heard of a mobile phone when I was at school, let alone being able to take a telephone with me everywhere I go and having access to information from around the whole world at the tips of my fingers..

In November we had week long project in school around Remembrance. This was to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War. We looked at the role of the RAF in the Second World War and focused on the Battle of Britain. We worked across the curriculum and in English the classes have been looking at a specially commissioned poetry book by the RAF (‘Remember RAF100’) to commemorate their 100 year anniversary, as well as other war poetry. The pupils from across the school have also written thank you letters to soldiers from the First World War..

They have also researched soldiers from the North West and created some remembrance artwork to commemorate the soldiers on our display..

Our IB and communication groups have also been creating pieces of artwork for our display. I have included a photo of our display for you to have a look at..

I have also included some of the artwork one of our students Holly has created for the RAF 100 book, which we have entered in the ‘Colour to Commemorate’ competition..

The Big Ideas competition has commissioned Lavender Leonardos Art School to offer a school an opportunity to win a very special workshop with professional designers…fingers crossed!

As part of the Remembrance week, students from Year 9 also had the opportunity to visit Odeon Cinema in Rockdale as part of the In To Film Festival and watch the film Zoo. The film is set during the Belfast Blitz during the Second War. The film really helped to contextualize the learning for students around what life was like for people on the Home Front during the war. I would highly recommend the film as it left a number of us quite emotional by the end. (I just had something in my eyes which led to my eyes watering up). Unfortunately due to the excitement of going to the cinema no one actually managed to get any pictures of the day..

In Geography the students have been travelling around the world and one of their destinations was Australia. The students have been recreating the fascinating eco system of The Great Barrier Reef using a variety of materials to create their own wonderful version..

In IB the students have been exploring the American West. We have investigated the different regions of America and where the different Native American Tribes lived. We have explored the Great American Desert and the food and natural habitats of the indigenous people. We have also created our own Native American headdresses..

In Science some of the pupils have been looking at magnetism with Miss Dunkerley. They enjoyed finding out which objects were attracted to the magnets..

Safa discovered the magnet was so strong it was able to pull the metal objects through the table!

IB have been investigating some of the mini beasts from the garden outside. They enjoyed looking at and handling the animals – don’t worry, they were very careful and all the mini beasts were returned safely to the Science garden after the lesson..

Some of the Year 9 students have been looking at healthy bodies and circulation. They dissected a lamb’s heart so they could look at the structure of the heart and how it was connected to the body.

Daniel Wood, head of the Future Finders Employability College and the Key Stage 5 Pathways at Medtia, has asked me to share this message with you..

We would like to set up a parent employer network where parents and representatives from business meet termly to discuss how we can extend our range of work experience placements and employer encounters. This could be co-ordinating visits to your place of work or arranging work experience placements for students within our Group. We are looking for parents to join this forum who are employed in ANY sector. If you are interested, please contact our work placement co-ordinator Maria for further information. Her email is mstatham@newbridgegroup.org or you can call her on 0161 883 2403.

Please do contact Maria if you would be interested in finding out more about how you can help our young people with employer encounters or work experience placements.

Another exciting development that I would like to share this week is that work is commencing on our new extension next week that will create four new classrooms for the school by July 2019. This has been planned very carefully to ensure that there will be no disruption to teaching and learning and it is fantastic to get to this stage and see the project reach fruition.

The countdown is on to Christmas now and we will be letting you know about upcoming events over the next few weeks. Until then, I am off to put up our Christmas tree and open the advent calendars. I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Debbie

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 Mr Lyons’ previous blog posts here