07 Dec

It has been another busy week at the school site, particularly in the PE Department. We have attended three events this week: cross country, girls’ football at Manchester City and a table cricket competition, although the weather caused some problems as Mr Lawrence explains..

Mr Lawrence and Miss Ward would like to congratulate all the girls who represented New Bridge in their first ever cross country event held at Chadderton Park on Tuesday. In pretty cold conditions all the girls worked really hard up against some tough competition from other schools in Oldham. In the Year 7/8 category Robyn, Jenna and Rose came in 14th, 16th and 20th out of 40 girls. This is a fantastic achievement as we were competing against mainstream secondary schools – well done to all who took part!

In the afternoon it was the turn of the boys and once again we were impressed with the determination and effort shown in very tough conditions..

Our girls’ football team went to Manchester City for the first round of the One City league but sadly the horrendous weather beat us all and the fixtures had to be postponed. We managed to have a short kickabout in the rain before heading back to school early. Mr Lawrence would like to thank all the girls who managed really well in difficult conditions and kept smiling throughout. Next time, ladies!

Our team had a wonderful day at Old Trafford for Thursday’s table cricket competition. Eight schools took part and all the pupils had a great time, finally finishing in fifth place..

As we would expect, all the pupils were a credit to the school and represented New Bridge excellently. Well done everyone!

This week we have also been invited to take part in a very exciting research opportunity with the very successful “Books Beyond Words” project. As their website explains:

“Founded in 1989, the Books Beyond Words series of picture books grew out of research originating at St George’s Hospital Medical School where Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins worked as Professor of Psychiatry of Disability. She was looking for pictures to help people with learning disabilities to better understand their feelings and behaviour both before and after what were difficult events in their lives. Almost nothing was available. Children’s picture books were on offer, but they could not help people talk about or understand adult feelings and adult experiences.
Baroness Hollins had noticed how much pleasure her teenage son, who had a learning disability, got from silent movies and children’s picture books. She also found that by drawing pictures she could help him to understand and prepare for what was happening in his life and that this reduced his anxiety. She decided that she would put picture books together and publish them herself, developing the story lines to illustrate good practice arising from her clinical research and practice”

The number of titles in the series continues to grow with over 50 books published since 1989. The topics include bereavement, loss, anger, making friends and belonging.

On Thursday Michael Birch, one of our intervention specialists, and Geoff Howard, our Assistant CEO for Pastoral attended a meeting in London to begin a project to see how Books Beyond Words can be used in our school to support our pupils’ mental health and well-being. Twenty-one schools have been invited to take part from across the United Kingdom, with representatives from as far as Northern Ireland and Dover. They met at the Swiss Cottage School in London to discuss ideas such as setting up book clubs to empower our young people in areas of emotional development, safe relations and confident decision making. Baroness Hollins who founded the project and Professor Barry Carpenter led the presentations and discussions. We are very excited about the possibilities and the impact this project will have for our pupils. If you would like further information on Book Beyond Words, please click here to visit their website.

This week Miss Silvester’s Communication Group are sharing some of their work with us..

This term we have been working on ‘The Greatest Showman’. We have learnt about the story and the characters and we have completed some brilliant signing and sequencing work..

We have also had lots of fun with different props linked to our story!

In Maths we have been doing work on shape, size and money. We have completed practical Maths activities as well as interactive screen work..

We have also snuck in some Christmas activities, starting our Christmas countdown with our advent calendars..

Mrs Fennelley’s class have also been creative, using their fine motor skills to paint picture frames for presenting their term’s work on the display board..

Our Friday afternoon enrichment sessions which I mentioned last week are continuing to prove very popular. This week the pupils enjoyed four different craft groups, a hamma beads group, yoga, computers, board games, films, singing and sports before they came together for Friday afternoon’s whole school assembly..

Among all the certificates I presented for achievement in assembly, I was very pleased to give Holly this one in recognition of the wonderful artwork she did for our Remembrance week project..

Christmas preparations have now begun at school in earnest, the tree has been decorated and we are looking very festive. Rehearsals are underway for the Christmas Showcase and the Performing Arts team are working very hard to ensure this highlights our pupils’ creative talents. I popped into the rehearsals on Friday and the newly re-formed Rock Band were very impressive; so confident and talented. There are only a few tickets left for the Tuesday night performance and we are looking forward to seeing you for what we know will be a very enjoyable night. Don’t worry if you’re not able to join us though, our Digit4ll Enterprise students will be filming the event and producing a DVD of the performance for families.

We will be welcoming Mr Lyons back this week from his paternity leave and I will be handing the blog back over to him.

Have a wonderful week,

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 our previous blog posts here