01 Jul

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It’s been an amazing week! Do you know the Muffin Man? Well then, you’re probably well acquainted with the plethora of weird and wonderful fairytale characters who inhabit the world of Shrek. For more than a decade the swamp-dwelling ogre has delighted adults and children alike with his cantankerous antics and Scottish accent. Our New Bridge version of Shrek hit the stage on Tuesday morning when the whole school watched the dress rehearsal, swiftly followed by the first evening performance on Tuesday evening. There were no signs of nerves as the cast ran through a faultless script and we were treated to another performance on Wednesday evening before the final show on Thursday.

Over 80 young people have taken part, with 70 of them on stage performing live at each show which in itself is an incredible achievement. Lavish costumes and a stunning set helped to create the atmosphere and transported us to the magical fairytale world. Miss Allison was very proud to join the Key Stage 5 students in the choir and if you were lucky enough to come and watch, we’re sure you’ll agree it was a fabulous performance from everyone involved, their energy and enthusiasm are infectious! It would be wrong to single out individual star performances as all our young people put 100% into the show, they should all be congratulated on making it such a resounding success enjoyed by more than 500 people! Digit4ll, our IT pathway, were busy filming and we hope to have a dvd of the show available for you soon but for now you can see some lovely photos in the album on our Facebook page here.

The celebrations continued on Thursday evening with our Sport Awards when over 50 of our young people and their proud families were invited to come and receive an award – it was a wonderful night! ‘Things never change,’ Nicole Flanagan commented as her son Luke, our guest speaker for the night, hugged one of his former Activ8 friends. Luke is the first of our young people to enrol at Oldham Sixth Form College and it was lovely to welcome him back. Luke gave an emotive speech describing his journey at New Bridge and the help and motivation he had received from PE staff; it was humbling to listen to. Sport personalities rugby league player Joe Greenwood from St. Helens and footballer Chris Taylor, previous clubs OAFC, Blackburn and Millwall were also there to add glitz and panache to the event. Unfortunately we are experiencing some technical difficulties uploading pictures to our website at the moment but we will share the evening’s photos with you as soon as we can.

Mrs Lamb noted that when interviewing one of the contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the year, presenter Gabby Logan observed, ‘it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts.’ That is so true of every journey we embark on and worth remembering – she used that quote to inspire the pupils on Friday morning in school assembly and they were suitably impressed! It was also the very timely theme for our Learning Centre assembly as we thought about the progress all our young people have made on their personal journeys, many of whom have been part of the New Bridge family for many years. Our Year 14 students are entering a time of change which although exciting can be a little daunting and some are feeling nervous. We’d like to remind them just how far they have all come, growing in confidence and self-belief to become the mature young men and women we have the pleasure of knowing today.

We will certainly be finishing this year in style! Plans are well underway for next week’s Record of Achievement presentations – the Year 11 Awards ceremony is on Thursday morning and the Year 14 Awards are on Friday morning. We are looking forward to welcoming friends and family to join us as we celebrate our young people’s many achievements and successes. Our eagerly awaited New Bridge Prom is being held on Friday evening and is always a very special occasion – we’ll let you know all about it next week!

Pupils from New Bridge attended an athletics event at Leigh Sports Village on Friday where they competed against other schools from across the North West in the 100m sprint, shot put and long jump. Lewis H., Joshua F. and Morgan H. all finished in 1st position in their 100m sprint (there were several races!) while Jay W. finished in 2nd position and Kieron E. in 3rd position – brilliant results, very well deserved!

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It was a fantastic day and our young people got to run on the athletic track, throw a shot put and long jump in a sand pit……good preparation for our New Bridge Sports Day at the end of term. You can see all the pictures here.

This week has also seen another successful Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition, although everyone did look decidedly damp and tired on their return. Not surprising, considering the trip involved completing a 10K hike, orienteering, setting up camp and cooking and cleaning but we’re pleased to say they were all still smiling. Mr Taylor is writing up a report so we don’t want to give too much away about the trip but we are very proud of the group’s fantastic teamwork and how they supported and encouraged each other.

Our productions, expeditions and celebration evenings are only possible because of the commitment and support of our New Bridge staff. We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you!’ to all the staff who have given their time and energy to support our young people, especially this week.

Just a reminder, New Bridge staff will be staying late on the next 2 Tuesday evenings to undertake training and there will be no After School Clubs on 5th and 12th July. In addition, you might have seen on the news and social media that the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are taking industrial action on Tuesday 5th July. Both the school and Learning Centre are staying open, although there may be some minor disruption to the school day but we envisage this will be minimal.

Have a lovely weekend,

Judith and Dawn

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