08 Jul

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Saying goodbye to our departing students is never easy and our annual Leavers’ Awards ceremonies are always some of the more emotional events in the New Bridge calendar. 2016 has been no exception, with plenty of reflection on everything that our young people have achieved together with a positive look towards what the future might hold for our students as they move into the next phase in their lives. They came to us as children and leave us as adults and we have had the pleasure of watching them grow into the people they are now.

At the school site we say goodbye to our Year 11s who are now ready for their next challenge, whether it will be at Medtia Square or the Learning Centre. At our Record of Achievement ceremony, Matthew and Zanub gave two excellent speeches that brought both tears and laughter to the audience. We would ask all our leavers to enjoy and savour every last day in school; these are times we never get back but, as they grow older, hopefully they can reminisce about the great time they had in school and the teachers who have inspired and motivated them. Mr Southerington and his Year 11 team were fabulous and made the ceremony run seamlessly; in particular it was poignant with just the right amount of humour. Well done to them all.

At the Learning Centre our students have been preparing and practising their speeches ready for Friday morning’s awards. We were immensely proud of all our Year 14 students as they talked about their time within the New Bridge family and their feelings as they prepare for a brand new chapter in their lives. Just wait until you see our Year 14 leavers’ video – it’s the best!

Many of our students are making plans for September; some are moving on to colleges, some to New Bridge Horizons, some to Future Finders, some to Bridging the Gap, some onto pathways and some will be accessing the pre-internship programme at Medtia Square. We have many new developments happening within New Bridge that enable our young people to gain the skills and confidence to succeed in many different future destinations.

We rightly celebrate the big things our students achieve but we’d also like to mention the small, everyday achievements that can go unnoticed – their hard work in lessons and activities and desire to do their best, the care and concern they show for others, the focus on managing their emotions and behaviours in increasingly more positive ways……it is only when we look back on our students’ achievements through the years that their real progress is evident. We were able to acknowledge and celebrate just how far our young people have come at our Record of Achievement ceremonies.

There was another Duke of Edinburgh’s qualifying expedition this week, this time it was the Silver award..

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The group came back covered in mud and absolutely exhausted but very proud of themselves and Mr Taylor has written a report for us here. Mr Taylor has been extremely busy this term, he managed to tell us all about last week’s Bronze expedition (also referred to as the ‘Manifold Valley Monsoon’) here before the Silver group set off on Monday and next week he’s off to North Wales again for the most demanding expedition so far – the Gold group’s 4 day adventure! We hope the weather will be as kind to them as it was back in April when they completed their 3 day practice expedition (here) – fingers crossed!!

New Bridge did very well at the Greater Manchester Summer School Games on Wednesday, our team came third place overall in athletics with individual medals too..

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As for the football, Mr Smith is beside himself – in his own words, ‘For the first time ever we have won the summer games in the football event! All the students were fantastic and the effort they put in was unbelievable!!’

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We’re certainly looking forward to our New Bridge Sports Day next week!

Digit4ll students have been working hard on editing all the footage from last week’s fantastic school production of ‘Shrek’ and you can now order your own copy of the DVD here for the ‘princely’ sum of £3. They’ve even put together a trailer for you….

Wednesday saw us attend our first Governors meeting without Mr Quinn. Steve Williams, our chair, was very kind to us both and we talked through some of the key events during the summer term. It made us realise just how much is achieved and learnt, we felt very proud.

On Thursday we invited our passenger assistants and drivers in to school for a traditional afternoon cream tea. Mrs Lund and Mrs Hollinworth decked the conservatory out to look like a village tea room with fresh flowers and table cloths and Mrs Nelson made some gorgeous scones served with strawberry jam and cream – delicious! We wanted to thank them for all that they do for us and it was also an opportunity to allow the children in Year 7 to put into practice some valuable life skills such as ‘waiting on’, conversation and washing up!!

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We also held our own ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ on Friday afternoon! Ms Hall and her Art options group made a selection of tea pots and hats to add panache to the occasion and the young people had a fantastic afternoon of fun and food with art at best – we will bring you the pictures next week!

For our last instalment of ‘Cooking with Earl’ Miss Allison was treated to Sweet and Sour Chicken – as it was the end of the year, it was a case of using up store cupboard and freezer supplies together with a few fresh ingredients (an essential life skill in any kitchen!)

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If you would like to try this recipe at home courtesy of Mrs Gillett, please click here.

There was a lovely article on our New Bridge Sports Awards in the Oldham Chronicle which you can read here if you missed it..

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We are also very proud of Nathan who last week received the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ Award at the Oldham Sports Awards..

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Don’t forget that there is still time to give your views on Oldham’s draft Autism Strategy – the consultation is open until Friday 15th July and you can read the full document and leave your feedback here.

Friday is also our annual Year 11 and Year 14 prom, one of the highlights of the New Bridge year! It is always exciting watching the young people arrive, some in limousines and converted classic cars and the girls always look stunning in their prom dresses while our young men are so smart in their suits and ties. We would like also to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Hester for donating her expertise, time and resources for decorating the theatre, it is appreciated by us all..

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Watch this space next week for all the news and pictures from our Record of Achievement ceremonies and, of course, the Prom!

Please remember that there is no After School Club on Tuesday 12th July as staff will be attending a twilight training session.

Have a lovely weekend,

Judith and Dawn #proud

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