30 Sep

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We love our jobs and we love our New Bridge family but sometimes it brings challenges that are difficult to deal with. A headteacher once spoke of the children being like bright colours that are woven into the fabric of the school. On Tuesday we learnt of the death of one of our Year 10 pupils. Faye was one of our brightest colours, she touched us all and her passing will leave a void within New Bridge and we will miss her greatly. Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family at this time.

This week Mr Smith and some of our young people visited London to attend the launch of the Premier League and BT’s Disability Sport initiative at the old Olympic Stadium, now the home of West Ham United. This new scheme aims to encourage young people and adults with disabilities of all kinds to engage in sport and funding has been provided for the next 3 years to make this happen. Our lucky group were treated to a night at the Novotel, a 4 star hotel facing the O2 arena, all paid for by the Premier League before venturing pitch side to experience what it is like to be a footballer for a day..

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They met professional Premier League referees and were able to ask them questions about their role in football, and they even spotted footballers Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves and Ledley King who were present at the event!

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They didn’t travel all the way to London just to look at the stadium though, they went to compete and played Crystal Palace at power chair football..

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The game was refereed by a Barclays Premier League official referee – he may have refereed FA cup finals and big premier league games like Manchester City and Manchester United but the players from New Bridge had to help him out as wheelchair football was all new to him! It was a fantastic game with lots of goals and the score finished at MCFC 5 – 5 Crystal Palace.

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One special highlight of the trip was seeing Nathan, a big Arsenal fan, wearing a Manchester City football top sitting on the West Ham United’s bench.. 🙂

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All our young people had a fantastic time and we would like to say a massive thank you to Paul Kelly and Manchester City’s ‘City in the Community’ for giving our New Bridge players this incredible opportunity. We are also very grateful to all the parents who came and supported on the trip, it was a truly unforgettable experience!

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For the next couple of weeks we will be focusing on our bespoke groups at the Learning Centre. Our IB (Interactive Base) and EBase (Autism Base) classes provide smaller, more discrete environments within which our students are nurtured and supported, with specialised staff teams catering to individual needs.

This term’s topic in IBLC2 is ‘The Circus’ based on the book ‘The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus’ and the students have been having a wonderful time with a variety of cross-curricular activities including music, cooking circus foods and creating displays. Here you can see them making flags to decorate the Big Top..

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Miss Sylvester brings us her on the ground report from IBLC1:

 ‘Our theme this term is ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ and we have been creating our own marvellous medicines using a variety of ingredients. Students have been making choices and showing preferences between gooey, runny, powdery and smelly substances! We have been getting into character through role play activities taking on the parts of George – wearing our lab coats and goggles ready to experiment..

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..and sporting our various wigs when being our nasty grandma..

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 We are also developing our baking skills using all things chocolate within living skills lessons, linking to the sweet-like chocolate theme within our story..

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EBase 1 Students have been recreating a café/restaurant environment as part of their living skills curriculum. Mrs Bennett tells us more..

“All our students sit together around the table as they would do if they were in a café or restaurant with their friends, family or carers.

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Students either communicate their choice verbally using good manners, please and thank you, or for those who are non-verbal, we give them a voice by using symbols rather than just placing in front of them what we think they might like to order..

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 Our students are developing their communication and social skills, not only within the classroom setting but in preparation for when they are out and about in the community.

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Watch out for news and pictures from our EBase 2 students soon!

The first Student Council meeting for our newly elected representatives will take place at the Learning Centre next week. They are busy gathering views and opinions from their fellow students and preparing to represent their peers – don’t miss our next blog for a report of the meeting.

The school site ended the week with an assembly launching a project for young people funded by the Home Office. Special guests from the Phoenix Project came to tell us about ‘CTZN’, a ground breaking programme which is attempting to engage with young people using a new app all about esafety and the safe use of social media. We also welcomed local rapper KAPITAL who had some very catchy rhymes about themes around staying safe..

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CTZN is attempting to tackle bullying and discrimination whilst teaching young people about keeping safe and we certainly had a LOT of fun learning about it..

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Just look at these moves from Mrs Lamb!

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KAPITAL said New Bridge gave “by far the best response I’ve had from any school yet!” – he even stayed to sign autographs and as you can see the pupils loved every minute of it..

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Please could we thank the parents who have supported us with the new arrangements for  dropping your children off at the school site in the morning. The system is working very well and it has alleviated the congestion at the front of the building. If any parent has any concerns about this, please don’t hesitate to arrange an appointment to talk to Mrs Lamb.

Have a restful and peaceful weekend,

Judith and Dawn

You can find our full blog here

The New Bridge Horizons blog is available here for updates on our Key Stage 5 Pathway students in Lumenus, Digit4ll and Activ8 together with Future Finders students and the young people at Horizons.

Click here to read Graham’s blog.