04 Nov

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Welcome back, everyone! We’ve had another fantastic half term holiday club with a wide range of activities including all things Halloween (painted stone monsters, spooky spaghetti and surprisingly tasty ‘monster pops’) along with our old trusted favourites and some new activities including sumo wrestling (in inflatable padded sumo suits, just in case you were wondering!)..

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You can find all our Holiday Club photos on our Facebook page here and see for yourselves just how much fun we had! We finished the week with a fantastic day out at Blackpool Zoo and even managed not to bring any extra passengers back with us, although it was a close call..

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Again, we have an album on Facebook for you to enjoy here but we couldn’t resist giving you just a taste of what we got up to..

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More than 80 of our young people attended the club in October, not surprising given the excellent value for money and amazing content! Look out for the letter after Christmas if you would like to book a place on our February holiday club.

This week’s curriculum focus is on Living Skills, an area that covers the whole range of skills our young people will need to be as independent as possible. Our ‘Home’ area underwent a make-over during the summer holidays and all our pupils and students from Year 7 to Year 14 have been taking advantage of the wonderful new facilities to practise household tasks in a real home setting..

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Miss Patchett’s room has also been a hive of activity with our young people learning about lots of different aspects of keeping healthy and safe..

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We also now have a room dedicated to travel education and our young people have a lot of fun learning about road safety and accessing the community with Mr Hollinworth. This week Year 9 have been using their home address to identify public transport links from their house to New Bridge. They have been using the GMPTE bus route finder, google maps and paper maps, allowing them to research all the necessary information. They then mapped out the journey and have gained an understanding of direction, journey timings and the other skills associated with using public transport safely. We then recreate the actual journeys using public transport or the school minibus if available..

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Some of our young people have been finding out about the effects of alcohol in their personal safety lessons with Mrs Sarwar – no, they haven’t been hitting the bottle, they’ve bravely taken the ‘beer goggles challenge’!! Ellen did her best despite her ‘day goggles’ to walk straight ahead to greet Mr Fairest..

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..we’re not convinced Jade should be issuing directions while wearing these..

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Jermaine had trouble finding Mr Fairest’s hand to shake while wearing the ‘night goggles’..

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..and Jordan had problems walking in a straight line..

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Lewis felt very dizzy..

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..and Nathan was still determined to go for it..

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Sabeel volunteered to be spun round so he could experience a dizzy spell too..

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You’ll be relieved to know that none of the group are keen on feeling ‘tipsy’ again after that session! Mrs Sarwar’s groups have also been working hard on understanding money..

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..making healthy food choices..

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..or not..

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..and looking after your home..

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Of course, Living Skills also includes food! Mrs Crook spills the beans…….. our AB classes have been showing off their chopping and peeling skills and trying out lots of different fruits and vegetables..

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Year 7 have been busy honing their chopping and grating skills this week, making delicious fresh home-made coleslaw…. it’s amazing how many of them were willing to sample cabbage..

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Year 8 put their design skills to good use creating their own sweet and savoury toasties, using the new Eatwell Guide to make sure their designs provided a balanced nutritious snack..

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Year 9 showed their creative flair with their very colourful pizza toast creations..

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Year 10 have been weighing, measuring and perfecting their rubbing-in technique to make some cheesy scones worthy of even the most sophisticated afternoon tea..

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Year 11 have been quizzed on their basic food hygiene and have analysed various recipes to identify HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points… ahem, we knew that!!) All the recipes we use are part of the ‘Licence to Cook’ programme and if you would like to find out more or get your New Bridge chefs to recreate their masterpieces at home, please visit the website here.

By popular demand we are pleased to bring back our blog’s cooking feature, now re-named ‘Cooking with Hortus’.  This week our Hortus students have taken time out from their gardening work and prepared a lovely pasta dish with their own tomato sauce – delicious! You can find the recipe here if you would like to make this tasty dish..

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Our young people have been busy this week getting into Halloween mode – it’s been a scary time as you can see! Miss Evans bravely brings you her report….

This week IBLC2 decided to celebrate Halloween by throwing a party and we had lots of fun decorating the classroom. Some of us came in fancy dress and some of us had our faces painted. We had lots of ‘nice’ things to eat – everyone really enjoyed the chocolate slime cakes! We had plenty of witches..

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..and even a devil.. halloween-3

Dracula popped in for a visit..

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..and brought us a lovely pumpkin..

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We even had live music thanks to Mr Thompson who taught us some spooky songs along with our friends from IBLC1.. halloween-6

During our Learning Centre assembly we were inspired by the story of schoolgirl Nikki Christou who was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening condition, arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which left her with a facial disfigurement at the age of just six. Nikki received a Child of Courage Award at this week’s star-studded Pride of Britain Awards and you can read her incredible story here which she has shared with millions of people online..

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We heard how Nikki posts videos talking about her condition, gives make-up tips and offers advice to people struggling to cope with chronic illnesses – to date, her channel has attracted four million views and she has 79,000 subscribers! Nikki says, “People contact me who have AVMs and other confidence issues and I want my channel to be a community where people find that they can imperfectly perfect in their own special way. I’ve found people who are my best friends now. It’s nice to know you’re not alone as you think.” With her family and supporters, Nikki has also raised almost £400,000 for research into AVM at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she has been treated, and University College London – very inspiring!

Friday 18th November is Children in Need day and at New Bridge we will be joining in the fundraising and having fun! At the school site it will be a non-uniform day and we are hoping our young people will join ‘The Big Spotacular’ and wear something spotty (although no football shirts please as this has an unsettling effect on behaviour). Classes will be busy baking ‘spotty’ (Smarties!) biscuits in their lessons that week and our Nurture Base will be running a ‘Spotty Stall’ at break time selling their sweet treats!

We will be hosting a New Bridge fundraising day later in the year to raise funds specifically for our young people across the Group. Although the government’s pledge of no budget cuts to education has been honoured, cost of living increases, ongoing inflationary costs, national insurance and pensions contributions have all had an impact. The need for fundraising is becoming more significant and the formation of a parents’ group to facilitate this has been raised by a parent. This is something we would like to explore and we would welcome your ideas and support.

Mr Quinn has spoken in his blog about the sudden death of Ali, one of our Year 8 pupils. Ali was a member of our Interactive Base, a very lovable young man who will be greatly missed. As a school community we have mourned his death and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.

Some of our young people have been learning about safety in the run up to Bonfire night and the importance of following the Firework Code. We hope you have an enjoyable and safe 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 this week’s blog from Graham