02 Dec

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Rehearsals are in full swing in preparation for our Christmas Showcase which our young people will be performing next Wednesday 7th December and Thursday 8th December at 6.30pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to witness firsthand a flavour of the learning that takes place every week in our Performing Arts, Drama, Dance and Music lessons. Tickets are still available and the Digit4ll students from our IT pathway will once again be filming the performance – please click here for details of how to book your tickets and order a copy of the DVD for £3.00.

The school choir are taking part in the Salvation Army’s Shoppers’ Carol Service at their headquarters in Shaw on Thursday 8th at 11.00am, please call in and join them if you are nearby..

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Our choir is always in demand at this time of year and they will be out and about singing carols during the last week of term – you may well come across them if you are out doing your Christmas shopping! We always get such positive feedback from the public after these events, it is lovely to hear their comments on the behaviour and enthusiasm shown by our pupils.

It was a pleasure to meet parents and carers at our Key Stage 5 Parents’ Evenings at the Learning Centre and Medtia Square this week. It’s always great to be able to celebrate our young people’s successes, especially when we see how far they have progressed on their journey with us here at New Bridge. Colleagues were able to offer advice about our ‘Bridging the Gap’ programme, pre-internship opportunities, ‘Future Finders’ and other post 19 provisions. Several outside agencies were also available to provide support, advice and guidance. If you didn’t get chance to let us know how it went, please click here to fill in this short questionnaire to give us your feedback, we really value your comments and your continued support.

Families who came to the Learning Centre had the opportunity to purchase a range of indoor and outdoor plants and containers from our Hortus pathway, in addition to a range of festive items produced by our students as part of the Enterprise Programme (special thanks to Chris for his stint manning the stall!) Our Enterprise Programme enables students to gain a range of social and work based skills, incorporating finance, including profit and loss, money management, sales and marketing, product design, customer care and, of course, teamwork. There are still a few horticulture and enterprise items available, please call into the Learning Centre for further information.

Our Digit4ll students have been extremely busy keeping up with the Christmas rush of orders but if you are really quick, there is still time to order a special something personalised with your favourite image – please contact nbprinters@newbridgegroup.org or ring 0161 883 2403 for details..

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We can’t yet bring you the final total raised across the school and Learning Centre in aid of Children in Need but we can announce that the Nurture Base raised a whooping £172.30 from their stall alone. They worked really hard as a team to produce their very popular sweet cones and we’re very pleased with their efforts, well done to them all!

Last year saw our first ever ‘Sponsored Santa Stroll’ and it was such a success that we’re delighted to let you know we’ve arranged another one for Wednesday 14th December..

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After we have finished our Christmas dinner the whole school will once again be taking part in a fundraising afternoon. Some of us will be ‘strolling’ leisurely along, others might be a bit more energetic and manage a few quick laps of the school grounds while our speedy Activ8 students will no doubt be ‘dashing’ round a local park. Please be assured that all these activities have been fully risk assessed and your child will be taking part in the group that is most appropriate for their needs. Wednesday 14th December is also ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ and it would be lovely to see everyone wearing theirs. Christmas hats will also be very welcome and our ‘New Bridge Santas’ should certainly be an impressive sight – watch out for our picture in the Oldham Chronicle! If you don’t have any seasonal jumpers at home please don’t worry, non-uniform is fine but no football shirts please.

We’re hoping our ‘Strolling Santas’ will be able to get as many sponsors as possible to raise funds for all the young people here at New Bridge and we would be grateful if you could ask friends and family if they would consider sponsoring your child. Sponsor forms have been sent home and you can download a copy here or alternatively donations can be made online if that is more convenient through the link here. There will be a prize for the young person who collects the most sponsors and another prize for the best Christmas jumper, look out for the winning pictures on this blog at the end of term!

This week the curriculum spotlight is on our pathway groups – Activ8, Digit4ll and Lumenus. Let’s find out a bit about what they have been up to recently, starting with Mr Lawrence..

Activ8 have had a great term. They have integrated well as a team with older members Jack and Jamie supporting our new members Callum, Jojo, Brandon, Alan and Lewis alongside a new member of staff, Mr Hickie. Jack has been an excellent role model, supporting the group whilst busy applying for a college place for the future. Matty has already been accepted to the college of his choice starting next year.

We have continued with the principles Activ8 was built on; teamwork, health, fitness, participation, community access, qualifications, discipline and fun..

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We have participated in some great activities including football at Manchester City..

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..the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme..

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..a rugby league trip to Old Trafford..

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..which we used to improve our own rugby league sessions..

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We had a visit from our Sky Sports Mentor, Sophie Cox. Activ8 take part in the Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ project every year and use it in their sports leaders sessions to engage younger pupils using sports. This has been used this year by the Key Stage 4 group while leading the Year 8 intervention sessions on a Friday.

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..somehow we don’t think Mr Greenway will forget that visit in a hurry..

..and we have become members of Oldham leisure centre..

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Over to Mr Southerington for Digit4ll..

The Key Stage 4 Digit4ll group have taken a break from the technical side of ICT (more of that to come in the next term) and have been focusing on the historical aspects of technology. The pupils have been time travelling through the ages, learning how technology has changed, evolved and advanced whilst finding out about the key people and significant hardwares/softwares that have contributed to the development of this movement.

I asked each pupil to explain a piece of ICT history that they find interesting to our blog readers..

Taura and Abigail

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“This is Sergey Brin. Brin created Google with Larry Page in 1998. Since then Google developed into the world’s most popular search engine. Brin was born on August 21, 1973, in Moscow, Russia. He met Larry Page at Stanford University, and the two friends created a search engine that would sort web pages based on popularity. They named the search engine “Google”. We feel that Google has made finding information easier”

Danielle

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“I have chosen the IPod. It was created by Apple and was released in 2001. The IPod changed how we listen to music becaues it could hold about 5000 songs in your pocket. And not CDs or tapes. It has now become normal to have an mp3 player.”

Zulaika

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“I chose this game because Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games and the very first sports arcade video game in 1972. It started people being interested in sport on computers. We now have FIFA games because of Pong.”

Josh

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“I chose Donkey Kong because he is a famous face in the world of gaming. He was also the first character to fight Mario in the game in 1981. He is a regular character in Mario games now.”

Michael, Gareth, Peter

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“This is Alan Turing. We chose Alan Turing because we believe he needs more recognition for his contribution to winning World War 2. He cracked the Enigma Machine and was a brilliant computer scientist. He also thought of the idea of a stored programme computer in 1936.”

Mr Southerington

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“I chose Steve Wozniak. Wozniak is one of the founders of Apple Computers. He is one of my heroes as he was a pioneer in Personal Computing,and singlehandedly built the Apple I. If it wasn’t for Woz, and Steve Jobs, many products we take for granted today would probably not have been invented.”

We do like to look at where technology has come from, but we are more excited about how technology advances in the future!

Our Lumenus group are, of course, very busy with rehearsals for the Christmas Showcase and are already preparing for our big summer production, Aladdin and Jasmine. They took time out to watch a special performance from Oldham Theatre Workshop at Medtia Square called ‘The First Fall of Snow’, a piece commissioned by Oldham Youth Council to raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs..

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Our students then took part in a workshop with the actors, followed by a question and answer session where they reviewed the performance and gave their feedback on the information they had gleaned from it – it definitely had an impact on our young people, as Matthew described in his blog.

Our Key Stage 5 pathway students welcomed another visitor on Thursday when Luke Ambler spent the morning at Medtia and delivered a workshop focused on physical fitness, overall well-being and improving mental health as part of his #itsokaytotalk campaign to remove the stigma around depression and mental health..

You can find out more about the fantastic work they did here.

Mrs Gillett explains why this week’s ‘Cooking with Hortus’ was slightly different…

Every day we see the Hortus group out in all weathers looking after the gardens and grounds around New Bridge. This week, as a reward for their hard work we treated them to an English breakfast which was enjoyed by all..

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..well, not exactly ‘all’, as although usually our beloved leader is the chief taster, after some confusion and the temptation of a rather tasty English breakfast Mr Barry, our Hortus TA, was the lucky recipient – as he says, “The meal looked so good, the egg was cooked perfectly and overall a very tasty meal.”

We would like to congratulate Jack and Matthew on the quality (and popularity!) of their weekly blogs. As Mr Quinn said, we’re not sure we can match you in followers but you have certainly set the bar high, keep up the good work!

We’re also very proud of 3 pupils in particular from 8RML who will be getting ‘Good News!’ postcards home after their hard work, well done!

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Have a great weekend,

Judith and Dawn

(For those of you wondering what has happened to the Learning Centre’s resident crows, Hitch and Stitch, we can report that they are most definitely still with us, larger than life and cheekier than ever – hold onto your hats as you approach the front door!)

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