03 Feb

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Here we are in February and the mornings and evenings are definitely getting lighter as we move towards the half term break next Friday. We have just said goodbye and thank you to James Hays who came to us on placement from Leeds Metropolitan University, the very site where Mrs Lamb spent three years training to be a teacher at Carnegie, Beckett Park. James has been a fantastic asset to us and has proved to be a valuable member of the school family. We know the PE Department will miss him greatly, as will the staff and children.

Whilst James has returned to Leeds, we have gained Luke Flanagan. Luke left New Bridge a year or so ago to study at Oldham Sixth Form College and he has returned to school this week on a placement in PE. It has been a delight to be able to offer him an opportunity to gain experience within the sports department. Amazingly, Luke has received offers from 5 universities for next year, we are so proud of him.

We are delighted to be able to give you an insight into the many work experience opportunities for our young people at New Bridge. We aim to help them grow in confidence and self-esteem and to achieve outcomes they never thought possible. Many of our options and curriculum areas focus on developing our young people’s personal, social and life skills. Our New Bridge employment based programmes enable them to get a taste of working life through our ‘Preparing for Working Life’ and ‘Experiencing Working Life’ programmes and provide the opportunity for an ever growing number of our young people to complete internal and external work placements supported by our own job coaches.

At the Learning Centre Jack is working as a caretaker’s assistant, Leah P. and Kayleigh assist in the Krafty Kids nursery, Callum, Jason, Ellis, Rezaul, Shihab, Imnann, Fahad and Steven work as lunchtime assistants and Steven also supports pupils at New Bridge school. Additional young people completing weekly internal work placements based at the Learning Centre include Hamidur, Sohail, Nahim and Yamin who are all working as dining room assistants and Seb C., Jason, Fahad, Chris and Shihab who are working as reception asssistants.

A large number of our young people are now working hard on external placements at the Atrium Café, including Abdul, Josh, Brittany, Kayleigh, Seb, Helal, Daniel, Kyra, William, Sophie, Gary, Chris, Dwayne, Faisal and Reece. Here you can see Kayleigh working front of house, cleaning tables..

..cleaning the drinks fridge..

..and doing some training on the till..

William has been topping up the supplies on all the floors of the First Choice Homes building and checking to see if the milk is in date..

We have recently had the pleasure of reporting on the progress of Oliver at the Atrium café and his job coach, Charlotte, has sent us an update:

“Last week Oliver had the chance to familiarise himself further with the building and this week he had a go at topping up the tea and sugar jars on all three floors. He continues to progress at the café, he is always smiling and willing to try new jobs..”

Our Wednesday options group ‘Supporting Others’ is another weekly work experience programme based at a church near the Learning Centre. It has been running successfully for several years and our current group of students includes Leah W., Kyra, Seb C., Jason, Rezaul, Farhana, Tamzin, Tamara and Kerrie. Please watch this space for pictures and a report on their progress!

Our curriculum focus this week is Science and History. Mr Hanif brings us some of the highlights..

This term in History we have been exploring Ancient Egypt with the Year 7s. Pupils have learnt about the River Nile and its importance to Egyptian civilisation. We have also investigated the ritual of mummification and the children were especially fascinated to learn how the brain was removed through the nose and then placed in to canopic jars together with other vital organs. This week the pupils have concentrated on communication and studied Hieroglyphics – they were very glad that they only have to remember the 26 letters of the alphabet instead of the 700 symbols used by the Ancient Egyptian civilisation!

Year 8 are studying the Victorian era, with a particular focus on the Children of the Industrial Life, and after listening to some of the dreadful stories of child labour, the pupils are actually happy that they are in school rather than the Victorian children who had to work in factories, mills or coal mines. In the coming weeks the pupils will be finding out about strict Victorian school life, I can’t wait to get the cane back out (only as a prop, Mrs Lamb!). The children will be experiencing a typical Victorian school day with a strict set of rules to follow as well as concentrating on the three R’s, reading, writing and arithmetic.

Year 9 have concentrated on the Home Front and how Britain prepared for war..

We have explored in more detail evacuation, rationing and the use of propaganda. The pupils also created their own gas masks..

 They were surprised to find out that children had to take them everywhere with them including school and they were relieved that they only have to remember to bring their PE kit in once a week. Pupils have also been commemorating the 72 year anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. They have been learning about prejudice and not making preconceived judgements. Although studying the Holocaust is very harrowing, it is always refreshing to see how our young people always look after and support each other.

In Science, Year 7 have been enjoying their own version of ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ and bravely trying a selection of unusual foods..

Year 8 have made salt dough to create some beautiful Autumn leaves..

..and Year 9 have been studying the solar system and have carried out their own interviews for a news report on the different planets..

On Monday some of the pupils from the Autism Base were able to take part in an afternoon of scooter activities at Oldham Futsal Arena. The event was to allow young people to experience a different activity which they may not have tried at home or at school – as you can see, all of the young people loved it!!

We have been visited this week by other schools from as far away as Bristol and as close as Wigan. We are happy to share with other professionals some of the things we feel are exemplary and seek support and reassurance from them in areas we feel need to be developed. Mrs Taylor has also been sharing her expertise across the organisation and offering a screening and intervention service for dyslexia. It is important to be an outward facing organisation as these types of interactions enrich us and clear our minds towards developing new projects.

On Friday we received a letter from Park Cakes offering to donate cakes for our coffee morning on Friday 31st March. We are very grateful and extend our sincere thanks to the factory – we hope you will be able to join us on the day for what is always a very enjoyable event.

Kyle, just out of hospital, called into see us on Friday and we were all very pleased to see him back in school. Mr Southerington is working closely with Kyle and his family and they have organised a plan that will help him ease himself back into school life.

Tuesday 7th February is Safer Internet Day 2017, click here for more information and lots of fun activities you can take part in.

The wait is nearly over for our Year 13 students who are off on their Calvert residential trip to the Lake District on Monday. During our Learning Centre assembly we challenged them to ‘try everything!’ and we can’t wait to see the photos and hear the reports of all the exciting activities they will get chance to take part in. We wish you all a safe journey, good weather and a great time – ENJOY!

We would like to wish everyone (apart from Year 13 who will be fizzing with excitement) a peaceful weekend before the last week of this half term – how quickly time flies!

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