10 Feb

Our Year 13 students have returned safe and sound from their residential at the Calvert Trust in Keswick with huge smiles and tales of climbing walls, zip wires, fires, night walks and horse riding!

We will be bringing you a full report of their adventures after half term but for now these pictures may give you a taste of what they’ve been up to (and go some way to explaining the amount of washing they came home with!) As one student commented on his muddy shoes, ‘It was well worth it!’

We are very grateful to all our Learning Centre staff, both those who have been with our Year 13 students at Calvert and those who held the fort back in Oldham, trying to give as much stability as possible. (Miss Allison was particularly pleased when Mr Smith commented on her ‘good technique’ in PE when she joined in with the sit ups, although unfortunately we don’t have any photos…)

There has been much said over the last few weeks about being safe online and Tuesday saw us join in with the national Safer Internet Day 2017. As parents we do worry about what our children might see and whom they might interact with whilst on the computer. The dangers are not just on the computer of course, as the use of mobile phones and ‘chats’ on games consoles is increasingly presenting parents with dilemmas. We would strongly advise parents to remain vigilant about what is being shared via mobile phones and on games consoles. Brains need time to slow down and prepare for much needed rest and sleep and a mobile phone amnesty at 9pm would be advisable, as would switching off the games console. Our children struggle to understand when enough is enough and rules and boundaries at school and home are very important. We know that saying ‘No’ is never easy; being a parent is often difficult.

This week Mrs Lamb had the opportunity to sit and talk with 3 head boys, past and present, and found it encouraging to reflect with them on appropriate behaviour online. They talked about what happens when things go right and what to do when they don’t. They also discussed the importance of CEOP and the report button which is at the heart of our e-safety motto ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ – you can find out more on our e-safety pages here. As part of Safer Internet Week there has been a lot of work going on with all young people using the materials our Head of ICT has shared with us. On Tuesday we had a lot of fun creating our own emojis to join in with the #giveasmile campaign on social media..

We had a special whole school assembly and Mr Bright shared some of the key messages around e-safety such as protecting passwords, cyber bullying, texting, sharing of images and chatting on consoles and social media late at night. If you need any advice around supporting your child with e-safety, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

This week’s curriculum focus is on Living Skills which covers an enormous range of topics. Here are just some of the things our young people have been working on..

Mr Jackson’s group have been looking at people with impairments – how it affects their lives, how it might make them feel, what changes can make their lives easier, how we can help. They are looking at impairments involving speech, sight, hearing and limbs and this week were focusing on sight. To give the pupils an experience of what life is like when this is lost, they worked in pairs and were given a recipe and the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. They then took it in turns to be blindfolded and follow the recipe to make the cookies before trying to answer the points mentioned earlier..

Miss Patchett’s Year 8 groups have been learning about people who help us stay healthy, looking in particular at the roles of doctors and nurses and the different equipment they use..

Year 9 have been working on Healthy Living. The focus of this lesson was the effects of a poor diet on our bodies and here you can see the pupils drawing bodies then highlighting the areas affected..

Mrs Fennelly’s Year 9 group have been busy in the kitchen..

Year 10 have been learning about staying safe and identifying how to cross a road safely..

Year 14 have been enjoying their lessons on looking after your home with Mrs Sarwar – here you can see Callum getting ready to use the dust pan and brush..

..and Hamidur doing a fantastic job of the ironing with great attention to detail..

Yamin enjoyed ironing all the aprons so much that Mrs Sarwar wondered if she could bring in another load..

Callum used the iron with support and did a great job of getting those stubborn creases out..

Nahim got this floor spotless and would not put down his dust pan and brush down until the job was done..

Yamin got the hang of it too..

Angela is another of our eager ironers, paying her full attention to those stubborn creases..


Fahad has learnt to follow the health and safety rules, including ‘always make sure your hands are dry when touching a plug’..

Our IB classes have made the most of Valentine’s Day this year – in IBLC1 the students have baked delicious cupcakes and done some lovely decorating..

While IBLC2 made some imaginative (and tasty!) gingerbread Lego biscuits..

Both classes had a lot of fun creating their beautiful ‘love bug’ marbling ink cards..

We told you a few weeks ago about the Learning Centre’s involvement in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch and our E Base staff and students have truly embraced the project. Here is a report from Mrs Thornhill:

‘As part of the RSPB’s “Big Garden Birdwatch” survey, Ebase 1 have been making bird feeders to entice different birds into their garden. We have used all sorts of things including off cuts of wood, wooden discs and twigs which we have threaded onto string to create a basis for our dangling feeders. Jessica particularly enjoyed mixing the tasty treats of bird seed, mealworms and peanut butter into a paste which she then packed very carefully into cored apples. Oliver helped to hang the bird feeders (because nobody else could reach). Since the bird feeders have been up, the students have been using binoculars to try and identify some of the birds. We have noticed an increase in the bird population in our garden and have spotted robins, great tits, blackbirds, a thrush, some sparrows and, of course, the famous Hitch and Stitch.’

Well done, everyone, we think Mr Quinn will now agree it was a good idea!

We have a quick update for you on Oliver who is continuing his work placement at the Atrium Café – his job coach, Charlotte reports..

Oliver is starting to remember the route around the building. When we arrive in the morning, with a few prompts of ‘which way next?’, ‘where’s the next kitchen?’, he remembers where he needs to go to get to the café from Medtia and when we do the tea/coffee stock check he knows where the kitchens are and the lift. He can independently find the correct cupboards..

..and he enjoys using the lift – here he’s finding the button for the next floor. The photos are slightly blurred as he was keen to do his jobs!!

We can’t believe that half term is already here, have a lovely rest. Mrs Lamb will be heading down south to see her Mum and Dad – normally it is sub-tropical temperatures but in this case it will be the opposite! We will see you all again after the holiday on Tuesday 21st February, as the Monday is our staff training day.

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