24 Mar

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We’ve had a great week at New Bridge with lots of different events and activities taking place. Our academic curriculum has been enriched with exciting sporting and cultural visits across the North West.

On Tuesday Mr Smith took young people from across the New Bridge Group to compete in the tag rugby events at the Greater Manchester Winter Games. As usual the behaviour and sportsmanship of our teams was exemplary and we’re delighted to say that they were also extremely successful on the pitch! Our Under 16 team from New Bridge School and Hollinwood Academy managed to retain their title and saw off the competition to bring home gold medals once again..

The teams were even interviewed by BBC North West..

Our Under 19 team from the Learning Centre played some brilliant rugby too and did New Bridge proud. They were presented with medals on the day which they wore with pride on their return. They then received certificates and badges in assembly in recognition of their achievements and Mr Smith made a special mention of Nathan and Callum who were the two ‘stand out’ players. You can read more about their fantastic day here.

On Wednesday Mrs Taylor took her Year 11 English class to the Manchester Police Museum as part of their topic on Crime and Punishment..

They were able to experience the whole justice system from arrest..

..to trial..

..although we’re glad we don’t have to face this particular jury..

Massive thanks go to Mrs Brierley, Mrs Parkinson, Mr Fieldhouse, Ms Ward, Ms Bridge, Mr Raynor Taylor, Mr Montgomery and Mr Firth for taking the New Bridge Scouts for a weekend away to the Scout Headquarters in Lytham St Annes. The activities included the climbing wall and archery and they had an amazing time despite the wet weather – we will bring you a full report on their Scouting adventures soon!

Red Nose Day went really well and the young people and staff threw themselves wholeheartedly into the ‘Comic Relief’ spirit. All throughout the week cakes were made and donated at the school site, catering for all diets. The reception area was decorated with balloons and bunting, and Maltesers, cream and red cherries were a common theme (Slimming World and Weight Watchers were nowhere to be seen!). The young people made the most of the day, wearing their own clothes, Red Nose Day t-shirts, noses and make up and Mr Jackson also organised games outside. We raised over £100 on cake sales alone – please click here for more pictures and a report from Mr Meadows who masterminded ‘Operation Cake Sale’..

A large number of students embraced the sponsored silence challenge at the Learning Centre to raise money for Comic Relief. Miss Allison had the quietest Friday ever and would like to propose a sponsored silence on a regular basis – she has a list of staff who’d be willing to pay! Our star turn has to be Sabiha who raised over £80 and remained quiet ALL DAY! Well done, Sabiha! Students were also sponsored to ‘Give up their phones for a day’ but the highlight for most of them was the ‘Throw a wet sponge at staff’ challenge! A huge thank you to all the staff who agreed to take part, we think the pictures speak for themselves (we bet some people wished they had borrowed Miss Allison’s shower cap – who’s laughing now, Mr Barker?)

Thanks to Mr Blackman’s Horticulture group for making our ‘muscle man’ cut out, although sadly it afforded little real protection..

IBLC2 also raised £6.50 for Comic Relief selling cakes and chocolates that they had made..

Our curriculum focus this week is on our Autism Base (AB) classes. AB pupils have been exploring tower building this term in their Science lessons with Miss Taylor. This topic has really taken the imagination of some of the pupils (and some of the staff!). We have been using different materials to build our towers. Over the course of the half term we have used wood, paper and plastic materials to build our towers. We started with plastic cups and paper plates..

Some pupils just built with cups while others found they could build higher with paper plates as well..

We used a range of different activities to motivate pupils, including jigsaws..

..dice games that included a ‘knock it down’ option and copying prebuilt tower pictures..


Mrs Fennelly’s group used a more sensory approach and used shaving foam as ‘cement’ to hold their blocks together (Moniur thought it was very funny when the shaving foam ended up on Miss Taylor’s nose!)

The competitive spirit surfaced when the AB classes had a paper tower building competition – Miss Mellor and Mr Fennelly enjoyed themselves although Thahmim and Sarah gave them a run for their money!

A word of warning – if Suleman or Sadik ask you to play jenga, watch out as they both have extraordinarily steady hands and fantastic balancing skills..

As part of their living skills work AB1 have been doing lots of cooking. This has included cutting up different fruits and vegetables and using the microwave. The pupils have learnt which buttons to press to use the microwave safely and have been making chocolate cornflake cakes..

They have also been learning how to use the washing machine..

Here you can see Malcolm doing his presentation in English – he was very good. He spoke clearly and presented his information really well and he got great feedback from his peers..

Students within Ebase 2 have been busy making special gifts for Mother Day this week..

Kausar has shown massive progression in the ‘Dog Therapy’ sessions with Lola. At first Kausar became very anxious and would not even stroke Lola and would sit with his feet up on the chair. After only 4 sessions Kausar now strokes Lola, give her water and treats in her bowl if she has been a good girl..

Kausar is more confident and calm in Lola’s company and takes her for walks in Ebase 2 garden and around the Learning Centre, holding her lead without letting go..

The students have also been busy tidying the garden and clearing the leaves and fallen twigs ready for Spring..

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This week the class walked up a very steep hill at Riversdale in Daisy Nook Country Park..

Ellis really enjoyed the walk even though it was long and he had to climb many steps..

..but Matthew needed a sit down at the end to rest..

Our young people have been continuing to work hard on their placements at the Atrium café. Sufyaan has been independently stocking and running the trolley run (with a bit of support with money skills) and then putting the takings through the till..

Matthew and Nathan have been topping up the condiments and snacks, cleaning tables, drying cutlery and helping to put away a big delivery..


Kayleigh has been learning how to use the till..

We’re looking forward to welcoming both new and old faces to our Learning Centre Parents Group meeting on Wednesday 29th March at 2pm – we hope you can join us!

We would like to wish Pauline Fitzgerald all the very best as she resigns from our Governing Body. Pauline has been a Governor here since New Bridge School opened in 2005 after previously supporting Hill Top School. We will miss her wry sense of humour and her wisdom, and we would like to thank her for all her hard work over the years.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that Aisha, one of our Future Finders students, has been offered a permanent paid position at Plastics Direct in Oldham! You can read more about the success of Aisha and our other Future Finders in the New Bridge Horizons blog here.

We’re looking forward to welcoming all parents and carers to two events this week – our E-Safety Workshop at Hollinwood Academy at 4pm on Thursday and our coffee mornings from 10am – 11.30am on Friday at the school and the Learning Centre. We hope to see you there!

Judith and Dawn

You can find our full blog here

Click here to read this week’s blog from Graham