21 Apr

Welcome back everybody to the start of the Summer term, we hope you all had a good break. Our Easter Holiday Club went really well and the day out to Eureka! proved particularly popular..

This term is historically very busy with awards evenings, residential holidays, curricular visits, sporting events, our leavers’ prom and, of course, the school show. As you know, this year the production will be ‘Aladdin and Jasmine’ and information will be sent out shortly regarding rehearsals and tickets. Scripts have been sent home and lines are now being learnt – we’ve heard there is a very impressive dance piece with Key Stage 4 using fabrics as part of the market scene in Agrabah, it sounds wonderful!

This week has seen a very positive start to the term, everyone seems pleased to be back and of course we have all been very busy. The Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s practice expedition took place in the Peak District around the Ladybower Reservoir and we were delighted to receive positive feedback from the campsite owners at Calver about the attitude and behaviour of our young people. Mr Lawrence reported great teamwork and friendship around the campfire in the evening and we understand the tents have finally dried out….ready for next week’s Gold practice expedition! You can find out more in Mr Taylor’s report but here are a few pictures to give you an idea..

As well as the Gold expedition, next week sees our wheelchair basketball team have a very early start to Worcester to take part in the National Finals following their success at the regional finals last month. Our Year 8 Humanities class will also be visiting the Imperial War Museum and they have really enjoyed exploring a resources box full of artefacts that has been loaned to us by the museum prior to the visit. Mr Hanif has had additional training from the museum to maximise its effectiveness and everyone is really looking forward to the trip.

We often talk about our New Bridge family and the care and consideration our young people show to each other. This week we have been particularly impressed with how they have supported each other and shown the values of ‘being a good friend’. There have been several occasions where our young people have been able to resolve issues calmly and with maturity, in addition to helping their friends manage situations. This was echoed within the Learning Centre assembly with their theme of ‘True Friendship’.

Please could we remind parents about the negative aspects of social media. We have written about this in the past but unfortunately over the holidays some of our young people have been making the wrong choices. We will continue to work with parents and pupils to address this but we would like to reiterate that although the benefits of the internet far outweigh the potential dangers, parents should be aware of the very real risks their children may be exposed to online. We strongly recommend an amnesty of mobile devices and removal of the games control at a set time, one hour before bed time. Our brains take time to ‘wind down’ and need that physical relaxation in order to sleep. There is some helpful advice about online risks available on the Kidscape website here and you can visit our e-Safety pages here for more resources.

We’re pleased to announce the re-introduction of our weekly feature, ‘Cooking with Hortus’. Mrs Gillett explains..

“In our Summer term the module is ‘Back to Basics’. We are using recipes that can be adapted or ingredients added to enhance the dish. This week we made a basic tuna pasta bake, making our own white sauce with butter, flour and milk, added cheese and tuna and poured over the cooked pasta. For a change we used cornflakes as a crunchy texture.”

Miss Allison is pleased to report that the dish was delicious – the standard is definitely very high  and it would seem we have some chefs amongst us! Another of our stars has been Kyra, who by special request assisted Mrs Gillett in another lesson, helping students prepare and make this week’s recipe. She showed maturity and patience and in Mrs Gillett’s words “was a star, I couldn’t have managed without her..”

It’s a privilege to see how far our students have come and the work and life skills they now possess. Watch out Mrs Gillett, Kyra will be taking the lesson next! Well done, Kyra!

Our curriculum focus this week is on English and Miss Begum has shared some of the work her classes are doing this term. Year 8 have been dressing up as pirates for role play. They used a real pirate’s outfit complete with a wig, hat and pirate boots as well as a sword and a plastic rifle..

..and even a parrot!!

Year 9 have been tasting fruit and making alphabet caterpillars using paper plates – can you guess which story they’ve been reading..

Year 10 and Year 11 have been enjoying Roald Dahl’s BFG. They have been busy making their own ‘snozzcumber’ hand masks for the story using cucumber and hand cream..

Year 11’s contribution to the story was making bubble paintings to create the BFG ‘snozzcumber juice’. They made paint bubbles using straws which they then stamped on to pieces of paper to create the fizzing effect..

Many of our young people are working hard preparing for tests and exams this term. We would like a special mention to go to the Year 13 students who started their Art and Design GCSE controlled test this week. It can be a stressful time but they were amazing and worked solidly all day. Well done Kyra, Britanny, William, Hamza and Helal! Miss Allison is looking forward to the next session – make sure you get an early night on Monday.

You may remember we mentioned how Patrick successfully completed a 1 mile sponsored swim in aid of MECP2 Duplication UK before Easter.

We’re thrilled to hear that he has raised the grand total of £626 – a wonderful achievement, well done Patrick!!

Talking of fundraising, we’re very excited for the start of our New Bridge Group lottery next week. A £1 ticket will give you the chance to directly support our young people and be in with the chance of winning a cash prize too. Please click here for details if you would like to join us and feel free to tell your family and friends – good luck!

Don’t forget that Natalie Stenson, Transitions Nurse Practitioner, will be holding an open afternoon and giving a talk on Wednesday 26th April at 2pm for any Learning Centre parents and carers who would like the opportunity to talk through any issues or concerns and learn more about the health transition process to adult services. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Barker. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Letters have gone home for our May Holiday Club, please make sure you return the forms by next Friday 28th April if you would like to request a place for your child. If you need another copy, please contact the school office or click here to download them.

We hope you have a great weekend,

Judith and Dawn

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