12 May

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Well, it’s been a lovely week. The sun has been shining and that makes everyone smile, even the pupils who are working hard revising for their exams and completing coursework. Reviews are taking place with many of our young people deciding on their options for Year 10 and, wherever applicable, our Pathways. Year 11 pupils have been visiting the Learning Centre for their Living Skills lessons to experience the exciting curriculum offer there. The Year 11s are also spending lunchtimes with the Learning Centre students to experience the social aspects of Learning Centre life and they are enjoying joining in activities including pool, ICT and sports (weather permitting!) in addition to just chilling in the common room with their friends. Their behaviour has been excellent and everyone at the Learning Centre is really looking forward to the Year 11s moving up to join them in September.

As regular readers of this blog will be aware, students from the Hortus programme were involved in a gardening project at Rossendale Golf Club recently and Mr Maycock now brings us his report on their work..

The current captain of the club funded a project to plant a range of rhododendrons and azaleas along the back and sides of the first tee..

The behaviour of the students was excellent and they worked tremendously hard in achieving the finished beds..

The students were treated to lunch in the club house and met a number of club officials who praised them for the job they did..

The Professional golfer attached to the club and the Assistant professional made brews for the lads across the day and the professional was so impressed with their work, he photographed the students working and pictures of the beds and shared them on the golf club Twitter page for all members to see the students working and producing a high quality finished product..


Since completion, the Captain has been approached by over 70 – 80 members saying what a fantastic job the students did and that the finished article was so professionally completed. Visitors to the course have also commented on the beds and thought how well they looked.

The students involved were Kevin, John, Matthew, Liam, Ellis, Jake and Ryan. Well done to all, you did New Bridge proud! Thanks go to Mr Tony Blackman for supervising the students on the day.

We need to pay Rossendale Golf Club a visit! There was a meeting on Tuesday for parents whose children are going to Disneyland Paris after the half term break. They were able to look at the itinerary and meet the staff who will be supporting the children on the residential. These meetings are reassuring for everyone and are great for voicing any concerns and asking questions.

The Entry Level Art work for the WJEC Creative Media Award has now been completed and is being displayed in the main corridor at the school site – make sure you come and see the outstanding and creative pieces achieved by Year 11 if you are in school. Well done to Jade, Taura, Lewis, Abdul and Jordan who worked hard under the expert watchful eye of Mrs Parkinson.

Our joint project with national charities SeeAbility and Henshaws began this week, with Daniel from Hathershaws Opticians testing the eyesight of our Year 7s in school. It was a good day with 6 children being assessed by Daniel and his team and we hope this project will be beneficial for families and take away some of the anxiety that is incurred when visiting the optometrist. Laura Christie, SeeAbility’s National Manager for Children and Families, wrote to thank us “for embracing the SeeAbility project and making us all feel so welcome in your school. We have already seen the value in the project….and I am confident we are going to have a big impact.” Information has now gone home to Year 8 children inviting them to take part and pupils across school will be offered the opportunity in due course.

Mrs Patchett’s Living Skills class have been finding out how a visual impairment can make even simple tasks very difficult after they were asked to wear a blindfold..

In Science lessons the classes have been exploring the pond in the Science garden and looking at the ecosystem. The pupils have loved it, even the squeamish ones! They’ve found blood worms and leeches, flat worms and water fleas. They were fascinated at being able to see the digestive system of the water flea and the cilia that make it move. They could see the mouth parts of the snail and worked out it had no teeth. The leech was getting too hot though and kept trying to escape from the petri dish which caused quite a drama!! Unfortunately there are no pictures but the pupils will definitely be able to tell you all about the lesson if you ask them!

Mr Hanif’s History groups have been following up their recent visit to the Imperial War Museum by exploring all the resources that were loaned to school. The pupils have had a chance to really investigate some original items from the First World War. These have included the Princess Mary Gift Box, a gift that was to be sent to ‘every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front’. Around 350,00 boxes reached soldiers and sailers in time for Christmas 1914. All the boxes contained a Christmas card and photograph of the Princess. The smoker’s gift had one ounce of tobacco, a pipe and a tinder lighter, the Sikh Indian soldier’s gift contained sweets and spices and the nurse’s gift was chocolate..

The pupils were also able to handle replica weapons including rifles and plum tin bombs, as well as trying on different hats and gas masks..

We are very grateful to the museum for loaning us these resources as they have really brought the lessons to life for our young people..

The use of fidget spinners is starting to impact on lessons. In Friday’s assembly Mrs Lamb informed pupils that spinners are only to be used during unstructured time and not in lessons. Please can you support us in this matter and stress the importance of using spinners properly. Mr Greenway also spoke to the school in assembly about Mental Health Awareness Week..

If you follow us on social media you will have seen the blogs on Andy’s Man Club and the #ITSOKTOTALK campaign. Some of our young men in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 are now benefitting from this low key but supportive opportunity to talk in our own branch of Andy’s Man Club that runs after school at Medtia on Mondays at 4pm..

Mr Smith has now launched this year’s New Bridge Sports Day and our young people are eagerly registering in fully inclusive events on Google Drive and looking forward to July!

The Learning Centre assembly centred on ‘showing acts of kindness to others’ and we watched the video of Edward Monkton’s book, ‘The Pig of Happiness’ – a lovely message about how acts of kindness can help spread happiness..

We will leave you on that note and look forward to seeing parents at the school site Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 17th May where you will be able to meet your child’s teachers and discuss the progress they have made. Students in Years 12 – 14 will have their Parents’ Evenings the following week on Tuesday 23rd May at either the Learning Centre or Medtia Square, depending on the site your child attends.

Have a lovely weekend,

Judith and Dawn

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