19 May

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Well, there has certainly been a lot going on this week! We are very excited to report that New Bridge won the Greater Manchester Tag Rugby Under 16’s Challenge Cup for the very first time. Mrs Lamb and the school staff are elated, we are very proud of the hard work, skill and teamwork that went into that victory and the trophy looks amazing in reception..

You can read Mr Smith’s report on a fantastic day of rugby here.

It was lovely to welcome so many families to school for Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and we hope you were able to attend. If you didn’t get chance to fill in our short questionnaire on the day, you can still give us your feedback here. Parents’ Evenings for students in Years 12-14 are being held on Tuesday 23rd May at either the Learning Centre or Medtia Square, depending on the site your child attends, and we are looking forward to seeing you!

We have a lot of artistic and cultural enrichment happening throughout the next half term. The Central School of Speech and Drama are working on script writing with Lumenus and some pupils from Key Stage 4 and they are busy devising a piece on bullying. We are very lucky to have a saxophone ensemble from Live Music Now coming into school on Wednesday who will be playing for all of Key Stage 3. In addition, there will be a focused group working with some of our sensory impaired students, these sessions will be delivered by the Touchdown Dance Company.

We love it when our young people get involved with nature of all kinds and this week saw a very exciting event as Mrs Robinson explains..

Well, after 4 weeks of raising their Painted Lady butterflies from tiny 1 cm caterpillars to cocoon stage and then onto beautiful butterfly adulthood, 12SRN students finally released them into the wild this Thursday. The appropriately named Leah butterfly (who has proved to be very mischievous!) showed her preferences by landing on our Leah’s leg and refusing to leave!

Farhana was extremely brave and helped to release little Sonny, while Abbie joined in letting Phil and Rose go..

Hopefully they will stay in the neighbourhood so we can catch sight of them now and then..

Many of our young people are looking to start a new chapter this September; some will be continuing their journey with New Bridge albeit in a different setting such as Bridging the Gap placements, pre-internships, new Pathways, Future Finders and Horizons, while other Year 14 students will be leaving us for new ventures in different organisations. It can be a frightening time and some of our young people are understandably starting to worry. In response, next week we are starting intervention sessions at the Learning Centre for students who may benefit from being able to talk through their concerns with their fellow peers and staff. Hopefully it will help knowing they are not alone in feeling worried! Please do talk to your child and if you feel they would benefit from taking part in these sessions, please do call and inform the pastoral team. This week’s Learning Centre assembly theme was coping with change and we heard the story of ‘The Nervous Squirrel’ which talks about why at times we need to change and move on.

Our curriculum focus this week is on Living Skills, starting with food. as Mrs Crook reports..

Once again we have been busy in the New Bridge kitchens, learning new techniques and a little more about where our food comes from. Year 7 have been busy learning about dairy farming, getting to grips with how we get our milk and understanding the importance of looking after the welfare of our animals. To illustrate this we’ve cooked up (well…chilled) some lovely sweet dairy treats including cheesecake and crème brulee..

Year 8 have been learning all about wheat, we’ve sampled and analysed various types of bread, experimented with yeast and different types of flour and perfected our kneading skills – there have been some moist brows in the cooking rooms this past few weeks I can tell you, bread making is hard work!!

We’ve sent home some lovely soda bread and some even lovelier Chelsea buns…although Mrs Crook, Mrs Hickman and Mrs Lamb aren’t sure that these lasted through break time before being ‘sampled’ by the students!

Year 9 have been learning about rice and have cooked up some spicy savoury rice and some super sticky rice pudding (they worked VERY hard on their washing up after that lesson too?!). We’ve also looked at grains and the importance of getting plenty of fibre in our diets. In addition, this week Mrs Crook’s Year 9s have been put through their paces with a knife skills test – julienne anyone??

Year 10 have been learning about food processing, we’ve been cooking with lots of pasta this term so we thought we’d have a go at making our own. Mrs Crook is pleased to report her bargain pasta machine works just fine and the Year 10s were seriously impressed with just how long you can make tagliatelle. We hope parents enjoyed their lasagne as much as the year 10s enjoyed making it..

Year 11 and Pathways have been proving their skills this term in their introduction to basic food hygiene lessons – we’ve been turning the kitchen red (quite literally!!!) demonstrating how easily cross contamination happens and how important it is to have good hand hygiene and clean effectively..

 It’s not all been hard work though, they got to put their skills to good use when cooking up a lovely thai green chicken curry to take home..

If ever you are interested in cooking anything you’ve tasted, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will gladly share our recipes!

Another area our young people work on in Living Skills is being healthy and keeping safe. Year 7 have been talking about different kinds of bullying and sorting them into groups..

Year 9 have been learning about the importance of exercise and they have had a lot of fun in their lessons..

Year 10 have been finding out which foods are healthy and which are not..

Year 11 have been seeing for themselves the harmful effects of tobacco..

Year 13 have been on a hunt around the Learning Centre identifying safety notices and signs..

Thanks to Mrs Thompson who let us borrow some of her vintage/retro pieces, Year 12 were able to step back a bit in time and look at how technology has changed and how some vintage pieces are now back in vogue with a modern twist..

Miss Allison would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Gillett and her Food Industry group for this week’s culinary delight ‘Chicken Pot Pie’ which is one of the tastiest she’s sampled. She highly recommends you try the recipe for yourselves here..

Here’s just a teaser from this week’s Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition involving, for the first time, three of our IB students, Hannah, George and Ellie -we will bring you a full report next week..

Our Summer Holiday Club letters have gone home to families of children in Year 7 to Year 13 and you can also view them here – there’s even a day trip to Blackpool Zoo! Please make sure you return the forms by next Friday 26th May if you would like to request a place for your child. If you have any questions or you need another copy of the forms, please contact the school office.

While we always try to bring you the important news of the week, it has been some time since Miss Allison gave an update on our resident Learning Centre crows, ‘Hitch & Stitch’. We may not have mentioned them but they have certainly been keeping up to mischief eating window putty and the sunscreen covering from the hall windows, indeed they even made an appearance in assembly!

Only one week to go now before the half term break and when we return we will be waving Year 8 off on their travels to Disneyland Paris! Year 11 are looking forward to their residential later in June and then it really will be the countdown to Summer, where does the time go?

Finally, we would like to wish the best of luck to the young people sitting the first papers of their Maths and English GCSEs this week. 4 members of Activ8 have already tackled their PE GCSE this afternoon and we are sure all their preparation and hard work will pay off. Remember all the advice and tips your teachers have given you, and do your best!

Have a lovely weekend,

Judith and Dawn

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