26 May

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Here we are nearly half way through the Summer term. Holiday Club for those of you who have booked a place for your child commences on Tuesday 30th May.

We have all been shocked and saddened by the events of Monday at the MEN Arena. It has been heartening though to see the responses from our young people and the support that has been offered to the children who have been closely affected by the attack. The sense of togetherness and standing alongside each other was never more evident than when we observed the minute’s silence yesterday and listened to the poem ‘This Is The Place’ read out by the Poet Tony Walsh on the steps of Manchester Town Hall. During our assemblies we reflected on how people of all ages, religions, races and abilities have responded and come together.

At the Learning Centre we listened to a poignant open letter available here which a Mum has written to her son in the wake of the Manchester attacks, saying that although she cannot always protect him, she will teach him how to be brave. Blogger ‘Mummy Mumbles’ shared the letter on her Facebook page, encouraging her son to ‘go out and do everything’..

‘As your mother, who loves you so much it hurts, I have this message for you.
Do everything you want to do. Go everywhere you want to go. See everyone you want to see.

I cannot guarantee that one day, you may not come face to face with their horrors and destruction.
But remember this: They cannot kill strength. They cannot kill determination. They cannot kill love.
And your generation is going to be the strongest yet. You are going to be the most determined to beat this.’

She reminded her son to ‘look for the goodies, my darling,’ adding,

‘Look at those who, like last night’s attack in Manchester, are helping others.
Look for the doctors, the nurses, paramedics, hospital staff, police, emergency services who are at the scene and working to save and protect people.
I will teach you to be brave yourself. We will hold your hands and lead you through all of this. We will show you the heroes always beat the villains. We promise.’

Mrs Keane’s Year 12 English group have been doing work based on the word ‘community’ this half term. Working together, they have defined the word community as ‘a place where people live, work, play or worship together.’ On Wednesday they talked about how lots of different people such as police, paramedics, doctors, nurses, taxi drivers and passers-by helped each other and later came together to think or pray for those affected by Monday’s events. Miss Allison would like to thank the students for sharing this with us during this week’s Learning Centre assembly

As promised, here are the details from last week’s IB Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition – firstly, a report from Mr Taylor..

The Group had a theme of water and bird life. They explored Sale Water Park, a section of the river Mersey and Hollingworth Lake over a period of 2 days. Furthermore they completed an overnight stay at the Burrs Bunkhouse in Bury. The weather was kind and remained warm and dry for the duration. What looked like two bright green parakeets were spotted, as well as the birds you might expect to see such as geese, ducks, gulls and coots. The group engaged and embraced the adventure and coped really well with the rigours of the journey, the environment and the introduction of new and not always predictable things.
It was a great accomplishment and a fabulous effort by all involved..

And now let’s hear from a very proud Mrs Evans:

The expedition was very successful for all three students who participated, with each of them excelling in their own individual ways..

Ellie showed how she has become more willing to interact with different environments. While we were walking she was alert and engaging with the environment around her and clearly indicating which bits she liked and which she didn’t. In relation to her life skills she also demonstrated her progress through her willingness to accept hand over hand assistance at meal times..

Hannah showed how she has become more confident when walking outside, particularly on changing surfaces. She was confident to walk independently for the majority of the expedition, only seeking assistance on particularly uneven surfaces. She also showed the progress she had made in social interaction, working happily as part of the group and looking for the other members of the group if they fell behind..

George showed how well his communication and life skills have improved this year. He was able to use a combination of communication methods to talk about what he had seen and what he liked and what he didn’t. He was also confident to laugh and joke with the staff supporting him, particularly when relaxing in the evening! He was also able to identify what equipment he needed and what he wanted to eat..

Well done to all three students, we’re all very proud of you.

This week Key Stage 3, our Interactive Bases and the Autism Base were lucky enough to experience a Live Music Now saxophone ensemble called ‘Borealis’. The children learnt about the various types of saxophones and the different sounds they make and enjoyed an amazing musical afternoon. Borealis then visited the Learning Centre for another performance which was equally popular!

We will bring you a full report next week together with news of the wonderful work that musicians from Live Music Now are doing with our young people, but for now these pictures may give you an idea..

When we return after the holiday our Year 8s will be off to Disneyland Paris – as you can imagine, they are very excited!!

Have a great half term everyone and we look forward to seeing you back safe and sound after the break,

Judith and Dawn

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