10 Nov

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We hope everyone had a good half term and enjoyed the break, it’s always lovely to see just how happy the young people are to return!

We marked Armistice Day at New Bridge on Friday 10th November. As a school we observed a one minute silence in honour of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in past conflicts. Class groups have been remembering significant wars and the continuous unrest in the Middle East, Myanmar and Africa. They observed the silence impeccably and showed the utmost respect, a lovely example of their understanding of British values and citizenship. The young people have also been busy making some amazing Remembrance Day art work – the Nurture Group produced this fabulous classroom display at the Learning Centre..

..and IBLC1 have been very busy too, creating an amazing and, may we say, very artistic display in the hall..

We ended the day with whole school assemblies at both sites in remembrance. The Learning Centre students listened to a presentation from the Nurture Group which included an explanation of Remembrance Day and the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’..

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

We have certainly had a very busy start to the new half term! Mrs Chappell met with Kirsty Meyers from Gallery Oldham. Kirsty and Mrs Chappell are working on an inclusion project which will promote access to cultural events in Oldham for our young people – we will keep you updated with news of the project.

On Wednesday evening Mr Quinn and Mrs Lamb were invited to attend a SeeAbility event at St James’s Place in London hosted by the Duchess of Gloucester. It was very exciting although unfortunately they were not allowed to take photographs. There was a host of celebrities and fundraisers there including Sir John Major who spoke eloquently about the difficulties people with disabilities and sight problems face. We’re delighted to be working with SeeAbility at New Bridge and you can read about the difference they are making to our young people in Joseph’s and Kaif’s stories if you missed them last month.

Lumenus have been busy this week, working in partnership with Carly from the Oldham Coliseum on a very poignant piece that involves portraying their emotions. Families will be able to see it at our Christmas Showcase which is scheduled for an evening performance on December 5th and two morning performances on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th December. More information about tickets will be sent out shortly and you can find out more here.

We would also like to bring to your attention the CHAMP (Children’s Health and Monitoring Programme) initiative. This is being driven forward as part of a multi collaborative approach in reducing childhood obesity in Manchester. The school health service will be producing digital weight charts that parents can view online. Letters with more information will be winging their way home to you soon and you can find out more on the NHS CHAMP website here.

Our curriculum focus this week is on PE, starting off with a distinctly outdoors feel! Students from the Learning Centre have been continuing with their fitness sessions at the park..

Our Year 8 pupils have also been visiting the park for their cycling lessons (they weren’t going to let a spot of rain put them off)..

The Year 9 group kept nice and dry in the sports hall though..

..and you can never go wrong with a game of table tennis..

We were also pleased to hear all the mentions in Friday’s assemblies of our young people who have been doing particularly well in helping others, a theme which has shone through this week. Next Friday 17th we will be joining people all over the UK in raising monies for ‘Children in Need’ in true New Bridge style. We will be getting dressed up, (Miss Allison’s Pudsey ears are already out), making cakes (hopefully lots!) and taking part in a variety of sponsored events including ‘Do without your phone for a day’ and a ‘Sponsored Silence’ (staff are already pledging pounds!). Letters will be going home with details, watch this space for news and pictures next week!

Just a reminder that the next New Bridge Learning Centre parent/carer group will be taking place again this Wednesday 15th November at 2pm at the Learning Centre. We had a really good turnout at the last month’s meeting and a lot was discussed, as well as giving families the opportunity to get together and have a chat in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Running alongside the parent/carer group is a meeting arranged with Michelle Lane on Wednesday 29th November at 2:30pm at the Learning Centre. Michelle will be talking about the complexities of the transition from child to adult services, as well as individualised budgets and respite care. This will be followed by parents’ evening at the Learning Centre, while parents are being invited to the school site on Thursday 30th November (letters will be going home to families next week with details of both parents’ evenings).

We also have another meeting for families pencilled in with Trusha Velti on Wednesday 24th January at 2pm at the Learning Centre. Trusha is a solicitor who will talk to parents about legal matters such as trust funds, wills and power of attorney to safeguard wherever possible the future of our young people. Families have also expressed an interest in meetings with Paul Bridgehouse, the transitions social worker, Terry Taylor from Shared Lives and Natalie Stenson, a Transitions Nurse Practitioner. These meetings will all be set up in the New Year to run alongside the parent group and everyone is welcome to attend.

As you are aware, we are fortunate to be working with the local branch of the charity MIND who will be running a series of workshops for some of our young people based around healthy minds and also friendships. Jo Turner from MIND has already visited the school site and is coming to the Learning Centre to deliver an assembly to everyone on Monday morning. Workshops and group sessions will also be starting from next week across both sites, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information.

Have a lovely peaceful and restful weekend,

Judith and Dawn

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

You can find our full blog here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham