We often remark in our blog on how quickly the week has gone and this week has proved no exception! We have been impressed with the commitment and attitude our young people display, they have settled back into the new term well and it is good to see them working hard and actively engaged in their learning. A parent who had come to talk to me in my office, just off the main reception area at the school site, commented on how quiet and well behaved the pupils were coming into school earlier this week, and was particularly struck by the appropriate and mature level of their conversations. I was very proud of our children at that point, and I know you all are too! Our fantastic team of student ‘Buddies’ at the Learning Centre also deserve a special mention this week, they have been working very sensibly and caringly, supporting other students both within lessons and around the Learning Centre.
Academic progression is always important and we can assess this, set targets and evaluate it. In many ways that is an easier task than measuring the vital, underpinning social skills and interactions, all those other aspects which contribute towards the whole child. ‘Measuring the immeasurable’ is a key focus for our organisation, it is something we want to record, moderate and celebrate. This focus or project is currently being developed and will eventually be able to provide us all with a ‘Dashboard’ stye overview of all the abilities each of our young people have.
These ‘social skills’ are an important part of our broad curriculum offer and we strive to enable our young people to be as independent as possible. At the Learning Centre, our ‘Supporting Others Group’ goes out into the community; they have been doing some great work and all the feedback we receive continues to be positive, especially from the members of the public they work with. The students in this group have transferred the skills they have developed to helping around the Learning Centre this week, and everyone involved should be congratulated on their hard work – well done!
Application forms for a TfGM Concessionary Plus Pass (which all the young people who attend our different sites can apply for) have been sent home to all students at the Learning Centre. The pass enables your child to use public transport free of charge within Greater Manchester and is invaluable for educational visits at New Bridge. If your child does not yet have a pass, please could you complete and return the application form to the Learning Centre at your earliest convenience. Please let us know if you require a replacement form.
School council meetings are going ahead next week on all sites. These meetings are a brilliant example of how we include our young people in the democratic process. Having their own voice provides our young people with the motivation to take part and shows them they can make a difference. It also leads to outcomes such as improved citizenship, organisation, learning and personal improvement.
Our partnership with MCFC continues to grow. We are very excited that Paul Kelly is coming into school over a 5 week period to deliver football coaching, and on this occasion our IB groups will be the ones taking part! This is a wonderful project for our young people and we are looking forward to telling you more about what they get up to and the opportunities for extended learning it will bring.
As we move into winter and the weather turns colder, we have sent a letter home (which you can read here) explaining our procedures in the event of heavy snow. Hopefully everything will be fine and no wellies (or sledges!) will be required. Maybe ‘Hitch’, the Learning Centre’s new resident crow who can be seen daily on the roof taking a close interest in our activities, will provide an early weather warning..
We hope you have a lovely weekend,
Judith and Dawn
Click here to catch up on this week’s news from Graham