10 May

First of all, I hope that you all had a restful Bank Holiday weekend. It has been a shorter week for us here at Medtia but, as always, a busy one! On Tuesday night we had our parents’ evening and it was lovely to chat to some of our parents in person. If you were unable to make it but would like an update on your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to arrange a time to chat with your child’s teacher over the phone.

On Wednesday we were visited by three of the Directors of the Future Finders Employability College – Phil Palmer, Ken Stapleton and Sarah Lockwood. They were joined by our CEO Mr Quinn and by our VIP for the day, Nikki Chowdry from the Department for Education. The purpose of the day was to give an insight into our employability offer within the New Bridge MAT and to see our students out on placement. During the day we visited Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, David Lloyd Gym, The Atrium Café and The RSPCA and to say that they were impressed would be the understatement of the year! It was really wonderful to once again hear from our partner employers of the impact that our students have on their places of work. Comments included:

  • ‘We’d be lost without them’
  • ‘We couldn’t function without them’
  • ‘We rely on New Bridge students’
  • ‘They are very much a part of our team’
  • ‘Our staff and customers love your students!’
  • ‘We see them grow so much over their placement in confidence!’

We all thoroughly enjoyed our day. Thank you again to our amazing students for doing us proud and to our partner employers who continue to support our young people.

Back to Medtia now and over the past few weeks I have received a number of letters from students to suggest ways in which we could improve our college! I absolutely promote this and I love that our students have the confidence and imagination to approach us with such brilliant ideas! Today we met up for one of our ‘Medtia gatherings’ as a full college, where I gave a response to some of the suggestions..

Students: Why do we have Maths on a Friday afternoon? Why do some of the students get to go home on a Friday afternoon and not others?

My response: Good point! We all agreed that Maths on a Friday afternoon was exhausting for both staff and students and that this wouldn’t happen again next year! I also shared with the students that from September we will be giving a choice to students and families around Friday afternoons; one choice being that students can go home, another choice being that students can access fun enrichment activities. This seemed to go down well!

Students: Can we have ID cards like other colleges so that we can get discounts in shops, free cheeseburgers at Mcdonalds and can be easily identifiable when we’re in the community?

My response: YES! Brilliant idea – they should be ready for after half-term. If I wear one, will I get a free cheeseburger too?!

Students: Do we have to wear uniform every day?

My response: We discussed this at length as a group and we decided that actually on some college days, students could wear their own clothes. Each pathway are going to come up with their own policy around when it is appropriate to wear uniform and when it would be OK to wear their own clothes. I will send a letter home to you regarding this before half-term and we will implement their policy after half-term.

Thank you again to our fantastic students! Some great ideas, which will make a big difference!

Let’s hear from our students now and find out what’s been happening this week, starting with Mr Handrick and the Digit4ll pathway..

As always it has been a busy week at NB Enterprise Towers. The students have been taking turns at printing on the bags in the print room. The images don’t show the real feel of the room, as the students like to play their own music and (unknown to them) some of us are actually listening to them sing along – Michael likes to blast out ‘Gorillaz’ at the minute..

Here you can see Josh preparing the bags for the press – the last batch of the year has all been printed on now, so make sure you get your orders in..

Other students have been busy doing some of their own personal work for their portfolio around enterprise on camera work and audio to name but a few..

The big project right now is editing the wonderful performance by pupils from across the MAT of the amazing ‘The Greatest Show.’  It was fantastic for all our class to watch the show last week and of course some of our students also had the pleasure of filming one of the evening performances. As always with our team, whatever gets filmed needs to be carefully edited. It’s a big task to edit a full performance but they are chipping away and the DVDs will soon be ready – don’t forget to order your copy on DVD to enjoy at home..

Mr Quinn popped in this week with some visitors to see all the great things that the pathways achieve at Medtia. As you know, we love nothing more than showcasing our work – our presentation to the Heads of Site last week being no exception..

We always let our Director of the business show visitors around the Digti4ll Key Stage 5 pathway here at Medtia. Jordan loves nothing better than telling people what we do and how we do it and, by the looks on their faces at the end of their visit, our guests were left with the overriding impression of ‘WOW’..

Just an ordinary week here at NB Enterprise Towers. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget 3pm Sunday to sing Blue Moon!!!!

Now we have an update from our job coach Nicola on our Pre-Internship pathway..

Over the past three weeks our Pre-Interns have been settling into their new work placements, learning the new routines and job tasks.

Over in the Atrium Café, Kieran and Fahad have been working hard. They have picked up the general tasks of replenishing the tea, coffee and sugar, unloading the deliveries, serving customers and food preparation and they have been focusing on developing their communication skills.

They have worked together to set up the items for the trolley run, speaking to each other to communicate what items where needed. They have learnt the importance of talking to each other when they are filling up the tea and coffee so they can complete the paper work accurately..

When we have gone selling items on the trolley run, Fahad has been asking the staff if they would like any snacks and has grown in confidence over these past few weeks. They have been working on their written communication too by writing the types of meals on the trays and completing the checklists, and both Beckie and Sammy are impressed with how well they work, especially when they work in the kitchen doing the food preparation..

Over at the RSPCA with job coach Hayley, this term we see Dylan, Dom and Jason start at their new placement. The boys have taken to the job tasks and routine in brilliant fashion and already understand a lot of the work which goes into their role at this placement. All three of the lads have used their already gained transferable work skills to advise me why it’s important that staff wear PPE in a work environment, and are also all showing brilliant ‘team player’ skills in the organising of which task follows which and speaking about how they plan the day.

Here is Jason completing the task of sweeping the stairs after he had made sure all the cats had their nurture time for the day. The stairs can get really dusty and have a lot of cat hair on them so Jason tidied them up and did a tip top job too!!!

Here is Dom filling out the behaviour record for the cat he has spent nurture time with, ‘Tommy’. Dom uses descriptive words to explain what happened whilst he was in the cat pen and what kind of things he attempted to do such as playing with different toys and stroking the cats to see what they prefer. Dom is brilliant at knowing what the cats like and how he can nurture them for the time he is in with them..

Once Dylan had filled in the behaviour record of what had happened whilst spending nurture time with one of the cats, ‘Merlina’ (Dylan’s favourite), he told me what he had written down..

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We have also started new placements at David Lloyd, as job coach Tisha explains..

It’s been a brilliant start to the new term. Josie, Zanub, Rezaul and Jason continue to learn valuable working skills at David Lloyd Club, Manchester North. Josie is enjoying learning new cleaning skills on a bigger scale. She has managed to hoover the whole of the Ivy Suite which is a very big meeting room, the long corridor between both the badminton and tennis courts and wiped down all the bikes in the spinning room. She is also improving her customer service skills, serving food and beverages and learning to communicate more effectively with staff and customers. Josie was very happy to have a another go on the barista machine. She has stated she really likes to clean and she would like to be a cleaning lady..

Zanub is settling well into placement, she likes the busy environment at David Lloyd because the time goes so fast. Zanub and her job coach have spoken to the owner of SAKS Hair and Beauty Salon, Kelly, this week as Zanub has expressed an interest in developing skills in a hair and beauty environment. Meanwhile she continues to improve her customer service skills and maintain the cold drinks dispensers..

Rezaul is now pot washing and cleaning back of house which he is enjoying, helping out the cleaning and kitchen staff. Kath has stated that “Rezaul has really come on, he is more confident serving customers. I am really impressed. Rezaul always makes me smile when I see him!”

Jason has also settled well into placement, he has become a popular student amongst the customers. He works at a fast pace, using his initiative and becoming a good team worker. He has started to get involved in cleaning tasks such as cleaning windows in meeting rooms. Julie has commented that ‘Jason is working so well. He has excellent customer service skills and we think he is brilliant! He is literally so fast… can’t keep up with him!’

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A big thank you to all the staff at David Lloyd Club for providing our students with a real solid and structured work placement. The students continue to enjoy their work and thrive during placement, learning valuable real life working skills in a busy restaurant and gym environment.

Back at college in our tutor and Employability sessions, our students have started their final unit (Personal Action Planning) for their Employability qualification. We have also been listening to songs to figure out and understand the themes and meanings to help prepare for our Functional Skills writing exams..

Our job coach Genna has exciting news for us..

It has been a busy week for Lewis on Bridging the Gap as he has been to UKFAST for an assessment day which involved an interview and it lasted 6 hours!!

Lewis had to complete an ice-breaker with other hopefuls who are also looking at completing an IT apprenticeship at UKFAST. Lewis was involved in a team task where the employer looked at how they integrated in a team, building a computer whilst blindfolded!

Lewis then had to complete a psychometric test which looks at capabilities and behavioral style of each candidate and then to finish off the day a one-one interview!! Lewis did an amazing job and although it was a tough day he was proud of what he had achieved and so he should be, well done Lewis!

Now we head over to Activ8 for this week’s ‘Day in the Life of’ feature..

A day in the life of Lewis
Activ8 Key Stage 5 Pathway

My day usually starts with me travelling independently to Medtia. I meet the rest of the students during registration and spend time with my friends catching up. Being the team captain of Activ8 is a key role as it is a big responsibility – I have to act as a role model and ensure that I have the correct equipment for the activities we undertake during the day.

Our typical Tuesday within the group consists of a classroom based Living Skills session learning about the body and relationships. We have been talking about how friendships can develop into relationships and our feelings. This group sometimes find it hard talking about their experiences and feelings, but with the group’s rules allowing it to be an open and a non-judgemental environment, we talk and work whilst increasing our understanding.

After the theory session we head over to Mrs Hartley where we have English, the topic we are currently working on is reading comprehension. We are currently reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. It is a good read but not the genre of book I like to read.

After the gym it is lunch that I have brought in from home, some of the other lads have lunches made by the Atrium cafe. During lunchtime I have the option to head out in to Oldham town centre as the Medtia site is well located.

Finally in the afternoon we have our sports leaders lesson where we focus on key skills and behaviour development to plan, lead and support within a sport session..

We have been leading sessions that we have planned down at school, focusing on leading independently and supporting others in the activities. This is a good session as we get to plan what we would like to do within the session..

 

Have a wonderful weekend,

Daniel
Head of Key Stage 5 Pathways

You can view our previous blog entries here

News from the Learning Centre and New Bridge School can be found here

Click here for this week’s news from Graham