27 Nov

Welcome back.

Over the last 9 college days it has been very quiet as the impact of closing one bubble has been felt. I must say that it was nice to have all the students and staff who have been self isolating back on site today.

This week we have English, Maths, Living Skills and PSHE sessions to share with you all what the students have been learning. You will notice from this blog that even though we have had a bubble closure, learning has still carried on. Our virtual offer and the use of the iPads has helped our learners to engage with their learning.

First though, our job coach Nicola would like to tell you what her Pre Interns group have been up to..

Over the past few weeks, our students have continued to work on their Banking and Savings unit. They have used their iPads to navigate comparison websites to research how different current accounts can be suited to the different needs of the customers, for example children, students and professionals.

They have started to investigate all the personal information and identification they will need when applying for online accounts and, as you can see from Summer’s screen shots, it’s not an easy process. We will continue to work on the application process when we start to look at saving accounts.

Now Miss Asbury has news for us from the English department..

As the challenges of 2020 continue and many students and staff are working virtually, it has been amazing to see our students adapting to this new way of college life. It takes great dedication to show up online and complete tasks at home; some of our students have shown great determination, resilience and maturity which makes us so proud! I would like to give a huge shout out to our Pre-Internship group, Future Finders and Bridging the Gap whose attendance online for English has been fantastic!

We have continued our work on the Grenfell Tower tragedy and written our letters to Boris Johnson. It has been great to join up our learning with the recent developments in the news this week and our students now have lots of informed opinions on this subject. Knowledge is power and we have been learning the importance of having a voice and becoming the change we wish to see in the world. Our students have done this and respected the opinions of others which has been great to witness.

I have also been noticing some hidden artistic talents in our students as they performed their speeches to Mr Johnson as if they were in parliament. Moreover, it’s been a privilege to see our students growing, being flexible to change and having a go! As they say… the show must go on! Keep going, folks!

Miss Begum’s English group have been working hard too..

This week in English we have been focusing on spelling and reading! Everyone always tries their best on their spelling test and even had some 10 out of 10’s. We have all installed an app called Epic! Epic is a reading app and although some may say it is a bit early for Christmas, we read a book called The Story of Santa Claus. We did reciprocal reading and the class really enjoyed doing this. This week Adam was the clarifier and he did an excellent job at this.

The students have been working equally hard in Maths, as Mr Holland explains..

During the lockdown and self-isolation periods, we have been able to offer mathematical learning and revision experiences to all of our students. This has involved face to face teaching, teaching from class to home, home to class and home to home. It presents some new challenges, for both staff and students, but the willingness to work, from both, has been exceptional.

I have been on a four week lockdown, where I have taught all my Maths classes using Showbie, visual resources and being able to set and mark work remotely. The first group to sit their LIBF banking and finance examinations will undertake their Level 1 qualification next Friday morning and we expect them to do well after so much hard work.

I want to throw the spotlight on the other teachers and teaching assistants who deliver the continuity Maths lessons which back up the work that the students undertake in their main lessons. I would like to express my thanks to Mr Newton, Mr Lawton, Mr Slater, Ms Joubert and Miss Begum, as well as to the whole Employability team. They all do so much to embed mathematical progress, whether students are able to physically attend or not. They back up, support and often extend the work that Mrs Sarwar and I have done with our groups.

Our blog photos this week include some pictures of the work Miss Begum has been doing to increase our students’ confidence with and understanding of money. The work carried out by the whole team helps our students make progress. This can be towards passing recognisable qualifications, to provide future access to jobs or college courses, or it can be to support the necessary daily understanding of time and money, so valuable to increasing our students’ ability to live more independently.

I am proud to work with such a dedicated team who will always ‘go the extra mile’ to make sure that all of our students get their best chance and can fulfil their potential. Stay safe and look after each other.

Here is Miss Begum to tell you more about the sessions Mr Holland has just mentioned..

This week in Maths we have been learning about money! Since we are all in a lockdown and it isn’t as easy to go to the supermarkets any more, Miss Begum and Mr Holland have opened their own supermarket. Everyone thought the prices at our supermarket were very cheap (considering Mr Holland’s a bit of a Scrooge!). The class took turns being the cashier and customer, students had to find the right money and give the correct change. They all had a lot of fun going to the supermarket! Next week our supermarket is going to get ready for Christmas! 

Mrs Sarwar has more news for us..

In Life Skills we have had a virtual visit from Joanne Goreham from First Choice Homes Oldham. Joanne shared an insight on exploring the different options for housing and looking at the financial commitment of renting, sharing or owning your own home. Students engaged in an activity that involved paying for bills and spending. Students were given the opportunity of separating bills by when they needed to be paid; weekly, monthly or yearly.  

Here is a clip to share the experience!


In Life Skills we have also practised filling out application forms and looking at key date details that we need to include, students have discussed unfamiliar terms and looked up their meanings. We have also looked at different points in life where we need to fill in application forms and what needs to be included, this was practised either online or paper-based!

In PHSE as part of our mental wellbeing topic, we have had a virtual visit from Laura Langhorn, Healthy Young Minds Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner. She delivered a session based on coping strategies, on how we manage stress and anxiety.


She has also signposted students to different services available in Oldham and how they can be accessed. This led to ending the session with relaxation led by guided imagery.


Finally, on Thursday myself and Ms Wilson met with the executive team in the MAT and talked through what has been happening at the college, how learning has still continued and how resilient our learners are.

Have a great weekend,

Jaina and the Team.

Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can view our previous blog entries here

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