28 May

This week our students have continued to work hard as we come to the end of this half term.

We have continued to support more of our young people into Oldham at lunch times which is helping to develop their social skills with other learners and their communication skills with being able to talk to staff in the shops they have visited for their lunch. All the time they have shown that they continue to be aware of how they need to keep themselves safe when in the community.

Mr Thornton and the Activ8 team have been very busy..

As we close the book on another half-term, I want to bring you up to speed with all things Activ8. On Tuesday afternoon, we took a trip to one of our favourite destinations, Alexandra Park. Activ8 have focused heavily on tennis in recent weeks; we have worked on, and looked at the rules of tennis, striking techniques, court awareness and the fundamentals of movement.

Each week, one of our sports leaders has been tasked with leading a tennis specific warm-up to their peers. Mr. Lawrence and the staff team have been impressed by the progression shown by our leaders. Down at the park this week, however, the team put everything they had learned to the test. A TENNIS ROUND-ROBIN TOURNAMENT!

The ante was upped somewhat for our students when they were informed that staff would be taking part. Mr. Newton was the early favourite, Mr. Lawrence was a last minute substitute for Miss Shirley, Callum was beaming with confidence. Lots of questions needed to be answered: would Mr. Newton live up to the hype? Would Mr. Lawrence hijack the tournament? Was Callum’s confidence justified? Or was a surprise winner waiting to pounce?

Over on the court, Tyler started strong, Mr. Newton got off to a flyer, Callum took a shock defeat and Morgan was the ‘steady Eddie’. As the tournament went on, the rallies got longer and matches became more intense. The picture became clearer round by round, first place often changed hands. It was Charlie though, who eventually took the Activ8 tennis championship title.

On to Wednesday, in good spirits, Activ8 continued their work on the components of fitness. We revisited cardiovascular fitness, more specifically the dreaded bleep test. Imran was the star of the show, beep after beep, he showed a fantastic ability to dig deep. Activ8 gave a standing ovation to Imran, the last man standing.

The team visited Hollingworth Lake this week. Our students have been looking forward to revisiting, since lockdown restrictions were eased. The group started at the lake and took a trek along the Pennine bridleway. Both staff and students took the opportunity to take it all in and enjoy the lovely views.
What a lovely way to spend a Thursday morning!

As the premier league season came to a climax, so too did ‘The Activ8 Fantasy Football League’. Sophie J, after a long season, pipped DJ to: ‘The Activ8 Champions League’ prize. Sophie was chuffed to bits with her prize, a new hair dryer and hair straighteners.

Meanwhile, in the Europa competition, Imran saw off competition from Kai, Charlie and Tyler to claim a lovely pair of new football boots. Great stuff!

There’s been lots of celebrating in Activ8 this week, myself and Miss Shirley celebrated our birthdays. Staff and students went above and beyond to make our birthdays special, and they did just that!

Well, that’s all from us this week. Have a lovely break from the Activ8 team.

Our Bridging the Gap students are loving being able to attend their placements at long last as our job coach Genna explains..

Well, what a half term that was! After 7 months in the classroom, Bridging the Gap are back on the road again! All our students have been working hard on placement and have been making an excellent impression! Firstly we have Peter who is completing his first independent placement in the kitchens at the Royal Oldham Hospital! Here he is in class on our first day..

..and after a quick superman change he’s ready for work!!

Peter is very happy with his job and says ‘It’s nice to get out of the classroom and the ladies I work with are all so lovely.’

Next we have Dominic who is serving Peter in The Café Royal here..

Staff who work in catering get their lunch for free, chips anyone? Dominic has fitted in extremely well and is already shouting orders out across the café (which can be very daunting!) As the staff call him, he is their ‘Panini King!’

Next we have Alan who is working hard in the very hot laundry! Al is happy to come round and clean any duvets or sheets you may have at home! Haha. His supervisor has said, ‘It’s like he’s been here for months, he really fits into the team.’

Last but not least, at the Royal Oldham Hospital we have Josie who is working in Human Resources, where she is responsible for archiving doctors’ leave documents. Josie is on filing cabinet number 4 of 5, so is whizzing through her work. Don’t forget to make the tea in the morning, Josie.

So that is half of our Bridging the Gap cohort, where is everyone else? Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will not be open until September but that does not mean that our students get out of work, oh no! First we have Jojo who is working at David Lloyd. His Job Coach Tisha is extremely proud of Jojo, as we all are. He gets stuck in and also helps guide other students who are new to David Lloyd.

Then finally at Avro we have the last but not least of our BtG students, Josh and Peter (Pedro). They have been hard at work painting, cleaning and anything else that is asked of them! Our students are punctual and hard working and after nearly a year in class are all thriving out in the workplace where they should be.

I can’t believe it, but this week we showed our potential students for next year around Manchester Metropolitan University and the hospital! (Crazy, as we have only just started placement three weeks ago for this year!) Although we could not go into the university as it doesn’t open again until September, we all enjoyed having a look around and familiarising ourselves with the journey etc.

Here is Christian from Digit4ll and I posing at the MMU sign, with Morgan from Activ8 showing us how a professional photo should be taken!

Myself and Beth could not be prouder of our Bridging the Gap students. To step into the work environment, and after the year that we have had, has been superb. They have learnt so much over the past year and it is a pleasure to watch them finally at work!

We hope you have all enjoyed the half term holiday, especially our BtG students; Josie, Al, Dom, Jojo, Pete, Pedro and Josh. We look forward to seeing you back in work on Monday ready to work hard for your last BtG placement!

Miss Begum has news from the English department for us..

This week in English it has been very busy for Beth and Grace. They have finished their Functional Skills Speaking and Listening assessment. In the exam they spoke about their favourite hobbies which are reading, the Lumenus Pathway (of course!) and musical theatre (surprise, surprise).

Straight after the exam, Grace and Beth also completed their Reading and Writing mock exams too! The girls have worked super hard leading up to this and they have done themselves and the staff proud. Well done for trying your best girls and fingers crossed for the results! Here you can see them hard at work..

Mrs Sarwar’s English group have been working on plurals and alphabetical order. They did some excellent work on Tuesday.

After half term we will start the topic of ‘Come Dine with Me’ and we are excited to start this topic! We hope you all have a lovely half term!

Mr Holland has an update for us from the Maths department..

It’s been an incredibly busy half term and it’s strange to realise that we only have six weeks of this academic year left. Mocks have been undertaken by all potential examination entry students. The results of these mocks will guide us as to which students are to be put forward for Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications. These formal examination sessions will take place in mid June

Those students, from Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 backgrounds have just sat their exams and these are awaiting marking and moderation before results can be announced and students informed of their results.

We have been reinforcing, to all our students, the need to try and embed the skills that they master in their Maths lessons. We have a lot of students who safely master tasks within their lessons but who could do more to consolidate that learning and apply their skills in different situations. 

Mrs Sarwar has the latest on our PHSE sessions..

Over the past few weeks, the students have been finishing off all their work and assessments as the Relationships unit has come to an end. They have added their new learning to their baseline assessments and it was lovely to see all the new learning that has taken place this term.

After writing to parents and carers and obtaining their consent, this week the students have started to discuss our next unit after half term which will be Intimate and Sexual Relationships. The students took part in a Sex Education quiz and completed their new baseline assessment.


We have a sexual health workshop booked on the 21st and the 22nd of June which will be delivered by the lovely Ellen Weedon, the training officer for Children and Young People from the Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership which is based on Rock Street. The workshop will be based on contraception and sexually transmitted infections and we will update you all in our next blog. Have a lovely half term everyone and stay safe!

I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend and we will see you all back at college on Monday 7th June.

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