09 Oct

Welcome to another busy week here at the college.

On Friday we talked to all the pupils about mental health awareness and Mrs Nelson has supported the staff and students to run our #HelloYellow Day.

On Friday Pathway groups supported the charity Young Minds #HellowYellow day, raising awareness of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Day which is on the 10th October.

Staff and students had the choice to wear something yellow for the day and it was lovely to see so many participate in this.

Students completed Maths and English work then had the choice to complete some wellbeing booklets, crosswords, powerpoints from Healthy Minds, mindfulness colouring and meditation within each bubble. I must say it felt like our college was empty! The building was quiet and very calm and it was lovely to walk round and see the students engaged, relaxing at the end of a busy week.

The Pre Internship group looked at appreciation and made a spidergram on ideas discussed within the group.

We held competitions for the best mindfulness colouring in to display, This was very difficult to judge as every entry looked amazingly colourful and precise.

Lumenus completed a coping skills bingo session using selected words around supporting our mental wellbeing.

Here is some of the work that students completed that also earnt them a reward.

Have a lovely relaxed weekend and remember to take some deep breathes – why not download some mental wellbeing apps:

This week I have asked Mr Holland and Miss Asbury to give us some information on the English and Maths curriculum that the students are following at the college, starting with Miss Asbury..

Last week in English, NBC students started a new project based on the Grenfell Tower fire; a desperately tragic event that happened in June, 2017. The students have demonstrated empathy, respect and understanding whilst learning about how the night unfolded and the response of the fire service. We are working towards creating an ‘Information Text’ to inform people about the facts surrounding the incident. The students have become extremely interested in how the case was investigated and have watched videos about how the community responded. We have debated the politics of the event, including how the law has changed around cladding on tower blocks and the students have shown great resilience and maturity when discussing their feelings about the 72 lives lost.

Although it’s been an upsetting topic, the students will engage in this important event and explore different forms of learning for their functional skills qualification including complaint writing, diary entries and role-play.

As a new teacher at the college, it’s been great to get to know the students though this topic and get to know their values. A really positive start to the academic year; well done, everyone!

Now over to Mr Holland..

It’s been a busy few weeks, in the Maths department. As part of our offer, all pathways students receive four lessons of Maths each week. Our aim is  for all students to gain the highest qualifications (Functional Skills or GCSE) that they are capable of attaining and also to embed problem solving skills that they will utilise within a working environment.

My groups have been working on calculation skills, without the use of a calculator. Over the last few weeks they have looked at addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, area, perimeter, fractions, ratios and problem solving. My groups are aiming to secure Level 1 or 2 Functional Skills awards this year with a view to progression to GCSE, for those who so wish. All of our Functional Skills exams can be sat at any time of year, so the minute the students are ready, they will be entered for exams, be this in November or June. We feel this is important, as the Covid situation remains unresolved. As well as this, we are relaunching our LIBF financial Maths pathway, where it is hoped that the majority of students in my group will obtain a Level 2 qualification (GCSE equivalent) during the year, or going into the one after. Some students will undertake their Level 3 or A level equivalent financial Maths course. Our site Head of Maths, Mr Ward, has gone to great lengths to introduce this very useful qualification in financial Maths.

Mrs Sarwar’s groups are operating at a level where Functional Skills Level 1 is an anticipated final outcome, they will sit any Entry Level examinations they need to complete prior to this. She has worked on more introductory levels to the calculation skills, that Mr Holland’s groups have worked on.

All our Maths groups were screened and streamed, using a baseline assessment, to enable students to be correctly placed to face a challenging but ultimately attainable pathway. Our Employability College pathway students are currently receiving two extra Maths and two extra English intervention lessons each week.

The Pre Intern students have also been working hard in Living Skills with Miss Kirkland..

Over the past few weeks our pre-interns have been learning about banking and savings. They have investigated the different types of banks and building societies in Oldham and have identified who they would like to bank with.

We have also started to look at different types of current accounts available and looked at how some banks and building societies charge a monthly fee for having a certain type of account. Knowing this information helped one of our pre-interns to understand that he had applied for an current account that would of cost him £156 per year! All was okay in the end as he managed to cancel the account and now knows what to look for when applying for bank accounts.

Now Mrs Sarwar would like to tell us about the work the students have been doing in PHSE..

This term we have introduced the PHSE curriculum with the unit of mental wellbeing. Students have reflected on their own mental wellbeing by reflecting on the long break from college .. the lockdown experience. They have spoken about how it’s impacting their mental health and ways they have tried to overcome it. In the last few weeks we have looked at different scenarios we are faced with in life such as bereavement, relationships .. losing a job, having arguments and so forth, the students have then linked different emotions and feelings linked to these events . We have also performed role play and expressed these emotions by following a scenario card..

video

In the coming weeks, the students will study famous people who have experienced problems with their mental wellbeing and discuss what the causes were and how they dealt with it. They will look at what we can learn from their experiences. I have also arranged with Healthy Minds to do a workshop via Zoom which will look at therapies and signpost our students to the appropriate service.

Just a reminder about our new Parent app that we launched a couple of weeks ago. The app lets you access all the messages and letters sent to parents, tell us about any appointments or absences and contact us directly. We also use the app to send you links to my blog as well. If you would like any help with setting up the App please contact Shanaye Mainoo, our college administrator who will support you will this.

I hope you all have a lovely 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