23 Oct

I cannot believe that we have got to the final week before our half term break. I’ll be honest – I did not think that we would have got through the 7 weeks. The staff team at the college have worked extremely hard. They have ensured that guidelines have been adhered to and that all on the site have been kept safe. Our numbers have dwindled over the last couple of weeks with students and some staff having to self isolate but that hasn’t stopped the groups from working hard.

This week we catch up with our Pre Intern groups and Activ8, starting with Mr Thornton..

Well here we are, the final week of the first half-term. Time flies when you’re having fun!

The temperatures are dropping, but the sprits remain high in the Activ8 camp. The team have focused on functions of the skeleton during PE theory lessons. Students have been able to identify different bones and joints, using the correct terminologies.

During life skills lessons, students have worked on different disabilities and their effects. I’d like to say a HUGE “well done” to Charlie, who showed immense bravery, courage and effort when he presented a slideshow to his peers, explaining his own disability and how it affects him. Myself and the rest of the staff team are full of pride.

This week, Activ8 participated in a life skills lesson around hate crime, this was a massive success. The team absorbed everything and had lots of questions. Some of our team members even had the courage to share some of their own experiences of hate crime.

We have continued to make our weekly visits to Mahdlo and make use of their wonderful facilities. Recently, our little bubble has undertaken the bleep test. The effort and determination on show was phenomenal. Callum has shown fantastic leadership skills, willing his peers on and setting a great example.

On a Thursday morning, the group gets set for their weekly dose of DofE. Mr Lawrence was over the moon when he learned Poppy would be attempting to attain her Bronze Award this year.

Hollingworth Lake was the destination of choice this week, what a lovely place to spend a Thursday morning..

As you may be aware, last week was ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’. Students across the college took the opportunity to gain tons of knowledge and participate in a wide range of activities around mental health. Mrs. Nelson even brought in prizes!

The staff team put together a “virtual learning plan” with the aim of preparing students, should further restrictions be enforced.

Activ8 has had a wonderful first half term, despite the many challenges we now face. However, they’re now ready for a well earned break. We hope you all have a nice, relaxing week off.

Our job coach Nicola has news of our first Pre Intern group..

Over the past few weeks our pre-interns have continued to work on two of their employability units, Presentation Skills and Developing Own Interpersonal Skills.

For the presentation skills unit, the students have started to plan their presentations and have been learning how visual aids can add impact and engage the audience.

For the the other unit, the students have been learning how to persuade and be assertive. Some of the scenarios they acted out were returning items to a shop, persuading the boss for a pay rise and promoting themselves to go on a school trip through the student council. All the students have enjoyed this part of the unit, especially when they got the perfect excuse to be assertive towards the staff!

For our creative piece we joined both pre-intern groups together so they could work on a Halloween and Day of the Dead project. Kai researched all about the Mexican festival and some of our students coloured skulls while others decorated masks and mini pumpkins.

Well done to Summer for winning the competition for being the most dedicated and artistic with her designs.

It’s been very difficult to secure work placements for all our students but we have managed to get one of our students (Kevin) out on placement at David Lloyd and he has done so well he has been awarded this week’s Worker of the Week! Well done Kevin, you have worked so hard and have shown great commitment towards your job role.

I’d like to finish the update with a few comments from our students about the first half of the term and mention how as staff, we feel so proud of all the pre-interns they have all had a brilliant few months into the new term. Well done guys and keep up the hard work!

  • “I feel more confident talking to customers in my placement. I like my placement it can be funny” ~ Kevin
  • “I have fitted in well from the whole COVID situation and I’m getting along better with other people” ~ Summer
  • “I think I have learned more about CVs and jobs and I’m enjoying being a pre-intern” ~ Saaim

Colin is equally pleased with how hard the students have been working in our second pre intern group..

This week has seen the pre-internship come to the end of a crazy half term. Students have merged as a group and shown great resilience, attitude and application to college and completing tasks in what has been a difficult time due to unfortunately not all students having the chance to access placements outside of the college.

Students have worked hard to follow rules and protocols to keep people and each other safe.

Students have continually worked on completing their Employability portfolio starting with the Developing Interpersonal Skills unit. Students have taken a deeper look at how to:

  • Outline Own Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Outline ways of improving own time management
  • Identify signs and symptoms of stress
  • Give examples of real situations which illustrate confident behaviour
  • Identify at least five examples of body language

We have also looked as a group at how to create and structure a CV, gathering together personal information and practising writing a personal statement for students to be able to express their skills, strengths, achievements and interests.

Students used ‘Barclays LifeSkills’ to electronically build and gain understanding of the purpose of a CV and explore ways of how to stand out from the crowd


Students also had the opportunity to ‘Play the Boss’ to gain a better understanding of how a CV should be structured and also how quickly they can make an impact.

This was a quick fire round where students had 10 seconds to decide if they thought the CV was a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down’.

We have asked some students how the first term has been, here is what they said:

  • ‘’This term has been good we have adapted to lessons because of COVID we have learnt new things about CVs and in employability we learnt about body language and what happens to our bodies when people are upset, angry and other emotions. We also worked on time management, prioritising tasks and events. This term has been fun and I have settled into my new pathway and I am glad I have tried new things. But I am looking forward to a week off!!’
  • ‘’This term has been alright. I have settled in easily and I am really enjoying it. This term I have learnt new things about employability such as CVs and how to deliver presentations confidently to my class, also I have learnt new things about banking and savings. I know that when we can go on work experience things will be different. I am a little nervous about this but I am willing to try all the placements when I can. I am definitely looking forward to a week off so I can do whatever I want for most of the days’’

Enjoy the break and see you when we are back!

Before I go, after the half term break we have made some slight changes to rooms, groupings and bubbles so that all our students are kept safe. Our Digit4ll 2 group will be moving onto the ground floor and our Future Finders team will be moving on to floor 1 – we will therefore be creating 1 bubble with floor 1 and the ground floor. We will continue to stagger our groups in and ensure minimal contact with each other. Staff will ensure that all protocols and hygiene rules are followed by all.

Finally a thank you to all the staff and students on a great first half term back in our new home.

Have a great week off,

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