06 Jul

Independence Day, Ofsted and race courses….it has been quite a week!

On Monday we had a call from Ofsted to say that they would be inspecting Hollinwood Academy on Tuesday and Wednesday. As we have a number of students from Hollinwood Academy based at Medtia Square on our pathways and work experience programmes, I was asked to meet with inspectors on Tuesday. I can honestly say that it was a joyous experience!

The team at Hollinwood Academy are FANTASTIC! They strive for the very best for their students and it was brilliant that they had the opportunity to show Ofsted what a huge impact their school is having on the lives of their students and families. I look forward to seeing the published report from Ofsted but have no doubts that the young people and staff blew them away! Well done to all of the team, I am sure they are all looking forward to a restful weekend in the sunshine!

On Monday, we held an open evening at Medtia for parents of students joining our campus in September to give them the opportunity to look around the building and meet with key staff. If you couldn’t make it but would like to make an appointment to visit us, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We also informed families about uniforms at Medtia – next year our Pre-Interns and Future Finders students will also have a uniform and order forms will be going out next week.

On Wednesday I attended the Careers and Enterprise Company’s National Conference at Newbury racecourse. The conference theme was ‘joining the dots’ and focused on the impact of collaborative work relating to careers education, employer engagement and work placement schemes. Whilst I got some ideas from other schools that I will pinch and saw some examples of excellent practice across the country, I really wanted to stand on my chair in front of the 1000 delegates and tell them all about what we do here at New Bridge! We join the dots every day! We work collaboratively across schools to support each other and share opportunities for our young people. Our staff work across sites to share their expertise, our job coaches work with employers across the region to ensure that the correct placements and jobs are found for our students! Joining the dots is embedded within the culture of our Trust and, as I am sure Ofsted will report, it has a significant impact on us all.

Whilst I was down in Newbury, our Pre-Interns were hosting an American Independence themed day over at The Atrium Café! I am gutted that I missed it! Take a look at how they got on…

Over the past few months our Pre-Internship students have been planning a theme day for the Atrium Café. The students chose the theme of America’s Independence Day and used their tutorial sessions to learn about the history of the 4th of July and why it is celebrated. They researched American culture such as renowned foods, party decorations and popular recreational activities. The students had a set budget and had to consider the costs when choosing the menu and picking the decorations. Here’s how it all came together!

Tom and Chloe went shopping to buy some of the food needed for the day..

Chloe designed and laminated the menu posters..

Helal and Tom made the table toppers..

They all worked together to hang the bunting and flags..

Chloe was in charge of quality control and gave a final check to make sure all was ok with the decorations..

But it wasn’t all fun and games, there were still plenty of jobs that needed to be done. Tom and Helal swept up and collected the litter from outside the back of the kitchen..

Helal used the dishwasher to clear the dishes while Tom and Chloe helped to dish up and serve the meals..

It was very busy during lunchtime and the students worked hard taking orders and serving meals. The hot dogs were very popular and the staff from First Choice Homes were impressed with the event. One member of staff commented saying that it had ‘made her day’ because of the ‘lovely decorations’. When it was time for their dinner, the students had their pick of the food from the menu. Helal really enjoyed his waffles and ice cream and Tom was soon tucking into his hot dog and corn on the cob..

It was a lovely day, enjoyed by many. Tom, Helal and Chloe and their team of Job Coaches would like to thank Becky, Sammy and Toni for all their help and support, especially with all the preparation and cooking..

A special mention to all the FCHO staff, we hope you enjoyed the cheese cake and apple pie! A massive well done to the students for all their hard work and effort to make the day such a success..

And now for an update on some of the work placements also taking place at The Atrium..

This week at the café, Charlie and Daniel have been learning new tasks through their work experience. They know they must greet the kitchen staff, put on their aprons and wash their hands then it’s set up and do the trolley run..

Daniel is great at working out the customers’ change and ticking the stock off the list. Charlie is becoming more confident talking to the customers and selecting the items that the customers have asked for. One new job they have been learning is how to unload the stock from the food delivery and where all the items go. First they have to check the weight of the boxes to make sure they are not too heavy to lift before they lift and carry the stock to the correct places. They have learnt that the drinks and crisps go behind the counter and the frozen foods go into the kitchen..

They both have to remember to follow the health and safety rules when doing this job and make sure they take items into the kitchen one at a time so they don’t bump into each other..

They know it is important to use the correct manual handling techniques when lifting stock to protect their backs and make sure stock is put away neatly so other people don’t fall or trip over it. Once the stock has been put away, the students have to sort the different waste. This task involves flattening the cardboard..

..and collecting the general waste and recyclable products. They load the trolley and push it to the bins outside..

Then the students find the correct bins and empty the waste..

..storing the trolley in the correct location when they have finished..

The other new job they have been learning is serving the meals to the customers. They each have to wash their hands then wait near to the door of the kitchen for instructions from Becky or Sammy who pass the meals to Charlie and Daniel, telling them the names of the customers. Charlie and Daniel then have to carefully carry out the meals to the seating area and say the customers’ names. Daniel and Charlie both felt nervous doing this job but they both did really well, taking great care carrying the meals..

The last job of the day was filling in their diaries and going through their targets..

Well done lads. Keep up the good work!

More good news hot off the press…..on Friday Tony, one of our Pre-Internship students, was offered a paid job at David Lloyd Gym!!

Tony is 17 and has spent the past year on our Pre-Internship pathway – he is our youngest ever student to get a paid job!! Huge congratulations to you Tony, we are so proud of you! On behalf of Tony, a big thank you to his job coach Genna for all of her support!

With only two weeks to go until the end of term, we have a busy week ahead next week. On Tuesday we will host a transition day for the Future Finders and Pre-Internship students joining us in September. We have our Bridging the Gap celebration at the Royal Oldham Hospital and, of course, Friday night sees the social highlight of the New Bridge calendar…The Prom!

Have a wonderful weekend. I am off to London and Brighton to enjoy the sunshine – apparently there’s a big football game on too! It’s coming home….. Enjoy!

Daniel
Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

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