24 Feb

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Welcome back to you all after the half term holiday. I hope that you all managed to get some rest and spend some quality time with your children.

We started our week at the Primary School with a training day on Monday. We were lucky enough to be able to work with Professor Barry Carpenter during the afternoon, an internationally renowned education consultant who has had a career spanning over 30 years dedicated to making the lives of children with SEN better. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities. It was fascinating stuff, we all learned lots and came away with even more to think about! He lectures all over the world so we were really very lucky to be able to have him share his knowledge with us. Thanks to the training team at New Bridge School for organising the day.

Our last day before the break saw us celebrate all the learning the children at Spring Brook have been involved in during our Good Work Assembly. As ever, it was very well attended by our families and there was standing room only at the back! We even had some staff from Future Finders at New Bridge join us and they were blown away by the confidence of the children sharing with their families what they had been learning about. Here are some photos showing a snapshot of the morning..

Class 3 had been writing spy messages with invisible ink that was only detected under a special UV light..

Class 5 shared their Gruffalo Hunt..

Class 1 showed off their super bridge structures..

..while Class 3 explained what they had found out about volcanoes and tsunamis..

Fantastic work everybody!

During the time off we joined the New Bridge holiday club activities for two days to find out how it runs and what is on offer that our children can access. We couldn’t invite everyone to this as it was just a trial run, but seven children came along for two days and had a fantastic time. They swam, danced, played and made new friends..

Emily particularly loved being able to play with other girls and made a special friend in Maia. Christopher too showed his really sensitive side and was very nurturing towards some of the younger Hollinwood pupils. We will be sending out an invitation to all children who may wish to take part over the Easter Holidays really soon. It really is excellent value for money at only £5 per day..

This week Class 5 have continued their work on healthy eating by investigating the making of a healthy smoothie. They have sampled different ingredients, used the scales to weigh and measure and then combined this with their IT topic called ‘I can be a TV chef!’ This involved learning how to record a video clip and use sound to demonstrate making their smoothie. They all took turns to present to camera – that’s really difficult when you’re also cooking! I think any of them could give Phil Vickery a run for his money!! Here are some photos of them in action..

Class 2 continue to enjoy their work about ‘Spies and Gadgets’. They shared with their families in the assembly the gadgets they had designed and the CVs they had written using persuasive language. This week the children have devised their own spy fitness tests to see who is really suitable for the job. The children then led their own gruelling regime in a bid to find the fittest person for the role. Mr Mullins was grateful that he was required to video the session for evidence and therefore avoided embarrassing himself in attempting to vault over any apparatus! They certainly had a good work out and were all very good at taking on the role of fitness instructor too..

I will finish with some more photos of Class 5 who I have to say always work incredibly hard. Harry came to see me and was feeling very proud of himself as he had mastered the spelling of all the common exception words. Just look at that smile!

Liam and Rudolf were working on multiplication word problems like ‘Daisy had 5 cubes and Adam had 5 cubes. How many cubes altogether?’ and ‘Sue had 8 cubes and Adam had 8 cubes. How many cubes altogether?’ You can see here how they were able to use the cubes to calculate the answers independently..

They have also been experimenting with different flavours for drinks and this week tried adding ingredients to make a Mexican themed Hot Chocolate! I think they preferred the normal variety though..

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a comment from one of our families during an Annual Review. They acknowledged how difficult a job our staff must have working with children who can be very challenging at times, both physically and emotionally. It’s true, some days are draining. However, they were so positive in their feedback about the school and said they were proud to tell people that their young person attended Spring Brook. This really meant a lot. Some families are understandably worried about their child being educated outside of mainstream schools and what this can mean for them but when families are able to see the progress being made and feel the impact of that in their homes too, then that truly does make our job worthwhile.

Have a great weekend everybody,

Toni Thomason
Head of School

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