08 Feb

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While their new website is being developed, Spring Brook Academy will be sharing their news here. Find out what has been happening at the Upper School in Key Stage 3..

Since my arrival at Upper School after the Christmas break it has been non-stop! It is lovely to be working once again with the pupils who left our primary provision and it is amazing to see how much some of them have grown! There has been much going on behind the scenes since my arrival with myself, Mrs Tootill and the staff working tirelessly to plan for some quite major changes that will take place in school on our return after half term.

It comes as no surprise to us that the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 can be quite challenging for many children, both in a mainstream setting as well as in a special school. Over the years we have looked at many ways to ease the transition for pupils and we continue to work towards this aim. On their return to school after half term, our Key Stage 3 pupils will be put into three groups; two mixed Year 7 and 8 groups and one Year 9 group. The Year 7 and 8 groups will be more classroom based and they have been allocated a class teacher for the majority of their day in school. This will mean that most of their learning will take place in ‘their’ classroom base and they will move around school to access Food Technology, Design Technology and PE where specialist equipment is needed, as well as during breaks and lunchtimes. Year 9 will follow a more traditional model where they will move around school to their different classes to help prepare them for the transition to Key Stage 4 and the move to the Springboard project which will be up and running for September 2017.

The pupils have been fully informed of the developments throughout the process and they appear happy with the suggested changes. I am sure they will keep you up to date with what is happening in school on their return home at the end of the day as they come back and enthusiastically fill you in on their day! (Although I remember my own children’s recount of their day in school which usually started with a grunt and ended in a grunt – oh, the joys of conversation with a teenager!) If you would like to know more about the changes taking place in school, please do get in touch with myself or Mrs Tootill and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

I would now like to share with you some of the fantastic learning opportunities your children have been involved in during this half term..

Miss Ebenezzer – Food Technology
All the pupils have been looking at the factors that affect food choices such as cost, culture, religion, health and so on. The pupils used different skills like weighing, whisking, rolling, spreading and preparing the baking pan. In theory, they researched the cost of a shop bought swiss roll and a homemade swiss roll..

The pupils used parsnip, sweet potatoes and potatoes with different spices to make wedges and did sensory testing using the hedonic scale method to choose their preferred wedges and spices..

This week they have looked at vegetarian diets and prepared savoury rice with vegetables – the dishes tasted absolutely delicious and the presentation was spot on..

Rainier made some cupcakes and decorated them beautifully with icing and sprinkles in a very productive 1:1 session..

Mrs Needham – Maths
Lewis and Jordan were extremely engaged with the work that they revised on area of shapes and it was great to see their confidence grow because it was a familiar topic. A few pupils who shone in particular this week were Leo and Alex with the amazing work that they did on angles. Leon continues to grow in confidence in Maths and it is now his ‘2nd favourite subject’ (his words) after considering last year it was his least favourite lesson. Key Stage 3 Nurture have produced some outstanding pieces of Maths and they continue to make Ms Walters and Mrs Needham proud with the positivity that they show in the subject.

Mr Hopkins – PE
The pupils in school have been working really hard in PE on their basketball skills and have been participating in muscular endurance fitness tests this week. There has been some fantastic competition between pupils and staff with Mrs Unwin challenging (and beating) SBA3 and Key Stage 3 Nurture Groups in a plank challenge!!

Mr Daly – English
SBA2 have continued to read the book ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ which they are really enjoying and which is furthering their understanding of autism and how if affects people. It has been nice to have Alex in SBA2, he has settled in really well and everyone is being positive with him.

Humanities – Mrs Dickson
We have been looking at how we compare countries using different indicators. SBA1 and SBA2 have compared countries using the Human Development Index which involved using decimals on a scale. We have had some great discussions about differences within a town on the Ivory Coast.

Key Stage 3 Nurture Group
The boys have had another busy week. They have made our new teaching assistant, Mr Pryce, feel very welcome and they love the fact that he can play sport with them. In Maths Wayne and Mark have been looking at finding the missing angles in different shapes..

Both boys were set a challenge by Mrs Needham to see if they could complete a piece of Year 10 work on corresponding angles on parallel lines which they managed to do by working together. They have also completed independent work, with Wayne trying the extension skills worksheet. Adam has been working hard on his AQA Maths folder, completing work on the four rules of number.
In English we have been reading the book ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ which has raised lots of questions around Holocaust Memorial Day.
During our DT lesson the boys followed instructions on how to make a Minion and as you can see, both models were a success..

Look out for our weekly blogs after the holidays.

Have a fantastic half term,

Mrs Thorpe

You can find all our weekly blog entries here