06 Jan

I’m rounding up 2019 with news of all the learning and excitement we’ve had at Spring Brook Lower throughout December. It’s been a busy month and I’ve got to say, having had so many younger pupils this year, there have been many delightful moments too 🙂

I received a beautiful card from one of our parents and I’d like to share some of the words with you as I was really moved by them. It hit home how much of a difference the right school and offer makes to not only the children themselves but the extended families too…

“…your school provides a net of safety, protection, betterment, empowerment, emotional scaffolding, the list is endless. I can’t put into words how very special it is for me, as a parent of a child with challenges, to be able to finally trust the staff body…”

How wonderful and very humbling to read this – as staff, we often take it for granted but should never underestimate the impact that we have when we get it right.

On our return to school in January we are, due to the incredible demand for places, opening up a further KS1 class and will welcome a further 6 pupils over the next couple of weeks. I am certain that their families will have the same experience of Spring Brook.

As you are aware, the weather never stops Class 2 (or most of our classes to be fair) from getting out and about and learning outdoors. On a beautifully bright, but chilly day, they headed out to Tegg’s Nose Country Park. They had a great day exploring the beautiful countryside and scrambling up hills and through streams. They were amazed at how the ice had formed around various objects and the patterns that were all around them. Soggy feet didn’t spoil this day out and everyone returned smiling and with rosy cheeks.

Akaash has continued to impress with his art work and his enthusiasm for learning new skills holds no bounds. We are going to be visiting an artist soon so he can learn even more – it is amazing to see him choosing to go and draw at playtimes because he recognises when his emotions might stop him from having a safe break.

Class 4 have been doing lots of shared learning activities and this is shown here in their maths work. They have been able to use new apps on the iPads and complete mathematical challenges by working in pairs. Well done Class 4 – some super hard maths there too! They have also welcomed a new teacher, Mrs Lawrence, who will be working with them after Christmas.

Talking of iPads, Class 1 have been flying with a newer app called Mathletics. Mrs Fisher plans these sessions in as part of their daily tasks and the only problem is they don’t want to come off! Here you can see some of the children holding their certificates proudly, which they all managed to achieve.

Zoe also celebrated her birthday and was thrilled that her class got her a cake – she said she had never had such a nice birthday in school.

Class 1 also enjoyed a day out at St Anne’s as part of their Art topic. They have been looking at using natural materials to create sculptures and what better place to forage than the beach. They found some great materials and brought back lots of ideas to school.

Once back in school, they have continued to enjoy their Yoga sessions. It’s fair to say that some of Class 1 were a little reluctant to join in at the beginning of the year but as you can see from these snaps, they are all active participants every week now and have got the ‘relaxation’ elements off to a Tee!

Anybody who has visited Class 3 this last half term will have seen it slowly transform into our very own Winter Wonderland! The crafts the children have made have been amazing and they all took own their own box full of goodies and decorations that they have all made from scratch with the help of Mrs Pulman and Mrs Shortall. They’ve made and iced mini Christmas cakes, made a reindeer themed hot chocolate, built a snowman cake kit, decorated the room with paper chains and angels, folded books into Christmas trees (their room has NEVER been so quiet!)…the list goes on.

They’ve read instructions, worked as a team, shared resources, faced things not going to plan and developed the resilience necessary to not give up…and then on the last day, they were met by these giant inflatables!

In PSHE, they have been looking at the different kinds of families that we all come from and have been using role play to help them generate ideas for their writing.

They have become experts at making their own slime/gloop and often choose to stay in at playtimes with this. Again, there isn’t enough for everyone so being able to take turns and negotiate is a crucial skill.

Class 5 have been learning about night and day with Mrs Hill and represented this in many creative ways.

They love to tell the older children what they have found out and their visits to the other classes not only give them the chance to use their speaking and listening skills but also develop confidence and other social skills. They have also had their turn working with Nik from City Lifestyles and made some delicious smoothies with lovely, fresh ingredients.

Our last week in school was when Christmas really took over! We had our Christmas lunch, a visit to a fantastic pantomime again at the Gallery in Oldham and raised funds through Christmas Jumper Day (we even got Mr Cruz to wear one!!).

Despite having had lots of children off poorly, most of them managed to get to these events. My heart sank when the day after our Christmas lunch, Luke – who had been poorly (he is never off and loves his food) – came running into school asking “did you save me my Christmas dinner Miss?” His little face!! Well, what choice did we have but to make sure he got one, so we sent both him and his teacher to the carvery for lunch – as you can see from these photos, he demolished it!

We held our Christmas performance too, which was very well attended as usual. It takes a lot of bravery to stand up in front of an audience of over 200 people, particularly as this is the first time many of our pupils have been involved in a school production. In fact, one pupil, Tommy (aged 5) had only joined us two days earlier. It didn’t stop him dressing up as an elf though and strutting his stuff on stage. A fantastic night enjoyed by everyone. A massive thank you to both Mr Challinor and Mrs Wilson for all their support in putting this together and to Digit4ll for the fantastic DVD they produced after filming the performance.

On the final day, Class 5 came into school to find there had been a visitor overnight. Father Christmas had invited them to go and visit him at the Spindles Grotto – just look at those smiles 🙂

Finally, I’ve posted a few amazing photos that have been taken by Sam, a professional photographer who comes into school each year to catch the children mostly unaware. They are so beautiful and I think really capture the heart and soul of our school. We are going to have these and more on display throughout school, so look out for them.

I hope you have all had a lovely break and wish everyone good health and happiness for 2020.

See you all soon,

Miss Thomason
Head of School

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