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Weekly Blog

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Another week has flown by, we really don’t know where the time goes! We are currently spending time in lessons observing the teachers and teaching assistants and seeing the extent of what children are learning. We have seen some amazing lessons and it makes us very proud of our staff and children and realise what assets we have at New Bridge. The weather hasn’t been too unkind to us this week, although Activ8 came back after playing rugby on Wednesday looking like monsters from the muddy lagoon! Let’s hope our families use that well known soap powder, eh?

As you may already be aware, we have started working in partnership with the national charities SeeAbility and Henshaws to ensure all our young people are able to access an eye test in the familiar surroundings of New Bridge with support from our staff who know them well. Optometrist Daniel Crown from Hathershaws Opticians has been running clinics every week, testing the eyesight of our young people in school, and Sara from Henshaws has been offering support to families whose children have visual impairments and supporting Daniel during some of the clinics which parents are also invited to attend.

This has been SeeAbility Week when their organisation comes together with local communities and partners to raise awareness and funds for their life changing work. SeeAbility Week also included World Sight Day on 12th October…….which just happened to coincide with the day that they were helping to carry out the latest eye tests at New Bridge..

You can find out more about the work SeeAbility do on their website here. We’re delighted that this project will be continuing throughout the term and we’re looking forward to supporting more of our young people to access vital eye care. If you would like your child to have their eyes tested and you need another copy of the consent forms, please don’t hestitate to contact reception and we will send them home.

The Learning Centre students who are in Mrs Robinson’s ‘The World’ option groups have looked at Italy and China over the last two weeks. Nathan and Conor tried their best to translate everyday words into Chinese and Italian..

..and Sabeel and Mr Fairest made an impressive Venetian masquerade mask..

Kade delved into the world of international football with both countries and Danny researched and drew the flags..

There was some beautiful colouring-in of Chinese lanterns, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Chinese horoscope and mouth-watering pizzas..

Talking of pizzas, the group enjoyed sampling pizzas and garlic bread, while our China week saw them attempting noodles, prawn crackers and egg fried rice with chopsticks!

Mr Fairest even brought us all some fortune cookies. Mrs Robinson’s said she could find great wealth if only she knew where to look for it! (Typical!) Roll on Pakistan next week and wherever else the lesson may take us!

Miss Allison would like to remind staff and students that she always remains available for food sampling! Talking of which she’d like to thank Sabiha for providing her with this week’s offering of a delicious breakfast pizza, complete with fried egg!

It’s great to see our young people developing a wide range of living skills which will help them cook tasty meals for themselves which, with a little imagination and minimal outlay, are also easy to make.

Things have been getting a tad competitive at the Learning Centre recently, especially amongst the gents – we never knew table tennis could evoke such strong emotions! We will let you into a little secret – Mr Barker would rather not admit it but Jermaine and Kade are both causing him some concern. Here’s a picture of Jermaine and Mr Barker in full swing!

It would also appear that Mr Barker and Mr Fairhurst are setting the trend for a new staff uniform, although we’re not so sure that Urban Cowboy is the way forward!

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our Learning Centre parents’ group this Wednesday 18th at 2pm. We are hoping this relaxed forum will provide a supportive environment within which parents and carers can meet up and share similar experiences or concerns – with the added bonus of refreshments provided by Mrs Gillett’s Food Industry group.

Well done to Josh in Year 10 for showing great initiative and setting up our first New Bridge Book Club! This week the group discussed James and the Giant Peach. the Book Club now runs every Thursday at 12.25pm in N41, the perfect way to spench a lunch break!

This week it is the turn of our ICT department to showcase the incredible work they do – over to Mr Bright..

Hi everyone! In ICT this week we have been learning all kinds of fantastic skills using the computers, iPads, switches and touch screens for a range of different topics. When teaching our AB and IB groups we try to give meaning to how they access the computer by continuing the learning taking place in their classroom setting. Therefore the topic we are focusing on at the moment is ‘Autumn’. Some learners have been practising their understanding of switch controls by completing a jigsaw, which involves using one switch to scan and one switch to choose a piece..

..or by moving the pieces into place on the touchscreen..

Jamie has mastered this particular skill, as you can see!


Elsewhere, we have learners that need a much more sensory approach to their learning so we get them to use a switch to play a sound, or experience some other tactile stimulus as a response to pressing the switch. One example is by hearing the rain and feeling the rain when they press the switch, or hearing the wind and feeling the wind when they press a switch. As you can see, our learners really respond well to this method..

Within our IT Pathway, pupils have been learning all about Photoshop and how to create their very own movie posters. But first students must understand the rules of layout design before they develop their photo manipulation skills. Take a look at some of our students from DIGIT4LL2 as they demonstrate the ‘Rule of 3’..

 Danielle would make an excellent addition to the New Bridge teaching staff, I’m sure you’ll agree..

Finally, as you can see the students were immersed with their Photoshop work..

I’d like to take a moment to highlight Ethan’s movie poster. Every element of this design from the background, title, characters, smoke and flames have all been created by Ethan using photo editing software..

Well done to all the students on the IT Pathway, I know it’s going to be a great year!

Meanwhile, at the Learning Centre some of our Year 14s are learning all about code! They are practising with building block code to make objects on screen in a sequence. We will gradually build up to learning about how games are created and the students will design their own animation or game. Look at the concentration here as Sophie and Hamza learn all about this riveting topic! Keep up the good work, guys..

Mr Southerington’s Year 9 topic this term is video and animation and the pupils started off learning about various camera shot types before moving this week to animation – the art of making still objects appear to move by themselves. Using Serif Draw Plus the pupils have created simple Keyframe animations to make their ‘animals’ move across the screen and some even made their animals shrink and spin!

Exciting things are coming this term as the pupils will eventually start editing videos, adding titles and effects, and even combining their animations with real life footage. Watch out, Quentin Tarrentino – New Bridge Year 9s are coming!

Miss Joubert’s IB students have been focusing on switch work, moving interactive stories along by pressing a switch while Ebase students have been using ipads to make independent choices..

..with some students using a personal computer to drag and drop..

..and type key words and match letters..

Many of our students at the Learning Centre undertake the OCR Entry Level qualification in ICT which involves animation and graphic design, as well as key skills like searching the internet and sending an email. All the students have to plan their work beforehand, take a look at some of our young people’s work including their plan..

..how to insert hyperlinks..

..and using animation software Serif Draw Plus..

Elsewhere students have been practising their typing skills ready for their animation using 2 Type..

Miss Dickson’s Year 7 class have been busy learning about hardware and software and can name the different parts of the computer. They have worked hard making anti-bullying posters..

Year 9 have been making videos and using video editing software and we are looking forward to sharing their finished products later! Miss Dickson is often seen wandering around the buildings with bags of leaves, conkers and acorns for the IB classes who have been sharing a sensory story about Autumn..

The touchscreens are very popular with our young people as you can see..

Year 10 are starting their OCR qualification and have been learning how to send and receive emails and being safe on the internet..

On Saturday Activ8 had their annual ‘lads night out’ where they attended the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford as Mr Greenway explains..

This year saw Castleford Tigers’ first appearance in the grand final but they lost out to eventual winners Leeds Rhinos in front of a capacity 73,000 crowd..


The group enjoyed the party atmosphere, including fireworks and flame throwers, with most of the lads now deciding that they’re Rhinos fans (glory hunters!!)

It was good practice for the groups Rugby League sessions to see a match first hand and many of them starting to pick up on the rules of the game such as how play restarts after certain events. A great night was had by all and were now looking forward to putting it into practice on the rugby pitch on Wednesday afternoon…!

We just had to share this lovely picture of Louis and Bradley who you might just be able to tell were VERY proud to have earned 4 extra points each on Friday – well done!

This week we also celebrated Mr Smith’s birthday, although we had to tell him that 30 years on he might not be celebrating with quite so much gusto! We also sadly said goodbye to Miss Bradley on Thursday – after 4 years with us she is moving on into a new career direction and is becoming a nurse. We wish her all the very best and every success in her future.

We hope you have a lovely week,

Judith and Dawn

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Spring Brook Lower School, Heron St, Oldham OL8 4JD

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