It’s been an incredibly busy week across the school and Learning Centre. On Monday Mr Lyons had the privilege of accompanying pupils from our school and other schools within the wider Trust to a production of Matilda at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. The trip was organised as an enrichment of our Creative Arts programmes within the Trust, giving our pupils the opportunity to see the link between what they are studying in school with careers and opportunities outside of school. It was a wonderfully funny, energetic and touching performance by a very talented cast, largely made up of children and young adults and many of our pupils were clearly inspired by what they saw as they talked excitedly about it to him the next day.
Back in school, lesson observations are well underway and once again we’ve had the pleasure of dropping into lessons (this time on a more formal basis). In Mr Lyons’ previous roles, he spent a lot of time carrying out lesson observations. Getting into the classroom, watching teaching and learning first hand, witnessing the creative ways in which our teachers plan learning, seeing those lightbulb moments when our pupils suddenly grasp an idea or master a skill, discussing with teachers how we can continue to refine our teaching to further enhance pupils’ learning; these experiences never fail to excite and inspire us and remind us why we love working in a school. What we also learn from these experiences, is that we have an incredibly passionate, hard-working, skilled and knowledgeable team working at New Bridge. To be surrounded by such individuals only makes our jobs that much more enjoyable.
We’ve had lots more ‘Wow!’ moments this week. Mrs Gillett would like a special mention for Callum and Omar. When they started in cooking in Year 12 they were not too confident and lacked some skills but now, in Year 14, they are amazing – they just get on with it. Great work..
The Nurture Group cooking is now a weekly highlight..
A special thank you to Natasha for Miss Allison’s vegetarian Burrito – she can’t wait to sample next week’s delights!
During her ‘drop ins’ on Wednesday, Miss Allison joined Chloe, Kara, Yusra, Cherrie and Jade in Mrs Joubert’s E-Safety girls group, part of the Learning Centre’s targeted interventions. Here’s a report from Mrs Joubert..
Today we had an introductory discussion as it was our first week. We talked about what e safety is and what we will be covering in the coming weeks. Although some students already have their E-Safety award, it is always helpful to revisit areas in addition to extra topics such as radicalisation.
We are all aware that technology continually changes the way we interact with each other and social media has become an integral part of our students’ lives, however this brings with it a number of challenges. The group discussed the threat of fake profiles on many social media platforms with reference to some real life scenarios.
You can find out all about our New Bridge E-Safe Award here.
On Wednesday Miss Allison also dropped in to a Year 12 English lesson. It was great to observe Ellearna, Jacob, Terry, Covy, Joseph and Ryan all busy completing a comprehension test on the computers using full sentences, capitals, full stops etc. The scheme of work for this half term is reading, specifically scanning for key words and information (Functional Skills Entry Levels 1,2 and 3.) Well done all!
Another ‘Wow!’ moment came from Sabeel in Year 13 who successfully completed a touch typing app that tests speed and accuracy using the Bluetooth keyboard. Sabeel is the first student to score over 1000 points on the ‘hurry scurry’ speed test – a fantastic achievement! Well done Sabeel!
Mrs Keane is particularly impressed with Serish who has previously struggled with her writing. Serish has produced the clearest writing Mrs Keane has seen in the 2 years she has been teaching her – well done Serish!
Mrs McLaughlin’s Autism Base class had a good trip into Oldham..
This week we have been to Sainsbury’s in Oldham to continue our work around road safety. We used the crossings appropriately, watching for traffic and looking both ways before crossing the road..
We also worked on our Maths skills using money in the shop and selecting items from the shelves..
Afterwards we went to the library. It was our first visit inside so we had a look around and then accessed the young people’s facilities that they have on offer. Everyone really enjoyed the Lego and worked really hard demonstrating fantastic listening skills throughout. Well done AB3!
Mr Blackman would like to say a big ‘well done!’ to some new members of the Horticulture team. For selected periods, Learning Centre students are now accessing the Hortus program. The very first task in Horticulture for Jordan, Jacob and Ryan was to help with the harvesting of the potato crop, getting a record number of 21 potatoes from just one plant – well done to the team..
Also, well done to Josh who’s getting to grips with the mower!
As we said, one of the joys of our job is getting the opportunity to observe some outstanding lessons. This week Miss Allison and Mr Barker had the pleasure of joining Mr Taylor’s DofE options group as they were learning how to appropriately use a Trangia camping stove when they’re out using a range of skills..
Mrs Fennelly’s class have been working on the topic of circles in Art, using a range of mediums to decorate their circles. They have used painting, printing and collage skills..
The circles will be put together to create a joint piece of work.
Another outstanding lesson was Mrs Thornhill’s EBase 1 class who were all engrossed in their learning. Here’s a report from Mrs Thornhill..
During their Functional Skills lessons, EBase 1 have been learning the names of different basic food items. In English Reading, some of the students have been using the words they have learnt to create shopping lists..
This list is then taken to the role play shop where the list is followed, the food items are found and then they are placed into the shopping basket..
The other students have been matching words to pictures of basic food items and placing them into a mini supermarket trolley..
All the students are aware of their objective for the lesson and, at the end of the session, play an active part in self- assessment and communicate through symbols whether or not they feel that they have achieved their outcome..
The staff in EBase are very proud of the outstanding progress the students are making within this area and are looking forward to practising this in real life shopping situations in the near future.
Excellent work Mrs Thornhill, Miss Johnson and Mrs Redpath, and a big ‘well done!’ to the students!
Our Key Stage 4 Duke of Edinburgh’s group made the most of Thursday’s weather and the beautiful Autumn leaves to explore the elements of ‘wind’..
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They also made the most of the beautiful Autumn morning!
Yet another outstanding lesson was observed with Mrs Robinson’s Functional Skills where it was great to see the students all engaged and stretching themselves to do even better. Well done everyone..
And finally well done to Mrs Kindon, Mr Edwards and the Nurture Group on their ‘Learning for Life’ lesson on what makes a good friend. The students showed a good understanding of what they have learned so far this term and consolidated this knowledge in today’s lesson. There was a particularly poignant video and the students discussed the complexities of friendship and the qualities of a true friend. Again, well done all.
We look forward to sharing more great practice next week.
On Monday the Learning Centre hosted our first Parent Group meeting of the year. This was really well attended by a dozen parents and carers and it was lovely to welcome some new faces. There was the opportunity to share experiences and talk about worries and concerns. A common theme again was concerns regarding the transition from children’s to adult services from health, financial and social care perspectives.
There was an agreement to meet once every half term and to continue to invite professionals in to talk to the group about pertinent issues. We will continue to meet on Monday afternoons when Shamin Akhtar, our Home School Liaison Officer, is present to provide support and interpreting if required. We are arranging to invite Toyoba from the children’s short breaks team and someone from Adult Services to our next group meeting which will take place at 2pm on Monday 26th November at the Learning Centre. We hope you can join us!
We finished the week with our first open morning of the year at the school site, for parents of Year 6 pupils considering New Bridge for September 2019. Hosted by our amazing Deputy, Miss Hall, a very large group of parents and their children were given a tour of the school, an overview of what we can offer their child and an opportunity to ask questions and gain answers to issues pertinent to them. We will be hosting a series of these tours throughout the year, and these will be publicised via our website (full details here) and social media output.
Before we go, we couldn’t resist sharing this picture of our very own Mr Smith with you – we have it on good authority that the tiara stayed in place for the entire PE lesson..
One last piece of news – last week Mr Lyons announced our new Head Boy, Saaim, and Head Girl, Millie. This week, both have been thinking very carefully who they would like to choose as their Deputies. Mr Lyons was very impressed with the thoughtfulness and seriousness with which they both approached this decision, it was not taken lightly. We can now reveal that Saaim has chosen Jake as his Deputy and Millie has chosen Aimee as her Deputy. Congratulations to both of you, Mr Lyons is looking forward to working with you all of you this year.
Have a great weekend,
Gavin and Dawn
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