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Weekly Blog

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This week has been a week of team work, reflection and inspiration! On Tuesday evening I was really excited to join Lumenus at a workshop in Manchester. We have recently forged a new partnership with The Manchester International Festival, a bi-annual festival that brings world class artists from across the globe to our city in a two week arts celebration. This partnership will provide many opportunities for our Lumenus students to access industry specific work experience and workshops.

On Tuesday we spent the evening underneath the arches at Mayfield Depot in town, to work with ‘Underway’, a nomadic pottery workshop. The students designed their own tiles and did everything from mixing the clay to using piping bags to create amazing designs. The tiles will displayed on the walls of festival square, the hub of the festival in St Peter’s Square in July. We can’t wait to see our work up on the walls!

On Wednesday, the three sites of New Bridge School took part in a ‘Peer to Peer Review’, where members of our senior and executive teams from across the Trust split off into teams of 5 or 6 to offer a positive enquiry to our curriculum. The aim of the morning was for professionals who aren’t usually based within our building, to see what we do and to feed back on our successes.

I was thrilled that this fell on a Wednesday, as each Wednesday all of our employment pathways are out on placement and our vocational pathways are busy working within their specialist areas. I led a team around Medtia and we also visited our Activ8 students at Oldham Leisure Centre where they were working in the gym on their own fitness. I then took our group around a number of our work placements including The Clean Plate Kitchen, The Atrium and David Lloyd Gym. To say that the group were overwhelmed by what we do would be the understatement of the year. It was quite overwhelming for me as the leader of this campus to hear such incredible feedback. I felt incredibly proud of all of our staff and students but what impacted me the most was the feedback from employers – it really showed what impact we were having on the hearts and minds of the general public. Comments included:

‘Our members love the students from New Bridge, they look out for them, ask to be served by them and see the difference in them over time, we just love having them here’ – David Lloyd Gym

‘I have trained with the RAF, worked with the forces, worked in huge catering kitchens but have never loved a job as much as this one, because I enjoy working with the students so much’ – The Atrium Café

‘We love having students on placement from New Bridge, they are such a huge help and our customers come back daily asking to see them’ – The Clean Plate Kitchen

I have mentioned this before, but when I went over to Cincinnatti 10 years ago to see Project Search, I was overwhelmed by a town where people with disabilities and additional needs were fully immersed into every part of society. They were treated as equals, and this is something that has been a huge shift in Oldham over the past few years because of the amazing work that we do as a trust. So yes, I did shed a tear, because I got to show off and celebrate what we take for granted. We are world class, we are innovative and we are making a difference.

To summarise, the team of professionals came up with the following statement:

The curriculum at Medtia can be characterised as:

  • Inspirational
  • Aspirational
  • Personalised
  • Destination Focused
  • Influential
  • Life Changing
  • Rigorous
  • Collaborative
  • Holistic
  • Empowering
  • Ever-Evolving

I think that sums up what we do perfectly! Now to hear what our students have been doing this week, starting with Reece who is on our Bridging the Gap project at MMU..

Hi, my name is Reece and I am working in the library at Manchester Metropolitan University..

One of my first jobs of the day is to put all the jobs through the book sorter. I collect the books from floors four and five (because this is a big library!) and today I collected over 150 books! This machine automatically sorts the books out so they go back on the right floor!

I then move on to book repairs, where I have to replace the broken jackets on the books. This is quite a fiddly job and takes a lot of time and care!!

My next task is to put the books back on the shelves. They all have to be put back in numerical and alphabetical order (so they all have a barcode like 234.7/DEF) which means I have to find the right floor, then the right room, then the right shelf..

..and then find the exact place on the shelf so that the students can find it!

I am enjoying my time here and I am learning a lot about working in a busy and large environment. It helps me daily with my communication skills which I will need when I hopefully move on to a career in IT!!

Our Lumenus students have had quite a week..

It’s been a super busy week in Lumenus! So let’s start with Monday when some of us went down to Spring Brook Lower to deliver a workshop for the ‘The Greatest Show,’  where some of the pupils are going to be acrobats and strong men. Summer, Oliver, Jacqueline and Grace went to deliver this workshop and used their creative drama skills. They all really enjoyed doing this and it has been a great experience..

On Tuesday some people from the Volunteer Centre came and gave a talk to all the Pathway and Pre-Intern students about all the possible ways young people can volunteer in the community – very interesting! After school, Lumenus were also invited to do tile making for the Manchester International Festival. This was an amazing opportunity and we are so lucky to be a part of this! We came back at 8:30pm so it was a very long day!

On Wednesday we went down to school for rehearsals for the school show..

We were joined by Hollinwood Academy students Maia and Aron, who are the characters young Charity and young Barnum, and they practised their scene in the show..

Mr Lyons had a sneak peek of the song ‘A million dreams’ and said he absolutely loved it. As part of the Ballet scene, we were joined by Hollinwood’s Key Stage 2 NSN and RHR classes and rehearsed a dance piece..

On Thursday and Friday we devised another workshop that we are going to deliver to Hawthorns next Monday! This workshop is based around the ‘Fire’ scene in The Greatest Show where the pupils will be flames..

Also Ben from The Oldham Coliseum came to Medtia to see our ‘Everyday Hero’ piece that we will be performing in a few weeks’ time, as part of the ‘Where I Stand’ festival at the Coliseum Theatre project.

 It’s certainly been a jam packed week in Lumenus! We hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Now on to today and more team work! Maria, our work placement co-ordinator, has been working with Julie from First Choice Homes to create our first ever Careers Carousel. Students from across the Trust have visited First Choice Homes today and have participated in a number of short workshops to learn about the roles within their business. From tiling to planning the construction of new homes, it has been an amazing day of collaborative working and careers education. A huge thank you to Maria and Julie and to all of the professionals that gave up their time today! It was just brilliant!

What a week! I hope that you all have an enjoyable weekend,

Head of Key Stage 5 Pathways

You can view our previous blog entries here

Click here for this week’s news from Graham


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

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