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Weekly Blog

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I must start with apologies for not having published a blog for a few weeks…I don’t know where June has gone! The first two weeks, our Year 6 pupils spent in Wales – the first week with myself (which I loved!) and the second with Mrs Sanderson. I was then lucky enough to be able to volunteer to spend the final week in Wales again, but with our Year 11 pupils this time from across the New Bridge Group. What an amazing week this was. I was reunited with Marcel, who we taught when he attended our primary, and met nearly 40 other fantastic young people and a great staff team. The sun was out too – how lovely!

You’d have thought the week in between would have been a bit of a breather, but no – Ofsted came to visit us. So wow, what a month!!

It’s been all go since I’ve been back, getting our Year 6s ready for their next steps, making plans for our new class groups in September, finalising the details for our revised curriculum and dealing with requests for places here at Spring Brook. We always get some requests right at the end of the year, but demand for places has been unprecedented this year. In the last week alone, we have had 8 consultations from Local Authorities wanting places for their children at our school. 8…in one week!

Anyway, here is a whistle-stop tour of the last few weeks and all of the exciting things our children have been up to:

Breakfast provision: This continues to be a huge success and is an offer that all of our children can access in class on arrival at school, thanks to the National Breakfast Programme. Children can choose from a selection of cereals, porridge or bagels each morning. They are also learning valuable skills and rehearsing social skills too during this great start to the day.

Visit to Oldham Gallery: As part of their study of the local area, Class 2 visited Oldham Gallery to view a huge photograph they have there of the Oldham skyline. They used their iPads to take snapshots of parts they wanted to explore further and continue to work on these back at school.

Holiday Club: Our first holiday club was held at our site, rather than our children accessing the offer at Hollinwood Academy and it was a great success. You can see all the exciting activities they got up to here – we had play dough, bubbles, pamper sessions, foot baths, massage, yoga, gym sessions, climbing frames, forest school, swimming and a trip to Heaton Park. That was just in 3 days – phew!

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Good Work Assembly: We welcomed families, new and old, to our assembly where some children were sharing their learning for the first time. This is a huge thing for them, standing up in front of the whole school and speaking about their progress. A great big well done to them all. We had Zane and Tyler sharing their learning about Life Cycles, Class 6 telling us about their design projects, Jayden told us all about his metal-detecting exploits, Kaiden shared his writing and Kobi and Lucy wowed us with their phonics challenge.

Maths and phonics in Class 5: Learning in class 5 is always fun and they have been reinforcing their Maths and phonics learning in lots of ways. This can be digging for the alphabet in the sand, looking for numbers in the water tray, jigsaws, puzzles and many more.

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Feathery friends: For the second year now, we have hatched chicks in school. We only do this because we can guarantee them a home afterwards. Some have previously gone to live in Wales but for the last two years, they have gone to live in Mrs Pulman’s garden. This is great for the children as throughout the year, each class gets to go and visit, collecting the eggs which they then cook for breakfast. If they are really lucky, Mrs Pulman’s daughter is in and makes them some sausages and bacon to go with them! We also bring the eggs into school to use for our baking lessons, so we get to see the Food Chain first hand.

With the arrival of the new chicks, a bigger home was needed for them. Jayden went to collect a new ‘chicken igloo’ and re-built it in its new home. You can see him here helping the hens to settle in..

You will see from the photos how much they’ve grown in just two weeks – their wings are already starting to grow feathers..

The bigger hens on the photos are the ones from last year who also came in for a visit along with Mrs Pulman’s dog..

Mr Cruz’s Molly is on some of the snaps too. The children love welcoming our furry friends, they have a really calming effect around school and love to go for walks outside.

Artwork: Class 7 have done a fantastic job learning some new drawing techniques. They have learnt about the water resistance of wax and used this technique to make these super paintings of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Leaving party: We said goodbye to a huge character in our school, Rudolf, at the end of half term as he has started at his new school. When arranging a leaving celebration, he mentioned that he would love a ‘proper’ tea party – so a ‘proper’ tea party he had, complete with china cups and saucers! He was able to invite his friends from Lyndhurst who had been extremely supportive in helping him prepare for his transition back to a mainstream school. Thank you so much and Good Luck Rudolf, we wish you all the best for your future.

Class 4 Maths: Numicon was out in force to help Class 4 solve these Maths pictures. They really enjoyed the challenge and persevered until all the pieces fit to complete the picture correctly. They also practised their team working and speaking and listening skills in a 10s and 1s challenge. Working in pairs, the children had to post the numbers into the correct boxes.

Arts & Drama Event: A big thank you to Mrs Wilson and Steph from Peshkar who helped us to run a 2 day Arts event. It’s really important to us that we give the children a wide range of experiences and sometimes push them beyond their comfort zone. This is how we help them to realise that they can overcome challenging situations and they often end up enjoying things they never thought they would try. So, even though the two days happened on the days Ofsted came to visit, we ploughed on regardless.

The event was based around our topic of Spies & Gadgets and over the two days, we had children changing their appearance through the use of disguise, using make up to create different effects (those black eyes aren’t real!)..

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We had spy training in the gym and used green screens and the iPads to make our own news reports..

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We also had clues to solve, treasure hunts, props and gadgets to design and make – it was really fun! As a result of engaging with all of these activities, the children have achieved the Discover Arts Award, so well done to all of them.

Class 2 Artwork: Mr Cruz has been sharing his artistic skills with Class 2 and the result is these fantastic landscape paintings. It’s lovely to hear his class enthuse about their artistic skills, especially as all of them would have claimed they ‘couldn’t draw’ back in September. Yet more proof that we should never give up trying.

CITC: Six of our children took part in the final gathering of primary schools at the Etihad complex and played football against their peers. We are looking forward to continuing our links with Manchester City next year.

Fire Brigade: A special assembly was held for our KS2 pupils about Water Safety. This was delivered by our local firemen from Hollins Rd Station. Thank you so much for helping our children understand why rivers, canals and reservoirs can be such dangerous places. Thank you also to one of their colleagues who took our younger pupils outside to explore the fire engine. It was very exciting! They got to try the sirens and use the hose – much fun was had by all.

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Teamwork Challenges: Class 2 had to work as a team to put up a tent. Now anyone who has ever been camping will tell you that isn’t always straightforward, but they did it in record time. Well done Class 2.

Fun in the Sun: The sunshine has been a welcome visitor and means we can use our lovely new outdoor space without having to wear coats and wellies. Our children are enjoying the freedom of choosing from activities such as painting, chalk, sand, water, target games, hopskotch, snakes and ladders, Four in a Row and many more. This play is developing their speech and language skills as they must learn to share, take turns, co-operate, negotiate and problem solve. It’s wonderful to see the progress they are making in these areas.

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Class 2 Explorers: As we all know, even if you go into Class 2 never having climbed a hill, you will certainly have climbed plenty by the time you leave! Mr Cruz is passionate about instilling an appreciation of nature in his class and I think it’s fair to say they’ve all been bitten by the hiking bug. Their most recent exploits have taken them all over Crompton Moor and up Mam Tor. Again, this isn’t just about ‘going for a walk’. What has been lovely to see over the past 12 months is that where at first the more active children may run ahead, they now (without being asked) make sure that they all climb as a group and that nobody gets left behind. This team identity comes back with them into the classroom, where they continue to offer help and support to each other. One day, I’ll get out on a walk with you!

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So, that was June – what a month!

Don’t forget that on Monday evening, at 4pm, we are going to be holding our annual Celebration Event where we will be presenting certificates and awards from throughout the year, as well as saying goodbye to our Year 6 pupils. We look forward to seeing you all then.

Have a great week,

Miss Thomason
Head of School

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

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