06 Jul

Well, what a busy week we have had!

Can I just praise all our pupils and staff for how well they worked and behaved during the Ofsted visit. It was great to showcase all the wonderful work that we do with all of our young people in the school. I am looking forward to reading their report now..

Last week, I promised you a detailed account from Mr Rawson of our Year 6 residential..

Year 6 residential – Glan Gwna, 25th-29th June

With the promise of good weather and excitement in the air, we loaded the mini bus with the luggage and the children said their goodbyes to parents. This Year 6 residential was going to Glan Gwna Holiday Park just outside of Caernarfon in North Wales for a week of fun in the sun and we set off for our first port of call, the North Wales Mountain Zoo.

After some initial debating at the entrance about who was paying, we finally got into the zoo, parked up and started to roam around. The children led the way and we went from enclosure to enclosure to see the animals. It was evident from the hot weather that some of the animals were not playing, however we managed to see some of the residents before pausing for lunch. After lunch we set off again around the zoo, the children watched a bear eating his lunch, gibbons swinging around their enclosure, a quick walk through the alligator enclosure which was really hot, then a walk around to the flamingo pool where we paused for a break before back to the mini bus and off to Glan Gwna..

After an interesting shopping experience in Morrisons, we made our way to Glan Gwna, sorted out the sleeping arrangements, made beds and unpacked before cooking dinner. Miss Davies had Kyle, Luigi and Josh in her chalet next door to Mrs Knaggs and Miss Mason who shared with Ellie, Gabriella and Kia. I had the chalet by the river with William, Thomas and Kyle. The children were fed, showered and in bed for 8:30pm despite some complaints and everyone eventually slept.

It was decided from the off that it would be the children who made the choices regarding activities and eating arrangements, so next morning after breakfast the children were asked what they would like to do and a visit to the beach was voted for unanimously so off we went to Anglesey, to a nice little beach at Rhoseignor. On arrival the children were sent into the beach shop to equip themselves with buckets, spades, beach toys and anything else they needed, then it was onto the beach and into the sea!! It was nice to see the children getting along and enjoying paddling and having fun and some overcoming initial fears of going in the sea!

The weather was hot and after a while it was decided we would return to the holiday park and spend some time at the pool before dinner in the evening at McDonalds which received the most votes. On return to Glan Gwna the staff organised games and the children played until bed time.

That evening it was decided by the children that they would like to visit Green Wood theme park, so next day after breakfast we set off for the theme park. Green Wood Park was set amongst a large wooded plantation which gave us shade and a welcome relief from the sun and heat. The children had a ball, riding on the roller coaster, flying down the water slides and trying everything that was on offer which put some out of their comfort zones but they really enjoyed the park..

The afternoon was spent at the pool cooling off before the majority vote had us going to KFC for dinner! (except Thomas who had asked Mr Rawson if he could visit the poolside bar and have dinner there, which they did) and after some debating the children decided that next day we would visit Caernarfon Castle.

The castle at Caernarfon is huge and the children were treated to a quick historical tour by Mr Rawson and learned about why castles were constructed in a way to be easily defendable. We walked around the battlements taking in the views, then lunch a quick trip to Morrisons (for pizza) and back to the pool for the afternoon. In the evening we all ate outside, watched the England game and played until bedtime..

Next morning the chalets were cleaned, luggage packed and loaded onto the mini bus and we waved goodbye to Glan Gwna and headed for Blue Planet, where we spent a few hours looking at the fish, travelling through the shark tunnel, shopping for gifts and then yet another trip to McDonalds before heading back to Hollinwood. Despite all the enjoyment we had, it was funny to hear everyone cheer (including the staff) when we got in sight of the school where we unloaded the mini bus and the children went in to see friends and teachers to tell of their experiences.

All in all, the residential was great fun for all. The children forged new friendships, there were only a few minor disputes, individuals did and experienced things they would not normally even attempt and we all learned a lot about each other and how important these residentials are to the children. The lack of technology made such a difference and the children experienced life without games and tablets and what it was like to get a good night’s sleep.

Last but not least, I must mention the staff, Mrs Davies, Mrs Knaggs and Miss Mason, who dealt with every possible scenario with professionalism and compassion and really made the difference where it counted – the children having a good time. As for me, it was my first experience of a residential and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the morning ritual of ‘wheel of fortune’ with Thomas and learning more about each child which will no doubt assist me in my daily role at school.

This lovely message from one of our parents sums it up..

I just wanted to say thank you to you and all the staff for going with the kids on the residential trip. He has absolutely loved every minute of it and has been telling me all about the wonderful things you guys have been doing. It takes very special people to do what you do and I wanted you all to know that it is appreciated. Hope you all have a well earned rest over the weekend. Many thanks again. 

Mr Heap wanted to share what his class have been doing..

We started our week with discussing our weekend news and asking each other interesting questions. Then we prepared for the sun with our sun hats, sun cream and water bottles at the ready! We had a wonderful walk exploring our local community and looking at different habitats within the park..

On Tuesday some of the class had the opportunity to visit Alexandra Park and access Ability Wheelz. All of the students have made significant progress and can ride their adapted bikes independently. They have represented Hollinwood Academy brilliantly and always behave well within their local community..

Friday was transition morning. This gave everyone the opportunity to spend time in their new classes and make new friends, as well as getting to know their next class teacher and teaching assistants. We had a fantastic time in Mr Heap’s class and made some sensory play-dough and cakes. Take a look at our marvellous but very messy pictures!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fantastic class team and I am sure other class teachers would like to reiterate this about our amazing class support staff throughout Hollinwood Academy. You have all gone above and beyond and continue to do this day in and day out, ensuring all our young people achieve. Well done team HWA!!!

On Tuesday, our Duke of Edinburgh’s pupils set off on their 2 day qualifying expedition to complete their Bronze Award. Mr Taylor will be doing a report on their successful expedition but we have a few pictures to share with you now and you can find out about their previous adventures here

Next week sees the 3 day Silver expedition – we don’t think they’ll have to worry about the rain this time!

In our last blog we told you how Mrs Dunsdon’s and Miss Grimsley’s classes have been making the most of the glorious weather. The reception pupils have been having a wonderful time learning outside and here are the lovely pictures of that we promised to show you..

 

Our pupils are really enjoying taking part in the ‘Boss of the North’ MangaHigh Maths competition that runs until next Tuesday. Congratulations to Ethan on being the first to reach 150 points, the competition is really hotting up now..

Our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ollie for excellent work on Showbie..

SEAL Superstar: Victory for asking Lenni to share the dress..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Myla for trying really hard in PE when using the balancing equipment..

SEAL Superstar: Ijaaz for accepting morning routine has changed and for joining in playing the musical instruments..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Tyler for suggesting that we ‘control our brain’ when we feel angry and suggesting some activities to do to calm down. Well done Tyler!

SEAL Superstar: Jacob for managing to ride the scooter independently. Well done Jacob for keeping on trying!

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Nathan for his fantastic Keynote presentation on the iPad in English..

SEAL Superstar: Thomas for trusting a friend and following their advice and Ivy for helping a friend to be safe with some kind advice..

  • Miss Louden’s class:
    Star of the Week: Mariam for staying calm and happy when others were upset
    SEAL Superstar: Callum for recognising it is a good thing that everyone is different
  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Luigi for completing his cursive handwriting without a fuss this week
  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lucas for fantastic work, effort and behaviour this week in school
    SEAL Superstar: Dan for talking about changes that might happen at home
    Our new ‘Marvellous Meerkat’ is Lucas. We hope you and Meerkat have a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to hear about your marvellous adventures!
  • Miss Shin’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lana for working hard and fantastic behaviour
  • Mr Rawson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Olivia for exemplary behaviour all week (she’s been fantastic!) and Lucas for participating in PE (he played football for the first time and really enjoyed it!)

Well done, everyone!

Once again I would like like to thank all our staff, our pupils and our families for all your support. I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Jaina

Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find all our previous blog entries here