04 Dec

So this week saw us opening the first windows on our Advent calendars. Our first term has flown by and I can’t believe that we only have two more weeks before breaking up for Christmas. The next fortnight will involve celebrations but we also need to remember that changes to routine, different events and the build-up of excitement can cause anxiety and tension for our children. Whilst we will be decorating classrooms, putting up trees, practising for the nativity play and planning parties, staff are also very mindful of keeping to routines, expectations and consistency as far as possible and supporting our children if they appear to be struggling at all.

Speaking of our nativity, over 80 tickets have been allocated already for our morning performance on Tuesday 15th December. We still have a small number of places available so if you haven’t let us know and you would like to come along, please get in touch as soon as possible – the tickets are free but do need to be booked in advance. The audience are invited for hot drinks and mince pies at Hollinwood Academy from 9am and will be taken across to the New Bridge theatre once the performers are ready.

This week has also seen our first full governing body meeting. It was great to welcome our two parent governors, Robert Cockroft and Nicola Ferron, to the meeting. Their enthusiasm and interest will be invaluable in supporting the school in its development. The meeting was extremely positive and reported on the successes so far. It was also recognised that there is still a lot of hard work to be done in relation to growing the school, including greater numbers of pupils, extending the staff team, developing the curriculum and achieving the highest possible standards.

For this week’s photo gallery, rather than focusing on one class group I realised that I haven’t yet used my blog to introduce you to the staff team at Hollinwood Academy. I do believe that the recruitment of a superb staff team has been the single most important factor in setting up a successful new school and I am sure that most of our families will agree that the staff working with their children have proved to be an extremely caring, supportive and expert team. I managed to sneak around classes this week capturing (most of) the staff in action.

Starting with the Reception class we have Mrs Dunsdon (class teacher) supported by Mrs Choudhury and Miss Darlington (teaching assistants), although Miss Darlington avoided having her picture taken…

Sarah Dunsdon Bafisa Choudhury

Moving into Year 1 and Year 2, Mrs Lomax is the Key Stage 1 and Early Years Lead and also the class teacher for the Year 1/2 class. She is supported by Mrs Knaggs (teaching assistant) and Miss Richardson (teaching assistant apprentice)…

Bex Lomax Karen Knaggs Amy Richardson

Miss Mistry is our Key Stage 2 Lead…

Jaina Mistry

The Key Stage 2 team consists of 3 classes. Firstly, one of the Year 3 and Year 4 classes is led by Mr Corrigan (class teacher) with the support of Miss Knott (teaching assistant) and Miss Peak (teaching assistant apprentice) who also managed to escape the photos…

Martin Corrigan Beccie Knott

Next, the other Year 3 and Year 4 class includes Miss Parkinson (class teacher), Miss Grimsley (teaching assistant), Miss Williams (teaching assistant) and Mr Savage (teaching assistant apprentice)…

Ayshea Parkinson Kessie GrimsleyLeisa Williams Chris Savage

The Year 5 and Year 6 class is led by Mrs Halkyard (class teacher) and supported by Miss Holland (teaching assistant), another camera shy member of staff…

Becky Halkyard

Into the secondary department – Mrs Millard is the Year 7 form tutor…

Laura Millard

Although the secondary pupils follow a subject based timetable with different specialist teachers for subject specific lessons, Mrs Millard provides pastoral support and sees her group at the beginning and end of the day, as well as checking in with them at lunchtime. This level of pastoral support is invaluable in ensuring that the pupils feel confident and able to build relationships, having a key teacher to identify with. The class are also supported by Mr Davies (teaching assistant) who provides security across different lessons where the teacher may change but the support remains consistent…

Peter Davies

Our upper Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 class is led by Mr Holland as the form tutor. Again, he has a strong pastoral role and is a key person for monitoring pupils as well as communicating with families. The class are supported across the curriculum by Mrs Potts (teaching assistant) although she appears to have dodged my camera…

Martin Holland

Last but absolutely not least, our administrative support is expertly provided by Lucy Shannon on reception, Becky Soltyk in the office and Corrine Widdowson as admin support and hospitality. We couldn’t manage without them!

Lucy and Becky Corrine Widdowson

Our staff team is also enhanced by the addition of two of our students from New Bridge’s exciting new Future Finders project (you can find out more here) Miss Munir and Mr Leach are gaining work experience at the school and are showing excellent potential to become teaching assistants in the future…

Ayshea Munir Reece Leach

I’m going to spend this weekend attending my first Christmas party with my little girl, putting up a tree and hopefully getting some Christmas shopping done. I’ll be glad to get back to work on Monday!

Have a lovely weekend everyone,

Sarah

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham