19 Oct

It’s that time of year again when we are conducting lesson observations and carrying out performance management reviews and targets. I really enjoy this whole process as it gives me an insight into each class and allows me quality time with pupils and teachers.

Within the lesson observations conducted, we have been very impressed with the quality of teaching and learning, creativity, use of technology, planning, differentiation and engagement of our pupils in classes. It has been very clear to see the enjoyment on the pupils’ faces when they are enthralled in their learning. Relationships between our pupils and the adults in classes are highly effective, inclusive and something we pride ourselves on. I always enjoy going into lessons and talking to the pupils about their learning.

Performance management meetings give me the opportunity to discuss at length staff targets and review the school’s previous year’s outcomes and achievements. We discuss how staff can develop professionally and personally at Hollinwood Academy and look forward to the next academic year ahead. On reflection with all staff, the journey we have all taken has been unbelievable and so rewarding. Ofsted reported:

What does the school need to do to improve further?
Continue to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills and share good practice across the school.

With this in mind, I approached Liz O’Shaughnessy before we finished for the Summer last year who is our Everyonelearning Teaching School Alliance Director to help support and develop staff. We have already arranged numerous courses from guided reading to Intensive Interactions, Attention Autism, Phonics, Maths Mastery, TEACHH, Catch Up Literacy and PECS, just to name a few. These courses and refreshers that staff have attended are already being embedded in the classrooms. Working alongside Liz, we aim to upskill our staffing knowledge and skills so we can adapt our offer, curriculum, interventions and provision to ensure we are providing our pupils with the best possible environment where they can flourish socially, emotionally and academically.

We are also sharing best practice across the Trust. We have had staff members from Hawthorns School visit our setting and myself and Miss Knott went to Hawthorns on Thursday morning. What an amazing school with fantastic pupils and dedicated staff. Working together, we are going to improve the practice in both schools. Exciting times ahead!

Let’s go to Mr Heap’s class to see what they have been doing this week…

We have had such a busy, exciting and MESSY time so far this term exploring a range of materials and developing our communication skills in different ways. It has been great to see all of the pupils so engaged in some of our activities and I hope you enjoy our lovely pictures..

This term in Science we have been exploring our local environment and describing a range of habitats..

Within English we have been developing our communication skills and explored using instructional language and bossy verbs. We have engaged in a range of sensory and exciting activities. Pupils have been able to sequence these activities, verbalise their own instructions and described how some items felt, tasted, and smelt..

We have enjoyed our daily phonics sessions with Mrs Knaggs and we are developing our letters and sounds..

We enjoyed making sandwiches and cakes within living skills..

This term we have been exploring and learning about The Romans. We have made a range of things such as Roman bread..

Thank you very much to all the amazing cleaning staff!!

It has been very interesting to learn about how the Romans lived. We loved making our colourful mosaic Roman shields..

I would like to thank my amazing staff team for a great first term. The hard work and dedication you put in each day is unbelievable.

I hope you have an enjoyable and restful weekend ready for our SPOOKY Halloween themed week in class. Make sure you practise your pumpkin carving skills!!!

Mrs Potts and Mr Francos have been busy too…

In food tech the group have been looking at different foods that are suitable for different types of diet, for example vegetarian, diabetic, anaemic, people who suffer with osteoporosis. They have made dishes such as cheesecake, vegetarian chilli and risotto. This week the group can been seen making cannelloni..


This term in Geography the class are looking at natural disasters and the cause and effect of them. They have looked specifically at the Asian Tsunami of 2004. Previously they have also looked at earthquakes, landslides and hurricanes. Currently, they are looking at volcanoes.

In Art with Miss Rudge the class have been embracing Inktober. This involves drawing using just ink. Each day of the month has a specific word associated with it and they have to draw something connected to that word.

In swimming we have been working on the different techniques for each of the main strokes; breast stroke, crawl and butterfly..

In PE with Mr Heap we have been focusing on basketball. We spend time looking at the positions on the court and the different techniques used during the game then we play a game and put what we have learnt into practice..

In Spanish the class have been working on describing where they live. They have learned lots of new vocabulary and used this in their speaking and their writing. This week’s video is a short conversation about where they live..

In Music the class have been learning to play the drums..

The pupils practise different beats and rolls and also playing at different speeds. This week’s video shows some examples..

There’s also time for a spot of guitar!

On Thursday Miss McMurray took the class to the Museum of Science and Industry to look at the history of the computer. Ryan has written a brief summary of the day:

On Thursday 18th October Miss McMurray took us to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The purpose of the trip was to see “Baby”, the very first computer..

However, you can’t just send a class to see one thing in a museum so we searched the whole museum to see what could be found.
The Museum is a large museum on the site of the very first UK railway. There are multiple sections. The New Warehouse has most things, including a floor of puzzles and activities..

..an area about making cotton, an exhibition about electricity and the café, bistro and shop. The Power Hall is filled with trains..

..the building next door has planes and rocket related objects with simulators and a Space Descent VR..

The 1830 warehouse and station have multiple galleries and exhibitions about old Manchester.

Overall the museum was interesting, filled with all sorts of Manchester’s history and science related activities and facts. However, one con, everything buy-able is really expensive but it’s needed to be like this as the museum has free entry.

Now let’s see who our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class: in Reception this week we have been doing lots of work about our families. Jacob and Xander were our Stars of the Week for being able to talk about members of their family – looking at this work it is easy to see why!! Well done boys..

SEAL Superstar: Mia for being able to solve a problem and let Nicole know what she wanted..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lenni for independently getting dressed after swimming..


SEAL Superstar: Daniel for being able to tell an adult what he wants by leading them to the area..

  • Mr Wood’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ollie..


SEAL Superstar: Henry for being brave and overcoming his fear of the swimming pool by going and watching his friends..

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Jake..


SEAL Superstar: George..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Yousef for having a good first week and trying his best to follow his new routines
    SEAL Superstar: Alex for being fantastic in our SEAL role play and being able to come up with ideas to solve people’s problems
  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Bronson for fantastic work in Maths using the column method
    SEAL Superstar: Alfie for thinking of ways to help his friend solve a problem
  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Caelan for fantastic work in phonics this week
    SEAL Superstar: Lewis for describing his feelings and following instructions first time
    Our new ‘Marvellous Meerkat’ is Caelan. We hope you and Meerkat have a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to hear about your marvellous adventures!
  • Miss Shin’s class:
    SEAL Superstar: Jack for finding ways to solve problems

Well done, everyone!

On Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon Graham, Natalie and myself welcomed families into school to discuss class numbers, building provision, curriculum, alternative provisions and where Hollinwood Academy will be in the next 12-18 months. We had a great turn out and the feedback we received from parents was welcome to hear. They were thankful for the time given and the opportunity to share their views. As ever, Hollinwood Academy has an ‘open door’ policy and we are happy to speak to families as we understand how important our home/school communication and relationships are. If you have any concerns, queries or comments, both positive and negative, please let us know and we will find a convenient time to discuss these with you.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I am off to cheer my girls on in a dance competition this Saturday.

Laura

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