30 Nov

The festive atmosphere is tangible around school at the moment, with a whole host of preparations underway for Christmas at Hollinwood Academy and across the MAT. The sounds of Christmas songs are already drifting down the school corridors and rehearsals are coming along nicely for the primary Nativity – you should have received an invitation to come and watch Nativity this week. This year we have had to limit places to two per family but if there are surplus places left nearer the time, we will endeavour to inform you and you will be able to request additional places, if there is space. Our primary Nativity is one of my highlights of the academic year. The last three years have been a singing sensation and I am really looking forward to this year’s performances which are being held on 17th and 18th December at 9.30am.

This week Mrs Dunsdon is sharing her learning at Key Stage 1 and Early Years. Let’s see what exciting things the pupils have been learning about this week..

I think this week has been the busiest week ever but as usual our children cope with all the hard work and activities and take everything in their stride. I am so proud of how well they are coping with the changes and continue to do their best everyday. Well done to you all!

This week in Key Stage 1 we had a very special visitor on Monday. Speedy the tortoise came to play for the day and what a celebrity she was with our class. The children have been learning about animals that hibernate so it is with massive thanks to Simon Smith for letting Speedy come and play for the day so that we could experience one of the animals that hibernate first hand. The children stroked her, watched her walk and used their iPads to take photographs and videos of her..

We even gave Speedy a bath which she seemed to really enjoy..

Our class have completed some fantastic art work to do with animals that hibernate and next week we shall be moving on to migration. I thought a week in the Caribbean would be excellent enrichment and help the children understand a journey to a warmer climate but unfortunately Mrs Millard will not give the permission!!!

In Early Years, our youngest children have also been doing some amazing work this week. They have been learning about pairs of numbers that make 10 and have been using a range of resources and learning spaces. Grace did some super work in soft play with some of the children making ’10 sandwiches’!

In Talk4Writing we have been doing ‘The Gingerbread Man’. This week the focus has been around language and the characters. Mrs Davies and the class team have been working with the children to make a short film of the story. The children made masks and even from this short video it is obvious how much the children have enjoyed this activity..

..particularly the Gingerbread Man himself!

On Thursday the children in Reception/Key Stage 1 were superstars in Soft Play, showing our very important visitors how clever they are at using their iPads. They were moving around Soft Play looking for QR codes. Once they found the codes they scanned them using the camera app. A link appears to a web address on the screen. The children tap the link and a picture of a nocturnal animal appears. They then have to find a picture of the animal and use their iPad to photograph the animal. Our visitors were very impressed and we were so proud of all the children who were just BRILLIANT.

On Friday I led a National Maths Hub project that was attended by staff from schools within the MAT and Tameside. It was fantastic to be able to show the work that our children in Reception and Key Stage 1 do in Maths and how much they enjoy Maths. I can’t wait to hear how the attendees on the project get on in their own classrooms. The children at Hollinwood really are leading the way.

Finally, a huge thank you to the staff within our Reception/Key Stage 1 team for their hard work. They really are the best! Every day, no matter how busy we are, they continue to bring out the best in our children and ensure that our children are safe, happy and are learning lots of new skills.

Mr Page’s Key Stage 4 Nurture Group have been working equally hard..

After their exciting trip to the Houses of Parliament last week and that (very) early morning return which took its toll, the group have settled back down to work. Academically, the highlight has been in English. Students have been focusing on their GCSE Language Paper 2 in which they explore writers’ ideas and perspectives. We have been focusing this week on an extract from American travel writer Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Small Island’, chronicling his disappointing trip to Blackpool. We have then been comparing this to a non-fiction extract from Charles Dickens’ travel writing diaries about a memorable trip he took to Verona, Italy. Students have been developing their transferable skills of making detailed comparisons while applying it to GCSE English texts.

Our sessions on the Prince William Award programme are continuing to prove very popular with the pupils. Key Stage 3 and 4 are working towards their Explorer Award and this week’s session concentrated on building relationships and planning an event. The group displayed teamwork, listening, kindness and co-operation..

We split in to two groups and brainstormed charities we would like to support. The class chose Cancer Research. They had to decide what activity they would like to do to raise money for Cancer Research. After a lengthy discussion, they chose an obstacle course. We then spoke about what would be needed to advertise our event, permission we would need and resources to conduct the activity. Declan and Declan approached the school for permission to conduct our event, which they received. In our next session we will arrange the advertisement, rehearse the activity and fine tune any issues we find. The event will take place on Tuesday 11th December 2018. I praised all the students for their efforts this morning. Well done everyone, a mentally challenging session. 

Key Stage 2 are working towards their Pioneer Award and this week’s session was about celebrating the community coming together for mid-winter..

We discussed this time of year and when will it be winter. We watched some videos and a presentation on the winter solstice. The students loved them. The students were given a star of their own and they decorated it as they saw fit. Between each table, they attached their stars to some twigs and made a star mobile. The students made some lovely coloured stars whilst displaying kindness, community spirit and trying something new. After, we went to the hall and played ‘riverbank’. This allowed the students to listen and concentrate. We also played ‘up in the sky’. This gave the students a fun activity to finish off with whilst displaying listening, enjoyment and self-control.

Miss Daniels has an update for us on her Science lessons..

This week has been an exciting week for Key Stage 3 Science. Miss Meadows’ form completed work on chemical reactions, combustion and fireworks. They enjoyed their first experience in Mr Fieldhouse’s laboratory burning metals that are found in fireworks. They were learning about the chemistry behind the sparkles. The class found out that Magnesium metal and iron are contained in sparklers, and combine with the oxygen in the air as they burn and sparkle, giving off heat sound and light energy. Here are some of the class staying safe and enjoying sparkler fireworks outside..

Miss Carpenter’s class were very proud to show their firework models; they were able to explain how different types of fireworks explode to produce loud noises such as bangers, firecrackers and colourful aerial fireworks that produce stars and sparkle showers in the sky..

Mrs Halkyard’s class and Mr Rawson’s class visited the Museum of Science and Industry this week as part of their Science topic, Properties of Materials..

Aaron took part in one of the live experiments and had to pedal a cycle to produce electricity!

The students had a great time exploring the interactive Science experiments and looking at the exhibitions..

Luca took part in the Stephenson’s Rocket demonstration..

..while poor Lucas peddled his bike so hard..

.. he became a shadow of his former self ..

Our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s Reception class:
    Star of the Week: Victory for writing his own name independently without copying..

SEAL Superstar: Mia for using Nicole’s name during communication..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Jason for his amazing counting work in Maths this week..

SEAL Superstar: Lenni for engaging in his lessons and working well in a group..

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s Key Stage 1 class:
    Star of the Week: Corey for asking super questions about the tortoise..

SEAL Superstar: Connor for having kind hands and feet with other children in his class..

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Andie for not giving up and being extremely brave in the swimming pool
    SEAL Superstar: Marcus for being outstanding on the bus this week
  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Mariam for doing some fantastic work about keeping safe on the roads using Showbie..

SEAL Superstar: Vincent for doing our SEAL target and recognising what makes him angry..

  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: The whole class for being very brave this week!

  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Caelan for telling staff when he is feeling angry
    SEAL Superstar: Alivia for fantastic effort and using her voice to communicate
    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:
    Star of the Week: Amelia for making good choices and accepting help!
    SEAL Superstar: Rhys for good team work and being a good friend
  • Mrs Halkyard’s class:
    Star of the Week: Finlay for super independent work all week
    SEAL Superstar: Luke and Daley for always working well as a team

Lucas got a ‘WOW!’ moment for helping a new member of the class feel comfortable and calm during a time of crisis and Aaron got a ‘WOW!’ moment for helping out a younger child when they were upset..

Well done everyone!

Daniel Wood, head of Future Finders Employability College and the Key Stage 5 Pathways at Medtia, has asked me to share this message with you..

We would like to set up a parent employer network where parents and representatives from business meet termly to discuss how we can extend our range of work experience placements and employer encounters. This could be co-ordinating visits to your place of work or arranging work experience placements for students within our Group. We are looking for parents to join this forum who are employed in ANY sector. If you are interested, please contact our work placement co-ordinator Maria for further information. Her email is mstatham@newbridgegroup.org or you can call her on 0161 883 2403.

Please do contact Maria if you would be interested in finding out more about employer encounters or work experience placements.

All our secondary pupils should have received a letter about our visit to the Coliseum on 9th January to see a relaxed performance of their adaptation of Cinderella. If you have not yet made your contribution to the trip, please could you do so now through your ParentPay account. Thank you.

The festive cheer will be continued in my house this weekend as I will be decorating our Christmas tree and turning my house into a grotto, I just hope the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ behaves this year. I have promised my girls that they can write their Christmas wish list to Father Christmas, however, Isla, my youngest daughter, is more excited that she gets to open her advent calendar on Saturday morning. I have spoken to a number of pupils this week and they have excitedly told me that they will be putting their festive decorations up this weekend too.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Laura

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