07 Dec

Once again the festive cheer has been heard from classrooms and down corridors, particularly with our secondary pupils this week. They have been busy rehearsing with the wider MAT schools for their show on the evening of Tuesday 11th December at 6pm. They are getting very excited! Miss Rudge told me…

Josh, Harry, Ciara, Ellie, Danny, Ethan, Caitlin, Karl, Tobias and Delta have been working hard for a few weeks now and rehearsing during Wednesday lunchtimes. We have a lovely supportive cast who have nicknamed themselves ‘The Woodpeckers’. We are performing a piece based around the song ‘Rocking around the Christmas Tree’ so wanted a ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ name. So, collectively we decided on something to reflect HollinWOOD…and ‘The Woodpeckers’ were born.

Good luck to our Hollinwood Academy ‘Woodpeckers’! Letters have already been sent home to the parents of the pupils performing and a DVD of the performance filmed by the New Bridge Enterprise students will be available to families before Christmas.

Last week we were honoured to host a number of training sessions run by Hollinwood Academy staff but presented to both internal and external delegates. We hosted a very successful training day last Friday led by Sarah Dunsdon and Louise Needham focusing on multi-sensory learning in Maths. The training was attended by teachers from seven different primary schools in Tameside. The day was an amazing opportunity for learning and also for sharing ideas that can be put straight into the classroom to improve and extend learning opportunities. The training day is the first day of a project that will continue throughout this academic year. We are really excited to see how this progresses.

The event held on Thursday last week was a joint training session with representatives from Apple and Jigsaw alongside Hollinwood Academy staff. This was an SSAT Special School Innovation and Impact Day concentrating on ‘Developing a 1:1 approach in the classroom’. We had a number of external delegates from a range of SEND schools, some travelling all the way from London and Newcastle for the event. The outcomes were:

  • To understand how technology can raise aspirations
  • To look at the use of technology and how it impacts on teaching and learning
  • To review the processes of becoming a 1:1 school

A 1:1 approach in the classroom at Hollinwood Academy has helped to strengthen and broaden our curriculum offer and further enthuse, engage and create experiences that excite our pupils and enhance their learning. All our pupils and staff have been issued with an iPad. Our vision at Hollinwood Academy for the 1:1 is:

Teaching and learning remains our passion and drives our ambition. Technology is readily available to enhance and facilitate all teaching and learning. Technology will always work. We will support all young people, staff and families in their use of technology both throughout the development period and beyond. We will work towards paperless systems that improve the offer for our learners, further develop communication with families and enable staff to be more efficient with their time. We will ensure all young people, their families and stakeholders are fully involved in our journey.

I would like to share with you two videos, one from Mr Rawson’s class and one from Miss Meadows’ class to give you a clear insight into how the iPads are being used within the classroom environment and the impact they are having..

Miss Shin’s class in Science this week have made ‘blood’ to learn about its components and their functions. The pupils took pictures and videos of the practical activity and uploaded them to Showbie. They used the text or voice record feature to describe the function of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets..

The pupils at Hollinwood Academy have voiced their thoughts of the 1:1 in the classroom. They have told me:

  • ‘I am more efficient with completing my work.’
  • ‘It’s fun!’
  • ‘Use of the iPad helps me to work better.’
  • ‘I like seeing my work on the big screen.’
  • ‘The instant feedback from my teacher or TA helps me to improve my work.’
  • ‘I am more confident in asking questions as I do not have to speak out in front of my peers.’
  • ‘The iPad allows me to work collaboratively with my friends.’

For me, the iPads have had a big impact in such a small amount of time. I have noticed:

  • Increased motivation in pupils
  • High confidence level with the use of technology
  • Opportunities for collaboration
  • Organisational benefits
  • Efficiency in completing tasks
  • Self-directed and extended learning opportunities
  • Increased independence towards becoming a continuous learner
  • Developing skills of a problem solver – high level thinking

Pupils are transferring their skills in the classroom environment and I have identified that pupil/teacher dialogues and relationships have developed. Teachers are able to better identify any misconceptions and this then aids and helps with planning and differentiation. Staff are able to stretch and challenge through the use of the iPad while allowing the pupils to work at their own pace. Pupils are developing their own self-worth and they are improving their confidence because they are now able to communicate with teachers without speaking out loud, without fear of getting it wrong and without feeling awkward for getting it wrong.

The feedback we received from the delegates was excellent and the journey that Hollinwood Academy has been on has inspired others..

Moving forward, the 1:1 iPad initiative is now being rolled out across the other schools within the MAT and we will be looking into ways that we can involve our families and home/school agreements. Very exciting times ahead!

From one exciting pitch to another. Our Year 11 cohort, Miss Sanderson’s class, sat their mock exams for English Language this week. Despite some nervousness, the students have all achieved some really positive results and some were (pleasantly!) shocked. Based on these results, over 7o% of them are on track to achieve their target grade or better. These are some absolutely fantastic results for our students and Mrs Nuttall is extremely proud of the hard work and resilience the class have shown. There are still some improvements to be made and, based on the mock, all the students now have their own personalised targets which they will be working towards over the coming months. Well done to all students and massive thanks to the TA support for KS4SSN – Miss Rashid and Miss Smith. Your hard work and belief in our students is greatly appreciated!

This week Miss Grimsley is sharing her attention autism learning with her class and other exciting work the children have been doing..

It has been a very busy week and the festive atmosphere is spreading quickly around the school, especially in Miss Grimsley’s class. The children have been practising songs for the Nativity and enjoying lots of fun Christmas sensory activities.

The class have had lots of fun searching for and counting Snowmen’s noses in the water tray. We all enjoyed dropping them back into the water and watching the big splash they made..

We also explored a sensory Christmas tray and found lots of glittery snow, Santa’s sleigh bells, Christmas tinsel and baubles. There was even wrapping paper and the class had so much fun when we wrapped them up as presents..

We have also explored light and dark in class this week. We used the dark den and the sensory den to explore; some of our children enjoyed watching the bubbly tube and how colours change and the others enjoyed using torches in the dark den..

For the past 4 weeks I have been focusing on and delivering attention autism sessions in class, the children get a lot of enjoyment from this. They have all made so much progress during this time; increasing the time they can focus on an activity, learning classroom rules, sitting nicely during the activity. They’re all very engaged and are excited to see what comes next..

Miss Meadows would also like to share with you what her form have been learning this week..

We have had a successful week working hard on our Maths, English and Science. We have been studying division this week and we have used Numicon to help us to understand how to divide with and without remainders. We have become excellent at this and I am very proud of the class..

Connor wanted to show you what has been happening in our Maths classes this week – he now understands very well!

We have also been working on English and have been reading ‘The Twits’ by Roald Dahl. We are writing a letter to the RSPCA about the Twits mistreating animals in the book. Everyone has written fantastic letters and I was very impressed with William’s independent writing and his good effort in his lesson – well done Will!

We have also been trying out a new reciprocal reading intervention. This has been fantastic for our comprehension skills and I have enjoyed teaching this to our class..

I am running the peer mentoring scheme this year and I am including some pictures from our first session together! We made some marshmallow towers and met each other for the first time..

We got off to a flying start and our training and mentor-mentee relationships are well underway..

We have enjoyed ourselves very much so far this year! I am so proud of everyone for settling so well into their new environment in our class and I would like to give a special mention to our TA, Miss Moss who has been working with us for some time now. She makes us all laugh every single day, she is a fantastic addition to a brilliant class that we are all pleased to be a part of!

Miss Rudge also organised a rather special workshop for some of our Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 pupils this week..

Monday saw 20 (super well behaved, polite and excitable) learners from Mr Rawson’s, Miss McMurray’s and Miss Rudge’s classes partake in an exciting ‘Circus Skills’ Workshop. We were joined by Ed and Tom from Cloud Aerial Arts in Manchester. ‘Cloud’ specialise in Aerial; silks, straps, hoops, ropes, trapeze and parkour with their motto being: ‘Life is better upside down’


After a gentle warm-up..

..we split into two groups. Ed’s group were introduced to the super huge ‘rig’ which was basically a massive swing with material dangling down for us to play with! 🙂

We were super lucky to be joined by Ed for the day! He is a professional dancer and trained at the Northern Ballet School…before deciding on a life spent upside down, of course 🙂 Ed went through a range of techniques with us and we even had a turn of going upside down ourselves..

The second group were taught many different parkour and free running skills by Tom. Tom is the Head Parkour Coach at ‘Project Z Parkour’ in Manchester. Tom had us jumping over mats, running at walls and tumbling through the session. It was great to see the learners pushing themselves both mentally and physically…and having fun in the process..

I recorded some quotes I overheard whilst watching our group with pride:

“I wanna do that, that’s sick!” … “Sir, can I have another go?” … “Miss, I was dreading it y’know, but I proper loved it!!!!” … “Miss, can we make the lads a thank-you card please?” … “Sir, I’ve had a well good day, I’ve been upside down and everything!”

We were treated to a demonstration at the end that both staff and pupils were in complete awe of…Ed, Tom, we can’t thank you enough, you are ridiculously talented and our learners loved every minute of the workshop. Best. Day. Ever!  🙂  Miss Rudge x

Finally, yet more rolls in Key Stage 4 but not the acrobatic kind – Miss Carpenter has the details..

In GCSE Food, Year 10 used their aeration skills this week to create a Swiss roll. We also looked at presentation skills and how to create a perfect finish..

Great job Year 10!

Goodness, those look fantastic – well done!!

Our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s Reception class:
    Star of the Week: Caitlin for joining in with all the signs of the nativity songs and trying really hard to sing along

SEAL Superstar: Ebon for encouraging his friends to join in his games..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Daniel for independently following simple instructions and being able to find his shoe when asked..

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s Key Stage 1 class:
    Star of the Week: Lewis for using some full sentences..

SEAL Superstar: Jacob for joining in some play with another child

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Tyler for some outstanding independent Maths work this week

SEAL Superstar: Marco for some outstanding homework this week

Well done to this week’s Homework Stars..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ethan for doing done some fantastic work on Showbie this week..


SEAL Superstar: Brooke for doing our SEAL target and using different ways to calm down..

  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Charlie for fantastic participation in Music
  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Joshua for fantastic singing and signing in our nativity rehearsals..

SEAL Superstar: Olivia for concentrating for longer periods of time within our listening activities..

Our new ‘Marvellous Meerkat’ is Joshua. 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: Jayden for writing four stories independently..

SEAL Superstar: Liam for knowing what triggers his anger..

  • Lots of ‘Wow!’ moments this week:
    Daniel for giving lovely advice and being caring
    Olivia for telling a member of staff when she is worried/upset
    Amelia for using her calm down strategies
    Jack for using his calm down strategies
    Finlay received one from Daley for being a good friend and making him a LEGO model

  • Mrs Halkyard’s class:
    Star of the Week: Daley for putting in excellent effort this week and improved behaviour

Well done everyone!

What a busy time! I am sure the next two weeks will be as equally busy. Please can I remind you that school finishes on Friday 21st December for the Christmas holidays and reopens on Monday 7th January 2019.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Laura

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