18 Jan

On Wednesday morning, Miss Gordon and myself attended a training course at a school in Bolton called ‘The Olive Tree’. What a wonderful school it was and what an enlightening training session that we attended. We were fortunate to be invited to a session that focused on the new Ofsted framework and its implications on how schools are using technology to support outcomes. Wednesday morning at 10am saw Ofsted release their new draft inspection handbook. The session was delivered by Andrew Cook HMI and he raised some interesting points.

Andrew announced that we can expect a big shift in emphasis from inspectors in schools, ending an obsession with the scrutiny of pupil data and moving to a greater professional discussion on curriculum structure, coherence and sequencing. In the grand scheme of things, it is welcome news that Ofsted are encouraging schools to focus on what actually makes a difference to students’ experiences, concentrating on:

  • Intent – what is it that your school wants for all its children?
  • Implementation – how is teaching and assessment at your school fulfilling the intent?
  • Impact – the results that children achieve and the destinations they go on to.

This means that Ofsted will now be looking to recognise schools for doing what is best for their students, not simply to improve results to serve league tables.

Short inspections of good and outstanding schools will move from a 1 day inspection to a 2 day inspection, with Ofsted arriving within 2 and a half hours of schools receiving the phone call previous to inspection, so only two hours notice! This means that schools will receive a call from Ofsted no later than 10am, informing them of the inspection, and the lead inspector will arrive on site no earlier than 12.30pm the same day. This change was not received as warmly as the news around placing the curriculum at the heart of everything a school does!

Miss Gordon and myself came away smiling from ear to ear as senior leaders at Hollinwood Academy, as we strive for the best bespoke curriculum offer we can provide each cohort. This is something that we strongly believe in: developing a curriculum based around our students and placing them at the heart of every decision we make to get the best out of them.

We are working closely with the curriculum leads at Hollinwood Academy and Directors across the MAT to further develop our curriculum. With this in mind, we are committed to developing our staff to enhance our curriculum offer by sending them on courses and visiting other outstanding provisions to share excellent practice.

When we had our two day Ofsted inspection last July, we were highly praised for our curriculum offer within Hollinwood Academy and across the New Bridge Multi Academy Trust. Our curriculum is something that we pride ourselves on and feel that we are at the forefront as we change this as and when needed to meet our students’ needs and outcomes.

Ofsted has committed to a 12-week consultation period and has published a full range of documentation to support review, debate and feedback. There is much to welcome and much to express concern about but that, after all, is the whole purpose of consultation.

Let’s see what Mrs Woodhead’s class have been learning this week..

We have been working really hard in Mrs Woodhead’s class since returning after Christmas. In Literacy we have be looking at the story of George and the Dragon. We have taken part in some great role play and have perfected our ROARS!!!!!

We have also been looking at different animals and the differences between fish and mammals. We made some amazing fish. We are looking forward to learning all about Reptiles.

Now to Mr Heap’s class..

This week in Mr Heap’s class we have had a very busy and exciting week! Within Maths we have been exploring numbers through the use of Numicon. Students have been able to order the Numicon into size order independently and have been able to identify a range of numbers..

We have continued to develop our skills within phonics and have been practising our letter formation using multi-sensory approaches. This week we were practising our letter formation using cornflour. This was very fun and MESSY!

It has been great to get active again in PE and we have been developing our balance, hand-eye coordination and explored different movements in a range of activities. It was fantastic to see everyone engaged and having fun. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Potts and Mr Francos would like to share with you what their form have been learning this week too…

In ICT we have been doing computer programming and learning about what objects use programs. We have been using a computer program called Python which involves writing code. This week the code produced jokes on the screen when it is run.

In RE we have been learning about the religion of Scientology and the beliefs connected to this religion while in Science we have been looking at endangered species. We learnt which animals are endangered, what has caused them to become extinct or endangered and what can be done to prevent them from becoming extinct.

In History we have been learning about Crime and Punishment in medieval times including which punishment fits which crime and the influence of the church on punishment. In PE we have been playing dodgeball which can get quite aggressive but is fun – we were hoping to bring you pictures but everyone was moving too quickly to capture without blurring! We did manage to take a few in swimming though..

In Drama we have been working towards our Bronze Arts Award. We have been looking at the Greek theatre, how the theatre was outside as an ampitheatre, the use of masks to show tragedy and comedy and we have been working as part of a team to create a chorus. We have also been practising how to mirror each others’ movements..

In Food Technology we made some very tasty flans..

In Spanish we have been learning vocabulary to do with school life, for example subjects and items found in the classroom. We have been speaking about which subjects we like and dislike and telling each other what we keep in our pencil cases. In grammar, we are looking at conjugating the verb ‘to have’ and learning how words change when they go from singular to plural and the difference between masculine and feminine words.

In Music we have been studying music written for films. This week we have been learning how to play the theme from the western ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. Here you can see us working in a group playing melodies, chords and percussion using the application Garage Band..

Last week Miss Shin’s class enjoyed a trip out..

We introduced our new topic ‘By Royal Command’ by visiting Ordsall Hall, a Tudor Manor House..

We dressed up as kings and queens, lords and ladies, jesters and servants and sat at a banquet table..

We saw the royal chambers and tested the four poster bed..

..and even had a go at crushing some herbs used to treat illness..

We even tried out some old fashioned punishment!

Let’s see who some of our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class:
    Star of the Week: Brooke for sharing sensory play with two other children..


SEAL Superstar: Fatima for trying really hard to write her name

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Jason for amazing improvement in swimming and Myla for brilliant behaviour and being able to accept that she has to do work first before blanket..

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Jake for coping really well with change..

SEAL Superstar: Joshua for showing great confidence by consistently asking for help when needed..

  • We also have some homework stars..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ibraaheem for having done some fantastic ‘Talk for Write’ work..


SEAL Superstar: Callum for being able to set himself a realistic target..

  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week and ‘Marvellous Meerkat’: Jack for working hard and making the right choices. We hope you and Meerkat have a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to hear about your marvellous adventures!

Well done everyone! You may be interested in a special SEND event for families taking place on Sunday 3rd February at Oasis Academy..

Next week, I will be travelling with Mr Quinn to London for three days. Miss Gordon will be holding the fort at school and I can assure you the pupils will be left in her very capable hands.

Tuesday will see us attending an Apple Innovation session with other Heads from New Bridge School, Spring Brook and Hawthorns. We will see how technology is helping educators spark every child’s creativity and see how innovative learning experiences are opening minds, and opportunities, for thousands of students around the world. Creative thinking sparks deeper student engagement and helps children become better problem solvers, communicators and collaborators. I am ready to be inspired and can’t wait to bring this back to Hollinwood Academy.

Wednesday we are meeting with Doug Beck who is the Vice President for Apple, Inc, who reports directly to the CEO of Apple, Inc, Tim Cook. He also co-leads Apple’s sales and business development function worldwide. He is in Europe next week and the only establishment he wants to meet with is Hollinwood Academy to discuss our 1:1 iPad initiative. Here I will discuss the work done within school and the impact this has had on our pupils and staff. I can’t wait to showcase Hollinwood Academy.

Thursday will see Graham and myself visit the House of Commons for a special event on ‘Special Education Need; Learning for all with Apple’. This event is an opportunity to hear industry representatives and educators discuss the use of innovative technologies to support learning. Graham and myself will have lots to share and discuss here.

I cannot wait to share all the successes of Hollinwood Academy with Doug Beck and a number of MPs and educators at The House of Commons next week. I will bring my stories, pictures and experiences to you all in my next blog.

I hope you have a great weekend and I’ll be busy packing. Graham has told me to pack lightly. My husband laughed out loud when I told him this as he tells me I always over pack. I have no idea what he means.

Laura

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