01 Feb

We won the battle with the snow this week to keep the school up and running, although this may not always be possible. With suggestions of wintry weather on the horizon, I am reiterating our adverse weather procedures. All reasonable efforts are made to ensure that the school remains open during bad weather. However, the safety of the site and the availability of staff will obviously be significant limiting factors. Most decisions to close the school will be made first thing in the morning. It is the responsibility of Mr Quinn and myself to make the final decision based on local weather conditions, staff availability and a risk assessment of the premises. The first notice of school closure will appear on the school website and we will also inform Oldham Council and local radio stations. Please bear in mind that any decision to close school has to be made relatively early and conditions can change relatively quickly. Ultimately, the main factors behind any decision are whether there are enough staff in school to keep the children safe and whether the children can access the school safely.

On Tuesday, transport made the decision to collect the students early due to the deterioration in the weather. If this does occur, our administrators and pastoral support will phone families to make sure someone is home before transport sets off from school.

Can I remind families to send your children in warm clothes and sensible shoes if the weather is cold, snowy and icy.

Teacher well-being is a key factor to a school’s success and Miss Gordon and myself are big advocates of this. We are working on a range of strategies and support networks for our staff, even creating a staff well-being room. Miss Rudge has kickstarted this for our staff with her first ‘Staff Well-Being Meditation Session’. Mrs Choudhury, Miss McMurray, Miss Taylor and myself all took part. Miss Rudge would like to explain more…

Thursday saw the start of our staff well-being sessions at Hollinwood. Staff were invited to a ‘Guided Meditation’ session in our Art room. Miss Rudge guided staff through a series of breathing exercises followed by meditation and some yummy mint and green tea! We pride ourselves on looking after everyone’s well-being here at Hollinwood Academy, and our staff are no exception!

We all felt very relaxed and sleepy after the session and we all agreed that it was great to have a little ‘me’ time. Next week we will join together in some mindfulness colouring sessions using Art Therapy as a tool to calmness and tranquillity.

Can I just thank Miss Rudge for her thoughtfulness and the support she is showing our amazing staff team. I personally am looking forward to next week’s session.

Miss Rudge has been particularly impressed with Key Stage 2 this week.

This week, some of our KS2 learners have been looking at the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh is one of the world’s most famous painters. Van Gogh struggled with mental health problems. This meant that he sometimes felt very angry or sad and was not able to control his emotions. Van Gogh used painting as a way to express his emotions.

Van Gogh did not get the help he needed and there was not the same understanding of mental health as there is today. Van Gogh felt alone and was not able to handle the pressure of his emotions. We based our activity on one of his most famous paintings, ‘Sunflowers’. We coloured in our own sunflowers using different colours to express how we were feeling at that time. Miss Rudge was feeling very happy and content at that time, so decided on pinks and yellows 🙂  JUST LOOK AT OUR BEAUTIFUL WORK!!

On Monday morning, Miss Shin’s class were treated to a wonderful workshop delivered by our super talented Key Stage 5 Drama pathway group ‘Lumenus’..

The pupils in Lumenus are currently working towards their ‘Silver Arts Award’. As part of the Award, pupils must deliver a performance workshop following a short performance. Pupils devised a piece titled ‘Everyday heroes’ based around the idea that ‘everyday heroes’ are all around us…we just have to look for them. They could be in the form of a kind neighbour, family member, teacher or friend. We thoroughly enjoyed both the performance and the workshop, and it was lovely to see our older pupils inspiring and encouraging our younger pupils. Well done everyone! Mrs Preston and I are super proud of you all!

Our Year 10 Art pupils have blown Miss Rudge away this year! Just look at Grace’s Sarah Beetson inspired work! Keep up the good work Grace!

Our very talented pupils have also been working hard on their ‘Arts Awards’ lately and Miss Rudge just had to show them off!!! Our secondary pupils have been studying the wonderful world of ‘Greek theatre’ – just look how beautiful our performances were!

Our Art pupils across the school have been looking at a range of artists including Fredrich Hundertwasser and Pablo Picasso. We are hard at work on our Arts Awards. Watch this space for our certificates! 

Let’s see what Miss Shin’s class have been learning this week..

This term we are learning all about the Tudors: we have visited a Tudor house, made Tudor sweets..

..and Tudor houses..

..and found out all about King Henry VIII and the Battle of Bosworth. We even wrote recounts about our trip to Ordsall Hall in English.

We have also been working hard in Maths on measurement. We have enjoyed using concrete resources to investigate area..

..and perimeter..

..as well as volume..

In Science we have been investigating properties of materials and changes too..

We have investigated thermal and electrical conductors..

We carried out experiments to find materials that are soluble..

We investigated how much sugar is hidden in food and weighed out the amounts so we could see how much sugar different items contain..

The children have been working very hard to learn a tricky skill – tying shoe laces..

I was super proud of Jayden who mastered the skill within half an hour!

Fantastic work everyone! This week’s Prince William Award sessions were all about teamwork and continuing to develop skills that support working together including co-operation, goal focus and the ability to keep on trying. Our Key Stage 2 Pioneers really enjoyed themselves and liked the competition element of the activities..

They did really well playing ‘Shape Sculpture’, working out how to make the shapes they’d been given with some great teamwork..

Our Key Stage 3/4 Explorers had to use teamwork, optimism, trust and problem solving to tackle their activities which were aimed at helping them function more effectively as a team. They worked together to play ‘Fool’s Gold’ by standing either side of a canyon and passing each other a lifesaving ‘gold’ elixir – they soon realised the canyon grew wider every time they were successful!

Another challenge they mastered was ‘Robot Wars’ working in teams of 3 – one was a robot, one a commander (who couldn’t see the battlefield) and one was a satellite (who couldn’t talk). They did very well to communicate!

To finish off this week, Miss Carpenter would like to share the students’ latest culinary delights. I was very, very impressed with the flavoured breads, they looked and smelt delicious!

During Food Technology this week, our Year 10s made flavoured bread with Miss Carpenter. The class were given the opportunity to create any shape they wanted and also decide whether they wanted to flavour it with either sweet or savoury toppings.

As you can see, we had some amazing ideas and outcomes including a crocodile, a crab, a sea monster and an X-box controller!

Now to our amazing SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class:
    Star of the Week: Brooke for excellent reading comprehension and using specific language..


SEAL Superstar: Victory for not giving up on making good choices and having a fantastic week..

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Andie for accepting help this week and overcoming her fears..

SEAL Superstar: Edward for turning his week around with positive choices..

  • Mrs Woodhead’s class:
    Star of the Week: Jacob for following class rules and trying really hard in lessons all week..

SEAL Superstar: Ollie for trying really hard in yoga even though this is something he finds difficult..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ethan for doing some fantastic learning in all his lessons this week..

..and Brooke for doing some fantastic learning in RE about the Good Samaritan. Brooke re-told the story and understood the moral of the story..


SEAL Superstar: Vincent for keeping on trying to complete the tasks until he had completed them..

  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Charlie for fantastic participation in English, adding lots of detail to his work..

SEAL Superstar: Alfie for not giving up in swimming..

  • Miss Shin’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lana for fantastic and creative work in English
    SEAL Superstar: Reece for breaking his goal down into smaller steps
  • Mr Stockdale’s class:
    Star of the Week: Maia for being a good role model and being resilient when things get difficult
    SEAL Superstar: Luca for working hard to achieve his target of being more kind to people
  • Mr Rawson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Olivia for working hard in all subjects, especially Maths

What little stars they all are!

Next week sees us celebrating both Chinese New Year and Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 5th February, as well as Time to Talk Day on Thursday 7th February. Time to Talk Day is a day when everyone is encouraged to have a conversation about mental health. At Hollinwood Academy we know that it benefits all of us to talk about mental health. Time to Talk Day is run by Time to Change to help spread the word that there are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. You don’t have to be an expert to talk! On Friday 8th February students and staff are invited to drop in to the conference room for a drink, a biscuit and most importantly a conversation with peers and colleagues. Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination and is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. I can’t wait to share all of these events with you next week.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Laura

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