05 Apr

I cannot believe we are finishing for the Easter holidays today. The Spring term is always the shortest and fastest term but I can’t wait to see what the Summer term has in store for our students.

This week has been extremely busy and as productive as ever. So, get a brew, relax and enjoy reading about our wonderful students.

I’d like to start my blog this week with my Head Teacher’s Awards given out this half term..

I wanted to share with you a video of Mrs Dunsdon’s class enjoying the Hokey Cokey in their Zumba class! They have come such a long way, joining in games together and tolerating each other as they work so closely together..

On Tuesday, the GCSE pupils joined Miss Rudge and Miss Jenkinson on a cultural Art Tour of the Northern Quarter in Manchester..

It is easy to often walk past some beautiful pieces whilst out in Manchester, not really taking in their political and social messages. Many are hidden and require some Artsy detective work… Some of the Street Art we saw on our trip was simply breathtaking. We walked around the Northern Quarter with our cameras at the ready and pupils were encouraged to snap away!! We had such a lovely time and it was great to see the pupils getting very excited when we spotted yet another great find. We discussed the materials used and the messages conveyed.

Together, we took over 500 photographs 🙂 The photographs used will make for a great class discussion. For me, it was so lovely to be able to give our pupils some time out of the classroom to really appreciate our city and the wonderful creativity right on our doorstep. A big thank you to Miss Jenkinson who made a great Artsy detective on the trip and kept us all going, even in the famous Mancunian rain. We even enjoyed a well earned hot chocolate together and all had a great time!

Tuesday also saw students from Miss Meadows’ and Mr Hartley’s classes have a visit from a representative from the UK Parliament. They learnt a lot in the session and enjoyed using the interactive voting device to answer questions about how the UK Parliament works, as well as taking part in the workshop.

During the session the students got to learn about the difference between the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the different representatives in the two houses. They learnt the difference between a life peer and hereditary peer in the House of Lords and the parties and procedures that take place in the House of Commons.

The students were enthusiastic in answering questions through their interactive voting device and asked some very informed questions of the UK Parliament’s representative.

They were also able to join in with a role play showing how a bill gets passed between the House of Commons and the House of Lords in a game of Parliamentary ping pong before being signed by the Monarch to become a law.

On Thursday, Miss Meadows’ and Mr Hartley’s classes visited the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on the tram as part of their Living Skills sessions. The students started off by walking from Hollinwood Academy to the tram stop at Hollinwood, using what they knew about road safety on the way.

They took the tram from Hollinwood to Deansgate and along the way stopped off to see the remnant of the Roman Wall in Castlefield, the old Roman entrance to the city.

When they arrived at the Museum of Science and Industry, they split into groups to explore the exciting exhibits on offer. The current theme at the museum is electricity, the topic that Miss Meadows’ class has been studying this term in their Science lessons.

The students’ favourite parts were the Spark of Life exhibit, in which students could discover the amazing world of electricity; the 1830 railway where students could discover developments in the age of steam; and the cotton industry exhibition which was interactive with some students receiving a talk from the museum experts.

They stayed at the museum until lunchtime before using another mode of transport, which was the free city centre bus. They all had an enjoyable journey on the bus and some were excited to spot the Coronation Street bus flying past (students and staff).

The last stop before returning to school was the Manchester Arndale Centre. Students were able to spend a little money in Poundland; it was fantastic to see many of them independently paying at the tills and using the self-service checkout.

The students really enjoyed their trip to Manchester; they behaved well and interacted with members of the public very politely and positively. Well done everyone, we can’t wait until the next trip!

Miss Meadows is leading our Peer to Peer mentoring for the Primary and Secondary students. I have asked Miss Meadows if she can explain what the Peer to Peer Mentoring is…

At Hollinwood, we are very fortunate to have a fantastic group of mentors that meet once a week with our younger primary students to help them with whatever they need. These fantastic mentees and mentors work together to promote an excellent example of positive well-being among the students at Hollinwood Academy and it is a privilege to see their friendships blossom each week!

They are encouraged to choose an activity that helps them relax and have fun with their mentee/mentor; they participate well and discuss their interests, hobbies and anything that may be worrying them at all. The mentors are fantastic at empathising, helping and offering advice. They know where to look for help and understand they can refer anything to a mental health first aider, these are part of our staff team at Hollinwood Academy. The mentees have a fantastic time every week and enjoy spending time with their new secondary friends. We also have some fantastic chess players among the group, who are teaching their mentees to play! Their happy faces are fantastic to see every week. Well done everyone!

Thursday also saw the whole school join in the Teen Tech ‘City of Tomorrow’ event. The day was launched with a PowerPoint presentation and the students were challenged with the following:

  • We are moving to a new planet and it is your job to make sure we make a kinder, safer and smarter planet that works for everyone.
    The task for your team:
    You can either:

    • 1) Design one building where you will live, work, or play… It might be the home of the future, or a public building: for social, retail, sport, business, transport, cultural, entertainment, educational or health purposes.
      Or
    • 2) Design a spacesuit to help explore your new planet, thinking about all the things you will need your spacesuit to do.

The students then had to work collaboratively to design and then start to construct their ‘City of Tomorrow’. They had to:

  • 1. Think about how you would make our new planet smarter, safer and kinder for everyone.
  • 2. Choose either a building or a spacesuit to create.
  • 3. Be engineers, technologists and designers and design your buildings and spacesuits.
  • 4. Create model buildings or spacesuits from recycled materials.
  • 5. Talk about your creations with each other.

Friday morning saw the students putting the finishing touches to their designs before Miss Gordon and myself judged the winning design. The level of detail, team work, resilience and creativity that the students had in their ideas and creations was unbelieveable. Due to this, Miss Gordon and myself could not just pick one winner, we ended up picking SIX, yes SIX winners!!! The winning classes will receive a £10 Amazon voucher to choose activities for the class.

Well done to our Primary winners:

  • Mr Corrigan’s class

  • Mrs Lomax’s class

  • Miss Collinge’s class

Well done to our Secondary winners:

  • Mr Francos’ and Mr Gold’s class

  • Miss Carpenter’s class

  • Mrs Potts’ class

Here is just a small selection of the work that went on across school..

Now Mr Heap’s class would like to share with you some of their learning this week…

We have had a very busy term in Mr Heap’s class!!! In attention autism we have been developing our turn taking, accepting invitations to take turns, showing interest within interactive games and following simple instructions independently. As you can see, we have explored a range of topics with lots of sensory approaches..

Within Living Skills we have been learning about looking after our bodies. We have been exploring ways to keep our bodies clean and healthy and we especially enjoyed cleaning our teeth! We have all sequenced the steps of brushing our teeth and brushed our teeth independently and with support..

Each week we have continued to visit Oasis Academy Limeside primary school to access their fantastic immersive room. As you can see from our photos, we really felt like we were in SPACE!

Our class have continued to go on Outdoor Education each week and we have been accessing our local communities. We have explored seasons, road safety and safely travelled on the bus and we have enjoyed visiting the Boathouse Cafe in Alexandra Park..

We have enjoyed taking part in Teen Tech day and talked about the importance of recycling. With our recycling we made a class robot and it was great to see all of the students taking part and showing good turn taking. We have also been doing plenty of Easter arts and crafts..

..and given our Maths sessions an Easter twist..

We hope you all have a fantastic Easter and don’t eat too much chocolate!! 

Now let’s see what Mrs Potts’ class have been doing this week..

It’s been a busy week as ever for KS3SPS. The group have been studying Photography in IT so they have been out and about taking pictures of their surroundings to hone their skills..

The group have been enjoying using Garageband to create their own soundtracks to popular films in Music..

This term we have been studying astronomy and space in Science. The class made their own play dough then used it to recreate the solar system..

Continuing their artistic flair, they have all created a poster protesting about a topic of their own choice in Art, ranging from capital punishment to rights for those who are mentally ill, LGBT and homelessness..

Their poster has now joined a very impressive display in the Art room which Miss Rudge is very proud of..

Logan and Taylor have been doing Outdoor Ed with Mrs Bennett, exploring the local area and whilst out on their trips they have been taking pictures of the local nature and the environment..

They’ve all certainly had plenty of practice with the cameras,  as they have also been the official photographers for the Teen Tech day – I’m sure we have some budding photographers in the making..

The lads have embraced Teen Tech Day this year and not just as photographers. Following on from their successful Hegarty Towers last year, this year being a Space theme they have created Hegarty Space Station which floats around the galaxy. Following Mr Hegarty’s success with his Hegarty Maths website, he has created his own space station with the help of KS3SPS!

Congratulations to Jacob, Jamie, Taylor and Ryan who have completed their swimming exams over the past couple of weeks. Taylor swam 750m, Jamie swam 800m, Ryan and Jacob swam 500m. Well done boys!

This half term, Miss Bones has introduced a new rewards system at Secondary. Reward points are given to our students in lessons, they can earn up to 3 points a lesson. R1 for respect, R2 for excellent attitude to learning and R3 for excellent progress. Rewards have included: certificates, lucky dip prizes, hot chocolate mornings and a film/breakfast morning. The students have responded really well to this new system and are very keen to earn points and keep track of where they are up to. It has had a really positive impact on our students and it has been great to give so much positive feedback to our students. It has helped to build a positive culture within the school and has created some healthy competition between form groups.

Talking of competition, Mrs Needham has a challenge for the Easter holidays – how creative can you be with Maths?

WOW!! What a way to finish the Spring term off. I hope you all have a lovely two weeks break and that the weather continues to shine over the holiday period. I am going to London this weekend with my family, Isla is adamant she is visiting the Queen and Lilly can’t wait to go on the London Eye. During the Easter holidays we are heading to Newcastle for yet another weekend of street dancing. This time the girls (and my husband) will be competing in the BDO British Championship 2019.

I will leave you with some lovely Easter bonnets!

I look forward to seeing everyone when school reopens on Tuesday 23rd April for our Summer term,

Laura

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