19 Jul

I know that I have only been back for the last half term but I know this year has been a great success. All our pupils have grown, developed and conquered. This year we said goodbye to our Year 11s who worked exceptionally hard, I know that this hard work will be rewarded when they come and collect their results. We also see 10 of our Year 6 pupils who will be moving over to New Bridge School for their secondary education and I know that with the fantastic curriculum that is offered at New Bridge these pupils will continue to thrive and flourish.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have mentioned that myself, Mrs Millard and Miss Gordon have been busy trying to recruit new staff to the school. In September we have 6 new teachers who will be joining the Hollinwood team. We are also very lucky to have Miss Collinge who has been covering for Mrs Halkyard stay on with the school. I know that the new staff are really looking forward to working with all the pupils at the school.

On Friday the staff also said a huge ‘Goodbye’ to Mrs Dunsdon who I have mentioned has decided to go and conquer a new challenge. It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with her and I know she will be a wonderful asset to her new school.

Some of the staff wanted to share a few of the wonderful moments that this year has brought, starting with Miss McMurray..

What a year KS4NMY, Miss McMurray and Miss Clancy have had this year at Hollinwood Academy! The form class have continued to grow into lovely and mature young adults. This year we have experienced numerous fun learning activities from Science experiments, Maths quizzes and a careers event. Pupils have had a try at tiling, participating in swimming activities and have gained their Prince Williams Explorer Certificate.

Both Miss McMurray and Miss Clancy are so proud of the young people in the class..

  • Nathan for working hard in everything he does
  • Diego for always giving things a go, no matter how hard something seems
  • Declan for settling in to the routines of Hollinwood Academy well
  • Neive for continuing to grow in confidence
  • Ethan for being a friend to everyone
  • Sameh for always being polite and helpful
  • Decklan for coping well and beginning to deal with things in a more positive way
  • Rickson for improved attendance.
  • Danny for continuing to grow in maturity

Here are Mr Hartley’s highlights of the year..

After Easter, Grace joined our team and we are very pleased at how well she has settled. We are very happy to have Grace with us and we look forward to another fun year in September.

This year, our class has had a larger focus on Living Skills and it has been excellent to see how well they have done in the various topics. They have learnt some valuable skills for living more independently and understanding the workplace. The students have been taking more pride in their workspace and gained more independence by taking turns to clean the windows, sort the shelves, clean the tables, water the plants and vacuum the floor. Make sure they do their part at home!

The students have enjoyed their employability lessons and have done very well in the different topics. They have looked at the importance of good communication in the workplace, customer service, receiving telephone calls, created emails, looked at their skills and qualities, planned their personal statements and role played various forms of good and bad communication in the workplace.

We have been to Tesco every Tuesday this year and the students have been able to use what they have learnt in lessons in a more practical way. Our regular trip is to buy fruit for the class and the students have worked well together to weigh, pay for and pack the fruit.

On one occasion we were given the opportunity to see how the operation works. We were given a tour by one of the team members, Rose. Rose took us throughout the store and gave our group lots of information about how the supermarket works. The students started in the store room and saw where all the deliveries are made and stored, before being sorted onto the relevant shelves. The students then went to explore the cold store at -18°C, some enjoyed this part more than others (as you can see from Ollie’s reaction in the picture). Afterwards, we went upstairs to see where all the clothes and their favourite video games are kept. Rose then took us to the staff area and students were able to see how the employer recognises good work on their staff  recognition and rewards board. For the final part of our tour Rose took us upstairs to the café where students were able to look out and see all over the store. The students thoroughly enjoyed this visit, they were given valuable information on how a supermarket operates and the roles within the store and asked some excellent questions around operations, employment and diversity.

Another time, we were invited to help clean the canal by Rose. The students did an excellent job of cleaning the canal and had a great time doing this. It was excellent to see the students working hard and showing pride in their community. We managed to fill a bin bag full of litter and it was great to see the difference that the students had made to the canal area. Afterwards, we did our regular shopping trip to buy fruit for the class and the students worked well together to weigh, pay for and pack the fruit.

As part of our Living Skills lessons we are trying to get out and explore as much as possible and on most of the trips that we have been on, we have used public transport. The students have had the opportunity to use the tram and bus for trips to the Museum of Science and Industry and Pizza Express. The students have really enjoyed their trips to Manchester; they have behaved well and interacted with members of the public very politely and positively.

We have visited the museum twice to look at their exhibit around electricity called Spark of Life and more recently the art exhibit around sound called Atmospheric Memory. We also had a fantastic trip to Pizza Express where the students were given a talk and shown how to make their own pizzas, which they did superbly.

We will have a new student, Dante, joining us in September and our class has recently had a mini sports day at Higher Memorial Park to welcome him. The students had a lot of fun on their sports day and showed some excellent team working skills. We were really impressed with how well they handled the competition. The students competed for each event in teams and worked very well together.

We are happy that Dante has fitted in so well to the group and would like to thank the class for giving him a warm welcome. Well done everyone!

Miss Shin’s class also have something to share..

What a fantastic year we have had in KS2NSN! The children would like to share their highlights with you…

  • Nathan: Blackpool Zoo
  • Amelia: Blackpool Zoo and when Miss Shin came back from residential
  • Jack: Ordsall Hall and playing with Josh
  • Lana: Blackpool Zoo.
  • Jayden: being chased by pelicans at Blackpool Zoo
  • Reece: When Alex joined our class
  • Rhys: Blackpool Zoo, seeing lions
  • Liam: doing English and going on trips and everything else
  • Summer: going to the zoo and learning about the Tudors.
  • Josh: Blackpool Zoo
  • Lana: Blackpool Zoo
  • Finlay: when I first moved into this class and made new friends

They would also like to share what we have been up to this week..

We visited Blackpool Zoo and celebrated our Year 6 leavers.

KS2NSN would like to wish good luck to Rhys and Josh who will be starting in Year 7 in September – we will miss you!

I presented two special Star of the Year awards to Amelia and Jack who have shown outstanding progress in both their learning and their behaviour – superstars!!

Congratulations to Bradley on working extremely hard and achieving a high score in Manga High..

On the last day of term we arranged for a special visit from the ice cream van and there were certainly plenty of eager customers..

Our reception and Key Stage 1 children also enjoyed a ‘beach party’ with family and staff..

Our visit to the Blue Planet Aquarium was another success..

Mrs Dunsdon would like to share her Stars of the Year, together with some of her favourite photos of the year..

Some of you may have read in my blog about one of our young men, Finlay, who is currently undertaking the one millon step challenge. Here is a little bit about his challenge from his mum Claire..

As you will know from the school blog and from seeing Finlay obsessively checking his watch every few minutes, he has taken on the personal challenge to walk one million steps in 100 days to raise money for the school. He particularly wanted to raise money for a table tennis table and if possible to get a basket ball team up and running seen as we have that amazing basketball court at the school.

His challenge started on 24th May and he has already raised £1,000 at the half way point. Today we are on day 56 so we still have a long summer of walking ahead. We have set up a facebook page, Finlay’s 1,000,000 step challenge (click here to visit it) where we take a screenshot of his pedometer watch proving how many steps he has done and adding photographs of what Finlay has been up to.

We have had Finlay do steps with different people and places to make the page more interesting i.e. in the penguins enclosure with the zoo keepers at Blackpool Zoo, with the firemen at Hollins Road fire station etc. On Saturday the Manchester Giants Basketball Team have invited Finlay down to do some steps with them and on Monday Finlay has been invited down to BBC Manchester Radio on Mike Sweeney’s show to talk about the challenge and the school that he loves so much.

We have just had to set up a new Just Giving page here because on the last page we took payments for a raffle of a signed Manchester City shirt that City kindly donated to help us raise funds but Just Giving have said this is against the rules so although we have been allowed to take the £1,000 out that Finlay has already raised, we have to start again with a new page for any future payments, so for the last 50 days we are going to try and get a further £500!

At the end of the challenge we are going to have a fun day on Sunday 1st September from 2pm-4pm at Hollinwood Cricket Club to celebrate Finlay’s incredible achievement as well as raise some final money with a big raffle on the day and it would be lovely to see as many from school on the day as possible.

Thanks, Claire

Before I finish this last blog of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Millard for stepping up as Acting Head of School for the year. I know you will agree with me in saying that she has done a wonderful job ensuring that Hollinwood Academy is still that ‘Outstanding’ school that we have prided ourselves on. Her hard work and constant support for all the pupils has ensured that coming back to work has been a lot easier than it could have been. So a very big thank you.

On that note, I would like to wish all of you a wonderful 6 weeks holiday. I know all the pupils and staff at holiday club will have lots and lots of fun.

I look forward to seeing you all back on the 4th September,


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