13 Sep

It’s been our first full week back and the staff have been working hard to ensure that pupils are settled back into the routine of the school day.

Dinner times can be a challenging for many of the pupils at Hollinwood so with the growth in numbers we have managed to split dinner times into smaller groups. We now have a living skills classroom which we are using for pupils on their packed lunches. School dinners are still provided in the canteen which is now not as busy. We also offer for pupils to go down for lunch at 1pm when it is quieter. This has helped alleviate any sensory anxieties our pupils were having.

This year we have taken Mr Heap out of the classroom and he will be delivering the PE curriculum to all the school. Having a member of the school staff working with our young people helps to make subjects like PE more manageable for the pupils. Mr Heap will also be taking our Key Stage 4 Duke of Edinburgh’s group out with Mr Fennelly. Alongside this, outdoor education will also be a subject offered to a lot of the classes at primary. Mr Heap will be celebrating the achievements of PE, DofE and outdoor education in one of my blogs before half term.

As I mentioned in my blog last week, with the growth of the school I have asked two teachers from primary and two from secondary to share what their classes have been up to on a weekly basis. This week we have Miss Shin’s reception class, Mr Rawson’s primary nurture group, Mrs Walker’s Year 7 class and Mrs Lerigo’s communication group.

Let’s start with the youngest pupils of the school, Miss Shin’s Reception class..

This week in reception we have been busy getting to know each other, building relationships and having lots of fun! The children are working hard to establish routines and have already started some super learning. We have created self portraits, hand and foot prints and sang ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ to kick start our topic ‘My Busy Body’.

We have also enjoyed role play, dressing up, mark making and lots of messy play!

Now over to our primary nurture group and Mr Rawson..

We have a new pupil in Nurture Group, Oliver, who has settled in well. In Maths this week the class have been counting to 20 and number bonding, using blocks and number cards..

In Topic the class have been learning about Rainforests and where they are in the world. The class learned about the Equator and which countries have Rainforests..

In English we have been conducting Catch up Literacy assessments with Oliver and Brodey, whilst Bronson has been reading with Mr Rawson. The class have also been practising their writing and letter formation.

Miss Knaggs has been delivering Lego Therapy to Oliver and Bronson, which they really enjoyed.

Mr Francos has been teaching the class Spanish and they have learned to count to 10 and say hello and goodbye.

In Science this term we are learning about Electricity and the class were learning about electrical safety and which household appliances use electricity. The class completed an electrical safety quiz and were awarded certificates at the end. They also learned about electrical components, circuits and how to construct a simple circuit..

This week’s Star of the Week went to Bronson who has tried really hard with his behaviour and has done some excellent work in Maths, well done Bronson!

Let’s move to our Communication Group where Mrs Lerigo, one of our new teachers, has settled herself well into life at Hollinwood. Let’s see what her class have been up to since they returned..

Key Stage 4 ELO have been very busy this week. We have been learning all about our ‘Busy Bodies’. We have drawn around our whole body, so that we can paint and label our body parts next week. In Art we have been learning about ‘Self Portrait Artists’ and have looked in the mirror at our reflections to study parts of our faces. We have also created ornate picture frames to make our self portraits look like masterpieces. We have had some great learning going on show and we look forward to another great week next week too..

Now for Mrs Walker’s Year 7 class..

7CBS have had an excellent week this week and have been learning lots of new things as well as getting to know each other a little bit better. In Maths we have been ordering numbers including negatives and decimals. We have been rounding numbers and looking at place value..

In English we are studying Macbeth and how to analyse quotes and explanations of Shakespeare’s use of particular quotes and words. We have started our Science lessons with baseline assessments and in History we are studying definitions of historic terms such as chronology and history. We are learning Basketball in PE and are concentrating on passing and catching skills.

We have enjoyed our first Spanish lessons with an introduction to Spanish and learning to count from 1 to 10. We have been assigned to groups in Food Technology and had an introduction to cooking and the different parts of the kitchen. In Drama and Dance we have taken part in games and activities and had an introduction to pantomime while in Music we have been looking specifically at tempo, dynamics, performance and composition.

Our Living Skills lessons are on the topic of health and how to stay healthy, with a discussion around different food groups, how to stay hygienic, washing hands, brushing teeth and experiments looking at what happens when plaque builds up.

Wow what a great, fun packed week the pupils have had!

A letter has been sent home (click here to view it) with details of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission’s upcoming return visit following the Oldham Local Area SEND inspection. As part of the re-visit, they would very much like to have your views which you can give through the online survey available here until 12 noon on Friday 20th September or at an open meeting on Monday 23rd September. You can find more details on the POINT (Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum) website here.

I hope all the pupils have a well-rested weekend ready for another jam packed week next week,


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