20 Sep

The staff and pupils have all now settled back into school life. The curriculum which is carefully planned by the middle leaders in the school is well underway and new projects have been started.

Many of you may have noticed the flower/plant beds that are at the front of the school – these are maintained and looked after by Mr Hartley’s class. At the back end of the summer term we set Mr Hartley a challenge to do something with a planter set that we had purchased in 2015 – it had not been used and was sat in the primary playground. On Thursday morning, Mr Hartley and his group set to work to reinstall this at the front of the school. On Friday, staff are supporting Mr Hartley as he has managed to source lots of soil for these planters for free. I cannot wait to see what the pupils grow in this.

Being outdoors for our children is important and so to enhance the learning that takes place, we have ensured that many of the classes have Outdoor Education on their timetable. Mr Heap works across the school delivering all the PE and Outdoor Education for the school and the Duke of Edinburgh’s course at Key Stage 4. I have asked him to share what they have been doing in these areas in my blog before the half term break.

This week it is the turn of Mrs Whitworth’s communication group, Mrs Halkyard’s Year 6 class, Mr Page’s Year 7 class and Mr Hartley’s static group. Here’s what Mrs Whitworth’s class have been up to..

Since starting back in September, we have been very busy exploring our new topic ‘My busy body’ and the children have enjoyed making hand and foot prints in paint, flour and other messy substances and have had lots of fun feeling the different textures..

We have also included ‘my busy body’ in attention autism and have looked at different emotions, body parts and faces. During phase three of attention autism the children enjoyed watching me make a bread face, they then all had a turn in coming to the front of the class to have a go at making their own. They really loved this activity and were amazing at sitting and waiting for their turn..

We have also started outdoor education this term and last week we went on our first trip to Alexandra Park. The children were very well behaved and enjoyed walking around the park looking at the birds and other wildlife. At the end of the walk they had lots of fun climbing on the climbing frame, swinging in the swings and even running through the sand..

They all have done amazingly settling back into school, keep up the fantastic work!

Now over to Mrs Halkyard’s class..

We’ve had a great week in KS2 RHR. The children have been working hard as well as showing their great sense of humour! In Science we are focusing on light. We tested materials to see which ones were the best reflectors. From here the children designed a coat which could keep people safe in the dark..

We are working on newspaper reports in English this week. The children read the story of the Hatton Garden robbery and from here have created a newspaper report. This then gave them inspiration to create their own report based on a crime.

During Mindfulness the children practiced meditation and had to create a building in their minds to go to when they need to..

The children showed excellent team work during PE whilst playing basketball..

..which then continued when they came back to class during our Living Skills lesson. The children were very shocked when someone had completely messed up our class..

..but they worked very well together to tidy up – no excuses now when it comes to tidying up at home!

They were also excellent at working together to discuss and find hazards in the kitchen. In Art the children are creating a portfolio based on identity in the style of Hundertwasser. They brought in pictures of themselves and shared them which was lovely. In this week’s lesson they explained what makes up their identity..

This week we started our class read which is The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams. We didn’t manage to get very far at first due to all the laughing!

All in all a busy week!

Now over to Mr Page’s Year 7 class..

This week 7KPG have celebrated the birthday of one of our students! We’ve enjoyed some chocolate chip muffins and some music for the special occasion. In other form sessions we have been listening to audio books as well as sharing some of our favourite things to read.

In PCSHE we have been focusing on developing our sense of responsibility and independence. We have started by looking at ways we can help out around the house. We identified some of the things our parents and carers do for us and decided on which of these tasks we could take on ourselves or help out with. Students broke the tasks down into manageable steps in class and they will be looking to try and complete them (with guidance!) at home this weekend. Some of the tasks range from cooking a curry to making sure all of their Lego toys are tidied away neatly.

In English, students have been exploring Shakespeare by looking at some key scenes from some of his most famous plays. Last week it was Macbeth, and this week it has been Romeo and Juliet.

All in all, 7KPG are settling into their new secondary school routine very nicely. All the boys in the form are showing some lovely signs of respect, compassion and budding friendships that bode well for the rest of the term and the year as a whole. Keep up the great work lads!

Now over to Mr Hartley’s Key Stage 4 group..

Since we have been back we’ve been working on our Functional Skills and Open Awards. The students have enjoyed their new units and worked hard in their lessons.

In Employment the students have looked at target setting and have started to develop a personal action plan. We have also mixed our Functional Skills learning with our Employment lessons by developing our communication skills in café role plays.

We have tried to look after our bodies and keep alert and active by exercising in the morning..

The students have enjoyed their Outdoor Ed lessons with Miss Meadows and this week they used their Maths skills to estimate the age of the trees in school..

We have been out doing our part in the community, on Friday, by helping Rose from Tesco in keeping the area around the canal tidy. We were all impressed to see how well the students worked and they enjoyed competing against each other to see which team could pick up the most rubbish. The members of the public that walked by were impressed to see our students having a positive impact on our community’s environment. Rose has also very kindly offered to allow the students to work on the tills next week, which we are all excited about.

Last year, we started to work on the boxes outside of school and have continued to weed and add a couple more plants to these..

Everyone was so impressed with how hard the students had worked and the fantastic job that they had done that we have been given three more boxes to start from scratch.

The students have worked together to move the boxes from our primary playground to the walk-way into school..

They have learnt some practical skills by unscrewing the wheels off the boxes, so that they sit flat on the ground and dug the grass up beneath them..

We managed to source some free soil that has generously been donated by a lady in Didsbury. Alan then kindly took us to Didsbury and helped us collect the soil. Moving the soil was a very tough job but everyone got involved and showed how hard they can work and how well they work as a team. The soil is now in school and ready to be transferred into the boxes in preparation for planting.

Well done class!

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 at an open meeting on Monday 23rd September. You can find more details on the POINT (Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum) website here.

Finally, here are just some of our Stars of the Week..

Well done everyone! The pupils have certainly had a busy week at school, a well deserved rest is needed by all!

I hope you have a lovely weekend,


Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find all our previous blog entries here