17 Jan

The Spring term is always the shortest term and the one where the students have the opportunity to settle into their lessons and really focus upon progress and improvement. It has been wonderful to see all the students working hard, enthused, happy and ready to learn. I have enjoyed popping in to classes this week and I have been able to reflect on how much progress they have all made since September. It has shown me that our students are remarkable as they are able to respond so well to their learning environment and have all developed trusting relationships with the key staff they work with. Let’s take a look at some of our classes and the learning they have done this week.

Mr Hartley’s class have been busy this week..

Our class are settling back in well after the half term holidays and are working hard in all their lessons. This term they have taken up trampolining in PE and are loving it.

We have a new class pet ‘Zippy the Stick Insect’ that we collected from a pet shop in Manchester before the holidays. He is being well cared for by the students, the class have started to collect bramble for him to eat every week, clean his enclosure and are reading the story about Zippy as part of our lessons on resilience.

In English we are continuing to work on our Functional Skills questions. As part of the homework the students are expected to complete a write up of their week to help with their writing skills. They are doing well in English and have practised letter writing, using paragraphs and composing and sending emails.

To help with our reading and comprehension skills, we now read on a Wednesday and Thursday morning and complete a book report of what we have read so far. The students are enjoying doing this and many have brought in their own books from home. To further spark their interest in reading, this term we plan to do a tour of Manchester Central Library, where students will be able to discover the history of the building through the archives and choose from a huge array of fantastic books.

In Maths we are covering Functional Skills as well, and we are moving onto division. The students have their own workbook to assist with remembering their Maths equations and are refreshing their knowledge of number skills all the time.

In Employment we looked at our interview skills last term and are now ready to practise face to face mock interviews. The students have worked well at developing their interview techniques and some can confidently answer standard interview questions. As well as this, the students have developed their own SMART objectives with an action plan of something that they would like to achieve or improve on, and every Monday morning we practise taking one step closer to achieving our objectives.

For Horticulture the students have just started to look at sustainability and we plan to make our classroom and school more sustainable. They were all interested in learning about greenhouse gases and the causes of climate change and will be designing their own recycling boxes next week. The students have also planted some allium, tulip and daisy bulbs that were very kindly donated by Miss Stubbs and are excited about seeing them appear later in the spring.

Our weekly shopping trip to Tesco is still taking place, weather permitting, and we are all now confident enough to pay at the till along with easily finding our way around the supermarket.

Mrs Lomax’s class have also been busy this week…

What a fantastic start to the year! We are loving our new topic Myth Slayer which has an ancient history focus. As part of this we have been exploring the myth of Pandora’s Box in English and in the first week back we went on a treasure hunt looking for a hidden box. We searched for QR codes hidden around the primary building and using our iPads we scanned the codes which linked us to clues to find the next QR code..

We eventually found the box hidden in our library! Within the box were lots of adjectives and we are going to use these to do some alphabetical ordering and thesaurus work.

We continued the Pandora’s Box learning into our Art and used clay to create a sculpture of Pandora. This was very tricky work and we ended up with lots of heads and arms falling off but we persevered and I’m sure you will agree our sculptures are fantastic.

In Maths we have been learning about measurements and we have taken part in lots of practical investigations to help us understand how to measure accurately and why this is important and activities to help us internalise what a centimetre looks like.

In Science we are looking at changes in animals and we are exploring the different life cycles of different animals. We have included some photographs from our Science work from just before Christmas. In these we were taking part in investigations and experiments to learn about changes in material. The enquiry work that we did in these experiments was fantastic and the children are developing a good understanding of the importance of fair testing.

Mrs Walker’s class have settling into their new class…

We have had an exciting week this week in our form as we have transitioned into our new classroom!

In Drama the class have been exploring dramatic techniques. This week’s focus was ‘freeze frames’ and transitions..

In Music the class have learnt how to play the ‘Barracuda’ tune on the keyboards.

One of our pupils has started their interventions with Mr Heap this week and has thoroughly enjoyed them!

Mrs Potts’ class would like to share with you their learning too…

We’ve had a great start to the new term. Taylor is continuing his work experience with Hortus at the Learning Centre and Logan has started work experience at the Atrium Café which is based at Medtia. Early feedback is that all is going well.

In Science, due to some staffing changes the class now have Mr Gold as their Science teacher. This appears to be going well. The subject at the moment is waves, they had to build a wave machine from duct tape, skewer, jelly babies, stands and clamps. The class split into two groups and each one completed the practical and used a stop clock to time the frequency of big/little waves. At the end the groups joined up and connected the waves to make one big one.

In English the class are studying another compulsory text for their GCSE, An Inspector Calls.

The class were pleased to see the return of Miss Carpenter for GCSE Food, this meant an increase in Theory work to be completed but they continued with the practical and over the past couple of weeks they have produced cheesy bead and shepherd pie. Our form room is next door to the cooking room and the smell that come from there are delightful.

The GCSE work continues in ICT where the class have been tasked with creating a website for either a travel blogger or a game review site.

In Duke of Edinburgh’s the group have moved on to practising a skill which is climbing so every Monday afternoon they head to Mahdlo to use the climbing wall there.

Miss Shin’s class have used the balance bikes this week..

Mr Heap arranged for our class to have a balance bikes session once per week. The children split into two groups and enjoyed riding bikes and trying to avoid the obstacles. While one group used the balanced bikes, the other group participated in a yoga and listen and move session. These sessions are really helping our physical development and also our relaxation skills.

This week, the Primary and Secondary students had their school council meetings and they have come up with some great ideas and suggestions. The most exciting topics at both the Primary and Secondary meetings were the Summer Markets, playgrounds and outdoor/sports hall equipment. As I mentioned last week, the playgrounds for Primary and Secondary are moving in the right direction. All of the students were praised on their achievements and efforts of the Christmas markets and it was decided that £200 will be allocated for Primary and £200 for Secondary. The school council will gather ideas and suggestions from their classes/forms as to what to spend the money on and feed this back at the next meeting. I am so proud of our school council and the impact they have on the school. Well done to all.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs..

Mrs Whitworth’s STAR this week is Jason for fantastic work during topic of the 3 Little Pigs..

Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Jake for outstanding behaviour and being a great friend at unstructured times..

Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar this week is Marley for asking for help in P.E.

Mr Corrigan’s LEXIA Superstar is Marcus..

Miss Parkinson’s STAR of the week is Fatima for eating all her dinner this week..

Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Amelia for having a fantastic week and completing all her learning. Well done for taking part in the Spanish lesson.

Mrs Lomax’s SEAL Superstar is Harrison for being a kind friend and helping his friends to feel happy in school.

Mrs Robertson-Macabe’s SEAL Superstar is Yousef for remembering his target every day and working hard to achieve it..

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Laura

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