03 Jul

I hope you are as thrilled as I am to hear the announcements from the Government on Thursday morning regarding September:

‘It is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.’

It is still concerning that Oldham’s R rate is still very high in comparison to the rest of the UK and this is not to be ignored. I hope our community pulls together and we can all get back to some form of ‘normality’. With the announcements on Thursday morning, the plans that Miss Gordon and myself had started with on Monday and Tuesday have taken a very different turn in direction, for the positive. Come September, we will still have many challenges to overcome but our key message still remains the same, that the safety of our students and staff is paramount. We still have a lot of guidance and restrictions to work within from the announcements this week and we will continue to work to get this right for September. I hope to share with you our plans for September before we finish for the Summer break.

In preparation for school reopening in September, I have sent sixteen members of staff from across both Primary and Secondary on a Mental Health first aider course in order to fully support our students and families during this time but equally as we welcome our students back in September. Mental Health has always been a big focus at Hollinwood Academy and now even more so than ever. Everyone is responsible for Mental Health and I wanted to equip our staff with the right training to help support our students. Here is what the staff thought about the training:

  • The mental health course was really interesting, it refreshed my current knowledge and I liked how they gave you lots of different ideas/ strategies that we will be able to use with the children in our school. It gave me a greater understanding of the reasons behind mental health and how we can support children. I really enjoyed learning about executive state, emotional state, survival state and how these can change/effect how a person thinks and reacts to a situation. ~ Mrs Whitworth
  • I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend this training. I have definitely learnt a lot and gained more understanding and knowledge to support students in school. The training gave me more confidence in my approach towards our students and I have also gained new skills and strategies to put in place. ~ Mrs Goldbergerova 
  • WOW! I have loved this training – thank you for including me on this. The whole sessions were so applicable to our setting. The timing of it is brilliant – especially with the government’s announcement to put additional funding and focus on the Every Mind Matters agenda and the new PSHRE curriculum. I’ve got millions of ideas and things I want to now take forward and implement at Hollinwood Academy. I also enjoyed the delivery via TEAMs, it was so accessible and still provided us with opportunity to interact and discuss and feel part of the training rather than just a being ‘talked at’ session. ~ Mrs Lomax
  • The training was fabulous! As a staff team we implement most of the strategies but they have provided us with some alternative ones- worry box, pin the emotion. It was interesting to see how the brain functions and how that impacts on the behaviours that the children display and how this could be caused by the brain rewiring during certain times throughout life. Alternative language techniques were also provided. They also suggested ring binders to create own self positive image which I think will be a valuable tool for some of our students. Thank you for letting me complete the training. ~ Miss Rashid
  • I found the Mental Health training this week really useful. It has made me aware of how much we already do as a school for our students in regards to mental health, as-well as providing new strategies for staff to put into practice. The training has improved my current knowledge of the different mental health issues that our students can face and the signs of a person who is struggling with their mental health. One of the great things about the course was that it focused on ASD which has given me a clearer understanding of how to support our students who are struggling with their mental health. Following the course, I am now more confident in supporting our students mental health and well-being and feel that I have the right support strategies and knowledge to do this efficiently. I would just like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to access this course. ~ Miss Mason
  • The training was really good! Very informative and easy to follow. We talked a lot about mental health illness’ and strategies to support children who are struggling. Resources are also being provided to further implement and support students. Claire and Rachael were extremely helpful throughout. ~ Miss Wheeler
  • I just want to say thank you for allowing me to attend the Mental Health course. I found it very interesting and extremely useful. I will definitely be using the techniques and resources given on a daily basis. I loved it! ~ Miss Shin
  • Thank you for the opportunity to access the first aid in mental health training. Claire and Rachel were extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. I feel the training has refreshed my skills and has given me many new strategies that I haven’t tried before to support young people with their mental health. ~ Mrs Clapham
  • I have found the training extremely useful. It has given me more of an understanding of both mental health and mental illness. How to look for the signs as well as giving me plenty of knowledge that will help me support children with ASD in our school. The course has been extremely helpful and giving me the knowledge and tools I need to be mindful to the wellbeing to staff, students, parents and carers. ~ Miss Stubbs

Amazing feedback and thank you to Dragonfly for providing the training.

Showbie saw its first video calls this week and it was lovely for staff, students and families to see each other. Let’s see what other learning has taken place this week…

This week’s Showbie learning is going to be started by two beautiful messages from Dekon..

..and Zachy..

Absolutely wonderful! We are missing you too!

In Art this week, pupils have been looking into the work of famous artists ‘The Singh twins’ as part of their current cultural art project. This was a great research task with lots of important questions asked such as “What is Culture?” and “What is meant by heritage?” The work below from Ruby, Oliver and Chloe is fabulous and I am so proud! Keep up the good work guys!

Decklan has also drawn a Pokemon..

..Evan has drawn a MagiKarp..

..and Oliver and Corey have created rockets inspired by @DarrellWakelam art..

Miss Simms class have had another busy week. Alfie has done some beautiful colouring too..

Ms Halkyard’s class project this week involved pebble art. The pupils were shown examples that someone else shared of pebble art and pupils asked to have a go with things in their garden or from a walk they’ve been on. These are examples of the pupil’s creations..

Ms Lomax’s class continue with the creative theme..

Zachy has been learning the Macarena!

Xander has made a fabulous 3D Ben 10 watch. Amazing!

It’s great to see that pupils have been enjoying the glorious weather..

A huge well done to David for achieving a Mathletics certificate!

Here are the results from the geography quiz that Ms Sanderson did last week. Ms Sanderson wanted to the following message to be passed on “Well done everyone for trying so hard with the geography quiz. This week we have a history quiz going and you have until Monday 6th July to enter for your chance to win a prize! Good luck!”

Decklan made this fabulous pattern using scratch

Jayden has made some delicious looking food. Ms Carpenter says well done!

If you would like to feature in next week’s Showbie blog, please send in your photos to your class teacher via Showbie. We love seeing what you have been doing!

On Thursday afternoon, we held our termly Full Governors Meeting. This was held virtually and it was lovely to see our Governors and share our experiences of COVID-19 with them. They were in awe of the work done during this very difficult period and enjoyed listening to some of the stories and work done by our students. We shared our evaluated school improvement plan that has taken a halt in some areas due to COVID-19, however, these will remain key priorities as we move into the new academic year. The Governors meeting was a success and I went over the time limit by 40 minutes but the Governors wanted an update of what we have done, and we have done lots, as a school during COVID-19. They got a thorough and full overview and I got a stern warning from the independent clerk.

Staff this week and next week have been busy working to get celebrations ready for our year 6 and year 11 leavers. I really hope our students like these celebrations and I am just so sorry we did not get to share these milestones together with your friends and families at the end of the year.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Take care and stay safe.

Mrs Millard

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