11 Sep

First of all, I would like to welcome you all back and welcome our new families to Hollinwood Academy this academic year. It is wonderful that we are all back in school together.

I must admit, Miss Gordon and myself have had a few sleepless nights worrying about how school would be when all the students return after such a long time at home. We knew as a school we were ready but we were worried how the students would feel returning to school in these difficult circumstances. We need not have worried because all the students have been amazing!! We cannot believe how well the students have responded to the new protocols in place and how happy they seem to be back to a certain sense of routine and normality. We are extremely proud of every single one of them and they have all shown a fantastic attitude and a great deal of resilience.

As we have welcomed a number of new students across the school, we have equally welcomed new staff to Hollinwood Academy and I would like to introduce these staff:

  • Louise Needham who forms part of our senior leadership team (SLT) as a curriculum advisor for Hollinwood Academy and Maths lead for the MAT. Mrs Needham has been within the trust for the past four years and is a highly valued member of the team. She will support across the school leading on accreditations, exams, moderation, training, staff induction and NQT induction tutor. Many of the KS4 students will know Mrs Needham as she has taught Maths to some of our Secondary students.
  • Hollie Marston joins our teaching staff in our KS1 classroom. We interviewed Miss Marston in May and she excelled herself in communication and autism strategies. You could also see her caring and nurturing side within the interview which we have seen all week in the classroom.
  • Ben Stewart joins our Secondary teaching staff in our KS3 cohort. We also interviewed Mr Stewart in May and he has an excellent background of working with students with ASC and his passion and enthusiasm for supporting learners with additional needs was evident in his interview and we have witnessed this in his classroom too.

We have also appointed a number of new teaching assistants across the school:

  • Kimberley Cuff joins Miss Shin in reception
  • Emma Andrews joins Miss Marston in KS2
  • Hannah Lees joins Mrs Nuttall in Year 7
  • Michelle Bent joins Miss Daniels in Year 7
  • Ebony O’Brien joins Miss Meadows in Year 7
  • Thomas Ottaway joins Miss Bones in Year 8
  • Charlotte Heyes joins Mr Francos in Year 9
  • Katie Devlin joins Mr Stewart in Year 9
  • Georgia Smith joins Miss Sanderson in Year 10
  • Kelly Harrington joins Miss Carpenter in Year 10
  • Kimberley Clare joins Miss McMurray in Year 11

Miss Gordon and myself have been reviewing and updating our risk assessment this week. Next week, we have a meeting with the central team where we will be proposing some changes in light of how well the students have returned back to school. There are a number of areas that we have reviewed and feel that changes will benefit the students even more. Once these changes have been worked through and approved, we will endeavour to let the students and families know.

I am really pleased that we have teamed up with ‘Relaxed Kids Oldham’ again this year, and one of the sessions they are delivering for us is an online ‘Back to Calm’ session for parents and carers on Tuesday 15th September at 4pm via Microsoft Teams. This programme has been developed to support parents following their child’s return to school after this period of uncertainty which we have all been through. If you would like to attend this session, please book your place by contacting Miss Rudge via email: zrudge@newbridgegroup.org Also, if you have any questions about the session, please do not hesitate to contact Miss Rudge.

We will return to our class blogs and SUPER STARs and SEALs over the coming weeks once the students have settled into their new classes.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I am celebrating my youngest daughter’s 6th birthday this weekend. She is very excited and has been on her birthday countdown for the last two weeks. She has requested a unicorn birthday cake so I will be busy baking, wrapping presents and trying to make her day as special as we can at home.

Can I just thank all our families again for your patience and understanding during this very difficult time.

Take care,

Mrs Millard

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