18 Sep

We have had another exceptional week at Hollinwood Academy as the students have settled back into the daily routines and produced some amazing work. Let’s see what some of our primary classes and secondary forms have been doing over the past two weeks to settle them back into school life:

Miss Shin’s class:
We have had a fantastic start to the school year in reception – the children have settled really well and are picking up the new rules and routines quickly. We have had fun making new friends, we have been enjoying lots of sensory and messy play and we have been learning all about the weather and colours as well as finding new ways to communicate!

Miss Marston’s class:
We have had a great two weeks settling back into the school routine. This week we have been exploring musical instruments and how much noise we can make with them, we have all had a lot of fun..

Mr Corrigan’s class:
It has been a joy to have the children back in school these first two weeks and they have made a fantastic start to the term. Everyone has adapted brilliantly to the changes and the new starters have settled in beautifully..

Miss Parkinson’s class:
It has been lovely to welcome the children back to Hollinwood Academy and welcome some new students into our class. We have had lots of fun getting to know each other, enjoyed lots of practical activities and settling back into school life.

Miss McDonald’s class:
The children have all settled back into school well in their new class. We have had a lovely two weeks and all the children have adapted fantastically with the changes. We have focused on wellbeing and have taken part in lots of fun activities; our favourite has been yoga and dough disco. We have utilised the outside space for our learning and completed some of our Science, Maths and English lessons in the glorious sunshine. We are hopeful for the rest of the term and know the children will continue to make good progress in all aspects of school life.

Mrs Halkyard’s class:
We have had a great start to the year in our class. The boys have settled well and have enjoyed being back at school. They have been working hard in all our lessons and it has been lovely getting to know them better. During relaxation they have shown some great building skills with the Lego and train set and it has been great to see them working together.

Miss Simms’ class:
The teachers are so proud of how our class have settled back in to our school routine. We have been working hard and playing games together as a class. Superstars!

Mr Rawson’s class:
The start to the new term has been excellent in our class. Bronson and Brodey soon settled back into the routine of things and Edward is making great progress. The class are slowly getting to grips with a full school day after the lockdown period and all are glad to be back in school with their friends and school staff.

Miss Collinge’s class:
The children in our class has surprised us with how well they have settled in their new class. They are using Tobi pictures to request what they would like for their breakfast and snack and have loved trying out our new swing.

Mrs Lomax’s class:
We have had a wonderful start to the new term and it has been lovely to welcome the children back into our class. The children are getting back into the routines of our school day and have been enjoying re-connecting with their friends. Over the last two weeks we have got back into our learning with a big emphasis on building our confidence and reaffirming our love of learning.

Miss Tootill’s class:
Miss Tootill, Miss Sutcliffe and Mrs Davies would like to wish our class and their families a big welcome back to Hollinwood Academy. Over the past two weeks, we have settled back into routine, engaged in our learning and embraced having fun.

Mrs Woodhead’s class:
The children in class have settled well back into their classroom routine and have enjoyed exploring their local surroundings.

Mrs Daniel’s form:
The children have enjoyed reading together.

Mrs Nuttall’s form:
The children have settled in really well and seem to be enjoying being back in school. The staff are also enjoying getting to know the students. We have asked our Year 7s for feedback on their first week:

“This week has been awesome! I enjoyed meeting new friends and the lessons.”
“This week has gone very well and I have made friends. This school is very good I have settled in really quickly. The teachers are very kind to me.”
“I have been loving Hollinwood academy. I was very scared to start at first but I have made some lovely friends.”

Miss Meadows’ form:
We are very proud of our fantastic year 7s. They have made a very successful transition to key stage 3 and are embracing our ‘behaviour of the day’. Today’s is being positive, and we are currently working on our self-control, this is going extremely well. We are looking forward to a fantastic year.

Mrs Lerigo’s form:

Mr Page’s form:
It has been great to see everyone again and we have all certainly enjoyed our first two weeks back at school. All of the students have coped well with the changes in school and demonstrated excellent maturity and behaviour. Here are some pictures during a drama group task set by Miss Rudge and sharing our stories in English.

Mrs Bones’ form:
My my! After a LONG hibernation it is good to be back and in action! Our crew have jumped in and are doing amazingly. Of course, with the help of our close friend “Showbie” the students have managed to do their work and keep in touch with the teachers. It’s great to see how well everyone’s coping with staying inside their own bubbles no matter how much they want to pop it.

Miss Fletcher’s form:
Miss Fletcher has been extremely proud of the resilience and perseverance the students in class have shown since returning to school. They have worked hard in all of their lessons and produced some fantastic work. They have been very welcoming to our new students and we are all very proud of them!

Mr Francos’ form:
We have been in school for two weeks now but school has not been as we usually know it. We have been very impressed by the way the students have reacted to all the changes whilst getting on and working hard. Behaviour has been top class and all I can say is that these students are a credit to their parents, carers and their school. They have shown patience and understanding and have continued to study under difficult conditions. They deserve praise and thanks. Well done everyone!

Mr Stewart’s form:
Our class have all made a terrific start to the year, and made their new teacher Mr Stewart very proud.

Miss Sanderson’s form:
We have had a great start to the school year. All the pupils have shown resilience when faced with different changes and are showing maturity ready to take on the GCSE curriculum. Keep up the good work everyone. We are so proud of you. Miss Sanderson, Miss Rashid and Miss Smith.

Miss Carpenter’s form:
We have settled back into the classroom extremely well. They have been busy helping to decorate the ‘chatterbox’ in Art. This will be available to students who want to talk to staff but prefer to write down their worries or concerns. They have been adding positive messages onto the postbox to encourage people to open up about their mental health. Great work everyone!

Miss McMurray’s form:
This week, we have continued to settle into the new school routines during this unusual period. We have been continuing to work towards functional skills and GCSE qualifications in Maths and English – trying our best to make up for lost time. In ICT, the class have been looking at different tools used in pre-production phases. In Learning for Life, the students have been studying positive relationships while in PSHE we have been debating and exploring a number of social issues. In Food Technology, students have been exploring the foods of Italy and looking at the production processes. In Science, the students have been looking at cells and the different types of cells, their structures and their purposes. Overall, the class have had a settled week in which everyone is adjusting to the new normal routines of school life.

Miss Rudge’s form:
They have made the most amazing start to the academic year! It’s clear to see that we all missed each other lots as we had a very chatty first day back, which was just wonderful! Miss Rudge and Miss Wharfe made the Art room safe (yet still as creative as ever) for the class to return to!
Our lovely Ciara has been appointed our ‘Art captain’ and will act as our pupil teaching assistant to gain some work experience in a classroom. Ciara already can’t wait to wear her new shiny badge with pride! We have just started a project on ‘Confectionary’ and the work produced already is just stunning. We are so happy to have our class back in our creative little classroom and can’t wait to see more incredible artwork.

Miss Potts’ form:
We have welcomed our form back into Year 11 and have been joined by a new student, Max who seems to be settling in well. I am pleased to say the form have settled well into the expectations required in order to be successful by the end of year 11, full steam ahead with the GCSE syllabus. I must say I am pleased with the way the form have adapted to the new normal following all the COVID changes. We have been affected by the usual seasonal bug but I am glad to say we have avoided COVID! The back end of the week saw numbers dwindle to 4. Despite the previous lack of enthusiasm prior to lockdown about being in school, I think the form are delighted to be back and can catch up with their friends.

Mr Hartley’s form:
Our class has settled back into school exceptionally well and have enjoyed spending time again with their classmates. The students have all put in a lot of effort in their work these past couple of weeks and shown what a fantastic group they are.
For transition morning, we looked at classroom expectations, problem solving skills and our interests and goals for this year. The students have completed some excellent pieces of art displaying words that they think are important for an effective classroom environment (please see the blog photo).
A massive well done to all the students for achieving Functional Skills entry level 1 in maths, entry level 1 in skills for further learning and employment and entry level 2 in horticulture with Open Awards. Well done!
We have started on our functional skills maths and English again and completed our baseline assessments, and will continue to work on functional skills this year until the exams in the summer.
The students have started a new course, entry level 2 in employability with ASDAN, and have looked at maintaining work standards. This has involved discussing the importance of timekeeping and attendance and planning a project to be completed to a required standard. The project that we have chosen, is to paint the calm area of our classroom using different stencils and acrylic paint and I am looking forward to seeing the students’ finished product!
Horticulture continues to be on our timetable and the students have done a great job of getting rid of the weeds that have accumulated over lockdown as well as planting some garlic, winter broad beans and green manure. When we are in a position to move cross site the students will attend Hortus at the Learning Centre and continue to study horticulture there as well as a gardening short course with ASDAN at Hollinwood.

Now you know why I am so proud of our students. What a fantastic way to start the academic year. Well done everyone!!

On Tuesday evening, we were lucky enough to be joined online by Jo and Jenny from ‘Relax Kids Oldham’ who delivered a fabulous ‘back to calm’ parent session. Jenny and Jo have a wealth of experience in the Mental Health sector, and have both previously worked for MIND.
The session allowed for discussions to take place around how lockdown has affected our children and the impact and challenges this has brought. The session introduced a ‘7 steps of relaxation’ toolkit designed to aid children with the skills needed to promote a sense of calm and relaxation even in the most trying of times. The toolkit focused on ideas of; move, play, stretch, feel, breathe, believe and relax. We discussed together how the 7 steps can be adapted depending on the individual needs of each child. The session allowed for discussion and questions to be asked and answered in a calm and honest environment.

Jenny, Jo; Thank you! We are so excited to be working with ‘Relax Kids Oldham’ this year, and look forward to introducing our pupil sessions when the time is right.

As I mentioned, on Thursday Miss Gordon and myself carefully reviewed our risk assessment with the senior executive team and the changes to teaching and learning and hot dinners will commence on Monday 21st September 2020. Hot dinners will now be available to students but they will continue to eat lunch in their classrooms within their bubbles. Students will remain static within their current bubble. At secondary, teachers, in their area of expertise, will move from class to class to teach from the front. At primary, lessons will resume and be taught as they were previously by the class teacher but the subject specialist teachers from secondary will now teach face to face from the front of the class. We are looking forward to introducing these changes on Monday and I am sure the students will be too.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I hope the sun continues to shine.

Mrs Millard

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