25 Sep

I am going to start my blog off this week with our students and what school has been like for them over the past three weeks and settling back into school.

Let’s start with Mrs Lomax’s class…

We have had a wonderful start to the term and it has been lovely to welcome back our families and children. We have started our new term with a big emphasis on settling back into the routines of the school day and re-connecting with our friends. We have spent a lot of time discussing our different experiences during lockdown and the things we have enjoyed or found difficult. We have been focusing on sharing with each other how we all have different feelings and that this is okay and through this we have been exploring different ways to handle our emotions and worries.

Our learning had been around our topic ‘Kids of America’ and we have been focusing on learning new geography skills with lots of map work including using Google Earth and Google maps. We have been cartographers and used symbols and keys to add details to our maps, we have even had fun mapping out our bedroom.

In Maths we have been looking again at our number bonds but we have been learning how to use our knowledge to help us find missing numbers quickly. We have been using Numicon and applying our number bonds to numbers beyond 10. Through this we have been able to solve missing numbers involving some very large numbers.

We have also been investigating squared numbers and using multilink cubes to help us understand what a square number is and we have also been exploring when we might need to use this in our everyday lives.

In English we have been focusing on the book ‘Here we are’ by Oliver Jeffers and we have been exploring poems and poetry. In our Science work we have been learning about animal habitats and the effects of changes on the environment on habitats and how animals may adapt to changes, while in art we have been continuing our Geography by exploring buildings around us and also our emotions by looking at self-portraits.

It has been lovely to see all the children enjoying their learning and engaging. They have already produced some fantastic work that they are really proud of. We hope you enjoy our photographs..

Miss McMurray’s form have been working hard in all their lessons this week…

In Maths and English the class have continued to work towards their functional skills and GCSE qualifications. This term in Science the class have started the cell biology unit. This week they have been learning about the structure of different cells and how they are specialised for the job they do.

In ICT, the class have been building on last week’s learning looking at different tools used in pre-production, while in food technology they have continued to enjoy exploring the foods of Italy.

The class have continued to settle nicely back into the school routine and have enjoyed another positive week in school.

Mrs Potts’ class have been busy this week but they were all adamant that they did not want their pictures taken, although we have a video made during a Science lesson for you..

As mentioned in last week’s blog, our form are now in Year 11 and are working towards GCSEs and other formal qualifications.

In History the class have been learning about slavery in British America, within this topic they look at piracy and plantations and the way people who work on plantations are treated. I am not in the lesson but I’m sure it creates a lot of discussion.

In Maths the class have been working on individual tasks on Hegarty Maths. This is a learning platform which covers all areas of the curriculum. This was used to support the virtual teaching during the first couple of weeks of the term.

In Food Technology much of Year 11 is focused on their coursework, looking at how food is prepared and the nutritional value of food. A lot of research into different recipes is done and they compare the nutritional value. This is also preparation for deciding what their dishes will be for their GCSE practical.

In ICT the class have started their coursework following a client brief to create a mood board, storyboard and visual diagrams. They have also been practising answering exam style questions. I have been receiving some positive comments from Miss McMurray about how well everyone is doing with their work, she is really impressed so well done!

I believe Science has been interesting this week, the class have been learning about different cells and cell structures. The class did a practical to show how gas exchanges in the body. Miss McKenna took a video of the practical.

English has been focused on descriptive writing. They wrote their own paragraphs describing an image using semantic fields to describe it. The class have also looked at an extract from War Horse and looking at the language techniques used.

In Spanish the class were introduced to Mrs Cowling who will be replacing Mr Francos when he retires. They have been recapping previous work on how to describe how someone looks in Spanish, describing their hair, eyes and clothing. The class have been practising their speaking skills by having conversations in Spanish.

Learning for life is a new subject for the form this year. They have been learning about the different types of relationships between different people such as friendships and working relationships.

Miss Rudge’s form have been working incredibly hard this week…

We are continuing work on our ‘Confectionery’ project. This week, pupils have created a ‘Confectionery Alphabet’. The idea behind the task is to choose a letter from an item of confectionery and create a forgery (copy) of that letter. Eventually, an alphabet will be formed showing letters from a variety of sweets, chocolate and crisps.

This week in PSHE, we were looking at the suffragette movement and how women fought for the right to vote. We all agreed that the movement was a very important one and one which mustn’t be forgotten. We decorated our work using purple, green and white; the colours associated with the suffragettes.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs

  • Miss Shin’s STARs this week are Noel for fantastic work in sensory diet and communication and Maja for fantastic communication and having a happy, calm week

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Lewis for a fantastic start in his new class and making lots of friends

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Ollie for adapting really well to the changes and being a great example to others in lessons

  • Mrs Halkyard’s STAR of the week is Marco for settling back into school really well this week
  • Mrs Halkyard’s SEAL Superstar is Jake for knowing his strengths and of other people

  • Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Haoyu
  • Miss McDonald’s SEAL Superstar is Daniel
  • Miss McDonald’s DOJO winner is Sofia! Well done.

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Ivy for being confident to talk about her thoughts and feelings

  • Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Issmaeel for showing off his amazing Maths knowledge

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Ethan for having a fantastic week and making the right choices

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL Superstar is Jack for getting to know something new about everyone in his class

  • Miss Tootill’s Dojo winner this week is Ethan. Well done!

  • Mr Rawson’s STAR of the week is Edward for trying hard in all subjects

  • Miss Collinge’s STAR of the week is Daniel for wonderful use of communication

  • Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Charlie for reading the instructions and following them carefully so you were able to complete all your learning

  • Mrs Woodhead’s STAR of the week is Alex for helping himself when he is finding things difficult

  • Mrs Woodhead’s SEAL Superstars is Yousef for recognising that it is ok to feel sad and talking about his feelings

This week, we have interviewed for level 3 teaching assistants at Hollinwood Academy. All of the candidates that applied were current teaching assistants at Hollinwood Academy and the field was very, very strong. This made me reflect on how amazing and dedicated all of our teaching assistants are. We have so many talented teaching assistants that work incredibly hard with our students and staff so our school is the best it can be. Our teaching assistants are such an integral part of our team and it really made me proud to see them work so hard so our students can have the best outcomes. I am really pleased to announce that Miss Mason and Miss Rashid were successful in their interviews this week and will be taking on a more senior teaching assistant role as of 1st October. They have both been with Hollinwood Academy for the past four years and they have worked hard to get a range of experiences and wealth of knowledge and understanding that shone through in their interviews. I have every faith that they will continue to strive in their new roles.

Over the next three weeks, myself and the other senior leadership team members and curriculum leads will be conducting learning walks that will form part of the teachers’ performance management meetings. This has all been risk assessed and measures put in place in response to COVID. Learning walks and lesson observations are a highlight of the calendar for me. It gives me the opportunity to be back in the classroom, sitting with the students to find out what they have been covering, how they are doing in class and it is always a pleasure to observe our outstanding staff do what they do best. I equally enjoy the dialogue that we have after the observations and during their performance management meetings. We will certainly be busy over the next three weeks and I can’t wait to feed back to you all.

On Wednesday, Miss Gordon and myself have our fortnightly risk assessment meeting with the central team where we will be proposing some more changes. Again, once these changes have been worked through and approved we will endeavour to let the students and families know.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Millard

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