16 Oct

What a week!!!

I think this week has proven the most challenging since returning in September as we have received positive cases within our school community, including two transport buses affected. My priority, along with Government’s, is safely keeping Hollinwood Academy open and fully functioning. As you can imagine, each positive test has big implications to school and we are assessing and reviewing this on a daily basis and doing our utmost to continue some form of ‘normality’ for our students.

At present, we have a high number of students and staff self-isolating until Friday 23rd October and we will give them all a big welcome back when they return to school on Monday 2nd November. As a school community, we are working extremely hard in very unprecedented times and we are thankful for the support our families are showing. I have been exceptionally impressed with the students’ resilience to changing factors; having to be home educated and virtual learning at Secondary. Those staff who are self-isolating have been teaching virtually, following their timetable, through virtual teaching and learning platforms and have been using the new Showbie Pro Plus features and they have been able to video teach, support and hold assemblies. Students and staff amaze me how they are able to transfer their skills to work in different ways so our students’ education is not affected by closing bubbles.

Families of students who are currently self-isolating will be receiving welfare calls from their staffing teams and those entitled to free school meals should have received vouchers. If you are entitled to free school meals and you have not received these, can you mention this to the staffing team when they call next week.

Let’s see what some of our classes have been doing this half term, starting with Miss Tootill’s class…

WOW! What a busy first half term! In our class, we have welcomed back some familiar faces and welcomed a handful of new faces. Myself, Miss Sutcliffe and Mrs Davies are thrilled to be back in school and to be able to welcome all the students to our new classroom.


Over the last six weeks we have settled back into school and adapted to the new way of learning. We have explored the wonderful book ‘Here We Are’ written by Oliver Jeffers. Our learning has been influenced by coming back together as a community of learners, exploring our environments and focusing on how to keep ourselves safe.

This term we have incorporated mindfulness and seated yoga throughout the week, to help deal with our emotions and feelings.

Throughout this term we have focused on a variety of communication and social skills, we have developed our peer relationships through teamwork, taking turns, sharing and promoting inclusion.

On behalf of our class, we would like to wish all our families a fantastic half term and to say a big thank you for the continuous support we receive.

Mr Hartley’s class have had a busy half-term too…

Since returning to school the students have worked very hard. They are continuing to work on their knowledge of English and Maths functional skills in preparation for their exams and are now working on Entry Level 2 Employability and gardening short course.

In English we have been looking at punctuation and have moved on to communication. The students are showing their strengths in their writing and punctuation and developing on their communication skills to prepare for their speaking exam. In Maths, we started the year revising addition and subtraction and are now onto multiplication using rounding and estimation. We are really proud of the students’ continued hard work and commitment in their functional skills.

As part of their employability qualification the students have been looking at expectations in their setting and how these are similar to expectations in the workplace. They have discussed the importance of good timekeeping, quality work and attendance at school and work, as well as the consequences for themselves and an organization of not meeting work place standards. Last week, the students completed a student handbook on the expectations of attendance, timekeeping and quality of work at Hollinwood Academy. Please see their fantastic work below..

We have continued to study horticulture this year and thanks to a grant we received from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust we have been able to purchase some new equipment including forks, trowels, spades, a worm factory and overalls. So far, the students have weeded the bedding boxes, planted some garlic, green manure and green beans..

..and built a worm factory. At first, some were a bit dubious about creating the worm farm but in the end we had a lot of fun doing this and can’t wait to see the compost and worm tea that they make.

We are continuing to work on our social and communication skills and the students have had a great time at playing the socially speaking game. They have also developed on their team working and communication skills by creating a model of the Eifel Tower and the Coliseum with limited materials that we had in the classroom and following instructions and working together to build their worm farm.

In their art classes with Miss Rudge the students have been creating some observational art and this week have moved on to silhouettes. As part of Black History Month, Miss Rudge asked the students to research an influential black person either present or from history. We started by looking at the story of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr and then the students were asked to choose their own influential figure. The people that the students chose were Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Claudette Colvin and Chadwick Boseman. They learnt a lot in this lesson about the importance of equality and the issues around racial inequality both in the past and to the present day and created some fantastic silhouettes.

The students are improving on their geographical knowledge of the UK through our world studies lessons; and have been looking at the countries that make up Great Britain and the United Kingdom, the cities in the UK, the counties in England and major rivers and mountains.

This year the students have been taking part in yoga and mindfulness with Miss Sharples and Miss Fletcher. The meditation that they do helps the students to understand how we can focus and relax and the yoga is helping to develop their flexibility.

In order for the students to have a greater understanding of events in the wider world, we study current affairs each Friday. The students catch up on the week’s events through Newsround and then have a selection of articles to read about events that have occurred in the news that week. Once the students have chosen their preferred news article they then go on to create their own news reports around what they have read. We look forward to reading their articles each week and the students are showing a greater understanding of the wider world, as well as practising their English writing skills to make their articles interesting and informative.

Mr Francos has decided to retire and this term the students said their goodbyes. As a class, the students decided to create a leaving video for him to say thank you for being such a great teacher. We are all very sad to see him go but wish him feliz jubilación (happy retirement).

Our class has had a fantastic start to the year and are showing exceptional behaviour, maturity and commitment to their studies. We are really proud of their achievements and both Mrs Hand and I would like to thank all the students in the class for making the start of the school year so wonderful.

Miss Meadows, Miss Fletcher and Mr Stewart have been exceptionally impressed with their students’ home learning…

Our groups have been producing some wonderful work from home. We have all adapted to using our iPads for learning extremely well and have completed some fantastic work in Geography, Living Skills, and ICT. We would like to share some of our learning with you. Well done everyone, we are proud of all your efforts this week.

Miss Rudge was equally impressed with some of our Year 11 students…

Just a huge thank you to our talented and extremely kind year 11 girls. Last week, I was busy prepping for a primary Art class and was trying my best to juggle various paints, masking tape and Art paper. On seeing this, our lovely year 11 girls asked if they could help me. They worked together as such a great team and allowed for our younger pupils to have the best most colourful lesson ever! 🙂 You make me so proud girls. Thank you again you lovely lot, Miss Rudge and Miss Wharfe.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs

  • Miss Parkinson’s STAR of the week is Isaam for trying hard in Maths.
  • Miss Parkinson’s SEAL Superstar is Jared for recognising if people are happy or sad.

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Victory for trying his best and having an excellent week.

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar Ollie fantastic communication this week.

  • Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Ebon for making good choices all week and collecting his reward dinosaurs.

  • Miss McDonald’s SEAL Superstar is Gerard for working well in a team and coming up with good problem solving ideas.

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Amario for being a super scientist this week.

  • Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Ivy for listening to teacher’s advice when things are difficult.

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Ibraaheem for having a fantastic week.

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL Superstar is Thomas for recognising different feeling in other people.

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

  • Miss Collinge’s STAR’s of the week is Daniel for being amazing every day, all week!

  • Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Zachy for using his prime numbers learning this week to solve our prime number mystery and work out who the saboteur was.

  • Mrs Lomax’s SEAL Superstar is Harrison for using some fantastic words to describe different emotions during our emotional literacy learning.

  • Mrs Woodhead’s STAR of the week is Yousef for making great behaviour choices and being a superstar.

  • Mrs Woodhead’s SEAL Superstars is Henry for trying to solve problems for himself.

Well done everyone!

I’d like to finish this week’s blog with a message from Bobby, Year 7, who started at Hollinwood Academy this year. On Friday, his form held a virtual assembly and Bobby was awarded a certificate of achievement and this was his response:

 

We finish for October half term on Friday 23rd October and school will reopen on Monday 2nd November.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Millard

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