06 Nov

It was wonderful to welcome the whole school back after the half term holidays, especially those students and staff who were self-isolating just before the half term too.

I am sure parents that drop their children off at school have noticed the new road markings outside. The week before half term, a lady called Darryll, who works for the Traffic and Network Management, came to Hollinwood Academy and spoke to Mrs Watson who most of you will have seen every morning and evening as she has been manning the main gates to school. Mrs Watson explained the difficulties that we are facing in terms of the traffic in and out of the campus. Darryll explained that Mrs Watson ‘was really helpful and her and the other members of staff were doing a great job.’ I must echo what Darryll states; staff from Hollinwood Academy have been outside come rain or come shine (and we will be outside come snow) to help transport and families safely arrive and leave school. You will have noticed that over the half term a number of road markings and signs have been introduced to help pedestrians and vehicles when entering and exiting the school grounds, which have included the following:

  • an informal crossing point
  • additional pedestrian warning signs
  • re-marking of double yellow lines
  • edge of carriageway markings (this has highlighted the route to the parking areas located at the side and rear of the school and made the entrance road into the school car park clearer)

I personally feel that these road markings have made the entrance and exit to school much safer and the new transport and parent bays are working well, as are the staggered start and end times. As you know, the changes made to the start and end of the days is in response to COVID-19 and they have been extremely well received by our students, more so at secondary. The changes to the start and end of the day have not impacted on the guided learning hours at Primary and Secondary. Historically, the majority of our students struggle during unstructured times: breaks and dinners. Dinner time has always been challenging as we do not employ midday supervisors as our students need consistency and familiarity. Over the past years we have had numerous dinner clubs and structured this extremely well, however our students still struggle. In light of COVID-19 we have reviewed the school day and we have shortened dinnertime for our students and this has allowed them to finish earlier at the end of the day. If this continues to be as successful as it has been over the past months, this is something that we will look to make permanent and this will all be in consultation with families and all stakeholders.

Miss Clapham is leading on anti-bullying at Hollinwood Academy and this year for Anti-Bullying Week we have signed up with the Anti-Bullying Alliance to pledge our support to make a difference. We are currently the only school in Oldham to do this.

We believe that young people have the power to make a difference and during Anti-Bullying Week we want to educate and empower the students to stand up and make a difference. During Anti-Bullying Week, students will be learning what makes a strong anti-bullying ambassador and each student who wants to will then pledge to their form why they would be a good candidate. The form will then vote and an anti-bullying ambassador will be appointed to each form. On Friday 20th November, all students appointed as anti-bullying ambassadors will be presented with their badge to wear with pride. There will also be other activities throughout the week, including odd socks day to celebrate being unique.

Let’s see what Miss Shin’s Reception class have been doing this week…

We have had an amazing Autumn in reception! We have had fun making new friends…

Enjoying lots of sensory activities and messy play…

We have learnt all about the weather…

We have been counting…

Making music…

Learning new play skills…

Exploring new areas…

Mark making…

Working together…

Learning new skills…

And most importantly we have been working hard every day to communicate using our words, signs and pictures.

Miss Nuttall’s form have been busy too…

This week has been our first week back after a period of isolation and half term. All the class seem really happy to be back and have engaged well in their learning which has been fantastic to see!

At the beginning of every month, we use tutorial time to focus on our mental health and well-being. We have a booklet (monthly pages) which we discuss and complete. This booklet encourages us to reflect on the previous month and celebrate our achievements. We then set targets for the month ahead. We really enjoy having the time to reflect on things that are important to us as individuals and we like the fact that it allows us to discuss (and set) short term goals that keep us focused on our individual hopes and dreams.

In English this week, we have just started a new novel: ‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz. The novel is about a teenager who is recruited to MI6 as a spy and is full of mystery, action and adventure. We spent some time learning about the author and creating a fact file for him. We also studied some of the front covers and made predictions about the text based on the covers and the blurb.

In art this term, we will be looking at the artist Marcia Baldwin. We have been working on tonal shading and blending with pencil crayons to help give our work a natural effect. Each week, we will look at a different aspect of the artist’s work. This week, the focus was nature. Next week, it will be buildings!

In outdoor education, we have not been able to go out and visit places just yet due to the bubble system at school. As an alternative, we have researched Daisy Nook country park and used google maps to plan a walking route which we will take in the future. In class today, we created a poster to attract visitors to the area. We are extremely proud of the quality of the work produced and found it very difficult to pick our three winners!

In PHSE, we have been working on team working exercises and understanding the importance of working as part of a team. One of our tasks required us to work as part of a team to ‘un-knot’ ourselves! We had to really focus on our listening and communication skills. We also had to show trust in one another!

Every Friday, we have an intervention session. At the moment, we use this time for ‘hot chocolate’ Fridays! We sit together as a class to reflect on the week and complete any unfinished class work. We also give the children an opportunity to complete homework with the support of staff in a classroom environment. Today we have celebrated two birthdays and had a little party to celebrate! We enjoyed playing games and having fun after a brilliant first week back.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs..

  • Miss Shin’s STAR this week is Maleek for settling into his new school well.

  • Miss Marston’s STAR this week is Freya for being amazing all week and starting to use her words. Well done Freya!

  • Miss Parkinson’s STAR of the week is Blaire for settling well back into school and improved behaviour.

  • Miss Parkinson’s SEAL Superstars are Xander and Jacob for being a good friend and helping others.

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Caitlin for working extremely hard this week and really finding her voice.

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Joshua for showing great listening and understanding when people are trying to help.

  • Mrs Halkyard’s STAR of the week is Tyler for always contributing towards lessons.
  • Mrs Halkyard’s SEAL Superstar is is Oliver for being a good friend.
  • Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Gerard for his enthusiasm in lessons.
  • Miss McDonald’s SEAL Superstar is is Ebon for being a good friend.
  • Miss McDonald’s WOW moment is Madison for her effort in Maths and Renico is the DOJO winner. Well done!

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Andie for asking for time out appropriately.

  • Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Ivy for recognising who her friends are and choosing who to play with.

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Byron for making good choices and having a sensible week.

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL Superstar is Nathan for being a good friend and acknowledging different types of relationships.

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

  • Mr Rawson’s STAR of the week is Bronson for working really hard this week and being kind to others.

  • Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Amelia for participating in all your lessons. Well done!

  • Mrs Lomax’s SEAL Superstar is Zachy for thinking about other people and being a good friend to new children in your class.

  • Mrs Lomax’s DOJO winners this week are Lucas, Zachary and Charlie. Well done!

On Wednesday evening we received the latest Government guidance regarding the new lockdown rules that came into place on Thursday 5th November. From this we had to risk assess which students and staff this affected and put measures in place very quickly. We are thankful that school has managed to remain fully open and the virtual learning offer is still in place and working extremely well.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Millard

Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find all our previous blog entries here