15 Jan

I must start my blog this week by commending our KS4 students who have amazed me this week as they started their MOCK exams amidst this global pandemic and lockdown. The commitment they have shown to their learning and exams has been exemplary! We have had students on site sitting their exams in the sports hall, conference room and equally some of these have taken place virtually as some of the students did not want to attend school to carry these out. This did not stop us at Hollinwood Academy and Mrs Needham has gone above and beyond to think creatively, inclusively and innovatively to include all students and accommodate their needs the very best that we can. It has been an intense week for them but they have handled it greatly with the majority of students taking two exams per day. One week done and another two to go – you can do this, keep going and we are so proud of you.

Here are some of the highlights from our classes and forms this week:

Mr Rawson’s class…

We have looked forward to returning to school after the Christmas break and the class were glad to get back to see staff and friends.

We have also decided to build a bird feeding station which is great for the students’ wellbeing and the boys have worked hard constructing the Bird House and feeder station (under close supervision from Mr Rawson and Mr Harris). The boys really enjoyed getting their hands on the wood and tools and have been really keen to complete the feeder station, which has been put up at the rear of the play area so that other classes can also enjoy the birds and wildlife visiting the feeder station.

As part of this wellbeing programme, the class are taking part in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch on Friday 29th January, where they observe the area for 1 hour and record the different species of birds and wildlife which visit. This data is then passed on to the RSPB to help with the survey.

Miss Daniel’s form…

During living skills the children have been learning about chores they do at home and what age different chores may be appropriate for. The children were then asked to write down how they would do each chore step by step. Bobby has shown this using his Tortoise as an example..

The children were asked to create some shapes, pictures and patterns in a choice of colours to represent winter music, the children really enjoyed this task. Here is Katie’s piece..

This week, the students in class have taken the opportunity to learn some new skills during Lego Therapy. We have been learning that communication is key to ensure successful team work. We have taken turns to try each role and hopefully next week we will be able to show you our finished result.

Miss Rudge is thrilled as all of our Primary students have successfully gained their Arts Award Discover accreditation for their hard work last term. Miss Rudge explained… ‘that despite the changes and uncertainty, our very talented pupils were able to remain wonderfully creative throughout. I am so proud of them all 😊!’

Mrs Halkyard’s class…

Our weekly project was to create characters out of toilet rolls, here are our creations..

We also made some edible creations. Chris and Jake both made pizzas and George made a chocolate cake. George also made some fabulous maracas..

We shared a video of us playing some letter games in school which some children then played at home..

Miss McDonald’s class…

We have had fun learning this week both at home and in school. In Maths we have been learning all about symmetry and have been identifying lines of symmetry in the letters of the alphabet. We also made our own symmetrical bugs and learnt about how the number of legs double when we unfolded our piece of paper.

In phonics and English this week Miss McDonald pre-recorded a sensory walk video and the children had to watch and listen to the video and identify what they could see and hear. Some of the children could also explain what Miss McDonald may have felt, smelt and tasted on her walk. The children learning in school this week went on their own sensory walk around the playground and some children at home also went on a sensory walk with parents.

We have been keeping active too by taking part in yoga lessons and just dance activities..

The children in class also took part in a sensory circuit activity; there were a number of stations focused on physical activity, fine motor skills and our senses..

In living skills this week, the children were challenged with completing a chore a day either at home or in school. The teachers are super impressed with the independence the children have shown in this activity. Some children prepared toast and sandwiches for themselves, other children helped to wash the pots..

Miss Carpenter’s food technology lessons…

In food technology, our topic has been based on vitamins and minerals and what these can do for our health. Year 9 focused on an activity which looks at the different parts of the body and how these vitamins and minerals can help specific regions. We had planned on building up our skeletons in class but unfortunately only a few of our students could do that. However, our home learning students did their best to improvise and we’ve had some great outcomes.

I’m so pleased that some of you are still attempting to cook at home, even under the difficult circumstances. One of our Year 8 students must have known what the weather was going to be very chilly this week and he made a delicious stew and dumplings. The dicing technique and dumpling shaping look amazing and very professional. Well done!!

Miss Shin’s class…

After coming back from the Christmas break, the children have loved playing outside in the rain and the snow. We have also been learning to work as a group and, as you can see from the pictures, the children have been working together and playing together..

Along with this, we have been exploring winter through lots of sensory play – we have been painting using cold colours, freezing water and figuring out how to melt the ice (salt worked the best!)..

..making ice suncatchers and watching them melt..

..and dressing for winter..

The children have also enjoyed learning to brush their teeth!

Mrs Lomax’s class…

This term we have been learning about the body and the systems in the body. As part of this children both in school and those doing learning from home have been busy making a life-size cardboard cut-out of themselves. Each week they are adding to the cardboard cut-out the different part of the body they have been learning about..

Miss Bones’ form…

We have been working on our independence, living and money management skills. The class were asked to create a shopping list of items they would need to make a sandwich. Once they had done this they had to look up the items on two different supermarkets and compare the differences in prices. The class had the opportunity to make their own sandwich/toast..

Another member of our class also practised his independence/living skills this week and made his very own beef stew and dumplings! We know Miss Carpenter was very impressed with Lucas..

Miss Marston’s class…

We have been very busy this week. We have been learning about hygiene and how to brush our teeth!

We have also been very creative and have made lots of play dough for our fine motor sessions in the afternoons..

For our attention autism sessions we had a great time with the watering can and umbrella!

We’ve had a lot of fun!

The students have enjoyed participating in Yoga within school and at home. Yoga is a great form of exercise with lots of benefits such as developing listening skills, balance, flexibility and developing student self-regulation. In a time where it can be difficult to exercise regularly outside yoga is a great activity to take part in. As you can see from our wonderful pictures many of our students are enjoying yoga 😊

Don’t forget we share a weekly seated yoga video on our school social media. Why not get involved? You can also find all our sessions on our website here.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs…

  • Miss Shin’s STAR this week is Ohud for trying new food!

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Joshua for his positive attitude in all activities and lessons this week. Observing Joshua so comfortable, content and happy within himself has been lovely to see..

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Brooke for showing great encouragement to her friends this week and being supportive of their accomplishments..

  • Miss McDonald’s STARs of the week are Madison for being brave at her hospital appointment yesterday and Corey for his attitude to remote learning and being fully engaged in all the activities set for him and for persevering when he finds it difficult.
  • Miss McDonald’s DOJO winner is Fatima.

  • Miss Simms’ STARs of the week are Ivy, Andie, Ismaeel and Alfie for coping well with all of the changes..

Now to our ‘Commitment to Learning Stars’:

Please do contact school if we can help in anyway, we are here for all students and their families.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Mrs Millard

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