12 Mar

It has been absolutely wonderful to open the doors to all of our children and young people on Monday and I’m pleased to say that the overall attendance for the week has been excellent. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of children and young people have settled back into school life and are engaging well with their learning as we would expect.

This week, Mrs Nuttall has started her maternity leave and we cannot wait to share her baby news with you. I am sure you will wish her well as she starts her next adventure and welcomes her bundle of joy into the world.

I am pleased to announce that Miss McDonald and her partner welcomed the safe arrival of their first baby Theo on Sunday 18th February 2021 at 12:45pm, weighing 8lb 3oz. Baby Theo and mum are doing exceptionally well and I have seen a picture of Theo and he is gorgeous. Miss McDonald and her family are now at home resting and settling into their next chapter with their little one. I know both the children and staff cannot wait for a visit and to meet Theo when it is safe to do so.

This Monday was International Women’s Day and a number of activities have happened at Hollinwood Academy to celebrate. During PSHE this week, our children and young people have looked at different inspirational women throughout history including the achievements of Marie Curie. Thanks to her contributions to Science we now have access to a variety of x-ray machines that help revolutionise our NHS.

On Friday we wore something yellow for the Marie Curie Foundation and asked children, young people and staff to bring in £1 for the charity. This charity works to help care for terminal patients and their families and relies on donations to support others. The children, young people and staff have raised over £100 for the foundation. This is amazing and thank you for your support.

This week all of our primary children participated in “Science Week”. Here is Miss Simms, our primary Science curriculum lead, to explain some of the activities that the children took part in….

We focused on celebrating nature, caring for our environment and spent lots of time in our wonderful sensory garden!

We started the week by learning how special trees are and why they should be celebrated. We celebrated our love of trees by all creating a tree decoration for our sensory garden tree. We then learnt how to protect our environment by recycling and reducing our carbon footprint. All of our primary classes now have a paper recycling bin to help us reduce our school waste. We learnt that planting can help reduce our carbon footprint so it’s lucky that we have a new sensory garden to fill! All classes have their very own planter to look after and we have planted lettuce, parsnips, tomatoes – all sorts! We will look after these in class before moving them all to our sensory garden. Finally, we ended the week with a celebration by having a tree party in our classes in the sensory garden. We decorated nature biscuits, told stories, splashed in puddles and drank hot chocolate.

It has been a wonderful and inspiring week and it has taught us how to really appreciate the world around us. Miss Simms even got asked, “When are we going to do Science week again? I am really going to miss it!”

Science week has been lovely for our children and they have gained so much from it. I am also really proud of our sensory garden and I enjoy observing the children using this throughout the day.

Last week, the students in secondary took part in National Careers Week. Here is Mr Hartley, our careers and employability curriculum lead, to explain what happened last week and this week….

Each day they watched a different presentation from the Greater Manchester’s Apprenticeship and Careers Service virtual careers event and heard from Andy Burnham, Sacha Lord, Sean Fielding and Carl Austin-Behan.

On Friday afternoon, the students were given an enterprise task, ‘Oldham’s Dragons’, and they were asked to create and pitch a business idea for a business that they think would help to support our local community. This day gave the students an insight into business and how businesses run. They learnt about the difference between a product and service, how to effectively advertise, how to carry out market research and how to sell a product.

On Thursday this week, Mrs Millard, Miss Gordon and Mrs Needham came into classes to watch the different presentations and were incredibly impressed at what they saw. The students displayed some excellent skills for business, created some fantastic advertisements and logos, had done their market research and knew how to persuade the ‘Dragons’ that their product or service would be a benefit to our community and a worthwhile investment. The senior leadership team had some questions for each group and were impressed at what they saw and the responses that they received. Well done to all those that have participated, you have shown some impressive enterprise skills!

Myself, Miss Gordon and Mrs Needham were overwhelmed with the business and presentational skills from our secondary students. They had really thought about their local community and what was needed. We had a bespoke lawn mowing business, Failsworth centre, animal cafes, COVID PPE, shopping child care services and food bank meal preparations and distribution. They showed an array of skills and I was most impressed with the students’ presentational skills and sales pitches. Well done to all involved.

As we have now returned to full onsite teaching and learning, we have moved back to class and form blogs. This week, we have Mr Corrigan and Mr Hartley’s blogs.

Mr Corrigan’s class…

This half term’s Topic focus is Fur, Skin and Scales.

We have experienced the life cycle of the butterfly through dance in Science.. and in Geography we have explored the world in our Attention Autism sessions.

..and in Geography we have explored the world in our Attention Autism sessions.

We loved visiting the Sensory Garden during Science week and making our tree decorations in our Fine Motor Skills sessions..

We also worked extremely hard making our Mother’s Day presents in Art.

In Maths this half term we have been learning about Measurements in our Attention Autism sessions.

In English our focus story is The Gruffalo. This half term we have been learning through sensory play, art, music and dance, our Gruffalo walks and engaging in our activity areas.

We have also been using Colourful Semantics to observe the world around us and help with our Speech & Language work.

In PE this term we have had fun testing our balance and co-ordination.

We have also added the parachute to our Sensory Circuit which has been a huge hit with the children and has benefitted them greatly.

Mr Hartley’s class…

This week the students had a visit from Mrs Millard’s husband, Steven, who works for the prison service. Steven gave the students lots of information about the roles within the prison service and his role as a custody officer. He discussed the challenges of the job, the responsibilities that he has, the offenders that he works with and the prison that he works at; amongst many other things. The students had lots of questions for Steven and were excited to learn so much about the prison service. They particularly enjoyed it when he discussed incidents that he has dealt with and his part on the Tornado Team and the responsibilities that they have of dealing with dangerous situations including riots.

This was another extremely valuable and worthwhile experience for our students, and they are all engaged and enjoying their Police Academy lessons each week.

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs..

  • Miss Shin’s STAR this week is Maya for an amazing week at school and working hard and eating your dinner.

  • Miss Marston’s STAR this week is Arissa for being amazing this week! She has blown us away with her speech. She has said “good morning” and “good bye” and today she said all of her phonics sounds. We are so proud of her.

  • Miss Parkinson’s STARs of the week are Blaire, Cole and Xander for having a great first week back in school!

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Caitlin for having an outstanding week and being a bundle of positive energy.

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Lewis for a brilliant first week back and being very vocal in lessons.

  • Mrs Halkyard’s STAR of the week is Jake for adjusting well to being back and sharing his feelings.
  • Mrs Halkyard’s WOW winner is Marcus for his super contribution to the school council meeting.
  • Mrs Halkyard’s DOJO winner is Josh. Well done!

  • Miss Prescott’s STAR of the week is Ebon for working well and trying hard in Maths.
  • Miss Prescott’s SEAL of the week is Zakariya for knowing the difference between feeling proud and boasting.

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Essah for being a superstar on his first week back at school!

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Byron for having a great first week back in school.

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL of the week is Ethan for feeling proud and trying his best.

  • Miss Tootill’s DOJO winner is Nathan. Well done!

  • Miss Collinge’s STAR of the week is Ijaaz for amazing communication and super talking.

  • Miss Collinge’s SEAL Superstars are Shayan and Lenni for being a good friend and taking turns.

  • Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Charlie for having a fantastic week.

  • Mrs Lomax’s DOJO winner is Zachary. Well done!

Now to our ‘Commitment to Learning Stars’:

I think it is safe to say we have had an extremely busy and successful week at Hollinwood Academy. With the successful return of the whole school I have consulted with the secondary teachers and they all feel it will benefit the students to return to face to face teaching as soon as possible. I have therefore updated our risk assessment and plans will be in place for Monday 15th March for face to face teaching to resume. All students will remain static within their form classrooms and the subject teachers will travel between classes to teach the students. Teacher zones have been designed for classrooms to ensure social distancing can continue to be adhered to where possible.

I must reiterate how immensely proud I am of our children and young people and how well they have settled and engaged back into school life. I feel the protocols we have in place to reduce risk and keep everyone as safe as possible are working well and are very effective. We constantly update and review the risk assessments while monitoring the R rate of infection within our locality. As always, any changes to the risk assessment will be communicated to families and updated on our website.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Mrs Millard

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