19 Mar

This week has been really positive! Secondary staff and students have embraced the return of face to face teaching and this has been received really well. Staff and students are happy and the corridors feel alive again. As you know, the students are remaining static in their form classes and subject teachers are moving from class to class. All staff and secondary students are carrying out the home asymptomatic testing and all results have returned as negative. As always, we will continue to monitor the R rate nationally and regionally as everyone’s safety is our main priority.

I have been asked by Oldham local authority to share the message below from Richard Lynch, Director of Education, Skills and Early Years, with parents and carers:

“As your children return to school or college, we want to thank your efforts to support their learning during lockdown and ask for your continued support in tackling Coronavirus over the coming period.

It was great to see good attendance on Monday but need your help to carry on with this start. It is vital that our children and young people return to school and college, for their wellbeing and to get back on track with learning.

We know that good attendance at school and college supports better outcomes in terms of mental health, achievement and progression. These in turn lead to better employment opportunities in the future. Let’s help our children and young people get back into the classroom and back on track.

Schools and colleges have Covid-safe measures in place to ensure that children, young people and staff are safe.  If you have concerns about returning, schools and colleges want to work with you to bring your child back in – lets work together to get back to some normality.

Young people, their families and school staff have embraced the need to follow the national guidance around Coronavirus testing. It is important that we all do what we can to stop the virus from getting into our schools.”

On Tuesday evening, we had our full governors body meeting for this term. Within this meeting we discussed the following:

  • Head’s report focusing on COVID-19 impact that included: risk assessments, update on COVID-19, remote learning, well-being and the COVID-19 grant
  • School information
  • Safeguarding and attendance
  • Finances
  • School development plan updates
  • Admissions policy
  • Holiday pattern 2021/2022

The governors were exceptionally impressed with the attendance of our children and young people from the 8th March and equally impressed with the 90% of them that accessed online learning during Lockdown 3. I was then asked what support we put in place for the remaining 10% of our children and young people that did not engage in our online learning offer. I explained that 4% of our families asked for paper-based copies and the remaining 6% really struggled to distinguish between home and school and they had a bespoke offer put in place. All of the above would not be possible without the tireless hard work and dedication that the staff give day in day out and this shone thoroughly with the governors. They were equally impressed with the children and young people at Hollinwood Academy in terms of their resilience when faced with such challenging times. I also shared the EHCP home learning opportunities with the governors and discussed the impact this has had on the children and young people while in Lockdown 3 and I would just like to echo what Richard Lynch, Director of Education, Skills and Early Years, stated and thank our families for all your support during another lockdown.

Another big focus point was the COVID-19 Grant. Hollinwood Academy have invested in a number of educational, ICT and intervention programmes, classroom resources, sensory equipment, developed our sensory garden and much more over the past few months to help support all our children and young people. We are also looking to invest some of the funding on physical wellbeing for our students and hope to share our plans in the new term.

The governors also agreed the school’s admission policy for September 2022 as this needed submitting to the Local Authority. The holiday calendar for the next academic year was agreed and sent to families on Thursday as I know some families have requested this.

It was a very challenging meeting as the governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school, focusing on: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable Hollinwood Academy to run as effectively as possible and they are there to stretch and challenge myself with the operational and strategical running of the school. However, I ended the meeting Tuesday evening with a sense of pride and admiration for our school community.

On Friday, we celebrated Red Nose Day and this year it’s never felt more important to have some fun and raise money to support people living incredibly tough lives. Across the school all staff, children and young people were invited to come into school on Friday in their own clothes and donate a £1 to Comic Relief. Thank you for your support with this.

At primary, the children have taken part in a number of Comic Relief activities. This year’s focus has been to share a smile and use the power of funny to turn laughs into lasting change. Staff have been busy recording jokes which have been shared with the children during Friday. It was a very enjoyable day listening to all the jokes.

All staff and children have also taken part in our laps for our Sir Tom challenge. This has involved everyone within their own bubbles doing laps outside the front of the building. The laps were made even more challenging by obstacles and challenges to complete on the way round! Each bubble has recorded their total number of laps and we will see which bubble has completed the most laps!

The children have also been invited to join in with a very unusual exercise video by Nemo and Dory who were revealed at the end to be our very own Mr Heap and Miss Tootill!

During our PSHRE lessons this week, the children have been learning about the history and aims of Comic Relief and enjoyed activities of designing comic relief noses to t-shirts. The children have also been learning about the positive effects of smiling on our mental wellbeing.

We aim to cover the windows at the front of the building with smiles and every child has been busily making a smile to display in the windows. There have been some very glittery ones from Miss Shin’s class!

Hopefully, all these smiles will make everyone coming into Hollinwood smile!

At Secondary, the students took part in ‘Share a Smile’ campaign and shared their own favourite jokes with the school community. Each classed shared these outside their form rooms – they were very funny.

In the afternoon, some students took part in a lap around the playground race to see how many laps of the playground they could do within a set time. Staff also took part in an egg and spoon race and students took part by guessing how many laps they thought the staff member would complete.

Thank you for your support in making this day a success and I will reveal the total raised in next week’s blog.

Let’s see what some of our classes have been doing this week, starting with Mr Rawson’s class…

This week the class have been busy in Art creating African influenced Kente Cloth patterns using elastic bands and cardboard.

The class has also done some Australian Indigenous paintings using the shape of their hands and dabbing paint with a round object!

Maths this week has been about Subtracting decimals and the class have done really well. 

In PSHCE the class have been learning how to be a good friend and have created their own mnemonics from the word “friends”

The class have also enjoyed some sensory activities this week and have been creating huge bubbles with a bubble rope….

Finally the class enjoying Mr Heap’s Red Nose Day circuit:

Mrs Lerigo’s class…

We have had another busy week. Our topic this half term in Maths is measure. We have been measuring our feet, hands and our bodies.

We have been using different items to measure with. We have used bricks, hands and will be looking at other ways that we can measure, for example using string, a tape measure or a ruler. 

This week we made Chefs hats. We used a ruler to measure lines to create the poufy part of the hat, and then measured the circumferences of our heads to make the hats the correct size.

We are wearing these hats when we serve our cakes at the class shop on Friday.

In food technology we have made chocolate bounty bars and cupcakes. To make the bounty bars we mixed coconut with condensed milk and then moulded the mixture into rectangles. We then put the rectangle mixture in the freezer to harden. Once hard we dipped them in milk chocolate. Yum!

We made our cupcakes in a special machine called a ‘Cupcake Maker’. We made them with wholemeal flour to make them a bit healthier. We are going to sell these on Friday at our mini-enterprise morning.

We have been selling the things we make , we are the future entrepreneurs….. we have currently made around £60.00. We hope to put his toward the end of term celebration party. 

In English we have been using colourful Semantics to create our own sentences about a story and we all made a sentence using the pictures. We then read the sentences together. Brilliant work!

We have continued to practise our new sensory circuit programme and have even been trying the plank. It is very difficult but we are all improving this move. Why don’t you give it a go!?

We are proud of you every day and every week, and you deserve all the recognition in the world for your resilience and ability to always smile and bring joy to those you meet. We are looking forward to the rest of the term. 

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs

  • Miss Shin’s STAR this week is Louis for a great first week at school and fantastic communication.

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Brooke for being a fantastic teacher this week in her Attention Autism session.

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Caitlin for understanding that she needed her ear defenders and asking for them. Fantastic communication!

  • Mr Corrigan’s WOW moment goes to Lewis for making great progress with his lunch this week.

  • Mrs Halkyard’s STAR of the week is Marley for keeping calm in difficult situations.
  • Mrs Halkyard’s SEAL of the week is Oliver for understanding the difference between boasting and being proud and always being supportive of his peers.
  • Mrs Halkyard’s DOJO winner is Josh. Well done!

  • Miss Prescott’s STAR of the week is Renico for outstanding Money work in Maths.
  • Miss Prescott’s SEALs of the week are Zack and Connor for making a new friendship in class.
  • Miss Prescott’s DOJO winner is Corey. Well done!

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Andie for knowing what to do when she is upset.

  • Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Ismaeel for knowing the difference between boasting and feeling proud.

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Thomas for having a great week and making us proud.

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL of the week is Thomas for knowing how to be assertive without upsetting anyone.

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

  • Miss Collinge’s STAR of the week is Daniel for trying hard to work independently and practising his waving!

  • Mrs Lomax’s STAR of the week is Prez for helping his friends when they’ve found something difficult.
  • Mrs Lomax’s DOJO winner is Harrison. Well done!

Now to our ‘Commitment to Learning Stars’:

This week, we have said goodbye to Mr Hilldrup, our caretaker, as he has retired this week. Mr Hilldrup has been a valuable member of staff and we wish him all the best as he starts his retirement and puts his feet up. Mr Hilldrup was extremely humbled by everyone’s gifts, cards and kind words – he was emotional as he was leaving. We will all miss him.

I am pleased to inform our families that Mr Crowther who has worked across both Hollinwood Academy and New Bridge School for the last three years will be taking over as our full-time caretaker. We are thrilled that Mr Crowther will be fully supporting Hollinwood Academy and he is just as excited to start as we are.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Mrs Millard

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