18 Mar

I can’t believe how quickly this term is flying by. Just another (short) week and we are into the Easter holidays. It goes without saying that we have been busy yet again at Hollinwood Academy.

This week has been very active. Our swimming groups have all been swimming many lengths in order to pile up the miles for Sports Relief, and every class has been involved in running a mile as part of their PE lessons. Here are some photos of the Reception class running, hopping, skipping and dancing through their miles in the sports hall at New Bridge..

 

Our pupils also participated in the Ability Counts multi sports roadshow on Wednesday which you can find out more about here.

Wednesday was a particularly busy day, as we were also delighted to host a Sensory Needs Workshop delivered by the National Autistic Society. The feedback has been extremely positive and many of our families benefited from the input. We hope that this involvement will continue and extend so that our families are able to receive the most up-to-date advice and support. Look out for information on a further workshop provided by our school nurse, Christine Oxley, in partnership with the charity ‘Cerebra’ – they will be holding a sleep workshop for parents and carers of children aged up to 10 on Friday 6th May here at Hollinwood Academy.

Pupil reviews have continued through this week. Mrs Watson has been busy keeping up-to-date with progress, involving children so that the meetings are child-centred and ensuring that information is shared – successes are celebrated and areas for development are clearly targeted. All the reviews have also been attended by each child’s form teacher who knows the child well. Family feedback from the reviews has been 100% positive and we have had some lovely comments made on our feedback forms, including:

  •  Information well presented, easy to follow and clear to see who had contributed which comments. Plenty of time to discuss and contribute further, did not feel rushed. I came away knowing what our child, ourselves and school needed to do next. Nice, informal and friendly atmosphere.
  • I was very impressed with the level of understanding regards to my child’s needs/difficulties and the approach being taken by the members of staff who deal with him on a daily basis.
  • I feel the meeting was relaxed and informal which I think is good.
  • We feel that our child is finally enjoying school and has really come on in the last few months and his review has given us hope for his future, something we didn’t have before. All positives on the board instead of negatives, we left school that day feeling positive.
  • I liked how Catherine was very thorough in her presentation and enthusiastic in resolving issues. I felt Mr Corrigan gave a great response to how my daughter can improve, and feel safe. She is getting the correct support with such passionate and great teachers.

Sensory needs do feature highly in teachers’ planning here at Hollinwood Academy across the curriculum. Back in the Reception class, here you can see how a multi-sensory approach to literacy helps to reinforce learning. Pupils are motivated by the range of sensory experiences and refining motor skills using a range of different materials such as soap, sand, clay etc. helps the children to learn letter formation as they develop their fine motor skills..

 

Also on a sensory needs theme, pupils in the Reception class have enjoyed extending their continuous play provision into the playground, again accessing a range of different sensory experiences, developing their sense of touch and, in some cases, overcoming intolerances and gaining confidence in trying out different things. As you can see, the group are also developing social skills and interacting positively with each other..

sensory play 1 sensory play 2 sensory play 3

We have all enjoyed some improvement in the weather this week as it really starts to feel like Spring. Although the pupils are encouraged to get outside whatever the weather, this week has been so pleasant, with increasing amounts of sunshine, that the Reception class have had lots of time in outdoor play, enjoying games with each other, developing social and communication skills, and playing on the outdoor equipment, developing gross motor skills..

 

I have also included some photographs of work inside the Reception class to show how the focus on sensory needs, including lots of play, social interaction, motor skills development etc. progresses towards a more structured and perhaps traditional approach. Here you can see pupils working on sentence structure..

sentences 1

spelling..

words 1 words 2 words 3

and addition..

 

Great foundations for learning form the basis for successful academic progress.

Our busy week has ended with a visit from the dentist. Now, even I find a trip to the dentist a little scary so I have been super impressed with our pupils who have been happy to have their teeth checked and cleaned, including some of our youngest children who have been very brave indeed. Here are some pictures of Thomas from the Reception class in the dentist’s chair..

dentist 1 dentist 2

..and coming out smiling with his new toothbrush..

dentist 3

This week’s ‘Star of the Week’ awards have gone to:

Mrs Dunsdon’s class – Zachary for always working hard to achieve his targets..

Zach star
Mrs Lomax’ class – Nimra for following rules and routines..

Nimra star

Also, James was awarded the PE trophy..

James PE trophy
Mr Corrigan’s class – Joshua for being really engaged in lessons and frequently putting his hand up to answer questions..

Josh star

Miss Parkinson’s class – the whole group for trying really hard when things have been different..

Miss Parkinson's stars
Mrs Halkyard’s class – Caitlin for joining in with group discussions really well..

Caitlin star

And my ‘Head Teacher’s Awards’ go to:

Caitlin and Joshua, both for excellent participation..

Josh headteacher

Caitlin headteacher

Josh and Caitlin are both two of our newer pupils and I have been very impressed with their developing confidence in class. They have been joining in with group discussions, asking questions and communicating with others. Well done, both of you!

We break up next Thursday 24th March so I won’t be writing my next blog until after the Easter holidays. I hope you all have a lovely break and the weather continues to improve,

Sarah

  • Graham talks about the implications of the massive changes to the education system in his blog here