06 May

Fridays come around even more quickly when we’ve had a Bank Holiday, although we’ve still managed to pack a tremendous amount of work in despite the shorter week.

This week saw our second Parents’ Evening on Tuesday. We were delighted to welcome so many parents and families into the school. Thank you to all of you who gave us feedback. I’d like to include some quotes from parents here in response to the question, ‘What do you feel went well?’:

  • Everything!
  • Having plenty of time to see all of the teachers, their honest and supportive feedback.
  • The general welcoming and friendly atmosphere of the school and all who work there.
  • We were given honest information about our son, and we can believe what we were told.
  • He had a fantastic 1st parents’ evening. I cannot fault anything. I have never got so emotional before.
  • The best decision we made to move him here. Thank you.

And, although of course I’m biased, I should also include some comments we received around ‘It would have been better if’:

  • Maybe more feedback on what we can do at home.
  • There was some time waiting to see teachers as appointments had overrun.
  • Didn’t have time to see all the teachers.
  • Would have been nice to have been able to get a drink.

The vast majority of feedback was positive, and in relation to the above suggestions we will look at reviewing how we schedule appointments, arrange some meetings and training around working with your child at home, and see if we can provide some refreshments. All suggestions welcomed!

This week also saw our termly Pupil Council meeting. Some of the decisions taken at the meeting this time include:

  • Uniform for 6th Form. Grace presented a case to the council that pupils above Year 11 should not need to wear uniform since most 6th Form colleges, including New Bridge 6th Form, do not require a uniform. The council agreed with a good majority and I’m pleased to say that Mr Quinn and the Leadership Team agreed with their proposition at their meeting this morning.
  • Fundraising for POINT. This time the council vote was unanimous and they agreed that they would like the school to participate in a fundraising day for POINT (Parents of Oldham in Touch). Many of the pupils knew that their families had been supported by POINT and were keen to be involved. More information will follow soon.
  • Sports Day. The council are keen to hold a sports day near the end of term. It was agreed that Hollinwood Academy would work with New Bridge School to create an Olympics themed sports event during the last week of term. Again, more information to follow soon.

I’m very pleased that the Pupil Council have nominated POINT as one of the charities they would like to support. If any families haven’t already heard of the services and support provided by POINT, please have a look at their website here. As an example of how they work closely with us to provide support and advice to families, they have contacted school this week to inform us about some free training which is aimed primarily at parents, and they have asked me to share the link (click here)  and this information:

“This free online short course is designed to help you learn more about autism, Asperger’s and ADHD, their differences and the importance of understanding the classification, assessment and diagnosis.
In this course you will consider the often fine-lines between autism, Asperger’s and the subtypes of ADHD, as well as explore your own perceptions and assumptions of autism and ADHD along with commonly-held assumptions of classification and assessment.
Enrol on this course for your opportunity to receive up to 12 hours of CPD training and use it as a career progression tool.”

I’d also like to thank Christine Oxley, our school nurse, this week as she has provided further training and organised a workshop for families focusing on sleep. Sleep (or lack of it) is a huge issue for many of our families and Christine has liaised with the charity Cerebra to put on a ‘Sleep Workshop’ for families which has been very well attended here at Hollinwood Academy. If you missed it this time, please contact Christine and she will either advise individually or let you know when the opportunity might be coming up again in the future.

This week my photographs of pupils at work focus on Miss Parkinson’s Year 3 and 4 class. The pupils have been working hard on their topic of castles and medieval times. In music the group have been learning to play the ukulele, developing the skills to play medieval style music..

music 1 music 2

They have also been learning some medieval dances..

dance 1 dance 2
Here you can see them building their own model castles..

 

They have also each designed their own shield and role-played being Knights..

shield 1 shield 2 shield 4 shield 5

They have also been cooking, and have tried tasting foods which might have been eaten in medieval times. I think they preferred the modern biscuits over the seeded bread, plain porridge and dry chicken!

 

The class are looking forward to a trip in a couple of weeks to see a real castle. I am sure they will take lots of photographs for us to share.

As you can see from all of the activities above, Miss Parkinson’s class have developed great skills in working together, being part of a group, taking turns and listening to each other – all building great social interaction skills. This is a huge achievement for the group and I know that Miss Parkinson is extremely proud. It hasn’t happened by accident. The group participate in circle time sessions on a regular basis. This week the sessions have focused on ‘what is good about me and what makes me special’..

circle time 1 circle time 2 circle time 4
Finally from Miss Parkinson’s class, a photograph of Maia reading a story she has written to the rest of the class. Maia has gained in confidence and is a very popular and sociable member of the class. She also wrote a fantastic story which was enjoyed by all her friends..

Maia's story

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

Mrs Dunsdon’s class – Essah for excellent improvement in Literacy..

Star Essah

Mrs Lomax’ class – Lucas for trying hard with all his learning, especially his animal learning in Science..

Star Lucas
Mr Corrigan’s class – Alivia for working independently with her shape work in Maths and not giving up..

Alivia star
Miss Parkinson’s class – Maia for becoming more confident in class and always trying her hardest..

Star Maia

Mrs Halkyard’s class – Kyle as he has had a lovely attitude and has generally been a lovely member of the class..

star Kyle
Mrs Mayall’s class – Macauley for working well with others, being polite and making the right choices..

Star Macauley

 

And my ‘Head Teacher’s Awards’ go to:

Maia because she ‘always’ works hard. Also, Maia is a wonderful advocate for the school. Whenever I show visitors around Maia is always the first to very politely greet us and answer questions appropriately about the school. Well done, Maia!

head teacher Maia
..and Macauley. Macauley has only recently joined the school and initially found it hard getting to know everyone and making new friends. I am extremely pleased that within just three weeks he has developed lovely, positive relationships with his classmates and others throughout the school. He is now more confident and sociable and it is wonderful to hear that he has been working so well with others on activities in class. Well done, Macauley!

Head teacher Macauley

Have a lovely weekend all, and enjoy the sunshine.

Sarah

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham