08 Jul

Another busy week at Hollinwood Academy and we have had much to celebrate as we approach the end of term.

Firstly some good news regarding staff recruitment:

  • Congratulations to ALL of our apprentice teaching assistants. Miss Richardson, Miss Peak, Mr Savage, Miss Ninian and Miss Wheeler have all been offered permanent positions as teaching assistants on completion of their associated qualifications. Well done to all of them. After their tremendously hard work this year I am delighted that they will all continue to be part of the staff team.
  • Our new teachers in the secondary department have all visited now and met their new form groups. Miss Gordon joins us from Failsworth School. She will be working with the new nurture group and leading on behaviour; Miss McMurray will be joining us as a newly qualified teacher, leading a Key Stage 3 form group and teaching ICT; and Miss Rudge will be joining us from Newman College, again leading a Key Stage 3 form group and teaching performance and visual arts. I am very excited about the new staff joining our already outstanding team. They will bring experience and skills from mainstream secondary schools as well as adding to the breadth of knowledge across the curriculum and, of course, a wealth of experience and understanding of pupils on the autistic spectrum.
  • We have also recruited two Pastoral Co-ordinators – one at Key Stages 1 and 2, and another at Key Stages 3 and 4. The addition of these non-class based staff will provide invaluable pastoral support outside of the classroom. This will include interventions – small group and individual sessions focused on social, emotional and communication support and strategies, as well as multi-agency co-ordination, family liaison and support for parents and carers. We have been able to recruit two very skilled and experienced members of staff to these positions who are already working within the New Bridge Group. Miss Williams has been working within our primary department this year and will take up the role of Pastoral Co-ordinator for Key Stages 1 and 2, and Mrs Ismail, who has been working as a Pastoral Manager in Year 7 at New Bridge, will take up the role of Pastoral Co-ordinator for Key Stages 3 and 4. I am sure that families will quickly benefit from the expert input of these two colleagues. I feel that this development is a very positive one for the school.

Secondly, our Year 6 pupils have much reason to celebrate. All of our pupils have made tremendous progress and teacher assessments for the class show how far our Year 6s have come since joining us. I am particularly proud of our two boys – Ryan and Ryan in Mrs Halkyard’s class – who took the national SATs tests and surpassed the level required to demonstrate that they are working at levels expected for the end of Key Stage 2. Our first year’s results for end of Key Stage reporting are setting a high standard at a 100% success rate. Well done boys, and well done to the staff who supported them.

As a whole New Bridge Group staff team we also had cause to celebrate on Tuesday evening this week. The staff training focused on aspiration and inspirational outcomes. It was a great pleasure to hear from ex-New Bridge pupils who have gone on to gain employment, independence and achieve successes at every level. The New Bridge Group has always led the way in terms of raising expectations and changing outcomes for pupils, devising innovative pathways and progression routes to support young people in reaching and extending their potential. I felt very proud of all of the young people and felt inspired by staff relating how the impact of interventions and support in school have changed lives. I look forward to hearing from our ‘to-be ex-Hollinwood Academy pupils’ in the future and tracking their progression and successes. I know that many will go on to achieve in whichever field they choose to pursue. (Maybe you can tell that I’m beginning to get emotional about leaving the organisation?!)

Our governing body also had cause to celebrate on Thursday evening with some extremely positive reporting. All of our stakeholders have fed back to the school just how successful they feel our first year has been. Our numbers have grown ahead of the expected schedule. Our parents and carers have paid us numerous compliments and been overwhelmingly delighted with progress made. Our staff team is growing and we have recruited even more outstanding professionals. We have been visited by other schools and colleagues from around the country. I have also noted many comments made by other professionals, including those who have been in to observe our pupils who are on assessment places here. We have had a significant number of pupils who have been placed here in critical situations following the breakdown of their previous placement. In every such case, the outcome of assessment reviews has been that these pupils should remain with us on a formalised basis, and the assessment reports from colleagues such as educational psychologists have noted significant progress in relation to academic skills, confidence and self-esteem, social interaction, and attendance. This is testament to the hard work of the team, but also evidence of just how necessary a provision like Hollinwood Academy was for our children and families.

Our final celebration for the week will be on Saturday when many of us will be joining Miss Holland to celebrate her marriage. She will be back in work next week as Mrs Davies, then flying off to Vegas during the summer for her honeymoon.

This week’s class focus has been our two upper Key Stage 2 classes – Mrs Halkyard’s and Mrs Mayall’s groups. In literacy the classes have been working hard on creating their own ‘mini-sagas’ based on stories from ancient history. The group have created their own extended pieces of writing which were very impressive – great storytelling..

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Today they have gone into Manchester to the cinema. The trip isn’t just an end of term treat though, they have been working on road safety skills and developing the confidence to purchase their own tickets and travel on public transport – important independent living skills. Here are some photographs of them practising keeping safe and crossing over roads..

 

I hope the weather isn’t too bad for them as they have walked to the tram station and it does look like rain. Maybe they were tempting fate when they experimented with making tornados in their science lesson..

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And finally, Miss Holland’s approaching wedding created some interest and discussion around how such occasions are celebrated in different cultures. Here you can see the group dressing Miss Holland up in a white gown …. made out of toilet paper! As the forecast is for rain at the weekend I do hope her actual gown is a little more substantial! I wonder if Miss Ninian will be next – she’s practising with the dress – watch out for the bouquet Miss Ninian!

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

Mrs Dunsdon’s class – Charlie, for showing amazing sewing skills..

Charlie star

Mrs Lomax’ class – Luke, for trying new skills and being a good role model..

Luke star

Mr Corrigan’s class – Josh, for excellent concentration in lessons..

Josh star

Miss Parkinson’s class – Ellie, for making the right choices and showing super listening all week..

Ellie star

Mrs Halkyard’s class – Karl, for great contribution in literacy..

Karl star

Mrs Mayall’s class – Tobias, for being a great team player..

Tobias star

And my ‘Head Teacher’s Awards’ go to:

Charlie – I am very impressed with Charlie’s developing skills and confidence in all areas and was amazed that he has shown himself to be such an expert with a needle and thread. Well done, Charlie!

Charlie headteacher

Ellie – Ellie is one of those pupils who could receive an award every week. She is consistently hard-working and is a focused pupil as well as a good friend to her classmates. I can see that she is really ready to move into Upper Key Stage 2 in September. Well done, Ellie!

Ellie headteacher

This will be the last week for Star of the Week and Headteacher Awards as next week will focus on our Sports Day Awards.

Sports Day will be held on Thursday 14th July in the afternoon. Parents and carers are invited to watch the activities but please complete the slip from the letter sent out this week so we know numbers attending. We have arranged two parts to the afternoon and classes will be joining in the fun at the following times:

1.15pm until 2pm – Mrs. Dunsdon (Reception), Mrs. Lomax (KS1LX) and Mr. Corrigan (KS2CN)
2pm until 2.45pm – Miss Parkinson (KS2PN), Mrs. Halkyard (KS2RS) and Miss Mayall (KS2ML)

We are asking parents to only attend the session that your child’s class is involved in as we will have limited seating. You may take your child home with you when their session has finished if you wish. If you child normally goes home on transport, please could you let the transport department know beforehand. Your child will need their PE kit on the day, if it is not already in school. We will also be having a parents’ race, so please dust off your trainers if you would like to take part!

So, one more week until the end of Hollinwood Academy’s first year. Staff and children are getting tired but holding some energy in reserve for Sports Day.

Have a relaxing weekend if possible and let’s hope the tornados hold off at least for the wedding,

Sarah

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