26 Jan

WOW, what a week! We have had mock exams, canvas prints delivered, new display boards, learning walks, a football tournament, new staff, new pupils and the return of Mr Heap.

We have had a big focus on our learning environment at Hollinwood over the past few weeks. We were fortune to have a visit from a professional photographer, I am Sam Photography, last term and he took some amazing pictures of our pupils, so much so that we have now displayed these on black and white canvas prints around school..

I have had so many lovely comments about the pictures. We have to say a huge thank you to the students of the New Bridge IT pathway, Digit4ll, and Mr Slater at Medtia for our canvas prints. We have invited them to Hollinwood to look at their prints on display and meet the lovely pupils in person. We look forward to their visit!

Mrs Dunsdon and her team have been busy bees making the canteen, common room and conference room look beautiful with new display boards. I have also enjoyed and taken pride in looking at the wonderful work on display by the pupils..

The pupils love the Flamenco lady and have been reading and researching the information on the boards..

Myself and the other members of the Senior Leadership Team have been conducting learning walks at primary and secondary. One thing is for sure, I feel particularly proud of our pupils and how they continue to develop, and of our school and our staff. I love doing ‘my rounds’, popping into class each day to keep up with what is going on. I have been very impressed with the level of focus and engagement in every single classroom.

Our secondary pupils have impressed me immensely this week as some have been sitting mock exams in preparation for Summer accreditation. It has been a daunting week but the level of commitment and determination they have shown and the support both academically and emotionally that the staff have given has helped to reduce their anxieties. I know that their teachers are thrilled with every one of them. Keep up the hard work!!

This week we welcomed the return of Mr Heap. HOORAY!! The pupils and school have missed him and we are glad that his leg is better and he is back in the classroom..

We also welcomed Jacob into our Key Stage 4 setting. It has been great to see Jacob in class and engaging with staff and pupils. Another new face was Mr Fennelly who has worked both at New Bridge School and, more recently, the Learning Centre. I know Mr Barker and his staff at the Learning Centre wish Mr Fennelly all the best in his new role and he will be sorely missed. Mr Fennelly has settled into his new role here at Key Stage 3 and 4 and he is an asset to the team at Hollinwood..

We have also welcomed our new caretakers, Mr Crowther and Mr Chadwick, to Hollinwood Academy. They both do an amazing job and are extremely hardworking – staff ask and they do, they interact with the pupils and explain what, why and how they are doing things. The Reception children love to see them in class!

We mentioned a football tournament and Mr Lawrence would like to tell you more..

On Wednesday, students from New Bridge, Hollinwood Academy and Spring Brook travelled to Man City to play the next round of the Manchester City football tournament. The squad has increased which shows how popular this event is getting. We now field three teams in the competition which allows students to have more game time.

All three teams did very well, managed by some excellent staff (Mr Oughton, Mr Hickie and Mr Holban). The A team won 3 lost 2 and had a draw, the B team won 5 and drew 1, with the C team winning 3 drawing 1 and losing 2. All the students were a credit to themselves and school and showed fantastic team spirt, enthusiasm and commitment. Mr Lawrence would like to thank all staff from New Bridge who went, Manchester City staff for a structured and engaging event and Mr Cottrill for helping with transport..

We’re looking forward to next month’s matches! Let’s take a closer look at the pupils in action across school, starting with Miss Louden’s class..

This week we have been to Tesco as part of our outdoor education. The children used a shopping list so they knew which items they needed to collect and set off to find them with minimum support. The children then used the self service tills to scan and pay for their shopping..

Later in the week we used the ingredients we had bought from Tesco to make our own ham and cheese sandwiches..

In Science this week we have been looking at the key features of a plant and what they need to grow..

We used an interactive game and worked in teams to take part in a quiz..

In Maths we have been looking at 3D shapes..

..and counting in tens..

Now let’s find out what our Sensory Communication Group have been up to..

AB4’s topic this term is ‘Winter Wonderland’ and we have been looking at various objects, animals and the weather to help our understanding of Winter and the cold. We began by looking at how to make our own snowmen and the steps used to complete them..

We have been doing lots of shape matching as well as word matching..

We have been busy painting and gluing to make the snowmen, polar bears and snowflakes..

The pupils have also been using their other senses to help aid their understanding. During our sensory sessions we have spent some time going on walks around the school grounds without our coats on and we have found snowflake formations on the internet, as well as looking at animals that live in cold winter climates. We have been eating ice-cream and ice lollies and playing with ice!

We have been asking the pupils lots of questions about what they are seeing and feeling. They have been encouraged to use lots more language to describe what it is they are experiencing and they have been using relevant new words. All the pupils were able to give their own reactions to the different experiences they have come across. We have made a new display in our classroom where we can proudly display all the hard work and effort we have put into our work so far!

Miss Rudge’s class enjoyed making tuna wraps in Living Skills this week..

We used our ‘claw and bridge’ technique to cut our salad beautifully! We did a really good job and Miss Rudge was very proud of how carefully we worked (and very hungry afterwards!!)..

Miss Rudge’s English class were very excited to receive letters all the way from Dubai from their pen pals in Miss O’Neill’s class!!

You may remember that we wrote our first letters to our new pen pals in December which were received by the equally excited children in Dubai. Miss O’Neill’s class have now replied and we were thrilled to open our special delivery..

We very much look forward to our next replies!

Rehearsals for the joint Spring production of the Jungle Book with New Bridge School have got off to a great start! Hollinwood pupils joined the Lumenus group on Wednesday for our first cast run through – exciting stuff! They ran through lines and began blocking key scenes and Miss Rudge was thrilled with the results..

We cannot WAIT to bring you our fabulous show! Although the Jungle Book is a secondary production, the primary children aren’t missing out. Key Stage 1 had lots of fun this week in Drama with Miss Rudge continuing their work on the Jungle Book and learning some simple steps of the Charleston to the song ‘The Bare Necessities’..

They made up funny rhymes to remember their steps and had LOTS of fun. Miss Rudge is ‘super proud’ and danced all the way to the car home that day!

Our SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week are:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lewis for swimming by himself without flotation aids..


SEAL Superstar: Jake for helping Ollie achieve his goal of putting on his own shoes..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Mia for trying really hard with her speech in class..


SEAL Superstar: Daniel for independently copying polar animal sounds in literacy..

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Tyler for being kind and thoughtful during paired working, waiting for his partner and then sharing the balloon
    SEAL Superstar: Tyler for doing lots of fantastic learning – fantastic Maths, fabulous writing, superb reading and super model making!

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ethan for outstanding effort in Maths and Literacy this week..


SEAL Superstar: Zachary for great effort with his target of re-reading and checking his writing for capital letters..

  • Miss Louden’s class:
    Star of the Week: Brooke for working hard in Maths
    SEAL Superstar: Mariam and Jack for playing well with others
  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Eden for fantastic effort in Maths this week
    SEAL Superstar: Maia for being able to break down her goals independently
  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Rahmeen for good behaviour and trying hard in Maths this week
    SEAL Superstar: Liam for thinking of a fantastic goal and discussing how he can achieve it
    Our new ‘Marvellous Meerkat’ is Vincent. We hope you and Meerkat have a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to hear about your marvellous adventures!
  • Miss Shin’s class:
    Star of the Week: Finlay for a fantastic piece of independent writing
    SEAL Superstar: Nathan for persevering with his work

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Laura Millard
Deputy Head

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