Another hard-working week at Hollinwood Academy. We have also been keeping an eye on the weather forecast these last few days – as I drive over the Pennines on my way into work I have seen a few snow flurries and I have packed my wellies, hat and scarf into the boot of my car just in case. Families have all received a letter detailing our emergency closure procedures in case of adverse weather which you can read here. Of course, in the event of any such situation, our first priority is ensuring that our children are safe and secure.
This week has seen the first of our person centred reviews. Brodey’s family have kindly allowed me to share a photograph of their meeting..
The review process at Hollinwood Academy is very child-centred. On entry to the school we begin what we call a ‘Single Conversation’ with the child and their family. This ‘Single Conversation’ informs everything that we do and is an ongoing process in partnership with the child, their family and other professionals. It covers all aspects of social, emotional, academic and life skills development, communication etc. to ensure that staff know and understand the whole child. Prior to the person centred review, the ‘Single Conversation’ is updated by all involved, including the child themselves, the classroom staff and, of course, their family. Families are offered a home visit by our Pastoral Manager, Cath Watson, who goes out to talk to families to gain information on how children are responding at home, whether families have any concerns and what they are pleased about. Cath will focus on what is working well for a child and what isn’t working well, what is important for a child now and in the future, what their aspirations are and how we can best support them in making progress in all areas. By the time the review is held, Cath is able to bring together all the information from the child, their teacher and their family and present it on the display boards in our parent room. The meeting can then focus on what is needed next and, of course, celebrate what has been achieved. The starting point is always ‘what we like and admire about the child’. As you can see from the picture, Brodey is fully involved, supported by his family and teacher – and they are all smiling!
We’ve been joined this week by three student teachers who have completed most of their training in mainstream primary schools. They have all reported that they have been very impressed by our pupils and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience a specialist school like Hollinwood Academy. Our pupils in Mrs Lomax’s, Mr Corrigan’s and Mrs Halkyard’s classes have also benefited from having an extra adult around to support their learning. Next week we have two more student teachers who will work in Mrs Dunsdon’s and Miss Parkinson’s classes.
Also, since Christmas, families with children in the primary classes will have seen that our reading scheme has now been fully introduced and pupils will be bringing books home to read. We are using the popular Oxford Reading Scheme so families will be getting to know the characters Biff, Chip and Floppy (if you haven’t seen them already from previous schools). The scheme has proved very effective and is well structured to promote developing literacy skills. We look forward to sharing this progress with families. Here are a couple of photographs of our Reception age children enjoying reading from the early stages of the scheme..
Finally this week, I will leave you with some delightful photographs from a very exciting session delivered on Wednesday by a visiting martial arts teacher. It shows how far the boys in Reception have come that we can now encourage them to follow such a disciplined routine, including safely using boxing gloves (they even insisted on getting me involved!). All the pupils participated well, showing very impressive skills and remaining respectful towards each other and their teacher, including the traditional bow at the end of the session. These sessions will continue for Key Stage 1 for the next six weeks.
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Have a lovely restful weekend and stay warm!