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Weekly Blog

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Welcome back after a much appreciated half term break. I am pleased to say that all our pupils have settled straight back in, re-focused and continued to make progress at a very impressive rate. I am delighted to welcome four new pupils to the school this week. Jacob has joined us in Mrs Lomax’ class, Ciara in Mrs Halkard’s class, and Sidra and Maisy have joined Mr Holland’s class at the top end of the school. I am particularly pleased that the male/female balance at the upper end of school is beginning to even out.

All four pupils have had a great first week and I am delighted that our existing pupils, as well as the staff of course, have been so welcoming and supportive. As the school grows rapidly over the next few months, it is a priority for me to ensure that our new pupils settle in whilst also ensuring that our existing pupils continue to feel supported and positive about their environment.

We also welcome two new members of staff to the team – Miss Wheeler will be working alongside Mrs Potts in Mr Holland’s class, and Miss Ninian will be working with Mrs Halkyard’s class alongside Miss Holland.

Many of you will be aware that Mrs Sarah Dunsdon, our Reception class teacher, has been absent from school for a couple of weeks prior to half term. She has been in hospital and has undergone surgery to have a tumour removed from her brain. I am pleased to let you know that the operation went well. Mrs Dunsdon visited us at school this week – just five days after surgery – and looked well. She is missing her class very much and is keen to return to work. Mrs Dunsdon has been advised that she should remain off work for a minimum period of six weeks in order to recover. This will take us at least up until the Easter break. We are hopeful that she will be able to return in April but we will keep families up to date should this prove not to be possible.

In the meantime, Mrs Lomax is leading on planning appropriate activities for the group and ensuring that the provision remains high quality and all the children’s needs are being met. Mrs Choudhury and Miss Darlington, with help from Mr Leach, are maintaining consistency of support for the class, and Miss Knott and Miss Grimsley are teaching the activities as directed by Mrs Lomax. I can assure families that the children are receiving the very best support, although we do miss Mrs Dunsdon and look forward to her return. If any of you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Mrs Lomax.

This week I have focused on Mrs Halkyard’s class. Some of the group have really begun thinking about upcoming SATs tests, which I am sure they are going to take well within their stride. These pictures from an English lesson this morning show how hard-working and engaged the pupils are in their learning. The class are split into three groups, with the independent group working on completing written tasks at a high level, beginning to be introduced to test-level tasks and expectations..

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”68″ gal_title=”26th Feb English”]


I’ve also included a couple of photographs from a Maths lesson where the groups have been working on fractions at different levels..

mathsmaths 2

An alternative English lesson earlier in the week took place in the soft play area. The use of the area, and encouraging physical activity as part of the lesson, ensures that all pupils are fully involved and motivated to learn. Here you can see then searching for hidden phrases and then returning to the group to sort them into which ones were appropriate according to the literacy task (working on similies)..

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”69″ gal_title=”26th Feb Soft play”]


And these photos from a science lesson again show a multi-sensory approach to learning. The pupils have begun working on the topic of light and dark and have been exploring how easy (or difficult) it is to identify items without being able to see them..

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”70″ gal_title=”26th Feb Science”]


Finally from Mrs Halkyard’s class,

I have included these photos of Chrissy in the swimming pool. The staff in class have been extremely proud of Chrissy’s developing confidence and enjoyment in the pool. Well done, Chrissy!

swimming 2 swimming


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

Mrs Dunsdon’s class – Zachary for amazing improvement in class and trying his hardest to think of new sentences during the afternoon song
Mrs Lomax’ class – James for doing good carpet and table learning
Mr Corrigan’s class – Lewis E for hard work and very sensible behaviour
Miss Parkinson’s class – Donte for getting full points all week and taking responsibility for his actions
– also in Miss Parkinson’s class, Joshua received the ‘good friend’ award for being very caring and considerate in including Kia in play
Mrs Halkyard’s class – Raihan for some excellent independent working

Reception and Y2 stars Lewis E star of the week Miss Parkinson star Josh good friend aware Raihan star of week

My ‘Head Teacher’s Awards’ go to:

Raihan – for excellent independent work, but also for making us all smile. Raihan is such a charming young man who always has good things to say about everyone, always has a smile on his face and always responds positively when spoken to. He also responds to receiving awards with a wonderful ‘celebration dance’ which entertains the rest of the class. He definitely brings joy to the group..

Raihan head teacher award
James – as Mrs Lomax said, James has completed excellent work in class. He now participates in all of the learning tasks in class, engages more in group work and contributes to whole class activities. He is probably one of the pupils in school who I have noticed making the most significant progress across the board..

James head teacher award

James is also a wonderful artist. He portrays many of the staff as animals, my favourite being his depiction of Mr Bloska, the music teacher, as a guitar-playing lion..

James drawing 1

He draws Mrs Knaggs as a horse and I’m afraid Mrs Lomax appears as an elephant! His classmates are all animals on the farm (the classroom!)

James drawing 2

Mrs Millard was thrilled to be depicted as a very glamorous zebra..

James drawing 3

..and Mrs Lomax tells me that occasionally a snake appears in his drawings (we suspect that this may be Mr Quinn) whereas I have been presented as a cow!

Speaking of talented artists, I hope you have all seen the link to one of Grace’s drawings which appeared on Facebook this week – please have a look here if you haven’t seen it. Apparently this picture has had the most hits of anything put on New Bridge Group Facebook page so far. If you use Facebook, please have a look at our page and give it lots of ‘likes’!

Other achievements this week include great success for Aaron and Connor from Mr Holland’s class who attended a rowing machine competition. Aaron received a bronze medal and the team were awarded silver. Mr Smith also reported that they all deserved gold for their outstanding behaviour and sportsmanship – you can read more about it here. Well done, boys!

rowing 17

Just a reminder about our coffee morning next Wednesday 2nd March from 10:00am–11:30am. This as an opportunity for parents and carers to visit the school and spend some time with their child and their friends in class, meet with the staff as well as other parents, carers and families to share experiences and have a natter. Letters went out before half term and if you haven’t already done so, please let us know if you are able to join us.

Easter Holiday Club letters have also gone home today – please return your forms next week if you would like a place!

Have a lovely weekend everyone,


  • You can read Graham’s blog here for this week’s news from across the New Bridge Group


Hollinwood Academy
Roman Road

School Hours

Mon – Fri:
08:45 – 15:00

Breakfast Club runs Mon – Fri:
08:00 – 08:45

After School Clubs run Mon – Thurs:
15:00 – 16:45

Compulsory TIme Open: 31.25 hours

Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

0161 883 2404