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Weekly Blog

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WOW, what a week!! As you know, Graham and I have spent the majority of the week in London. On Tuesday we attended the Apple Education Leadership Summit at the ‘Tobacco Dock’ along with 1,200 other delegates from around the world..

The main speakers were Doug Beck (Vice President for Apple, Inc.) and Sharon O’Mara (Educational based Marketing for Apple, Inc.) who gave inspiring talks, and a number of Apple leaders gave fascinating demonstrations of the use and versatility of the iPads. They showed the development of technology from 1984 – 2017 and how the technology has quickly evolved to make the world a better place.

I remember being at secondary school completing my GCSE coursework and having to run up the stairs in my parents’ house to physically ‘connect to the Internet’ and then hearing that horrendous ‘dial in’ tone. Today, our students have all of this and so much more right at their fingertips with the use of new technologies.

Apple stated that they ‘make amazing products and leave the world better than when we found it!’ I must agree!!! I saw a range of excellent demonstrations around iPad accessibility, Augmented Reality, GarageBand and Swift Coding practical sessions that our students would be amazed by.

The day was closed with three inspirational stories of how schools in England, Spain and Norway are using iPads to engage, motivate and inspire their curriculum offer to better support and educate their students.

Wednesday saw Graham and myself meet with Doug Beck (Vice President for Apple, Inc.), Sharon O’Mara (Educational based Marketing for Apple, Inc.) and a number of senior executives from the international teams. They wanted to better understand the 1:1 iPad across the New Bridge MAT and the journey that Hollinwood has been on. I showcased the wonderful work that our teachers and students are able to create with the use of the iPads within school. I discussed at length how the iPads have enhanced teaching and learning at Hollinwood Academy and the academic successes we have seen since September.

Alongside this, I was able to articulate how the use of the iPads has also helped to create and develop independent and confident learners who are communicating in a range of different ways suited to their needs. They were in awe of what our teachers are able to provide and how the students have embraced this. They were particularly interested in how the student/teacher dialogues and relationships have developed, allowing students to have personalised learning experiences. I shared a video of Mr Rawson and his class in an English lesson and another of Miss Meadows and her class in a History lesson. They loved the student engagement and feedback within the videos but were equally stunned when we told them that the students of the New Bridge Digit4ll Pathway created the professionally produced videos.

The meeting lasted around 3 hours and I am looking forward to where our journey with Apple will take us next. The work that could potentially come out of us working closely with Apple will not only hugely benefit the students at Hollinwood Academy and the other students across the New Bridge MAT but it also has the potential to support children from all over the world. I managed to get a picture with Doug Beck, however, I did have to get permission to share this, which Doug agreed to..

Thursday morning was a very early start as we had to be at the House of Commons for an event on ‘Special Education Need; Learning for all with Apple’.

There were a number of MPs, members from the House of Lords and a range of educators there. Here we discussed the use of technology and its accessibility and the use of innovative technologies to support learning. It was yet again a very inspiring discussion and one again that will benefit our students at Hollinwood Academy and across the New Bridge MAT. I am extremely excited to see where this trip to London, the influential people we have met and the ideas that we have discussed will take us next.

Friday, it was back to normality. It was lovely to see the students and hear what they’ve been doing this week, as well as me telling them my stories too.

Let’s see what Mrs Lomax’s class have been learning this week…

We have had a busy start to our new year. Our new topic is ‘By Royal Command’ and we have been looking at the Stuarts and Tudors and we have explored castles.

In Maths we have been focusing on multiplication and division and exploring using arrays and sharing to help us understand these operations. Here you can see us using counters as concrete manipulatives to learn about sharing equally..

..counting them carefully to check..

..and feeling very proud of ourselves after correctly dividing our counters into 2 groups..

We then used them to solve multiplication and division word problems, as you can see with Thomas..

In English we have been reading myths and legends and looking at common features of these stories. We have been reading the Tales of King Arthur and using Talk for Writing to re-tell the story..

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In Science our focus is sound and we have been investigating how we hear sound, as well as looking at different pitches and loud and quiet noises. We used different instruments to explore which made the loudest and quietest sounds, which had the highest and lowest pitch and whether size made any difference, then we recorded our findings on Showbie..

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We have continued our reading using ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’ as well as doing Reciprocal Reading in class, and we have also been taking comprehensions home each week to complete at home.

Our class are becoming Showbie experts with the children teaching the staff new skills! We have also been extending our learning by having a homework task related to our learning in class.

Our Outdoor Ed lesson this week had an emphasis on life skills, from travelling safely on the bus..

..being careful around the water as we used our senses to explore all the new things in the park, looking at all the plants and ducks around the lake..

..and practising writng our names in the sand..

..to being a good friend..

We hope you enjoyed watching the videos and looking at our photographs!

Miss Carpenter has been particularly impressed with two classes this week..

Our Year 11s have been busy this week in their GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition class with Miss Carpenter. They have been learning about presentation..


..and technical chopping skills..

This is in preparation for their GCSE practical exams in a few weeks and we wish them all the very best. Good luck Year 11!

Mr Rawson’s class have been working hard and learning about how much sugar you would find in popular drinks. They were very surprised to find that some of their favourite drinks contain up to 19 teaspoons of sugar! In this lesson we incorporated some cross-curricular activities linking with Maths and created a graph to show which would be the healthiest choices..

Now to our amazing SEAL Superstars and our Stars of the Week:

  • Mrs Dunsdon’s class:
    Star of the Week: Victory for excellent work in soft play..

SEAL Superstar: Brooke for trying really hard to use the toilet independently..

  • Miss Grimsley’s class:
    Star of the Week: Lenni for fantastic work in topic this week..

  • Mr Corrigan’s class:
    Star of the Week: Marcus for being great on the bus and trying his best in school..

SEAL Superstar: Tyler for keeping his friends safe in swimming with some outstanding listening..

  • Mrs Woodhead’s class:
    Star of the Week: Ollie..

SEAL Superstar: Henry..

  • Well done to our Homework Stars!

  • Mrs Lomax’s class:
    Star of the Week: Maisha for doing some fantastic investigating of high and low pitch sounds in Science..

    SEAL Superstar: Byron for being able to explain how he was breaking down a difficult task into simpler steps..

  • Miss Parkinson’s class:
    Star of the Week: Nathan for concentrating very hard in all his lessons this week..

SEAL Superstar: Zachary for being able to break his goal into smaller steps independently

  • Mr Heap’s class:
    Star of the Week: Alivia for using her voice more often in class..

Our new ‘Marvellous Meerkat’ is Rahmeen for fantastic work and behaviour in all her lessons. 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: Jack for an amazing piece of independent writing
    SEAL Superstar: Alex for setting himself a realistic target
  • Mr Stockdale’s class:
    Star of the Week: Aqsa for being helpful in the classroom, being a good friend and always trying her hardest
    SEAL Superstar: Finlay for breaking his goals down into small steps

Well done everyone! This week has seen two of our teachers at Hollinwood Academy extend their beautiful families. Mr Lawton and his wife Emma met their new baby girl, Alyssa Paige on Monday, 5lb 11oz. Also, Mrs Halkyard and her husband Rick welcomed the safe arrival of their baby boy, Luke on Wednesday, 8lb 3oz. I have seen pictures of both babies and they are gorgeous. Both families are now home resting and settling into the life with their new bundles of joy. I know both the staff and students cannot wait for a visit and a cuddle.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,


Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find all our previous blog entries here


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