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Weekly Blog

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This week I had the pleasure of being part of an internal Peer to Peer review which took place at Horizons which is based at Medtia. This service, part of the New Bridge Group, has now been open for over 8 years and is accessed by around 80 young adults who are supported by 31 staff to access different pathways – independent living, employment and volunteering. The support workers and key workers work extremely hard to ensure that all the users of this service are engaged.

Moving on, I spent Wednesday and Thursday at the Schools and Academies show in Birmingham with Mr Lyons from New Bridge and Mr Wood from Medtia. It was insightful to hear from guest speakers that the work the New Bridge Group does is at the forefront of the changes taking place nationally. Some key points raised regarding the future of SEND were the need to look at the High Needs Funding, changes needed to the Code of Practice to include exclusions and initial teacher training to include more focus on SEND.

On Friday the school council organised a cake sale to raise money for Children in Need – thank you Miss McMurray and Mr Hartley for supporting the pupils with this. A MASSIVE thank you to everyone!!! We have raised an AMAZING £104.59 for Children in Need!

This week we have news from Miss Shin, Mrs Whitworth, Ms Lerigo and Mr Page; here is what they have to say about what their pupils have been up to, starting with Miss Shin..

This half term we have been reading Owl Babies and learning about nocturnal animals. The children have enjoyed using their expressive arts skills by creating collages and paintings..

..and also role playing the story..

In Maths we have been working on exploring numbers, 2D shapes..

..and colours..

In phonics, we are busy recapping our listening skills and learning our phase 2 sounds..

..and lots of story telling..

We have also been doing lots of sensory exploration and messy play!

As always we have been focusing on communication, independence and managing our feelings and behaviour. Here you can see Ethan using the sensory den to self-regulate..

..Anna using the trampoline to provide sensory input..

..and also Jordan and Freya using playdough to provide sensory input..

The children are very lucky to each have an iPad at school and they have been enjoying exploring different apps..

..and also using them to communicate their wants and preferences at snack time..

This term we have moved on to stage 3 Attention Autism – this means the children now get to participate and they are doing so well with turn taking. This skill has now moved into their independent play too and we have seen lots of good sharing and turn taking when the children are accessing the continuous provision.

It is also lovely to see the children having a go at the activities demonstrated in Attention Autism during their independent play. Here you can see Rayyan and Freya making “glitter pigs”!

Mrs Whitworth’s class have been busy too..

The children have enjoyed learning about the book ‘Owl Babies’ through attention autism, they have learnt where owls live and what they look like through watching sensory activities. They have also had lots of fun pretending to be an owl and flying round the classroom on the rolling chair, experiencing what it is like at night and looking up at the stars and finding mummy owl when she had gone missing. We have also looked at Remembrance Day during attention autism by coloring the shower curtain green and watching poppies being dropped onto it.

To link in with our Owl Babies book, the children have had lots of fun exploring through an Autumn tray finding owls and making our own owl babies nest with playdough, twigs, leaves, feathers and eggs – they have all been very creative.

We have also had a very fun visit to the sensory room, the children enjoyed looking at sensory lights and listening to relaxing music. While we were in the sensory room the children joined in our Sherborne lesson and enjoyed exploring their body through different movements.

Ms Lerigo’s class have started the half term as they mean to go on..

We have been incredibly busy with our new topic “Sparkle & Shine”. We have been learning about the story “Owl Babies” and have experienced flying like an owl and created owl pictures. As part of this, we now have our iPads up and running in class, which students were very excited about, and their ability to use these iPads to read parts of the story was fantastic.

We have also marked Remembrance Day, by creating Remembrance Day wreaths and as part of our Attention Autism work, we marched to our classroom cenotaph like soldiers..

 As part of our Science lessons, we have been investigating sources of light. For this we used torches to create shadows of our bodies on the walls. We then created shadow soldiers to show respect for the fallen soldiers. All students listened to the last post and marked the two minute silence perfectly.

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We have started a new Sensory Integration circuit which involves a series of physical activities which prepare us for our subsequent learning. We have incorporated number and shape recognition to each station of the circuit.

Our Maths theme has been all about 2 dimensional shapes. We have been identifying shapes and looking at their important features (sides, corners etc).

I am super proud of everything that COMELO have achieved and they should be very proud of themselves too.

In Mr Page’s class this week, 7KPG have welcomed a new member staff named Mr. Mayhew. While the class have been sad to see Mrs. Moss leave for 7CBS, Mr. Mayhew has been a welcome addition. In Maths, the students have been looking at long multiplication while in English the students have been reading ‘Abomination’: a story about a young girl named Martha and a terrible secret her family keeps locked away in their cellar. In Geography the students have been learning about weather and climate. The students have made chicken nuggets in food technology (although I doubt the fruits of that labour made it home!). In Art and Drama the students have been looking at graffiti and dance while in PE the students have been exploring circuit training. Overall the class has had a fun and productive week and have earned a relaxing weekend!

Miss Meadows has news of a special trip this week..

KS3LMS, 7JFE and KS4DHY have all been to the cinema this week to see Captain Marvel using free cinema places provided by the INTO Film Festival.
In Living Skills, we are working on Road Safety awareness and our trip gave us an opportunity to walk to the tram stop at Hollinwood. All our students demonstrated excellent awareness skills of the dangers that occur when walking and crossing roads. They listened well and supported their partner. Everyone jumped onto the tram and we got off at Exchange Square as our film was at the Printworks in Manchester. We studied the historical landscape on the way into Manchester, we even spotted the Cathedral! We all agreed it does look like a castle!

When we arrived at the cinema we all sat down with our snacks to watch a brilliant movie which is about a female super hero! We all thought that this was a refreshing and cool difference to the Spider Movie film we saw last time. There was some serious debate about which movie was better, nobody could make their mind up!

We travelled there and back with 3 classes, they were all very well behaved and a real credit to Hollinwood Academy. We are all very proud of these students, especially Miss Fletcher’s class who have completed their first trip, enjoyed it and behaved very well! Well done all!

This week Year 7 have been studying the Artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. We have been doing some research about his life. Olivia has put her work into a video to share with you all. It is absolutely fantastic and we are very proud of her. Keep up the good effort Olivia!

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Congratulations to all this week’s SEAL Superstars, Stars of the Week and Workers of the Week, including Xavier, Ebon, Harrison, Amelia, Christie and Daanish..

Well done everyone!

This week we also said a ‘Goodbye’ to Miss Johnson who finished today to start her maternity leave. Miss Meadows has worked with 8JFO to throw Miss Johnson a baby shower..

Today was Miss Johnson’s last day in school before her maternity leave starts to have baby Willem! We threw her a surprise baby shower and keeping it a secret has been incredibly hard! Miss Bartlett, Miss Meadows and Lucas have worked so hard putting it together for her last day! Lucas designed, filmed and edited a leaving film which of course made us all cry! Well done Lucas! You have been a superstar this week and worked so hard to make sure everything was perfect for her special day! We hope you enjoyed it Miss Johnson!

We played many games such as Baby Character quizzes, baby first portraits and build a baby..

..and we even personalised Willem’s babygrows! Miss Johnson also received some presents from Miss Daniels, who was her first form teacher!

We had such a fun time, we did a bit of Living Skills by learning how to change a diaper! We still have some work to do but it was good fun! Maybe next time we will keep our eyes open! Miss Rudge joined us and was queen of the diaper changes!

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I’m sure we will all be queuing up to babysit Willem. Everyone is going to miss you Miss Johnson, particularly 8JFO. We will look after them and we can’t wait to meet baby Mills! Good luck with everything, baby Willem is so lucky to have such a wonderful lady as his mummy!

We wish Miss Johnson all the best and we know she is going to be an amazing mummy.

Spring Brook Lower School are supporting the Bone Cancer Research Trust’s Stamp Appeal and collecting used stamps at school (click here for more details about the campaign). Please could you send in any stamps you receive and we will make sure they are sent on to the charity. Thank you.

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

M-F: 08:45 – 14:50

Breakfast Club opens at 08:30

After School Clubs close at 16:45

Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

0161 883 2404