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WOW! What an amazing and fun filled week to finish the first term off with, from the Nativity, Christmas dinner and jumper day, Santa visit, Christmas markets, Super Learning Day, Head Teacher Awards and lots of festive learning.

I would like to start my blog this week by sharing with you the students who received a Head Teacher’s Award for this half term. Well done to you all and keep up the hard work…

There have been many highlights for me this week and I would like to start with the Nativity. As I said after the performances, the Nativity is one of my favourite calendar events of the academic year. The students have worked so hard to learn their lines, songs and performances and yet again it was a fantastic sight to see as they all looked amazing in their costumes. This is our biggest production yet with 104 students taking part and I am so proud that every child gets the opportunity to join in with the Nativity; this would not be possible if it was not for the wonderful hard work, dedication and commitment shown by all the staff. I would personally like to thank both the students and staff for a fantastic Nativity. Well done all and I can’t wait for next year’s now. One thing evident to see on all the faces of the students were the smiles that they had during the performances. Amelia and Damien did a fantastic job with the sound and lighting too..

Another amazing sight to see this week was Hollinwood Academy’s first Christmas Markets. This was organised by Miss McMurray, Mr Hartley and our School Council. Here are Mr Hartley and Miss McMurray to explain where the idea came from…

This term our School Council decided that they wanted to give something back for Christmas and organised a collection for the local Food Bank. We are extremely thankful for everyone’s generous donations to the food bank and this will go a long way to help those less fortunate to have a happy Christmas period.

As well as this, the School Council decided that they would like to organise Hollinwood Academy’s first Christmas Markets. The council and students throughout the school created some fabulous decorations and worked hard to put together all the stalls in the sports hall. The markets were a huge success and together with non-uniform day we raised over £500, which will go towards a school project to be voted on and decided by the School Council later next year.

We are very impressed at how hard the School Council and all the students and staff worked that were involved in making the markets so special. Here are a few stalls that the different classes set up:

Miss Rudge’s class stall sparkled with their wooden tree decorations. Mr Francos’ class sold frothy hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. You could get creative with Miss Sanderson’s class play doh and make your own hot chocolate cones. Miss Fletcher’s class made some beautiful handmade cards and a fun ‘throw the bauble at the tree’ game. Mrs Lomax’s class made some intricate 3D decorations and Kandinsky calendars. You could try your chances on Mrs Halkyard’s class lucky dip or Mrs Potts’ ‘guess the sweets in the jar’. Mr. Hartley’s class gave students the opportunity to get back at the teachers with ‘pie the teacher’ and also sold sunflower seeds that the class grew. Mrs Lerigo’s class had a festive decoration stall selling Christmas doorstops, tree decorations and snowmen. Miss Nuttall and Mr Page’s class made some delicious cakes and Miss Carpenter’s class made some fun gingerbread biscuits as well as cupcakes. Miss McMurray’s class together with the School Council had a raffle and tombola, which included a meal at Toby Carvery for two, two theatre tickets, roller skates and many other fantastic prizes.

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We are very thankful for all the donations that we received from parents, students, teachers and local businesses including Tesco, The Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Toby Carvery. Well done to all the students involved, you have shown your commitment to the school and made sure that everyone had a magical day.

The afternoon was such an amazing experience for our students and the smiles on their faces told a thousand stories. I know Miss McMurray, Mr Hartley and the School Council plan on hosting a Summer Fair and inviting parents and families to this event. I would just like to personally thank Miss McMurray, Mr Hartley and the School Council for all their hard work, creativity and passion shown towards the markets. The grand total raised was £507.32 and these funds will be discussed in the next School Council meeting in the new year.

Another sight that the secondary and Key Stage 2 students and staff endured was the staff pantomime that took place on Thursday morning – ‘oh yes it did!’ Miss Rudge set about writing our script in October and what a script it was. I don’t know who was laughing more, the students or the staff! Now, I was actually part of the cast so I will leave Miss Rudge to tell you about our performance…

Thursday saw our first ever Staff Pantomime performed for all of our young people in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4. Teachers across the school have been rehearsing from October on a piece entitled ‘Our Ella’. The piece is a play on ‘Cinderella’ with an Oldham twist with a nod to all things ‘Greater Manchester’. Buttons is now called ‘R-Kid’ and Cinderella is simply ‘Our Ella’. ‘Prince Charming of Royton’ is in Search of his ‘Ella, having both met when walking up Dovestones one Summer’s day. The cast were wonderful and really got into the Panto and Christmas Spirit! The following teachers were involved..

Special thanks to Mr Challinor for providing us with some brilliant lighting and sound, and Miss McMurray’s Mum for making some lovely costumes. The children all joined us on stage for the finale which made for the cutest flash mob ever!

Thank you everyone for your hard work, Miss Rudge is now off to sleep (covered in glitter) for an entire weekend!…

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This event was another first for Hollinwood Academy and I can see this becoming an annual fixture in the Hollinwood calendar. I secretly loved performing and I know the other teachers involved did too. The ending was magical for me as we sang two Christmas songs and all the students and staff joined in with the singing and dancing.

Here are some of the other highlights from this week:

  • Christmas dinner, it was delicious and the students looked fantastic in their festive jumpers…

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  • Super Learning Day, the focus this year was ‘Changes’. Let’s see what a number of our classes have been doing…

As the focus this year was looking at ‘Changes’, the children explored two areas:

  •  faith and how changes (Rites of Passage) are recognised and celebrated and how religion can help people to cope with changes 
  • the mental health aspect, looking after ourselves during Christmas/festivals and how the changes in school and home during the holidays can be difficult and what we can do instead of getting angry or sad etc.

Some useful info links on ASC and Christmas are:

With this in mind, our children split into 4 groups across the Primary phase and chose activities run by the staff. The emphasis on the activities was for them to be RELAXED and happy events where our children can learn about the different ways to relax and help them to keep calm. Some activities our children enjoyed included:

  • Quiz club
  • Mindful colouring
  • Water Colours
  • Sensory activities
  • Massage and Yoga
  • Lego Play Doh

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Each child also created a non-fiction book, naming emotions and recording the activities they tried and how they felt.

I need to take you back to the beginning of November now. During one of our School Council meetings, the students had a lengthy discussion about the food bank in Oldham; what it was, where it was and who can access it. From this, the students decided that they wanted to give something back for Christmas and set about collecting food/household donations for the food bank in Oldham as they were in desperate need of:


The School Council students made posters to advertise this and put these up around school so that staff and students could bring in their donations.

Mr Lear, one of our parents who works at Iceland, also kindly arranged for the store to donate £40 worth of food to school this morning and Mrs Bennett, Jack and Wayne dropped all of the donations off at Oldham’s Food Bank where they were all gratefully received. Thank you to the generosity of our students, families staff, Mr Lear and Iceland.

Let’s take a closer look at the work some of the classes have been doing this week. Mr Corrigan’s class have been very busy..

In Maths we have been adding and subtracting using the column method, as well as looking at multiplication, division and odd/even numbers..

In Literacy we have been using the book Lila and the Secret of Rain to understand the importance of talking about our feelings. We have retold the story through writing, story maps, drama, dance and by creating our own short films..

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Using our half term topic of The Drop Goes Plop, we have created some bubble painting in Art..

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..and looked at oceans and the water cycle in Geography..

We also studied Native American Raindance in our Dance lessons..

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Our Science focus this half term was Light. This included shadows, light sources and reflective surfaces..

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This term has also seen the start of Girls Club at lunchtimes which has been huge success..

Miss Robertson-McCabe’s class would like to share with you their learning this half term…

We have had a really busy half term! In Art we have spent some time exploring colour mixing and creating our own colours to use in our art work. The children really enjoyed mixing two colours together to see what colour it would make and then they used these new colours to create art.

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We went out to the front of school on a mission to find some fallen leaves, we brought them back to class and learnt how to create leaf rubbings. As we have approached Christmas we have made our own Christmas cards and salt dough decorations.

We have been working hard on our communication skills and turn taking, using different games and activities where we have to ask each other for things and wait for our turn, we especially like using Lego in our communication lessons.

In Maths we spent some time looking at how full our cups are and filling them to the right level. We enjoyed getting hands on with our work and pouring the water to the level we asked for.

We have been looking at the water cycle in our topic. We spent some time looking at how the water cycle works and our weather. We even had a go at being weather reporters.

We had a great time practising and performing in our school nativity and even got the treat of watching the staff panto.

We have just started exploring more movement with our bodies with Sherborne, the children really enjoy exploring the ways we can move our bodies.

We have marked the end of term with a class party. We would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Miss Sanderson’s class have had a fantastic half term …

This term we have been having lots of fun in the build up to Christmas.We have had an eventful term filled with Christmas spirit, we began the term by decorating the classroom together. It only took 3 days to untie the Christmas lights but we managed to work together to create a lovely Christmas tree and then we took a selfie in front of this.

Staying on the theme of Christmas, we have been working together to create Play-Doh and hot chocolate to sell to the pupils on the Christmas markets. I am pleased to announce we made an incredible £39 for the school and sold out of all of our products.

We have worked hard all year and have earned a well-deserved school break. On the final day of term we opened up all of our Christmas presents and spent the day celebrating all our hard work with some friendly competition on the Xbox.

Merry Christmas from all of us and have a wonderful new year.

Miss Carpenter’s class would like to share with you their lovely learning too…

It has been a busy week for our form who have been enjoying the festive activities.

On Monday, the class visited Asda to pick their own ingredients to cook with. The students learnt how to use self service checkouts, wrote lists, handled money, asked questions about weights and problem solved. They came back and used the ingredients to make chicken and vegetable kebabs which they munched on at the end of the day!

On Wednesday, the arrival of the Christmas Markets was a very exciting time for our form who made gingerbread gifts to sell on their stall. They decorated them with icing and Christmas themed sweets and sold them to raise money for school funds. They set out the stall with the help of Miss Shirley and Mr Lawton who also helped with cooking them. Miss Carpenter helped to sell them on the stall with Mr Lawton, Miss Shirley and the class..

Gian won a penalty shootout trophy at the Christmas markets and Michael won lots on the raffle.

In Maths this week, the class have been looking at Hegarty Maths and working on their iPads which they have enjoyed..

It is the last day for Mr Leah today who has been completing his teacher training with our form. He will be going to Ryburn Valley High School for the remainder of his placement. We wish him all the best for the future.

The Head Teacher’s award for our form group went to Kyle who has had an excellent behaviour record, helped out both staff and students and contributed to lots of class discussions and activities. Well deserved!

Now to some of our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs from Mr Corrigan’s class:

STAR – Oliver for an outstanding first term at Hollinwood Academy..

SEAL – George for great listening at the table and following the teacher’s instructions..

LEXIA Superstars: Marley, Marco and Jake..

Finally, I would like to thank all our children, young people, parents, carers, staff and governors for all your hard work and support this term. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas break and I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you all back on Monday 6th January 2020.


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

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0161 883 2404