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Blog 04.03.2022


Welcome back after the half term holiday. I hope you had a relaxing week and it was lovely to welcome our children and young people back onsite.

As I walked around the school to welcome everybody back I called into a number of classes and forms to award a number of children and young people their Head Teacher’s Awards as they were absent from school on the last day of term.

Well done everyone.


On Monday 28th February, we had an INSET day full of inspiration to help our staff support our children and young people at Hollinwood Academy. We had a group who received a full day’s training on attention autism, delivered by Lyndsay Barlow, specialist ASC teacher and attention autism advanced practitioner. Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities. We had 25 staff members attend the course and they came away enthused and looking forward to three twilight sessions that we have planned in March.

The remaining staff from across primary and secondary received disciplinary literacy training in the morning, delivered by Matt Hallam. Disciplinary literacy refers to the reading, writing, talking and thinking practices that are unique to specific subjects and can be accessed across the curriculum subjects from primary to secondary. The children and young people across primary to secondary will benefit massively from this training, the staffing team will be implementing these new strategies into lessons over the next few weeks.

In the afternoon, the staff team received baseline assessment analysis training, delivered by David Martin. This training looked into techniques into how we can pinpoint children

and young people’s learning in maths, English, skills and precision. The new baseline assessments will help staff in supporting children and young people in their learning.

As we only have three INSET days across the academic year, we take a lot if time reviewing where we are as a school, our school improvement plan and making sure that our training days are key and relevant to all staff so this will improve the quality of education and our provision for our children and young people. We are busy finalising our September INSET days as we need to make sure the delegates we get to deliver the training are available.


On Thursday the whole school celebrated World Book Day and this year we went all out and dressed up as our favourite book characters! We also brought in our favourite books to read and talk about. I was asked to judge the world book day costumes and award prizes for the best costumes across school and our winners were: Caitlin, Sofia, Cameron and Braydon.


Activities throughout the day included decorating our classroom doors as book covers and each class dropping everything and reading at the same time. Each class teacher also brought in an interesting item; one class started a story using their item and this was then passed onto the next class to carry on so eventually we had a story that everyone had contributed to!

Here is the primary joint story…

Today we found a treasure chest! It was brown with silver buckles and a silver lock. Slowly, we opened it and found another box inside. We rattled it and could hear some coins. Inside the other box was an eyepatch, it was black. There were lots of treasure, we thought they might have been chocolate coins but they were not. Inside the treasure chest there was also…

…a Kirby teddy, some jewels, a dinosaur, a Spiderman teddy, a Nintendo Switch, some diamonds, Queen Kiki, a Hello Neighbour teddy, Yoshi, money and a computer with every app in the entire world. I carefully picked up the…

… glistening, transparent glasses that were tucked in the bottom corner of the chest. I raised them up to my eyeline when suddenly I saw myself, only, I was much older. Intrigued to see what this was, I placed the glasses on my eyes. Wait… is this me? It is! This was when it struck me, these glasses were magical, time travelling glasses that teleported me to the future…

…I sat down and put them on again, I saw all my family and friends in the future and tried to speak to them but they couldn’t see me. I felt sad because no-one wanted to speak to me and as I walked away I noticed my reflection! ….. Wow even I had gotten old and I didn’t like it. I quickly ripped the glasses from my eyes but nothing changed! I was stuck in the future, older now and I cried because I had missed all my childhood…

…I remembered an old diary from school which had all my adventures with my best friend Grace in. I read about the day it snowed, we had a great time building a snowman together. We were very cold but happy. At Christmas we took a train ride together, the Christmas trees stood tall like soldiers. We watched their lights twinkle in the dark sky. Some days we sat and enjoyed a hot chocolate a talked about what we would do next. I smiled as I remembered Grace laughing at me as I had my hair cut. In the summer we would play on the beach and jump in the waves, if it rained we played in the ball pits. I smiled as all my memories came flooding back….

…Suddenly, I had a thought. Have I wasted all of my childhood? Have I spent all of my time thinking and worrying about what people think of me? I needed to get back to the past to see my friends and enjoy being a child. At that exact second, everything went dark and dull. I felt like I was lost in a world and nobody was there. I could hear my friends calling me from the past and I thought to myself, “How is that happening?” I quickly turned towards the direction of the noise and I took a step forward …

…Towards the glowing light out popped a big, scary, huge dinosaur! Big legs, a massive head and small arms just like Tiko the fish. STOMP, STOMP, STOMP he approached me with a frown upon his face, I stood there awaiting my fate preparing to be eaten alive! As he opened his mouth I was greeted with a grinch like smile and a friendly “Have a RAWWWSOME day!”.


Here is the secondary joint story…


Gary, Beef and the Fire-Eating Dragon!

Gary is not an ordinary snail. Gary started life as a humble door stop, his face was expressionless back in the old geography room and was the colour of a dull, rainy day. The more students that passed through the door, the more the legend grew. Over time, his dull coat became a sparkling, silver which shone across the classroom blinding everything and everyone in his path. However, his rise to greatness had not come easy. You see, Gary had a fall…

…And woke up as an Indian Elephant in Bollywood! The elephant was gold and grey, and covered in sparkly diamonds. Gary was so happy that he was no longer a tiny snail, he had transformed into a big, glamourous elephant. Gary was in the middle of a busy market film set when…

…A tall, mysterious stranger (going by the name Jeffrey) passed him a hard drive which he claimed had the answers to his transformation from snail to elephant! Gary was ecstatic at the thought of learning how he had transformed. Secretly, he was hoping that the hard drive would also give him the legendary key which would enable him to transform into whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted!…

…On the way to the computer store, (to buy a computer to view what was on the hard drive) Gary met a cow with a body as white as milk and spots as black as charcoal. Whilst looking at the computers on sale, Gary realised that he didn’t have enough money and told Beef the cow, “I don’t have enough money but I do have a hard drive and I really need to see what is on it.”

Beef turned to Gary and said “you can use my computer to view your hard drive.” Beef and Gary then travelled together to Beef’s barn…

…Beef and Gary approached the barn doors. Gary suddenly became frightened because he could sense a strange noise. “Be careful, I can feel danger,” said Gary, whose trunk was able to pick up any strange atmospheres. They entered the barn, feeling like they were being watched. Suddenly, the barn lit up with an orange glow and Beef saw two saucer-like eyes peering from the hay. They saw an orange cat looking at them. “Who are you?” said Beef.

“I am Starey Cat, but some people call me Scary Cat.” Explained the cat, “I am not scary, I am misunderstood!”

“Come with us” said Beef, “join our team.” As the threesome walked out the door, Beef suddenly realised that Gary was missing and Scary Cat had a trunk hanging from his mouth….



…Suddenly, Scary Cat slurped up the trunk that was hanging from his mouth. Gary was no more.

“What’s wrong Beef?” asked Scary Cat.

Beef did not reply. He could feel the fear welling up inside him. Scary cat’s eyes gleamed with hunger as he stepped slowly in Beef’s direction.

As Beef backed away, sensing danger, he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by…Jeffrey!

“Who do you think gave Gary the hard drive in the first place Beef?” Jeffrey asked.

“Jeffrey and I are going to turn you into burgers and devour you!” said Scary Cat.

Beef wriggled free and grabbed the closest thing he could to defend himself…a pair of Shrek Crocs!…

…There was a crack in the underside of one of the crocs and before Beef knew it, he found himself in a terrible predicament. Beef had a history with water, which had haunted him ever since a boating accident in his younger days. In the intervening years, he had unsuccessfully tried to navigate himself through his own trauma, but now, he knew what he had to do. Once, water had been his greatest enemy; now, he would use it to his advantage…

…Using his superpowers, he transformed into a fish. A big, scaly blue one called Jimmy. Over the next 6 months, Jimmy built a new life in a new community. Jimmy actually turned out to be a funny fish with a great sense of humour. His favourite joke was “What do you call a fish with no eyes?” “A Fsh!” Jimmy loved his new life and was always up to no good,

often fishlifting in the local fishtanks. He had quite the selection of seaweed in his own tank now! One day, during some fishlifting, things didn’t quite go to plan….

…He had been mooching about in the sink in HF15 and thought he would have a look around Miss Daniels room while she was over at Newbridge. He looked high and low but was dismayed to find she didn’t have a fish tank. “No fish tank?” he said to himself. “What kind of a science teacher doesn’t have a fish tank?” He was very confused! However, he did find lots of boxes with lots of exciting stuff inside as well as shelves full of books. Some even had sharks in them! Jimmy ventured onto one of the shelves near the window, where someone had left a beaker of water that he fancied swimming in, but when he got up there, he spied something green. Could it possibly be a photosynthesising kind of creature? He rushed to grab it and quickly realised he had been pricked by a cactus and a fake one too! He looked down at himself and felt deflated when he heard a hissing sound – It was at that moment he realised he had become a puffer fish because he had been POPPED!…


…Alert! Alert! Didn’t they know that everyone in year 7 is allergic to puffer fish. Everyone apart from Montgomery, who quickly grabbed the store of epi-pens from the first aid box. He swiftly applied a shot to each of the stricken students who aroused within minutes. “What on earth has just happened? My head feels foggy!” declared a stunned Dan…

…Around the classroom Montgomery and Dan started to look at the rest of the students and began to notice a strange reaction which they could only put down to Montgomery’s First-Aid response. “Are you sure those epi-pens were still in date because it states here that if the date expires the person receiving it will turn into a FIRE-EATING DRAGON!”


All the year 7’s ran to the end of the school. In the distance, Dan and Montgomery spotted a big, monkey roadman.

“He’ll know what to do!” explained Dan.

The monkey arrived with bananas and cream and mixed them up, stirring them together ferociously…

…“Of course!” Montgomery bellowed, “it’s the antidote: a monkey-made bananas and cream”.

“Everyone knows that!” agrees Dan.

Shockingly, the monkey said “I will give you this antidote, but only in exchange for Gary.”

At that exact moment, Scary Cat appeared…

…Scary Cat sprinted towards Dan and Montgomery like Usain Bolt in the 100M Olympic final! Instinctively, the monkey dropped the banana and cream antidote and plunged towards, Scary Cat, defeating him at last…

…Feeling exhilarated, Dan and Montgomery gulped down the banana and cream antidote ravenously.

“We’re saved!” they both cheered, as they returned to their human form. They returned back to the year 7 classroom feeling euphoric and propping open the door they found…Gary the humble snail, propping the door open…

The End


A lovely and busy day was had by all!

Let’s see what some of the classes have been doing starting with Mr Corrigan’s class…

In maths this term our topic has been money. We have also learnt to use tallies and construct tally charts.


In science we have been exploring materials through squashing, bending, twisting and stretching. We have experimented with different objects to learn their properties.


Our geography topic has been maps and we have focused on our school. After locating key areas on maps, we created our own school sketch maps.


In PE our focus has been circuits. We have followed and created our own circuits using the sports hall apparatus as well as designing our own 3-step circuits on the outdoor gym equipment.

Our focus in art has been lines and the different ways of making them.


Mr Challinor would like to share with you some of his music lessons…

There has been lots of music making going on in the spring Term at Hollinwood Academy. We are lucky to have lots of talented musicians and performers in so many of our classes. Here is a brief summary of what everyone has been getting up to. 

The school band is really starting to rock now with students from Year 8 rehearsing songs by The Beatles and T-Rex. Using the Live Music Room we share with New Bridge school has really allowed the students to turn the amps up to 11 and knock the socks off all who have heard them. Watch this space for future gigs and performances from the band.

Primary students have been exploring instruments from guitars to drums and percussion. They have been performing songs to represent various places such as Home, Manchester, London and even Paris.

Miss Fletcher’s class have been developing their performance skills on guitar, keyboard, and drums. They have been learning a song by Oasis called “Songbird” and are sounding really good so far!

Students in year 7 have been developing their drumming skills, developing co-ordination using our state-of-the-art digital kit and soft cushions to practice on. They have really taken to the patterns and are sounding great! We have some future rock stars in our midst!

Students in year 8 have been learning about Blues music and have learnt their first 12 Bar Blues patterns on the Guitar – we have some fabulous guitar players and performers, who are always ready to share performances with the class.

Students in year 9 have been developing their knowledge of music used in media such as films and video games – using Garageband and keyboards to practice, perform, and compose their own music for these genres.


On Wednesday Miss Tootill and Miss Simms children had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Lawrence and his Activ8 group. The New Bridge students delivered a variety of small games to promote their sport leader skills and proved to be great role models for the next generation of leaders. We can’t wait for next week’s session.

And let’s hear from Mrs Fletcher…

We have had such a great week in class.

 We started off our first day back with a pancake themed day, we did pancake day crafts and decorated and tasted mini pancakes in our food technology lesson. I was very impressed with Aiden’s independent cutting skills- super job!
We wrote some super sentences using colourful semantics in English, Katie produced some beautiful handwritten sentences with Antonia.
On Thursday, the students enjoyed celebrating world book day. The students enjoyed exploring the Indian elephant that Jess brought in and used this to add to the school story about Gary the snail.
On Friday, Daanish attended his student council meeting and enjoyed sharing his ideas with the class. It has been lovely to watch him take on this role with pride and commitment.
The students enjoyed visiting the town centre as part of their outdoor education lesson with Jen.
We finished the week with our assembly and proud cloud certificates to celebrate all of the student’s hard work. Mariam won star of the week for her hard work and determination- well done, superstar!Well done everyone for a super week!


Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs

Mrs Lerigo’s STARs of the week is the whole of reception class for being the most amazing students who love learning and are enthusiastic in everything they do! 🙂

Mrs Lerigo’s SEAL Superstar is Ziyan for making others happy with his laugh!!!

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Simi for the best costume for World Book Day.

Miss Marston’s STAR of the week is Maleek for working very hard this week.

Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Cole for great listening and following instructions on the carpet.

Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Shane for making great choices in his free time.

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moment goes to Cole, Logan, Shane, David, George and Jared. Well done!

Mrs Halkyard and Miss McDonalds’ STAR of the week is Sam for excellent maths work and for being resilient.

Mrs Halkyard and Miss McDonald’s SEAL of the week is Chris for supporting his friend when she won the competition yesterday.

Mrs Halkyard and Miss McDonald’s DOJO winner is Tyler. Well done!

Miss Prescott’s STAR of the week is Connor for putting his hand up when wanting to speak

Miss Prescott’s SEAL of the week is Eli for being an amazing friend and looking after his peers.

Miss Prescott’s DOJO winner is Fatima. Well done!

Miss Collinge’s STAR of the week is Lenni for a calm, settled and happy week.

Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Amario for accepting challenges in his lessons.

Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Ismaeel for being mature when dealing with difficult situations.

Mrs Woodhead’s STAR of the week is Jacob, Farrukh and Thomas for independently completing colourful semantics.

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Thomas for having a great settled first week back at school.

Miss Tootill’s SEAL of the week is Daniel for settling back into school and trying his best.

Miss Tootill’s DOJO winner is Charlie. Well done!


Now to our ‘Commitment to Learning Stars’:

Commitment to Learning Stars 

Please don’t forget to book your parents evening appointments via ParenstApp. If you are struggling with this please do not hesitate to contact Natalie or Courtney via email on: names@newbridgegroup.org or cfullen@newbridgegroup.org.


Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Millard


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