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HWA Blog – 6.10.23


For this week’s blog I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on the extra-curricular activities that have been reviewed and offered to our students for this academic year. 

We are pleased to inform you that the range of extra-curricular activities on offer continues to be both diverse and exciting. Catherine Watson, along with the support of our dedicated staff team, has played a crucial role in overseeing the implementation of this new program. 

We have introduced cycling activities in collaboration with Tameside Cycles, which has allowed our students to learn the essential skill of riding a bike. We would like to highlight the progress of Zachary, who has exhibited exceptional growth by riding without stabilisers – a commendable achievement indeed! 

Art and Crafts activities, conducted under the guidance of Helen from Olganna, have been a resounding success. Students have honed their creativity and gained valuable skills, particularly in using the sewing machine. The projects undertaken have showcased their imagination and talent. 

Our tree champions initiative continues to flourish, with students actively involved in environmental preservation and caring for our school grounds. This project has provided them with an understanding of the importance of sustainability and the positive impact it can have on our community. 

For sports enthusiasts, our boxing club has been a popular choice among students, allowing them to develop their physical fitness, discipline, and self-confidence. We have witnessed remarkable progress in the skills and techniques demonstrated by our young boxers. 

Lastly, our football club remains a favourite among students, taking place every Monday after school. The camaraderie and passion displayed by our aspiring footballers have been truly inspiring to watch. 

This week also was the start of the extra-curricular girls’ football club! We are delighted to share that our girls had the incredible experience of visiting the prestigious Manchester City football stadium. 

This initiative aims to encourage our students to develop their passion for football, while promoting physical exercise, team building, and a sense of camaraderie among our students. We believe that participation in extracurricular activities is not only fun but also allows students to develop important life skills such as discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. 

During their visit to the Manchester City football stadium, our girls had the chance to tour the facilities, including the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel, and even the pitch itself. They were also given the opportunity to learn from professional coaches who provided valuable insights and tips to enhance their football skills. We are confident that this experience will not only inspire our students but also ignite their enthusiasm for the sport. 

Year 11 students had the opportunity to visit Oldham College to explore the learning environment for KS5 education on Friday. This visit aimed to highlight the options available to our students for further education and to support their preparation for adulthood. 

During the visit, our students had the chance to explore various subject areas offered by the college. They had the opportunity to visit the sports and health suites, digital pathway classrooms, music studios, a car garage, as well as the construction and student areas. This allowed them to gain insight into the facilities and resources available at the college. 

One exciting aspect of the visit was when our students bumped into Ali, who left Hollinwood Academy last year and is currently attending Oldham College. Ali expressed his enjoyment of studying there and mentioned that he has settled in well. It was fantastic to see a familiar face and hear positive feedback from one of our previous students. 

Our esteemed member of the TA3 intervention support team, Shona, bid us farewell at the end of last week. 

Shona has been an invaluable asset to our team, dedicating her time and effort to support our students in their educational journey. Her commitment to the personal and academic development of our children has been outstanding, and her presence will be greatly missed. 

During her time at our school, Shona has shown exceptional dedication, creativity, and a genuine passion for helping students reach their full potential. Her individualised approach to intervention support has yielded notable improvements in the learning outcomes of many students. It is clear that her hard work and dedication have made a significant impact on our students’ progress. 

Shona has demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills, building strong relationships with both students and their families. Her friendly and compassionate nature has made her a trusted source of support and guidance for many parents and carers. Shona has consistently ensured that parents are well-informed about their child’s progress, providing regular feedback and advice. 

We would be remiss not to express our gratitude for the substantial contributions Shona has made to our school community. Her unwavering commitment and positive attitude have created a nurturing and inclusive environment for our students to thrive in. 

The staffing team also wanted me to share some fantastic news regarding our recent secondary curriculum meeting. In particular, they would like to highlight the outstanding performance of Mrs. Hand’s class. 

During the meeting, the entire staff team expressed their admiration for the level of engagement shown by all the students in Mrs. Hand’s class. This is truly remarkable and speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment of both the students and the teaching staff. 

Subjects like Science, Maths, English, ICT, PE, and DofE were discussed in the meeting, and the teachers unanimously acknowledged the positive attitude and active participation demonstrated by the students. Such engagement is crucial in fostering a stimulating learning environment and ensuring academic success. 

It is indeed heartening to witness the progress and enthusiasm displayed by our students. We are immensely proud of the students’ accomplishments, and we wanted to extend our gratitude to you for your continued support and encouragement. It is evident that your involvement has greatly contributed to their success. 



The student councillors shared a letter this week via Arbor saying that Hollinwood Academy is taking part in #HelloYellow on 10th October 2023 this World Mental Health Day. We are looking forward to seeing everyone wearing yellow for the event. 



This week we are proud and honoured to launch Hollinwood Academy’s ‘Letters to Heaven’ post box, for lost loved-ones! 

The idea was born, earlier this year during a bereavement intervention when Dekon, one of our Y11 students, discussed how he loved writing letters to his Mum, who he sadly and suddenly lost during Covid. He spoke about telling her everything in his letters, that he wished he could do in real life and then imagining her response and this helps him cope with his loss. We were inspired by 9 year old Matilda Handy, from Nottingham, who sadly lost both grandparents and wanted a way to express her emotions. She has been the inspiration in the launch of ‘Letters to Heaven’ post boxes in crematoriums across the UK and now the inspiration for us to have our very own post box in school. 

The process of writing letters, drawing pictures and sending cards to a lost loved-one brings therapeutic comfort to many and is a beautiful way of releasing thoughts, feelings and emotions, rather than holding it all in, which aids the process of grief. 

Our students at Hollinwood Academy often talk to staff about losing family members, this can include friends and family who haven’t gone to heaven, but they are no longer in touch with and also pets they have lost. We hope this ‘Letters to Heaven’ post box brings comfort to everyone who uses it. The post box is situated in the Reception area, for all to use, including parents and carers. The letters, pictures and cards will be treated and stored respectfully and kept in a safe and secure place once removed from the post box. 

Here is Dekon posting his letter to his Mum. He is extremely proud of the post box and has even told Mum in this letter that the post box was his idea and hopes heaven is amazing for her!  


Mrs Lerigo’s signs of the week were outdoor education, bus and park. 


Miss Meadow’s class are working hard to include and encourage sign along within our lessons. Mrs Jen taught us some Outdoor Education signs such as park, outside and bus. These will be incorporated into our targets for transition. We also learnt some spooky words to match our sound of the day ‘s’ such as ‘spider’ during our sensory activities.  

Now for this week’s blog… 


Mrs Davies’ class… 

“It has been a really busy start to the year and the class team are extremely proud of how quickly the class settled back into our daily routines. 

Our topic this half term is “Superheroes.” We spent the first two weeks looking at the book “ Supertato,” during this time we had lots of fun exploring a variety of sensory experiences such as squishing the evil pea, we learnt all about colours and made our own Supertato paint prints as well as exploring the feel, smell and even taste of some of the vegetables before sorting them into groups.  

The following two weeks we moved onto Super Hero’s, we set Spider-Man free who had got himself stuck in his spaghetti web, we helped Hulk do a Hulk smash and mashed up all the potatoes and even helped Aquaman explore the orbez.  

This week we moved onto real life Superheroes. We’ve enjoyed learning about how doctors help us when we’re poorly, we even had ago at looking after the dolls in the classroom. We’ve looked at how firemen put out fires and enjoyed drawing our own fires with chalk before using our symbols to request water and spray bottles to put fires out. The class visited our class shop and exchanged symbols for their desired objects. Finally, we looked at how dentists look at our teeth and how important it is to brush them twice a day, the children worked really hard to brush the teeth pictures as well as having ago at independently brushing their own teeth.  

This half term we have also been looking at de-escalation techniques and learnt about how it’s important to understand how to regulate ourselves when feeling frustrated. We’ve found that our weekly TACPAC sessions have really helped the children. During this time, we use a carrousel approach to learning and have two children taking part in TACPAC, two children relaxing in foot spas and two people having a sensory session and rotate accordingly.  

During PSHRE we’ve been looking at friendships, it’s been really nice to see the children playing alongside each other and initiating play.  

Drying our phonics sessions, we have continued with our see and learn 1:1 session as well as our fine motor tray task, mark making task and verb of the day task.  

We’re so proud of the progress the children have made already this year and we can’t wait to make more memories as well as watching the children grow and progress more throughout the year. On behalf of myself, Elise and Michelle we hope you all have a wonderful weekend.”


Ms Prescott’s class… 

“7JPT have started the year really well and we will be welcoming a new pupil to our class on Monday, which we are very much looking forward to.  

One of our students has been creating some amazing pieces of fiction during our form time activities.  

As a class, we are also becoming more responsible and have recently passed our Bunsen burner safety test, which is a fantastic achievement at such an early part of the academic year.  

We are looking forward to finishing the first term after producing some really good work and enjoying lots of positive moments in our new school.” 


Mrs Rashid’s class… 

“This week the students have started a new topic in Maths, solving equations (inequalities), in English we have been nearing the end of our 19th century gothic novel ‘The Woman in Black’ which they have really enjoyed! 

During Duke of Edinburgh the students visited Delph experiencing different types of walks. 

The students got to use one if our new labs in Science this week training on how to use the Bunsen burner and experimenting with metals. The students have been getting creative in art making clay models, during target support we have been working on budgeting and are given a weekly task during our trip to Asda. This week the students made budget pizzas from tortillas. 

We are also continuing with our weekly cricket sessions a Cricket coach from the ECB with 11SHD 

We all were given a lesson lead by Connor during one targeted support on how to make an eco friendly soap from a conkers which we all thoroughly enjoyed.”

Now for this week’s stars of the week…

Mrs Lerigos star of the week is Ethan for amazing engagement in his learning all week. 

Mrs Lerigos caring star of the week is Teddy M for helping his friends in class when they get upset and finding them a drink to calm down. 


Miss Natalia’s star of the week is  Alfie for following instructions, accepting the daily routine and a change within the classroom and staff.  Well done Alfie, we are very proud of you! 

Mis Natalia’s caring star of the week is Freddie for being kind and sharing toys with his friends. Well done Freddie, we are very proud of you! 


Mrs McDonald’s and Miss Boothroyd’s stars of the week are:  

Hollinwood Star of the week is Cole for always trying his best. 

Caring Star of the week is Isaam for comforting his friends when they are upset. 

WOW moment of the week is Shane for writing an amazing story in English. 

WOW moment of the week is Loki for playing twinkle twinkle little star in music. 


Mrs Bramley’s Star of the week is Eliora. 

Hollinwood caring star of the week is Diana . 

Mr Corrigan’s stars of the week… 

Congratulations to Simisola for doing really well on Outdoor Ed. this week. 

Hollinwood Academy Caring star congratulations to Stanley for playing really well with others this week. 

WOW! congratulations to Simisola, Maya & Faiha for being proud of their friends. 

Congratulations to Faiha for great manners at lunch time. 


Mrs Gitten’s star of the week is Hadley for feeling confident to retell our story in front of the entire class. 

Miss Hulme’s star of the week is Derry for fantastic work all week.  

Hollinwood caring star goes to Oscar for making new friends on the playground.  


Miss Tootill’s Stars is Jackson for being caring and asking for help to discuss his emotions.  

Caring Star is Zack for making the right choices.  

Miss Meadows’ star of the week is Cody for excellent engagement, requesting and language. You superstar, you have blown us away. 

Secondary stars of the week are: 

Shaheem  (8TFI) for creating excellent research PowerPoints. 

Byron for speaking up more in class and making an effort to answer questions.

Tyler for trying hard in English and doing some fantastic independent work.

Olivia for consistent hard work in English and producing beautiful written work .

Leon from year 9 for excellent work in English lesson. 

Riley for positive attitude during DofE .

Alex G for work ethics in maths.

Freya for positive attitude to learning in maths.

Tyler for great effort in maths.

Leo for great work in maths.

Nathian for working independently during targeted support studying PE.

Jack H for excellent work in Science.

Lewis for excellent work in Science. 

Leah for excellent work in Science.

Connor for excellent work in Science.

Have a lovely weekend, 

Mrs Needham 


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