Hollinwood Academy

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HWA Blog - 01.12.2023


The mock GCSE exams for our Key Stage 4 students have concluded this week. I am incredibly proud of the dedication and effort that our students have demonstrated during these assessments, as they have applied themselves and worked diligently to complete the exams to the best of their abilities. 

We will be sharing the mock GCSE results with students and families on Friday 8th December. This information will provide you with an insight into your child’s current progress and areas for further development will be discussed at parents’ evening on Tuesday 12th December. It is important to remember that these results are a valuable tool to help our students focus on areas in need of improvement before the actual GCSE exams. 

We will also be holding our pastoral parents’ evening for the rest of the school from our reception class to Year 10. We strongly encourage all parents/carers to attend and engage in constructive conversations with our dedicated staff. If you have not already done so, please ensure that you have booked your appointment slot for the parents’ evening. You can do this by logging into your Arbor account, where you will be able to access the available time slots and select a suitable appointment that fits into your schedule. We believe that collaborative efforts between the school and parents play a crucial role in supporting our children and young people.  

On Tuesday we had our 3rd super learning day with the focus being on our new Artsmark journey. Artsmark is the only creative standard approved by the Arts Council England. This is a two-year journey in which we hope to gain a high standard within the award. Artsmark is all about how we can incorporate creative arts into our cross-curricular activities, with the opportunity to work with outside arts companies and the local community building cultural capital and improving wellbeing across the school. 

During the morning we talked about different types of creative activity and where we can find these in our local area. We have tried different activities such as creative writing and art inspired by the music we hear. Some classes took part in some dance and looked at how they felt both before and after the activity. 

We asked each child in school to create a feather design that will be incorporated into a mural that will hopefully feature prominently in the school. 

Students had a wonderfully creative morning! 


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

“What a fantastic week it has been! We are so happy to be in our favourite month of the year! 

Let’s take a look at what we did this week! 

In our English, we engaged in Talk4Writing lessons. We finished a fantastic story called ‘The Hug’. We could sequence the story using pictures, and some of us even retold the story with details and full sentences. This week, we started a new story called ‘The Ant and The Dove’, which teaches us the importance of helping others. In addition, we continued to practise our handwriting, and we are proud of our progress! 

In humanities, we worked on our geographical skills and fieldwork by studying our school corridors and playground. This was a lot of fun, and we created a map of our school! 

In science, we enjoyed learning about materials and their properties. We conducted a simple investigation to find out which materials can absorb water. We loved doing hands-on experiments and felt like real scientists! 

One of the highlights of our week was decorating our Christmas tree! We also made Elves’ hats using red and green paint, and our classroom is starting to look more and more like Christmas. 

We rehearsed for our Christmas show every day with another class. We can’t wait to show our parents our performance, but this is strictly confidential, so wait for it! 

In maths, we completed our focus on addition and subtraction and moved on to learning about 2D and 3D shapes. 

This week, we also focused on an important topic in PSHE: keeping our bodies healthy. We now understand how important it is to brush our teeth, wash our hands, eat fruits and vegetables, and exercise daily! 

We are excited to have fun and celebrate the next three weeks before the Christmas break.”


Now to Mrs Young’s form… 

“This week in our science lessons, we focused on defining evaporation and condensation and investigated the effect of temperature on the rate of evaporation. 

We also described the process of diffusion, modelled it, and investigated factors that affect the rate of diffusion. We carried out various experiments where Air Freshener was sprayed in one corner of the room. The students then raised their hand when they smelled the air freshener. We then asked students to become two different particles by moving around the room until they felt they were evenly distributed. Diffusion in liquids was explained though submerging 2 lollipop sticks into cold and hot water and observing changes which occurred within a timely manner. We also used food colouring to notice how hot and cold water impacted the droplets and how diffusion occurred.  

In our Geography lesson we learnt how height and relief is shown and how to recognise changes on a map. We then used a map excerpt to identify various symbols, read grid co-ordinates and spotted the highest point and suggested what directions to take to reach specific destination. Our last task was to make a 3D model of a contour map of your choice. 

In our English lessons, we continued to work on our travel brochures. We looked at various types of brochures and enlisted advantages and disadvantages of each example, focusing on identifying the layout, audience and purpose of a travel brochure. 

We then focused on writing about our dream holiday and a holiday from hell. Our last task was to write a letter of complaint to a hotel which low standards made our holiday a negative experience.   

In our History lesson this week, our class examined the causes, events and consequences of The Harrying of the North by William I. We learnt that by the end of 1066, and after his coronation as king, William I controlled much of the south of England. However, in the rest of the country there had been powerful rebellions against his rule. William then ordered his men to burn and destroy whole villages in the north – including killing the people who lived there. Crops were burned and animals were slaughtered. This was a clear message to any future rebels that they and their communities would face the most severe consequences. We became accustomed with the meaning of the following key terms: rebellion,​ siege​, famine​, harrying​ and conqueror We then focused on understanding the events of the Harrying of the North, such as: Why were the Anglo-Saxon rebels in the north of England able to put up such a strong fight against the Norman army? Why were so many people in the north of England against having William as their new king? Why was William so brutal in his response to the rebellions in the north? Why did William introduce a new punishment for anyone found guilty of attacking a Norman? Our last focus was on analysing the evidence and reading various sources to be able to outline, suggest and verify the credibility of them and the information they contained. 

We also participated in making personalised Christmas tree decorations together with other Nurture classes. Our work will then be displayed on a Christmas tree in our department.”


Now to Miss Hand’s form… 


The Vision Hub have had a busy few weeks with mock exams and they are very pleased that they are over (can’t you tell)! Miss Hand, Miss Ashcroft and Miss Lyon are extremely proud of how well they have done and how much resilience they have shown throughout the mock exams. We hope all students persevere with their hard work over the next few months and have the same attitude to learning for when the real exams are here.  

Beside their hard work during the mock exams, the students have had a busy week in the rest of their lessons. The Vision Hub have started to learn new topics including Chemical Reactions in Science, Expanding and Factorising in Maths and in English the students have been reading and exploring poems in depth by picking out language techniques within them. In ICT, they have started their coursework which includes independent research tasks and in Art, we have been studying and exploring Chris Rynaik and Maurice Sendak and re-creating their work by making cartoon animated animal drawings.  

Last but not least, the Vision Hubs favourite part of the week, Duke of Edinburgh. This week the students went for a walk around Strinesdale Reservoir in preparation for their all-weather Bronze/Silver award that will take place next year.  

Vision Hub have certainly earnt their rest this weekend, ready to go again next week!”




Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and HWA Caring STARs… 

Mrs Lerigo’s STAR of the week is Teddy for amazing signing when practising for the Christmas Show. 

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Effy for amazing inspirational work in Art, working in the style of Megan Coyle. 

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Diana for her progress in communication and learning. Well done Diana! 

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Teddy for using his spontaneous speech to communicate with his teachers and friends. Well done Teddy! 

Mrs Quinn’s STAR of the week is Riley for showing affection to his familiar adults. 

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Lewis for being a kind friend this week. 

Mr Corrigan’s HWA Inspiring star is Stanley for some great independent maths work this week. 

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moments go to Faiha, Maya and Louis. Well done! 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is David for listening to his teachers all week. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Loki for making good choices when angry. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s WOW moments go to Xander and Logan. Well done! 

Miss Hulme’s STAR of the week is Oscar for having a fantastic week. Well done! 

Miss Hulme’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Thomas for creating his own fabulous personification sentences.  

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Nabiha for trying hard to make safe choices.  

Miss Matthew’s STAR of the week is Renico for engaging in all lessons this week!  

Miss Matthew’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Eli for putting in great effort in with his maths this week! 

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Jake for always encouraging his peers and being  a supportive role model.  

Miss Tootill’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Jackson for inspiring his peers to be creative with their work. 

Well done to our secondary Hollinwood Academy STARs this week!

PICS Secondary stars  


On Friday we started the ‘Countdown to Christmas’ and we have a number of key events taking place over the next few weeks:  

Pastoral and Year 11 academic Parents’ Evening – Tuesday 12th December 

We are pleased to invite you to our Pastoral Parents Evening, which will be held on Thursday, 12th December. This evening provides an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s class/form teacher and discuss their progress, well-being, and any concerns or questions you may have. We highly encourage all parents to attend this informative and supportive event. Please ensure you book an appointment via your Arbor account.  

Primary Christmas Show – Thursday 14th December at 9:30am 

We are thrilled to announce that our Primary Christmas Show will be held on Thursday 14th December. Our students have been rehearsing daily to bring you a delightful and memorable performance. We invite parents and families to join us for this special occasion.  

Christmas Jumper Day, Christmas Dinner and Christmas Markets – Wednesday 20th December 

To get into the festive spirit, we will be holding a Christmas Jumper Day on Wednesday 20th December. Students are welcome to wear their favourite Christmas jumpers along with their regular uniform. Additionally, we will be serving a delicious Christmas dinner and holing our Christmas Markets that’s always a big success as the children ad young people love the range of activities we have,  

Autumn Term Reports 

We would like to assure you that your child’s progress is of utmost importance to us. As such, we are in the process of preparing their autumn term reports. These reports will provide a comprehensive overview of your child’s academic achievements and social development. We aim to send these reports out via Arbor during the week beginning 18th December. Please ensure that you have registered and activated your Arbor account to access your child’s report. 

School closes for the Christmas break – Friday 22nd December 

School reopens for the new term – Monday 8th January 2024  


As the mornings and evenings are darker we may experience some colder and icier weather too. If we experience heavy snow and ice my priority is always the safety for the children, young people and staff. All decisions are taken around that concern. There may be extreme circumstances when it is necessary to close the school. I would only take that decision if the student’s and staff’s safety are put at risk because:  

  • ​There are not enough staff in school because of unexpected snow/weather conditions
  • ​The weather makes it too dangerous for staff and students to travel to school
  • ​The grounds are too dangerous
  • ​The heating/hot water is not working
  • ​School dinners are not available


I will try to make a decision about school closure as soon as possible and will inform parents through Arbor, a message on the school website, social media, local radio stations and through Oldham Council’s website www.oldham.gov.uk (School Closures). Please can you ensure we have up to date contact details so you receive any news as soon as possible. 


After school club may be cancelled when the weather is poor too. We will contact parents via Arbor. 


During the winter period, if it is safe to do so, the children and young people will spend some time outside playing in the snow. This means the students will need wellingtons or sturdy boots plus a change of footwear and spare socks for inside. Also ensure your child is well wrapped up with a thick coat, hat, gloves and scarves. Winter is definitely on the way. 


I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Mrs Millard