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HWA Blog - 1.3.24


I hope you had a lovely half-term break, it has been a busy first week here at Hollinwood Academy.  

On Monday, we had an INSET day and this year, we invited a trauma informed expert, Tony Sammon, to deliver whole school training. This was in response to staff voice and has become a crucial part of our CPD programme, it plays an essential role in ensuring that our staff deliver the best possible education and support to our children and young people. 

Trauma-informed practice is a strengths-based approach, which seeks to understand and respond to the impact of trauma on people's lives. The approach emphasises physical, psychological and emotional safety for everyone and aims to empower individuals. The training focussed on equipping our staff with the knowledge and skills to create a safe and supportive environment for all our students, particularly those who may have experienced trauma. By understanding the impact of trauma on children and young people, our staff will be better prepared to provide effective support and guidance when needed.  

As an advocate for staff CPD, I firmly believe that teachers are always learning and I invest in their continuous CPD as I know this directly benefits and supports the children and young people they teach and impacts the quality of education every child and young person receives. 


My belief in continuous staff CPD was highlighted in the section ‘What does the school need to do to improve further’ in our last Ofsted report, 3rd – 4th July 2019, which stated:  

‘Continue to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills and share good practice across the school.’ 


In line with Ofsted’s recommendations, we have continued to develop our CPD programme in response to staff voice and ultimately the needs of the children and young people. I feel our offer is strong and strengthens our whole school community. This is also echoed in the staff feedback that we received for the CPD on Monday as staff embraced this opportunity:  


"I loved the mixture of the course including Tony talking, powerpoint slides, personal experience examples, videos and participation from ourselves, it kept the whole room engaged all day. There wasn't anything he spoke about that wasn't relevant to us as a school and the young people we teach. He was EXTREMELY knowledgeable, and his passion shone through."

"I loved it, I thought it was very engaging and lots of great information to take away and realistic examples that can be used to strengthen what we already do! My team thought the same too they enjoyed it ! quoting the best training they've had. "

"I thought yesterday was amazing – thank you! "

"The training was phenomenal and Tony had fantastic knowledge on the subject."

"Sharing his own experiences made it very relatable and easy to identify children in school."

"Really informative and enjoyable training which has given me lots to think about in terms of how to approach certain pupils and a very approachable trainer."


Several of my colleagues and I thought that Tony’s session was the best training we have received for a long time. He was clearly knowledgeable and it was great to receive training from someone with so much experience who had clearly spent lots of time studying in order for him for him to talk so passionately 



This term is always the shortest but that does not stop it being a busy half term. We have year 11 final GCSE practical food exams and the GCSE art exam this term while our year 6 students are busy sitting KS2 SATs practice papers.  

We will also be celebrating World Book Day, Mother’s Day, Ramadan, Red Nose Day, Sign Language Week, Science Week and Easter. I am also sure our year 8 students are looking forward to the annual Disney residential on Monday 11th March! We also have our full governor’s meeting on Monday 18th March and one of our new governors Rebecca Halkyard will be attending. We are still onboarding Hazel Booth so she will not be attending this meeting, however, it was lovely to welcome Hazel into school this week for a tour and to meet some of the children, young people and staff.  As I wrote to families this week with the sad news that Robert Cockcroft has resigned as our Chair of Governors I have had a big recruitment drive. I am pleased to inform families that we have recruited Rebecca Ashton as another governor for Hollinwood Academy this week. Becs has worked across different local authorities, in schools and more recently at Greater Manchester Fire Service as a health and safety manager. She has an abundance of compliance knowledge and understanding and will be another great asset to Hollinwood Academy.  


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


"Last term was a super busy one for year 6 and the children worked hard on fitting so much in.  

In English the class used Talk4Writing to break down and understand the structure of a fictional portal story. We based this on the classic story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Every member of the class was able to remember a micro fictional version of the story using pictures to prompt their memory. Next, we innovated our own portal story following the structure of the writing which helped them to build enough confidence to create their own imaginative pieces which they were all very proud of. All children were extremely motivated by this approach to writing showing enthusiasm throughout and are already guessing our next book! 

In History last term our focus was The Mayans. We learnt who they were, where they lived, what they believed and compared their lifestyles to those of the Anglo-Saxons. For our end of topic lesson, the children designed and created their own death/event masks out of clay and decided what materials they would have created their masks from and reasons why based on Mayan superstitions. 

Science proved to be a firm favourite last term as the children explored the world of ‘light’. The children were interested to learn how we see and were able to label various parts of the eye. They discovered that light travels in straight lines, causing shadows when blocked which range in size as the opaque/translucent object is moved closer or further away from the source of light. The class enjoyed exploring this further when they learned that light could refract, and they enjoyed making their own rainbows and mixing filtered colours.  

The first week of Spring 2 has been fantastic and the class has settled back into routines without issues. As we had finished reading last term's class reading book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ which they all enjoyed, the children were happy to find out what this term’s book would be. ‘Cogheart’ is a hit and the class are already hooked. Reading every morning, Guided Reading sessions and lessons using ‘Edshed’ is really helping the class grow in confidence in reading and they are asking me to read with them.  

We as a team are so proud of you all and are excited to watch as you fly in the final half of year 6! "

HMS - 1.3.24


Now to Mrs Whalley’s form… 


"7DWY have been very busy this term learning lots of new skills. 

In Food Tech, students have made pancakes, the class teacher and TAs were very impressed that they followed the recipe independently. 

Students worked as a team in Geography when investigating microclimates. They checked the wind direction, wind speed, temperature and took light readings. 

Mr Challinor has been very impressed with the class when they have been playing the drums, it was lovely to hear how engaged the students have been. 

In Science, students have enjoyed and engaged in experiments looking at chemical reactions and describing what they could see. 

Students have been constructing 3D letter shapes in Art and have demonstrated great making skills. They are about to start work on some independent learning working on a theme of their choice. 

On visits to Daisy Nook, Tandle Hill and Alexandra Park, students have learnt orienteering and map reading skills. 

As a new start myself in September, I feel privileged to be working with the young people at Hollinwood Academy. It is wonderful to see students in 7DWY flourish and achieve."

DWY - 1.3.24


Now to Mr Akhtar’s form… 


"The form can’t believe they are halfway through the school year!  

In October we welcomed a new student to the form, Lucie. Lucie has fitted right into the form and it’s like she has always been a member of AAR.  

This week is a short week as there was an inset day on Monday, so our first lesson of the week was a trip to Straindale reservoir, orienteering during outdoor education. The form worked as a team and managed to navigate their way around the reservoir and back to the minibus using a map. Map skills will be key to helping them navigate the Disneyland theme park during their upcoming trip to Disneyland, Paris.  

Lessons this week have been starting new topics and reenforcing knowledge that has been learnt during last term. During ICT this term the form will be designing their own website pages and the form has already started gathering ideas and images to develop their own websites. 

During this week’s ECHP lesson the class looked at how their peers see them, there were lots of positive comments and it appears form AAR is a form full of comedians as a lot of the class decided that their peers were funny, and we have to agree the class is always full of laughter and happy smiles. 

In English the year 8 classes have started to look at poetry, the language technique used, structure, meaning and emotions behind different poems. I can’t wait to read the forms poems that they create later on in the term. 

From this term the year 8 cohort will be working towards the AQA Entry level qualification for science. This qualification will be in addition to the Science GCSE, the cohort will eventually do in year 11. This week the class have been trying to find out which food has the most energy in science, by burning pasta, crisps etc.  

In Spanish lessons the form has been learning about going to or not going to their favourite places such as, a shopping centre, the park, bowling alleys or a museum. They have learnt about using directions, being behind, in front of, next to or opposite a building.  

Geography the form is learning about the factors effecting a countries climate, they were shocked to discover that the UK is getting colder not warmer due to climate change.  

PE this term is Cricket, Cricket is a great team building exercise as they must all work together to pick up runs or catch the person on the wicket out.  

In the forms cooking lesson the form learnt how to cook rice, a simple thing to cook but tricky not making it turn into rice pudding. The form has been learning some fantastic skills over the last term, using different equipment and techniques so that in the future they will be able to cook for themselves.  

The class are very excited about the upcoming year 8 trip to Disneyland Paris in a few weeks’ time, there is a lovely buzz around the year 8 cohort of excited energy and chatter about what clothes they are taking, the colour of their suitcases, what music and treats they are taking for the journey. The form team hope they have an amazing time and make lots of memories on their trip to Paris, France."

AAR - 1.3.24


Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and HWA Creative STARs...

Mrs Lerigo’s STAR of the week is Albi-Lee for super achievements with his writing, Albi-Lee you are doing so well. 

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Creative STAR is Louie for independently creating a pretend stew in the kitchen, he chopped up so many vegetables. 

Miss Bramley’s STAR of the week is Abdul for trying is hardest and persevering  in maths even when it became a little difficult.  

Miss Bramley’s HWA Creative STAR is Zachary for his creative play within our story area and being so creative in art.  

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Freddie for having a brilliant first week back to school, well done Freddie! 

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Creative STAR is Teddy for being creative in his play, playing different scenarios with the toys. Well done! 

Miss Bailey’s STAR of the week is Noel for some great interaction with his peers and fantastic communication! Well Done Noel! 

Miss Bailey’s HWA Creative STAR is Cody for engaging with and exploring a variety of activities independently. 

Mrs Quinn’s STAR of the week is William for saying new words. 

Mrs Quinn’s HWA Creative STAR is Olly for showing a willingness to explore. 

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Maya for giving her absolute best in Maths this week—well done! 

Mr Corrigan’s HWA Creative star is Simisola for thinking creatively in her lessons this week. 

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moments go to Lewis, Maya & Faiha. Well done! 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Cole for his participation and effort in music | David - for having the best behaviour all week. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Creative STAR is Isaam for creating the cutest dinosaur books at home and in school. 

Mrs Davies’ STAR of the week is Shayan for settling back into school and accepting help to regulate. 

Mrs Davies’ HWA Creative STAR is Ijaaz for using paint and a straw to create a dinosaur silhouette. 

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Hadley for completing all of her English work. 

Miss Gittins’ HWA Creative STAR is Nabiha for excellent listening and making her own caterpillar in topic. 

Miss Gittins’ SUPER SPELLERS this week are Joshua, Caitlin, Nabiha, Ollie, Mia & Hadley. Well done! 

Miss Matthew’s STARs of the week are Renico for showing much more patience in the playground with other children and making progress in one of his personal targets and Eli for his contribution in our ‘rights’ lesson in PSHRE!  

Miss Matthew’s HWA Creative STAR is Rafael for his amazing Mayan death mask!  

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Millie for communicating her wants and needs with a trusted adult.  

Miss Tootill’s HWA Creative STAR is Dylan for a creative story map.  


Also, well done to Alfie who received his Headteacher’s award today from last half term. 


Next week, I have been called for jury service and I will not be on site for two weeks. My senior leadership team, Ms Gordon and Mrs Needham, my deputy heads, will be on hand if there are any matters of concern, questions or comments. I will be keeping an eye on my emails, as and when I can, and I have no doubt that the school will continue to run smoothly and I plan to check in with the staff every day. Over the next few weeks, Mrs Needham will be writing the blog and I'm excited to read these to find out what has been happening while I've been away from the school. 


I hope you have a lovely weekend.  

Mrs Millard