Hollinwood Academy

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HWA Blog - 10.11.2023


On Wednesday, Mr Heap and myself awarded some of our KS4 students with their Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh certificates. We are incredibly proud of all of the students for their hard work and dedication after completing their summer expeditions. They have all demonstrated resilience, team work and leadership skills. We would like to personally wish you all good luck with your next awards this academic year and we can’t wait to see your continued progress. We are also extremely excited to announce that Nathian, Josh, Christie and Rachel are our first students to take on the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award at Hollinwood Academy. Well done and keep up the hard work!!

On Wednesday afternoon, our main body year 10 students had the fantastic opportunity to visit The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester to watch a modern adaption of Shakespeare’s classic and much-loved play, Romeo and Juliet. The students attended a matinee showing and were impeccably behaved throughout. Mrs Nuttall and all the staff involved were extremely proud of the maturity and good manners shown by our young people. There were a large number of school groups in the theatre and Mrs Nuttall reported that Hollinwood were the best school there! It was a relaxed performance so that our students could take a break from the play as and when needed, but most students watched the entire play and thoroughly enjoyed it! Watching a live performance of a play has a powerful impact on young people and we believe, having experienced this, it will support them massively with their GCSE study of the play this half term. A few students have since expressed an interest in pursuing theatre/drama studies and performing arts after they leave Hollinwood. The educational outreach workers from The Royal Exchange have given Mrs Nuttall some information about how our students can get involved in projects with the theatre. They are doing a lot of work in the Rochdale area over the next few years and if anybody is interested, please let Mrs Nuttall know so that she can pass on all the relevant details. Well done year 10 – we are extremely proud of you all!


With Remembrance Day this weekend our students have been taking part in themed activities and have used their creativity to adorn their classroom doors with poppies and remembrance themed decorations. Lest we forget.


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

“Since coming back after the half term break, the children have settled back into new routines and are enjoying School. We have been up to lots of different activities, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

We have introduced our new topic for the half term, Why Are Rainforests Important? The children have completed some amazing work already and have some great knowledge. The children have been learning about all the different rainforests we have, where they are and what they’re like. We have also been learning about the different layers and why they are needed. We have enjoyed researching all the different animals that live in the rainforest from Jaguars, tigers and spider monkeys to anacondas and poisonous frogs!

In PSHRE we have been exploring Health and wellbeing. Last week we looked at teeth hygiene, why it is important and how we can make sure our teeth are healthy. The children were very proud of their work and their own pearly whites! This week we looked at Relaxation: Visualisation, we watched a video that guided us through meditation. Taking us to our calm and happy place, the children described it as ‘feeling like they can fly’ once it had ended and were all falling asleep!

In English this week, the children have been introduced to ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ a story about time travel. We are all very excited about this book and have already made our own time machines. We have started our story map to help us remember the plot of the story and this will help us write some amazing stories of our own in a few weeks’ time.

In Science we are learning about States of Matter – we have previously made lava lamps and this week are making Oobleck. The children were amazed to see that Oobleck defies the ‘rules’ and presents both as a solid and a liquid! We also had fun observing a solid chocolate bar melt into a liquid and monitoring the different temperature changes and how it affected the state of matter.

KS2CML/VBD have had lots of fun in other lessons this week too, we have enjoyed soft play, PE, singing in Music and going shopping in the local supermarket as part of our outdoor education lesson. We are excited about this term and cannot wait for all the upcoming fun lessons.”

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Now to Mr Duffy’s form…

“This week 8 GDY started the week by investigating energy transfer with Mrs. Boutell in Science. Energy and energy transfer is something that I would suggest has threaded itself through 8 GDY this term.

When I reflect on my own subject of Food Technology energy has been integral. This week’s lesson 8 GDY were able to demonstrate safety as students all used an electric whisk to make a pineapple upside down cake. The topic students are studying this term is to demonstrate using a variety of electrical equipment safely and confidently. The electrical equipment they have used has included using a microwave, whilst making a mug cake. A food processor to make breadcrumbs for enrobing chicken nuggets and a blender for making a healthy smoothie. The students were all independent and have built on practical skills from last year, which included knife skills, weighing and measuring and confidently and independently following a range of recipes.

Alex has presented this energy through his new- found passion, with Spanish. He cannot wait to express how much he is loving speaking Spanish when he returns to form. When entering form, he immediately expresses his delight and surprise at his own Spanish linguistic skills.

In addition to this, this seems to have spread as Liam who has also been excelling in his Spanish speaking skills. When Mrs. Cowling asked the students to express their preference for music Liam noted that the music he loved: ‘touched his soul’. More importantly he expressed this in Spanish!

Alexis has also exceeded beyond belief! She has progressed in every lesson and is simply an orb of positive energy! Her reading on Bedrock’ learning had gone up by 84% since September 2023. Academically, she is also achieving incredible results in her maths assessments. However, this is not all, as she has been so polite with new staff and has shown such kindness in supporting new students joining Hollinwood Academy. What more could her form teacher want?

Ivy is always overachieving in art, but she is doing incredibly well in maths and Englisg. Ivy is always able to cheer everybody up in form and this week told us all a story of when she was an infant, which left us laughing in stitches. We love the way she is able to articulate her funny stories and cheer us up in form time. This week we also proud that Ivy has opened up to unfamiliar staff and has formed some lovely relationships with staff outside the form. Thank you to Linda in pastoral.

Akeem has made us feel incredibly proud this week, demonstrating his leadership skills by taking part in Lego therapy where he was the ‘Engineer’. Akeem had to look at the instructions and describe to the ‘Supplier’ what pieces he needed. Everybody agreed the task was made much easier because of how Akeem was, giving great adjectives and instructions.

Whilst we are discussing feeling proud, we cannot forget our lovely Madelaine. Every lesson she makes Hollinwood Academy proud of her, because of the ease of how she achieves in every lesson. This week I sat with her in form and was completely blown away by her beautiful handwriting. She was explaining how she likes to organise her day in a diary. Madelaine has the most beautiful handwriting, which puts me to shame. Last year Madelaine did worry about her handwriting, which looking at it now is hard to believe. We in 8 GDY are so incredibly proud of Maddie’s beautiful handwriting and also the fact she loves to write.

We have also been so proud of Nicholas this week, who has been pushing himself out of his comfort zone and working in a team with his peers. This is wonderful to hear.

Nicholas joined GDY in July 2023, and has been a key pupil in form. This week he has also become actively engaged with Physical Education with the support of teaching assistants and our amazing Physical Education staff. Nicolas has also taken part in some social activities Thanks to Mrs. Kulczycki!

Matthew, who once avoided sports, has also been getting involved with competitive sports with his peers. In fact, he has become a true and essential team player. Matthew has also joined the rest of GDY and visited Asda to independently choose and pay for shopping.

Logan is expressing that he wants to become more independent this week and is taking responsibility for his own learning. We in GDY want to celebrate this! Logan is on a journey, and we love that he is confident enough to include us! He knows that we will support him to find his own academic and social independence. He had a fabulous first day and he has a network to support and help him on his journey with Mrs. Wojtysiak, Mrs. Brown, Miss Fletcher, Mrs. Rahman, to inspire and our super supportive pastoral team that will help him up if he stumbles! He had also got himself some personal mentoring through our very own Mr. Valentine, who I am confident has been integral to Logan’s new-found independence.

This week as I watch the growth of 8 GDY it is acutely evident that their academic progress and social skills are dependent on their lovely parents, and our amazing Hollinwood Academy staff. More importantly this involves the collaboration and triangulation of student, parent and staff!

This week I am also reminded that as an individual teacher I cannot be truly supportive without this triangulation, and I am truly grateful for this very important collaboration.

In addition to this, I am reminded of the African proverb which suggests that it takes many people to provide a safe, healthy environment for children to develop, flourish and realise their hopes and dreams!

The African proverb I refer to is:

‘It takes a village to raise a child’

As I reflect on the week, I have had with 8 GDY this has certainly proven to be true!”


Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and HWA Caring STARs…

Mrs Lerigo’s STAR of the week is Teddy for amazing work with your handwriting, you are just fabulous.

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Teddy for inspiring others with his energy and motivation.

Miss Bramley’s STAR of the week is Libby for having an amazing week and making the right choices.

Miss Bramley’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Lyla for being an inspiring friend.

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Alfie for progressing with his verbal communication, well done Alfie.

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Harrison for using his manners daily without prompting, such as saying “thank you for sharing with me”. Great job!

Mrs Quinn’s STAR of the week is William for returning to his seat for the first time EVER without support during stage 3 phonics.

Mrs Quinn’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Riley for being successful in his letter ‘s’ formation and ‘6’ numeral during maths this week.

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Mysha for some wonderful independent Geography work this week.

Mr Corrigan’s HWA Inspiring star is Simisola for realising on her own when she has needed to calm down and use her breathing.

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moments go to Lewis, Stanley, Mysha and Maya. Well done!

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Blaire for making the right choices and turning my behaviour around.

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Jacob for inspiring other people by being a good friend and including others in my play

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s WOW moment goes to Loki. Well done!

Miss Hulme’s STAR of the week is Brooke for helping her friend when they were struggling with an activity. Well done Brooke!

Miss Hulme’s HWA Inspiring STARs are George and Jared for taking care of their friend and protecting them when they were hurt.

Mrs Davies’ STAR of the week is Daniel for using his two-part sentence strip to request a de-escalation technique.

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Zak is our star of the day for excellent contributions to topic lessons.

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Madison for having a positive week and working hard in all of her lessons.

Miss Tootill’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Millie for inspiring others to be kind.

Miss Matthew’s STARs of the week are Ebon for giving some amazing answers in Science and Eli for putting in great effort in all lessons this week and for giving some fantastic answers in Guided reading.

Miss Matthew’s HWA Inspiring STAR is Renico forbeing able to recognise when he made a mistake and understanding how to resolve this.


Well done to our Secondary Stars!



Next week, on Friday 17th November 2023, we will be celebrating Children in Need and our Student Council has decided that they want to invite students and staff to wear something yellow to promote and raise awareness of the national charity. Alongside Children in Need, we will be hosting our Super Learning Day in the morning by celebrating and recognising how different religions acknowledge fund raising and charity.

As we approach Christmas, we understand the financial cost and implications that all our families and community encounters. Therefore, we are asking that in return to the students wearing something yellow for Children in Need on Friday 17th November they bring in food donations that will support Oldham Foodbank.

We have previously supported this charity by raising donations to serve 18 people for a week, therefore, we intend on surpassing this achievement by making a larger donation to support our wider community ahead of the festive season. The deadline for donations is Monday 15th December 2023. Well done to our Student Council, Miss Tootill, Miss Rashid and Mrs Harrington for another fantastic event coordinated for our school community to take part in.

As I mentioned last week, our KS4 students start their Mock GCSE next Thursday and I wish them all the best. These mock exams serve as a valuable opportunity for our students to gain experience in an exam environment and to identify any areas that may require further attention before their final exams. These exams will be conducted under examination conditions, with the aim of replicating the experience that students will have during their final GCSEs. They have been working and studying so hard and I know you will all do your best. Good luck!!

I would like to finish my blog with the thoughtful Albi in our Reception class and our amazing Corrine, receptionist. Mrs Lerigo’s class have been spreading kindness this afternoon and Albi brought Corrine some homemade flowers. This is amazing. Thank you Albi and well deserved Corrine.


I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Millard