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HWA Blog - 16.02.2024


I would like to start my blog this week by sharing with you the children and young people who received a Head Teacher’s Award for this half term. Well done to you all and keep up the hard work… 

Headteacher's Awards


On Wednesday, we had a visit from Dr Martin Hanbury as our school improvement partnership. As a school improvement partnership, Martin provides us with professional challenge and support which will help us as a school to evaluate our performance, identify priorities for improvement and plan effective change. 

Martin is Chief Executive Officer of the Chatsworth Multi Academy Trust in Salford and has been involved in the strategic leadership of special schools for more than 20 years, having served previously in a number of roles. Martin works as an educational consultant and has published a number of books in the field of special education and regularly lectures on the subject of SEND both nationally and internationally.  

 One of his previous roles was as an Ofsted inspector but he resigned after headteacher Ruth Perry took her own life following an Ofsted inspection. He was not part of the inspection but felt that as an inspector he could better support schools advising rather than judging. I am confident that he will work with us in a way that will support us to move forward in a supportive and empathetic way.  

In the morning, Martin spoke to myself, Miss Gordon (Deputy Head) and Mrs Needham (Deputy Head) as we discussed our curriculum offer, pedagogy approaches and assessment tools, which he found extremely interesting and effective as we are able to portray our offer and assessment tools from EYFS to KS4. I then invited our English and maths curriculum leads at primary and secondary: Miss Tootill, Ms Nuttall, Mrs Young and Mrs Bones, to meet with Martin and they discussed the intent, implementation and impact of the English and maths curriculum. The curriculum leads did an outstanding job, and their dedication was truly commendable. To further evaluate our curriculum in action, joint lesson observations were conducted across the school during Martin's visit. I am delighted to inform you that the feedback received from these observations was excellent. Our curriculum leads demonstrated their skills in not only discussing the curriculum but also transmitting its essence through engaging and effective teaching practices, observable during the learning walks. 

In the afternoon we looked at safeguarding, behaviour, attendance and our pastoral support across the school. We discussed our school's safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that we maintain a safe and secure environment for all our children and young people. The discussions centered around the importance of vigilance, the implementation of preventative measures, and the appropriate action to be taken in case of any safeguarding concerns.  

Furthermore, our focus on behaviour and attendance aimed to emphasise the significance of a positive and respectful learning environment. We discussed strategies to effectively manage and promote exemplary behaviour, encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions. Additionally, we explored the connection between regular attendance and academic achievement, stressing the importance of punctuality and consistent engagement with their learning. 

Finally, our session on pastoral support aimed to enhance our understanding of the various ways we can support our students' emotional well-being and overall personal development. We discussed the role of dedicated staff members, including our pastoral team, specialist support team and school counsellor, in providing guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear to those who may require additional support. It is our utmost priority to ensure that every child feels comfortable and valued within our school community. 

Having observed the discussions and activities throughout the afternoon, I am pleased to inform that Martin praised the systems and procedures we have and the support we provide. 

From the day, we have a clear action plan, as there is always room for improvement, and we will be working through this before Martin’s next visit. The biggest takeaway was to further ‘showcase’ the amazing work we do and be explicit in this – which has been actioned already. Some key comments from Martin yesterday were: 

Highly skilled expert team 

Students with varying needs all learning 

Innovative practice 

On top of what we know 

I have commissioned Martin for three days and the next day we will look at personal development, specialist support team, EHCP lessons, preparation for adulthood, HRE/RSE, outdoor education and targeted support.  

I am extremely fortunate to have Martin’s expertise and skillset to support our next steps so we are constantly pushing the boundaries to provide the best educational offer for our children and young people. In Martin’s words, we have a ‘CRACKIN’ school’ and I could not agree more!  

I am immensely proud of our children, young people and the staffing team at Hollinwood Academy!! What a way to finish the half term. 

For outdoor education on Thursday, Mrs Gittins' class had a special treat organised for them by Mr Heap to visit Manchester City Sensory Room. Mrs Bennett drove them to Etihad Stadium where they were met by PK who guided them to the entrance to the Colin Bell stand. The children travelled in the VIP lift and walked passed the Directors room and Pep Guardiola's executive room which was open so had the opportunity to have a look inside. They continued their walk to look at the grounds and had their picture taken outside Haaland’s executive room before being taken to the sensory room. They took off their coats and shoes and enjoyed the interactive floor which had a vast menu of interactive activities. A firm favourite was 'sweets' where the children had to walk or roll around to move the sweets to reveal a hidden picture underneath. The children also had lots of fun with the bubble tube, strobe lighting, massager, infinity tube and interactive light wall. There was also a relaxation room where they could chillout on beanbags and look out over the stadium. The children had the most amazing afternoon and would like to thank PK and Mr Heap for organising this special event for them. 

Manchester City Sensory Room 2023


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


"In Mrs Quinn’s class this half term, our topic has been ‘Space and Time’ and in English we have been listening to the stories ‘Goodnight Spaceman’ by Michelle Robinson, ‘Astro Girl’ by Ken Wilson-Max and ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.’ The children have been using colourful semantics to answer various questions about what is happening in the story and we have also used colourful semantics to support visual learning in the sequencing of each story to adapt for the early stages in Talk4Writing which is being used across the English school curriculum.   

In maths we have been looking at colour, matching and sorting. In phonics this half term we have been looking at the letter sounds ‘s’, ‘a’, ‘t’, ‘p’, ‘i’ and ‘n.’ The children have been learning songs and the mnemonic for each letter sound and they have been identifying objects that start with the sound. The children have had a go at forming the letters for each sound week by week and taken part in fun activities linked to each sound and last week the children created an ‘incy wincy spider’ linked to the letter sound ‘i.’   

Other activities that the children have enjoyed this half term linked to our topic have included catching a star, building rockets, creating playdough aliens, playing a space explorer game using the iPads, ‘Zooming to the Moon’ during our music lessons, creating flying saucers and making telescopes in DT and foil printing in art to create a ‘moon.’ The children have worked extremely hard over the past 6 weeks and we are all really proud of them all, well done to Olly who was also nominated for the headteacher award by Mrs Quinn for completing his learning with more independence this half term. 

We hope that all of our children have a wonderful half term break and enjoy the holiday club here at HWA for those that are attending that too! Joanne, Michelle, Jodie and Nessa"


JQN - 16.2.24


Now to Mrs Bottery’s form… 

"In geography this week, 7HBY have been learning about how clouds form and identifying the different types of clouds. They practiced their skills with a trip outside the classroom. 

During outdoor education, the class visited Chadderton Hall park. They have been practising their map reading skills, using a map to locate various points around the park which they did with great success. Whilst there they happened to meet up with some Newbridge students who were also visiting the park. It was great to see some wonderful interactions between the students.  

As it was pancake day this week, Mrs Duffy challenged the class to make pancakes as independently as possible. The staff team were really impressed with how they followed their recipes with little help and the results were delicious!  

In art, the form have been doing some decoupage. The students decorated a letter using strips of coloured paper and loved getting hands on! "

HBY - 16.2.24


Now to Ms Daniel’s form… 

"This week 10ADS (my class) have been busy working on a GCSE Chemistry unit in their science lessons. They have been learning about the periodic table of the elements, how to use the table to correctly identify an element from its symbol, and about how each element is made from its own type of atom.  

The class have also used Bunsen burners to heat metal elements, with oxygen from the air to make compounds - metal oxides. These were expertly handled by all members of our class; we were all responsible and well prepared with our risk assessments in case of any accidents. 

We have also demonstrated in another practical session how mixtures of elements such as iron Fe and Sulphur S can be separated using a magnet. It is much easier to separate elements in a mixture, than if the elements have been chemically joined together to make compounds.  

For the next science assignment, we were arranging smarties to be like the atoms of elements. We used one colour of smarties as pure elements, having two different coloured smarties, but joined together, as a compound, and two or more coloured smarties spread all around as a mixture. Our teachers were pleased with the way we were all working independently and commented to each other saying “they all did really well”. 

Our class have also taken part in orienteering this week on their Duke of Edinburgh with our teacher Mr. Heap. Both Duke of Edinburgh, and outdoor education help us to become more independent and responsible in the community outside of the school gates. As a student I can say that in our class we are all beginning to feel more grown up, and happy that we can learn outdoors and be trusted to show we can be safe and secure in the community. 

Finally, as it is the last week of the half term the students in 10ADS have also been trying their best with their assessments, in their academic lessons this week. Mrs Daniels, Miss Ali and Miss Callaghan and all our teachers have worked incredibly hard to provide us, the students, with the support and help when we have needed it to be successful.  

Our class 10ADS has lots of potential to work with, to achieve their goals at school, and gain qualifications so that we can all be successful and happy in our lives.  

Happy Half term holiday everyone!! "


Alex Gwilliam Year10 10ADS


ADS - 16.2.24


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


Mrs Lerigo’s STAR of the week is Teddy for amazing improvement with his writing and drawings. 

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Innovating STAR is Albi for independently creating a Valentine's card and gift without a fuss. 

Miss Bramley’s STARs of the week are the WHOLE CLASS!! 

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Freddie for innovating 3D sculptures, painting them and calling them ‘monsters’. Good job! 

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Innovating STAR is Roma for successfully riding a tricycle in the playground. Well done! 

Miss Oakley’s STARs of the week are George, ziyan, Oliver, Euan and Silva for having a great half term!  

Miss Bailey’s STARs of the week are the WHOLE CLASS for an excellent first half term with their new teacher!  

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Faiha for coping really well with change on Outdoor Ed. this week. 

Mr Corrigan’s HWA Innovating star is Stanley for showing great independence with his PECS cards this week. 

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moments go to Faiha, Simisola and Lewis. Well done! 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Xander for using great punctuation in his English work. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Innovating STAR is Shane for being a great role model to his friends. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s WOW moment goes to the whole class. Well done! 

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Joshua is our star of the week for excellent behaviour. 

Mrs Davies’ STAR of the week is Daniel for accepting change as well as asking for help in a variety of ways. 

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Fatima for being a caring friend and being a good role model.  

Miss Tootill’s HWA Innovating STAR is Jake for being innovating during history. 



Miss Bouttell is very impressed with the science club this half term as they have been creating, designing, cutting and sewing model cells. These are FANTASTIC and unique – well done everyone. 

Science Club Spring 2024


Another positive half term for good attendance. Well done to all children and young people with attendance above 90%. Thank you to parents for supporting and promoting good attendance.  



Ross, our British Airways pilot, has been in to visit again this year, on this occasion he visited Secondary students. He spoke to students about his career and answered any questions they had. All of the students engaged well and had a good time. Ross will be back again soon delivering lessons in employability for our KS4 students. 

Pilot Visit Spring 2024


We finish for half term today and we have an INSET day on Monday 26th February and the school reopens to all the children and young people on Tuesday 27th February. 

What a busy half term we have had and I am sure then next one will be equally as busy with lots to look forward to. I hope you have a lovely half term break. 

Mrs Millard