Hollinwood Academy

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HWA Blog – 19.01.2024

This week has certainly been cold and the snow brings a mixture of experiences and challenges. For adults, we had the challenge of driving to and from school, work and within our communities. However, the snow also presented a wonderful opportunity for our children and young people to engage in some unique learning experiences and valuable social interactions.

The snow on Tuesday allowed the students to have some much-needed fun in the snow with their friends. Playing in the snow not only brings about joy and laughter, but it also helps develop their physical coordination and gross motor skills. The snow offers a different sensory experience that children rarely get to explore, and this added a touch of excitement to their day. 

Outdoor education classes have always been a highlight for our students, and the snow has added a new dimension to their lessons. The students enjoyed the snow and the beautiful scenery it created in our community. 

In some classes, teachers even brought the snow inside to enhance their lessons. This creative approach helped to bring the snow’s magic directly into the classroom, allowing the children to explore its properties and learn about its significance in different subjects.  


On Monday we had a visit from Captain Ross – Our British Airways Pilot. He came into school and spent the morning in EYFS and KS1 classes as they had been studying space! In the afternoon he spoke to Year 11 classes about his career and they asked questions about his experiences of flying over the last 9 and a half years. Ross is looking to come back into school to take part in mock interview practice with Year 11 students. 


On Thursday and Friday, Richard Bright, Trust Executive Advisor, was onsite taking pictures and films of our children, young people and staff engaging in the use of the iPads to enhance teaching and learning and showcase innovative practice. The filming is to produce a short film so we can be reaccredited with our Apple Distinguished School status and continue to work with Apple. We have to showcase how we: 

Inspire: Lead, learn, and thrive in our dynamic world. 

Imagine: Empower learners to discover new possibilities and solutions. 

Impact: Commit to leaving the world better than you found it. 

During the filming, our students had the opportunity to demonstrate their technological skills and showcase projects they have been working on using Apple devices. It was truly inspiring to see our students engaging and confidently presenting their work and discussing their experiences with Apple technology. 

As soon as we have an acknowledgment that we have successfully achieved re-accreditation as an Apple Distinguished School I will endeavour to inform you. This prestigious recognition will acknowledge our consistent effort to integrate technology effectively into teaching and learning across the curriculum. I look forward to updating you soon.  


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


“What a great week we’ve had in Y5/6 RGS! 

We’ve enjoyed Talk for Writing – last week some Aliens flew over Hollinwood Academy and lost their underpants! We have found them and written all about the story, first using a story map and then using clicker and writing in our books. We are writing sentences using adjectives, conjunction words and punctuation, the children have enjoyed being creative making silly sentences about funny-looking aliens.  

The children have also learned how to independently log in to Spelling Shed and access their own assignments to practice spellings for our Spelling test on Fridays – this is great as last week, everybody relied on adult support to use the app.  

Topic has been great fun – it links nicely with our book about Aliens from space! We’ve learned about Our Solar System this week, we know we have 8 planets and that they orbit around the Sun. We know it takes 365 days and this is how we have seasons in the year. We also know it takes 24 hours for the Earth to spin on its axis, and this is why we have day and night!  

We’ve watched videos of astronauts eating and drinking in space, we certainly don’t eat our meals floating around… because we have Gravity on Earth! 

We’ve started to make our own planets using balloons and paper mâché, to act as our own solar system model and are excited to put these on class display. There were some balloons left over so the children all found it hilarious to blow them up and let them go flying around the room! Apparently they made a very funny noise… 

Over the next few weeks, we will be researching about Neil Armstrong, what he did and experimenting how we could launch our own Apollo 11 rockets.  

We also had some surprise snow this week – not quite enough to make a big snow man and the angels we tried, but enough to throw snowballs at the Teachers! 

During wet play, a couple of our students noticed their shadows on the table and started to make shadows with their hands – we then looked at other objects and made some shadow drawings. We now know that opaque or ‘not see through’ objects block light. An interesting bit of Science over lunchtime! 

It’s great to see how well the Children have settled into Class RGS since September and have fit right back into routine since coming back to School in the New Year. Well done, Children!”


Now to Mrs Cowling’s form… 

“This week, SCG have been practicing their cooking skills making meringues! Despite being quite tricky, the students really enjoyed the challenge and produced some excellent desserts. 🍨 

We have also been recapping talking about our pets in Spanish and practicing our grammar and adjectival agreements. 🐶 The students showed a great understanding of the grammar rules and were very proud of their efforts. 

In Outdoor Education, we had a very cold visit to Saddleworth canal. 🥶 We learnt about water safety and the students enjoying trying to break the ice with pebbles and watching them skid across the ice. 

The class have settled back into school very well since the Christmas break and are ready to get back into routine for the Spring term.” 🌷 


Now to Mr Leeson’s PE lessons… 

“During PE this week we have started various new topics and sports. Our communication and key stage 1 classes have been focusing on their fine and gross motor skills. We have been able to develop our balancing skills. We have achieved this by playing fun games such as ‘the floor is lava’. All students have worked well and enjoyed the fun challenges. 

Our key stage 2, year 8 and year 11 students have started a new topic of health and fitness. We have been focusing on circuit training where we combine a variety of different exercises and perform them at a high intensity for a short amount of time. Students have found this challenging but have supported and motivated each other to achieve their best. 

Year 7 and year 9 have been focusing on their dribbling skills in football. We have been able to understand the basic skills of dribbling a ball and then progress and be able to dribble at speed with control. 

Year 10 have started to play tag rugby as their new topic. We have been learning about the rules and regulations of the game and then began to practice our ball handling and passing skills. Students have also enjoyed taking part in a kicking challenge. 

Overall, each student has engaged really well in PE this week and has had a positive attitude to learning. We have motivated each other exceptionally well and pushed each other to achieve their best during lessons.”


Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and HWA Innovating STARs…

Mrs Lerigo’s STAR of the week is Effy for sounding out some alien words independently. 

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Innovating STAR is Teddy M for being super creative and innovative using junk to create a model of a robot. 

Miss Bramley’s STAR of the week is Libby for having a fantastic week in school. 

Miss Bramley’s HWA Innovating STAR is Lyla for being so innovative in art thinking of different ways to keep the paper structures upright.  

Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Freddie for engaging in learning and interacting with others. Well done Freddie.  

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Innovating STAR is Harrison for having a fantastic week! Well done, Harrison, for being kind to others and engaging in school activities. 

Miss Oakley’s STAR of the week is Oliver for communicating that he wanted bubbles from the cupbaord. 

Miss Bailey’s STAR of the week is Maja for getting involved in all of our activities, including exploring the freezing cold snow!   

Miss Bailey’s HWA Innovating STAR is Noel for finding lots of different ways to explore the snow with his senses. 

Mrs Quinn’s STAR of the week is Kai for supporting with class jobs this week. 

Mrs Quinn’s HWA Innovating STAR is Olly for responding well to our new topic and being able to questions in his English work this week about space. 

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Louis for a wonderful week, engaging really well in all of his lessons. 

 Mr Corrigan’s HWA Innovating star is Simisola for taking charge of her own behaviour. 

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

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is Blaire for having an amazing week and being nice to her friends and her teachers. 

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Innovating STAR is Jack for being creative and making toys for his friends out of paper. 

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

Mrs Davies’ STAR of the week is Shayan for filling in the blanks in the three little pig story. 

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Nabiha for excellent listening and following instructions. 

Miss Gittins’ WOW moments go to Caitlin, Joshua, Nabiha and Zak. Well done! 

Miss Matthew’s STAR of the week is Rafael for settling back into school routines and catching up with maths and English work having a long break off school. 

Miss Matthew’s HWA Innovating STAR is Renico for finding his own strategy to remember our T4W book The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Jake being a supportive friend and always trying his best.  

Miss Tootill’s HWA Innovating STAR is Zack for working hard in all areas of his leaning and pushing himself to his full potential. 

What a busy week!  

I hope the colder weather is going to make a disappearance over the weekend and into next week. I am looking forward to watching Lilly play her football match on Saturday (not so much standing outside in the cold weather) and Isla play her netball match on Sunday (thankfully inside). I hope you have a lovely weekend too.  

Mrs Millard