Hollinwood Academy

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HWA Blog - 19.4.24

Welcome back to the summer term and what an exciting week we have had at Hollinwood Academy.

As you will know, I received a call from Rebecca Sharples, HMI, Ofsted Inspector on Monday morning at 9:30am to initiate our two-day inspection. She was also joined by Ahmed Marikar, HMI, Ofsted Inspector on Tuesday to support in carrying out the ‘deep dive’ subjects in reading, English, maths and food technology during our ungraded inspection. An ungraded Ofsted inspection differs from a graded inspection because it does not result in individual graded judgements. Instead, it focuses on determining whether the school remains the same grade as it was at its previous graded inspection.

Hollinwood Academy was last inspected on the 3rd and 4th July 2018 and we achieved ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. Since July 2018, the school has transformed and we have grown from strength to strength. As the headteacher of Hollinwood Academy, my passion, ambition and determination has been to continue to provide the best school environment and provision so our children and young people can thrive. I believe that the senior leadership team and Governors at Hollinwood Academy know the school's strengths, drive school improvement and set clear priorities that maintain a strong focus on the holistic progress and well-being of our children and young people. I wanted the Inspectors to observe and recognise this during the visit. What was amazing was our Inspector's experiences of inspecting SEND schools and understanding our school, context and curriculum offer but most importantly appreciating sensitively our children and young people's varying needs.

Unfortunately, I cannot share the outcome of the ungraded inspection with families until the report has been finalised and published. What I can say is I could not be prouder of our children, young people and staff and how well they interacted and coped with the Inspectors presence. The two days that the Ofsted Inspectors were onsite were typical days here at Hollinwood Academy.

I would also like to thank all of the parents and carers who shared their positive comments with the Inspector and also those of you who took the time to share your views on Parent View, Ofsted’s online questionnaire for parents. Your input was greatly appreciated and I discussed this in depth with the Inspector. I also shared a lot of the family comments that are posted daily on the Evidence for Learning app and the Inspectors looked at and valued these comments as they could see the learning that had taken place.

As soon as I can share the report with families I will so please keep an eye on your Arbor account.

Another personal highlight for me this week, was receiving and watching this video on Thursday afternoon. The video is of Nathan, a former student at HWA, and this encompasses our holistic approach that we provide our children and young people and what makes Hollinwood Academy so unique. I hope you enjoy listening to Nathan and his journey. Destination Champions (#7 'Being Independent' - Nathan) (youtube.com)


Not only was I thrilled to watch the video, but I was more amazed that the video was filmed, edited and produced by Jonathon, current KS5 Hollinwood Academy student on the Destiny pathway. Here is Jonathon in action…



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


"What a marvellous week it has been! Returning after the Easter break has been an absolute joy!

Let’s look into the highlights of our busy week!

In English, we've continued our Talk4Writing lessons. This term, our focus is all about Pirates! Our first book for the term is ‘Pirates in the Supermarket.’ We simply can't express how much we love this story of mischievous pirates causing chaos in the shop. Next week, our aim is to sequence the story using pictures with the help of S-map.

To deepen our understanding of Pirates, we've been fully immersed in multi-sensory activities. From dressing up in pirate attire to constructing a Pirate ship, and making swords and pirate hats, it's been an incredibly enjoyable theme!

In humanities, our focus this term is on Explorers! Thus far, we've explored the meaning of exploration and the essential items explorers require to navigate the world. We also engaged in an activity where we crafted binoculars and used them to explore our classroom and playground.

In science, our attention was directed towards plants and their various parts. We took a hands-on approach by planting seeds, caring for them through regular watering and exposure to daylight, hoping for their successful growth.

This week in maths, we had a blast practicing counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Utilising musical instruments to learn catchy tunes aided our memory retention. Additionally, engaging in a role-play scenario where we simulated a shopping trip requiring the purchase of multiple packs of eggs using counting by 10s skills. Also, using Cheerios to count by 2s was a very enjoyable activity!

This week, we celebrated a special occasion as Freddie marked his 7th birthday! We had a little party with yummy cupcakes. Warmest wishes to our best friend Freddie!

Overall, we're happy to be back and have had an exceptional week. Progressing in every aspect of our learning journey, we consistently strive to be the best versions of ourselves. We are grateful to have each other. Laughter, love, and hugs fill our days with warmth and happiness because we are best friends.


Freddie, Roman, Roma, Harrison, Diana, Teddy, Alfie"

NPA (19.4.24)



Now to Miss Hand’s form…


"WOW…the Vision Hub have had a very busy first week back after half term!

The hard work and effort continues as we have begun revising for our GCSE exams which are almost upon us, only 4 weeks to go!

This week we have been focused on completing our Entry Level History coursework and completed case studies on Florence Nightingale or Adolf Hitler. Alongside this, the students have completed their Entry Level Geography coursework which consisted of researching mountains, volcanoes and micro-climates. 

In Maths we have been studying Algebraic Reasoning and in English we have been continuing with our Coursework which provides us part of our final GCSE grade.

During our science lessons we have been studying Biology and learning and recapping in particular Photosynthesis. The Vision Hub enjoyed completing an experiment with Miss Daniels this week where we had the objective to check the level of Chlorophyll present in different leaves using drops of Methane from a pipette.

Furthermore, we have been working hard towards our option subjects. In Duke of Edinburgh the group have been exploring Saddleworth and Alexandra Park – they have spent time walking along the canal and practising working together in teams for orienteering. Meanwhile, the rest of the class have been working hard to complete coursework towards their Art and Photography GCSE grades. In Art the students have been working on their exam question particularly focussing on ‘Day of the Dead’ and some fantastic work has been produced with Miss Ashcroft! In photography, the students have also been working towards their final exam piece and planning the remaining photoshoot.

The Vision Hub have had a fantastic first week back and have earnt their rest this weekend – re-charge and ready to work hard again next week!"

SHD (19.4.24)


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


Mrs Lerigo’s STARs of the week are the whole reception class for being all round superstars!

Mrs Lerigo’s HWA Caring STAR is Albi-Lee for brilliant work in Phonics.


Miss Pietraszewska’s STAR of the week is Freddie for coming to school with a big smile on his face.

Miss Pietraszewska’s HWA Caring STAR is Alfie for always communicating to his teachers when he sees someone needs help. Well done Alfie!

Miss Oakley’s STAR of the week is Ziyan for coming back to school with a big smile and participating well in all areas of his learning.

Miss Oakley’s HWA Caring STAR is George for his teachers by giving them lots of squeezes and trying to make them laugh.

Miss Bailey’s STAR of the week is Cody for great interaction with adults and some fantastic new language.

Miss Bailey’s HWA Caring STAR is Maja for sharing resources with her peers and waiting patiently for her turn.

Mrs Quinn’s STAR of the week is Kai for fantastic work during his English lessons this week which demonstrates his understanding of our new story ‘You can’t take an elephant on the bus!’

Mrs Quinn’s HWA Caring STAR is William who sung one of our daily routine songs about the weather for the first time ever this week whilst exploring our weather stones.

Mr Corrigan’s STAR of the week is Mysha for wonderful listening and communication this week.

Mr Corrigan’s HWA Caring star is Simisola for being a caring friend this week.

Mr Corrigan’s WOW moments go to Lewis. Well done!

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s STAR of the week is David for being a good friend.

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s HWA Caring STAR is the whole class for having an amazing first week back.

Miss Boothroyd and Miss McDonald’s Dojo winner is Loki. Well done!

Miss Hulme’s STAR of the week is Jared for having a fabulous first week back and even joining in Music!

Miss Hulme’s HWA Caring STAR is Thomas for always taking care of our class resources.

Mrs Davies’ STAR of the week is Arissa for: having a settled week back and engaging with all activities set.

Mrs Davies’ HWA Caring STAR is Anna for playing nicely with her friends.

Miss Gittins’ STAR of the week is Caitlin for waiting patiently for Mum to arrive at home time.

Miss Gittins’ HWA Caring STAR is Zakariya for helping his friends with Maths work.


Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Jackson for adapting to changes well and completing new tasks successfully.

Miss Tootill’s HWA Caring STAR is Millie for sharing personal experiences during English.

STARS of the Week (19.4.24)


The scientist of the week is Maya, from Mr Corrigan’s class.



This week has just been amazing and I cannot wait to see what next week brings. Have a lovely weekend.


Mrs Millard