26 Jan

What happened to last week? I can’t believe how quickly the time is going! Last week Mrs Tootill and I did some learning walks. It was very pleasing to see that school was calm and in every classroom there were positive learning environments which celebrated the work that our students had done, all students were in class, learning and on task. A huge well done to our team of teaching staff here at Spring Brook Academy.

There has been a range of learning in our Key Stage 3 Nurture Group..

Last week was very busy in the Nurture Group, with the boys estimating and measuring angles. The boys loved playing the dice game after completing their work..

In food technology the group watched a demonstration of making meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta..

The group have made door hangers in their class craft lesson, with brilliant results..

During their PE lesson with Mr Hopkins, the boys have being doing strength tests. One of the exercises they had to do was to sit on a chair and throw a ball over-arm as far as they could..

After measuring and drawing angles last week, the group are now looking at angles in a straight line. James worked well, working out some of the problems using mental Maths..

The boys have spelling and times table tests weekly and have moved on to doing mixed tables against a timer. Harry completed 50 this week with them all of them being right..

This week the Nurture Group have concentrated on their fine motor skills. In food technology the boys made traditional homemade vegetable soup using lentils, barley and lots of fresh vegetables they had to cut up finely..


Each of the boys enjoyed the finished dish along with a bread roll for lunch..

During our emotional and social games, the group wanted to use the lego – with Mr Page joining in..

The boys have ended the week on a positive, with lots of work completed this week.

Well done boys, you have worked hard! Wow Harvey, the concentration on your face there at the whiteboard tells me that you are really determined – a great quality to have. I was really pleased with Harvey last week for overcoming his frustrations following a situation in class. Harvey – you showed a really mature attitude and I am proud of you for this.

Over to Mrs Young’s class..

This term our topic across the curriculum is The Great Plague and The Great Fire of London. We have done an introduction to the London from the past and compared it to the present times. We focused on the meaning of a timeline and how it applies to different years and epochs..

In the end the boys had to put the events in the chronological order and identify the characteristic features of London now and in the past. We also had a quiz summarising our knowledge about the Tudors, which was our main theme last term and I must say that Connor Ingham has done exceptionally well in it…scoring 15 out of 15. I am so proud of you Connor!!!


In Citizenship, our focus was to listen with interest to stories told by other people and be able to take part in a simple debate about Jesse Owens and how extraordinary his story of going to The Olympic Games in 1936 Germany was. The whole class was mesmerized by the life of Jesse Owens and what he stood for, especially in such a challenging and cruel reality of 1940s.

In Science we have started a new topic of sound. We talked about what a sound is and how it is made by conducting an experiment with a rubber band and different volume of liquid put into 3 glasses. The boys noticed that by pulling the rubber band, the sound is vibration that travels backwards and forwards..

Later on we put different amounts of water into 3 glasses and the class had to use a spoon and strike it to check what noise it made. We have learned that the more water is in the glass, the deeper or lower the tone is going to be..

In Maths, we focused on the area of rectangles, squares and triangles..

We used domino blocks and LEGO bricks to visualise it better, which in the long run helped the class to work out the areas..


In Literacy, we have put an emphasis on phonics and the alternative graphemes for phoneme /ai/..

The boys practised writing sentences dictated by the teacher and used online phonics games to engage them in the topic..

Thank you Mrs Young and well done to Connor, that was a really high score! Now let’s see what Mr Mullins’ class have been learning..

You may recall how in my previous blog entry I promised examples of poetry that would rival the likes of Shakespeare and T.S Elliot. Lee has produced ‘Dead End Street’ which you can read below..

I am sure you will agree it is simply stunning. He has worked exceptionally hard, as have all the boys.

Continuing with The Black Death theme, the boys jumped at the opportunity to down tools and create bursting buboes (apologies should you be eating upon reading this!) If the moans, groans and gasps of ‘Eww!’ are anything to go by, I’m not convinced they were as enthralled by the end..

That said, they went away knowing exactly what it was like to suffer with such conditions and later admitted that they checked their own bodies ‘just in case’.

Meanwhile in Maths, they have since moved onto multiplying decimals. They deserve huge credit for persevering with such a difficult concept and continue to show more confidence lesson by lesson!

Lee – your poem was so moving and powerful. I’m very proud of Wayne also this week. letting me help him with a problem that he had with another student. Wayne showed a very mature attitude when trying to overcome this problem. Thank you for letting me help you, Wayne!

Last week our very own Mr Kemp turned 21 and we couldn’t let him think that he would escape without a celebration from his Spring Brook family now, could we?


Many Happy Returns Mr Kemp, we hope that you had a great weekend celebrating!

Key Stage 3 teamed up with Key Stage 4 for Duke of Edinburgh’s and they certainly got more than they bargained for as Mr Hopkins explains..

We had some wonderful weather this week for our Duke of Edinburgh’s group! We ventured out to Crowden on the Woodhead Pass where the weather took a turn for the worse as we ascended up to the top of the hills. As we hit the cloudline, the snow became a foot deep and as we reached the top of the peaks the weather closed in to a full on blizzard forcing us to turn back only half way through our trek before we encountered any serious problems.

A good learning curve for our students this week regarding the wearing of correct clothing, using the correct equipment and experiencing how quickly the weather can change in the hills and the decisions that need to be made to prevent a dangerous situation occurring. I am pleased to say that the boys all recovered with a good old fashioned snowball fight once we got to the bottom of the hill again!!

Thank you Mr Daly and Mr Hopkins, the boys looked like they enjoyed the snow even if they were frozen solid when they returned to school. It is good to see both key stages coming together on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

It was great to see the progress that our off-site students have also been making. Callum returned to school to see us, this was delightful. Levi has enjoyed accessing lessons both in school and on the alternative sites. It is great to see NK active also here in the gym. Go NK!

This week Year 9 have spent some quality time with one another creating their own universe. There have been episodes of peer mentoring and excellent creative written pieces in English. The class have enjoyed spending time making sensory objects and have become extremely creative all round. This week has been very positive and co-operative – it makes a lovely change to see you all working so closely together..

Another brill week, well done Year 9!

To end our week Mrs Tootill, Wayne, Shaun and myself took a little Maths/reward trip to Morrisons. The boys helped us scan and pack the treats but they mostly enjoyed eating them on our return to school..

One thing that has been striking at school this week has been that whilst some students have had time to think about their actions and the consequences of these actions, they have readily accepted time in reflection.

As a result of this and the expectations that our staff team have about teaching and learning, school has been a very calm and focused environment. So thank you everyone for all of your hard work and commitment, another great week at Spring Brook Academy.

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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