09 Feb

I can’t believe that this half of the Spring term is over! Throughout my teaching career I have always thought that when we get to February half term, we are half way through the year!!! Soon we will be looking forward to lighter nights and lighter mornings and hopefully some warmer weather.

Despite the snow and artic conditions, our intrepid explorers are still venturing out on Duke of Edinburgh’s. This week they have been off exploring the Peak District..

Our focus on D of E over the next month or so will be to get prepared and learn all of the skills that we need for going camping on expedition. This week we trekked up above Tintwistle into the snow covered trees and rigged up a windbreak shelter, got a BBQ lit and made sure we knew how to put up a tent..

We have also had a visit from the ‘Wednesday Walkers’, a local community group based in Failsworth who have a route that takes them past Dean Street and out onto Broadway. The group is led by a really nice man and they called into the Dean Street to find out what kind of school we are and what activities take place with our young people. They were all really interested to hear about our outdoor adventures and have promised to call again soon..

This week we also celebrated Chloe’s birthday. Chloe is a popular member of our Spring Brook family and it was lovely to enjoy seeing her on 16th birthday. Key Stage 4 did what they always do – PARTY! Mrs and Miss Roberts prepared some food with Year 11 students Corey and Jason (who are doing exceptionally well on their work placement at the Atrium café), Miss Caines baked with Year 10 and Miss Tokelove decorated the room. I’ve come to the conclusion that when the Springboard Project launches, we really need to seriously consider a new business venture ‘SBPO LTD’ (Spring Brook Party Organisers Limited), as these guys really know how to celebrate!!! Happy Birthday Chloe from your Spring Brook family..

Talking of the Springboard Project, I’ve been backwards and forwards to London in preparation for the launch of our free school. The first visit was to the Department for Education to talk about what our ICT provision will look like. On this trip I was accompanied by one of our ICT technicians, Nic Dec..

We were interviewed by lots of companies from all over the country as to what we see as our vision for the Project. Nic is one of our staff members who we refer to as our ‘backroom staff’. Like Mr Smith, all our ICT technicians are a very much needed part of our Group and certainly not in the backroom. Nic has some brilliant ideas for Springboard and I am hoping that all our ICT staff will meet with our young people to ensure that the school will have exactly what the young people need and want.

My second visit to London was with the big man himself – our CEO, Mr Quinn. We are now at the pre-opening stage of the process so the conference was very much around what we need to do to ensure that the opening of Springboard goes as smoothly as possible..

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, was one of the speakers at the conference..

At these events it’s good to see what other schools and Trusts are doing and my hope is to bring all the best practices to our new school. It’s all very exciting, so watch this space!

So, that’s about it. We will be contacting all families in Key Stage 4 when we return after half term as we have changed our timetable. Key Stage 4 will now have Duke of Edinburgh’s on a Friday instead of Thursday, so pupils will need to be prepared for this. Can I also remind parents that we will be ensuring all pupils are wearing uniform which can be purchased from the school office.

Have a great half term and we will see you when school returns on Monday 19th February.

Mrs Tootill
Head of Springboard Project

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