13 Sep

Welcome back to a new school year. Last week our young people started back at school on Wednesday while the staff came back on Monday to a newly renovated building here at Dean Street.

This is our new assessment centre for students joining us during the year; they will work in here for a period of time doing assessments with our staff before we decide whose class they go into..

This space is a newly created area, it was previously outside. We have designed this space so that the classrooms can open out onto it – it can be used for quiet reading or interventions..

Now that Art is taught through the curriculum by class based teachers we have been able to create a new space. This is our post incident and reflection room..

We are changing the colour theme at Spring Brook Upper. Previously the building was all painted blue but feedback from visitors, parents and our students was that it felt clinical and not welcoming. The new theme is now cream and grey which opens up the building creating a much warmer and more welcoming space to learn..

The boys chose an underwater theme for part of our new quiet place; this room is going to be used for therapeutic interventions..

We have to thank our caretaker Mr Sefton who has worked tirelessly over the summer including most weekends to make sure that everything was ready for our return to school. Along with Mr Sefton, our hard working cleaning team worked so hard all through the summer cleaning up the mess that the builders left. A huge thank you to Eileen, Andrea and Anne-Marie also – these ladies take great pride in their work to make sure that our school is very clean and tidy. In fact, this is the cleanest school that I have ever worked in! Another ‘thank you’ goes to Dan and Gaz the electricians who also worked hard on the building over the summer.

My last ‘thank you’ goes to the IT team in the New Bridge Group. As Graham said in his blog last week, we have had new equipment installed in all of our schools and a new IT infrastructure across all sites so a huge thank you to all of the team but especially to Abdul who has supported us here at Dean Street. I can’t leave this paragraph either without thanking our very own Mr Southerington who in the first few days was running around the building trying to do everything IT related.

This September not only do we welcome our lovely Year 7 from Spring Brook Lower but we have also had new students started in every year group. We welcome all of our new students into our Spring Brook family. We also welcome new staff: Miss Crossley, Mr Coldwell, Mr Ross, Mr Mayhew and Mr Moxon.

This week Miss Davies tells us about her group’s very successful venture out into the hills..

Today was the first outing for the John Muir Outdoor Education Award. We set off with Mr Hopkins, Miss Davies, Donovan, Dawud, Kyle, Mason and Harry. We drove up to Standedge Cutting and climbed up to the quarry on Pule Hill. We managed to get all the boys up there safe and sound, some taking on steeper hills than others. At the top, we were literally within the clouds, it was breathtaking! The boys enjoyed climbing rocks in order to reach the top to view the quarry and found a poem called ‘Snow’ by Simon Armitage etched into the rocks..

Once they got to the top they were amazed by the view and taken aback (quite literally!) by the strong winds! They definitely enjoyed a well deserved rest..

We then tackled the descent! Going downhill was steep and slippery but the boys worked well together to make sure they all got down in one piece. Mr Hopkins then taught us how to Gulley run, which the boys mastered a lot better than Miss Davies..

The boys enjoyed their first outing and cannot wait to be back in the hills. Thank you Mr. Hopkins for a lovely day out. Well done boys, from Miss Davies.

The boys have also been working hard back in class..

In our ‘Resilience & Relaxation Zone’ with Miss Mellor the Year 9s have been enjoying creative tracing and drawing different characters of their own choice..

Our Year 7s, Year 8s and even a Year 9 student have been joining in with meditation sessions and feeling refreshed and relaxed ready to go back to their classes..

Our SLT pupil of the week was Dawud – well done Dawud! Pastoral pupil of the week was Donavon. Well done to both boys.

A letter has been sent home (click here to view it) with details of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission’s upcoming return visit following the Oldham Local Area SEND inspection. As part of the re-visit, they would very much like to have your views which you can give through the online survey available here until 12 noon on Friday 20th September or at an open meeting on Monday 23rd September. You can find more details on the POINT (Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum) website here.

Well, the first full week has gone so quickly it’s already the weekend. Enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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