04 Oct

This week in our classrooms I have seen some great learning. In our newest group Harry, Ariz and Jayden presented a Dragons’ Den to myself and Mr Southerington. It was very clear that the boys had absorbed their learning about WW2. They created a company called Star of David. Harry was the CEO, Jayden was the Director of Design and Ariz was the Marketing Director.

They presented their product to myself and Mr Southerington. The product was called Lazarus, it was a tablet and a drink designed for the Jewish people to take that prevented them from being gassed by the Nazis. When I asked why the name Lazarus (which I think is brilliant) Harry responded with “because all lives matter”!!!!!

It was the highlight of my week boys, I really enjoyed it and Mr Southerington loved being Alan Sugar!

Harry also achieved Senior Leadership pupil of the week. We have noticed Harry how much effort you have put into your learning this week so a very well done!

In Mrs Young’s class I have heard some wonderful reading aloud by Mason. I popped my head into the class and the boys were so engrossed in reading ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ they didn’t even notice that I was there. When showing a visitor around school (Ms Ameila Fox-Smith, our new EHCP LA officer) Mason was keen to show us his comprehension work. Let’s find out what the class have been doing this week..

I must say that I am extremely proud of the boys, their effort and input during lessons. It has been a very productive week indeed! The boys are slowly but surely getting used to new expectations and the work ethos of Spring Brook Upper School. It has definitely been noticed and appreciated by myself and Ms Davis and Ms Sanderson. Let me tell you what we have been focused on this week…

In English we have nearly finished reading “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” book. The class seemed to have enjoyed the carpet time and being read to by Kyle and Donovan. We are all very proud of the boys having the courage and willingness to actually read the chapters out loud on the class forum. Not many people would be really fond of it and see it as a nightmare instead. They were not discouraged by difficult words or the length of the chapters…they PERSEVERED and managed to read nearly 200 pages to everyone in our class!!! They were brilliant!

In Maths, we have moved onto additions and the boys were introduced to various methods of how to tackle a mathematical problem…they tried out number lines, place value discs, base ten blocks, a column method and some even managed to do the sums mentally. It was so motivating to see how the boys picked a method that suited their confidence and ability the best.

In Science we have learned about various volcanoes – where to find them on the map and their specific features. The boys also recapped the names and the geographical position of our continents and oceans. They really liked the puzzle task the best.

In terms of History or Topic lesson as we call it at Spring Brook Upper…WOW! What can I say…Dawud, Tayler and Kyle have just blown me away with their engagement, positive attitude and work ethos in all the topic lessons this week. We talked about the meaning of propaganda, antisemitism and they even retained the information about “The Night of Broken Glass” and the aftermath of 1938…they also became judges and discussed various case studies of people involved in the persecution of Jewish people.

In PSHE we read one of Madonna’s children books called “Mr Peabody’s Apples” and discussed the power of rumour, gossip and how hard it is to forget hurtful words we once heard. We demonstrated it by squeezing the toothpaste out, which represented our harmful words and then tried to push the paste back into the tube. It was just impossible to do! The children reflected for a moment on how easy it is to say unkind things but impossible for them to be taken back once said out loud.

This week has been really special for me as I noticed those tiny steps of hope we are taking towards the aim of becoming an independent and inquisitive learner. Great job lads…I am really proud of you!

Wonderful effort this week boys. I am most impressed with your learning and Mrs Young I agree it has been a very special week and you are now beginning to see those green shoots emerging with your class.

Mr Mullins’ class are busy working very hard, his news will follow next week.

Miss Crossley’s class have also been working hard in all areas of the curriculum, let’s see..

This week SBA2 have been working hard exploring WW2 poetry in English. They particularly liked coming up with interesting metaphors and similes to describe the trenches. However, we had some very green faces when we googled the phrase ‘Trench Foot’ 🤮.

In Maths we have been working on division, exploring the concept using spaghetti and Cheerios (which Keelan and Kian devoured afterwards!) before moving onto some more complex problems.

We have also adopted a new, mathematical style of thinking whereby the boys have to ‘journal’ how they came to their answer and share this with the rest of the class. From this, we have uncovered some very confident public speakers and future teachers in SBA2.

After all that hard work we needed a coffee break, and took full advantage of Costa Coffee’s ‘free coffee’ promotion. Cheers!

Our Science activity this week explored the topic of light. We looked at how a submarine’s periscope works and created our own version using cereal boxes, mirrors, lots of sticky tape and even more creativity and teamwork!

During form time the boys have worked in teams to create their own paper spitfires (none of which flew quite as well as a traditional paper aeroplane), as well as team games such as ‘Heads Up’, ‘The Black Dot’ and a Rock, Paper, Scissors Marathon, which led to a very interesting discussion about bullying.

Did someone say chocolate? This week SBA2, together with the Nurture Group, have satisfied their (and the staff’s) sweet tooth with mouth watering brownie muffins! 

Wow, I like the idea of a Maths journal and your interesting ways to do division. The brownies did smell delicious. It is great to see Kian and Keelan working collaboratively together.

The Year 9s have also been working hard with Miss Mellor in their resilience sessions, discussing in small groups how to think and cope with different situations in a more calm and appropriate way.

In creative sessions, Harlan, Nicholas, Kian and Sean have enjoyed tracing pieces they have chosen off the internet.

Mr Coldwell wanted me to mention the introduction of a new behaviour system in his class which has been a success. It has had the students talking about their behaviour percentages and what they need to do in order to achieve their Friday reward lesson. Mr Coldwell has also been using respect points to encourage the students to use manners and they have had lots of discussions around respect – the students are even starting to the terminology themselves.

In all classes this week I have seen students showing other students respect and students showing staff respect, which is what I talked about in last week’s blog. Mr Southerington has noticed respect being shown at lunchtime and also spoke about this in assembly. Another area of focus for us here at Spring Brook Academy is readiness to learn. In all classes now we are seeing that most students are ready to learn. I am doing some research about wellbeing linked to students being ready to learn. It’s not rocket science really. Watch this blog for more news about our in house mental health service which will improve our students’ ability around being ready to learn.

I will leave you with a quote about respect…

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

Amaan and I have had lots of conversations this week where we have listened intently to what each other has had to say…..

Have a great weekend,

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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