24 Jan

We have had a great week this week at Dean Street. On Tuesday we celebrated Mr Southerington’s 40th Birthday. He told me it was just another day…we couldn’t let him get away with this so we covered the school in embarrassing photos of him and got him a big birthday cake with presents and balloons – I mean, you are only 40 once so we had to mark the occasion! We all wish you many Happy Returns, Mr Southerington..

..and we think he was rather pleased with his present..

Just a quickie to thank you all for making my birthday on Tuesday a really lovely day. I have just opened my present and I was lost for words…

This top brought back so many memories of the Oldham glory days (yes, they did exist!), but most importantly it is my favourite ever Oldham shirt. I lost it when coming back from school back in 1994. I left it on the bus with the rest of my PE kit, and been gutted about it ever since! so to open the box and be greeted with this was amazing – I’m not embarrassed to say that a couple of tears came out!

Thank you for making it so much more than just a ‘Tuesday’!

On Thursday following our ADDO meeting, Mr Southerington and I rushed over to The Grange Arts Centre where the whole school (staff and students) took part in a performance by Oldham Theatre Workshop called “Under The Skin”: an immersive theatre experience and conversation. It was designed to help young people better understand the impacts of knife and weapon related crime.

Our young people, staff and other specially invited guests from the Council, Police and other agencies entered the darkened auditorium, where we were greeted with confusing sound effects and a dimly lit room. The lights raised and the performance began. It was quickly apparent that this was a hospital waiting room, and something serious had happened. The actors, displaying a range of emotions like fear, nervousness and shock, mesmerised the audience with their believable delivery, and we were hooked. Once the scene had finished, we were ushered to a new part of the venue where the lights raised and revealed a Police interview room. More hard hitting delivery of emotion and reality were displayed as the audience fell deeper into the realities of knife crime. I won’t give a blow by blow account of the performance, as it might spoil the experience for others yet to see it.

This experience placed us at the very front of people’s emotions, both of victim, assailant and their families, but also included the impact it has on the general community, and the services who have to deal with these incidents on a daily basis.

A very engaging Question & Answer session was the finale of the performance, and the young people of Spring Brook did not disappoint – mature, conscientious and thought provoking – the students were a credit to themselves.

Special mention needs to be made of Amaan, Amaan, James and Michael who contributed excellently to the Q&A session, bringing thought provoking statements to the wider audience, and which really made the specially invited guest and the actors themselves sit up and take note.

As part of his citizenship lesson, Amaan had created a “Knifes Cost Lives” poster, taking his time and great pride in completing. He provided his peers with a copy of it to display as a reminder to the audience of the message being sent out. In one of the final scenes, the cast took the poster and included it in their show.

As our experience came to an end, James, the OTW Artistic Director, spoke to Miss Rodgers and I, commending our pupils on their engagement. A very proud moment.

If you are concerned about knife crime, or want further information, please visit the following websites, who offer information and confidentiality if required:

Mr Curran from Oldham Council’s Prevention Team said “Staff at Spring Brook Academy, your students are a credit to you, they have done you proud today.” Thank you Mr Curran for that, we are all extremely proud of the boys.

Back at Dean Street, Miss Crossley’s class have been working hard on a project of their own..

SBA2 (with the help of Mr Sefton) have worked extremely hard this week transforming our new relaxation room. This is what we started with..

..and here is our work in progress..

The room is looking fantastic already..

The boys are looking forward to budgeting, buying and bulking out the room with bean bags and sensory lighting in the coming week.

Thank you Miss Crossley’s class. I will eagerly await your orders to sign off for your new room. Boys, you worked hard with the painting and decorating of the room – even though Mr Sefton our site manager nearly had a heart attack when he saw you in overalls painting the room!!!!

Now let’s hear from Mr Mullins..

Over the last two weeks SBA3 have been introduced to the works of Charles Dickens. We have debated the life during the Victorian era, planned, edited and produced a recount as well as working on our language development… and that’s just one subject!

Elsewhere, the boys have continued to work equally as hard on prime numbers, factors, multiples and using this confidence and knowledge to scaffold their own learning in using the grid method for more complex multiplications. It was an absolute pleasure to see the boys working together in problem solving, without being prompted. Witnessing the co-operation, use of mathematical language and how they celebrated each other’s success was definitely one of those ‘proud teacher moments’ and a reminder of why I went into this profession.

We have also been making use of the iPads in identifying the locations of motte and bailey castles. I say ‘we’ – the boys effectively became the teachers, showing us staff how best to use the technology for the task in hand..

They have been an absolute credit to themselves, SBA3 and the school as a whole and I have no doubt they will continue to demonstrate such.

Wow Mr Mullins class, this is great work. I can see how hard you have worked composing and editing your written work. Proud teacher moment indeed, Mr Mullins.

Another great week here at the academy. Thank you also to everyone who contributed to my flowers and gifts on Friday.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Miss Rodgers
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