11 Sep

Welcome back to our new normal here at Spring Brook Upper. We have had an excellent first week back. I have been so pleased to see the smiles on the students’ faces as they returned to school after such a long time away. We have welcomed many new students into our Spring Brook Family. We also warmly welcome Mrs Mason-Power to our team.

I have been so impressed with the positive start that both staff and students have made here at Spring Brook. There have been many changes to our school and classrooms in order for us to make it Covid safe. The students have adapted really well to new routines and expectations, I am very proud of them.

Highlights this week for me have been hearing the laughter around school. Someone once said to me that “laughter is the glue that sticks to learning.” We have had learning and laughing going on this week at the academy. Let’s have a look at what Miss Crossley’s class (SBU2) have been doing..

Mr Moxon and I are delighted to welcome Ellie, Alyssa, Conor, Jacob and Lewis to SBU2. We have had a fantastic first week back with pupils showing resilience in adapting to a new school, new routines and new faces. On Monday morning we spent time introducing pupils to their classrooms, classmates and teachers. From then on, we have been busy engaging in and producing some fantastic work across subjects.

In Art and Design we used various techniques (wax resist, observational drawing and collage) as well as a variety of materials (wax crayons, water colours and oil pastels) to create the most spectacular multi-media animal artworks – all of which are now proudly displayed in our classroom.

Ellie remained focused on producing a high-quality (and very neat!) piece of artwork. Conor bravely chose to replicate the trickier owl design. Jacob was engaged throughout – we voted his dog nose to be the most dog-like! Alyssa persevered to produce the most realistic tones with the oil pastels (though this could be quite messy!). And Lewis impressed with his quiet determination and beautiful finished product. We have some talented artists in SBU2 so watch this space!

In English we have read, analysed and written about our class novel: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. As a class we discussed what we could infer and predict from the book’s cover, title and imagery. Conor raised a fantastic point about the relationship between moles and foxes, with Jacob describing the fox as a ‘predator’. We extended this discussion by looking at food chains during our Science lessons.

In Maths, we invented, measured and made our own ‘mocktails’. While I discovered pupils’ prior knowledge of capacity, units of measure, fractions and percentages, they discovered that grapefruit juice tastes vile – as did the ‘special mocktail’ that we made for Mr Stewart!

As the first week of high school for our new Year 7s draws to a close, I wish to congratulate all members of SBU2 for a fantastic start to what is due to be an excellent year ~ Miss Crossley

Wow – SBU 2 I love your wow work, as soon as you walk into your classroom the art work stands out. You have all made a great start to life at Spring Brook Upper school. Now over to Mrs Young’s class SBU 1 to see all of the fun things that they have been learning about this week..

I cannot believe it is Friday already! It surely feels as we have never been off school at all. All the children have settled in quite well and we could notice that they were really glad to be back with us. Everybody was very polite, upbeat and ready to learn.

This week was all about getting to know each other and establishing positive relations between staff and pupils. Our emphasis was put on well being and mindfulness. The children talked about their experience during lockdown and were introduced to guided meditation as a way to tell them it was OK to feel anxious or unsure of things and what to do when it happened.

We started from reminding the boys that we all were unique and it was important to think positively about ourselves and try to celebrate even the smallest achievements. At the end of the day it is about catching the children being good and focusing on their success and personal growth.

I have also been impressed with SBU 1. On Monday I went into the workshop to see what Mason had made using our laser cutter. He proudly displayed this on his desk all week. Well done SBU 1 and Mason for a great start to our school..

A special welcome next goes to Mrs Mason-Power and Isiah and Maisie in SBU 3. Let’s have a peek at their week..

Just like SBU3, this has also been my first week at Spring Brook Academy, and what a great first week it’s been! Isiah and Maisie have adapted to being in a new school incredibly well, and have approached a range of activities with fantastic engagement and a really positive attitude. On Monday we spent some time exploring the school and familiarising ourselves, before making a new door wedge for Mr Southerington in the workshop.

Later in the week we looked at ratio, fractions and decimals in Maths before applying this knowledge to making mocktails in the food technology room. We used the blender to make a variety of mixtures using different fruit juices.

Later in the week we thought about ways we could keep active during the school day and tried some different activities out including yoga, star jumps, and we even hit the gym at the end of the day.

We’re looking forward to Funky Friday tomorrow afternoon, celebrating the fantastic week we’ve had. Well done SBU3! ~ Ms Power and
Mr Heaton

Wow – you have all settled in really well and Mr Heaton is enjoying being with new faces! I especially like how you both come into school smiling and leave school smiling this week. Keep it up Maisie and Isiah, you have both made a very positive start to school.

Now over to Mr Stewart’s class. We warmly welcome Armandi to our school. Let’s see what Mr Pryce, Mr Stewart and their class have been doing this week..

SBA 4 this week have been doing work around the book ‘The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse’ and learning that it’s ok for your emotions to be all over the place, to ask for help and the importance of friendships.

We made mocktails which were all recipes made by the pupils during a lesson..

..including a special one for Mr. Heaton made by Theo..

We welcomed a couple of new children to the SBA family in Cameron and Armandi. Overall the young people have all settled in really well in what has been, and still is, very confusing times. I am over the moon to have them back in school.

Well done Mr Stewart’s class. It has been lovely to see you all getting along and a big shout out to Kyle T for being our only Gold certificate this week. Excellent effort, keep it up!

There has been lots of hard work in English and Maths over in Mr Coldwell’s class SBU 5. I especially loved Donovan’s work in English this week. We also welcome Kyren to our Spring Brook Family. Let’s see what Mr Coldwell and Mrs Culhane have got to share about their class..

Kyren has settled in very well in his first week. Donovan and Kieran have both shown outstanding maturity in avoiding negative behaviour. Taylor and Finley have done very well in Maths, both coming up to the board to demonstrate to the rest of the class. In general the class have adapted well to two new staff..

Last but by no means least, over to Mr Mullins class, now SBU 6. Mr Mullins and Mr Bocking could not believe how tall the boys have grown during their time off school. They are now the oldest in school and have been setting good examples to the younger students. We welcome Jack and Brooklyn into SBU 6 also. Jack and Brooklyn are beginning to adapt nicely to life at SBU.

Welcome back everyone… SBA3 are now SBU 6 and the eldest in the school, setting the example to the other pupils across the site. I’m convinced the difference in the class name/number is how many feet they have all shot up by!

The boys deserve huge credit for settling in so quickly and are already setting the standard – even more so after such a huge time away from the classroom. It really does feel like they haven’t been away.

Given all things Covid, there have been changes both in class and across school. The boys have approached and accepted these challenges with a sense of maturity and remained open minded, for that I want to express my thanks.

This week we have focused on recapping prior learning and knowledge while ensuring we still made time for developing our social skills and catching up with all the events over the last few months. This has helped us all in being reminded of structure, routine, boundaries and expectations.

They should be incredibly proud of the start they have made and I have no doubt that they will each make a success of this academic year.
Enjoy the rest this weekend, you’ll need it after the first week back!

Mr Hopkins has also been really pleased to welcome everyone back..

It has been amazing to be back and see how all of our pupils have grown so much in the last few months!!! I have a cupboard in our gym here at Spring Brook Upper that we all mark our heights on and everyone has gone up by at least 2 inches since we saw each other last!!

For our first week back we have been focusing on having fun in PE and playing games together as teams to re-integrate us back into the Spring Brook family. We have had lots of fun and competition with Year 8 and 9 having dodgeball, football and cricket matches while one of the poor Year 7 classes got a team challenge that was set in the gym. It was to do 2000 reps between them in an hour on 10 different exercise machines. After working incredibly hard and encouraging each other they managed to beat the 2000 just before the time ran out – well done everyone!!

Our other Year 7 class went out orienteering around the Boggart Hole Clough Park. In class we started learning about maps, what might be shown on them and how to orientate them, then we went out in 3 teams and completed 3 orienteering courses in the park. Luckily I was on Jacob’s team as he learned super quickly and made me run to each control point as he was navigating so that we could beat everybody else! In the end we all made in back to the start successfully so well done again everyone!

Here’s looking forward to another great week next week ~ Mr Hopkins

To end such a positive first week back, Mr Southerington and I really enjoyed presenting each class with their subject and behaviour awards this morning..

We are both really proud of everyone at school this week. I have loved being back here with our Spring Brook Family. It has been a pleasure to welcome new students into our school family. I am sure that you will all have a restful weekend ready for another week of learning next week.

Can I thank all of the staff for planning such a good return to school and first week back.

I am very excited about the academic year ahead, enjoy the warm weather and sunshine this weekend and stay safe!

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ***

Since writing this blog, I have been made aware that a member of school has tested positive for Covid. Two of our classes are affected, SBU 2 and SBU 3, and will need to self isolate. All the affected families have been contacted this weekend and know the steps they need to take.

All our other students can come to school as normal, but please do not hesitate to contact us on Monday if you have any concerns.

Sending you all the warmest of regards,

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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