25 Sep

Walking around school this week has made me very emotional. I have been so very proud of our students’ achievements in all areas of learning. I love this school, I love our team and most of all I love the students. It is great to see the effort they put into their learning, even when they find tasks difficult. They are such fun characters to be with and I learn from being with them every day.

When Mr Southerington and I presented certificates this morning, it was a pleasure as always to see the students in their learning environments focused on their morning tasks. A huge congratulations this week goes to Mitchell in Mr Mullins’ class for achieving Senior Leadership Student of the Week. This was because even though this week Mitchell had been taken out of his comfort zone and completed something with me that he really didn’t want to do, he showed great maturity. We have noticed that we haven’t noticed Mitchell much, and this is because he has been working hard and focusing on his learning.

This week let’s start with Mr Mullins’ class, SBU 6. Jack made my week when he shared his chocolate brownie with me. It is Friday afternoon and I was in much need of sugar! Thank you Jack, it was delicious. I have really enjoyed reading the newspaper reports that this class have been writing, let’s have a look…

Just like any other profession, you have good days and indifferent days when teaching but I am beginning to run out of superlatives to describe SBU6. They continue to set the example expected and have once again been a reminder of why I do this job!

I have also managed to get photographic evidence of the ever elusive, chocolate brownie – so don’t let them come home and tell you ‘we didn’t make them this week’ or that ‘we gave them all to staff’. The fact they wanted to share their baking with us (and not lace it with chilli!) is further testament to their outlook on education and life at Spring Brook. Yes, I did sample them myself and I must admit the boys may have found their niche. I’m not a brownie fan but I’d be front of the staff queue if they offered them out again.

We have finished our newspaper articles..

We have continued to work on two/three-part questions based on our understanding of decimal numbers and identified Anglo–Saxon place names prior to the Norman Invasion..

The efforts of the boys haven’t gone unnoticed, with other members of staff commenting on how well they are doing. Not only are they accessing their learning and identifying self-coping strategies when faced with difficulties, but they are also supporting one another’s learning, modelling to one another, sharing ideas and it is showing in what they are producing.

The next challenge is to sustain this approach and I see no reason why they can’t be successful. Enjoy the weekend – and the brownies!

Staying with this class who have had a wonderful week here at the academy, let’s see what Mr Hopkins has to say about them..

This week we took out some of our Year 9 group to begin their John Muir Award this year. The Year 9’s began their award last year but were unable to complete it because of the lockdown and so we took the opportunity to go further afield into the Cheshire countryside and visit the Sandstone Trail in Bickerton.

The trail includes a number of fantastic walks with 360 degree views of the countryside, including the Cheshire plains and the Welsh mountains.

Also, if you know where to look, there are a number of caves in the sandstone cliffs around the Bickerton hills. We had an explore around to try to find an old copper mine (we found the chimney to it) and 3 different caves.

Unfortunately after searching for about 30 mins along the walk we just could not find Musket’s Hole anywhere!!! It’s one I’ve never been able to find and it’s the only one marked on the OS maps!! Next time maybe! After the first search we headed up to Raw Head (the top of Bickerton Hill)..

..and successfully found Bloody Bones Cave just underneath the Trig point. Apparently Brigands used to hide out here and there is a hidden ‘choked up’ entrance to it to allow for an emergency escape that everyone just about managed to squeeze through!

Following the excitement of Bloody Bones cave we found a ‘leap of faith’ opportunity that Amaan and Mitchell were brave enough to have a go at!!

Having survived this, our intrepid bunch of John Muir explorers scrambled down a slippery slope to discover ‘The Queen’s Parlour’ – the biggest cave in the Bickerton hills. The cave stretches a long way back underneath the hillside and is completely pitch black in the depths!

The Year 9’s all enjoyed playing hide and seek tig in the dark and enjoyed hot chocolates cooked via a trangia. We also conducted a science experiment with a fire waterfall in the darkness of the caves which the boys were amazed by.

After an exciting day we all travelled home tired but happy and I would just like to say well done to our group for behaving so well, being courteous to each other and other walkers in the hills and just having some fun exploring the amazing features in the countryside around us.

Well done everyone! ~ Mr Hopkins

The smiles and laughter on their return to school was a delight to see. Boys, I was so impressed with your leap of faith and caving skills. Mr Hopkins takes our students to the most wonderful of places, maybe one week I will join your exploration teams?!

Over to Mr Coldwell’s class, SBU 5 – it has been nice to see some positive choices made towards the end of the week, well done boys.

Here is a photo of the boys during free time this morning. Dawud had an excellent week showing great resilience to avoid negative behaviours. Taylor worked extremely well in English, his Artful Dodger diary was excellent. Paddy also was able to manage his behaviours better and almost hit his behaviour target. For the two days Finley was in, he managed to get 82% in behaviour score. 

A big thank you this week goes to Mr Pryce who has stepped up when we needed him to. The students, Mr Southerington and I have really appreciated this – as a reward Mr Pryce got a triple cheese burger!

Over to Mrs Young’s class SBA 1. Happy Birthday to Mr Ross, we suitably embarrassed Mr Ross signing Happy Birthday to him this morning in assembly.

This week we have focused on identifying the place value of various digits. We have completed a wide range of tasks developing our fluency in this topic and the boys seem to feel quite confident in forming expanded version of numbers too.

In our Literacy lessons we picked our new book which we are going to explore further in the upcoming weeks. It is one of Roald Dahl’s books, called ‘Boy’. We discussed his life and work and towards the end of the week our class produced a comic strip highlighting the most important events in Dahl’s life.

In Science we learnt about the origins of the word volcano and how eruptions take place. We also researched a few famous volcanoes and did a case study of the Icelandic volcano, which erupted in 2010.

In Geography we made a start on learning the basic facts about the UK, its countries, capitals and population.

This week, History has been boys’ favourite subject by far and they really enjoyed learning about what happened directly after Edward the Confessor’s death.

In our RSE lesson we have learnt about self esteem and how to make a start to be more kind to ourselves.

We concluded our week by decorating our picture frames with Hama beads, which we are going to finish next week.

So that’s it for this week’s blog. Please can I remind all parents and carers to download the new ‘Connect’ parent app. A letter has been sent home about this. We will use this app to communicate most things with you about school in the future.

As the autumnal sun shines – enjoy your weekend everyone and stay safe.

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

You can find all our weekly blog entries here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham