16 Oct

Welcome back to another Spring Brook blog. It was so nice to return to school today after a period of working remotely because my son has had to isolate for 14 days. I felt Mr Quinn’s frustration in his blog last week. I don’t think there is a school left in the country that hasn’t faced major disruption because of Covid outbreaks. It certainly has been an interesting few weeks trying to work form home again, home school and do virtual meetings and lesson observations. I’ve actually found these two weeks more difficult than the major lockdown. I think this is because home schooling has been a battle and because I’ve not been able to be with our lovely Spring Brook Family except for virtually. Very strange times.

I was welcomed back today with lovely smiles and the students so pleased to show me their work. I have to say a special well done to Tyler who joined our school two weeks ago and has already achieved senior leadership pupil of the week award.

Well done Tyler and I know that your Mum is very proud because she has emailed saying that things are much easier at home now that you are happy in school. I asked Tyler today on a scale of 1 – 10 how happy he was to have joined our school and he said “10 Miss, it’s the best.” Lovely feedback from Tyler and his Mum and despite all of the challenges it really does remind us why we do our jobs. So let’s have a look at what Tyler and his class have been up to this week.

SBU3 have really settled into Spring Brook well, and they are impressing me more and more with their positive approach to learning and their skills! Basketball practice is paying off and we are getting more and more nets scored…

We have been experimenting with different creative approaches and among other things this week we tried some origami, with brilliant results like Tyler’s penguin.

In English we have been continuing reading our class book about the sinking of the Titanic and the class worked really hard at thinking about what the experience would have been like for survivors watching the sinking from a lifeboat. Everyone had great ideas about what people would have been able to see, hear, smell and feel and turned these into diary entries. Well done!

In Food Tech this week we made flapjacks and I eventually managed a picture of a final product before they were eaten! Everyone waited very patiently and intently for them to finish cooking…

After an adventurous morning visiting the waterfall for the John Muir award, we had a well deserved hot chocolate and played snakes and ladders, and a very competitive game of Maths bingo. Well done to Isiah for a hard fought victory! Ms Power and Mrs Culhane

Maisie and Isiah made some lovely creations this Friday cooking their dishes looked yummy and Isiah really enjoyed eating his.

I had the pleasure this week of observing a few lessons remotely. This was definitely a new experience for me. I observed Mr Mullins’ class reading aloud poetry and having the confidence to do so boys during a lesson observation was so nice to see. I have been blown away with the progress that you are all making. So let’s see what Mr Mullins has to say this week about his class.

Another week down and I’m suddenly asking myself where this half term has gone…

Once again, the boys have been an absolute pleasure to teach. We have delved into features of poetry, up levelled an existing piece and even had the confidence to read verses out to the rest of the group. The latter being a true ‘wow’ moment and further example of how the boys are applying themselves since returning to school.

All this before planning a piece of our own, with the aim of sharing them with you next week. They continue to impress and amaze us all!

In Maths, we have become more confident in applying our knowledge of positive and negative number calculations, while some of the us have also worked on improper fractions. Elsewhere, we have looked at the routes taken by both King Harold and William the Conqueror ahead of the Battle of Hastings and even had time to make a chicken curry. We aren’t suggesting this is what they would have eaten en route but it was incredibly tasty nonetheless.

I could get used to being fed on a Friday afternoon… Enjoy your weekend!

I also remotely observed this class on PE rugby tackling. Poor Mr Bocking, they really did give him a few knocks!!!

On my return today it was lovely to look at some of the wonderful art work in Miss Crossley’s class. Well done also to Ellie for form pupil of the week.

In English this week we have continued our study of the novel ‘Can you Survive the Titanic?’ and writing letters in character. We have used rainbow editing to ensure our work is the best it can be, checking for capital letters, WOW words, punctuation, paragraphs, conjunctions and spellings. We look forward to completing these next week!

In Maths we have continued our work on Place Value, this week we have looked at comparing and ordering numbers to 1 million. SBU2 researched house prices in various locations and ordered them by price – from some really good deals for villas with pools in France, to a 3 bed semi for nearly a million pounds in London (Conor said it was a rip off)!

SBU2 have been really busy in Art & Design this week. At the start of the week we consolidated our knowledge of actual texture by replicating a dragon’s eye and skin in clay – just look at the fantastic results..

We have then moved on to study a new element of art – colour. SBU2 looked at primary colours, secondary colours and tertiary colours and used watercolours to explore colour theory and colour mixing. EYE think they did a great job!

In Science we have continued our study of forces, this week looking at air resistance. Pupils made their own parachutes and conducted an experiment which involved us throwing them down the stairs/ out of the second floor windows! In the end, we gained some valuable research about what type of parachute falls to the ground the slowest (meaning it would be the safest). Unfortunately along the way we had some little plasticine men casualties!

This week SBU2 have had the exercise bike in our classroom – the pupils have thoroughly enjoyed going on it as much as possible! Special well done to Jacob, who clocked up more than 18km on the bike and showed great determination to win Mr Hopkins’ competition – fingers crossed! I was very impressed that every single member of the class spent some time on the bike – all of them beat mine and Mr Moxon’s total!

Today was a pleasure to observe Mr Coldwell’s class, again having the confidence to read aloud a tricky text “Treasure Island”. The boys were collecting adjectives in order to write a description of a character later. Let’s see what else they have been learning about.

We have had a good week in class with the vast majority of students reaching their behaviour target. We have been working on students putting their hands up to ask questions and speak. This morning we had our weekly pirate game which Donovan won.

Mr Hopkins has been off exploring again. Tyler has had a great week, he made a short film and looks so very happy.

This week for PE saw amazing weather and so we exploited the conditions and did some outdoor physical activity at Tandle Hill and Park Bridge.

At Tandle Hill we challenged ourselves to complete the low rope course and even played a game of tag on it! We also found 2 tree swings – 1 low swing and 1 high swing for the more adventurous individuals. I think I was the most worried having to test them both before anyone else went on them though!!! 

Tandle Hill is a beautiful place and our pupils can’t believe it is right on our doorstep too.

At Park Bridge Ms Mason-Powers class explored the plants and trees on a nature trail before ending up closely inspecting the river! Another amazing place to visit that is really close to where we live.

Finally for the John Muir Award this week it was Ms Mason-Powers class who got to go out and explore the local countryside. They managed to cross the river and find the waterfall up at Middle Black Clough and were even brave enough to stand right underneath it! Seeing the pupils enjoying exploring the outdoors and asking questions about rivers and trees and wildlife and experiencing the natural world first hand is a great pleasure and an experience that is not easily forgotten. It’s also quite a physical challenge for our pupils to access such a place which they achieved with determination and team work. I think that Tyler summed it up brilliantly when he wanted me to record a short video clip of him under the waterfall. He said: “I can do it mum can’t I?”. This was not just a response to the challenge he had just faced in getting to the waterfall but also on how successful he has been at settling into our Spring Brook family during his first 2 weeks after spending a year out of school before joining us here. Well done Tyler!!

As a last bit of info, I have challenged our classes to be ‘active classrooms’ recently and each week one of our classes will have a computerised exercise bike moved into their room for a full week. The bike can be used at any time in the day during social times or in between learning times when the class teachers deem it appropriate to have a physical break and do some exercise before buckling down for work again.

The aim is to ride as far as possible as a class in a week. Last week Mr Stewart’s class put in some serious effort and clocked up the kilometres but I think that Miss Crossley’s class has also done very well this week so it will be interesting to compare scores when all classes have had a go. I’ll keep you all updated!

I can’t believe how fast this half term has gone, here’s to an exciting last week before the break. Mr Hopkins

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back with the team and students at Spring Brook. I really did miss them and the staff.

Please have a lovely weekend everyone and stay safe following the new restrictions……

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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