13 Nov

What a week! We celebrated Remembrance Day with a 2 minute silence on the 11th day of the 11th hour in the 11th month. We did remember them. The students made lovely poppies to go in the garden of remembrance.

This week has been a tricky week at the academy, I don’t mind sharing this with you. Anxieties have been high amongst some staff and students. As we live through these times of change it can cause some unease and stress. We continue to work at the academy as we do to understand trying times. We are one family who listen to each other, offer support and advise when it is needed. Some of our students have had periods of reflection this week thinking about post incident learning and how they could have made better choices with different outcomes. We very much understand that is it ok not to be ok but it is how we manage this that is important. “You talk and I will listen.” is a phrase that I have used lots this week alongside “I do care.”

I have had many conversations with many students this week about our staff team choosing to work at Spring Brook. We choose to work there to be the difference that makes the difference to the lives of our students. Every staff member at Spring Brook genuinely cares about the lives and education of our students. It has taken a long time to get the right people in the right places at the academy and I feel that we have made good progress to get to where we are today.

Let’s have a look at the learning in and out of the classrooms this week, starting with SBU..

In English, we have continued reading our class book of War Horse and discussing the themes, characters, and historical background of the book. The class respectfully observed the two minute silence on Remembrance Day and, on Thursday, we looked in detail at the causes of the First World War, by playing a game representing the events leading up to the start of the war and. In Maths I’ve been so impressed with everyone, Isiah has nearly filled an entire book with his Maths work which shows just how hard he’s been working!

In Science we have continued our theme of Earth and Rocks by making volcanoes on Monday, first building the shape and then creating a chemical reaction to cause the eruption!

We have continued with team building, this week we guided each other using blindfolds and worked as teams to score ‘goals’ using the parachute.

Tuesday was World Science Day so we spent the day off timetable focusing on our Science topic of Rocks and Weathering. First, we went out of school to Chadderton Hall Park where we looked for rocks in the brooks, making sure we found rocks of different sizes and types.

In the afternoon, we used different types of chocolate to represent the rock cycle. We very carefully shaved it into tiny pieces to represent sand and then bashed it to represent sedimentary rock, applied as much pressure as possible to represent metamorphic rock, and finally we melted the chocolate to represent igneous rock. We had great fun doing it and it was a fantastic way to understand what we had noticed about the rocks we found at the park in the morning.

In food tech this we made pizzas completely from scratch, including the dough! This was a really challenging task for the class and the pizzas turned out so well, in his own words Isiah’s was ‘better than a takeaway’!

We made the most of the Autumn leaves by collecting the biggest and most colourful ones to make into baskets. They’ll be finished next week and hopefully we’ll have fab photos to share!

On Friday, as part of Children in Need day, we made Pudseys from paper plates, they turned out amazingly, well done everyone for your concentration!

Isiah was back cooking on Friday making homemade burgers as part of his reward afternoon with Mr Southerington. He worked really well and seemed to really enjoy the end product…as did some of the staff who sampled some of the extras that they made..

Now over to Mrs Young for news from SBU1..

This week we made a start on additions and subtractions of 2 and 3 digit numbers without regrouping.

In English we read the descriptions of 2 characters from Roald Dahl’s book and tried expanded our noun phrases by adding different adjectives in our writing.

In Citizenship we looked into the voting system in the USA and how Joe Biden won the election. We also researched a few other previous presidents of America and shared it with the rest of the group.

In History we learnt about the process of becoming a knight and what jobs and responsibilities each of the stages required for boys or men to be able to do, and talked about the importance of Remembrance Day.

Mr Hopkins has been very busy too..

As we were respecting Remembrance Day this week, for our PE lessons we decided to go outdoors to find an abandoned air raid shelter in the local area. This involved a hike and a thorough explore as we had heard roughly where the shelter might be but we didn’t know for sure.

On the way through the woods to the shelter we found an enormous badger set with many entrances that the animals had dug. We even found a freshly dug entrance with badger paw prints in the unearthed soil!

The pupils from each class thoroughly searched the area to find the abandoned shelter and managed to discover the mound that had one entrance on either side. Most of us managed to crawl down into the hole to have a look and found a flooded passageway that looked like it led into further rooms. Unfortunately we couldn’t explore under the ground but Miss Crossley’s class is already making plans to go back next week with the right waterproof equipment.

All of our pupils where curious about the war, what the shelters were for and couldn’t imagine what it must have been like sheltering from a bombing raid in that dark, enclosed environment!

On Thursday the Year 9’s got to go out on their John Muir Award exploration day. This week we visited Dovestones Reservoir but didn’t take your average walking route!! We scrambled up to the top of one of the hills, and walked across the peat land over to descend into Birchen Clough. On the way the views over Manchester were incredible and our pupils were asking questions about why the reservoirs were here and how the water ended up in our taps!

Once into Birchen Clough our real challenge started as we had to climb down past various waterfalls to reach the bottom and the path that would eventually take us back to the van. Along the way we encountered an elderly couple who were having trouble navigating the rocks and steep climb to which our pupils were encouraging them and showing them the best way to go – well done boys!

On the way back following the waterfall descent I posed a few challenges – One to cross a slippery pipe over a drop into some water – well done Mr Bocking (Just), Jack and Kian! One to jump across a gap in between some stones – Well done Kian, Jack, Mitchell and Amaan (after about half an hour and some encouragement from passers by!) And the final challenge was to run up the reservoir dam hill without stopping! Well done to Mr Bocking who was the only one who made it!!!

After a 9km (6 mile) walk we were all tired but happy and I just want to say a special well done to Lewis who is new in our school and was absolutely brilliant for his first time out on a full day and not knowing to expect all the adventurous things we get up to.

Well done everyone this week! Mr Hopkins

We ended the week celebrating Children in Need. We dressed in our own clothes because the theme this year was come as you are! We made cakes, got together for a duck race and soaked Mr Stewart with wet sponges..

My personal favourite was to end the day with a good old fashioned tug of war. I have bruises on my arms and Mr Bocking literally pulled the skin off his fingers! We are fiercely competitive. It was so much fun.

We raised over £68.00 at the last count. Thank you to all of you who donated.

Happy Diwali to all of you celebrating this weekend. We need to think about the light in these times and we also need to stay positive.
On that note, have a wonderful weekend with your families. From my home to yours….

Stay safe!

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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