How did we get to Friday already? We have packed so much into this week. My favourite parts of this week have been the rowing challenge and the invitational meeting. The whole school (staff included) took part in a rowing challenge involving all secondary schools across Oldham. Mr Hopkins will mention this later in the blog. It was completed in the spirit of how we do things here at Spring Brook – together.
Later in the week, Mr Southerington and I presented a celebration of our pupils at the invitational meeting. I was so proud of them it brought a tear to my eyes. Our students talked openly and honestly about their experiences during lockdown 1 and how they felt about their return to school and their aspirations for their futures. It was just the best – but I am going to say that, aren’t I?
Let’s have a look at the learning this week in the academy, we have had lots of fun with cooking fajitas, cheesecakes and more. Lots of fun with outdoor education and lots of learning in class. Here’s Mrs Young to tell us about SBU1..
This week in Maths we continued with additions and subtractions with regrouping.
In English we worked on improving our close reading by focusing on various texts about famous people with disabilities. The boys found the topic very engaging and they also started to understand the need to be more accepting of each other’s needs. In Science we discussed how day and night happen and researched what are the time differences between different countries.
In our Citizenship lesson the class was given a task to use a specific budget to furnish their bedroom. They had to prioritise what items would be essential and which ones would be a treat.
We also focused on the effects of the internet on young people and how easy it is to become severely dependent on it. The boys came to a common conclusion that they definitely spend too much time online and understood that might lead to health problems and affect their relations with other people.
Miss Crossley has an update for us on SBU2..
This week SBU2 participated in ‘No Pens Day Wednesday’ – an annual day of spoken language activities. Spoken language skills are fundamental for learning to read and write, managing emotions, developing friendships and entering employment. SBU2 enjoyed putting their pens down and shouting about their opinions during a class debate. All pupils were mature, respectful and engaged well in class discussions – until we got to the question ‘should TV and computer games be banned for children’ – to which the answer was a resounding NO! After forming their own opinions, pupils chose their side of the argument… and side of the rope in a tug-of-war!
Maths with no pens? No problem for SBU2! They were able to consolidate their knowledge of equivalent lengths in millimetres, centimetres, meters and kilometres as well as blocks and DVDs! Did you know Conor is 9 DVD’s tall..
..Alyssa is 92 blocks in length..
..and the red and pink crew mates are “a bit sus!”..
On Tuesday SBU2 participated in their very first Yoga session. All pupils participated with what they felt comfortable with and benefited from the relaxing quiet time at the end of the session.
In Art and Design SBU2 explored the element of space and create an image to depict both positive and negative space. Harry made a comment about how his artwork represented his own emotions, which can be both positive and negative.
In our Life Skills sessions this week we have continued to work on teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation. At the beginning of the week I create an obstacle course that pupils completed and then competed against each other in a game of cat and mouse! Towards the end of the week, SBU2 created their very own obstacle course (which was much better than mine!) and effectively communicated with their teammates to direct a blindfolded Mr Stewart and Mr Noel around the course. SBU2 are becoming more and more able to apply their knowledge of effective communication to their interactions with their peers around school – well done SBU2!
SBU3 have also had a busy week as Ms Power explains..
First of all a huge well done to Tyler who has unfortunately been isolating this week, he really hasn’t let it stop him though and he’s done so much work. Well done Tyler, you’ve really set the standard for using Showbie for home learning. It’s been great to see your cat featuring in your work too!
On Monday, we made trench models using clay and toy soldiers, they’ve turned out brilliantly and really showed how small the trenches were and how uncomfortable they would have been to live in.
Continuing our Rocks and Weathering topic, we looked at sedimentary rocks and how they are crushed and reformed. As always we looked at this practically and smashed up pasta any way we could, even using shoes. We then reformed them to show how layers of sedimentary rock form over time.
In food tech this week we made cheesecake, this was really challenging and needed lots of skills including crushing, whisking, and blending. They turned out great, well done everyone!
Now let’s hear what Mr Hopkins has been up to this week..
This week at SBU everyone went out on their outdoor activities and we saw some amazing teamwork, communication and challenges being performed.
Miss Young’s and Miss Crossley’s class both went out to explore the scout tunnel in Mossley. This is a 188m canal tunnel through a hill in Mossley and involved a walk through the woods and along the canal to it and then a climb up the hill to get back over it.
It prompted lots of questions about canal locks and why the tunnel was there, plus how it was built. Also we had discussions about the River Tame which runs alongside the canal which is the most polluted river in the UK for microplastics. As a treat we also got to learn how to fire a slingshot correctly and safely against the old quarry wall which was super fun and harder than you might think!!
Mr Stewart’s, Mr Coldwell’s and Mr Mullins’ classes all went out to Crompton Moor to explore the waterfall and the forests and, of course, play giant games of manhunt!
Everyone has played this game before now and so we saw some amazing teamwork, tactics and communication form the hunters which was great to see. Also the sportsmanship displayed was brilliant with people helping each other out and making sure everyone was safe.
Of course Mr Mullins’ class couldn’t possibly resist the opportunity to try to jump a stream they found!!!
Finally Mr Stewart’s class also got to go out on their John Muir Award so we went up to Blackstone Edge in the thick fog!! Walking up the old Roman Road and past the Aigin Stone (which has been there for 600 years) was a really eerie experience as we couldn’t see where we were going and the fog had dampened any sounds so we were pretty much in silence! Once up on the edge we explores the clifftops and Theo and Kyle both completed the challenge to get from the cliff top to the trig point marking the top of the hill without touching the ground – rocks only!! Following this we found Robin Hood’s bed, although no-one fancied taking on the jump across, before coming back to school. A great trip out made even more special by the weather!
Spring Brook Upper have also taken part in the Oldham schools virtual rowing championships this week. This involved us being loaned 4 rowing machines for a day for our pupils to row as far as they could for a certain time depending on their year. Our results will now be emailed off to compete against all of the other schools in Oldham – mainstream and special. I was so pleased with how many pupils took part – pretty much everyone – and how encouraging everyone was to each other, it really felt a Spring Brook team experience! Also it was great to see all of the staff getting on the machines alongside the pupils and having our own personal competition to encourage and role model resilience, encouragement and having fun! Well done everyone.
Here’s to another full week of outdoor activities and sport next week! ~ Mr Hopkins
A special mention to our senior leadership pupil of the week Kyren who has really benefitted from letting staff help him and taking part in some NLP sessions to remove his anxieties. Kyren has shown a real interest in Neuro Linguistic Practice and has asked lots of questions about how it works for him and what it is. Well done Kyren for having an open mind and letting us help you.
Another special mention goes out this week to Tyler. Tyler has been accessing virtual learning using his iPad at home. Through our online learning platform Showbie, Tyler has completed ALL of the work set by his teacher, he has had feedback and has been sending his teacher his work. We are very proud of you Tyler for your motivation and commitment with keeping your learning going at home. Well done to you too!
Last week Mr Stewart wanted to highlight Cameron but unfortunately a technical glitch meant we didn’t include his message, so here it is:
A final special mention this week to Cameron. Cameron is new to Spring Brook this year and struggled to settle in but I feel like he finally has. Cameron this week has just completed his first full week, not just here at Spring Brook but high school in general, and he scooped Form Pupil of the Week, SLT Pupil of the Week and Pastoral Pupil of the Week. The clean sweep of awards! Well done Cam, keep up the good work.
Cameron, the sweeper up of lots of awards!! He is finally settling and developing trusting relationships at Spring Brook. Well done Cameron, we are all so proud of you!
We have had birthdays to celebrate too. On Thursday we said Happy Birthday to our lovely cook Sue.
On Friday we celebrated Mrs Young’s birthday..
..and this Sunday is Kian’s birthday (look what we found….)
So from your Spring Brook family we wish you all very many happy returns and we hope that you all have a lovely weekend.
I can’t believe this Sunday is the first Sunday in advent. Wow. I will be lighting my advent candle and thinking about the light in the world. On that note, happy weekend everyone.
Please stay safe and continue to follow the rules.
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