18 Dec

Welcome to the last blog of this year. For many 2020 has been a year that we won’t forget. As we reflect on this year gone by we must try to remain positive. I personally am going to embrace 2021 and will it on with lots of positive vibes.

The young people here at the academy, the staff (I mean all staff including our premises, IT teams, executive team and our cook Sue) have worked incredibly hard to maintain the high standards that we set here for our Spring Brook Family.

We have had our challenges and there have been a few. I have been amazed at the resilience shown and the solution focused approach that we have used to get though.

Highlights of this year for me have been the video that the staff did during lockdown 1, Mr Hopkins’ PE challenges that he set on Showbie, The John Muir Award and returning to school in September to name a few.

We have welcomed new students and staff and are planning to grow our team after the Christmas break.

Let’s find out what’s been happening in school this week, starting with Mr Mullins..

Final blog of 2020 and despite everything going on around us – I genuinely have no idea where the year has gone!  I’ll keep it short and sweet this week so you can all get back to making the most of the well-earned break.

As promised, we have some short stories for you. Three of the boys were happy for me to share their work. Please do take a few minutes to give them the once over – I am so proud of all their efforts from initial ideas and draft write through to editing..

 

We found time for a few festive crafts this week..

..and yes, some baking which included mince pies and festive swirls. I think we have all eaten our body weight in pastry and mincemeat, ah well, ‘it’s Christmas’..

You may have already seen that the group spent Thursday out with Mr. Hopkins which is always great fun and a wonderful way to end the year as a group. Thinking about it, we should have baked the day before the outing allowing opportunity to walk some of the food off!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, stay safe and I will see you in the new year. It can’t be as unpredictable as 2020 surely?

Your stories were so powerful boys, I really enjoyed reading them. Great authors. Now to Miss Crossley’s class..

SBU2 have fallen ‘head over heels’ for their Yoga sessions on Tuesdays – with each member of the class participating in what they feel comfortable with.

Life Skills lessons have continued with the theme of effective communication and teamwork – you could say that SBU2 really ‘got their teeth into’ our class game of Human Hungry Hippos!

From satisfying their hunger with Human Hungry Hippos to satisfying their hunger in the kitchen – this week SBU2 made chicken stir fry – so delicious that it went before a single photo could be taken!

This week’s Art and Design lesson was ‘a bit sus’ as we made our own among us characters using air dry clay. Spot the imposter!

On Wednesday SBU2 enjoyed their Christmas Dinner Day. Initially we had planned to take our dinners and eat together as a class in our classroom – it is a much smaller, much quieter place that often feels less overwhelming than the hustle and bustle of the games room.

However, before dinner, I wanted to show the pupils the games room – decorated in all its Christmassy splendour! To my astonishment, all the pupils took a seat: ready for their Christmas Dinner! I thought we’d have about ‘as much hope as a turkey at Christmas’ of eating together with the whole school, but I was made to ‘eat my words’. Although it may seem like a small step, this was a giant leap for SBU2!

SBU2 have finished the term on the same note as they started it – absolutely fantastic behaviour, positive attitudes and engaged in their work. I cannot fault their start here at Spring Brook and I look forward to welcoming them back next year after a well earned rest.

Mrs Young’s class have also enjoyed the last week of term..

Ms Power is very proud of SBU3..

I can’t believe it’s our final blog of 2020! As a new class, I’m so proud of SBU3 for settling into their new school and making so much progress. Sometimes this isn’t obvious every day but everyone has completed a whole book of Maths work and I can see how much they’ve improved. I hope everyone has a fantastic break and wish their friends and families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let’s see what they’ve been up to…

We finished the term by making a donation of food to the ABEN shelter in Oldham. The Bed Every Night scheme operates across Greater Manchester and aims to ensure that nobody has to spend a night on the streets in the cold weather.

We have finished our Rocks topic in Science this week by looking at how fossils are formed. First, we created a clay base to represent the earth, then pressed small model insects into it and filled the cavities with plaster of Paris. Later in the week we became palaeontologists, using a range of tools to excavate the fossils, they turned out great! Well done everyone for your engagement and hard work this topic. 

In English, we looked at adjectives that describe the winter months, and put these into pieces of descriptive writing.

We followed this up by making wintry paintings for a lovely new display in our classroom.

SBU4 have also had a Christmassy end to the term as Mr Stewart explains..

SBU 4 have had a week of looking forward to Christmas this week. We have been making diamante Christmas keyrings, also some amazing handmade cards.

In a week where we welcome back Mason to class we have manage to bond more as a class. In food tech we made white chocolate and pomegranate yule logs – to varying successes.

This week we also want to say a massive thank you and goodbye to Mr. Pryce our class T.A. as this was his final week at Spring Brook after 4 years as he takes on a new role and challenge at the Springboard Project. Good luck we know you will continue your successful career and positively impact the lives of more young people just have you have here.

So SBU 4 will look different in the new year but are looking forward to a new year with new challenges.

The students have been enjoying their intervention sessions with Miss Mellor, here’s Donovan and Fin playing chess..

..and Amaan playing Labyrinth, a game where you have to really think about strategies to find your treasure without getting blocked in the creepy labyrinth..

On Thursday Szymon, Mason and Kaiden had a great morning at Brook Park with Miss Mellor and Mr Ross..

Maisie has been out exploring with Miss Mellor, they started at the valley in Lees and walked through Waterhead and Masie had to find a few things along the way; an overgrown pond, then a bridge, a tunnel and a bear carved from a tree.

Maisie really enjoyed her outdoor experience. Outdoor activities are a good bonding experience for staff and students and they can learn a lot about each other.

Talking of the outdoors, here’s Mr Hopkins..

It’s been a fantastic last week in PE and Outdoor Education here at Spring Brook and I’m so proud of all of our pupils throughout the whole Autumn term for how they have accessed our different physical activity and outdoor education curriculum.

For the last week the weather has impacted our activities for the first time and 2 of our classes have been learning about rugby while the other classes have been able to visit a local scout hut and learn about climbing on the small wall inside. Our pupils should understand now that climbing is all about planning and using your feet rather than strength and climbing as fast as possible. Many of them couldn’t get across the wall at first but with a little help, understanding and not giving up managed the challenge eventually. It really is a great activity to get over fear and improving resilience!

After the climbing challenge the pupils could try to get up the rope or the rope net to get into the hideaway in the roof rafters. I’m pleased to say that everyone attempted it and most managed to have the courage to make it all of the way! Luckily they all had the courage to get down again too!!

For our last John Muir Award group of Year 9’s we had a beautiful day and so went out to the bottom of Kinder Scout, walked around Kinder Reservoir and followed the river, crossing it many times of course, to a small forested area.

Here we talked about fires and fire safety and we built a small fire to boil some water so we could make hot chocolates. Of course we had to make sure that it wasn’t that easy so we only took some cotton wool (as it had been raining and we wouldn’t be able to find any tinder dry enough to light) and a flint and steel. All of the boys were successful in using a flint and steel to light the cotton wool and we managed to get a fire going in no time. I have to say sitting around the fire having our dinner and hot chocolate was a definite highlight of the year so far for me as everyone seemed so happy and relaxed and just chatted away to each other.

I look forward to the challenges of what the next year might bring and I really hope everyone has a great break for Christmas. Well done to all of our pupils this year so far, you’ve all been great!! ~ Mr Hopkins

Today whilst I am writing this blog I have been notified of a special delivery for our students. Rudolph and his crew along with F.C. (Father Christmas) himself landed on the roof. They left red sacks full of gifts for every single student present today in school..

Father Christmas had a special message for Alyssa. He told me to tell you this Alyssa:

Dearest Alyssa, I wanted to say a personal thank-you for keeping the Christmas spirit alive. It is because of children like you that I am able to fly my sleigh all around the world. Only a few more sleeps now and I will be flying over Derker on Christmas Eve. Use the sleep hypnosis that Miss Rodgers taught you and before you know it – Christmas Day will be here.
Don’t forget to leave a carrot for the reindeer and a mince pie. Love from F.C. XXX

Congratulations to our Christmas hamper winners..

I hope you’ve all seen our first newsletter which has gone out to families – you can find it here if you’ve missed it. Can I take this opportunity to thank all of our families for your continued support this term. I wish you all the very best for the festive season. I will look forward to seeing all of the students returning to school on Monday 4th January 2021.

All the very best for the New Year.

Miss Rodgers and the team

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