08 Jan

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that you all had a peaceful break over the holiday season?

I know this isn’t the start of the year that we would all have wanted.

I have been astounded at how accommodating and adaptable all of our staff teams have been to meet the requirements for National Lockdown number 3.

The risk assessments have been updated and are published on our school website here.

All of our staff have worked tirelessly to make sure that our building and blended learning offer is safe, robust and as secure as can be. We have carried out individual risk assessments for all of our students. As per the government guidelines we are only offering places to students on site who are children of critical workers and those deemed vulnerable by the local authority or school.

Can I take this opportunity to thank all parents, carers and stakeholders of the school for your continued support and understanding during these very unprecedented and tricky times. I really do understand how frustrating these times can be and more so as a parent who has had to apply for a critical worker place for my child to attend his school.

On Thursday evening Mr Southerington and I attended a meeting with the trustees, other head teachers and governors for all of our schools within the trust. Mr Quinn has worked tirelessly throughout the holiday period to guide and support senior leaders in order for us to meet the requirements of opening our schools safely for staff and students. He said last night (and I am sure that he won’t mind me sharing this with you) that he finds it insulting that the government define all of our students with an EHCP as vulnerable. I would also agree – the EHCP defines need not vulnerability – this a wider debate to be had with politicians in the future….

Let’s have a look at the positive start that our students and staff team have made here at the academy for both blended, home and on-site learning, starting with Miss Crossley..

Our In School Star of the Week is Harry for his positive attitude towards completing work on Showbie in school. Harry also showed Mr Arnold a Science experiment involving the four components of blood.

The functions of the four components of blood were perfectly explained, in great detail, by Kyle – who, along with Alfie, have won our Online Star of the Week award. Both boys have taken charge of their learning in a really positive way, completing their work, joining in with virtual lessons and engaging with staff online.

Great job boys – all three of you will receive a special surprise as a reward for all your hard work and effort, keep up the good work next week!

I also want to give a special mention to Alyssa and Ellie, who have motivated themselves to engage with their online learning sessions – keep up the good work next week where the ‘Stars of the Week’ prizes will be up for grabs again!

Ms Power’s class have been working hard too..

It’s been far from the return to school we were all hoping for but SBU3 have worked so well despite the challenges. A huge well done to Isiah who has been working hard at home and completing some brilliant work in Maths, Science and PSHE this week.

We’ve begun our new topic of Medicine and Health, and whether in school or at home we’ll be learning together about the human body, the history of medicine, how to keep ourselves healthy, and looking at shanty towns and why so many people in the world live in them. In English we’ve begun reading our new book ‘Saved’, which focuses on a family facing a medical emergency.

In school we’ve welcomed Leshay into our class and it’s been great to see him joining in with activities around school so quickly. In Science, we looked at why our heart beats faster sometimes and found out which activities caused this, such as star jumps, running and, of course, skidding in the snowfall we had this week!

We also took advantage of the cold weather and went for a walk in our local area to investigate frozen ground and water. We even found some shallow water with ice so thick we could stand on it. It was another welcome opportunity to climb trees and jump streams, a class favourite!

Now it’s over to Mr Coldwell..

This week has been a different type of week but we have seen lots of good engagement on Showbie. A particular shout out goes to Alyssa, Harry, Alfie and Kyle, especially Alfie who has been out of school a long time and shown a great willingness to learn new things. They have all engaged with online lessons and puts lots of effort into their academic work.

Thank you to Harry’s Mum who has sent in some great pictures of his home learning..

It’s also been good to see parents sat with pupils helping them through their virtual learning.

Hopefully next week we will see more and more students engaging with Showbie.

Mr Hopkins has planned an exciting programme for lockdown PE both online, in school and off-site education. Who needs Joe Wicks, right?

This week has been a strange one here at SBU with fewer faces in the building and no adventures in the outdoors taking place! However there are plans afoot to sort those problems out over the next few weeks so watch this space!

This week has seen a return to the trampoline in school. We haven’t been able to use it in PE lessons because of the Risk Assessments we have written around COVID. However, this week we have timetabled 30 minute 1 – 1 Trampolining sessions for each of our pupils which has allowed me to clean down the trampoline properly in between each use. Trampolining is extremely popular in school and has been missed greatly and the activity has proved extremely successful this week with many of our newer pupils experiencing it for the first time. It is fantastic exercise, great for flexibility, co-ordination and developing skill and more importantly improves resilience, trust and self-confidence. I always use an iPad to aid teaching and let the pupils understand what they need to do and therefore we also have a few action shots!!!

A special well done this week to Jack who had never been on a trampoline before but after 2 sessions managed to achieve his British Gymnastics Trampolining Award level 6. Well done Jack!

Miss Crossley and Miss Mellor delivered rewards on Friday to some very excited students. Can I say a huge well done to Alifie, Harry and Kyle for your efforts at home. I would also like to congratulate Tyler, Leshay, Jack, Jacob and Cameron for the start of the week for your efforts in school.

Mr Heaton has been a star taking iPads and presents to students, thank you sir!

All site based staff have been adaptable and supportive and all staff off site have been doing welfare calls and checking in with support for home learning. A huge thank you to all of our wonderful team at Spring Brook Upper.

On Wednesday we celebrated Miss Crossley’s birthday..

We also wish Mr Greenhalgh a Happy Birthday this week, even though you are working from home we did not forget!

Week 1, lockdown 3 has flown by. Maybe something to do with the amount of work that Mr Southerington and I have ploughed through.

A polite reminder to stay safe and observe lockdown rules.

I have really enjoyed the snow this week and looking at everyone’s pets through our online portal..

Have a lovely wintry weekend – stay safe.

Miss Rodgers and the team

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