05 Feb

It’s been a very different week for most of us at Spring Brook Upper. I started my week on Sunday evening when we got the news about our bubble bursting. It was only a matter of time. We followed all procedures as advised by Public Health England who as always have been very helpful and supportive. Can I thank all families this week for your patience and understanding and for encouraging your children to engage with online and blended learning.

On Monday I had some time to complete the school’s self evaluation for the emotional health and wellbeing agenda. It really was a pleasure to have the time to work with Natalie and Chrissy from Oldham’s Health and Wellbeing team. At Spring Brook Academy, both the Upper and Lower School, the offer to support our students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing is at the core of everything we do. The day was really successful, it helped me to identify key priorities in moving the school forward over the next three years. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead the school through its next exciting chapter.

Natalie and Chrissy shared a message to colleagues about being kind to ourselves. It really is important to take time to be grateful for what we have daily and to be kind.

This week we have been posting lots of information on our Facebook page about Children’s Mental Health Week. You can find the posts here.

I continued to work strategically this week from home on updating our school development plan and getting paperwork ready for our invitational meetings next week.

I need to say a big thank you also to the staff who have remained on site for a small number of students, especially to Mr Southerington who I am sure is really looking forward to his weekend now.

Let’s have a look at what the students have been doing this week. I know that Mason has really enjoyed making his own break and lunches in school. Well done Mason and to the staff who have supported him this week. Here’s what Mr Coldwell has to say..

I’ve had a lovely time this week working with Mason. He’s engaged really well working on Showbie in the mornings. He’s been making his own lunch (pizza and homemade bread). In the afternoons, it’s been nice to spend some 1-2-1 time together. We’ve been out walking in the community around the local canals and rivers..

On Thursday Mason completed all the work set on his timetable and made a pizza base from scratch and enjoyed doing this. He talked about toppings that he liked and we used them; cheese, pepper, pepperoni and pineapple..

Mr Southerington was blown away with the wonderful smells and was luckily enough to taste a slice!

Later he ended his busy day with a local walk to see some ducks.

Both Mason and Harry have been working really hard in school..

Mr Southerington has enjoyed the SBU cooking this week! Mason has been making pasta and fresh bread..

..and Harry joined in on Friday in making Mr Southerington’s, now famous, ‘dirty burgers’..

They went down a treat!!

Mr Hopkins has also been busy..

Our SBU outdoor education offer continued as normal this week. Every Thursday and Friday we travel around the borough to pick up our pupils from their homes and take them out into the countryside for a few hours to get some exercise, chat, socialise, explore the beautiful areas surrounding them and complete their John Muir Award for this year. The main aim is of course to help with any mental health issues being caused by the extended lockdown period we are facing where many of our children can feel isolated as they may be unable to socialise with friends or visit places outside of their houses.

This Thursday we focused on socialisation with our first group and took them out to Tandle Hill where we had a short walk to warm us up before playing wide games in the forest. We played manhunt which is basically grown up hide and seek tag, and capture the flag where we had 2 teams trying to capture the other team’s flag from their base without getting caught. Paddy, Dawud and Mitchell thought they could take on Mr Bocking and I but got well and truly taught a lesson in flag capturing!!!

On Friday the focus was on exploring and fitness as we climbed up the hills to Scout Moor wind farm. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was fantastic looking out over Manchester.

The aim was to stand under the wind turbines as they turned in the wind but the wind decided to play games with us. It seemed that as we neared a turbine it would stop and as we moved to the next one, that one would stop and the first would start again!! 

After 45 minutes of chasing the wind we finally caught up with one and the sound and feeling of standing under the turbines was brilliant!

It was great to see our groups chatting and socialising with each other and also chatting to members of the public who were out walking their dogs. Well done everyone and it really is great to see you all!

I am looking forward to being back on site next week and seeing everyone’s lovely faces.

Remember to stay safe and please do not send your child into school if they are showing any of the symptoms of Covid.

A polite reminder also that if you or any of your family are awaiting a test result you ALL must isolate until you have the test results.

Stay safe everyone, be kind to someone this weekend and show your gratitude!

Miss Rodgers and the Team

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