28 May

And there you go, in the blink of an eye we are at the end of another half term. I would like to thank the team here at Spring Brook for their hard work, commitment and dedication this half term. It hasn’t been an easy journey returning to school in the new norm post lockdown 3 BUT we did it and I am amazed at how well the students and staff have coped with all of the testing and changes.

It just goes to show that whilst we are creatures of habit and many of us don’t like change – actually – we can and have adapted well and shown tremendous resilience in doing so. I know that many of us are very tired and are really in need of a good rest. Half term is here….. I remember last May bank holiday and due to the dedication and spirit of our staff teams across the MAT, many schools were in fact open on the bank holiday to provide schooling for key worker and vulnerable students. This means that our staffing teams have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. I feel that this half term for all of our staff has been well earned.

There has been lots of activity in school this half term. My absolute highlight has been welcoming Watson our school dog to the team.

Watson also made the news in the Oldham Times here and the Grey Hound Board of Great Britain website here.

The progress and achievement of our students remains a priority here at the academy. Let’s have a look at their learning, starting with SBU3….

I can’t believe we are so close to the end of the year and that we only have one half term left, it’s flown and SBU3 have made so much progress, in terms of their literacy, numeracy and wider academic work but also in terms of their social skills and their focus and routine in school. This half term in SBU3 we have been studying the topic of Oceans and Storms. We began the topic with a trip to St Anne’s to see the sea and look at plastic pollution on the coast.

We studied the Shakespeare play ‘The Tempest’ and considered aspects such as plot, language, and imagery. We thought about the magical elements of the play and made predications. In Art we painted representations of the island.

In science we have been studying the make up of the oceans, looking at habitats and the creatures that occupy them.

In history we have been studying the slave trade from its origins to its eventual abolition, next half term we will consider how much life improved for black people in America in the following years.

We’ve made a great start to our allotment project, working really hard to clear a raised bed from being a jungle to start with to a near blank canvas ready for planting. Next half term we should start seeing some crops and I can’t wait to share photos of them!

Mr Hopkins has some highlights to share with us..

This half term has disappeared so quickly!! The last week has been great here at SBU in PE and Outdoor Ed. as we have finally managed to get outside without any wet weather gear at last!!

Our highlights this week have been our John Muir Award trip with Mr Stewart’s class and our weekly Active in Mind peer mentoring project.

John Muir

This week we travelled out to Pule Hill where Mr Stewart’s class were set 5 challenges which they attempted with great encouragement and teamwork. Kyle managed the first 2 challenges scrambling like a mountain goat up the hill to the quarry. Everyone managed to find the Simon Armitage poem ‘snow’ engraved into the wall of the quarry. Theo and Miss Chapel managed to squeeze through 2 very tight caves and Theo and Kyle gully walked rather than ran, but still managed to get down the gully at the side of the hill.

We had a great time all morning and it was particularly great to see Cameron and Beth sharing the responsibility of taking care of Watson the Greyhound. They held him correctly and with great care – especially near the new lambs we saw – and made sure he was safe as we walked along the edge of the hill. More importantly we also saw some amazing turn taking as they swapped over holding him at different points in the walk.

Well done everyone in this class, it was a great trip!

Active in Mind

Continuing our weekly peer mentoring project this week our year 9’s Jack and Kian planned the activities they were going to lead in the session on Friday morning. The focus this week was on teamwork and bonding and it was great to see our older and younger pupils get together and have some fun completing some team tasks.

Firstly, Jack led a balance physical task to get everyone active and encouraging each other. The group had to hold a ‘frog jump’ position for 5 seconds and then a handstand position for 5 seconds. Both very difficult and the year 9 peer mentors did a great job of encouraging everyone to have a series of attempts even if it was a difficult challenge.

Secondly, Kian led a wall sit team challenge where the group had to wall sit and pass a medicine ball to each other for a total of 3 and a half minutes. Everyone was encouraged to do their best and help out the team even if they couldn’t last the whole amount of time.

Next up was Henry who had a go at leading a team activity where the group stood on a bench and had to rearrange themselves into different orders – height, shoe size, weight, eye colour. If any member of the team fell off the whole team had to do 5 push ups!! It was great watching them learn that they didn’t need to hurry and all move at once which caused them to fall off. In the end they were focused on performing one task at a time – moving one person safely with everyone supporting each other – until the whole task was complete.

Lastly we had some relaxation time as the peer mentors performed Reiki on the younger group members.

I am really pleased at how this project is shaping up. It is obvious to see that relationships and trust is building between the older and younger pupils and that everyone is enjoying having fun together with people that are not in their classes or friendship groups. Well done to everyone involved so far!!

Here’s hoping that everyone has a great week off next week and we can enjoy the summer half term with some more great activities! ~ Mr Hopkins

There you go. Another fun packed half term at Spring Brook. As we get ready to plan for the final half term, we are also welcoming back Mr Roscoe into our Spring Brook Family.

Have a happy and safe half term holiday everyone. I will look forward to hearing your news and seeing your smiley faces on our return on Monday 7th June bright and early.

I will leave you with a thought for the weekend:

“Do something today that your future self will THANK YOU for.”

Miss Rodgers

You can find all our weekly blog entries here

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