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Weekly Blog

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Welcome back to our Spring Brook Upper School blog. I can’t believe that we are already here in November. Lockdown number 2 also, except this time we get to keep our schools open. Although there are many challenges with this I do believe that it is in the best interests of our pupils.

I want to reassure you all that we are as Covid safe as we possibly can be. We are continuing to update our risk assessments for Covid and we have employed extra cleaning staff for enhanced cleaning.

We are supporting our students who might have anxieties about the second lockdown through a range of neuro linguistic practice. School really is a positive place for the students to be. This week we have welcomed a new student Lewis into our Spring Brook Family. Lewis has made a positive start to school. Well done Lewis I am really proud of you for this. So let’s have a look at Mr Mullins’ class first this week..

So that is the first week of this half term done – and I am pleased to report that SBU6 have picked up from where they left off. There has been no let-up in their attitude towards learning and they deserve recognition for managing to do so with all the uncertainty of Covid/lockdown that surrounds us.

We have welcomed Lewis to the class and he has settled in well. I am sure the others will continue to support him where required and help him feel part of both our class and wider school.

In less than a week, we have managed to make predictions on our new text (Beowulf), identify themes having read it as a whole class and sequence events..

Some have gone as far as creating a story map, talking through it independently and without having to refer to the text itself. A special mention to Mitchell who had the confidence to share his with SLT as they made their way around the classrooms for this week’s certificates. He may just be leading the rest of the topic with us class staff sitting at the back… he just doesn’t know it yet. It has been a real joy to witness the boys grow in confidence but also applying this in helping others around them – modelling strategies and coaching one another without even realising!

In Maths, we have looked at the perimeters of compound shapes, going as far as producing our own for others to work out as well as pushing ourselves on two/three-part questions, complete with missing measurements.

Elsewhere, the boys have opted to delve deeper into the Tudors, building on their prior knowledge and we are becoming more confident in locating counties/cities within the UK. They have also been out and about with Mr Hopkins, which you can read about in his section of the blog.

Enjoy the weekend, well done again for coming back raring to go and firing on all cylinders. Let’s keep it up!

Setting the bar high as ever Year 9 – fantastic efforts all round.

I have to say that I am really proud of Mr Coldwell’s class also this week. The boys have been selling poppies in school and on Friday, Paddy went to the top of the street (with his face mask) to try to sell some more poppies..


Paddy has also been working hard with Mr Pryce!

Now over to Mr Hopkins who has the best job in the world. Just look at these adventures..

This week we have had lovely autumnal weather and so PE exclusively took place out in our beautiful local countryside giving our pupils the opportunity of exploring, doing some exercise, getting some much needed fresh air and exploring the boundaries of our fears and levels of resilience.

On Monday Mr Stewart’s and Mr Coldwell’s classes both visited Tandle Hill and were put through their paces on the low ropes course, had a roll down the hill, tested their courage on a very high rope swing (thanks for leaving me dangling and stranded Patrick and Donovan!), and tested their balance and courage crossing a stream over a fallen tree trunk. Well done specifically to Beth for having a go and succeeding at all of these tasks – amazing!

Then on Wednesday and Thursday Miss Young’s, Miss Crossley’s, Miss Mason-Power’s and Mr Mullins’s classes all went on a river adventure over at Carrbrook. This involved teamwork to descend a steep, slippery bank, courage to explore a dark tunnel, a walk down a river, teamwork again to be able to cross over the river and then rigging up and testing some tree swings!

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All of our pupils have been enjoying the challenges and fitness that our outdoor PE adventures have provided and it has been noticed that there has been a positive benefit to academic work and behaviour in school on days when the pupils have been out. Well done everyone!

Finally, our last group got to try to find the hidden waterfall as part of their John Muir Award. Not only did they succeed spectacularly by opting to discount the ‘easy’ way and take my ‘hard’ path instead, but also they managed to cross the river as a team together (4 times!!). Other highlights were Theo making an outstanding leap of faith (making it look very easy too)..

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..plus they managed to find a ‘slide’ in the river into a shallow pool!

Amazing work everyone but also a special mention to Jaydan who wasn’t really up for scrambling up to the waterfall at first. But with a bit of support and encouragement he really enjoyed himself and was secretly very proud he made it – I’m secretly proud too!

I really hope that this autumn weather holds over the next few weeks as we enter into another lockdown period and we can keep giving our pupils the opportunities of physical exercise outside in the countryside – fingers crossed!  Mr Hopkins

Look at those students sliding in the water. They came back into school with such smiles and wet clothes! I love to see their adventures each week, I even tried to clear my diary on Thursday to go with them but it just wasn’t possible.

Let’s see what Ms Power’s class have been up to this week..

The class have enjoyed using the Commando Joes equipment to play games, team build and develop skills. We’ve built and played giant Jenga, jumped between hoops, and completed obstacle courses. It’s something we’ll be doing more often as the rain and wind drives and keeps us inside more often!

In Science, we have begun our new topic looking at rocks and weathering, starting by looking at the structure of the earth. The class made some fantastic models of the structure using clay, before looking at each layer in detail. We then spent time looking at each layer in detail and labelling diagrams.

For food tech this week we made shortbread biscuits which turned out amazingly well and were yummy. Well done Tyler and Maisie!

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We’ve also spent time this week looking at design and construction. Ariz and Isiah built a really impressive tower from plastic cups, it’s still standing! Tyler and Maisie used measurements and careful calculations to begin making tennis rackets from thick cardboard. Everyone has really impressed me with their STEM skills this week..

Well done everyone for your efforts this week! ~ Ms Power and Mrs Culhane

Miss Crossley’s class have been equally busy..

SBU2 have come back after half term with a fantastic, positive attitude towards their learning. I am beginning to run out of ways to express how well they have settled into life here at Spring Brook. As soon as SBU2 walk into our classroom they are ready to learn – oftentimes we have completed the morning activities early and to a good standard for an extended break time! I am so proud of how the pupils are developing their ability to self-regulate when they are becoming frustrated, returning to their learning when they are ready, without need to be prompted. The behaviour percentages speak for themselves this week – everyone was over our 80% target and Lewis impressing with a fantastic score of 88%. Next week will all be aiming for gold!

In English this half-term we are reading, analysing and writing about the novel ‘The Nowhere Emporium’ by Ross Mackenzie. SBU2 have been busy working on reading VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, recount and summarise) in order to develop their comprehension and understanding of the book. They have made some fantastic predictions about what may happen in the book and who might own the emporium based on the book covers and prologue – let’s see if their predictions come to pass.


In Maths this half term SBU2 will recap their existing knowledge of the four operations and stretch and extend their knowledge to solve more complex sums and reasoning problems. This knowledge is used and applied within our Citizenship lessons which this half-term will focus on managing money. This week we have focused on financial risk, investments, savings and profits. SBU2 were each given £20 (represented in blocks) to invest in 1 of two business ventures… Conor ended the game £57 in debt whereas Harry was the only member of SBU2 to make a (£2) profit – thank goodness it wasn’t real money!

In Art and Design SBU2 have continued to demonstrate their artistic ability, producing two high-quality pieces of artwork: a firework printed painting and a layered abstract drawing depicting value by shading.

In Life Skills we have continued to develop our communication and teamwork skills while learning how to be a leader, how to listen to instructions and, just as importantly, how to lose. It is not always easy to maintain good communication and teamwork when faced with a problem to solve – SBU2 have been working collaboratively to complete obscure challenges. Their peer communication and resilience has undoubtedly improved this week – well done SBU2.

Wonderful work everyone!

It was lovely to celebrate all this week’s achievements and present the students’ certificates in assembly..

I also wanted to share with you a lovely comment we received today from Tyler’s Mum:

I am so glad he’s catching up and moved up in class and got student of the week I’m so happy for him and I am so happy he’s got a fantastic teacher and a fantastic school 😊

This week has gone so quickly. Next week a reminder that on Friday we are raising money for Children in Need. Students can come to school in their own clothes. We will be doing activities in each class, having a cake sale and doing an all day PE challenge. Watch out for the next blog.

Have a happy weekend and stay safe!

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

You can find all our weekly blog entries here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham


Spring Brook Upper School
Dean Street, Failsworth, Manchester, M35 0DQ

School Hours

M-F: 8:50am – 3:00pm

Morning registration –
08:45am to 9:15am.

Afternoon registration –
13:10pm to 13:25pm.

Compulsory Time Open: 31.25 hours

Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

0161 883 3431