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Weekly Blog

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This week’s blog is a tribute to the staff team here at Spring Brook. Mr Southerington, Miss Thomason and I held our Governors meeting this Wednesday evening. One of the parent governors suggested a huge “thank you” banner to all of the staff for their continued hard work throughout both lockdowns and indeed during this pandemic that we are all living through.

So as you read this blog and you see the wonderful things that the students are doing, this is down to the careful planning and hard work of the staff team here at the academy. This is also reflected in a lovely note sent in by Tyler’s Mum Roxanne this week:

“To Everyone,
I just wanted to send a little thank you for everything you have done for Tyler and us as a family.
Tyler is a different kid all together and much better for it. I thought chocolates always go down a treat…. Enjoy these.
Many thanks,
Tyler’s Family.”

So let’s have a look at the classes’ indoor and outdoor education this week and appreciate how hard the staff really do work in the best interests of the students that we nurture, educate and care for, starting with Mr Mullins’ class..

As we enter the final week of the Autumn term and the last of 2020 for SBU6, I want to praise the boys for all their efforts and success since returning to school.

To say it has been a ‘different’ approach to this academic year is an understatement and as staff, we weren’t too sure what to expect ourselves let alone the pupils. They have tackled the changes and challenges, exceeding all expectations. To achieve is one thing, but to do so with the uncertainty and ever changing circumstances around us – I genuinely have run out of words to express just how proud I am. Yes, there have been bumps along the way but even then, they have reflected both as a group and individually.

It has been wonderful to see them grow, develop and mature to the extent that they are now discussing their own experiences and self-coping strategies with the younger pupils. They are realising the ownership around their behaviour, what works, what doesn’t and offering support to others where they think it would be beneficial.

Academically, we will have finished the short stories to share with you next week having worked hard throughout the editing process. We have persevered in multiplying larger numbers by at least three digits and engaged in an interesting discussion surrounding education, including why pupils truant and ideas to fix this, debating how school prepares teenagers for the real world and what subjects should be taught.

Elsewhere, we have developed our knowledge of Ordinance Survey symbols (should come in handy when Mr Hopkins takes them on their next outing)..

..explored crime and punishment from the Tudor period..

..and got all festive in baking ‘Christmas Crinkle Cookies’..

Enjoy the weekend and yes, next week really is “the last Monday get up for school this year”.

Now it’s over to SBU3..

In Science this week we continued looking at the rock cycle by investigating how igneous and sedimentary rocks and changed into metamorphic rocks. We used bread, chocolate chips and marshmallows to represent layers of sedimentary rock and then investigated how heat and pressure changed the look, texture, and composition of the rock..

We’ve worked really hard making lovely reindeer hot chocolate kits to sell around school, they look amazing and Isiah is definitely our class accountant, he really calculated our profit margins in detail!

After their John Muir adventures on Thursday, we spent the afternoon playing games including table football and a hilarious game where we had to read different statements while expressing different emotions and tones of voice. Reading statements such as ‘it’s my birthday’ angrily was hilarious and a great way for us to think about how we feel and express ourselves.

In the kitchen this week we learned to make pastry which is a really difficult skill using the rubbing technique, the chocolate tarts were fantastic..

A special well done to Maisie this week who has worked really hard on her Maths, making brilliant progress with addition and subtraction and also using multiplication to count her money from selling reindeers. Fantastic effort Maisie, well done!

Miss Crossley’s class have been working hard too..

This week SBU2 have completed their newspaper articles, having edited and improved their earlier work and typed up their final drafts. The articles are informative as well as eye catching – they use reported speech, witness accounts and hand-drawn images of the moment that The Nowhere Emporium appeared in Glasgow amidst a plethora of magical goings on. I think that the final pieces of work show just how hard the pupils have worked during their English lessons this term – fantastic effort SBU2 – well done!

To consolidate our knowledge of value (tints and shades) in Art, and add a little Christmassy flair to our classroom, SBU2 have completed landscape pictures: with an night sky illuminated by moonlight and silhouette Christmas figures in the foreground..

We had a lot of visitors to our Food Technology lesson this week, all following their noses and the delightful aromas of SBU2’s Chicken Korma, rice and garlic naan bread. SBU2 are becoming more confident and competent in the food room, being able to make dishes with multiple methods of cooking.

Finally I’d like to highlight Ellie’s hard work for her new social enterprise business. Ellie has been creating sketches to be used as gifts this Christmas – she is inundated with orders from staff members, who think her work is incredible! Not only does Ellie’s work look fantastic, Ellie uses her talent for art in order to self-regulate during transition times. This has helped her engage in all lessons this week – producing some fantastic work and earning her the Pupil of The Week Award. Fantastic work Ellie!

Mr Hopkins has made sure we’ve had another action packed week..

This week we visited some different places in our classes for outdoor PE.

Firstly Mr Stewart’s class went out to try to find some ruins of old mills near Bury at Cheesden Brook. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get to the mills because of the thick mud (Kyle nearly lost a shoe!) and a river we couldn’t get past!!

However, we did get to meet some very friendly cows..

..and Theo did manage to hold the sun in his hand!!

Later on that day Mr Coldwell’s class decided that they would be able to get to the mills and with some planning beforehand approached them from a different direction. We still encountered the same cows..

..and a lot of mud where Finlay nearly got stranded!

But we were able to see and explore the remains of the buildings that were once there and tried to work out where the waterwheel that powered them might have been.

It was amazing to see how frightened some of our pupils were of the cows and how few had actually seen cows in real life before. Hearing them ‘moo’ and seeing that the cows were very friendly was quite an experience for us.

Next up on Wednesday Miss Crossley’s and Miss Mason-Power’s classes both visited a local scout hut. Inside they had a tour of the 100+ year old building and then were challenged to try to traverse the climbing wall inside and see if they could make it up to the hideout in the rafters of the building. Everyone enjoyed the climbing challenges and were really encouraging and helpful to one another as they tried to get up to the hideout – well done!!

On Thursday it was Miss Mason-Power’s class that headed out into the hills for their John Muir Award. They had 5 challenges to complete – which they all did brilliantly – including climbing a steep hill..

..crawling through a very small cave..

..and gully running!

All of the class were excellent and have potential to be awesome explorers!!!

It’s been a great week this week and it has been great to be outside in December, seeing the countryside in a very different way from other parts of the year. Well done to all of our pupils for their adventures this week! ~ Mr Hopkins

So we ended this week wearing our Christmas attire, my favourite was Mr Mullins’ hat!

We will also be launching our first newsletter, please check the your parent app for this – it does look good but then I would say that…

Next week we have Christmas lunch on Wednesday 16th December. The last school day is Friday 18th December at 3pm. You must all be in school on the last day because I am expecting a special delivery from the North Pole. Erol and Erin the elves have sent me an email to confirm this delivery!

In the meantime, enjoy the wintery weekend and stay safe….

Best Wishes,

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