Headteacher’s Blog – Week 31

Monday 11th May 2020

I hope you are reading this having had a safe and restful weekend. Whilst some of the messages over the last few days were less than totally clear, you can be assured that in school, the strictest social distancing rules and best practices are being adhered to.

We had 6 students today, and thanks to Miss Hulance, Mrs Bradley and Mrs Rouse for their supervision and support today.

After our regular morning read of Billionaire Boy, Miss Hulance led the class in a tense murder mystery activity. Each student played a different character and presented their story to the group. Everyone then filled in a motive/alibi matrix, to help deduce who the killer was. Despite some interesting accusations, the perpetrator was eventually found out and brought to justice!

The afternoon was dedicated to maths work. Mrs Bradley gave students the opportunity to spend some time on their google classroom work, which is set by their class teachers. Having time to complete this in school means any queries or problems the students encounter can be dealt with quickly and easily. We also logged on to some of the great maths games programs we use for some mental arithmetic and times table revision.

After lunch, the group let their creative (and competitive) side out as we invented a new outdoor game, along the lines of dodgeball but with an elaborate scoring system and it certainly got the blood pumping and energy levels high for our mile walk. Today we diverted to Brookfields Park to avoid potentially busy pavements.

The students spent the last hour split between working on their hobbies presentation and an exercise bike competition in the sports hall, seeing who could cycle the furthest in 1 minute.

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Thank you to Mrs Healey, Mrs Gray and Mrs Burgess for supervising today’s sessions. 

Mrs Healey started the day with some reading time; we are very near to finishing our David Walliams book, so next week we will choose another book to read as a group. Some students have chosen to read individually as Dougie shows us here, tearing through his 3rd Roald Dahl book this week!

Basketball was our morning exercise, followed by the first learning session of the day. Mrs. Healey set the challenge question of ‘How does Benjamin Zephaniah challenge assumptions and expectations in his poetry?’ We started with  discussion around student’s own experiences with poetry and then we explored some of Zephaniah’s performance poetry together. Students completed some activities on the poem ‘Dis Poetry’ and they used evidence from the poem to answer the challenge question. 

Lunchtime brought another round of our newly invented outdoor game, affectionately now called Quadball! We then headed back to the classroom with Mrs. Gray to discuss how certain computer games can actually help with Maths comprehension due to their use of a ranking system.

As we took a stroll the park again, students stayed enthusiastic about their afternoon walk, despite the rainy weather.

We finished the day working on our ‘hobbies work’, ready to present on Friday. All the students have worked very hard on them so I’m sure there will be some prizes to give out!

To help with any questions you have about learning from home or ‘Remote Learning’, our RSLs have put together a FAQ sheet.

Also, further to Boris Johnson’s announcement at the weekend, schools in Stockport are working together and have some further information and updates.

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Thank you to Miss Starr, Mr Williams and Mrs Hill for organising and supervising today’s activities. 

The morning exercise consisted of the usual competitive games of basketball and badminton but also involved a relaxing pilates lesson supplied by Miss Starr. Aidan and Callum prevailed on the courts while Beth thoroughly enjoyed experiencing something new with pilates.

The students were very excited when we told them their first learning session of the day would be a takeaway! The mood shifted somewhat when it was revealed as an English Express Takeaway but everyone still took to the task enthusiastically. To start they could choose from activities such as Word Ton Soup, Tweet and Sour and Kung Poster Chicken. Moving on to the mains brought Cantonese- style Crosswords and a Poetry Platter! 

After lunch Mr Williams led an R.E. session where students focussed on what Hindus believe about reincarnation, by using lists of good deeds and bad deeds. The group were fascinated to learn about the idea of Karma and the Hindu life cycle, ‘Samsara’. Student’s used this knowledge to create a Nirvana Snakes and Ladders, where snakes represented bad deeds and a backwards move, and ladders offered rewards for good deeds. 

The sunshine was back out for our afternoon walk through the park so we extended it slightly to enjoy the fresh air, before ending the day with a final session on our public speaking presentations, ready to showcase either Friday or Monday. Dougie will be telling us all about fishing, Mason has chosen football and Aidan is a fan of Mixed Martial Arts to name a few!

Thursday 14th May 2020

Thank you to Mr. Singh, Mr. Hussain, Mrs. Archer and Mrs. Bradbury-Cheetham for today’s supervision of activities.

A different start to today in the shape of a cricket match in the sport’s hall! Mr. Singh led students in a friendly match, with some excellent fielding shown by all involved. As the sun was back out, we decided to move as many activities outdoors as possible. Mr. Singh continued his session on the number grid asking students to find prime numbers, multiples, square numbers and factors.

Mr. Hussain took the afternoon sessions and taught the students how to measure their own speed. They first did a walking lap of the tennis court to measure it’s distance, then timed each other sprinting around to work out their speed. All the student’s cheered each other on and enjoyed the time outdoors.

After lunch, the students were set the challenge of ‘Protect The Egg’! Given a drawer full of junk, the group had to create something which would stop an egg from cracking when dropped from a 1 metre height. Imaginative doesn’t even begin to describe the contraptions which were produced, but every egg survived!

After our walk we decided to take in more sunshine by having a relaxing read in the quad. Some students wanted to read alone, some with a member of staff and some students just enjoyed being read to. Perhaps some were relaxing more than others!  

Before home we finished the week long ‘Badminton Battle’ in the sports hall. To save Mr. Carr’s blushes, I won’t mention the score but let’s say well done to Dougie who left very happy!

Friday 15th May 2020

Re-opening of schools

The Government released further guidance at the start of the week concerning re-opening of schools:

This guidance appears to be focussed more on the details for the Primary sector and which years are expected in school and when, with a wider aspiration for Primary children to have a month in school before the summer holidays.

The guidance is more vague in terms of Secondary schools. They have asked schools to create some “face to face” contact with Year 10 students, but the manner in which this is to be achieved and the timeframe is not specified. As a result, all schools are currently uncertain about the ways in which the guidance should be implemented.

There is an expectation that further guidance will be issued, which will provide more detail regarding the type of provision for Year 10 students. As parents and carers, you will be concerned to know when your children will be able to return to school and what this experience will be like. We are currently planning for different types of scenarios and you can be assured that when we have definite information about plans to re-open school, we will share them with you.

In the meantime, the school is only providing provision for students of key workers and vulnerable students. If you need to access our key worker provision please complete the booking form on the school website. We are aware that some employers are seeking employees to return to work, but at this stage we are not able to extend this provision to our other students.

Have a nice weekend!

Mrs J. Lowe

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