21 Mar

Graham

It’s been very much a week of planning in all our organisations this week.

Let me start with New Bridge Horizons.

John and the team are working hard to ensure the offer for our young adults that attend Horizons is constantly improving.

In a number of meetings this week we have looked at adaptations to the building to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose.

We have now been based in Oldham town centre for just over 5 years (I know, time flies!).  There seems little doubt that having a town centre presence is of massive benefit for the young people.  They can access the community really easily from the building.

However, one of the challenges we face, as our numbers rise, is to ensure we are using each floor of the building to its potential.  John and the team are presently exploring that.

On to our Tameside schools.  We have recently been asked to support Samuel Laycock School.  Most of our children at Hawthorns transfer to Samuel Laycock so it’s a really exciting time for a closer working relationship.

We are starting to develop a shared values and vision document.  This will form the foundation for all our future plans.

The teams are presently exploring developing our curriculum models so that there is greater consistency.  It’s going to be an incredibly exciting journey.  I am passionate about making sure we develop our post 16 offer and link it to more appropriate destinations.  We’ve got to ensure our children (and families) that attend Hawthorns can see an ambitious and innovative secondary and post 16 offer.

In relation to our Hawthorns building the team has continued to explore ways of utilising every available space.  We have a meeting next week, with families, where we can share our latest plans.  I’m looking forward to receiving feedback.

Over to Oldham and New Bridge appears to be our only school where we haven’t got significant space issues.  That’s probably due to the fact that last year we had a 2-storey extension at the main campus, and we opened a new post 16 college in the centre of Oldham!  To put the numbers in context we will support more than 500 young people in September.  They said we’d never fill it!!

Hollinwood Academy has been involved in discussions about their interior spaces.  It’s really tricky in a “modular” building.  We’ve loads of issues to think about.

Our Spring Brook schools just continue to go from strength to strength. It’s absolutely brilliant to see how the school has developed. Super confident and expert staff, a super relevant curriculum and supportive families.  I’d really love Ofsted to come in now and see how the changes the team started are now having a huge impact.

And finally, on to Springboard.  The teams there are equally exploring other bases and sites to ensure we take our learning into the community.  We’re calling it a hub and spoke model. We’ve got to ensure the content is real – linked to jobs, to destinations, to independent living where the young people can contribute.  Covid has slightly delayed our plans but we’ll catch up in the next couple of months.

So, all in all another great week – stay safe everyone.

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here