02 May

Graham

It’s been a really busy week.

As I mentioned last week, I’m back based at Spring Brook Upper.  It’s really wonderful to be able to see the school getting back to some sort of normality.

Our schools, this week, have spent quite an amount of time working with their partners and exploring plans for September.  All of the three New Bridge sites have met together, likewise our Springboard and Spring Brook sites, Hawthorns and Samuel Laycock  and finally Hollinwood had its own meeting as it’s our only “through school”.

Let’s start with New Bridge.  The projected numbers in all three sites will surpass 540!  We’re anticipating a net growth of around 40 children! Thankfully, last year, we acquired a building in the centre of Oldham – you will remember that many of our post 16 pathway learners moved to Pennine House on Union Street.  It’s a good job we were able to project our numbers!  Likewise, again last year, we completed our Stage 2 and 3 extensions at the Roman Road site.  Having completed a positive building programme has meant this week’s discussions have been able to focus on curriculum, staffing and destinations.  Gavin, Jaina and Dawn will update you all in due course.

Spring Brook and Springboard had an equally positive meeting.  For a variety of reasons it’s much trickier to predict our intake at these schools.  However we discussed some really clear plans about going forward.  There is a renewed culture within these schools that is so determined to offer the children and young people the most appropriate curriculum.  The quality of debate in these meetings is truly inspiring.

You’d think that these discussions at Hollinwood would be straightforward.  One school?  What’s challenging is understanding the changing needs of our new “intakes”.  Hollinwood almost has 4 schools within one building.  I can assure readers that the teams are resolute in understanding each individual child’s needs, adapting staffing and curriculum and providing the best learning environments.

So onto Tameside!  We’ve a little further to go, regarding premises,  particularly at Hawthorns!  As families know we’re presently working on two significant strategies – one relating to the “here and now” (and September) and the other our Hawthorns 2 rebuild.  Pierre and the team are working tirelessly on the first part.  We’re working alongside the local authority to ensure we’ve appropriate places for September.

We’re also anticipating an update with regards to a site (or sites) for our Hawthorns 2 project.  We’ll have to patient for a couple more weeks – until after the local elections. I can assure families we are “on it”.

The work that’s started between Hawthorns and Samuel Laycock is starting to show positive signs.  Teams are ensuring greater connectivity of curriculum and are discussing shared values etc.  It has real potential for future improvement.

I attended a couple of local and National sessions regarding Coronavirus – the signs continue to be positive – please keep following the guidelines.

Next week promises to be as busy.  To be honest, it’s so good to get back into a routine where we’re tackling our “school based” challenges rather than pondering over risk assessments!

Have a great bank holiday weekend,

Graham

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