12 Jan

Blimey, it’s been a busy old week!

We’ve spent the majority of it preparing a number of key documents for each of our schools. As you may be aware, all our schools are required to complete self-assessments (SEFs) of their effectiveness.

We use the beginning of each term to update every SEF so that we can ensure the documents are kept up to date. The wonderful thing for me when I read each one is the reminder of how much our staff put into their work and how many opportunities our children and young people get.

The Hollinwood Academy SEF captures our rapid growth and clearly articulates how we have had to constantly adapt our processes to meet the needs of our children. The staff have refined the curriculum offer, developed new groupings and ensure that we support every child’s individual needs.

The Spring Brook SEF clearly articulates the significant changes the school has gone through over the last 12 months. It outlines many of the staff changes we have made and evidences the developments we have put in place in the curriculum.

Our New Bridge SEF is a never ending catalogue of curriculum innovation – Lumenus, Activ8, Hortus, Digit4ll, Bridging the Gap and our new supported work internship programme.

Last week I mentioned that I would have some news relating to Horizons. Our directors met this week to discuss the proposal to extend our age range for the young people who are presently attending Horizons. They unanimously agreed that this was in the best interests of the young people and their families. John will write to you all to confirm the new arrangements. I know that it will come as a relief to many families who have asked me about ‘what next’. When we have more details we will arrange an open evening to allow you to find out about our latest new initiative.

Unfortunately I need to finish my blog with some sad news. Today I represented our schools at the funeral of a great friend of New Bridge, Hollinwood and Spring Brook. It was with great sadness that I heard over the Christmas period that Noreen Buckingham, our senior advisor (and retired HMI) had passed away. Noreen helped us so much with our vision. She always encouraged me to be confident and to place our children and young people at the heart of all our decisions. Noreen was a true inspiration. Thank you so much – we will all miss you. She also loved sponge pudding and custard!! So if you’re looking down, Noreen, the next syrup sponge is for you.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here