29 Jun

Graham
We were visited by our colleagues from Apple at the start of the week. We were delighted to be able to host the Apple northern training event at our training rooms in Hollinwood Academy.

It was great to catch up with Dr Jon Landis and Sue …. who had flown over from California. They were accompanied by the UK based Apple educational team. Around 40 colleagues from all over the UK (as well as a number of our New Bridge Group leaders) listened intently as we heard about mobility, leadership and learning and the importance of culture. Our trust really values the opportunity to continue to develop our relationship with Apple. I am so excited about the present (and emerging) technologies that will support and empower our children and young people.

On Tuesday, myself and a number of colleagues attended the funeral of Eric Fitzsimons. Liz, his wife, has worked with us for many years. She was instrumental in developing our Sports pathway and continues to offer wise counsel to many of our staff team (including me!). Eric worked with us for a short time but most of his career was spent in leading the PE department at Failsworth School. He was also an amazing sportsman and coach, playing both professional football and rugby league. Eric’s son gave an amazing eulogy at the service that wonderfully articulated the immense influence that Eric had on his family, his friends, his colleagues and countless children and young people. Liz supported Eric throughout the last years of his life. Her love for him really shone through. Their love for each other really shone through. Now is the time that our New Bridge family needs to be there for Liz. I am certain they will be. From a personal perspective, we all need to strive to be like Eric – to celebrate that generation of teachers who brought fun, laughter and the ‘wow’ factor to the classroom (and sports field).

On Wednesday we had the first meeting about the extension to New Bridge. As you will recall, we were fortunate in succeeding with a bid from central government to extend at the back of the Roman Road campus. Gavin is working with our teams on developing the detail. From what I’ve seen so far, there are facilities that could be beneficial for all our children on the campus – more news to follow.

Yesterday I met with the team at Tameside to discuss our extension at Hawthorns. Again, Pierre is working through the detail.

Today I’ve had colleagues from Derbyshire visiting our Roman Road campus. We are supporting them in the development of their Multi Academy Trust. They are bringing together 9 schools – it’s quite an undertaking!

It’s also been brilliant to welcome back all of the young people from this week’s residentials. If you’ve followed them on Facebook, you will have seen they’ve had a fantastic time – what an experience! I’m really looking forward to hearing about it all on Monday.

For now the weather is set to be sunny again over the weekend. Have a brilliant time everyone,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here