14 Oct

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We had a very sad start to the week when many of our young people and staff attended Faye’s funeral service. It was a lovely service that captured and celebrated Faye’s unique qualities and Faye’s friends coped remarkably well. I would like to thank all the staff who have supported both our young people and Faye’s family at this really difficult time.

We are presently in the midst of our latest lesson observations. It is always a delight to be able to go around all our schools and observe our children as they learn. Highlights for me have included an English lesson listening to the children discussing metaphors, similes and the main characters in the ‘War of the Worlds’ and a swimming lesson where the children from Hollinwood Academy were being taught about ‘straight legs and floppy ankles’!!! I loved a lesson about restorative justice and emotions at Spring Brook Lower School.

We are looking forward to welcoming both Spring Brook Lower and Upper Schools into our Multi Academy Trust on the 1st December. This is slightly later than we anticipated due to a number of legal and technical delays.

Yesterday I had a meeting with Oldham Secondary Heads and Principals. We all meet on a fortnightly basis and the agenda items are always interesting. Yesterday was no exception and one of the areas that the Local Authority came to discuss with us was the commencement of an ‘Inclusion Review’.

Gill Hoar, a name many of you will recognise as she previously led the Statementing Officer team, is going to lead the review. It is far reaching and will hopefully offer the Local Authority a clear strategic direction for the coming years. From a New Bridge Group perspective, we welcome the review and the opportunities it will present for us to share our aspirations.

Talking of aspirations, I was able to spend some time at Medtia yesterday and it was absolutely wonderful to see the successes of our work internships and work placements. The young people were so excited to tell me about their experiences at The Atrium Café, Premier Inn, Oldham Leisure Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Dr Kershaws, The Link Centre and many others. We are developing a real momentum in relation to working in our communities – our staff who work in these areas are phenomenal and our community partners are an inspiration.

This is also the time of year when I sit in on our Year 14 transition reviews. It always comes as a surprise to me that the young person at the centre of these meetings has been with us for 8 years (it certainly makes me feel old!) However, it is always an uplifting meeting where we celebrate the achievements of the young people and hear about their exciting plans for the future.

Busy football weekend coming up – Rochdale v Bury and Bolton v Oldham…….there may be some bragging going on after the weekend!

Have a great one,