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Invitational meetings, DfE meetings, 3 days of Ofsted, graduation photos, more successful bids, art going viral – this week has had it all.
It started with a truly inspirational invitational meeting with our Springboard Project staff. The executive team were given a presentation by the Engagement Team. What a remarkable group of people! The team are trying every which way to engage our youngsters who, at various times, have previously fallen out of the school system. Every success, however small, is celebrated like England (or Wales) have won the Euros! I am absolutely certain that over the next few months we will see some of these young people moving into paid work or volunteering. It will only take a few before the momentum starts. There’ll be no stopping us then!
I’ve had a couple of meetings with the DfE team in London. The SEND review (green paper) has been delayed until the Autumn. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Covid still casts a dark shadow on any developmental work. It’s slightly challenging for all our organisations, as not being clear about the central direction does slightly impact on our local planning.
Ofsted visited Samuel Laycock in Tameside this week. It’s a school that we are supporting. I’m really disappointed with the timing of the inspection. Schools in Greater Manchester have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. That’s a fact. The staff certainly didn’t need the added stress of an inspection. As usual I’m not able to disclose any further detail – more information to follow, hopefully before the summer.
We’ve been successful in another bid to extend New Bridge School on the Roman Road site. Well over a million pounds. This will extend the present infrastructure rather than give us even more children! Great news. We also heard this week that we’ve been successful in a bid we put forward for Horizons. More news to follow from John, and the team, on that. We’ve a few more bids to come through before the summer.
So, on to to couple of great news stories. On Thursday one of our ex-students, Luke, graduated from Worcester University with a BSc with honours in Sports Coaching Science and Disability Sport and MSc in Adapted Physical Education. Smashed that glass ceiling Luke – we love it.
Finally, onto our “viral” art project – Dan Wood takes the credit in writing this for the SSAT National magazine:
Having started working at Hollinwood Academy only a few weeks ago, Manchester based artist Hayley Pryke has been working on an art workshop inspired by the theme of living in the beautiful city of Manchester and all the bright colours and characters that make up this wonderful place. The young people that took part were Ciara, Lewis, Danny and Melissa who are year 11 leavers ready to move on to the next chapter of their life adventure.
The drawings were inspired by areas around Manchester City areas including: The Northern Quarter, The Arndale Centre, Castlefield, and Salford Quays. The architecture in these areas are so vibrant and students loved the variation of the new and the old and wanted to let this shine in the artwork. After posting this artwork on the school’s social media pages, it was picked up by regional media site ‘The Manc’ and with nearly 1 million followers on social media, the story went viral with thousands of people liking, commenting on and sharing the article! The school have been inundated with requests for prints of the images including requests from hospitals, shopping centres and private businesses! The students now plan to sell their work to raise money for school council activities.
The artwork they created collectively has left a huge mark on the school and wider community and we are so proud of the students. They worked brilliantly as a team showing so much enthusiasm and passion throughout the project. I’m sure it won’t be long before their work is being sold in John Lewis!
Here’s one of the paintings.
All in a week’s work! I loved a quote Alison Tootill popped on a Facebook response – “impossible is nothing # nothing is impossible”
Stay safe – take care.
You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here
New Bridge Multi Academy Trust
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