13 Sep

Well, what a brilliant start we have had to the beginning of the new academic year. The Springboard Project really has sprung into action. We began by two successful days of transition into the new build, where we invited in our students and families and carers. And what a success it was, with 80% of families attending. Mr Pidlyskyj and myself introduced our new staff and talked to our young people around what we will achieve at The Project. We also talked about the 3 main ‘pillars’ of our college:

  • To be ready to learn
  • To be respectful
  • To be safe

Students and families met staff and familiarised themselves with the building and picked up their uniform which was chosen by the young people themselves..

The day was captured by a former student of mine, Juel Miah (which made it even more special). Juel was a talented sportsman in his school days and his passion for sport has continued into his adult life, as he is now the official photographer for Oldham Athletic..

He even managed a ‘selfie’ with me (obviously not as good as his images)..

So we’ve now completed our first week of the timetable and I’ve got to say how proud I am of our students. I have seen some brilliant work in lots of different lessons and in the weeks to come in the blogs, staff are going to spotlight the achievements of our Springboard students. A special mention needs to go this week to Connor and Josh, who have completed some brilliant work with Mrs Fraser around different topics..

We also need to mention that we have begun to form links with our noisy neighbours in Medtia. On Wednesday, we organised a Springboard v Medtia tournament at MAHDLO..

This was a brilliant success and we are hoping that it will continue into the year (amongst other joint projects). It was brilliant to see some new friendships being made and some old friendships being rekindled. This Wednesday both colleges will play in the One City league at the Etihad campus.

I have to say I feel really fortunate to have an amazing staff team at the Project and this week we’ve been planning the introduction of the 1:1 project where all staff and students will work from their own iPad. It is so exciting and the staff have received some training from our providers Jigsaw and this term will look at how we introduce this initiative into the curriculum offer.

We also received a gift from Mr Daly’s son, Mikey, of a new clock for Lucy, our administrator. A big thanks to Mikey for keeping us on time..

Finally, in terms of staff there are a few people I need to mention. Over the summer the ICT team and premises team have worked extremely hard to ensure we opened on time. As I mentioned last week, the building was handed to us in the last week of August so the timing was extremely tight. So a big thanks needs to go to Craig, Dan, Abdul, Chris, Michael, Steve and Richard from the ICT team for all your support. And to premises –Phil (our man on the ground at all times), Alan and other colleagues who have really come to our rescue. Finally, to Rita, our operational director who has always been on the end of the phone when I needed her. Big thank you from Springboard staff and myself.

It’s been a very different year for us all and to add to all the excitement of our new college, I’m really proud that our Group now has two Tootills in the workforce. My eldest daughter has begun her teaching career with Mrs Walton and the team at Hollinwood Academy. Lucy completed her PGCE within our teaching school alliance, ‘Everyone Learning’. It was brilliant to see this week on social media Mrs O’Shaughnessy and the team from the University of Cumbia welcoming the new teaching cohort. Good luck to you all on your new journey into the teaching profession.

A letter has been sent home (click here to view it) with details of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission’s upcoming return visit following the Oldham Local Area SEND inspection. As part of the re-visit, they would very much like to have your views which you can give through the online survey available here until 12 noon on Friday 20th September or at an open meeting on Monday 23rd September. You can find more details on the POINT (Oldham’s Parent Carer Forum) website here.

I think that is about it for this week. To all our Springboard students, it’s been a brilliant start and let’s keep it going. A quick reminder to families and carers, Wednesday is the One League competition and Friday is Duke of Edinburgh’s day for most students.

Have a great weekend,

Mrs Tootill
Head of Springboard Project

You can view our previous blog entries here

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