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Hey guys, Mr. Wilkes checking-in for my first post on our blog.

A quick introduction (although many of you will already know me), I started my apprenticeship on 1st December 2017 based at Hollinwood Academy. I supported the wonderful Miss Sanderson and our form, who have now sat their GCSE exams and have successfully moved on to further education in various colleges. A secondment opportunity arose in October of 2018, so I moved over to Spring Brook Upper School to support the key stage four students there. Fast forward to September 2019 I had completed my apprenticeship, gaining valuable experience and secured a role delivering ICT to our students who attend the Springboard Project. That’s enough about me, let me tell you what learning has been taking place during our first week back after the half term holiday.

We are entering very exciting times here at the Springboard Project, after a slight delay we are now finally gearing up to unleash some serious computing power. Our new ICT equipment is currently being installed, and I would just like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to our very hard working I.T. team who work tirelessly both in the schools across the New Bridge MAT and behind the scenes to keep our massive network of computers running on a daily basis.

This week I put our young people through their paces on the Tenstar Simulator. This amazing piece of kit allows us to experience driving a forklift truck in real-world situations. Whether it is navigating through a tricky course or loading a heavy goods vehicle, the simulator makes this a totally immersive experience.

Here is one of our students going through the daily vehicle checks and then reversing the forklift truck through a very difficult course. I have to say that he showed a tremendous amount of concentration and resilience to complete this job at hand. To progress to each new task, the students have to achieve a 100% pass rate which is no mean feat, just ask Mr Handrick and Mr Bright who have yet to get into my league!

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In between loading trucks and warehouse duties on the simulator, we continued to practise using Serif PhotoPlus. We have been concentrating on masking specific parts of an image, in these examples the students used Cutout Studio. Over the next few weeks my students will be gearing up to create high-resolution posters, some of which will grace the walls of the ICT suites once printed onto a canvas.

In Maths with Mr. Ward our students have been using bar modelling to solve percentage problems. They have also started to take part in the Barvember activities put on by White Rose Maths, these look at using bar modelling methods to solve a variety of problems and will be on-going throughout the whole of November.

With Miss Brown across the board in PSCHE this week they have been exploring the causes of youth crime, focusing on community crime (Manchester/Salford) riots and how these situations arise. In child development, they have been looking at infertility and what may cause it, with particular interest in the first ever test-tube baby delivered in Oldham. Prince’s Trust lessons have been an introduction to the Open Awards with particular focus on personal analysis, looking at personal strengths and weaknesses (for employment); and finally, in RSE we have been looking at the traffic light process of relationships (healthy, unhealthy, warning signs) and discussing the effects relationships have in our daily lives.

In English this week with Mrs. Fraser students have commenced our Crime and Punishment topic. To start the week off they have been studying the crimes of Jack The Ripper and have focused on building vocabulary for the topic to be able to use in their extended pieces of crime writing. In addition to this, students have completed their own research on Jack The Ripper and started to create a ‘Wanted’ Poster in an attempt to use an array of adjectives in their writing. Next week, once this activity has finished we will be holding a competition for the top three posters with the best piece of descriptive writing.

Mr. Hopkins took his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s group over to Rivington for their weekly hike in preparation of tackling their practice expedition. Here is one of our groups carrying a teammate, great team work guys!

My next post will be a jam packed technological extravaganza, thank you for reading my blog this week. I will leave you with this quote from Steve Jobs..

Mr Wilkes

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Springboard Project
Axa House
2 Medtia Square
Phoenix Street

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