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“You can’t pour from an empty cup”

An obvious statement you might think, but it is a statement I’ve come across quite often recently and it turns out it is cited from the following:

When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~ Eleanor Brown

So as I understand it, only when you take the time to look after yourself, will you ever be in a position to help others.

Welcome to our second blog of the year, I’m Mr Clough and I work within our Engagement Pathway, which supports young people who have very specific barriers towards accessing education, even within a school as specialist as ours. Today’s blog is going to focus on how we as staff have been looking to make sure our ‘cups’ are filled in this very challenging time. I’ve also got some help from a couple of our new students who will be discussing their thoughts on their new school.

Early in September we had two staff training days and, for many of us, it was the first time we’d seen each other in several months. There will have been a mixture of excitement and anxiety for all of us and whilst it was great to see each other again, we were also very grateful to receive some support from Dr Louise Mansell and Dr Kirsty Hughes of Beyond Psychology.

Dr Hughes and Dr Mansell guided us through their 4D’s of dealing with destress model, where we explored the impact that lockdown has had on staff by incorporating the cycle of grief, as well as understanding our feelings about returning to school and any difficulties we are currently experiencing. We were then helped to focus on strategies that helped us understand the cause of our difficulties, ways to work through them, and ways to reduce our stress.

Thankfully, despite being in quarantine, we even managed to get Mrs Tootill involved!

This won’t be the last you see of Dr Hughes and Dr Mansell, as along with our Spring Brook Academy schools, we will be working very closely with Beyond Psychology over the next couple of years, equipping ourselves with the ability to further understand our young people and help our young people develop the skills they will need to have happy and fulfilling lives.

Moving on and onto what I personally think is the best part of this blog. We’ve had a few new students join us this September, many of them from Spring Brook Academy Upper School where their time was disappointingly cut short by the events of this year. I managed to get some thoughts from two of our students who have joined us from Spring Brook, Amaan and Leo.

Mr Clough: What is your first impression of Springboard Project?

Amaan: It’s an alright school, you get to go out for your lunch, you’ve got the green room with the virtual reality and you’ve got ‘some’ good teachers, including Lee, Roscoe (just to make him happy because he’s sat with us), Leah, Latifa and John. Vanessa nags at me a lot about things like being late for class, but she helps me.

Leo: Good, the staff are good, the students are good, the way the staff handle kids, the way staff talk to kids. If you’re in a mood they know how to talk you.

Mr Clough: What is the best thing about Springboard for you?

Amaan: Oh this is really hard, in a bad way! *jokes*. Oh we get to do Duke of Edinburgh on Fridays, that is sick man. If this school had Design and Technology it would be even better, Mr Pid needs to start teaching that again, he can’t even handle Deputy Head, look at him!

Leo: The staff and that, you can just have a laugh with staff, they don’t take things personally, people like John, Miss Brown, Lee, Latifa and everyone.

Mr Clough: Name me one good thing about being in lockdown.

Amaan: I had loads of time at home, I got up at like 3pm every day, once I got up at 5pm!

Leo: Honestly I’ve got no clue, though I did a lot of stuff with my carers.

Mr Clough: Can you think of one thing that you are now grateful for?

Amaan: Being back with my boys at school

Leo: An education!

Mr Clough: You have got a million pounds, but you can only spend it on making Springboard Project even better? What do you spend it on?

Amaan: I’d make a swimming pool here, I was sick at swimming pool in Primary. I’d do a big gym so we could do all kinds of sports here. I’d make a big DT room with a laser cutter and a massive green room with loads of VR sets. I’d buy Kwarme and Stewart from Spring Brook school, they were sick teachers you know!

Leo: More equipment, more ICT equipment, more music equipment, a full music studio with guitars, drums and everything, music production equipment and software. The studio would be state of the art! I’d give Mr Clough a big bonus for putting up with me last year. A big school holiday, to Los Angeles or something, that’s all we need!

Thank you Amaan and Leo, I’m sure you’ve given our Chief Executive Mr Quinn some great investment ideas.

Finally, as you may know, we’ve been putting a recovery curriculum in place at Springboard Project, with the primary focus of rebuilding the relationships and trust that will have been compromised during the lockdown period. The below pictures are just a snapshot of what we have been up to..

Our mystery man in the blue hoodie is young Stephen, who Mr Garbutt describes as having come back a new and confident young man after the summer

And today, Mrs Burrows (or Miss Brown as she’s still known to many of us) organised for some of us to visit Lytham St. Annes..

Thanks for reading everyone and I hope whatever you do this weekend, it fills up that cup.

Mr Clough
Engagement Pathway

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Springboard Project
Axa House
2 Medtia Square
Phoenix Street

Phone & Email

0161 883 3250