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Weekly Blog

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Hello and welcome to my first Springboard blog of this new academic school year. I would like to start by introducing myself to all those parents and learners who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Miss Brown and I am based at the Springboard Project.

Firstly I would like to say a huge welcome back, to all of our new and existing learners. Oh how we have missed seeing your bright (not so little) faces 🙂 . This week’s blog will include some of the significant starts that both staff and learners alike have made to the new academic year September 2020.

This year we have started our school term with a mix up of different roles that complete our staffing team. Personally, I have stepped up in my teaching role and have now become the lead over our PSHCE curriculum, both at the Springboard Project and New Bridge College. Although working with the PSCHE deliverers across both sites, my role includes the delivery of the English curriculum at our Springboard Project. English and PSCHE this academic year have some exciting times ahead throughout the new curriculum, and in our ideas moving forward for offsite learning experiences. Watch this space!

Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic at the tail end of the last academic school year meant that we spent significant amounts of time away from our face to face schooling delivery, that we spend so much of our time positively engaged in. However, this only meant a change in the way we deliver our lessons, which has seen some amazing and productive ways in which we as a school have been able to use technology to incorporate a ‘virtual’ way of teaching and delivery.

Throughout this time we have inspired our learners, through virtual teaching, to became engaged in submitting amazing pieces of academic work via the school Showbie account, some of which have been showcased in some of our blogs over the summer. After witnessing its successes, we have as a school upgraded to Showbie-Plus to ensure that throughout these troubling times our learners are still able to access face to face learning platforms and outstanding delivery of learning materials.

Throughout the pandemic, education has seen hard times for both staff and learners across all school environments, and I want to take this opportunity to say well done to all of our learners and staff who powered on and have come through stronger. As always, testing times never seem to deter our resilient family of learners and staff! Our team have bounced back with a bang! Some of the many things our learners have been busy getting up to, in their first week back in school as part of our ‘recovery curriculum’ are as follows..

Above, as part of our ASDAN Personal, Social, Development model our learners are taking part in, are some examples of the group tasks set out in the award expectation framework, working with one another to reintroduce and reinforce positive and healthy relationship building. These learners are a credit to themselves, how they have returned to school in a new form (for some a whole new school) with new peers and staff whilst embarking and embracing back upon their schooling journey is amazing. I am so proud of you all!

Throughout the first weeks back into school life this year, I have been fortunate to have been bonding and building close relationships with my form group. We have been set up in our own little bubble together. However, moving forward in term two, we will start to adopt our usual way of working, where I will begin to work with other groups across the school. Due to this, I wanted to ensure I could form some positive relationships with those other learners also. So …. I organised a little trip to the beach on Friday, where all learners were offered the opportunity to attend. As you will see below, they thoroughly enjoyed, along with myself, Mr Daly and Miss Taylor, touching their toes in the Lytham sea. One particular student enjoyed dipping more than his toes in  🙂

Whilst the others just seemed happy burying theirs?

Great end to last week. I can safely say we all got to know one another very well and the positive starts to making some lasting relationships are truly enhancing between both staff and peers. Thanks guys!

After giving you a glimpse of our onsite learners this week, I wanted to showcase the excellent pieces of work our offsite provision have been doing out in the wider community. This week’s offsite engagement pathways have included some of our students working within music production, whilst others are identifying specific bike engines, working out how to take them apart and put them back together again. Excellent Lifeskills being developed, well done boys!

Moving on now to discuss this week’s great new adventures, introducing the new ‘Parent App’ within our schools. The app is a new way that parents can receive up to date information from school and for them to communicate more effectively with us. All parents will receive an email regarding the app along with information on how to access it. Yesterday all parents were sent an ‘invite’ to the app which contains a link for its use. Here are some instructions on how to get started:

  1. Google ‘Parentapps Connect’ and download the app on to your phone.
  2. Once downloaded you need to then click on the ‘activate link’ on your invite
  3. You will login using your email address or telephone number to access the app. The Springboard Project logo will be at the top of the login and
  4. Once logged in, you will see different options at the bottom of the app. Click on the ‘more’ option and you will see everything available like school holidays, transport links, up and coming events, letters, blogs, school holidays etc.

You can read the Parentapps guide here. Great bit of technology!

Moving forward, in the coming weeks’ blogs, you we will see some great bits of work. Our learners will be engaging in some ‘Knife crime workshops’ set up by myself along with Oldham Police, whom we have been working with closely on projects that are pressing within our local community. The police are going to come into school and present a workshop, as a part of ‘Knife Crime Awareness Week’. We are looking forward to this, as our learners engaged well with the theatre group who delivered a similar workshop relating to county lines.

This week I am going to end the blog on a high. We have something a little special coming up that I would like to ask all parents and learners alike to get involved in – ‘Hello Yellow’

Hello Yellow, is a fundraising event organised by the charity Young Minds to support young people’s mental health on World Mental Health Day and you can find out more on their website here. Young Minds’ main focus is on mental health in young people and I feel as a school,we will have some great fun in getting involved raising some money for them!

I would like to invite all parents and families to get involved and encourage all of our young learners to wear a piece of yellow in support of this charity at this time! I feel we could all do with a little sunshine in our lives and what better way to embrace it! Remember, on Friday 9th October wear a little yellow to show your support in keeping our ‘young minds’ healthy.

That’s all from me guys, until next time, stay safe, wear yellow and keep smiling. Happy weekend.

Miss Brown

*** We also have an update from Mrs Tootill to share ***

This week, following a conversation with Public Health England, we had to shut Springboard Project. This was not a decision that was easy to make, and I want to thank all parents and carers for your speedy response to this action.

Thankfully, the NHS ‘Track and Trace’ system combined with our own ‘Track and Trace’ system ensured that we knew where all our students had been and who they had been with. Whilst we face another 2 weeks of not being in the Project, we have ensured that:

  • all our young people have work, either through hard copies or through Showbie
  • all our young people and families are safe and are staying at home to ensure the virus does not spread
  • we have good lines of communication through our new app

These are very different times and thankfully the work done around our risk assessment ensured that we were secure in all our procedures. I want to thank my staff at this point, who made sure that we had ‘all bases’ covered. I also want to thank my governors and trustees who sent us messages of support and care, not to mention Mr Quinn who is always on the end of the phone. Big thanks.

This week has taught us the importance of following the rules around Covid so this virus does not spread, namely:

  • Hands
  • Face
  • Space

We will be contacting parents and carers around our return on Monday 5th October and this will include listing the expectations for our Springboard students. In the meantime, it is imperative that our students stay at home and self-isolate to stop further infection. Please follow the instructions around setting up our Parent App so we can ensure open lines of communication between ourselves and home.

Stay safe,

Mrs Tootill
Head of Springboard Project

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Springboard Project
Axa House
2 Medtia Square
Phoenix Street

Phone & Email

0161 883 3250