Weekly Bulletins Autumn Half Term 2
Weekly Bulletin 24th November 2023
Here are the latest snippets to keep you informed of what has happened last week.
Design Technology- There have been a lot of wonderful objects coming out of the DT department recently and it has been great to celebrate their achievements with the pupils, who have shown pride in their work. There were some brilliant sewing skills on show as pupils in year 7 made their own, felt characters. Some pupils decided they were going to give these away as Christmas presents. Speaking of Christmas, some pupils were very proud of their driftwood Christmas trees and rightly so. Be prepared to see more at the Christmas Fair!
PP Outdoor Ed- There was a new group attending with Mr Blackmore last week. On Friday, this group went onto Dartmoor to develop some essential resilience, communication, interaction and independence skills. They had a wonderful time, although it was a bit chilly!
Archery and caving- It is always nice to hear the stories that come back from Outdoor Ed groups, and invariably, there are one or two who say something like, ‘can you believe what I’ve just done!’ or ‘last week I couldn’t do it but today I did.’ This week, two separate pupils popped into the office to say, ‘Can you believe they gave us bows and arrows!’ It was also great to hear about the way some pupils are pushing themselves with activities like caving, and I hope they continue to enjoy the progress they are making.
SMILE therapy and the therapy room- Two groups went out with Jo and Jen (Inclusion team) to build on the communication skills they learnt in their SMILE sessions. Particularly impressive were the year 11s in supporting the pupils in lower year groups when out and about. It is great that they are showing maturity and taking on some responsibility in this situation.
Mental Health Workshops- Two groups, one in year 8 and one in year 9, were given the opportunity to work with the Youth Mental Health Foundation during a 2.5-hour workshop. This intervention looked like a lot of fun, and there was certainly a lot of noise (in a good way) coming out of the hall as they brushed off their teamwork skills and wrapped a volunteer in toilet roll! The team made the activities engaging and practical as well as addressing some important messages while supporting the pupils to be well informed about their mental health.
Champions for Change- We are getting involved with Champions for Change, which is a Devon-run initiative where young people with SEND come together to make sure their voices are heard, and actions are taken. The aim is that they can use their voice and make a tangible different and should be both empowering and inspiring. They also initiate several projects each year that have real meaning to the young people involved. One such project related to how young people with SEND access paid employment. Our pupils have a lot to contribute, and it is very exciting to see our own ambitions for pupil voice extend beyond our school. The first of their monthly meetings takes place on Tuesday, and a small group will be going to represent us and see what it is all about.
Don’t forget, Friday 1st December is a non-pupil day and so school will be closed. We hope you, and the pupils, enjoy the three-day weekend.
Weekly Bulletin 17th November 2023
Children in Need: it was a lot of fun to see the range of spotty and dotty clothes on staff and pupils at the end of the week. There were lots of contributions for charity as well, so thank you to all parents and carers who sent in 50p. The main event was the ‘standing assembly’ with a very full hall. It was great to hear the pupils read their poem and to see the ensemble tap dancing routine.
Annual reviews for year 10 started last week. It is great to see so many parents and carers attending in person and having really useful conversations with tutors and the pupils themselves.
Food fractions with AW- Mr Veal has been keen to ensure that maths is delivered in the most practical way possible, and Mrs Wills ensured that this was the case when her class were taught fractions earlier in the week. Learning about fractions, they used food to develop mathematical knowledge and vocabulary. Great work AW class!.
Communication profiles: Jo S has been working alongside Freya (SALT) to create some really useful communication profiles. These will be used alongside our in-house staff training to ensure we are meeting the communication needs of all of our pupils.
DT- We have seen some wonderful work from year 10 in DT this week. Many of them had made felt hats just in time for the colder weather, some of which were reversable. The pupils were incredibly proud to have made something they could use, while others were keen to show their binca cross-stitch and driftwood Christmas trees. Fantastic work!
Catering: It was fajita week in our catering sessions, and the pupils were encouraged to use their food preparation skills to great effect. They were pleased to share the fruits of their labours and enjoyed trying new combinations of vegetables and spices.
Parents evening: We have now had both KS3 and KS4 parents evening. Thank you to everyone who came along and made the evenings so positive. Thank you also for the feedback you gave us on the feedback forms. It is always lovely to read some of the comments but also, thank you for the suggestions for things you would like to see.
Weekly Bulletin 10th November 2023
Outdoor Ed: KS4 had a very successful week. They used the climbing wall at Haven Banks, with many climbing higher and more confidently than they had before. Our KS3 group had a wonderful time on Friday on Dartmoor despite the weather. They were glad to get into the open space and fresh air, and always come back with a (slightly tired) smile on their faces.
OT groups: This week, one of the OT groups were focusing on their cutting and fine motor skills. They created this wonderful collage in their session for Remembrance Sunday. Their lovely poppy collage will go on display for everyone to enjoy.
KS4 Parents evening: We look forward to seeing you at parents evening on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th November.
Dates to look forward to:
Friday 17th November: Dotty and Spotty Day for Children in Need. Your child may choose to wear something dotty or spotty. Please remember that it must be appropriate for school and all other clothes should be normal uniform. A 50p donation is welcomed if you are able.
Wednesday 13th December: Christmas Lunch in school: orders will be taken shortly for Christmas Dinner.
Thursday 14th December: The Christmas Fair will take place in the morning of 14th December. You will be sent details about timings, and there will be performances from our cheerleaders and choir. I hope you are able to make it.
Friday 15th December: Last day of term, with assemblies and the termly prize shop.
Weekly Bulletin 3rd November 2023
Training day- this was a very full day and very productive. There was a mixture of training delivered by external providers as well as training from our own leaders, which meant that we had a very bespoke agenda for the day enabling many parts of the School Development Plan to be pushed forward.
Assembly- We had our weekly assembly on Tuesday last week given that there was a training day on Monday. As part of this assembly, KS3 pupils developed their teamwork and communication skills to engage in a quiz and then we were treated to a scary performance by the Southbrook Sapphire Cheerleaders.
Red path and Haven Banks- it was great to see the various outdoor education groups getting out and about to make the most of the patches of good weather. The pupils who went on the Red Path walk really enjoyed their walk, and those who went climbing at Haven Banks were able to describe how well they had done. It is always great to hear the pupils talk about the progress they have made and what they can now do compared to what they could do before.
Football fixtures at Devon FA- Nine members of 9RG played against both mainstream and special schools from across Devon on Friday. In one game they won 5-0! Mr Green, who accompanied the trip with Tash Westlake and Simon V, fed back that ‘Everyone played brilliantly, showing good sportsmanship and were excellent ambassadors for our school. They played well as a team, encouraging and supporting each other. We may not have won a medal, but they were all winners in our eyes.’
Drumming- There have been some wonderful lessons going on in creative arts recently. Lessons involving drumming have incorporated cooperation and listening, rhythm and repetition. Hopefully there will be a group who would like to perform at some point in the future!
Lego club- We endeavour to give our pupils some responsibility whenever possible. Recently we have recruited some of our year 8 and 9 pupils to take on the responsibility of Lego Club supervisors. It is great to see them step up and take on this job to support other pupils.
Finally, thank you for your support when the school was closed on Thursday due to the weather warnings. I hope you are all well following the storms.