Yet another eventful week at New Bridge! It was great to welcome so many families to Parents’ Evening at the school site but we were certainly not expecting it to be cut short by a power failure which in turn led to the emergency enforced closure on Wednesday. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your understanding in this unusual matter, especially as we were not able to contact families directly. The power cut contributed to an electrical failure within school that meant we could not access our computer network, our telephone system or our websites. In this age of social media, Facebook and Twitter proved the most successful methods of communication and the Manchester Evening News also featured the news on their website. We are grateful to the parents who spread the word to the families we were not able to reach. If any parents were still waiting to speak to teachers when Parents’ Evening finished early, please ring in and make an appointment.
We have a new ‘Excellence Board’ in reception celebrating different categories: being an excellent role model, being helpful, good work and outstanding achievement (which could be working hard in a certain subject, gaining a music award or reaching a personal independence goal). These achievements warrant a special mention on a weekly basis and are celebrated in whole school assemblies.
It is heartening to see the enormous pleasure our young people get from sharing the achievements and fun of the other members of our New Bridge ‘family’. At this week’s school assembly everyone particularly enjoyed seeing some fantastic images of the Year 13 residential at Calvert in the Lake District – definitely an exciting holiday to look forward to!
The Invictus Games were the theme of the Learning Centre’s assembly this week. We listened to William Ernest Henley’s poem ‘Invictus’ which is about strength during times of adversity.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Generations have drawn on its words and many people have quoted it, most famously Nelson Mandela. The title means ‘unconquered’ or ‘unbeaten’ and the 16 short lines sum up the determined strength and resilience of the human spirit which is at the heart of the ‘Invictus Games’. Many Servicemen and women suffer life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, but find the motivation to move on and not be defined by their injuries; they do not want sympathy, they want to be recognised for their achievements.
We looked at what defines us – not our needs or disabilities but what we do. We talked about how we can achieve amazing things if we put our minds to it and are determined. Our young people constantly rise above their disabilities or conditions to show just how how much they can achieve, focusing on what they can do, not what they can’t. They share the same ‘Invictus’ spirit and they truly are an inspiration!
Our Head Boy has been writing about how stressful lesson observations can be after being on the receiving end of one for a change (you can read more in his blog here). They also are an opportunity to showcase outstanding teaching and learning and we have observed some traditional lessons in a classroom this week along with lessons outside the school environment. One thing that really stood out was the ‘other’ kind of learning taking place – it was wonderful to witness and celebrate the confidence, independence and self-esteem being encouraged and developed in these lessons. Well done, New Bridge!
This week, due to illness, Keiffer stepped in and took charge of our weekly cooking slot, ‘Cooking with Earl!’, producing a very tasty ‘Red Thai Curry’ which we can strongly recommend – click here for the recipe.
We are looking forward to seeing all our parents and carers at next Tuesday’s Parents’ Evening at the Learning Centre and sharing the successes of our amazing students. (We are confident there won’t be a power cut but you may have to keep an eye out for Hitch, our resident crow, who is back to his old tricks, eating window putty and dive bombing the hall windows…)
On Wednesday at 4.30pm we are holding a meeting at the school site for families of the Year 8 pupils who are off to Disneyland Paris next month. Parents and carers will be able to talk to the staff who will be going on the trip, ask questions and share any information, tips or advice. Video footage from previous residentials will also be shown to give you a better idea of what we get up to!
We hope you have a great weekend,
Judith and Dawn
We need to apologise to Jean for making her stand up in assembly, although putting a picture of the birthday girl here might possibly not be the best way of doing that….
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