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This week I’ve been in a reflective mood. As we help our students prepare for their next steps, we’ve been remembering just how far they’ve come.

The AQA GCSE Art Moderator came to mark our students’ work on Tuesday. They have all worked so hard and the gallery looks fabulous! Here’s a report from a very proud Mrs Sheehy..

Well, at last the gallery is up and running. Anyone is welcome to come and view the students’ work. Sabiha, Jordan Y., Jade B. and Kade have all worked so hard to achieve their GCSE in Art and Design. I think you’ll all agree, they have done us and themselves proud. The pieces look beautiful and reflect the amount of work the students have put in. They’ve tried lots of different art techniques and experimented with a range of media. Their work also shows how much they have progressed over the past couple of years. We’ll have the results back in August. Well done guys, think I’m the proudest teacher ever!!

A mention has to go out to Mr Blackman and his many teams for making sure the Learning Centre grounds look so well kept..

Thanks very much guys! The reflective mood continued as our Student Council met for the last time this year. Imnann, Omar, Nathan W., Sophie O. and Bobby-Joe joined Mr Barker, Mr Hagan, the Governors and myself to recap on the year. I would like to say a massive thank you to the students for their input, energy and enthusiasm in their role and to the Governors for always supporting us.

I’d like to hand over the rest of this week’s blog to our Governor Ken Stapleton and his reflections on the year..

A Governor’s thoughts and reflections towards the close of this “academic” year.

As a prelude, I would like to recount an encounter I recently had with an ex-student of the Learning Centre who is currently participating, rather successfully I believe, in a Future Finders placement at the Atrium Cafe. I was part of a small group of Directors who were being given a ‘Cook’s Tour’ of a number of placements where students spend quality time on work placements under the auspices of Daniel and his team. These guys are not role playing, this is the real deal of life in work.

As I entered the bright open space I saw a young guy speeding his way towards me shouting enthusiastically, “You’re a Guvnor, Student Council!” One of the truly wonderful experiences I have had as a ‘Guvnor’, from what, to the rest of the world, would have been a taken for granted, nondescript piece of interaction. We actually know differently!!!!

Throughout my time as a ‘Guvnor’ at New Bridge, I have always carried with me the values of actually ‘Valuing People’, striving to maximise the opportunities for ‘the outsiders’ to be supported to achieve what most people take for granted; valued roles, as much independence and choice in life as the rest of us, the opportunity to take as much control over their lives and decisions affecting their well-being as possible, to understand as far as possible their human rights and to have the opportunity to act on behalf of their peers.

Within the forum of the Student Council, the representatives of their constituents have worked hard and with clarity on behalf of their peers. Discussion has exceeded my expectations, a bit of an issue for me as I’m always banging on about removing our barriers to what each individual student might aspire to.

Within the council meetings I have witnessed a student being able to express anxiety, perfectly natural, but none the less uncomfortable, about moving on. Another student spontaneously supportively put a reassuring arm around the student and proceeded to remind the person of how well they had done at Learning Centre, and what a good friend they had been.

The key issue of representative democracy which is all but collapsing around us, has been successfully demonstrated as being alive and well at the Learning Centre.

Going forward, we cannot do enough preparation with young people to give them understanding of their rights and their rightful place in their communities and neighbourhoods, what it means to co-produce and collaborate on any plans and assessments, what real choice is about and how to achieve it.

On behalf of Cathy and me, I would like to thank the students for allowing us to participate in their meetings, and to Miss Allison and Mr Barker for facilitating such positive communication during meetings and their persistent belief in the abilities and value of each student.



Don’t forget that our last Parent Group meeting of the year will be taking place on Monday 1st July at 2pm when Trusha Velti from Touch Solicitors will be talking to families about important legal matters including wills, trust funds, power of attorney, and deputyship – we hope you can join us.

Have a great weekend,


You can find Gavin’s blog for the school site here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find my previous blog posts here


New Bridge College, Pennine House,
77 Union Street Oldham, OL1 1JZ

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