Triple dose of good news
We have three weeks worth of news to unpack at Pontville School. Here the blogging team unpack the news, sharing details of their highlights.
James Cowpe, Teacher shares an update on the new Engage Curriculum. The navigation session took place in Gaw Hill. Each pupil took a turn to use their map to navigate the group along the route. The focus was on ordnance survey map symbols.
Pupil James took time to share his amazing knowledge on alarm systems with John Gilfillan, Regional Director, who has quite good knowledge on alarms too.
Fir 2 began Lego Therapy. They enjoyed interacting and using the Lego.
Reading and numbers
Pupil Nathan has really enjoyed getting started on the Accelerated Reader Programme. He is super excited about his role as Reading Champion for the form! Pupil, Dan has completed some fantastic Maths work on the concept of ‘more’ and ‘less’ and there has been some excellent and thoughtful group discussion about ‘Teamwork’ and how animals and humans work as teams in everyday life.
We are delighted to introduce our new Key Stage 4 Student Council.
Willow 3 – Reuben, Hemlock 4 – Izzy, Juniper 4 – Owen, Sycamore 4 – Lewis & Hazel 4 – Warren.
Each council rep was selected by their peers to represent their class team and they had a fantastic first meeting this week. There are exciting ideas in the pipeline so watch this space!
James has done well selling poppies for Remembrance Day and Leanne’s chocolate house has also been doing well, encouraging a lot of people with a sweet tooth to buy raffle tickets - all proceeds are going towards the poppy appeal.
Birds and beaks
Larch Class has been working hard in all of their lessons and have been doing well learning about adaption in science. They been looking at how birds beaks have adapted and had a go at a tricky challenge using rice and tweezers which was a lot of fun!
More reading news
Pupils from Oak 3 have been enjoying reading and writing acrostic poems in English this week. They have created poems all about themselves and their favourite things. Pupils Jake and Tyler even chose to write a poem about each other! They are collecting all of their poems to create an Oak Class Anthology.
Riding the rails and zoo visits
Junipeers Class rode the rail links between Aughton Park, Town Green, and Ormskirk to check out local destinations for their independent journey. The pupils all chose places they would like to visit and Owen found a great Marvel section in Waterstones! They even caught some live music at the clock tower.
Junipers also had a lovely day out to Chester Zoo last week! Thomas was quite the photographer!
Mal Moore, Instructor updates us on learning that has taken place in Forest School
"Key Stage 2 have been involved in woodcraft activities and making shelters. They made wood cookies with their initials in Viking runes (alphabets). They were also making birds’ nests as part of their shelter unit within the ‘Wild Passport FS Curriculum."
"Key stage 3 and the Engage Programme have been working well this term. They have all been actively involved with expanding the farm and Forest School area. They have installed another footpath and lined the edges with tulips and daffodils. They have also divided up the school planting areas so that each Ks Class have a much smaller area to manage. They also made an order for 400 trees which are due to arrive soon."
Ethan and Elliott spent the afternoon helping the hens to settle into the chicken pen. All the school hens must be kept inside until further notice from the government due to an outbreak of bird flu. The boys showed the hens how to sit on the new perches and demonstrated to the hens how to use their enrichment equipment.
16 to 19 Centre
Jess Jones, Instructor shared the latest updates.
"Some great life skills / socialising trips went on recently for students at the 16-19 Centre. They were given tasks to buy certain items and then rewarded with a drink at the café –promoting independence at all times!"
Jane Dillon, TA is celebrating the progress of one of our KS4 pupils.
"Kian went on the train to Town Green as part of his ASDAN studies. He enjoyed it as it’s a long time since he’s been on a train. He liked taking photos and asking questions about the electric lines on the track."
Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)
Teacher, James Cowpe is sharing fantastic news from the DofE Team.
"The final team building day saw our pupils at The Anderton Centre at Rivington on a cold and wet Friday. The feelings of the group were a mixture of apprehension and excitement. The day started with Sam, our instructor running some team challenges that focussed on communication and working together. Then, before lunch, a session on shelter building and survival techniques."
"After lunch was the much-anticipated kayaking session. After a safety talk and brief introduction we were on the water to play a few games and practice swimming (unintentionally!!). Thanks to all our pupils and our chief photographer/rescue boat driver Owen for making this a memorable day."
Scientists from the University of Chichester have reported that children diagnosed with autism benefit significantly from weekly drumming sessions. The report discovered that 60 minutes of drumming per week significantly improved the social communication skills, concentration levels, movement control, and dexterity of children over a 10-week drumming intervention. In addition to communication and cooperation skills, drumming can help reach the creative, right side of the brain that also helps stimulate socialization. The “voice” of drumming can also be a tool to help children express emotion.
Drumming also helps children with ADHD to regulate, keeping their brain activity on a more linear path. “Music shares neural networks with other cognitive processes" Patti Catalano neurologic music therapist.
David Croft, Teacher commented:
"You can see the positive impact this is having on pupil behaviour in lessons, challenging behaviours previously seen are now far less frequent."
Parents of pupils have reached out listing the positive impact these sessions are having on their children at home. The Christmas lists for home electric drum kits are now on the rise and feedback suggests parents are very happy with a newfound outlet for energy.
"He’s loving the drumming and has been showing me some new stuff this evening. He’s playing with some confidence too now which is fantastic. Thank you for all you do with him it’s amazing."
John, Levi's Dad
Students from the 16-19 Centre show great teamwork in preparation for the annual Christmas market. They showed great organisational skills that were applauded by the staff team.
Fir Class and Freedom Letters
Loree Smith, Assistant Head Teacher details the latest from Fir Class.
"The pupils in Fir2 recently finished reading Freedom by Catherine Johnson as part of our topic on Maafa. For many, this is the first time that they have read a full book and studied it. The class have absolutely loved reading the story and it has provoked great discussion about the horrors of slavery. The children really wanted to write to the author to share their thoughts about her book. The pupils were thrilled to receive a card today from Catherine Johnson thanking them for their letters."
Kieran Ashton, HLTA has updates from our brilliant football team
"Our team played extremely well and won the three league games that they played and also won the friendly that they played. Their drive was amazing and they grew as a team throughout - there wasn’t a great deal of input needed from the side-line as they were all doing their jobs extremely well! Charlotte and Lewis had their debuts who contributed really well! It was great to be a part of."
Chris Rimmer, TA shares the latest from Key Stage 3.
"Oak Class have been getting into their reading and literacy. Five class members achieved IDL (International Dyslexia Learning Solutions) certificates for good progress."
Rachel Todd, Teacher shares new sporting experiences
"Ash, Fir, and Elm classes attended a multisports event at Anfield Community Centre, Liverpool where they played boccia, dodgeball, kinball and football penalties. They enjoyed interacting with children from different schools and learning new skills."
Maintenance Team’s new recruit
Thomas from Ash 2 was a very helpful apprentice to the maintenance team last week. He helped them to fix the broken locks on the primary modular toilet doors. He was in charge of the pencil and ruler and most importantly he checked to see the locks worked after the work was completed. He received a golden dojo for his efforts and high praise from Dave Duff, Maintenance Supervisor. He is now on call for any further DIY jobs that require his assistance around the school
Junipers recently joined Ormskirk Library. They worked hard on their independence and Owen was able to get in his own carriage for the 3-minute train journey to Ormskirk. Thomas picked a Spiderman book and Josh picked a book about meat and fish! We have also started our Christmas decorations, look out for them at the Christmas Market!
Dave Crofts, History Teacher is celebrating good news across the Key Stages.
"5 Yew have had a focussed week continuing their study of the work of Booth and Rowntree looking at poverty. They have worked very hard, although we did get distracted discussing when the crumpet was invented (FYI, 1382, John Wycliffe – Theologian and pioneer of breakfast treats)."
"Kerry and Sam have helped this week creating a fantastic display at the back of the 3 Elder classroom prompting pupils to seek staff support when they need advice and help. Pupil feedback has been fantastic, so thank you both!"
He concluded by saying:
"3 Elder in English have been engaging with ideas about different cultures around the world and have shown great understanding of the different things that shape a person’s own culture, and how this changes."
Hair and beauty
Hair and Beauty Instructor, Danielle Hebdidge shares the successes of the week.
"Jane Dillon, TA, and Gail Silcock, Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) have both been into the salon recently to have their hair done by pupil Nicola. Jane was heard telling other staff how impressed she was with Nicola’s professionalism and how comfortable she had felt having her hair cut by a pupil. Elsewhere, pupils have been working on their manicure skills. S is extremely attentive towards her client’s needs, helping match colours to their skin tone and discussing any upcoming events that they may have, while Nathan is brilliant when it comes to the hand massage, providing a gentle and professional service. And last but not least, Emily has started her face painting unit and is once again wowing us all with her creative talents."
Gail Silcock, (SALT) was proud to witness pupil Max help others at the 16-19 Centre.
"Max set about putting some useful customer services vocabulary on the word wall this week, writing them all himself. So pleased he’s achieved this. Well done!"
Good news from 16-19!
Jess Jones, Instructor shared proud moments
"This week we have introduced ‘Good deeds of the week.’ There are too many to choose from with all the good deeds we see every day from our students. After much consideration, we are dedicating this to Amelia and Lawrence. Lawrence was supportive to a peer, offering good advice and a genuine concern for their well-being. He has also been helpful to staff. Amelia melted staff hearts this week when she took it upon herself to make pupil, Shona beans on toast because she was unable to eat what was on the menu at lunch. Amelia also came to the rescue when S lost her phone, by being the one to find it and helped Dylan with his maths work. So a big thank you to Lawrence and Amelia this week, we are very proud of you both!"
What an epic catch up! Well done everyone!