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Letter from Penny Barratt

This has been the most unusual year and definitely not what we expected as we welcomed the New Year in last January. I am incredibly proud of the way everyone linked to our schools has dealt with the pandemic.

Back in March we kept our schools open for children who needed to attend school.  To start with our numbers in most of our schools were small, however these gradually increased.  We worked closely with other agencies. The Integrated Learning Space used Haywards Adventure Playground during the school day so that they could have more pupils attending school. We also offered The Bridge Primary and Secondary sites so that Action for Children could run their holiday provision for more children. Hungerford have put on an after school provision so that children didn’t lose out. In September all children returned to school. 

We were all nervous and did lots of work on making sure we kept staff and children as safe as possible. We have had a few positive cases of COVID-19 across our schools which has led to short term closures for a small number of staff and pupils, but we have managed to avoid longer term closure or large numbers of staff and children having to stay at home to self-isolate.

The run up to the holidays feels strange without live performances and inviting lots of visitors into the schools.  But it is more important that we keep safe. The staff teams and pupils in each school have been incredibly creative in finding ways for us to share what we are doing.  These are interesting times. Many of you will have participated in virtual meetings and assemblies.  We would have never predicted that happening at the beginning of the year!

The values for the whole Trust are pride, passion, positivity, partnership and professionalism.  These have truly been demonstrated this year. I would like to say an enormous thank you to all the staff, all the pupils, our parents and carers and everyone else who works with us. You have all played a role in living these values and supporting us in keeping the schools as centres of creative learning.

I wish you all a safe, enjoyable and restful holiday and look forward to seeing everyone again in January. Hopefully, next year will be very different to this one and we can carefully continue our return to ‘normal’.
Dr. Penny Barratt
CEO The Bridge London Trust

Celebrating the Lives of Sam and Lizelle

On Friday we held a virtual tribute to our much loved friends and colleagues, Lizelle and Sam. Click the image above to watch the recording. 
Click the image above to go to Amazon Smile

Update on COVID-19 Protocols Across Our Sites

 by Dr. Penny Barratt 

As you will know our strategy to keeping everyone safe during the pandemic has needed to evolve in line with the latest guidance coming from government and Public Health England. 

Our risk assessment explains all that we are doing. This is available on our website. Some of our schools have had positive test results to deal with this term and we have immediately taken appropriate advice to make sure that we can ask those staff and pupils who have been in close contact to self-isolate. We have done our best in all situations to keep the schools open to those who have not come into any contact with the virus.

Our strategy for responding to the virus will continue to evolve based on the latest information we receive.  If there are any big changes we will let everyone know immediately, smaller changes will be updated on the risk assessment. It is great that a vaccine is now being rolled out. There is light at the end of this tunnel!

Norwich Free School

 by Dr. Penny Barratt 

The Trust is looking to expand so that we can bring what we do to a greater number of children and achieve greater economies of scale.  We are looking to develop another small hub of schools in a different location.  We submitted a bid to set up a free school in Norwich.  We have considerable experience of setting up and running free schools, as both the Satellites and the Integrated Learning Space are free schools. 

We were successful and have been awarded the contract to develop this new school.  We will look to work with other schools in Norfolk so that we can hopefully build a small group of schools that can work together and learn from each other as is the case with our London schools.  We are also looking at sharing best practice between the two hubs.  In future newsletters I will share more detailed plans for the new school as it develops.  It is looking to open to pupils in either September 2022 or January 2023.

PBS Conference

 by Dr. Penny Barratt 

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) continues to be a feature of our work across all of our schools.  It is having a great impact in supporting all staff to approach behaviour in a consistent and positive way.  When asked to describe PBS some of our staff said that PBS is:

“Focusing on the good things that students do every day using positive language.”

“A way of promoting a positive culture of positivity around the school in both staff and students and the way in which we respond to each other and work together.”

“Positivity and motivation rather than reactive negativity/discouragement.”

PBS focuses on looking at a behaviour and addressing that rather than blaming a person because of their behaviour.  One of the children described this beautifully.

“It's important because if you say you are disrespectful it is more rude.  It’s not the person who is disrespectful, it’s the choice they made.”
We recently shared the work we are doing with PBS at a European PBS conference.  There were attendees from Sweden, Finland, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands at our workshop.  Everybody was really impressed with the story we had to share and the work that we are doing.

Primary Virtual Tour

 by Penny Doswell 

This term, Primary site have virtually opened our doors to parents and public with a new video tour of our site. 

Watch the video below for a guided walk around Primary and let us tell you about what makes our special school, extra special.
Take a tour of our Primary site with Headteacher Penny Doswell in this new video.

Open Orchestra

 by Mica McQueen 

This term, Vicky, Mica & Fred have been working with Open Orchestra to set up an Orchestra at the school that is accessible for all of our students. We’re currently working individually with 9 young people, learning how to play a wide variety of instruments and explore our musical identities.

We aim to explore with music, and eventually start working in bigger groups and by the middle of next term to form a full orchestra. We have found the sessions to offer benefits for the children, including improved academic, social and emotional outcomes. We are super excited about having our very own Open Orchestra here at the Bridge Primary. 

Fish and Chips Friday

by Julian Matthews

This term Sixth Formers have started planning and cooking their lunch on Friday. Instead of eating their fish and chips in the lunch hall they collect the ingredients from Ugur in the kitchen and then prepare their meals in the Food Technology rooms with as much independence as possible.

It is fantastic to see them all working together to prepare this traditional Friday meal. The students learn to develop their independence, communication, team-work and food preparation skills. As you can see from the photos they really enjoy the session and we think they do an amazing job!

Seesaw App

by Julian Matthews

This term we have started using the SeeSaw app to communicate with parents and carers. It is really quick and easy way to send messages between home and school and means that we are in constant communication with everyone who has the app downloaded.

Teachers send home messages everyday about the lessons that have taken place during the day and how the students are progressing. On Friday a member of the leadership team sends out a group announcement to all parents and carers with important information about the school and their reflections on the week.

On one Friday in October Gold Class sent out the weekly announcement after talking about their experiences at school since September.

Here are some of their views.  
Dear Parents and carers,

This week's announcement is from Gold Class. Hello to everyone from Gold Class! It seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready to come back to school after the summer holidays. This half term has flown by and we have had lots of fun. This month we have been focusing on black history month and International week, culminating in this week’s Carnival! We thought we’d let Gold Class students tell you about how life has been back at school… 

Salome: Today we watched newsround and drank tea but some students drank the leftover fruit punch from the carnival. Since I came to the Bridge secondary in September I have liked learning about the news and black history month, we made a Black Lives Matter banner which is now hanging in the atrium. I have liked bowling and playing football in PE and I have liked making new friends. 
Eric: I like Gold class and I like seeing my friends every day. I have missed my friends, especially Kourtney and Dylan. I like playing computer with Dylan. I like school and I like going home early on Friday. That’s it. 

Hannah: I am so happy to be back at school. I like seeing my friends and my favourite staff maybe. I like watching Newsround in the mornings. I also really like PE and I like winning. 

Dylan: I like being in gold class and I have lots of friends in class we have lots of fun I have liked cooking, PE, talking about football and politics and I have liked playing Pacman. I really enjoy going out in the community. I have been learning about black history month and we made a banner. I hope you have been keeping well and that you have a good half term.
We are also using Seesaw to create online learning resources in the event of school closure due to COVID-19, this way our students will be able to carry on learning and won’t miss out on anything, however, we hope this doesn’t happen!

Panathlon Games

by Nikolaos Tzortzatkakis

As part of our P.E lessons this term, our students participated in an in-school Panathlon multi-skills virtual games (‘Traffic Lights’ and ‘Flip It’). All students showed tremendous effort, fantastic teamwork skills and all had really good fun!

1st - Gold Class - 105 points
2nd - Purple Class - 80 points
3rd - Bronze Class - 60 points
4th - Rainbow Class - 56 points
5th - Yellow class - 40 points
6th - Green Class - 36 points 
7th - Platinum class - 35 points

All students also received a certificate for their amazing performances!

ILS  Values
by Ed Ashcroft & Matt Hart

The Integrated Learning Space has been developing a new video as part of our website updates. Our video is about how the core values of our school shape the way we work with students and their families. The ILS values (as illustrated above) sit alongside the wider Trust values to reflect the unique cohort of young people who attend the ILS and the approach we must adopt to support learning.

As part of this project we also decided to rethink the way that website music was developed and decided to capture the unique voices of our students in daily activities. Their vocalisations form the foundation of a musical composition that Matt Hart (Head of the Independent Living Space) has developed into a piece that we think is both contemporary and engaging.

The track reflects the types of music many of our young people show enjoyment listening to, based on their teams observations. We have played the track in its development to the young people on many occasions at the school and for some their responses have been surprising. In the near future we will upload the music and video on Vimeo which you watch without the voice over and over the coming months will be exploring further how to celebrate the unique musical voices of the students of the ILS.
Listen to the music track created by students and staff at the ILS.
Find out more about the ILS Values in this video.

The Integrated Living Space is one year old!

by Ed Ashcroft & Matt Hart

We are delighted that “The Integrated Living Space” (InLS) has celebrated its first year as an after school and holiday club provision. 
We now have thirteen students attending the provision and have had wonderful feedback from parents and teachers;

“We have noticed how relaxed our son is after attending the after school club.”

“We were really pleased at how smooth the transition was to the after school club.”

“After attending the holiday club, this is the first half term that our son has not been in distress whilst school is closed.”

We have delivered a wide range of activities that taps into personal interests and preferences, by utilising the door step and wider community. We work in partnership with families, teachers and the wider professional network to support an integrated approach towards individual educational targets. Our approach focuses on the importance of “relational connect” which enables us to develop positive relationships with students that are fundamental in delivering consistent models of support. We do this by focusing on our key values that underpin all our direct work with students. These are:

Unconditional Positive Regard
Total Communication
All Ways of Being Are Celebrated Here
Meet Me Where I Am


Dragon Sanctuary

by Phoebe Elkins

On a wet and windy September day, Mr Trantor arrived in Swift Class with a package.  He told us he had been handed it by a motorcycle courier, and had been told to deliver it straight to us in Year 4.  

After much debate and discussion, we decided to open this mysterious package.  Inside was a most treasured item we identified as a dragon egg. There was also a letter in the package, with some instructions (see below).

A few days later, we received a video message from the mysterious author of this letter, outlining a task only we in Swift Class could complete: How can we save an endangered species? 

Our mission was large, complex and top secret.  We began by learning about dragons and how scientists classify animals. Using branching databases that we made, we decided that dragons are most similar to reptiles, but with the ability to fly.  We then realised we needed to find out as much as we could about reptiles, so that we could find a suitable location for a sanctuary.  

This involved a lot of research, map work and learning about climates and how reptiles are cold blooded and can adapt to their surroundings.  We learnt about food chains and used this to help us consider a suitable location for the dragons where they would be the top predator in a food chain abundant with energy-rich prey. 

Eventually, we found a suitable island perfect for the dragon’s needs: remote, temperate, with lots of wild prey on which they could feast.

Insh Island, off the Western Coast of Scotland was to be the home of our new Sanctuary.  We drew several drafts of different sketch maps including the plans for the sanctuary and made 3D models of the island to show the colonel.  

The day of our pitch arrived, and we 'Zoomed' the Colonel and presented our work to him.  He agreed that Insh Island was a suitable habitat for the dragons, and was impressed at how we had considered their natural behaviours and comfort in our designs.  

Our designs have been passed onto the construction team at the M.O.D. (Ministry of Dragons) and the build is underway.  As a show of gratitude for our hard work, the Colonel invited us to name the dragon egg which has been collected and is being incubated at a lab in Surrey.  The names we chose for the unborn dragon were Dusty Sting if it is male and Ruby Swift if it’s female.  

Classroom Updates
by Jody Tranter

As part of our Project Based Learning today, we have been thinking about personal hygiene. We made a list of our own ideas, sang a 'Brush Your Teeth' song, brainstormed with talk partners, sketched ideas on whiteboards & then refined our work on paper with drawings & sentences.
During R.E-flection Day, Swift class spent the day studying Sikhism.
A central concept is the idea of Seva (Selfless service). Having learnt about this we prepared & cut apples, carrots & oranges and made juice to serve to Year 3, then made flags with the Sikh symbol (Khanda).
In Year 3 we have been working on a project to design and make a new project for @BreadByBike to sell. After a Zoom meeting with Chef Sean, we made our second batch of Focaccia! By adding vegetables & fruit, we made it healthier & created a ‘garden landscape’! We were helped by Ms. Essie & her kitchen staff. We hope they liked it as much as our Head did!
To keep up with the activity at Hungerford School,
follow the school on Twitter by clicking here @hungerfordN7

All Go at Our Satellite Provision!

by Rosie Whur & Jenny Gaze 

In Seastar class we have been working on our number bonds to ten. During November we used poppies to help us work out number bond sums.
In Design and Technology pupils have been exploring torches and watches. Children had the challenge of incorporating a light into a watch, here are some of their designs. 
In English we have been looking at adverts and persuasive writing, below is one of the adverts created by one of our new pupils.

Perfect Patterns

by Joanne Hamadi 

Aura class have been exploring patterns from around the world. Ian and Jibril researched patterns from Brazil and Somalia and had a go at recreating these using paint. The results are fantastic!
Ian’s work on Brazillian patterns
Jibril’s work on patterns from Somalia

That Foamy Feeling

by Freddie

I was using shaving foam to change myself into a pretend devil. I enjoy doing this because the foam feels soft and creamy to touch and helps me calm down. When the foam is in the tray I rub it in and it gets more and more foamy. It is so much fun so everyone should use it to calm themselves down when they feel they need to.  

Science at Satellites  

by Danielle Kirkpatrick

Pictures from our Science experiment. Our topic was chemical reactions, it was fun making a volcano and watching it explode.

Professional Development  

by Gary Morrissey
What a year!!!!  

Since April, our training for schools has moved completely online with numbers beyond surpassing what we might have expected. The shape, balance and delivery of content has been completely adapted, and enquiries have been coming in daily.  We’ve been fortunate to add to our quality line up of trainers in-house; Amy, Jessica and Mica have been spectacular additions to our new world – see just a sample of responses from course participants; 
"The tutor was exceptional...engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about the topic." 
"Thank you very much! I found it really informative and helpful!" 
"I really enjoyed the webinar and it was so well delivered. I would have found it fascinating anyway but finding something as good as this to stimulate my brain and whet my appetite for school development during lockdown is wonderful. Thank you." 
"Thank-you for enriching my lockdown!!" 

"I found the session incredibly helpful. It was delivered sensitively and thoughtfully, with lots of information including references and practical applications, and I found the approach to individuality refreshing and inspiring." 
"Great session. Great to have an expert instructor!“ 

100% of respondents would recommend this course to others… 
100% would consider attending another webinar in the future… 

Our new cohort of 13 trainee teachers joined our School Direct programme in September and began face to face training for the weeks leading to October followed by a blend of face to face, online and live camera feeds.  Tutorials have also found a natural place in the virtual world and will almost certainly be gratefully maintained through the year and hopefully into next.  
Our lead trainer Jamie Galpin has moved on after 6 years with us and is spreading his talents in other directions but still working with us on some key projects - all of our trainers have absolutely stepped up as we move into an exciting new phase of development. 
Next term should see us hit our target of 10 Apprentices across the Trust 


by Gary Morrissey

We continue to drive on widening participation, sharing and support across education.  We are currently working with our University partner, Goldsmiths, in developing a brand new Masters programme on Autism – again a mix of live, recorded and face to face delivery. 

Our relationship with Challenge Partners continues to grow and we presently lead and coordinate a network of over 40 special and AP schools based in and around London. It’s been tremendous to literally see the value and impact of sharing our experiences, resources and strategies with a stunning group of Headteachers and CEOs, particularly over recent challenging times. 

Our role as the Autism Education Trust’s Strategic Partner for London is also growing and we’ve enjoyed inducting new hubs and supporting existing ones across both our own network and also nationally, as they nervously transition to online delivery. We’ve been heavily engaged in reshaping the content and resources for the AET’s national programme and suite of training, co-authoring a report with Karen Gulberg, Professor of Autism Studies at the University of Birmingham. 

Our budding relationship with Amazon is beginning to take shape following their fabulous award of £15,000 to the Trust and I hope that we can share more details of the exciting developments with you early next year. 

Every Mind Matters

If you want to find resources from the NHS for mental health and well-being,
please do visit the Every Mind Matters website below.
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