01 Mar

Well firstly, a big welcome back to all of our staff and students. I trust that you all had an enjoyable half term. We started our week with a staff training day where we launched the iPad project for our site. Staff were all given a new iPad and started their training on how to use their iPads to enhance their classroom practice. We are also all taking part in the Apple Teacher training in line with the other schools within our Trust, a program designed by Apple which gives us an overview of how to use various applications on the iPads.

Later in the year, we will be holding a parents’ evening to explain our project and our vision for the iPads and, by the summer, we are hoping that every student on our campus will have an iPad to use in class. It is a VERY exciting time for us all and the staff are already embracing their new devices and using them on a day to day basis.

This week we have been preparing for Future Finders next year. Today we held an assessment day with students to find the most suitable candidates for the project..

Future Finders is moving into its 4th year in September and we look forward to supporting many students into employment for years to come! On that note, I have some AMAZING NEWS! This week one of our students, Kyra, got a paid job! Kyra has impressed her employers so much on placement that they have offered her paid work starting immediately! Well done Kyra!! Needless to say, she is this week’s ‘Worker of the Week’!!!

This week’s ‘day in the life of’ feature comes as a short film (created on one of our new iPads!) with Edward explaining the work he does at The Atrium café….

Now I will pass you over to Anne-Marie..

A short and sweet update this week but that doesn’t mean we have been any less busy – the first week back after half term saw us getting straight back to it!!

As you know, Monday is usually our college day but due to the training day this week, it was the staff doing the learning..

We have now introduced a Job Club hour every day! This is dedicated time for the young people to look for jobs and apply for them with the support of a Job Coach, helping them work towards their destinations.

As always, the rest of the week saw our young people working hard out on their placements and this week we have some great news – NSL, one of our placement providers, has offered one of our young people, Kyra, a job!!!! Kyra starts her new part time job at NSL on Monday as an office junior, where her role will be support in general administration tasks for the company!!! Well done Kyra!!!! This is great news! Be proud of yourself and your achievement.

We never sit still for long and we are already looking at next year’s Future Finders group! We have finished the week off with our Future Finders Assessment Day. We had some of our current Future Finders in to talk to our potential Future Finders about what the course means, what support they are given and what types of jobs they could do. It was nice to for them to hear from Kyra about her recent success and for them to see just what they could achieve!

We have also had some lovely feedback from another of our placements, The Clean Plate Kitchen. On Friday, Collette told us..

Tara has come back from half term in fine form, she worked so hard on Thursday but today was the busiest day we’ve had in about 12 months, she worked on her own initiative, clearing tables without being asked, had a later dinner because she could see how busy we were, she made everyone smile even though we were under a lot of pressure. She absolutely excelled today, she had two helpers on the pots and she was organising them, she was hilarious, a really good team player and a massive help.

I still can’t get her to stay until 4pm (we have a laugh about this every shift) but can you please pass on that she was awesome and we are really thrilled with how well she’s doing and we are grateful for how hard she worked today, also, tell her thanks for keeping her eye on Nigel, every time he missed a bit on the pot washing, she was right on him. Jason as always was an absolute pleasure too. 

It’s great to play a small role in such a special organisation, we love seeing how much Jason and Tara progress each day, Jason is a lovely lad, he was so quiet and shy at first and now he’s laughing and starting conversations and becoming involved and it’s just great to see and be a part of. Tara is just something else, she’s so funny, she has my other half in stitches when she’s bossing him about on the pot wash and they have a good catch up. You have some fantastic students, they are an absolute credit to you.

What a brilliant way to end the week, well done Tara and Jason!! We really appreciate the support our placement providers give our students and it’s great to hear how much their work is valued.

Finally, today we said goodbye to our caretaker Eddie, who has been with New Bridge for 7 and a half years and leaves us today to enjoy retirement. Before joining us at New Bridge, Eddie worked for the Royal Mail for 33 years. Eddie has been a huge asset to our site, not only within his role as caretaker but in the support he has continuously offered to staff and students, often being found on reception or in classes! He is thought very highly of by the students and staff and will be greatly missed. Today we gave him the send-off he deserves with a presentation from students and staff..

Eddie’s wife, who also works at New Bridge, retires on Wednesday and I believe they are planning to go straight to the travel agents on Thursday to book their first retirement trip! On behalf of us all, we would like to wish Eddie a wonderful retirement. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication…and enjoy that holiday!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Daniel
Head of College

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