HI Department Blog

September 2019

Welcome to the new Academic year 2019-20

This year all of our classes have been renamed – with the theme of interesting places around the North East….. We also have a newly opened centre – The Armstrong Centre. Please take a look below to see what all of our classes have been up to since the start of the new term…

 

Julie’s Class – our new class name is Penshaw Class!

Penshaw class has had a very busy start to the term.  Our students have been planning and making initial visits to various work experience placements, for example painting and decorating, media and photography and catering.   Other students have started motor vehicle maintenance and painting and decorating training courses with Barnardo’s Employment Training.

We also have a student who has started a Health and Social Care course at Jesmond Park Academy attending three days a week.  We are continuing to work with the Speech and Language therapist and Occupational therapist in developing communication and independence life skills, and have planned many visits in the local community and surrounding area.

 

Penny’s Class – our new class name is Angel Class!

We have all been very busy since returning from our Summer break.  We have also welcomed a new student into our ‘Angel’ class.

Our topic this term is ‘All about me and my school’ which will help us find out about ourselves, each other and all about our local environment.  We were so excited to visit the ‘real’ Angel of the North after who our class is named.

We then decided as part of our science work which is exploring our senses to create a huge Angel for our classroom wall using our hands to colour mix … we did get a bit excited and carried away… but we had great fun in our learning and we now all know that yellow and red makes….orange!

We have also been practising lots of cooking actions in our food technology sessions with Nichola.  In our communication in the community lessons we read our shopping lists to look for and buy the ingredients –lots of maths work with the money too.  We either walk/use the metro or bus to the local shops which helps us develop our life skills.   We then name the things we have bought practising our British Sign Language signs and/or our voices and written word/picture recognition.  We then look, feel and taste the ingredients before we follow our visual recipes to make lots of tasty things to take home to eat.  So far we have made healthy vegetable soup, funny pizza faces and cheese straws (we worked hard using the grater)

 

In science we have been learning about our 5 senses and have been experimenting with ‘smell testing games, taste testing games and feely box games.  We also recorded our results to see if we were right or wrong.

Helen’s Class – our new class name is Souter Class!

Our class have taken part in some exciting educational visits since coming back in September. As part of employability and careers sessions a few of our students visited The Port of Tyne at North Shields. They found out about job opportunities there as well as been given a guided tour of the Port.

As part of Art, Lauren took our students to The Baltic at Gateshead. They had the opportunity to look at the artwork there and go on the viewing platforms. The students are going to be involved in creating some of their own artwork that will be displayed in the Baltic later in the year.

 

Callum’s Class – our new class name is Hadrian Class!

Hadrian Class has had a very exciting start to the new school term! The highlight so far has to be our field trip to Roman Vindolanda to see Hadrian’s Wall as part of our history topic – the children loved looking around the ruins of the ancient fort and examining historical artefacts in the museum! We have also created our very own autobiographies, telling each other about our families and friends, our likes and dislikes and also about our experiences at Northern Counties.

In mathematics, we have been learning about various types of charts such as pictograms, tally charts and bar charts to present different information.  We’ve also begun our science topic of evolution and inheritance where we have looked at animals and their basic needs for survival.

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April 2019

Mairead’s Class

In Mairead’s class this term, we have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the topic of ‘Food and Drink.’ We have been investigating a range of different foods and putting food into different categories, such as dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables.

During the week of Red Nose Day, we even investigated grouping food into colours. Lots of vocabulary building has been going on and using our thinking skills to work out why we have grouped the foods and drinks into categories.

The students have been learning to read, write and spell lots of foods they like and can ask for. We have also been developing skills linked to saying no to foods we don’t like or want in an appropriate way.

We spent two weeks looking at how bread is made and at stories linked to bread. We read ‘The Little Red Hen’ together then made our own bread.

We held a ‘Bread Week Bake Off!’ Jo came to judge the breads and tasted them all. Michael was crowned the ‘Bake Off King!’ Lots of fun was had by all. 

 

Penny’s Class

Penny’s class held a ‘posh’- ‘ladies day afternoon tea’ to say thank you to the special ladies who help look after us at home.  As part of our communication in the community work we researched different types of flower pots and then in our Design and Technology lessons planned and made our own flower pot to give as a special thank you present.  We also used our IT skills to design and create a powerpoint to then present at our afternoon tea finale.  There were cheers (and tears) all round as the children were so confident communicating and presenting using their preferred mode of communication e.g. British Sign Language/voice/photographs/symbols.   

As part of our topic on ‘transport’ we have visited Newcastle Central Station – we got to look inside a train and even sat in the driver’s seat.   We have also visited the Grace Darling museum as part of our history work and saw the boat that she used. 

In Geography we have been learning how to use pictures or symbols to show familiar places and what they are for and recognising physical/natural and human made features of places.  We have also been using maps of the school ground to discuss and work together as part of an orienteering challenge.  

Julie’s Class (14-19)

We have enjoyed visiting Food Nation to make fish meals, and visiting an allotment.

We have made and sold wine racks, bath shelves and Mother’s day gifts as part of our Young Enterprise topic – we have already made a profit! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A student painted a picture of an African Sunset for an Art Competition.

 

 

 

 

We have had lots of visitors in school to talk about college courses, apprenticeships and work experience. One student has been working alongside the Mears group to gain experience in painting and decorating. 

14-19 have been working hard to complete Entry Level Qualifications in English and Maths and have completed lots of Asdan Challenges. We have also been doing BSL Level 2 Assessments

Helen’s Class

We have been fully involving ourselves this term in our topic of Gardens and Parks. We have begun planting lots of things in Science in preparation for our scientific enquiry work linked to plants and how they grow. We have planted vegetables as well as flowers and are hoping to have something to bring home to share with families at the end of the term. This week we have been on a class visit to Rising Sun Country Park. It was fantastic to see all the amazing flowers and wildlife and do some field work linked to maps and geocaching. 

 

January 2019

Mairead’s Class 

This term’s Food and Drink topic has gone off with a bang! Literally! The students have thoroughly enjoyed exploring what happens when you mix mentos sweets with coke in Science and predicting what will happen if they use a bigger bottle and more mentos! The snow did not put us off investigating. 

We started the term sorting food and drinks into categories and finding out what each of our favourite foods and drinks are.

 

This was not as easy as it seemed and led into interesting conversations about drinks / food being solid or liquids. Yoghurts, jelly and the gastro feeds prompted debates amongst the students and staff!

Each student has a list of food and drink based words to learn to read and write this term. We are looking forward to exploring these and expanding our vocabulary. It links into our functional literacy and numeracy programmes and our aim is to ensure the students can use food and drink language to get our basic needs met from the people we know and in the community.

 

Helen’s Class

Last term Helens class was the first class to explore the new Green Screen resource in the art room. We created our own backgrounds linked to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory using plasticine then acted in front of the green screen. We later combined this using the computer to create a scene from the novel.