Brownhill School, Rochdale

| March 3, 2011 | 8 Comments 

What a joyous day! Our life is a varied, and challenging one, and utterly fulfilling because of that. So, to spend a day at Brownhill school in Rochdale, a setting with its own challenges, and remarkable successes, was a total delight.

Brownhill Learning Community is an association of Brownhill School and the two bases of the Rochdale Pupil Referral Service. They were brought together to improve the outcomes of pupils with SEBD. They aim to place pupils according to need rather than the reason they are out of mainstream.

That was also our focus today. Finding ways to, almost distract, children from any fear they may have of their own learning, so that they gained the confidence to pick words, and ideas, up and juggle with them.

We were very impressed by how quickly these students transformed, from the inevitable slight trepidation, of a new, bald, bloke arriving, who expects them, without any preparation, or safety net, to experiment, risk-take and expose weaknesses, in front of class mates, … to explorers of their own limits…
…that takes courage.

And support. These magical, digital landscapes, and the teaching techniques we can use within them, allow students of any age and ability, to take risks, in a safe environment, where they can’t make mistakes.

“There is no right idea. Even better, there is no wrong idea”.

Well done indeed, to all here today, for taking off and flying with the ideas we explored. A joyous day of laughter and rising to challenges. Thank you you stars!

Kate Connolly, Principal heads the Learning Community, but the day to day management of each site is managed by the Centre Managers. There are approximately 180 pupils at any one time spread across the 3 sites: Brownhill School, Saxon Hall Study Centre and Darnhill Study Centre.

Brownhill School pupils are aged 11 -16 where the majority of pupils have statements for behaviour difficulties. Some pupils do transfer from Darnhill at the end of KS2 or occasionally at KS3. Pupils are admitted throughout the year but once pupils are admitted they tend to spend the rest of their education within the BLC. Some pupils are on alternative provision.

There are 3 KS3 group mixed years 7-9, 2 KS4 groups. The majority of lessons are run by 1 teacher and 1 TA/Mentor. Runs on a timetable similar to secondary school i.e. pupils move around the school

Saxon Hall Study Centre also joined us today, the PRU which caters mainly for KS4 pupils permanently excluded from mainstream. It is also base for FOLE (Federation On-line Education). Pupils are admitted throughout the year but once pupils are admitted they tend to spend the rest of their education within the BLC. Some pupils are on alternative provision. Again, the majority of lessons are run by 1 teacher and 1 TA/Mentor, running on a timetable similar to secondary school i.e. pupils move around the school.

Thank you to Steve Graham, Brownhiil School centre manager, and Sheila Higginbottom School Business Manager for inviting us and Ian Loughlin for supporting us all day with all our technical needs.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (8)

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  1. Nicola Simpson says:

    Loved your presentation at Brownhill School today. I actually work in admin but found it really insightful and very enjoyable! Thank you

  2. Barbara Adamson says:

    What an amazing day! How often do you hear staff at 5.45pm after a 2 hour twilight session say ‘that was the best INSET ever!’…It was like a parallel universe (simile…)where possibility becomes reality. Powerpoint will never be the same again; thank you so much!

  3. caroline mcinally says:

    This has to be the best training session i have ever experienced. Tim and Sarah spent the day in our school, and got every single child engaged and not wanting the sessions to end, and all the staff were the same, to the point were we are still talking about it now, and we are definatley going to be using everything we have learnt.
    Thanks Tim and Susan for opening doors to some fantastic ideas.

  4. Stella Oldham says:

    I do not work in the classroom but as part of the support network for our students. I found it an absolute pleasure to watch some of our more boisterous students sitting enthralled by your lesson.
    I thought I may have got bored in the INSET training at the end of the day, but no, once again you surprised us with your wit and insight into the lives of our students.
    Thank you, I am truly inspired

  5. Viv Ling says:

    Thanks for a superb day-all the staff and pupils were INSPIRED and were talking animatedly about what they had done.I am hoping that Ian will print some pictures and I have got the pupils’ work to display- even used Wordle for labels etc! I hope that we can continue the momentum to improve writing and self esteem even further in the future.

  6. paula winnick says:

    Thankyou for a great training session. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found your approach to be captivating and caring.
    Also a young person i work with told me in detail about some work he had done with you here in school. This student has low self esteem and he talked about feeling comfortable enough to get up in front of the group and take part in what you were all doing.
    Fantastic and very interesting.

  7. Sally Howes says:

    As I was researching more of the ideas you provided for us, I suddenly remembered I needed to write on the blog! The training was the best training session I have been to, inspiring, uplifting and motivating. I even went home that night and researched some of the websites! To see the pupils get so involved and eager to join in was fantastic. Thank you for a great day!

  8. lusa deville says:

    I used to go to this school 30 years ago and I loved it you didn’t have to wear a uniform then and we had lots of day trips

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