This week, 13th to 17th November, is anti-bullying week. Anti-bullying week, organised by The Anti-Bullying Alliance, encourages young people, schools, and professionals to discuss and act on the issue of bullying.
Headstart visited The Orchard Centre to record conversations with four young people with direct experience of severe bullying in their primary or secondary schools before moving to the alternative, specialist provision at The Orchard. You can listen to their podcast here.
The Importance of Play
Play is essential to children’s development. It’s so important that it’s recognised by the United Nations as being a right for every child. Our outdoor learning provision at Orchard centre recognises the importance of play and we build opportunities for games and free play into our sessions on a regular basis.
Play supports the development of imagination and creativity and encourages children to interact with the world around them. Play encourages social interaction and helps to build social skills, confidence and emotional resilience.
This week in our outdoor learning sessions students have been designing and building their own games. We’ve navigated obstacle courses, followed blindfold rope paths and clambered through para-cord spiderwebs. We’ve also played lots and lots of variations on hide and seek which, if the rumours are to be believed, staff enjoyed as much as the students.
Students at The Orchard Centre have created some amazing cakes in Food Technology. Well done to Thomas, Bryony and Kia.
Several students have signed up to take part in a boxing programme at Priory ABC Boxing Club, which they attend on a Wednesday afternoon. The students are developing their fitness, looking at different stances and developing their technique. All the students are engaging and gaining a lot from the programme. We will look to run another programme in the New Year to give other students an opportunity.
Students from The Orchard Centre have begun taking ownership of the woodland on site. This week, along with other activities, we’ve begun to clear rubbish that has accumulated over the last few years when the site has not been used. Along with hundreds of crisp packets and plastic bags that have blown in from the adjoining roads we’ve found some more unusual items including a selection of footballs, an umbrella and a hole punch.
As part of our developing creative curriculum at Orchard we’re offering outdoor based courses to all of our students. The conservation work we’ve started this week will count towards the ‘Conserve’ section of the the John Muir Award and the ‘Volunteering’ section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Our term dates have now been updated. Please be aware that students will finish at The Orchard Centre on Wednesday 20th December 2017. Students will return after the Christmas period on Wednesday 3rd January 2018.
On Monday 27th November the centre will be closed to all students for a Teacher Training day. The Orchard Centre will reopen as normal on Tuesday 28th November.
On Thursday November 16th we will be supporting BBC Children in Need. There will be a bake sale and students can wear their own clothes.
For more information about Children in Need please visit the website here.
Students have begun preparing in earnest for the introduction of the Duke of Edinburgh award at The Orchard Centre. Students will be developing their knowledge of bush craft, orienteering and practical skills using the secure woodland area of the Lawnswood Campus site. We hope to give as many students as possible the opportunity to take part in the award at Bronze Level which will significantly add to their qualifications and achievements. As part of the award, students will commit to a Skills, Service and Voluntary programme for a minimum of 3 months within School.
Bonfire Night is approaching and West Midlands Fire Service have produced a series of useful leaflets on keeping safe in firework season.