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Happy New Year!

A very happy new year everyone, I hope you all managed to spend precious time with family and friends over the festive period. I was delighted to welcome back to all our students and staff to the new Spring term.

Even though it has been a four day week, our students have been really busy and got back into the swing of things. This week, I have popped round all the classes and was really pleased to see every student settled and engaged with learning and activities as evidenced in the following reports…

Ebase 1

“The students in Ebase 1 were all thrilled to arrive back in College on Tuesday.

It has been a busy week and everybody has been excited to get back into their daily routines. Kausar, Zachariah, Sarah, Nahid and Usayd have been so happy to see each other and have enjoyed each other’s company, whilst accessing their lessons and the different activities on offer.

On Wednesday, we got wrapped up and went for a lovely crisp, winters walk around the back of the Learning Centre. It was great fun, especially when Kausar lost his welly in the mud!

We then had some fun on the skate park before returning to College to get warm.

How lovely it’s been seeing everybody so happy to be back at College.

The staff and students in Ebase 1 would like to wish everybody a very Happy New Year!”

Ebase 2

“Ebase 2 have really settled back into the swing of things this week. They have all worked really hard making a pirate ship, pirate hats and a treasure map for our new story, “The Treasure of Pirate Frank”. They have all engaged well in their work and have enjoyed being back in college with their friends. Well done everyone.”


“The class came back to the Learning Centre on Tuesday full of news about the holidays and what they had been up to.  We had birthdays to celebrate which had taken place over the holidays and it was lovely to catch up with everyone.
All the students have been wearing masks (if they are able to) around the building this week and they have adapted to the new health and safety protocols with maturity and ease.
On Wednesday in living skills, we talked about leisure time and how different activities that we do in our spare time can be healthy or unhealthy.  Some students brought up an interesting point that activities such as talking, reading or drawing, whilst not being physically good for us, are good for our mental health which is just as important.  We followed up our discussion with a walk outside in the grounds in the cold, winter sunshine which we all agreed did us some good.”

Update from Mr Blackman

“We recorded 3000 steps in 25 minutes during our weekly dip into keeping fit.”

“Winter is a busy time for the would be gardeners we have at the Learning Centre. Here we have CEAKE13’s class doing a bit of much needed pruning to the overgrown shrubs that are all around the fence line of the grounds.”

Employability Pathway

“On their return to college this week, the Employability Pathway have been discussing the various options available to them when moving on from the Learning Centre. They are talking about visiting Oldham College before they start there and if apprenticeship options are available to them. Some of the students had concerns that their visits to Oldham College had been put on hold due to the covid restrictions and staff were able to address this with them and put other strategies in place to help with the transition.

Adeel said he is glad to be back and hoping he can return to his work placements at the Atrium café and the Guinness Trust. Noorul is happy to return and continued supporting Mr Thompson on his internal work placement on Tuesday. Jamie is happy to return and catch up with her peers and tutors in her group.

The weekly discussion sessions the Employability group have been having is proving invaluable. By talking through any issues and concerns the students are having, it has given staff the chance to address any concerns and help and support the students with any worries they are having during these challenging times.”

I’m aware that many families will be anxious about the rise in infection rates due to the omicron variant. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure families that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of all our students and staff. This has been the primary concern over the last 20 months and will continue to be so.

As you may be aware there has been additional guidance this week which I have outlined below…

Face coverings in schools and colleges

From Sunday 2nd January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only, to support pupils and teachers as they return to school this term and builds on the existing proportionate guidance that recommends face coverings for all adults in communal areas of all settings. We are updating our guidance to reflect this. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26th January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.

Our students have been amazing throughout in wearing face coverings, we are now encouraging this within classrooms unless exempt. We recognise that there are some circumstances where our pupils and students may not be able to wear a face covering and we are very mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Updated Isolation Guidance for COVID-19 Cases

People with COVID-19 may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period if they do not have a high temperature. If these tests are both negative, then they can leave isolation on Day 7 following the second negative result. The first test must be taken no earlier than Day 6 of the self-isolation period and the tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This applies to all children and young people including those under 5.

So, if both these test results are negative, and the case does not have a high temperature, they may end their self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to education or childcare setting from Day 7 (DfE Bulletin 4th January 2021).

If one of these tests is positive, then they can do tests 24 hours apart until there are two in a row that are negative. Once they have two in a row that are negative, they should stop testing and leave isolation. If the Day 10 one is still positive, they should stop testing and leave isolation on Day 11. (Please see table below)

From 11th January, the confirmatory PCR test will no longer be needed following a positive Lateral Flow test unless you wish to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Have a lovely weekend

Take care



St Martins Road, Fitton Hill, Oldham, OL8 2PZ

School Hours

M-F: 8am – 4pm
Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

0161 883 2402