Welcome to Columbus School and College

At Columbus School and College, we aim to provide a happy, safe, and caring community, where everyone is encouraged and supported to achieve their goals. Please click here for more information about our ethos, expectations and aims.

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Columbus News

Below you will find a series of articles on recent Columbus events, publications and achievements written by ourselves as well as local community partners.

Principals Blog...

  • Principals Blog - Autumn 2018

    December 2018


    Dear Parent/Carer,

    As we near the end of term, we wanted to write to thank you for your support to the academy so far this year. At Columbus we’ve had a great start to the academic year with many highlights including the weekly visits from The Laughter Specialists (supporting social communication), the Woodwork tutor (supporting the FE students) and ‘Glastonbabies’ on both campuses. There has also been a wealth of trips and visits, including the annual invitation for Key Stage 2 pupils to attend the President’s Sporting Lunch. This is always very popular with the children who enjoyed  a special Christmas lunch at Barleylands in Billericay. 

    As you know, Columbus School and College is part of AET. There have been a lot of changes at AET over the last couple of years and the organisation is now in much better shape. There is always more to be done to improve the education that we offer, and indeed each AET academy is different and reflects the needs of the local community. What binds us all together though is our core mission, which is to enable each and every pupil to go on and lead a remarkable life.

    As an organisation, AET has been doing a fair bit of thinking about what a ‘remarkable life’ means in practice. We’ve put together a short film which you can see by clicking this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ACX9dKluLo. At Columbus School and College we’ll be doing more work over the coming term to embed this thinking and to bring to life what Remarkable Lives means for us here. We are planning to produce our own version of Remarkable Lives to reflect the remarkable journey for pupils here at Columbus.

    We hope that your son or daughter has had a positive first term, and that you and your family have an enjoyable break over the holidays.

    With every best wish,

    Karen Clark                                                                               Julian Drinkall

    Principal                                                                                    Chief Executive

    Columbus School and College                                              AET                                                                                         

    New Staff

    We have interviewed for Supply Learning Support Assistants and Apprentice Learning Support Assistants this term and I am pleased to let you know that the following people have been appointed:  Chloe Kirk as Apprentice LSA, Tracey Branch, Natalia Sandoval and Alison Harrington-Lodge  as Supply LSAs.

    We look forward to them joining the team once the necessary checks have been completed.

    I am pleased to inform you that Deanne Hensey, an experienced part-time teacher in Lower School will be taking on a full-time position in January as Class Teacher in Middle School.

    Staff Leavers

    Sarah Barker, Class Teacher in Middle School will be leaving us at the end of this term. We thank her for all she has done for the children and young people during her time at Columbus and wish her every success and happiness for the future.

    Chair of Governors

    Malcolm Reeve will be leaving as Chair of Governor for both Columbus School and College and Pioneer School at the end of this term.  Malcolm, as many of you will know, was former CEO of Columbus School and College and was instrumental in leading the school to become an outstanding provision. On behalf of everyone at Columbus I would like to thank him for his service to the school over many years and wish him success in his new roles across the country. In the Spring term we will be inviting Malcolm to a ‘thank you and farewell’ lunch with a representation of pupils, parents and professional colleagues. If you would like to join this occasion please let Pauline pmiller@columbusschoolandcollege.org know so she can send details nearer the time.

    A new Chair of Governors will be appointed in due course.

    Baby News

    I am delighted to share the following news with you:

    Annabel Walsh (Teacher in FE) had a little girl, Norah, on Sunday 7th October and Rachael Rudgewick (LSA in FE) has had a little girl,  Jordyn Shanelle was born on 21st October.  Congratulations to them all!

    INSET Day 30th November

    During INSET days staff all benefitted from a number of essential training modules including Level 2 Annual Safeguarding Refresher, e-Safe training and the launch of the AET Vision ‘Missions and Values’ from the CEO, Julian Drinkall.  Some staff also received refresher Gastro training.  The day ended with mince pies and carols while staff spent time putting up Christmas decorations making both campuses look very festive ready for the Christmas Fair!

    Shakespeare Festival

    We were delighted that our students in Middle School took part once again in this year’s Shakespeare Festival at the Civic Theatre on 13th November This year they performed ‘The Tempest’. This was a wonderful performance which received high accolade from the organiser with the performers receiving a standing ovation for their performance!

    Chelmsford & District Fuchsia Society

    A longstanding partnership that Columbus has with the Fuchsia Society continues to benefit the children and young people at the academy. I was invited to speak at their Annual Awards Evening on Wednesday 28th November to share a little more about the work we do with children and young people. The group were very interested to hear about the remarkable work of the staff and indeed the achievements of the young people.  The evening culminated in me being presented with a cheque for £3,000 for the academy.

    In the past, the funds have been used to develop inclusive learning and social events with our friends and colleagues from St. John Payne Secondary School. The Fuchsia Society have also supported in the funding of the end of year ‘Leavers’ Ball’ for young people in Year 11 and Year 14 to have a party and experience a celebration event that marks their achievements throughout their school life, in a similar way that their mainstream friends would. This year the funds will once again contribute to some of the costs for the Leavers’ Ball and it will also be used to develop curriculum days for Columbus and St. John Payne pupils to share meaningful learning experiences. 

    Friends of Columbus Christmas Fair – Sunday 2nd December

    This year’s Christmas Fair was a fantastic success and was very well attended.  Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it such a happy and festive occasion and to everyone who came along to support.  The total amount raised was an amazing £5,000 and still counting!  Our best fundraising event to date.  Thank you!

    Christmas Productions

    By now you will have all attended the Christmas Productions,  ‘Shine Star, Shine’ in Early Years, ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ in Lower School and Middle School, a Christmas Sing-along in Upper School and a Christmas Market  and Christmas Assembly in FE.  I hope you enjoyed watching your child perform and were able to stay for some refreshments afterwards and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Personally I felt the performances were wonderful and staff made a huge effort to ensure their success as did all of you for supporting with costumes and attending on the day. Thank you.

    Christmas Lunches

    This year we are very grateful to Friends of Columbus School and College who have paid for all pupils and staff to enjoy a Christmas dinner prepared by the school catering staff.  Our grateful thanks to them for making this Columbus tradition possible once again this year. Thank you also to the parents who gave their time to come in school to prepare and serve the Christmas  lunch to staff and pupils. It is very much appreciated by all.

    Next Parents’ Social Event

    The next Social Event for parents/carers will be held on 15th January at 1.30pm on College Campus.   We hope you will come along.  More details will be sent out nearer the date.


    We would like to thank Beresfords Estate Agents in Chelmsford for once again sponsoring the Friends Christmas Fair through their advertising boards.  Their continued support is very much appreciated.

    Social Media

    We continue to see some great achievements for our children and young people. If you follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusSchoolandCollege/) or Twitter (@ColumbusSchool), I am sure you will have read the articles and seen the photos of the children and young people hard at work and indeed enjoying themselves in a range of learning activities.


    Our Amazon Wish List is constantly updated.  If you would like to browse please visit http://amzn.eu/24gQeY9.   Thank you.   Please remember to also support Columbus via Easyfundraising.  If you have not already done so, you can register at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/friendsofcsc  Thank you to everyone who has helped us raise over £3,000 to date!

    Thanks You’s

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported our ongoing fundraising efforts in any way this year.  The support that we receive is truly amazing and there are just too many people to mention individually.  Please be assured that every single donation we receive is appreciated so much and really does make a difference.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year.

    Term Dates

    A reminder that the last day of term is Wednesday 19th December.  Pupils and staff return on Thursday 3rd January, 2019.  Taxis have been informed.

    Happy Christmas!

    I would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.

    Karen Clark

    Posted 17 Dec 2018, 06:28 by Web Admin
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Latest News

  • NEWS FROM PUFFERFISH CLASS … This term, Pufferfish Class have been learning about ‘People Who Help Us’. This week, our theme has been ‘Lifeguards’ and the children have been exploring this role in a variety ...
    Posted 28 Jan 2019, 01:15 by Web Admin
  • NEWS FROM UPPER SCHOOL     Upper school hosted The Flying Pizza Theatre on 10th January who gave a great performance of Treasure Island. All students really enjoyed the show and participated well in the story ...
    Posted 16 Jan 2019, 02:39 by Web Admin
  • Lower School Update Hi everyone – Lower School here! We have all had a great half term full of lots of Christmas fun and thought we would share some photos of the great opportunities ...
    Posted 20 Dec 2018, 02:13 by Web Admin
  • AET CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION 2018 – WINNERS!! Well done to Pufferfish Class in our Early Years Department who won the 'Special' category in the AET Christmas Card Competition 2018!!From AET:
    Posted 13 Dec 2018, 00:56 by Web Admin
  • FE AND THE FOREST SCHOOL PROGRAMME  During the Autumn Term, Columbus students have taken part in a Forest School programme with the 'Wilderness Foundation'. All sessions took place offsite and offered new experiences. The programme was ...
    Posted 6 Dec 2018, 03:17 by Web Admin
  • NEWS FROM FE   FE have been enjoying various different sports at Basildon Sporting Village this term as part of their topic 'Sports in the Community’. So far, they have participated in Boccia, Dodgeball ...
    Posted 4 Dec 2018, 00:21 by Web Admin
  • Early Years – Halloween Fun! The Early Years Department had a fantastically spooky and slimy Halloween party!         
    Posted 2 Nov 2018, 04:51 by Web Admin
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 179. View more »


Please Note:  With effect from September 2018 Columbus School and College will be a cashless school (as are the majority of schools now) meaning we will no longer be able to receive payment by cash or cheque.  The means by which you will be asked to pay will be ‘ParentPay’.

Principal’s Blog

Easy Fundraising



Pupil Quotes

  • I like number work in Numeracy, playing football and playing on the field with my friends.
    Daniel Year 8
    Posted 9 Feb 2016, 00:28 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 10. View more »

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Parent Questionnaire

Dear Website Visitor,

Thank you for showing an interest in the Parent Questionnaire I send out to all our families on a bi-annual basis.  I am always interested to hear the views of our parents/carers in order that we can maintain the very highest of standards for our children and young people.  Please follow the links below to see the latest results from the Parent Questionnaire.  You will see that these are true representations of our parents’ views – some positive and some with some points for improvement.  I strongly believe in taking the recommendations for improvements from families and building these into our Academy Improvement Plan or adapting our day-to-day working procedures to improve our services and approaches.  Any concerns raised are considered fully and will form key improvement projects for the months ahead. 

Anonymous Qualitative Comments – June 2016

Quantitative Feedback - Parent Carer Questionnaire June 2016

Final Quantitative Results - Parent Questionnaire - June 2015

Final Anonymous Qualitative Feedback from June 2015 Questionnaire to Parent Carers

Quantitative Results - Pupil and Student Questionnaire - January 2015

Quantitative Results - Parent Questionnaire - January 2015

Quantitative Feedback - Pupil Questionnaire without symbols - January 2015

Anonymous Qualitative findings from January 2015 questionnaire to Pupils and Students

Anonymous Qualitative Feedback from January 2015 Questionnaire to Parent Carers

Parent Questionnaire (Quantitative) - June 2014

Parent Questionnaire - June 2014

Parent Questionnaire - January 2014

Parent Questionnaire - June 2013

Parent Questionnaire - Janunary 2013




Diary Dates

Parents' Evenings:

(3.30 - 5.00 & 6.00 - 7.30)  
School Campus 23rd November
College Campus 30th November, 2017

(3.30 - 5.00 & 6.00 - 7.30)  
School Campus 8th March
College Campus 15th March, 2018

(3.30 - 5.00 & 6.00 - 7.30)  
School Campus 14th June
College Campus 28th June, 2018

Dates of all other events during this academic year can be found in our Columbus Year Planner 2017/2018 in the Parents section of the website.

Ofsted Report