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.

Show respect,  take responsibility, consider others, believe in yourself

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...

  • From The Principal…

    Columbus - Onwards and Upwards!

    As we enter the final half term of the academic year, our team’s pace and focus for school improvement does not let up!

    We have all enjoyed a training day on the 5th June where we have focussed upon building communication support approaches for our young people. We have re-visited the importance of individually designed communication support tools and our class teams are now populating an updated version of the Columbus Communication Passport to ensure that every child and young person with a communication need is fully understood. This document will also ensure that staff (established team members and those new to the team) take time to reflect upon specific communication needs and approaches and ensure that we are providing targeted and relevant support. It is also important to remind ourselves of how communication opportunities and resources that help our young people to tell us what they need or share how they are felling, aids their wellbeing.

    This half term will see time invested in the development of the communication environment itself. We aim to enrich the displays, rooms and corridors across the School and the College campuses to aid the process of “way-finding” for our young people and to promote their understanding of the place in which they learn and grow in independence.

    Watch out for our new signs!

    I was very excited to meet with our PMLD Development project team just before the half term break, to share and celebrate the curriculum review they have been working on. For some time now, I, and the rest of the PMLD teachers, have been reflecting upon how we can best provide relevant and meaningful learning and social interaction experiences for our young people based in the PMLD classes.

    This half term will see a pilot project where our three PMLD class teachers in Key Stages 1, 3 and 4 will trial a PMLD targeted timetable focussing intently upon cognition (understanding and awareness), sensory, communication, physical development and social interaction across every learning session. Instead of labelling learning time according to a subject, the learning session will be named, structured, resourced and delivered according to the SEND specific support focus. While the children and young people will still access the full range of relevant curriculum subjects and opportunities, the planning, resourcing and learning experience will be more intently directed towards the individuality of these learners, their communication, sensory and physical needs and the promotion of their social inclusion and development.

    The team will also be trialling a new tracking format which will form a part of the young person’s Learning Progress Report. The tracker will focus upon the level of the young person’s engagement, attention and participation in a lesson or activity.

    Over the course of this half term, the team will also be dovetailing our Key Skills Curriculum with key areas of focus from the SEND Code of Practice 2014 to include learning sessions of Communication (Interaction with peers and adults, sensory stories, speaking and listening, Community-Based Learning, Cognition development (Science, Numeracy, ICT etc.), Physical Development (individual therapy programmes, Swimming, PE, Fine Motor Skills practice), Sensory exploration (visual skills, Food Tech) and Social and Emotional Development (inclusion).

    If successful, this will be rolled out School and College-wide from September. Further updates to follow!

    The Columbus ABA project continues to go from strength to strength across the School and the College campuses. Recent data analysis has taken place and has been independently verified by experts at Bangor University.

    It is wonderful to see how our fundraising efforts to enable this work to continue have benefitted the young people across Columbus. It has been heartwarming to hear of our successes transferring into the home setting too with children and young people on the programme beginning to talk for the first time, families being able to widen their social experiences because of the calming effect the programme has had on the young people and indeed the day to day successes of the young people on the programme as they become more ready to “learn to learn”, communicate and interact.

    I am currently in the process of constructing a further training event for ABA staff to share their successful teaching and support techniques with colleagues across School and College. This will widen the impact of this initiative further as we share impactful techniques that all will be able to transfer into their own classrooms and learning activities. This will continue to build upon the recent Learning Support Assistant training I have delivered in the area of “Advancing Learning” – a series of training sessions for LSAs to hone and develop their professional skills.

    Assessments and programmes will be updated over the course of this half term ready for the start of the new academic year. A plan for the partnership with the ABA consultant to continue working with Columbus into the academic year 2017-2018 is currently being created so that these successes can continue into the future.

    And finally…

    It has been wonderful to work closely with our Governors recently to report to them on the progress made in key areas of the school, to help them to develop their own comprehensive training and development programmes and to share with them, aims and focus areas for further ongoing School and College improvement. Recent events have included, learning walks, safeguarding panel reviews and standards reporting by key stage. In the coming half term, Governors will be visiting to observe the effect of our teaching and therapy interventions on pupil progress and to learn about our assessment and reporting procedures.

    I look forward to updating you all in this area in my next blog.

    With regards to you all,

    Ginny Bellard

    Posted 5 Jun 2017, 07:12 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 49. View more »
A Day in the Life of... 

    I started work at Columbus in September 2013 following 10 years as the Receptionist/First Aider at Springfield Primary and two years as a Maths specialist LSA at Newlands Spring Primary. I can be found at School Campus reception desk, although occasionally I can be seen walking around the campus trying to locate classes or members of staff when they are away from their class base.

    As School Campus receptionist, I have a wide and varied role including all first contact made with the school so hopefully, I exude a calm and approachable demeanour. I greet all visitors to the campus and ensure that they are made to feel welcome and that Reception is a small, calm oasis in which parents and visitors can relax. I also deal with aspects of pupil attendance and produce a report for the Senior Leadership Team so that they can monitor the attendance daily. I ensure that the dinners ordered with the kitchen and monies received are correct.

    As Lead Administration Assistant for School Campus, I am responsible for ensuring all pupil information is up-to-date on our database. Towards the end of every academic year the Administration Team will have started to prepare for the new academic year, and I will already be preparing all the new admissions for entry onto our computer system and making sure that the paperwork for our existing pupils is moved to their new classes smoothly. This will enable the classes to have all pupil information to hand when the new term starts in September.

    I oversee the administration of the School Campus Parents’ Evenings, making sure that our ParentMail and manual booking system runs smoothly.

    I thoroughly enjoy working on Reception and thrive on the challenges which arise daily, especially as no two days are ever the same! I don’t think I could ever go back to working at a mainstream school; I’d miss our pupils too much and miss watching them achieve every little hard-fought for step.

    In my other life, I have two children/adults of 19 and 22, a husband and cat. I am also a Beaver and Scout leader at a local group and spend a lot of the school holidays camping – even in February! I am the Child Welfare Officer and scorer at Writtle Cricket Club, so every Saturday during the summer is spent driving around Essex with my scorebook and coloured pens hoping for good weather and a decent match.

    Steph Matthews
    Lead Administration Assistant, School Campus
    Posted 12 Jun 2017, 00:16 by James Dorey
  • Tracey Plane – Head of Learning, FE Department

    When I started my teacher training at the University of Bath, I always remember being asked the question ‘where do you want to be in 3 years’ time’? Most people would answer with ‘a head of department’, ‘head of year’, etc., but I answered with ‘being a PE teacher in a special needs school.’ My college tutor said that this wasn’t a job and people just don’t become PE teachers in special schools.

    In my third year of teaching I became a PE teacher at Columbus School and College in 2009. I am sure you will agree I would love to meet my tutor now and tell her the job is possible!

    I have always enjoyed sports and taking part in many clubs in my personal time. However, Judo was always the sport that was my favourite. I have done it since I was four years old and have travelled to many places representing my country. My proudest moment had to be in 2015 when I took part in the World Championships and took a Bronze and in the Europeans taking Silver. The school supported me in my dream and even made me a Judo themed Christopher Carrot!

    I started my teaching career in a mainstream school and taught PE and Science until I saw a position at Columbus. I applied for the job and was lucky enough to be offered the role. Since working at Columbus I have had many wonderful experiences working with the students and watching them grow into strong minded and independent young people. I have supported 15 educational visits in my time to a number of destinations - Sailing, Wales, Mersea, Bradwell, Southampton, Tenerife, and Portugal. I think these are an excellent way for students to gain confidence, build independence and prepare for the next stages of their life and I always enjoy supporting the students on these visits.

    I was a member of the Physical Development team from 2009 - 2015 and in this time I was also the Head of Learning for two years. In 2012 we were lucky enough to take a group of students to the London 2012 Games and watched football, athletics and basketball. It really was lovely to give the students this opportunity. In 2014 the PD Department was nominated for the Active Essex School of the Year award and we were extremely proud to have won this and be the first ever Special School to win too! Everyone involved found the awards ceremony very rewarding.

    In my spare time and during school holidays I was an active member of the Discovery Club and ran the scheme as a play worker until 2014.

    Then in 2015 I moved across to the FE Department where I am now a Head of Learning. I really enjoy this role and have already learnt so many more things since taking on this role. I have lots of new ideas that I look forward to building into the College curriculum for the students and have a real passion for ensuring the students have the best future possible for them, leading a life as independently as they can.

    Over my time at Columbus I have taken part in a number of events to raise money for the school; the Nike London Half Marathon in 2010, the Southend Half Marathon in 2015 and a 10km Nuclear Muddy Races event in 2016. I enjoy a challenge and trying new things - in July I am taking part in a 5km inflatable race along with 12 other staff from Columbus and in May I have entered a 12km Nuclear Muddy Race again.

    I would like to thank the students and staff at Columbus for giving me the opportunities I have had and providing me with the skills, knowledge and expertise to fulfil my initial dream back in college to be a PE teacher for special needs students and to progress into my current role.

    Tracey Plane

    Head of Learning FE
    Posted 22 May 2017, 04:16 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 10. View more »

Latest News

  • KS3 DUCKLINGS!   Many of the School Campus pupils had the opportunity to meet the ducklings last week and even watched them swim! The pupils worked on developing their personal and communication skills ...
    Posted 22 Jun 2017, 04:24 by James Dorey
  • News from Class 2    Class 2 have had great fun exploring this Term's Topic, 'Out and About', and enjoyed creating beautiful nature collages. The children collected some natural materials, like grass, leaves and ...
    Posted 20 Jun 2017, 00:34 by James Dorey
  • News from Reception   The topic this term is 'Out and About' and the Reception class went on the local bus. On the way they saw shops and a hospital. They enjoyed ringing the ...
    Posted 16 Jun 2017, 06:03 by James Dorey
  • News from Class 3   Class 3 have been enjoying and working very hard in their Music Therapy sessions this term; enhancing their listening, communication and fine motor skills!
    Posted 16 Jun 2017, 05:58 by James Dorey
  • News from Nursery …….  The Nursery children have been continuing to develop their matching and sorting skills during their Maths sessions. 
    Posted 12 Jun 2017, 03:31 by James Dorey
  • COLLEGE STUDENT COUNCIL COMPETITION   The College Student Council recently ran a poster competition. The purpose was to create a 'Keeping Safe and Keeping Healthy' poster. Each class had a different focus: • Healthy Eating – Bad ...
    Posted 12 Jun 2017, 00:30 by James Dorey
  • 1st Broomfield Columbus Scouts   The '1st Broomfield Columbus Scouts' is now open and we held our first meeting on 12th May. Eight Columbus pupils have joined us as Scouts and are learning to follow ...
    Posted 21 May 2017, 23:55 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 165. View more »

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 »

From The Principal...

Ginny Bellard

Train as a Teacher

Train as a Teacher at Columbus School and College...

Please click here for further information

Pupil Premium Grant


We are delighted to announce that John Mean, from Sainsbury's in Springfield, will be running the 2017 London Marathon for Friends of Columbus School and College.

Please find the below link for Johns's fundraising page;


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

24th November 2016 -  Parents’ Evening School Campus

1st December 2016 -  Parents’ Evening College Campus

9th March 2017 -  Parents’ Evening School Campus

16th March 2017 -  Parents’ Evening College Campus

15th June 2017 -  Parents’ Evening School Campus

29th June 2017 -  Parents’ Evening College Campus

Ofsted Report