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...


    Dear Parents and Carers,

    A happy and healthy new year to you all.

    I am delighted to be able to write my first letter as the new Principal at Columbus School and College. All the staff and children have made me feel very welcome and I feel privileged to be joining the school community. As many of you will know, I previously worked here for over 16 years. The positive, warm atmosphere and constant drive for improvement at Columbus makes it a very special place.

    I would like to formally share my immense gratitude to Tom Jackson-Owens as Acting Principal and Gary Corbett, Assistant Vice-Principal, for their leadership during the Autumn Term and to Malcolm Reeve for his expertise, advice and additional leadership support during this period. I am delighted that Tom is resuming his role as Vice-Principal, Gary is continuing his role as Assistant Vice-Principal and Malcolm is now supporting as Chair of Governors for Columbus. My role as Principal across both the School and College is to ensure the Academy provides consistent high quality teaching and learning, working closely with the skilled teams in each department supported by the senior leadership team.

    My duties will be conducted on School Campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings and on College Campus on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday afternoons.

    My priority as Principal is to ensure that Columbus continues to provide an outstanding education for every pupil and young person. Not only do I want to get to know the pupils, staff and school community this term but also establish an excellent team to work alongside me. This is to ensure we are able to continue to meet the needs of all our pupils to achieve their full potential in their academic, creative, personal, physical, moral and spiritual development.

    Your child is placed at the heart of everything we do. Our team of staff are skilled, hardworking and committed to developing your whole child, not just their academic ability. We recognise that success for every child will be different and we celebrate this in numerous ways. Achievement and good behaviour are encouraged using a positive approach.

    We aim to work closely with families; you are welcome to come into school at any time to discuss any issues. You know your child best and we believe that working together is the best way. Home school diaries, home visits and social events are all part of this partnership.

    I look forward to meeting you all over the course of the next few weeks and invite you to share any thoughts or concerns you may have.

    I would like to thank you personally for your continued commitment and support towards the staff and pupils of this school.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ms Karen Clark


    Posted 9 Jan 2018, 03:21 by Web Admin
  • ACTING PRINCIPAL’S BLOG – December 2017


    The young people and staff have been busily preparing for their Christmas performances, parties and events over the last few weeks and we hope you enjoyed all the Christmas festivities in the run up to the end of term.


    Once again our Key Stage 3 pupils took part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival on 14th November, at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford.  This year they performed ‘Romeo and Juliet’


    Peige Aarons, an LSA on College Campus and also a member of the Friends of Columbus Committee organised a Fire Walk on 11th November at Broomfield Football Club in Chelmsford.  The evening was fairly well supported and a profit of approximately £4,350 was made.  Thanks to Peige for organising this event and to everyone who took part or supported in some way

    We are delighted to let you know that the total amount raised so far from the Friends Christmas Fair held on 1st December is £2,399. Thank you very much to everyone who helped and supported with this event and thanks to our sponsors Beresfords in Chelmsford.

    Friends are always looking for new members or offers of help so, if you feel you can help them in any way, please let us know.


    By the time you read this Blog you may have seen your child’s Christmas performance on School Campus or attended the Christmas Market on College Campus. We hope everyone enjoyed these very special events.


    This year we are very grateful to Gepp & Sons, Solicitors, 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.


    The kitchens and Catering Team were inspected recently and received a 5 Star Award with a quote from the inspector of ‘Excellent Standards’.  Well done to them!


    We were very honoured to be visited by Sir Trevor Brooking, Lady Hikka Brooking, representatives from the Lady and Lord’s Taverners and Laser Electrical to carry out the official opening of the upgraded sensory rooms on College Campus recently.  The Lord’s Taverners awarded the school a £15,000 grant for new sensory equipment with a significant part of the grant (£8,000) being provided by Laser Electrical, a local business.  Guests were given the opportunity to see how the new sensory equipment is used to support children with severe learning difficulties in their learning.  Guests saw two sessions and also had the opportunity to see some classrooms.


    I am very sorry if parents/carers have not been completely updated about the PD arrangements this term. In case you were not notified then this can be summarised as follows.  Cherie Lashmar is now Head of Learning for Key Stage 2 as Allison Dutaut left last summer, and each Key Stage has one PD teacher who teaches all the PD to the children in that Key Stage.

    There has been a fair amount of disruption to the swimming timetable this term and this has been down to staffing levels and safety. We have managed to address this issue now, although it should be noted that swimming is a high risk activity and therefore it is cancelled if there are any health and safety concerns, such as staffing levels. 

    24X7 LTD.

    I’m very glad that many of the issues with 24X7 Ltd. are now sorted out. Parents/carers will be aware that the relationship between parents and 24X7 Ltd. is overseen by Essex County Council Passenger Transport Team and issues with any route need to go to 24X7 Ltd. in the first instance and then to the Passenger Transport Team. We can give advice to parents and 24X7 Ltd.  but it is not in our remit to oversee or manage 24X7 Ltd.


    Some parents/carers have suggested that we look at how other special schools organise their INSET days. Some parents shared that some schools group all their INSET days together, so that pupils have one week extra attached to one school holiday a year. Many schools organise INSET days in the way that we currently do it. I will share all this with Karen Clark when she arrives and when we start planning next year’s INSET dates.


    Some parents/carers have shared that they feel that Graduation Assemblies should be done in classes, rather than in hall, which is often distressing and loud for their children. Some parents would prefer a smaller event and I will share this with Karen and Louise Doe.


    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 29th November to share a little more about the work we do with our very special 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 experience.  Our sincere thanks go to the group for their extended interest in and support of our academy.


    Congratulations to Wyatt Morgan, a pupil in Early Years, whose design was entered into the AET Christmas Card Competition 2017.  This competition is open to all special academies within AET.  An entry from another special academy, Wishmore Cross, won this year but we have posted Wyatt’s entry onto our social media for everyone to see.  Well done Wyatt!


    As the year draws to a close I always like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported our ongoing fundraising efforts in any way.  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.


    A reminder that the last day of term is Wednesday 20th December and pupils return on Thursday 4th January.  Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd January are INSET days. Taxis have been informed.

    These two training days will be used to ensure that all staff have the very latest mandatory Safeguarding Children in Education training and refresher training in Moving and Positioning, Dysphagia, Epilepsy awareness and Gastronomy and EHCP updates for all staff.

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Mr. Tom Jackson-Owens

    Acting Principal 
    Posted 19 Dec 2017, 02:04 by Web Admin
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 55. View more »
A Day in the Life of... 


    08:50 – 09:30: Morning Tutor Time

    The students of FE5 begin to arrive off of their taxis with many now walking independently to class. Once all present in class, there are a number of important jobs that the students take responsibility for across the week. Money is checked for their daily activities, key equipment is organised and most importantly the lunch orders are taken. Once tutor jobs are done, our students often choose a morning activity to complete. Some of our tutor time highlights are Austin independently constructing and remote controlling a Hornsby train set, Billy and Gabriel driving a World War 1 model tank replica around the outside area and witnessing the daily outfit from Freddie’s fancy dress collection…policeman, cowboy, prisoner, Mrs Brown and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast to name but a few!


    09:30-2:30: Outdoor Pursuits

    Wednesday is one of FE5’s days out in the community. The students read through a PowerPoint of their session routine in class and then begin to collect their money and equipment. Today is Archery at Skreens Park. The group gets a mini-bus and arrives promptly, ready to start their session. This is led by the excellent instructors who engage really well with the group. The FE5 students love a competition and quickly want to hit the bullseye with their arrows to score 10 points! Rees was the star archer today, firing his arrows accurately including popping balloons attached around the targets. Everyone in the class made great progress throughout the activity improving with every arrow fired.

    After the activity, the class enjoys their packed lunches outside in the sunshine amongst the peaceful surroundings of the countryside. With lunches finished, the group plays some sports in the afternoon. It is great to see Rees and Freddie playing football, Oliver and Joseph practising tennis and cricket and the class in general interacting and socialising together.


    3:00-3:15: Afternoon Tutor Time

    The class gets ready for taxi time with Oliver collecting the taxi list and Jade collecting the letters ready to be handed out. Students help tidy up, put away any activity money and then head off independently to taxis.


    FE5 are a great class and enjoy anything active. All of the class staff enjoy working with the students and are particularly forward to helping them get Hallam’s Café up and running as well as supporting them in the Post 16 Panathalon in the next few weeks.   


    Amy Hayes & James Blake

    FE5 Tutors

    Posted 11 Jul 2017, 07:35 by Web Admin
  • Bradley Smith, FE2


    My name is Bradley Smith, I am 17 years old and in FE2 at the College Campus. My friends are James, Lauren, Ethan and Ewan.

    I work hard and like to do well in class. I like going to the gym, my favourite things are the bikes. My favourite lesson is Enterprise and Art where I really enjoy designing and painting a bowl. I like doing jobs around college and enjoy helping my tutors by changing the screens on PowerPoint slides.

    At the weekends I like going to McDonalds. My favourite meal is a cheese burger, chips, coke and for desert a Mc Flurry. However, my all-time favourite meal is roast pork and Yorkshire pudding.

    I also like feeding the ducks in my walks around Danbury Park and enjoy bowling with my mum (and I always win!). I enjoy watching films and my favourite film is Toy Story. At home I also like sleeping, and using the foot spa in college!

    Sharon Wright and Leon Samuel helped me put this together

    Name - Bradley Smith

    Job Title - Member of the Student Council for FE2
    Posted 29 Jun 2017, 01:18 by Web Admin
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 12. View more »

Latest News

  • Happy Christmas from Class 12
    Posted 13 Dec 2017, 23:54 by Web Admin
  • 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
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 166. View more »


We are delighted to say that Claire Eades, Administration Assistant on School Campus, will be running the London Marathon in April in aid of Columbus School and College. Claire obtained a place personally and has very kindly agreed to nominate Columbus as her chosen charity.

A donations page has been set up for Claire if you would like to donate or if you have any business links who might be interested in supporting Claire in this immense endeavour.

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

Train as a Teacher

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

Please click here for further information

Pupil Premium Grant

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