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…

    The Summer Term starts here!

    We have a busy and fun-packed term ahead of us with various sporting events, musical interaction training for teachers and LSAs and of course our annual CFest Summer Fayre!

    I am delighted to be returning to Columbus full time after my maternity leave and to round off the academic year together with the team. This evening will see the first of four Autism training sessions delivered by me for our Learning Support Assistants which I am very much looking forward to. I am sure we will be sharing many varied experiences and skills to continue to move forward our Autism support strategies across the team.

    I continue to review and reflect upon the learning and social experiences we offer to our young people at Columbus and this term I am keen to look at further enrichment opportunities with community groups. Talented local musician, Adam Amore will be joining the Columbus team on the College Campus to present a range of interactive music sessions for the young people to join in with and also for our Teachers and Learning Support Assistants to begin to learn a little more about how to present communication and music enrichment activities – even when we are not all musicians! I look forward to sharing a range of photos and videos of the work that takes place in my next blog.

    As a part of this enrichment review, I am very excited to be meeting next week with Mr. Kadir, Mr. Nawaz and Mr. Syed from the Chelmsford Mosque to discuss ways in which we can work together to enable our young people to learn about people of different faiths and backgrounds. Together we will be exploring community awards and certificates that the children and young people can gain in recognition of their learning and interaction with a range of community settings and groups and I hope that our friends from the mosque will be a part of future awards ceremonies and celebrations at Columbus.

    As you will be aware from my recent communications, we continue to work hard on fundraising initiatives. We have recently received a range of outdoor learning and physical development equipment and seating spaces specifically selected for our young people who use wheelchairs. This will enable them to enjoy our outdoor social spaces but have shelter from the sun as we enter the summer months. 


    We have also received another Acheeva Learning Station during the Easter holiday which was kindly funded by Santander. This amazing piece of equipment enables us to ensure the physical comfort of our learners during their learning time at Columbus which enables the young people to feel ready to learn and engage.

    Events to celebrate and thank our kind donators will be taking place in the weeks ahead.

    The community of Burnham-on-Crouch and St Mary’s Church congregation very kindly nominated the Friends of Columbus School and College Fundraising Committee as their chosen charity when they celebrated World Autism Day on Sunday the 2nd April. You will see from the photograph below that the service was a stunning event where the church was illuminated in blue to link in with the “Autism Speaks” charity initiative. Thank you to Lorraine Lazaro and her friends for supporting Columbus in this way. Funds raised from the event will go towards the development of our Autism curriculum and training for staff. 


    I am pleased to announce that the Friends of Columbus School and College Fundraising Committee has recently been named as one of three local charities to be the Chelmsford Mayor’s Charity for 2017-2018. Claire Rayner and I went to deliver a presentation to the new Mayor and his Deputy about the committee and the work they do to enhance the experiences and services we offer to our children and young people. They were very interested to hear about our very special young people and I was delighted to hear that he and his Deputy had really taken us to their hearts. In the coming months, we will be involved in arranging a number of different social events which I hope many of you will be able to attend. Chelmsford City MENCAP and Age Concern are the other two nominated charities for the year that will be working with us in the months ahead.

    I would like to take this opportunity to invite staff, parents and friends of the school to join Claire and I to form a Working Party that arranges these events with the Mayor and his team. Events being discussed so far are Quiz Nights, a Cheese and Wine evening in the Meadows shopping centre, a Christmas Ball at Channels Golf Club, a community performance at the Civic Theatre and a fashion show with John Lewis in Bond Street, Chelmsford.

    If you are interested in joining us in this exciting opportunity, please email the PA to the Principal, Pauline Miller, at pmiller@columbusschoolandcollege.org.

    At our recent training day on the 31st March I was able to take some time with staff to talk about renewing our collective vision for all we do at Columbus. This was following a session on vision for our academy that I had had with a team of Governors earlier in the month. Staff and Governor comments, which all depicted a wish for an organisation of support, opportunity and joined-up working, will be collated into a community vision which I look forward to sharing with you all soon.

    Until next month everyone….!

    Mrs. Ginny Bellard

    Posted 24 Apr 2017, 02:45 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 47. View more »
A Day in the Life of... 

    I first became a governor in around 1998 when my stepson attended our predecessor school, The Hayward. At the time Essex Country Council were proposing to cut over 1000 special school places, because they considered that all children with moderate learning difficulties would be better off educated in mainstream schools with additional support. We had seen, and rejected, the offering for MLD in various mainstream comprehensives and therefore I attended some “consultation” meetings with Essex County Council’s education professionals to make the case for continuation of this provision. The then Headteacher was also at these meetings and asked me to volunteer as a parent governor.

    After my son left, I was asked to continue as an Authority Governor. This meant that I was involved through a massive and significant period of changes, including:

    • The development of an autism speciality within the Hayward including accreditation by the National Autistic Society; 
    • Starting to work more closely with the Woodlands School; 
    • As that joint working grew, the development of the Essex New Model Special School concept, which led to the two schools being “federated” with a single joint governing body and the senior leadership teams merging and assuming responsibility for both schools – now known as Chelmsford New Model Special School; 
    • Amalgamation of the two schools into one, which was named Columbus; 
    • Bidding for, and receiving, funding under the government’s “Building Schools for the Future” project, allowing us to move into our two state of the art campuses; 
    • Deciding to become an Academy, and joining the country’s largest Multi-Academy Trust – the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). 

    After a period as vice-chair, when the previous chair had to reduce his involvement due to health and family reasons, I was elected by the governors as Chair, around five years ago. As chair I communicate with the Principal several times each week, discussing issues that have arisen within Columbus – be they related to staffing matters, pupil issues, problems with the building or internal IT networks, or anything else that crops up. I am also one of the first to learn of most of the good news – whether it is achievements by our young people or successes by the fundraising team in persuading people and companies to part with their money.

    I spent three years as a trustee of AET, representing the interests of all Special Schools within the group.

    Professionally, I am an Internal Auditor – this is a role within a company that reviews all company activities and reports to senior management on the effectiveness of process and management of risks. I have previously worked for two multinational car manufacturers and a mobile telephone company; my current employer is a vehicle leasing company – the largest in the world with over 600,000 customers, all of whom are disabled.

    I have been married 20 years, and have three adult stepsons, who between them have given us five grandchildren, one of whom lives with us and keeps me young and very busy.

    My main interest outside of work, when family commitments permit, relates to model aircraft flying. I am the Treasurer of the National governing body (we are to model flying what the FA is to football), and I am heavily involved in the organisation of the annual National Championships which is believed to be the largest such event outside of the USA.

    I am proud to be part of the Columbus team, and look back with pleasure at what we have achieved.

    Keith Lomax
    Chair of Governors
    Posted 24 Apr 2017, 02:53 by James Dorey
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Latest News

  • KS3 MEET THE LOCAL FIRE BRIGADE    Pupils in Key Stage 3 had a fantastic afternoon recently, when the local Fire Brigade brought a fire engine to visit School Campus! The pupils had the opportunity to try ...
    Posted 27 Mar 2017, 06:47 by James Dorey
  • KS2 – Great Britain   Key Stage Two are continuing with their Great Britain topic this half term. In Geography, they have been learning about the good old British Weather. Class 6 had lots of ...
    Posted 16 Mar 2017, 06:31 by James Dorey
  • KS4 Learn About the Community Code
    Posted 16 Mar 2017, 02:51 by James Dorey
  • Transition event - Thursday 26th March. See poster for full details.
    Posted 13 Mar 2017, 07:28 by James Dorey
  • World Book Day – Class 16
    Posted 6 Mar 2017, 05:00 by James Dorey
  • Pancake Day Fun!
    Posted 2 Mar 2017, 04:07 by James Dorey
  • COLUMBUS ARE WINNERS of the first Post-16 Panathlon Challenge! Congratulations to everyone who took part in the first Post-16 Panathlon Challenge. Read an article written by Panathlon here:http://panathlon.com/post-16-panathlon-a-breakthrough-victory/You ...
    Posted 27 Feb 2017, 04:24 by James Dorey
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 158. 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...

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Pupil Premium Grant

Columbus Fundraising


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