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From The Principal…

posted 24 Apr 2017, 02:45 by James Dorey

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

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