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From The Principal…

posted 15 Oct 2014, 05:02 by James Dorey   [ updated 15 Oct 2014, 05:04 ]

Autumn is with us and already we are planning events for Christmas!

Please make a note of our Friends Christmas Fayre which will be taking place on Saturday 29th November on the College Campus from 12pm - 4pm.

 Funds raised will go towards the usual Christmas parties and social events for the children and young people as well as raising funds for our Therapy Fundraising initiative.

For those of you who follow us on Twitter and visit our Just Giving page, you can see how the funds are gradually creeping up! Fund raising events planned to continue this drive are now including a sponsored skydive, music events and a possible extended sponsored walk.

Columbus continues to work in close partnership with PROVIDE (the local NHS) to secure therapy intervention services for our children and young people.

 Currently, Columbus receives five days a week of each of the five therapeutic disciplines (Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy) and fundraisers such as the Christopher the Columbus Carrot aims to boost our coffers a little more so we can purchase more time from PROVIDE in order to deliver even higher levels of therapy to all children and young people.

 Do get behind us and support us if you can!

 Local businesses who have been working more closely with Columbus recently include Ford UK and Abercorn Plant and Garden Centre, Chelmsford.  Abercorn kindly supported us to provide £400 of resources for friends from Ford to come to complete a range of tasks to benefit our young people. These included the repair of 15 bikes on the College Campus (which the young people are already enjoying as part of their Physical Development lessons as well as at break-times). The Ford team also spent a great deal of time creating a vegetable garden outside our Food Technology room on the College Campus and built a rabbit run for our two rabbits who live on College Campus.

 The sensory garden on school was also tidied and given a spruce-up! The young people now have a dedicated area for recycling and eco-studies which we hope to introduce more fully throughout the academic year.

Ford will return in November to install a willow shelter on the College Campus which will provide shelter from wind and sun for our non-ambulant students during their break times.

This is a partnership which we are hoping will become an annual event and benefit those who work for Ford as well as our children and young people. Sincerest thanks goes to the Ford Team (especially Kevin Mully, Nick Pattey and Chris Short) for setting this event up for us!

Thank you to Abercorn for helping us to source all that we needed to make the day a huge success. I am delighted to see that this partnership continues to establish itself.

A newer partnership has formed with the Nationwide Building Society in Chelmsford over recent months. They have held a sponsored walk and have also sold Christopher Columbus Carrots (our academy mascot) in branch. To date they have raised £500 for us! Many thanks to you all at Nationwide for supporting us!

 The achievements of our young people have been celebrated at an Awards Evening at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford this month where they were given recognition for their communication, learning and sporting achievements. The annual Jack Petchey Awards recognises the efforts of young people throughout London and Essex – including mainstream schools – and culminates in an annual awards evening where this year, four of our young people received certificates. It was fantastic to see that the award also gives opportunity for us to recognise and thank staff for their work with our young people.


Sarah Lambert, Learning Support Assistant and stalwart leader for the Discovery Club was also recognised for her services to the academy. Congratulations and thank you to you, Sarah.    

We have had recent confirmation that Columbus will be competing in the East of England Panathlon final on 23rd October in Braintree. This is yet another excellent opportunity for our learners to show what they are capable of and in a competitive setting, I am certain that once again they will come back with rewards for their achievements. I wish them all the very best of luck at this event and look forward to sharing more about the event in my blog next month.

Ginny Bellard