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From The Principal 07/03/2014

posted 9 May 2014, 03:45 by Google Google   [ updated 9 May 2014, 03:45 ]
Pursuing and Celebrating Achievement

It is always with great delight that staff share with me the achievements of the young people they work with on a day to day basis and in my Blog this month, I would like to share with you all some of the wonderful experiences and achievements our students have had in recent weeks.

Sammy Brock, a student in the FE Department has been granted the Young Ambassadors Award in recognition of his work within the Physical Development Department. Sammy is a talented sportsman and pursues a number of sports outside of school to a high level. He can regularly be seen supporting children and young people with their physical development and is an excellent role model for our learners as well as an asset to our learning support team. Sammy aspires to go on to learn more about supporting the subject of PE as he begins to enter the world of work and I am sure that this award will enable him to demonstrate the skills and capabilities he has in this area.

Sammy will receive his award at the end of March at a ceremony to be held at Wembley and his award will be presented to him by former Olympic Champion and Triple Jump World Record holder, Jonathan Edwards.   Congratulations to you Sammy!

Ryan Scott, also a student within the FE Department, has been offered the opportunity to follow the Entry Level City & Guilds work experience course in Working Life at Writtle College later this year.  The partnerships we have outside of Columbus so often lead to greater life outcomes for our young people and I am sure that Ryan will go on to develop even higher capabilities once he embarks on his course. Many congratulations to you, Ryan! We will watch with great interest, your future achievements.

March features “World Book Day” at Columbus and particular highlights of the event have been story sessions provided by Essex County Council’s ‘School Library Service’. Early Years and Key Stage 2 have enjoyed sensory storytelling and Key Stage 3, 4 and the FE Department have been working to develop their drama skills via a series of workshops. The main theme for this day was ‘favourite fictional characters’ and many staff as well as pupils dressed up as favourite book characters. See the photos of the day from next week as they gradually get placed on the school website as well as around school and on the Good News Boards.  

A book token entitling our children and young people to One Free £1 World Book Day book or £1 off a book or audio book worth £2.99 or more in all participating bookshops has been sent out to all families in order that parents and carers can share in the enjoyment of story engagement with their young person at home.

Further awards and achievement celebrations taking place this term are the introduction of ‘The Brock Sporting Award’ which will be awarded by the Physical Development Team later this term for achievements in sport and physical development (including Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Programme achievement). ‘The Richardson Award’ for the Creative Arts is also to be awarded this term in recognition of achievement and development in the area of Art, Dance, Drama and Music. Special assemblies will be taking place throughout the week beginning 31st March to award these accolades with parents and families of those receiving the award being invited to join us in the celebrations – more news to follow via our website and displays around school.  

Development of the arts remains a key area for focus and development at Columbus and we are in the process of arranging Art Festival Days throughout the school whereby all youngsters will have the opportunity to engage with local mainstream schools to explore a range of creative art activities relating to their international schools links or their termly topics. Schools we are hoping to link with include Boreham Primary School, St. John Payne Secondary School, Chelmer Valley High School and Melbourne Park Primary School.  If successful, we hope to make these Art-based links, a termly feature of the learning and social inclusion timetable.

Don’t forget to check the website and the plasma screens around school to develop your own achievements in the areas of Makaton signing! Signs we are learning this month are as follows:

Cow                        week beginning                   3rd March

Pig                           week beginning                    10th March

Sheep                     week beginning                    17th March

Horse                     week beginning                    24th March

Chicken                  week beginning                    31st March

Two final developments to draw your attention to are the creation of a Student Newsletter and The Columbus Store – both initiatives being developed by our young people on the College Campus. Although many of our young people participate in work experience in the local community, for some it is not appropriate but we remain keen to explore opportunities whereby they can have equal opportunity to develop and experience a range of life-experiences. A small group of youngsters are beginning to learn how to create a School Newsletter which will be circulated to families, staff and local groups and businesses we work in partnership with. I am hoping that we will be able to engage a journalist to work with the youngsters and bring authenticity to the learning experience as well as quality to the finished articles themselves.

The Columbus Store is a new initiative that will enable our youngsters to run an adapted shop-type facility and where staff and students from College and the School Campus can come and practice communication, reading and maths-based skills. Watch this space for future reports of progress and establishment of these facilities!

Accomplishments of our young people also often fall into the area of charity and championing the needs of others less fortunate than ourselves. Jono Bone, a young man in our FE Department contacted the Chair of the Columbus Fundraising Committee recently to request the opportunity to arrange a Sponsored Bowling Match. He and the Chair of the Committee, Mr Alan Rayner, arranged the event and raised in excess of £500 which Jono is donating to the Acheeva Learning Station Fund – a piece of equipment which enables non ambulant young people to have full physical support and to protect their individual body shape and respiratory function whilst accessing learning at a range of heights in a range of settings throughout the school. I include a picture below for your information.

Jono, we thank you for your kindness and your generosity. You are a credit to the school.

As I sign off for another month, Jono’s actions once more bring to mind our Community Code – Show Respect, Take Responsibility, Consider Others and Believe in Yourself – a mantra which reminds us all to strive for more, to support and think of others in our endeavours and to never give up!

Regards to you all.

Mrs. G. Bellard