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From The Principal 11/02/2014

posted 9 May 2014, 03:37 by Google Google   [ updated 9 May 2014, 03:37 ]

Strength in Partnership

Already we find ourselves entering February and, although those New Year’s resolutions may seem a dim and distant memory for some of us, the Columbus team continues to strive forward on all fronts to ensure the very best for our young people.

Interesting and exciting events and developments to update you all on this month include the Essex Coalition for Disabled People’s (ECDP) Engagement and Motivation Day held at Columbus on the 22nd January. This exciting new partnership which is gradually emerging between us and ECDP saw a number of our students (both past and present) as well as young people with a disability, come together to discuss issues that are current for them in their personal life and when engaging with their local community. Paralympic Tennis Champion, Louise Hunt, joined the group to share life experiences as well as her sporting achievements. We hope to be able to facilitate the meeting of this forum into the future in order to inform local policy and champion the voice of those with SEND.

Social experiences, especially those that enable us to interact with friends and colleagues from mainstream schools, remain highly valued here at Columbus. This term will see our students entering their artwork into the “Year of the Bear” competition with Colchester Zoo and hopefully reaffirming links with local schools to join in partnership art and craft projects.

Social interaction and enabling us all to communicate with our young people continues to be highly valued – don’t forget to check our website for the “Sign of the week”! February’s signs are biscuit, toast and duck!

We hope to begin to develop our Columbus YouTube Channel soon and enable all these signs to be illustrated and demonstrated by skilled practitioners from Columbus.

We continue to believe that sharing our experiences and knowledge of our very special setting, helps and guides future teachers and we are looking forward to receiving trainee teachers from Billericay SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) later this month. Not only does this partnership help inform trainee teachers and raise the profile of SEND provision locally, it also enables us to learn more about what takes place in the mainstream setting, build links with other mainstream schools and develop social inclusion links for the future.

Each department at Columbus, with their ongoing links with countries throughout the world, will this month be learning a little more about China. To mark Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival with our learners this term, we are once again joining the celebrations by sharing opportunities to learn a little about Chinese culture and language. The British Council (The UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations) shares resources and enables us to forge international links to help us to educate our young people about the people we share our world with – keep an eye out for new displays, photos on our website and information in your child’s home-school book about the new things they have explored or experienced for Chinese New Year.

The Half Term Holiday is fast approaching – please do make contact with the Discovery Club here at Columbus if you wish to receive support during the holiday.

Regards to you all.

Mrs. G. Bellard

Principal