Sport Support

South Holland councillors support safe sport in schools

Priory Muga PupilsCouncillors across South Holland District Council have clubbed together to support a project at The Priory Special School in Spalding.

Sally Slade, District Councillor for Pinchbeck and Surfleet Ward said: “I was keen to support the project as I know how important it is for the children to have structured and safe areas to play and relax in outside.”

Over 12 months ago The Priory School embarked on a project to improve their sport facilities for pupils and to make them safer.

The Priory School effectively meets the needs of pupils aged 11 to 16, all of whom have moderate learning difficulties and many of whom have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Social Communication Difficulties.

Their playground occupies 130 children with special needs and only has some old markings and two free standing netball hoops.

A year ago they received a National Lottery Award and were able to install two large MUGA ends which include football goals, basketball hoops and cricket stumps.

The MUGA’s are a great addition to the playground facilities however, they are positioned on grass and during bad weather, cannot be used. To complete their project they now need to install court surfacing with sport markings for football and basketball, along with secure fencing to enclose the sport court.

By containing the sport court, pupils will have an uninterrupted game of football, netball or basketball without impacting upon other children. Because of The Priory School pupil’s additional needs, they don’t always understand a playground situation and if incidents occur they can be quite catastrophic for them.  The main aim is to include everyone in practical and fun outdoor activities to help them not only burn off excess energy, but also return to the classroom more engaged and ready to learn.

Barrie Taylor, Head of Site at The Priory School said, “We were thrilled to receive the lottery money last year and we are now fully focused on completing this project so that the pupils can enjoy a safer, fully enclosed sport court. Other organisations including Action for Children and Spalding United Youth Teams, will also benefit from this new facility once completed.

“We are very thankful to the councillors across South Holland District Council for getting us off the mark with their kind donations. We are now at £4,000 of a £31,000 target.”

Double Success!

Double Success at the Apprenticeship Awards 2018

John Fielding Apprenticeship Awards Apprentice

Congratulations to Demi Weir and Richard Gamman from John Fielding School in Boston! They both won awards at a fantastic evening celebrating successes of Apprentices and Employers at the Apprenticeship Awards 2018.

The event was held at Boston College and Demi won for 'Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools' and Richard won a special award for his 'Individual Contribution to Apprenticeships', from his work at both The Garth School and John Fielding School. 

Richard Gamman, Head of John Fielding School, said, "I was delighted to be invited along to the Boston College Apprenticeships Award Ceremony on Thursday 8th March because one of our Year 2 Apprentices, Demi Weir, had been nominated as Apprentice of the Year.  I was absolutely thrilled when it was then announced that Demi had beaten off 14 other Apprentices from other disciplines, ranging from Building to Baking, to win the overall award of Apprentice of the Year!" 
"Later in the evening, I was pleased to have the chance to collect an award on behalf of C.I.T. for ‘Continued Support of Local Apprentices’.  This gave me the chance to explain how much the organisation benefits from the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of Apprentices like Demi.  I was able to tell the audience about how Demi comes into work with an unfailingly positive mindset, has astonishing rapport with our students and a natural gift for this line of work."
"The evening ended with a surprise when I was given the final award for ‘Individual Contribution to Apprenticeships’.  This was in recognition of work at The Garth School and John Fielding School, which both have had vibrant Apprenticeship programmes and a real commitment to developing our Apprentices to be the TAs, Teachers and School Leaders of the future."



BTEC Engineering Success!

carWoodlands Academy are pleased to announce that the challenge to restore a Reliant SS1 to MOT standard and sell it for a profit has been achieved!

Woodlands students have been busy restoring the car as part of their BTEC Engineering Qualification.

It proved to be the perfect car for this learning exercise, easy to work on and also economical when it came to purchasing the new parts required.

The car is seen here shortly after it passed its MOT, making it ready for sale.

A progress report was regularly posted on a Reliant website dedicated to their sports cars so it was no surprise that an eager buyer was found through the site.

car2Alan was looking for a car to complete the North Coast 500 which is a scenic 500 mile route around Scotland and when he saw what we had done with our SS1 he knew it was the perfect car for the journey. Rather bravely, Alan’s first drive in the car was to return to his home in Scotland with it, a 360 mile epic first run! It took him 10 hours but he reported back to us that the car ran very well and was a credit to the students and staff that had worked on restoring it.

We now look forward to Alan posting some photos of the car in some stunning Scottish locations!

Wembley Stadium Visit

Wembley England wembley2

At Woodlands Academy as part of the Year 11 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards they ran a camping residential combined with a visit to Wembley Football Stadium to watch England in a world cup qualifier! The trip helped increase camp craft skills required to pass their expedition later in the year, as well as offering unique opportunities and increasing confidence and teamwork.

dfeAs part of a team the students set up their tents on arrival at the camp site before travelling into London to have a meal together. After the game we returned to the camp site and began to build a camp fire so we could eat some marshmallows and let some of the boys partake in group discussions before retiring to our beds.

In the morning the group had to pack away their tents and camping equipment before cooking breakfast and making tea on the stove. It was a big learning curve for a lot of the group which left them feeling a lot more confident ahead of their expeditions.

Well done to all those who took part.

LCC SEND Consultation

Trust Board member backs countywide reforms for special schools

DaranC.I.T. Trust Board Member, Daran Bland, has backed plans to reform the way children with learning needs and disabilities are educated in Lincolnshire. Daran is also the Executive Headteacher of The Priory and Garth Schools in Spalding, and John Fielding School in Boston. He described the new SEND vision for the county as “an exciting and ambitious opportunity for significant improvement in the sector”.

Under the plans unveiled by Lincolnshire County Council last month, Garth and Priory would be merged into one school, but still based at two sites in Pinchbeck Road and Neville Avenue respectively. Currently, The Priory caters for 130 children aged between 11 and 16 with moderate to severe learning difficulties. In contrast, Garth has 55 pupils aged from 2 to 19 with severe to profound and multiple learning difficulties. As well as merging, Garth and Priory would also become part of a “specialist education community” in south-west Lincolnshire along with Gosberton House Academy and The John Fielding Special School in Boston.

Mr Bland said: “The proposed reforms for special needs provision across Lincolnshire are an exciting and ambitious opportunity for significant improvement in the sector. Many of the special schools in Lincolnshire are completely full, resulting in children not being able to access the specialist provision they need or having to travel long distances to get to a school”.

Lincolnshire’s special school head teachers have been working with the county council for around two years to devise the strategy now under consultation. 

“The Garth and Priory Schools have provided excellent provision for children with very wide-ranging needs for many years and the proposals would see the two schools amalgamating into one ‘all needs’ school for children aged 2 to 19, whilst still using both of our current sites. Both schools have worked as a federation for over ten years and, in partnership with each other, have been successfully meeting ‘all needs’, including autism, throughout that time. Under the reforms, there would be major capital investment program across both sites to modernise and expand the buildings we currently have. The proposal at John Fielding School is to build a brand new larger school which too is a hugely exciting opportunity”.

Plans elsewhere in the county include the expansion and improvement of the vast majority of Lincolnshire’s other special schools, as well as innovative pilot schemes to develop greater collaboration between special and mainstream schools.

Mr Bland added, “We have held five consultation events with parents across the three schools that I lead and the overwhelming response to the proposals has been a positive one as they will only serve to improve on what we already do and further improve outcomes for children with special educational needs.”

Changes to special needs education in Lincolnshire have been promoted as a way to “bring accessible, inclusive education in all communities”. Parents across South Holland likely to be affected by the plans have been learning more at consultation meetings across the county.

Put simply, the county council wants to cut the length of school journeys for special needs children, increase the range of disabilities that special schools cater for and build stronger ties between specialist and mainstream schools. A county council report about the plans estimated that 70 per cent of children would be able to go to a school nearer their home, saving between £2 and £3million in transport costs.

Councillor Patricia Bradwell, the county council’s executive member for children’s services, said:

“We want all children to be able to access high-quality education and achieve their potential, as near to their family as possible. These proposals will address many of the challenges pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and their families face when trying to find the right education, in the right place.”