Well what a year it has been! Our school community has continued to go from strength to strength with new opportunities being provided for our students. Our students continue to thrive and their increased confidence, independence and achievements never fail to make me smile. In the last term we have had trips and residential visits galore. Students have learned so much from these experiences. They have come back, exhausted (often a little mucky) and always exhilarated by what they have seen, done and achieved!
We have had our first set of students achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award; a wonderful achievement for them and showing the dedication of the team who supported them. The sense of pride students had as they walked in to school and the continued bond that they have formed through the expedition element of the award is nothing short of magical. There have been numerous fundraising events which students have organised and taken part in. We are particularly proud of the concert that Hazelbeck and Beckfoot students put on to raise funds for Martin House. It was a truly uplifting and heart-warming experience. Our students have taken part in numerous Trust events as well, involving the Arts and Sport. It has been a pleasure to see how they mix with young people from other schools. The Flamingo Chicks ballet group created a beautiful video which was showcased at the Trust Arts performance.
In the last few weeks of the half term a group of staff and students travelled to London to receive the World Class School Quality Mark, we are one of only five Special Schools to have achieved this Award. It is no easy task to achieve it. To be invited to apply, the school has to have the Ofsted outstanding grade. A group of students then have to show how student leadership and independence is developed across the school. Next, a collaborative project is carried out with a mainstream school. For us, this was Beckfoot. Students from both schools worked with endless enthusiasm and determination to put on an afternoon activity session for people from a local elderly residents home. They did a fantastic job and it was not only a fabulous event but strengthened our co-location links with Beckfoot.
We also received the NfER Research Mark Award for our continued and sustained work on improving outcomes of learners through research-based practice. Throughout the year research has been carried out on a range of topics to improve student engagement, communication and independence. The final celebration event showcased the fantastic research that had taken place and the impact this has had for students.
Gaining these awards and the achievements this year is a tribute the amazing team of teachers, support staff and parents who work so hard to create such memorable and remarkable learning environments for our students.
So, now the holidays are upon us. I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing everyone again in September.