On Monday 16th January eleven pupils in Year 7 accompanied staff to watch’ Aladdin at the Circus’ at Darlaston Town Hall. Pupils helped to cook then eat a meal in School before heading off to watch the show where they also received a goody bag whilst watching an entertaining show. A big thank you to Circus Starr and the businesses who support the event in donating tickets to the School. Finally a very big thank you to the four staff who made it all possible namely Mrs Cadman (who also organised the food and goodies), Mr Damms (trip leader), Mr Webb and Ms Carter – feedback from the young people was of a lovely social event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The booklet containing details of what activities are available for the half term holiday has now been produced by the Short Breaks Team. Parents and Carers who may be inerested need to apply by Monday 23rd January. Details of what is on offer are available in the booklet below together with an expressions of interest form. The new process this year is for applications to be made in writing by email. Any parent or carer who is unable to do this can complete the form and send to School who will organise for this to be sent to the relevant contact.
Elmwood School have been participating in the Woodland Trust’s Green Tree Award as part of our out and about curriculum led by Mr Dan Whittaker. The scheme involves tree planting, visiting local woodlands and recyling iniatives. This all helps to reduce carbon emissions and recycling. We are very grateful to the Woodland Trust for the number of trees we have received over the years which have helped to improve the School grounds and wider community. Our gold plaque will be proudly displayed in our reception area.
As part of our collaboration with Barr Beacon School SCITT programme, Elmwood School is able to offer School Experience Days. Further details can be obtained via the information below as well as on our dedicated website page – School to School support, Teaching Schools Alliance. Mr Cross, Deputy Head, will gladly offer any advice to interested applicants.
During out and about lessons students have visited Pentalver Cannock Limited where they have enjoyed the opportunity of seeing how containerisation works within the UK and around the world. Students were shown inside the different containers (including a cold refrigerated one!), as well as enjoying the experience of sitting inside the cab of a lorry. The visit ended with all students receiving a free Pentalver lorry model, pen, baseball style hard hat and a personalised Elmwood School hi-vis jacket. Many thanks to Nick Matthews and his team (Ade and Nick) for making it all possible and to Mr Whittaker, Outdoor Learning Teacher, at Elmwood. A return visit has been suggested for March 2017 when pupils will be able to access onsite workshops, looking under a vehicle in the pits as well as being shown what an engine looks like.
On Tuesday 8th November we welcomed Steven Freer from the LPPA to assess our application for re application of the above award. We were delighted to learn that we have been successful and look forward to receiving the report in due course together with relevant logo for use on our stationery and website. Well done to everyone who made this possible especially the three parents who met with the Assessor, Mrs Carter, Miss Wright and Mrs Clewley.
On Thursday 10th November we held our annual Remembrance Service with members from the Staffordshire Regiment. Parents and carers, as well as other visitors, joined the whole School in this commemorative service which was a delight to behold. Our young people have been very busy creating a poppy trail, writing thank you messages and making ceramic poppies ahead of the event (representatives from Year 7 presented each member of the Regiment with a sourvenir poppy at the end of the service). All pupils are to be commended for their excellent behaviour during the service, we are very proud of you. Photographs are available on our photo gallery page. Thank you to Ms Shaw, Food Technology Teacher, for organising the day. We received a lovely thank you letter from Andy Singer from The Staffordshire Regiment following the event, a copy of which is attached. Staffordshire Regiment Thank You Letter
Well done to Ms Shaw, Food Technology Teacher, and her BTEC/Asdan students (ably assisted by Mr Holmes, Asdan Teacher) who organised, prepared and delivered a fantastic three course meal to invited guests on Wednesday 12th October. The Italian themed meal was to a very high standard and thoroughly enjoyed by all. A big thank you to all those who attend who included the Mayor, Kath Phillips and her husband Maurice, Dave Bryan, Community Police Officer, David Matthews, School Nurse, Pete Hickinbottom, Great Wyrley Boxing Club, Giovani from Gio’s Italian and Governor Dave Watton. Steven certainly looks the part behind the wheel of the Mayor’s car! Pupils should be very proud of themselves as the feedback was amazing and the countdown is on for the next event! Further photographs are on the photo gallery page.
We will be holding an open day event on Thursday 13th October at 3.30 pm for any interested parents/carers of pupils currently in Year 6. This will be an ideal opportunity to visit and look at our well resourced School, meet with staff and understand our values and ethos. We look forward to welcoming you to our School.
As you know we have been looking into the option of becoming an Academy as part of ATT (one of only 7 Ofsted identified successful academy groups which actually improve life chances for young people).
Our main reason was that we are seriously underfunded as part of the Local Authority. Loads of preparatory work has been done; an Academy order has been granted and we were due to convert on the 1st October.
However over the past few weeks it has become apparent that far from being better off as an Academy we would actually be worse off because all Academy chains take a percentage (3-8%) for their services. This money comes directly from the School’s, already overstretched, budget and in our case from some of the most vulnerable young people in Walsall.
On a personal note I may well have been better off but we could well have been facing staff redundancies in the near future, to balance the books, compromising our independence and safety. As it is we are facing a substantial deficit this year due to cuts in Local Authority funding and a carryover of last year’s deficit.
We are looking at other options and are happy to remain with the Local Authority for the time being. (Local Authority maintained schools are currently outperforming Academies and Free Schools, a fact that the Government don’t want you to know). Academisation is not in itself improving education, but it is allowing many people to suck substantial amounts of money out of the education system in inflated salaries and duplicated services that ought to be going to fund improving life chances for young people.
It may be that at some point Academy status is the right thing for Elmwood but in the meantime we will continue lobbying the Local Authority to fund the school fairly as we have always been a poor relation in the spectrum of ‘specials’ in Walsall. Despite this our social, emotional and academic outcomes are amongst the best nationally and we certainly outperform all similar schools in the West Midlands.