As part of the School’s outdoor learning training in the summer term 2017, staff were enlightened on the growing and using of flax by a local expert, Anne (http://www.flaxland.co.uk/index.html). Under Anne’s guidance, staff participated in the process of preparing dried flax to produce thread which could later be turned into linen style fabrics. The benefits of using fax was demonstrated on a recent episode of Countryfile on BBC1 with the building of a boat. A link to the programme is below for anyone who would like to learn more about this subject.
On Friday 19th July 2019 one of Elmwood’s most loved and dedicated members of staff, Di Cadman, retired from School. Di has worked at the School since it opened in January 2008 having previously worked at Daw End School from 1998 until its closure at the end of December 2007. To celebrate her journey over the years, a very special assembly was held in her honour on Thursday 18th July 2019. Not only were the whole school present but also ex members of staff and Governors from both Daw End as well as Elmwood School however the biggest surprise was Di’s family being there and witnessing the real affection that everyone feels for Di. After a lovely assembly by Mr Hubbard, Headteacher, a buffet was enjoyed by all. The pupils were a credit to Elmwood and behaved exemplary during the whole event – we are proud of you all. The door will always be open to Di to call in any timeand we wish her a very happy and healthy retirement. You will be greatly missed.
Our annual epic sports day event is due to take place on Wednesday 17th July commencing at 10.00 am and concluding at approximately 2.00 pm. All parents, carers and governors are welcome to come along and watch the fun as our four houses of Ennis, Wiggins, Ainslee and Murray fight it out to see who will be champions this year. Refreshments will be available and the weather forecast is looking good at the moment. Our PE Department have been busy organising the day and pupils really appreciate the support/encouragement whilst competing on the day so please try and come along. Below is a copy of the schedule and details of pupils’ individual events can be obtained by contacting the School Office. Good luck to all teams. Programme_of_Events_2019
Elmwood’s annual Outdoor Learning training day occurred in the beautifully picturesque setting of Blymhill and Weston Village Hall on the outskirts of Shropshire. We were extremely lucky with the weather only having to contend with the breeze (which meant the green barley shoots were dancing in the distance). A special thanks goes to Sara Morris from Barlaston WI who completed a master class on wool weaving to establish beautiful poppies (of different shapes and sizes) in preparation for the schools display for armistice, as well as up skilling all staff so they can support pupils in creating their very own poppies to take to Alrewas during the month of November 2019. Dan Whittaker, SLE for Outdoor Curriculum, delivered a workshop on paper making, including foraging for native flowers to include into the finished pieces of paper. This will enhance the curriculum development across the school. Ash Holmes, Teacher of Outdoor Learning, completed a variety of techniques of processing wood from large logs into smaller pieces and chicken sticks which will support the fire elements of the curriculum as well as creating our wood wall display. All staff demonstrated a sense of achievement when they could see how far they had processed the wood and pride when the trailer was empty. Finally Simon Wood, Teacher of English, brought an element of West Midlands history through the creation of Dutch Arrows and how these were utilised as part of integral play in generations gone by. All staff were extremely shocked at how far their creations flew through the air (some even travelled into neighbouring gardens – apologies).
These days are a great opportunity for staff to come together and participate in activities that are outside of their comfort zone – really enabling them to be empathetic with the pupils they support on a daily basis. It was also lovely that Tracy Brandwood, Chair of Governors, was able to take part in the day and share these experiences with staff.
It was also testament to the schools drive to further develop an innovative curriculum and showcase the work so far along this thread of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF).
Photographs of the day are available on the gallery page of the website.
On Thursday 23rd May our Year 9 pupils had the opportunity to visit Kidzania in London. Pupils had the opportunity to sample a variety of careers and earn kidzo currency; this can then be spent on experiences inside the Kidzania town. Examples of work range from cleaning windows to hosting the tv news, delivering packages to performing dentistry, performing in the theatre to being a fire fighter, over 33 different roles. Five pupils gained a degree in politics, which enabled them to earn additional money at all of the roles. Several students flew a plane, seated in a real cockpit of an actual Boeing aeroplane and gained their pilot wings.
Upon leaving the venue, a delicious meal was enjoyed at at Beaconsfield Services which according to Mr Hawks, PE teacher, is the best service station in Europe!
Several pupils were recognised for their achievements on the day with Billy and Kacey gaining the top two prizes of mini drones kindly donated by Mr. Wood. Another pupil had his leadership skills recognised with a reward also and everyone who had engaged positively with the day enjoyed a tasty treat on Friday. A great experience for all involved and pupils managed themselves brilliantly especially during the six hours travelling time.
May 1st 2019 was an extremely proud day in Elmwood’s history as we had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Newport (Operations Director), Dean Cotton (Principal Trainer) and Steph Bellett (Business Manager) who presented the school community with its Team Teach Gold Award, making us the 4th school nationally, this year, to secure such an accolade in our drive and commitment to safeguard the pupils and staff within our organisation. This award was achieved through a thorough assessment of our Development Plan to enable risk and restraint reduction (88 criteria, where we achieved 91% success criteria), this resulted in a risk descriptor of “Individuals and services have anticipated all foreseeable risks and are actively committed via policy and practice to providing a safe service environment for all involved”. As well as this Development Plan, Dean Cotton (Principal Trainer) attended the school on 19th December 2018 to validate this document as well as speak to pupils, parents, staff and Governors.
During the presentation our guests had the opportunity to listen and share in the positive ways in which pupils and the school have overcome barriers to their learning and ability to engage effectively within the school community as well as seeing other professionals who the school have supported with their practice. A big thank you to Dan Mason, Vice Principal (Safeguarding) Pool Hayes Academy, PC Grant Stokes and PC Taylor from West Midlands Police and Tracy Brandwood, Chair of Governors for sharing this special day with us.
This achievement acknowledges the hard work of everyone within the Elmwood community (past, present and future) and places us in a strong position to further improve our practice within Elmwood and with our colleagues in Primary and Secondary Schools across the borough.
This award could not have been possible without the support of parents/carers and pupils approach to our school ethos and the staff in making this dream a reality.
The School now has three Team Teach tutors namely Lee Cross (Senior Employee Advanced Tutor), Martin Hawkes (Senior Employee Advanced Tutor) and Phil Damms (Employee Intermediate Tutor) who not only support the School but also share their expertise with other educational establishments; their work and commitment has helped to ensure safer places for people to work and learn.
Message from Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body
The Christmas period is now fully over and we have completed another successful Autumn Term where 91% of the groups achieved at least a good behaviour judgement and 91% of pupils are working at least at expected progress in English, 89% in Maths and 95% in Science. This secures a judgement of OUTSTANDING progress (from their starting points). The school has continued to grow with 72 pupils now on roll and a growing reputation with other Local Authorities – being their choice for placing pupils with SEMH needs.
We have provided staff, pupils, parents/carers significant time to digest the recommendations from the Section 5 Ofsted Inspection, November 2018. I appreciate that the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but there were many positives within the report and it highlighted the school’s positives around pupil progress and attainment within English and Maths; that pupils feel safe and that the school is a calm and purposeful environment. The pastoral care for both parents / carers and pupils is a high priority and this all culminates in all of our year 11 pupils (2018 leavers) still being within education, training and employment (which is in line with Queen Mary’s Grammar School).
The Leadership Team at the school alongside the Governing Body are working hard to secure a robust Post Ofsted Action Plan and look forward to implementing these changes.
What does this mean to parents/carers and pupils of Elmwood?
- Pupils receive a high quality curriculum that prepares them for the future.
- A committed and dedicated team who are passionate about improving life opportunities for pupils.
- Pupils are achieving at least expected progress from baseline entry into school, which is regularly celebrated.
What we will do in the future?
- Create more opportunities for staff to demonstrate their leadership abilities.
- Greater scrutiny of pupil work.
- More focus on pupils showing they have acted on feedback from staff.
- Greater curriculum opportunities for those who are more able, gifted or talented within English, Maths and Science.
- Stretch and challenge for all pupils within lessons.
We look forward to working with staff, pupils, parents/carers and external agencies, to achieve our goals and an improved Ofsted judgement in the future.
Callum, one of our Year 11 pupils, has now completed his 75 mile bike ride challenge in aid of Embrace (Child Victims of Crime https://embracecvoc.org.uk) . Callum has been busy peddling away during morning activity time, social time and during his ASDAN Wider Key Skills lessons to help complete the challenge. We are pleased to confirm that Callum completed the ride on Monday 7th January 2019 and he is now busy collecting donation money from parents, pupils, staff and other local special schools who have supported him. Once the final amount is known we will let you know. Calum would like to thank everyone who did sponsor him and stated that he found it easier than he thought as he was able to pace himself. Well done Callum, we are very proud of what you have achieved.
We warmly welcomed Ofsted on Wednesday 14th November 2018 when they visited Elmwood School as part of their inspection process. Chris Field, was the Lead Inspector, accompanied by Sarah Ashley. We hope you enjoyed your visit and look forward to receiving our report in due course.
On Thursday 8th November 2018 Mr P Hinsley and Mr A Bullock enjoyed a day with their family and loved ones at Worcester Cathedral to receive their PGCE and QTS. This was an extremely special day for both concerned but specifically Mr P Hinsley who joined Elmwood School as a Teaching Assistant 5 years ago and hasn’t looked back and continued to work hard to achieve his qualification to teach. Mr A Bullock made such an impact as a trainee teacher back in April-May 2018 that we couldn’t see his passion and talent go elsewhere so we were pleased to include him as part of Elmwood’s every growing team of dedicated staff. We hope you enjoyed the day and we are all extremely proud of your achievements over the last year. Well done from your Elmwood Family.