Collett's Fundrasing Priorities for 2018/2019

Looking ahead to the next academic year, the fundraising team have earmarked the following projects to be undertaken to expand The Collett School above and beyond the expected standards of a traditional special needs school.

2018/19: Sensory Equipment

Our senses provide us with a means of interacting with society as well as helping us to understand and respond to the environment around us.

Some pupils at The Collett School who have a diagnosis of autism, traits of autism, or have other complex learning disabilities, struggle to integrate or make sense of sensory inputs which often manifest as withdrawal, distress or challenging behaviour. These responses can often impact on progress, especially where sensory needs are not addressed effectively enough, leading to further barriers to learning.

Addressing sensory issues by investing in sensory equipment should result in increased engagement with the curriculum and therefore improved learning experiences, along with greater opportunities for engagement in both school and non-school activities.

2018/19: Toilets

Currently, our student toilets are 50 years old and are not suitable for purpose. For example, our primary school toilets are simply too big for our pupils. It is not acceptable and a situation we are aiming to improve as soon as possible.

Toilets and bathrooms in general are fantastic spaces for our pupils to learn key life skills that their parents are typically told by doctors they will never learn. Moments like these can be crucial developmental breakthroughs that lead the child towards other independent goals.

2018/19: IT equipment and resources

Further to last year's initiative, we will be focusing once again on IT resources in the school. Modern living is defined by computer technology: the internet alone provides infinite opportunity and access to the wider world. Accessing the world is key to ensuring our pupils thrive in life, especially in the workplace (using Word and Excel can have profound benefits). This is why we prioritise this technology.

There are also sensory benefits too. Some of our pupils are unable to communicate verbally and we use IT equipment to support children to express themselves, finding astonishing hidden depths with some children's usage.

Sadly, most of the IT equipment we have has been discarded by other local mainstream schools or ended up broken. We need to update our current stock as well as expand to support our children’s sensory needs.

Collett's Fundraising Priorities for 2017/2018

The school's fundraising priorities are linked to our school development plan as part of our holistic approach to improving the school for the children's needs now and for their futures.

2017/18: Disabled Access Throughout the School

The Collett School was built in 1964 for children with less complex needs than we have now. A number of our children have mobility challenges including wheelchair users. Built on a hill, the steps cause accessibility issues for pupils, staff and visitors. We are delighted that, for the first time in 50 years, we now have disability access to the front of the school. However, with no funding available from the local authority, we are fundraising for the essential, life changing capacity to create disability access across all levels of the school.

2017/18: IT Equipment and Resources

IT is essential for modern day living for all children and especially for ours as a means of effectively accessing information and communicating with others. Some of our pupils are unable to communicate verbally and we use IT equipment to support children to express themselves, finding astonishing hidden depths with some children's usage. Sadly, most of the IT equipment we has been discarded by other local mainstream Schools, or, unfortunately broken. On the back of fundraised support to establish wifi across the school, we are looking to develop our use of Laptops, which enable children to access work programmes (like Word and Excel) in preparation for adulthood in the workplace. Other IT equipment we are improving is advocated by therapists to support children's sensory needs and engagement with communication tools, developing fine motor skills.

2017/18: All Weather Artificial Pitch

Presently, all our secondary aged pupils share a small playground which has to double as a car park for all the transport at the beginning and end of the day. Whilst the NAS has evaluated our provision as excellent, they believe like us, this area is in great need of development to meet the needs of autistic children. Games are played, including football and tennis alongside children engaging in imaginative play - however, the different activities are not always compatible in such a small playground. Through our research, many of our children do not have outside spaces at home, nor are they able to access parks etc. with independence for a variety of reasons. Our solution to build an all-weather pitch on the school field that can be used to take all the ball games off the playground will support our aims to improve the fitness and wellbeing of our children whilst developing team sports. greater safety and a rich diversity of play opportunities.

2017/18: Therapy Equipment

The needs of our children have become increasingly complex and the equipment required to help them maximize potential learning and social skills is now needed as part of daily routines. Bespoke equipment (some of which, our staff have actually designed) supports children to self regulate their sensory needs alongside taught strategies that lower anxieties and remove boundaries. Our 'mainstream world' has many social rules of which our pupils do not readily understand. By learning strategies to be an accepted part of the community, our children gain more confidence and independence to be who they can be and, want to be.

2017/Ongoing: Mobile Café

One of Collett's main objectives is for our children to thrive in adulthood. To achieve this, they not only need confidence, increasing independence and life skills, but for the community they will be living in, to accept and support them as active, adult citizens. Britain has changed over the years - we are more educated about special needs and increasingly, the value and potential of children and adults with learning disabilities as having equality of opportunity, responsibilities and rights.

In opening doors for future work experience/ paid or voluntary employment by developing work-related learning in school, we are setting up a mobile café to be run by our pupils out in the community. Although initially we expect people will support Collett pupils as a worthwhile charity, the hope is that they will come because the café offers great service, great coffee and great cake, coming to realize preconceptions and fears about associating or working with special needs children and adults is unfounded.

Other benefits include meaningful skills they will attain for working life such as functional numeracy in using a till, barista skills, ordering resources, stock control, evaluating profits and losses, small business finances, tax and insurance, hygiene and law enforcement. Communication skills will also include dealing with people, difficult situations and engaging with strangers.

The Horsebox Café is currently in production, by the same great team of The Little Thatched Company, who designed and built our fantastic 'safeguarding' entrance to the school.

2017/18: Shatterproof Windows

Our windows were replaced some years ago with a domestic variant. These have since proven to be a potential hazard, with a little pressure from a hand making them wobble. This is not the environment we want to provide for our pupils, so we have endeavoured to upgrade every window on site. A shatterproof variant will mean that there is no danger to our pupils' safety and the stray football here or there will no longer incite panic!
Fundraising Plan
Achieved Last Year
*Sensory equipment
*Safeguarding entrance
*New classrooms
*Treehouse library
*Treehouse class
*Bikes for Lower School
*Disability Access
*IT equipment
*All Weather Pitch
*Mobile Café
*Rebound Therapy
*Hall sound system
*Library equipment
*Playground equipment
*Kinaesthesia aids
*Medical room
*Office creation
*Garden Classroom
*Mobile Café
*Disabled Access
*Sensory equipment
* Minibus
*After School Clubs
*Infant Playground
*Stage equipment
*Zip Wire
*Sensory Room
*Junior Playground
*Dining area
*Lighting across school
*Mobile Café
*School signage
*Playground friendship
*Wood development
*Carpark resurfacing
*Senior Playground
*Start to replace temporary buildings
*Sports facility
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