What's Happening Near You...

Advice from Local Authorities

The National Autism Society launched a campaign in 2017 to introduce autism hours across all shops nationwide. The following shops have adopted the initiative:
  • The Entertainer, the first store to sign up to the initiative, provides an autism hour for the first hour of every Saturday.
  • Morrisons host theirs from 9am-10am every Saturday.

'Autism and Learning Disability’ has been announced as a clinical priority for NHS England in their upcoming ten year plan to improve health services. Read more here.

Herts SEND Local Offer
...is your one-stop shop for information, support, services and activities available for children and young people with special educational needs, and their families.

Herts for Learning Online Safety News can be found in the PDF below:

You can read more about online safety on the Internet Matters website, the UK's most prominent non-profit online advice platform. Perfect for parents/carers.

Young Minds in Herts have released new flyers with contact details, advice and information about mental health. See the PDFs below:

Speech & Language advice from the NHS:


Events in Our Area

Boxmoor Trust events are listed on their website.
Their Spring 2019 events can be found in the PDF below:

Aldenham Country Playground have a sensory room & equipment FREE to use by SEN families. Click on this link for details.

Watford FC's sensory room is available for matchday booking. Click on this link for more details.


Links to Parenting Groups in Our Area:

Parenting Events: Gade Schools Family Support website

Upcoming Gade Schools Family Support Courses:

Dacorum workshops for the 2018/19 academic year are as follows:

Families in Focus CIC - book 2018 courses and join local networks today

You can find out about St Albans events & workshops via the DPSL7 Newsletter:

Watford Support Courses

SPACE offer parent support and information (for ASD/ADHD) and have meeting sites all over Hertfordshire. Meetings are held once a month during school hours.
Click here to find out more.


Links to Groups/Activities in Our Area:

The PDF below contains a comprehensive list of activities for young people with SEND that take place across the county:

Dacorum Dolphins
This swimming club is for people with disabilities and their families. Please contact Atheal by email: atheal.elemenyawi@yahoo.co.uk or phone 07805076832 for more information. Sessions every Saturday.

What's Been Happening... in Summer 2018 PART 2

Click here for the Collett CatchUp Weekly e-newsletter

Jul 2018: Goodbye & Good Luck!
It’s been a wonderful year here at Collett, filled with lots of memories all the staff will cherish forever. Unfortunately, we’ve had to say goodbye to a few of our colleagues:
  • Miss Longley is getting married this summer (!!) and will be moving to another school. Sandalwood Class already miss her!
  • After supporting Redwood and other upper school classes throughout this year, and supporting Collett fantastically for many years, Mrs Hicks will be moving to our sister school St Luke’s in September.
  • Ms O’Connor will be leaving the school this month after years of devoted support to all the classes (and creating wonderful flower displays across the grounds!). Another member who will be sorely missed.

A quick mention for Mrs Brenham, who will step up to oversee drama across all three of the schools in our association. Thankfully we’ll continue to have successful school plays for years to come! Also Ms Prendiville, who will be on maternity leave when the new academic year starts.

Jul 2018: Pan-tastic! School Play is a Hit
Our school play was a performance fit for the West End! Congratulations to all involved but particularly the children, who were undoubtedly the stars of the show.

Mrs Brenham, who directed the show, said after the first performance: “I am so, so proud! It’s about believing in the children and pushing them to do things no one thought they could do.

“There were some bumps, but it ran so smoothly thanks to the staff. We cannot thank everyone involved enough – it truly was a team effort.”

Jul 2018: New Animal Room
In preparation for the new year, our animals opted for a change of scenery!

The Pitouchi Room – named after a cat that saved a soldier in the trenches in the First World War – was previously our school art cupboard. The room was completely refurbished by Mrs Morton and Mrs Davey in their spare time. Their hard work has paid off – the room is unrecognisable!

Our animals have settled in to their new homes and are loving the attention they are getting from students and staff alike.

Jul 2018: Teaching Award Nominations for Collett Staff
Robins’s Teaching Assistant, Mrs Trainor, has been nominated for the Learning Support Staff Nasen Award! The Nasen Awards seek to recognise and share the best practice which, ultimately, really benefits children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities. Mrs Trainor was put forward by the NHS Speech and Language Therapist team here at Collett due to the excellent work she has done in supporting the speech, language and communication needs of the pupils in Robins.

Meanwhile, the teachers of Ravens class, Mrs Dearlove and Mrs Smith, were nominated last week for the Pearson Teaching Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate excellence in education and honour outstanding teachers and teaching, highlighting just how vital success in education is to the health and wealth of the UK.

Jul 2018: Sports Day
It may have been Friday 13th but the bad omens stayed well away from Collett as glorious sunny weather made for a wonderful sports day!

Parents/carers, friends and family all made their way down to the field to watch our pupils take part in various events, including races, football, basketball, javelin, shot put and golf. The horsebox café was open for business, the bouncy castle was a hit with our pupils and there were plenty of other refreshments from the afternoon tea stand as the playground was transformed into what surely is the largest garden party in Collett history.

Jul 2018: National Boxing Awards for Collett Pupils
Congratulations to Lee and Connor, both in Redwood Class, who completed and passed their Standard Boxing Awards – a nationally recognised amateur boxing award!

Jul 2018: Leavers' Prom
In true Collett style, we had a fabulous send off for our Year 11s at the school prom (photos can be found in our newsletter).

All involved had a wonderful time dancing and singing and the staff were proud to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our departing students. Please come back and visit us soon!

Jul 2018: Collett, Warner Bros and Reliance Group win Innovative Partnership of the Year!
The Collett School, Warner Bros and Reliance Group was voted by The Careers & Enterprise Company as the Innovative Partnership of the Year for 2018 in the East and South East!

Providing outstanding careers support for young people is always our main objective, so it is fantastic to get recognition for the all the hard we have achieved in developing our school and engaging with local businesses and the community at large.

Thanks go of course to our esteemed supporters Warner Bros and Reliance Group for the unbelievable dedication they have shown to our school – we are always humbled by your selflessness!

Jun 2018: Fundraisers Reach for the Skies
Three fundraisers – one skydive. It’s safe to say it was a successful Sunday in June for Joe, Laura and Tracey. The team successfully raised over £900 between them for The Collett school – amazing!

Jun 2018: St Luke's Rebuilds After Arson Attack
Our sister school suffered an arson attack in 2017, but help from The Little Thatch Company meant that work is well ahead of schedule on a new outdoor classroom, due for completion later in June.

A statement from our sister school read: “We are delighted with the craftsmanship of our new outdoor classroom. The Little Thatch Company designed and built the structure by hand, on site. The two-man team have also supported work experience for pupils from St Luke’s and Collett schools. After the awful arson attack last year, funds have been raised by supporters of the school to build an even better outdoor classroom from which to learn about our animals and the environment.”

What's Been Happening... in Summer 2018 PART 1

Click here for the Collett CatchUp Weekly e-newsletter

Jun 2018: Rooks Perform at Music Festival
Rooks class went to Woolgrove School in June to take part in a music festival with two other schools.

The theme was 'Animals', and Rooks sang five joint songs including a roaring rendition of 'Alice the Camel has Five Humps' and 'Thirty Purple Birds' sung in a four part round. Each school also went on stage to perform their own item. Rooks class performed the song 'I Once Saw an Elephant' wearing their wonderful animal masks.

Music teacher Mrs Cripps was full of praise. She said: “They all sang with enthusiasm and confidence and received rapturous applause. I was very proud of them!”

May 2018: First Basketball Match Between Collett & St Luke's
Our Upper School took on St Luke’s in several basketball matches throughout May. A tense first game ended 18-14 to St Luke’s – so close! Staff and students thoroughly enjoyed watching the tight match. We’re looking forward to future meetups. Watch out Hemel Storm!

May 2018: Thank You from Uganda
As you may know, Collett reached out to a disability school in Uganda, RAP CD, last year. Our recent toy sales were a fundraising initiative devised by our students and, after sending the money to the school some months ago, we received responses!

Pupils from the school sent letters (including one in braille) and plenty of photos of them at their school. A letter from the staff at the school explained that our friendship and kindness has inspired them, and that all their students sat and passed their primary level exams. With the donations we sent, they were able to buy a photocopier, so thank you to everyone who donated – you have made a difference!

May 2018: Royal Wedding & FA Cup Celebrations
Friday 18th May saw two national celebrations in one at The Collett School. Not only was the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that Saturday, but also the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea. Naturally, we decided to host a ‘street party’ in the hall at lunch and the children came dressed for the day as either princes/princesses, wedding guests or footballers.

May 2018: Trip to Fairthorne Manor
Some of our pupils enjoyed a week long residential trip to Fairthorne Manor in Hampshire, taking on all sorts of fun activities!

On the Tuesday, after a good night's sleep and nice breakfast, the group bathed in the sun before heading to Aquaslide and then Victoria Park (where they even went on a small train). All the pupils were very independent! Wednesday saw the group head over to the Isle of Wight by hovercraft. A sunny afternoon at the beach was followed by a disco in the evening. On the Thursday, the group had morning activities on the lake and visited the Manor Farm in the afternoon.

Apr 2018: Celebrating the Ability in Disability at Warner Bros Studios
There is one aim we unwaveringly stride for at The Collett School, and that is for our students to thrive in life.

Further education, apprenticeships, careers and independency in adult life are seemingly huge obstacles for those with special educational needs (SEN), but we continue to break down those barriers with the help and support of our local community.

Which is why events like Celebrating the Ability in Disability, hosted by Warner Bros Studios Leavesden on Thursday 19th April, are crucial to the long lasting development of our students.

The event is part of a new initiative by The Collet School, our sister school St Luke’s and The Careers and Enterprise Company to really drive the point to local businesses that there is a place for those with SEN.

An array of businesses attended, hearing presentations from our Executive Headteacher Stephen Hoult-Allen, SVP and Managing Director of Warner Bros Studios Leavesden Dan Dark, disability activist and social entrepreneur Caroline Casey and others.

A Q&A session and mini expo allowed like-minded recruiters to meet some of our current secondary students, many pledging to be involved in their futures.

Alumni from each school also attended and, along with companies that already have SEN employees, gave talks and insights into their life in the working world.

With over 120 local companies taking part, the event was a great success and points toward a better future for our students as well as the local community as a whole. Everyone benefits when everyone is included.

What's Been Happening... in Spring 2018

Click here for the Collett CatchUp Weekly e-newsletter

Mar 2018: Sponsored Walk with Lockers Park
For the third year running, we joined Lockers Park School on their sponsored charity walk on the last day of term. It’s fair to say it was rather muddy and very slippery in places! That didn’t bother us though, as everyone had a great time and got some well deserved cake at the end. The money raised will go toward our school and Hope for Children. What a great way to end the term!

Mar 2018: Autism Awareness Week
Now gaining national coverage thanks to a campaign by the National Autistic Society, AAW had the theme of ‘It’s okay to be different’ and saw politicians and celebrities uniting to break the stigma autistic people face across the country and other parts of the world. There have been some wonderful stories online from the BBC about autism in conjunction with AAW. Meanwhile, here at Collett our pupils explored similarities and differences between people in class and were encouraged to think about how to be a good friend to someone who is different to them.

The highlight of the week had to be Onesie Day. There were bright colours and smiles across the school on Wednesday as staff and students alike donned their favourite onesies. But that wasn’t all – the day was filled with plenty of Easter magic, with many classes getting involved by making chocolate eggs and baking other wonderful treats. The money raised from the voluntary donations will be used to purchase much needed Art Therapy resources for The Hive.

Mar 2018: Collett Firewalk
Our busy March finished on a spectacular high as 47 brave souls took on The Collett School’s latest fundraising challenge – 20 feet of hot coals, simmering at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Clearly a walk in the park for our intrepid fundraisers!

Despite the cold, wet weather, the local community came out in droves: over a hundred people turned out for our firewalk extravaganza, making it an unforgettable night. As the crowds waited, workers from firewalk company Blaze provided entertainment with a range of displays. Local band Farmers’ Ukes raised spirits with some hearty tunes, and the main event itself drew loud cheers and applause.

Our students were undoubtedly the stars of the show. Several of our older students kept the cold crowds alive and well by providing tea, coffee, cake and their feel good attitude using our newly launched Horsebox Café. It was a great way to showcase their talents to the local community.

A huge thank you to our supporters – those old and new – and of course thank you to Blaze for providing their equipment and expertise. We’re still counting up all the money raised, but rest assured that each and every penny will fund essential projects for our wonderful students.

Another great success for The Collett School!

Mar 2018: Science Week
Our classes were experimenting with all sorts of contraptions and chemicals, with so many great successes.

Robins dissolved sugar into water to create crystals, Rooks created rainbow patterns with skittles and water and did the classic ‘mentos and diet coke’ experiment. In middle school, Elder combined art and science to create scratch paintings. Acacia visited Pizza Express in Hemel to learn about, create and eat some tasty pizzas – can’t blame them! Sandalwood and Rosewood have been teaming up for all sorts of experiments, including protecting water bombs with cardboard contraptions and creating slime. Redwood, meanwhile, have been learning about electricity.

Mar 2018: World Book Day
Snow and ice meant that our World Book Day celebrations were delayed till Friday 9th March. Despite the setbacks, staff and students alike had a great time dressing up as their favourite characters. Some of the costumes were fantastic - you can see a selection in our newsletter.

Mar 2018: International Women's Day
Staff and students alike donned purple on Thursday 8th March to mark the world celebration of International Women’s Day.

Many of our classes also undertook their own activities throughout the day. Robins in particular learnt about the artist Frida Kahlo. Hit by a bus at 18, Kahlo painted lots of self-portraits lying in her bed whilst she recovered, so Robins decided to mimic this by lying down, with paper stuck to the underside of the table, so the children could paint their own self-portraits. Check out our newsletter for photos.

Feb 2018: Pyjama Day
There were lots of smiles on Monday 5th February as The Collett School went pyjama mad for charity. It was a very successful day which raised a spectacular £117 for Noah’s Ark Hospice!

Noah's Ark Hospice are a community-based hospice providing support for children and young people with life-limiting/threatening conditions and their families in North/Central London and Hertsmere. We hope the amount we raised will make a difference.

Huge congratulations to our school council, who organised the day - it was so much fun!

Jan 2018: Careers Week
We focused on our future careers and played host to a range of talks from different people giving us an insight about their profession.

Our youngest class, Robins, walked around the school asking members of staff, such as our caretaker Mr Vaughan, about their jobs.

Linden filled in their own interview sheets and discussed what their favourite jobs were, and Mahogany got very hands on and helped about the class, assigning each other to jobs such as feeding their animals, laying tables and also washing up.

Meanwhile, in upper school, Sandalwood discussed their skills and qualities and each wrote a written piece on why they wanted a certain job when they were older. It turned out many wanted to be YouTubers! Redwood learnt the dos and don’ts of interviews and practised with some role playing tasks.

Staff from Warner Bros Studios arrived on Friday, with Amy speaking about her experience as a PR apprentice and Matt talking about his route from the tour shop floor to the office. Amy’s advice was simple: “You don’t have to know what you want to do.” Today, Amy liaises with press juggernauts such as The Daily Mail and Forbes to show off the Leavesden tour in all its glory.

Earlier in the week, Mrs Sewell’s husband Mark had visited to show off his firefighting gear. Mark, who works with the London Fire Brigade, gave many of our pupils a chance to try on his kit.

Our very own dinner lady Mrs Bowlzer also spoke to the children about her experiences and career path, and our pupils had also had a chance to hear about many other professions, including doctors, builders, beekeepers and police officers. Zsofia in Robins even wanted to be a headteacher - watch out, Mr Hoult-Allen!

What's Been Happening... in Autumn 2017

Click here for the Collett CatchUp Weekly e-newsletter

Dec 2017: Christmas Card Competition
Like many schools throughout the country, The Collett School SEN takes Christmas to heart.
We love a good excuse to set up our trees (notice the plural - we have A LOT of Christmas trees!) put up new decorations or simply wear antlers to transform ourselves into fabulous office reindeer.
Our students always get caught up in the festive spirit too, and one of the many ways we get them to join in is to take part in the local Christmas card competition held by none other than Hemel Hempstead’s Member of Parliament, Sir Mike Penning.
Sir Mike visited The Collett School on Friday 15th December to announce the winner of his annual Christmas card competition.
This year’s winner was Sophie from Robins Class with a fantastic festive artwork.
Last year’s winner was also a Collett student – Edith from Rooks Class. Our hot streak continues!

Nov 2017: Alumni Night
The Collett School hosted a successful evening for ex-pupils from The Collett and St Luke’s Schools on Tuesday 21st November 2017.
Aimed at current parents to share the real stories about our post-16 alumni and their adult lives, the event also marked the schools’ deepening association as parents and staff were united together.
The staff were beaming as parents absorbed each word confidently conveyed by our ex-pupils about their journeys to where they are now. We heard about academic successes (degrees and qualification), artistic achievements (music, paintings, drama), jobs and accessing community provision.
The most striking of all, however, was that each young person said that whilst there are difficulties in their way, it does not stop them from leading a fulfilling life.
Huge thank you to: Ben B, Matthew M, Hayleigh B, Gillian D, David R, Billy B, Hannah S and Jack R-S – our ex Collett pupils – and Jonathan W, Matthew W, Matthew D, Richard S and Jack G, our ex-St Luke’s pupils.
We are planning an alumni evening next year, bigger and louder than ever.
The parents said:
“It was a really successful evening and all the stories were amazing. These kids have more spirit in them than most kids their age.”
St. Luke’s parent
“Thank you again for arranging this amazing and inspirational evening which has raised hope for my son’s future.”
The Collett parent

What's Been Happening... in 2017

Click here for the Collett CatchUp Weekly e-newsletter

Aug 2017: GCSE Results Day
Our GCSE Results are in.
English: 4, 3, 2, 1
Maths: 3, 2, U, U
Art: E, F, F, F, G
Dance: D
Cooking BTEC: all five pupils achieved Level 2!
Outstanding results - we couldn't be more proud. Congratulations to everyone!

Apr 2017: Will Lee Chainsaw Artist in school
As part of a fantastic project about Leavesden, exploring the old and new, Will Lee has been commissioned by the project to produce a piece of art for The Collett School and, Woodfield School. With our connections to Leavesden through the old hospital as well as recently, Warner Bros. Studios, we have been delighted to be included in this exciting project.

Mar 2017: Lockers Park School Walk for Collett
Continuing our building of links with Lockers Park School round the corner, the boys have been fundraising for a sponsored walk to support The Collett School with sensory needs equipment. Fantastic support from the lads, who have taken to Collett School in a big way. They have performed singing and musical events at Collett, undertaken individual fundraising and championed the school in their curriculum and further afield - thank you guys!

Mar 2017: Science Week
Lots of great experiences and experiences that inspired children to engage with our natural and man-made world. Exciting spurs for further learning have been carried on over the subsequent weeks.

Mar 2017: The Daily Mile
All classes are taking part in the Daily Mile - fun time running - being children and having fun. We're developing our fitness and getting our bodies and brains energized. Daily exercise is forming a normal part of our routines and building expectations of fitness for life.

Mar 2017: Art Week
This was a great success with lots of really interesting work being created by the children right across the school. Thank you to parents and carers who also helped with art activities in an outside of school.

Feb 2017: New Medical Room Being Built
We have accessed grants and trusts to fund a medical room, which is currently being built at the front of the school. Looking beautiful, like all our new building work, we will be better able to support children, doctors, the school nurse and ambulance crew. You may not know, but 72% of our pupils have medical needs that require ongoing support.

Feb 2017: Welcome Back to the Second Half of the Spring Term
We’re running a mile every day! Classes run for 15 minutes each day to build up stamina, have fun and get healthy. We’re also supporting adults and pupils in wearing slippers in the building, to add to the homely atmosphere of the school and see if it supports progress like the research suggests!

Feb 2017: School League Tables
All children at The Collett School have complex learning disabilities, working at or below the second percentile. It is therefore fantastic news when our pupils achieve GCSEs, BTECs and Entry Level qualifications that recognize the progress they have made by 16 years old. The newly published Progress 8 league tables rank schools in order of pupils achieving 8 or more Grade C GCSEs in specific subject areas. This summer we had our best GCSE, BTECs and Entry Levels successes, including one pupil achieving 8 GCSE grades B-G. Progress from pupils’ starting points is outstanding when comparing our children’s attainment with national data. We’re rightly proud of making the League Tables, acknowledging the ranking will only ever be ‘Below Average’ as a result of the cognitive disabilities our pupils have. Well done our children, parents and staff!

Jan 2017: The Collett School Offers Outreach Services to Mainstream Schools
After a long time in the making, The Collett School can now offer support to mainstream school staff and pupils for working effectively with children with special educational needs. Schools in DSPL7 area are eligible for this support as we are allocated this area. In addition, we are working with some schools in DSPL8 area, though Woodfield School is leading this provision. If you are a school interested in Outreach support, please contact outreach@collett.herts.sch.uk and/or telephone 01442 398988 and speak with Mrs Emily Smith.

Jan 2017: Experience of Work
We are inviting adults connected with the school to host or accompany pupils on work experience placements. The values of work are instilled in our children from Reception through to Year 12. Every pupil in the school is supported to value their strengths and have pride in their abilities. The experience of work ensures a greater understanding of adult life and supports the transferable skills of schooling into working life. We need your help to change attitudes and develop better societal values concerning the abilities in disability. Let us know how you could take part in short-term and/or longer-term projects.

Jan 2017: Securing Good Mental Health
This term, we will be raising our school community’s awareness of sustaining good mental health. In doing so, we will be asking pupils and adults to consider strategies for achieving ‘mindfulness’ and how to look after, and sustain, our own wellbeing.