“Christmas Concert & Fayre - Tuesday 18 December 9.30am - All are welcome!! Last day of School - Thursday 20 December - School reopens Monday 7 January”

News

Paying our respects to the fallen...

16th November

As a final act of commemoration this year, we held a special assembly to honour those who have died in World War 1 and other conflicts over the last 100 years.  All staff and students wore a crocheted red poppy, kindly made by one of our Teaching Assistant.  We observed the two minutes silence, following on from the playing of "The Last Post".

A number of guests including school governors, representatives of The Royal British Legion, The Lions Club and local councillors have visited school to view our WW1 exhibition.  This has received many favourable comments and I feel that we have recalled the sacrifice of those who died with thanks, respects and reverence.

Leek Post & Times also printed photos of our displays and a lovely write up - see Newsletters page if you haven't already seen the local press! And Middleport Pottery (creators of The Weeping Window display) also commented on how great our creations were.

The Meadows Remembers - 1918-2018

09th November

"100 years ago the guns fell silent"

Students in all classes have been studying aspects of World War One and interpreting their work through English, Art & Design and Technology.  Mr & Mrs Bate, respresentatives of The Royal British Legion, visited school and the wonderful display which pays tribute to those who gave their lives in the conflict, and were astonished by the quality and attention to detail in the work.

Mrs Thomas' class have created an artistic interpretation of the "Shot At Dawn" memorial which is thought provoking, as students explain to visitors what it represents, and how we interpret such concepts in the present day.

Miss Chappell, Mrs Rudge and a group of Sixth Formers have created a model of a private soldier, complete with helmet, backpack and rifle, with a shadow of poppies and poetry behind him.

Class 5 students present a silhouette of an unknown soldier, together with a collage of poppies in mixed mediums.

Trench Art, a model of the Middleport Pottery Weeping Window, is a representation of a battlefield on the Somme, poetry and tributes to local soldiers, all demonstrate our tribute to the commemoration of the signing of The Armistice.

If you are in school please do have a look at our work, otherwise the galleries page for photographs, it really is something to see and an excellent effort by students and staff alike.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them"

Gifts of Harvest

26th October
Thank you for all your generous gifts of groceries and toiletries in this season of Harvest. We had a wonderful display in the foyer of school, and the gifts have now been distributed between local charities
             
         * Leek Food Bank
 
         * Burslem Food Bank
 
         * ASHA   A charity supporting supporting Asylum Seekers in North Staffordshire
 
Happy half term everyone. Enjoy the Autumn days.  School re-opens to students on Monday 5 November.

The National Citizen Service (NCS)

18th October

The National Citizen Service is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 16-17 year olds across the United Kingdom.

Eighteen students from the Sixth Form recently signed up for the programme and challenged themselves over 3 weeks. 

Phase One was a residential at Standon Bowers Outdoor Education Centre, living alongside young adults from three other schools in Staffordshire and undertaking an exciting programme of activities including Archery, High Ropes, Caving and Orienteering.  Apparently they met some amazing people, making new friends and enjoying some quality time away from home.

Phase Two saw the group learning domestic skills for independent living using the school Nurture Flat and developing life skills such as confidence, leadership and communication to boost their future CV statement.

The third week brought together all the fun and inspiration so that students were ready to step up and deliver their own social action project.  The team were challenged to work as a team to plan, prepare and deliver a fund raising activity that would help to make a difference to a local charity.  A Mad Hatter / crazy hair day was planned for Friday 12th October, where the students ran a tuck shop with Halloween themed goodies.  A total of £102.26 was raised which the students are giving to a local animal charity.

Well done to everyone who completed the three week NCS programme.

'Meeting The Challenge'

27th September
A group of 6 students on their Duke of Edinburgh expedition, faced challenging weather conditions on a 2 nights/3 days walk and overnight camp last week. Setting off in the sunshine, with breezy conditions, things seemed to be going well , as they left school on Wednesday morning, walking alongside the canal and up to Stanley Head Outdoor centre for a night's camping.
On Thursday as they had another day's circular walk, stormy weather set in with winds and driving rain. Were they downhearted?Yes, but they pressed on regardless. Their waterproof over clothes took care of most of the rainfall, but wetsuits might have been better!
Adapting to extreme conditions proved a challenge but they overcame this drawing on inner resources.  Walking triumphant into school on Friday afternoon-- after facing the difficulties posed by Autumnal weather. Alastair, the external assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme was clearly impressed with their resilience and determination and said that he would be recommending them for their Bronze (2 students) and Silver(4 students) Awards.
 
Personally I was just relieved to see them back safely! Wow!
Thanks to Mr Whewell and Ms Robinson for their skills in training and supervision.
 
Good job all round!

Autumn Term 2018

13th September
The new term has got off to a great start, as we welcome new students, and see our existing students progressing through the school. It is always wonderful to see those who move into our 6th Form, begin their college courses, developing their independence, and preparing for young adulthood.
 
Three groups have visited the 'Weeping Window', poppy memorial to those who were killed in World War One. This included a tour of the newly restored Middleport Pottery, which is so much a part of the industrial heritage of The Potteries, being alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal. it was an emotional moment for some as they realised that each ceramic poppy cascading down the side of the bottle kiln represented a life lost...a son,husband, father, brother. There was an opportunity for reflection, by writing a message on a postcard, and hanging it alongside others, commemorating lives lost. Staff felt that our students had responded very respectfully to this centennial memorial.  'Lest we forget'

The World Cup comes to The Meadows

12th July

Two sixth form boys, Will and Josh organised a Meadows World Cup Tournament in school on Tuesday 3rd July. As World Cup fever hit the nation and pessimism turned to hope with our national team, Will and Josh tapped into the sporting spirit and ran the tournament on the astroturf. Twenty-eight staff and pupils took part as four teams; France, Belgium, England and Brazil. In hot conditions, the teams battled it out with Brazil beating England in the final. Everybody paid an entry free, raising £35 for the Donna Louise Children's Hospice in Trentham. The following day, Vicky Smith from the hospice visited school to give a talk on the work of the hospice and to receive the monies raised. Well done to all the players and especially to Will and Josh for organising such a fun and worthwhile event.

VIP VISIT

06th July

The excitement built up all week last week whilst students and teachers readied themselves for a VIP visit .  Ten student ambassadors welcomed Mrs Karen Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands to our school for a meeting in the large meeting room.

A question and answer session followed a talk from Mrs Bradley about being an MP and Home Secretary for Northern Ireland.  Students excelled themselves listening carefully to Mrs Bradley’s answers and explanations and entered into the spirit of learning by extending their planned answers with on the spot responses and further questions.

The visit was finished off cordially with photos on the balcony.

Students are continuing to build on their learning in their lessons and feel proud and excited about the success of their work which culminated in this prestigious visit.

A big “Thank You” Mrs Bradley MP!

Classes 5 & 6 Plague Project

02nd July

Classes 5 and 6 have recently been learning about the history of the Plague of London and local plague village Eyam in the Peak District.  They looked at the importance of clean water and the Peak District tradition of well dressing.  Students designed and created their own well dressing display using only natural materials, such as seeds.  The end result was fantastic and has been on display in the school foyer for all to enjoy!  There are photos on the Gallery page if you haven't seen the display in school.

Majestic Owls

22nd June

Mr Harvey recently organised a magnificent day for us all when he invited "Majestic Owls" to school.  The owner of the owls, Noel, explained many interesting facts to each class. There was an opportunity to handle the owls, while wearing a leather gaunlet.  It was a wonderful experience to see the owls close to and to be able to touch them. The Eagle Owl - named Magic - weighed 25lbs and could turn his head through 250 degrees.  It was absolutely magical to watch!  Please see the photo gallery Summer Term 2018 for some excellent pictures. 

All Aboard the Beatrice Narrowboat!

14th June
A series of day cruises along the River Churnett, and Caldon Canal, planned for this half term, have begun, with everyone enjoying the fine Summer weather, on board the Beatrice. This is always a highlight of our school year, as students and staff alike,take in the wonderful scenery of the Staffordshire Moorlands. The Beatrice is operated by a local charity, and is moored at Cheddleton. It provides a wonderful opportunity to get afloat! We are always appreciative of the efforts of the crew of volunteers, who arrange these excellent experiences.

Cake sales proceeds to the Donna Louise Trust

23rd May

Year 10 and 11 students have been busy organising a cake stall this week, enticing staff and students to buy scrummy cakes and eat them!  All in a good cause - of course!

Sincere thanks to all parents, carers, staff and students for raising £66 which has been taken to the Donna Louise Trust shop in Leek today, where it was gratefully received.

This project is a part of work in PSHE lessons, and in the words of one Year 10 student  " We were overwhelmed with the fantasti reponse to our request for cakes.  We especially appreciated the effort that went into all the homemade cakes as well as the shop bought ones"

 

Visit to Trinity Skills

14th May

Soon after the Easter holidays a group visited Trinity Skills for Life in Stone and made greetings cards whilst there to “taste” an enterprise activity.  On their return they used their skills learned to make thank you cards to send to the staff and students there to thank them for the visit.  In turn Trinity Skills for Life showed a picture and mentioned the Meadows on their Facebook page.  It’s nice to make new contacts with other providers and to make friends and colleagues who are so appreciative.  Looking forward to more enterprising visits!

Exciting and proud time at local College

14th May

On Tuesday 24th April Stoke on Trent College School Links Awards Day event took place. 21 of our students have attended different courses one day per week to learn skills for Further Education and the Work Place through attending a vocational course at College Links on one of the two Stoke campuses at Burslem or Cauldon.

 

The team at the College and the Teachers and Teaching Assistants involved from school work closely together to give as much support as possible to each and every student.  The students enjoy the courses and college life as well as work very hard to make the most of the opportunity on offer and the one which they have chosen.

 

Everyone was very excited and pleased to be joined at the Sports Hall in Burslem College by their parents and carers.  All the other schools from the surrounding area were there with their students on the courses too.  Denise Brown, Stoke on Trent College Principal gave a speech and a Year 10 student from St Margaret Ward Academy gave a great musical performance singing two songs. 

 

Best of all the Meadows Students were on stage to receive and celebrate their successes. 10 students received awards for 100% attendance. Attendance certificates were awarded as follows: 4 students Gaming, Interactive media and graphics; 2 students Construction, 7 students Hair and Beauty; 4 students Motor Vehicle; 1 student Catering.  Emily won the Effort & Progress Prize for the Friday Hair and Beauty & Care Foundation Group. Emily was awarded a trophy with a star on it and she certainly is a star student!

Please take a look a the lovely photos from the presentation on the Gallery page on the school website. Lots of proud smiles all round!

Well done everybody!

Standon Bowers Residential and the Exam Season!

10th May
Excitement was at fever pitch today,as Mr Harvey, led the first residential of the year off to Standon Bowers Outdoor Education Centre, for 'Fun in the Sun'. 14 students, and a staff team packed several vehicles with luggage, and headed off to a series of team building exercises and challenging activities in a new learning environment, the great outdoors! Extra supplies of sun cream have been purchased in anticipation of the continuing good weather.
Everyone back in school eagerly awaits the photos!
 
Meanwhile, other staff and students are extremely busy preparing for the exam season, with Mrs Butler issuing stern warnings to teachers, not to detract in any way from vital revision time.
 
Oh the joys of Summer, in schools across the country, as the pressure mounts! Good Luck everyone!

Spring Blooms to admire!

25th April

The unseasonally hot weather last week brought forth a beautiful display of Spring bulbs outside the school entrance and throughout the grounds.  The varieties of daffodils reflected William Wordsworth's "Host of Golden Daffodils" which never fail to bring cheer, as they seem to be dancing, expressing energy and joy, and are a sign of better things to come.

Mr Whewell and his team of gardeners are to be congratulated on their success in yielding such a lovely display.  Sincere thanks to Lynda of the Lions Club of Leek , who donated bulbs for planting in the Autumn which have produced such a colourful vista this Spring.

Let's hope for a lovely Summer to enjoy all the outdoor activities which have been planned by staff!

Presentation Awards Ceremony 2018

26th March

On Thursday 15th March we were delighted to welcome parents, carers and family members to our annual awards ceremony.

This is held to present externally accredited certificates to students who have achieved in a variety of subjects at individual levels - ranging from the AQA Unit Award Scheme in curriculum subjects to GCSE in Maths and ICT as well as Entry Level Certificates for KS4 and Functional Skills for the 6th Form in English, Maths & ICT. A group of language students also achieved FCSE in French (Foundation GCSE level).  Certificates were also presented for the British Safety Council accreditation 'Health & Safety in the Workplace' Level 2 Award which is a nationally recognised qualifciation and an industry standard.  Two students, Aidan and Cezary received their full Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, while others gained section awards in Bronze Expedition, Voluteering, Physical or Skill.

This year we welcomed Mrs Alex Kenneth from Entrust Careers Service to make the presentations.  Mrs Kenneth also presented Mrs Yvonne Thirlaway with a glass trophy marking her success in gaining 'The Quality in Careers Standard'.

Congratulations to all on great personal achievements!  Mrs Wright thanked all parents and carers for their support in enabling the students to work collaboratively with school staff to make such excellent progress and attain nationally recognised qualifications.

Waterworld Beach Party

12th March
Tuesday 6th March was once again our annual trip, to join many other Special Needs youngsters at Waterworld, Etruria, organised by the Staffordshire branch of Lion's International. Two minibuses of students set off for a fun time of splashing,swimming, and aquarides, with everyone assured of a memorable day out. Students were also given a 'goodie bag' each, to help sustain them and replace all the energy expended by the water activities.
Sincere thanks once again to the Lions for their hard work in funding and organising this special day.
 

Sacred Space 2018

15th February

This half-term we were privileged once again to welcome The Synapse team into school to run Sacred Space.  This was the fourth time this event has taken place in school and it once again proved a hit with many of our students.  This year’s theme was the characteristics of God and pupils had the opportunity to take part in a  variety of sensory, craft and reflective activities which they thoroughly enjoyed.  Our thanks go as always to Paul, Jane and Kate for their efforts during Sacred Space week and also for the Chill and Chat sessions which they run every Friday and for their fabulous puppet assemblies which we always look forward to.

First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour

09th February
'Lest We Forget'
 
Anton and Ethan have just returned from a trip to France and Belgium, visiting some of the major sites of World War One. They were joined by Mrs Thomas and Mrs Wright, together with students from secondary schools across the West Midlands, travelling by coach through the Eurotunnel to Ypres in Belgium. The group stayed in Flanders Lodge and attended the daily Act of Remembrance at The Menin Gate. This includes the laying of a poppy wreath after The Last Post and Reveille, at this memorial to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient, and have no known grave.
It was poignant to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Lijssenthoek, in Belgium, where every headstone tells a story of an individual killed fighting for King and Country. Ethan and Anton laid a poppy wreath on the grave of Serjeant Sydney Gerald Kelly of Leek, who died on 29th September1917, aged 30, leaving behind a wife and daughter. He was in the King's Royal Rifles Regiment.
A highlight was the Memorial Museum at Passchendale, where we explored the life of ordinary people at war, including the trenches and the dug out experience, where soldiers lived underground in very primitive conditions, amongst the mud, rats, lice and alongside their dead and dying comrades.
The group travelled to The Somme region and explored the focus question,' Was the battle of The Somme in 1916 really a disaster for the British Army?' They visited a preserved battlefield site at Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland Memorial Park, where so many of the Canadian Regiment lost their lives on 1st July, 1916, the first day of The Battle of The Somme.
Thiepval memorial to the missing, who died and have no known grave, and the Tyne Cot cemetery both include men from Leek. Anton and Ethan laid poppy wreathes in their memory.
Special thanks go to Mr & Mrs Alan Bate, of the Royal British Legion, for their support in providing poppy wreathes and posies, so that The Meadows School could honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Finally the group were asked to consider ..'Is remembrance more or less important , one hundred years on?' This generation will be the ones to carry forward the torch of remembrance.
 
'At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.'

Treasure Island at The New Vic Theatre

31st January
A group of 50 students and staff set sail on the High Seas to enjoy a production of the classic story of Treasure Island, by Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson. It is said that Stevenson was the originator of the treasure map, marked with a cross, marking the location of buried gold, so often retold in tales of pirates and buccaneers.
 
Highlights were swashbuckling sword fights, live on stage music, puppetry and actors climbing the  Hispaniola's rigging. Jasmine and Lacey, sitting on the front row, almost joined the theatre's company, in their desire to reach the gold treasure on faraway shores.
 
Ship Ahoy!

New Year 2018

12th January
The New School Year has got off to a good start with several classes braving the Wintry weather and enjoying a programme of Outdoor Activities, led by Jackie Robinson, which have included visits to Ballington Wood and Kniveden. The cold weather presented an ideal opportunity to build a campfire and gather round it, to toast Marshmallows and drink Hot Chocolate. Jackie has requested that if anyone has any waterproof trousers that their children have outgrown, but are still in good condition, could they be sent into school for others to use.

Christmas Concert 2017

10th January
 
All the best things are said to be worth waiting for, and that was definitely the case with our Christmas concert, which was postponed due to freezing road conditions on the original planned date.
What a superb morning's entertainment from all our students as they reminded us of Christmas 1940, with memorable songs and sketches. Letitia stole the show as Vera Lynn, with her interpretation of 'The White Cliffs of Dover', along with Megan's solo,of that emotional classic, 'Let There be Peace On Earth'.
Mrs Jackson's class reminded us of the role of the Navy, with 'Somewhere Beyond The Sea', and were immaculate in their tropical Navy white uniforms.
Mrs Ball oversaw the whole production, with a broad repertoire of seasonal music from the War Years, and both Mr Harvey and Mr Whewell's classes
enjoyed demonstrating their abilities in Regimental Drill, which left the audience in stitches. Many of the audience commented on the humour of the concert as well as the wonderful efforts of the whole school team to provide such a quality performance. Congratulations Everyone!
 
The Christmas Fayre followed immediately , and people were obviously in a good mood for spending and showing their appreciation, as about £800, was raised in a very short time. Thanks to all our supporters in the wider community, as well as family and friends for their generosity to us all here at The Meadows. We really appreciate your kindness.
 
Happy New Year 2018!

'Do your bit in a Christmas knit!'

05th January

On Wednesday 13th December everyone at The Meadows wore their festive attire in support of The Donna Louise Charity. This was in memory of a former student who attended our school.

All students and staff came dressed in their Santa, reindeer and elf jumpers and t-shirts raising a fantastic £92 which was donated to the charity. Thank you to everyone for their support.

Theatre visit with surprise Royal Guests!

05th January
Students and staff from Mrs Gardner’s and Mr Harvey’s classes had the thrill of greeting Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as they arrived in Stoke on Trent, at the start of a whistle stop tour of the Potteries. We were already in Hanley Museum, to watch the Mow Cop players, production of Snow White, when the show was stopped and we dashed outside to welcome the Royal visitors. It was a thrilling moment,  to wave our flags to honour the future King of England. We did wonder how long Joe would be taking to the Duchess, but she managed to get away in order to chat to the seven dwarfs!
 
It was certainly a moment for The Meadows book of magical memories.

Operation Christmas child shoebox appeal

05th January
Many thanks to all who donated so generously to our request to pack a simple shoebox, which may then travel halfway around the world, to a distressed child  in a war torn country or deprived situation. We collected 28 shoeboxes, which were the focus of our Assembly, where we prayed that they may be a small comfort to a child in need. Special thanks to Mrs Ivey who asked her friends in a local Football Club to help and they kindly sent in 8 boxes.
 
The Christmas Season starts here, as we think of others, before ourselves.

Christmas Dinner and Christmas Jumper Day!

05th January
Wednesday 13th December will be the day when we done our Christmas jumpers and Tee Shirts in aid of the Donna Louise Hospice in Trentham. Students will be collecting donations of at least £1,  which we will send to the Children’s Hospice, in memory of Chloe Cornwall, a much loved student of The Meadows, who passed away in the care of the Donna Louise staff. Chloe and her family received excellent help and support, and we would like to remember Chloe, this Christmas.
This will be the same day that we enjoy our school Christmas Dinner, cooked by Marie and her team in the kitchen. Please be sure to book a school dinner on this day, if you usually have a packed lunch.
Christmas comes but once a year! Why not enjoy it?

Children in Need 2017

05th January

Students are thrilled to have raised the sum of £110 for Pudsey Bear, with the recent non uniform day and biscuit sale. Special thanks to all those who supported us. We are always grateful for the help which we receive in school, from others, and wish to pass on our good fortune by helping ‘Children In Need’.

Silver Games Mark Award achievement

05th January

We are delighted to announce that we, The Meadows have achieved the School Games Mark Award for the 2016/17 academic year.

The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition and sport across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.

Our sporting achievements this year include:

Winning a table cricket competition at Watermill, participating in a school sports day and swimming gala and attending and participating in the NSSSA competitions.

With our students competing in local inter-school competitions this year, we are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible.

As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded this year.  A special thank you to Miss Chappell for her hard work on this!

Remembrance Assembly 2017

05th January
A special assembly was held on Friday 10th November to pay our respects and to honour those killed in 1914- 1918 War, 1939-1945 War and in more recent conflicts. Mrs Thomas spoke about members of her family who had served their country in the Armed Forces. Two minutes silence was held, and the significance of the red poppy explored.
Families of school students are invited to search their Family War Records, by completing a form sent home, so that a picture can be assembled for future interest. A number of staff and students will be attending their local Remembrance Day Parades in towns across the area.
 
‘Their Names Liveth For Evermore’

Half term holiday

05th January

Half term has arrived very quickly after a very busy few weeks. A group of 26 students and 6 staff have been visiting The Black Forest in Germany, near the French border. They have toured Strasbourg, with a river cruise to admire the famous sights, including the European Parliament Building. A highlight has been a trip to the Europa theme park, near Rust. They have enjoyed the same beautiful Autumnal weather as back in the glorious Staffordshire Moorlands!

Back in Leek Mrs Thomas’ class enjoyed a morning carving pumpkins in Ballington Wood, with marshmallows toasted over the campfire.
 
Enjoy the Half Term holiday everyone and feel the crunch of Autumn leaves beneath your feet.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

05th January

The Duke of Edinburgh Award goes from strength to strength at The Meadows School in Leek.

On Thursday 28th  and Friday 29th September, a group of six Meadows students took on the challenge of an expedition walking from school to the Stanley Head Outdoor Centre; 10 miles carrying full camping kit and travelling independently with minimal staff support, and back again!

This was the culmination of a year’s training for the students during which time they have practised navigation , campcraft and gaining general fitness to take on this tough challenge.

The weather smiled on the group on the Thursday but Friday was a very wet and testing day which demanded plenty of determination and skill from the students. The assessor Mr Alistair Mayo noted their resilience and the quality of their teamwork. He also commented that the group was a fine example of what young people with SEN can achieve.

After a tough couple of days, the group came through and all passed this expedition element of the bronze award.

Great credit goes to Jackie Robinson , the D of E lead at the school and many thanks to Stanley Head for the use of their facilities. Once the members of the group have gained the other elements of the bronze award, they aim to go on to their silver award.  A fab achievement!

Raft building activity

05th January

Class AT went to Tittesworth Reservior and worked in teams to build two rafts.  The raft building activity was linked to an English project, based on the book ‘Survive the Savage Sea’.  The students used the experience to help with the creative writing element of this project. Both teams raced each other across the reservoir. They practised paddle skills and moving around the raft. Some enjoyed the water so much they had to jump in!

'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'

05th January

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’  John Keats

Welcome to the Autumn Term, and the return to school for many of our students, while others are joining us afresh from a variety of  schools. The whole school community is looking forward to an interesting, and exciting year ahead, as we face new challenges, and build new friendships, while developing our individual potential.

There have been some changes among the staff, but I am confident that everyone will quickly settle into their new roles as we all continue to support students and their families.

Happy Summer Holidays!

05th January

As the Summer Term draws to a close, I have been looking back over many of the highlights and events of both this term and the academic year. Time has gone so fast, and we have seen so many students achieve success, well beyond that which we might have expected. Some young people excelled at Outdoor Pursuits, others in Sport or Music, while many have been entered for external examinations, including GCSEs. There have been a wide range of enrichment visits and activities, many supported by local charities, to whom we extend our thanks.

The pinnacle of the year for me was our ‘Leaver’s Prom’, which was organised so successfully by Mr Harvey and a team of staff. This took place at Leek Cricket Club, with everyone wearing their best party clothes, while dancing the night away, having eaten a delicious hot buffet. It was a very proud moment as I watched staff and students have such a fun time together. Many parents commented on the inclusive nature of the whole event. CDs are available from Mr Harvey should anyone wish to purchase one, as a souvenir.

On that note I would like to record my ‘Sincere Thanks’ to all members of staff, who work so tirelessly to support our young people and help them to achieve their dreams. I also thank all parents and carers for their continued support. ‘Farewell and Good Luck’ to those students leaving school this Summer; remember all you have learned at The Meadows as you go forward into adulthood, onto the next chapter of your life.

Finally, let us hope for some long, sunny days of Summer Sunshine to enjoy, as we recharge our batteries over the holidays.

Animal Magic!

05th January

On Wednesday 28th June, we were visited in school by Charlie from ‘Animal Magic’.  She bought a variety of interesting and unusual animals with her including meerkats, lizards, a snake, a skunk and even a Chilean rose tarantula.  All pupils in the school had the opportunity to see, hold and stroke a variety of animals with some even being brave enough hold the snake and tarantula.  This was a really excellent day which was thoroughly enjoyed by pupils and staff alike and given its popularity we hope to invite ‘Animal Magic’ back again in the future.

Fleur visits school

05th January

Fleur, an assistance dog visited school recently, along with her owner. Students in a number of classes were thrilled to meet her and discover how she has been trained to help a disabled person with daily living tasks. Fleur is a working dog and she can help by fetching the post from the letter box, picking up items dropped on the floor, such as remote controls, mobile phones etc and helping to remove arms from the sleeves of jackets. Students in Miss Rothwell’s class particularly enjoyed helping to groom Fleur, with a special brush. Fleur is rewarded with doggie treats, and surprisingly, cheese, when she carries out her tasks. Thank you to Fleur and her owner, Chloe, for visiting school.

Fishing with The Star Angling Club

05th January

This term all classes in school, have had the opportunity to take part in the fishing activity at Sammy’s Pool, Fenton, organised by the charity, the Star Angling Club. All students enjoyed themselves enormously, with some groups becoming very competitive!

Students were taught how to attach bait to the hooks, cast their lines, and how to successfully land their catch.

Both staff and students would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to Sonia and all the volunteer anglers for providing our students with this opportunity.

Tall tales of the number and size of fish caught, took some believing!

Roll on next year! Tight lines!

Class MR holiday to Butlins at Skegness

05th January

How lucky can you get? Miss Rothwell led a visit to Butlins, last week during the very best of hot, sunny Summer weather. Eleven students had the time of their lives enjoying a traditional seaside holiday, with a wide range of fun opportunities, including building sandcastles on the beach, paddling in the sea, rides on the funfair, swimming in Splash Waterworld, ice creams, fresh air and fun. Members of the public were fascinated watching the students access so many activities, and develop in self confidence as they experienced new and exciting challenges. Rumour has it, that the staff had a fab time too!

The group travelled to Skegness in two mini buses, that were presented to school by The Lord Taverners, and we wish to express our sincere thanks to them again for their support.  We are keen for them to know how the buses have been used to enable us to widen our educational opportunities.

Wish you were here!

Joan Wright

Head of School

Visit to the plague village Eyam

05th January

Over the last week pupils from classes JB, MR, NB, JH and AT visited the plague village of Eyam. On arrival the students were dropped off at the church where they heard the story of how the plague was brought to Eyam in a piece of cloth from London and they saw the tomb of Reverend Mompesson’s wife Catherine who died from the plague. Mrs Ball lit a candle to honour and remember the remarkable courage and sacrifice of the villagers so that the plague could be stopped from spreading. The pupils walked through the village to the museum, passing the plague cottages, where they saw a plaque showing the name of the first plague victim George Viccars who died on 7th September 1665. He was a tailor who had warmed the cloth which contained the fleas that carried the plague in front of his fire. We then walked passed the village stocks on our way to the museum. At the museum pupils watched a video about the plague and then walked round and saw several interesting displays. One was of a dummy plague victim replica lying in bed with sores. There was also a model of a doctor with a strange beak like mask as well as some medical instruments that were used at the time. Afer a picnic lunch in the park the pupils went to see Mompesson’s well where the villagers left money for food and supplies, since they had bravely decided to cut themselves off from surrounding villages, in order not to spread the plague. Some of us threw pennies into the well and made a wish before travelling back to school.

This is a fascinating day out for anyone who may enjoy exploring History in our local area of the magnificent Peak District National Park.

Getting afloat on the Beatrice Barge

05th January

Our series of annual trips on The Beatrice got underway this week in very wet weather. This did not stop the intrepid explorers in Mrs Thomas’ class cruising along on the Caldon Canal, and enjoying themselves, viewing the wonderful countryside of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Harvey, Desmond, Leah and Lewis donned wet weather gear and valiantly helped to operate the

lock gates alongside the boat’s crew. Other classes will be cruising later in the term, and are keepin their fingers crossed for sunnier weather. We will see!

Manchester bomb attack

05th January

Staff and students have today joined with other schools across the country, in holding one Minute’s Silence, to honour those killed, injured and bereaved after the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Our thoughts are with those schools who have been directly affected by the loss of pupils and staff. May fond memories provide some comfort to them all.

Proud as punch at college presentation

05th January

Students attending Stoke College Links had a fantastic time on Friday 5th May receiving their Awards Certificates from the (Interim) Principal, David White.

The ceremony was held in the Performing Arts building on a colourful stage. A dozen students from our 6th Form gained certificates for completing courses in Hair and Beauty, Motor Vehicle Studies, Construction and Catering.  Five students gained 100% attendance certificates and Ian Snape achieved the best in group for Effort and Progress receiving a trophy and certificate.  Ian has been offered a place on the Level 1 Mechanical Engineering course at the College next year.

Hiraani Hyland, a Stoke on Trent Music Performance student and who performs with her band, 5th Amendment in the local area sang two numbers in the interval.  We wish Hiraani well as she is looking forward to going to University next year and in The Voice auditions at the College later this month.

Also, thank you to the staff supporting our students from school and the tutors at the College for all they do. We all extend our good wishes and continued success to the students who work so hard and to those leaving us to continue their studies at local Colleges which as well as Stoke include Leek and Reaseheath. Have a great Summer everyone!

Springtime activities

05th January

The Summer Term has got off to a great start with a range of Outdoor Activities taking place in the lovely Spring weather.Mrs Jackson’s class had four mile ramble along The Tissington Trail, with a picnic lunch at Parsley Hay, while enjoying the fresh air and enjoying the wonderful countryside of The Staffordshire Moorlands. Westport Lake was a venue for another group, who explored the new Spring growth of the trees and shrubs, while watching the wildlife.

Mr Harvey’s class went to Coombes Valley Nature Reserve and enjoyed a nature walk, looking for particular colours in the hedgerows and undergrowth. Ms Robinson, Outdoor Pursuits teacher, led a group to Knypersley Pool to help build dams across small streams, to help reduce the speed of flow of the water.

Presentation awards assembly

05th January

The Spring Term ended on a high note with a special Presentation Assembly, which celebrated the success and achievements of our young people. Certificates were presented to a large number of students, in Key Stage 4 and the Sixth Form, by two of our school governors, Mr and Mrs John and Ann Alexander. Parents and carers looked on with pride as the hard work and effort of the students was acknowledged.

Students have achieved GCSE Maths, as well as Entry Level Certificates in English, Maths, ICT, and French. Many younger students have gained Unit Awards in a wide range of subjects such as English, ICT, Geography, RE and History. Our Sixth Form students have achieved vocational qualifications in BSC Health and Safety, ABC Horticulture, BTEC Sport and Active Leisure as well as a range of ASDAN accreditations.

Congratulations to everyone! Thanks were also extended to Parents and Carers for their support too.

 

Easter themed activities have been taking place across school, with Easter Egg hunts around the building and many creative ideas involving chocolate!! The daffodils, planted by Mr Whewell and his team of gardeners look very cheerful around the school grounds. Our sincere thanks are extended to the Lions Club of Leek, for their generous donation of bulbs, last Autumn, which have bloomed so well to create a Spring like vista in the school grounds.

Red nose day 2017

05th January

7 sixth form students studying Level 1 ASDAN CoPE organised and ran a charity event in school to raise money for Red Nose Day. They organised a non-uniform day, with a red theme, alongside a cake sale and various activities on the day. They managed to raise over £200 thanks to the generosity of staff, students and parents.

Everyone had a fantastic day and ate far too many cakes!

The school would like to thank all parents who contributed to the cake sale and helped to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.

Science visit to the 'Crime Scene House'

05th January

On Wednesday 8th March, a group of pupils had the opportunity to visit the Crime Scene House at Staffordshire University.  Once everyone had put on a special protective suit and been shown how to use the specialist equipment, it was time to investigate the crime scenes which had been set up by PHD student Janos.  Working in small groups, the pupils were taken to different rooms around the house.  They were first required to assess the risks in the room and produce a quick outline sketch and then it was on to the serious business of photographing, labelling  and collecting the evidence just as real CSI’s would do.   All of the pupils really enjoyed this visit and gained a useful insight into the work of a crime scene investigator.’

Table cricket at Watermill School

05th January

15th February

12 students took part in a table cricket competition at Watermill School. We had two teams representing The Meadows.

After a hard competitive day, both teams were successful in taking 1st and 2nd  positions and winning medals and certificates. This was out of 7 teams from other various schools such as Abbey Hill, Blackfriars and The Coppice.

This was part of the North Staffs Special School Sports Association.

We finally brought a medal home for our cabinet. However we were most proud of the victory medals around our neck, kindly provided by The Lord’s Taverners.

Indoor cricket at Fenton Manor

05th January

Miss Chappell, Miss Prince and Miss Ball took 10 students to an indoor cricket competition at Fenton Manor.

The students played Abbey Hill, Watermill and Cedars in an intense 5 games.

All 10 students enjoyed the day and learnt a great deal about cricket and working as a team

Unfortunately on the day despite great efforts and fantastic cricket skills we came 4th overall. Still, as they say in all the best sports, it is not the winning but the taking part.

Jack C achieved most valuable player due to scoring 5, 6’s in a row and amazing the other PE teachers. Joshua P achieved ‘Most improved player’ and was nominated by the other schools for this accolade.

A great day was had by all!

Arabian Nights!

05th January

Students in the High Dependency Unit had an amazing afternoon using their map reading skills to find the treasure in Ali-Baba’s cave. This combined maths work covering position and direction and the term’s topic work of 1001 Arabian Nights. The activities were very carefully planned and individualised which made sure that not only was it great fun but our students learned an awful lot too!!! All students dressed up as one of the forty thieves, using hats and jewels they had previously created to truly get into character.

Leona was the chief thief, with Will K directing her peers through the unit using their left and right skills, which they have recently been learning. Staff used picture references of the unit to indicate where to go next with Jordan, Rio and William U. Using pupil’s combined knowledge of the layout of the classrooms; the references to reading a map, and understanding of left, right, forwards backwards directions, all the students found the treasure. When the cave was found outside, Will K and Leona had to remember the key words ‘Open Sesame’, whilst Jordan, Rio and Will U had to choose from flash cards to find the correct key word to access the cave.

The treasures consisted of boxes pupils had already created, using different materials, to look like Treasure Chests, filled with personal favourite items. Leona found a Mrs Potato Head, Will K found a Mr Potato Head, Jordan found a packet of cookies, Rio found some textured ribbons and William U found a sensory water bottle. All students were able to access the magic of this traditional literature in a meaningful way.  ‘Open Sesame’ certainly released the spell!

Sacred Space 2017

05th January

Once again we have had the Synapse team of youth workers in school, for a whole week of activities, run in our Nurture flat, which for one week only, becomes a ‘Sacred Space’.

Jane, Kate and Paul explained that the theme for this year was ‘Our World’. There was a jungle area where students could think about something that frightens them, a beach area where they could reflect on God’s forgiveness by making a mark in the sand then washing it away, and a town where they were able to say ‘Thank you’ for the people they live with. There were also opportunities to taste unusual fruit. smell mystery smells and paint their portrait for our Meadows gallery, as well as our giant mosaic.

Jane commented, ‘This is the third time we have run a ‘Sacred Space’ at The Meadows and it is always a highlight of our year. The students have engaged really well with the activities, and staff have been incredibly supportive. It’s a lot of work to set up and we go home covered in paint, sand and glue, but we have had a really enjoyable week. Thank you for letting us come [we hope we haven’t left too much sand in the flat!]’

Sincere thanks to all of the synapse Youth Team for giving of their time and talents, so generously to our school. We have some lovely photographs and wall displays as a memory. Following an Assembly reflecting the week’s work, Jane, Paul and Kate were presented with a pot of daffodil bulbs grown by our Sixth Form gardening team, as a small gesture of appreciation.

Lunch in Monty's Cafe, Leek

05th January

Mrs Thomas organised a practical Maths lesson this week, which involved her class enjoying lunch at Monty’s Café in Leek. Students used their Functional Maths skills to choose their own lunch from the menu, and then place their individual order.

They practised counting out their cash, giving, receiving and checking change. All had a lovely meal, while consolidating their practical Maths skills, as well as their social skills.

Mrs Thomas explained that everyone had an enjoyable walk into town, even though it was a bitterly cold day, with a good meal too.

Students thanked the staff in Monty’s for being so helpful and accommodating; most importantly they will welcome us back again any time. It is pleasing to hear that The Meadows is well thought in Leek.

Snow over the moorlands

05th January

A week of excitement, as snow had been predicted, and we have our very own ‘Weather Watcher’ at The Meadows . Jack is always very keen to keep us updated on the latest news from the ‘Met Office’, and is on constant alert for any new developments. Following minute by minute weather updates is a fairly new phenomenon, and unfortunately it was accurate today, as the snow fell just at that critical time..getting ready for school time!

Miss Chappell has some exciting plans for PE and Sport over the next couple of terms.

A new sport has been introduced into school this week; Table Cricket. Classes CJ, AT and NB were lucky enough to try this out and will be learning how to play over the next few weeks. Classes MR and JB are having coaching from Brandon, in Free Running. Unfortunately for Brandon he arrived just in the middle of the Fire Drill! Better luck next time.

A reminder that weekly swimming lessons will recommence on Thursday 19th January for students in Classes MR, JB, JH and AT. Please remember to bring swimming kit.

On a calmer note Mr Harvey’s class were practising their handwriting skills, with some really impressive effort. The resulting poetry was impressive. Well done.

Happy New Year 2017

05th January

I am starting the new term with a clean, fresh page on which to begin the New Year!  No two years are ever the same and I look forward to recording lots of amazing achievements and challenges undertaken by our students, who never fail to surprise me with their enthusiasm and ability to rise to the occasion!

The first outdoor trip of the year has been a visit to Biddulph Grange Country Park, for an awe inspiring walk on a beautiful frosty morning. Students completed a two mile Himalayan walk, and enjoyed a picnic in the cave! It was so cold that part of the lake was frozen!  Sounds as though it was one of those wintry scenes that are often found on calendars. Clearly the students from our High Dependency Unit have set a high bar by venturing out on such a chilly morning. Well done!

Joan Wright

Head of School