Mrs Wrights Blog
We currently have a vacancy for a Site Supervisor. Please see Staff page/vacancies for more information. Closing date is Monday 20th January 2020.
Happy New Year 2020!
Welcome to a New Year and a new school term. Thanks to everyone who supported our Christmas Fayre, which raised over £1000. I hope you will all join with me in congratulating the students and staff on a magnificent Christmas Concert, which was both entertaining and touching in equal measure; clearly demonstrating the wealth of musical talent in our school, to say nothing of the Artwork and superb costumes. Well done everyone!
'The Prince and The Pauper' At The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle
The Christmas Season has begun with a visit by three classes to see the Mark Twain classic story of The Prince and The Pauper. This was a great start to the festivities as the students were enthralled by the quality of the acting, costumes, musicianship, dancing and special effects, from our local theatre in the round. It is a source of wonderment to simply observe the students watching the performance, as the story was interpreted with some modern twists.
Class NG visit National Memorial Arboretum
A visit had been planned by Class NG to the National Memorial Arboretum, for a day in November, shortly after Armistice Day; who could have predicted what a gloriously sunny, blue skied, Autumnal day it turned out to be? Unfortunately the site was flooded in places making access to some of the memorials restricted, following all the recent flooding in the East Midlands.
However Class NG were able to view the main memorials, including the awe inspiring Armed Forces Memorial to those Service personnel killed since 1945. Students were able to take part in the Daily Act of Remembrance which takes place at 11am every day and includes two minutes silence, following the playing of The Last Post, in the Chapel.
It will be interesting to visit the Arboretum in a few years and view the Maturing trees! Perhaps some students will visit as adults in the future, recalling this special day! Photos are on the website.
Children In Need 2019...…..'Let's hear it for Pudsey!
Class MR had a fun time on Tuesday morning, looking for Pudsey Bear and The BBC 'Children In Need Rickshaw', as it travelled through Cheshire. They finally caught up with 'One Show' presenter, Matt Baker at Rushton and again at Bosley. The students were given flags to wave , as they cheered on 'Team Rickshaw', on it's way to London, passing through the highest village in England, Flash.
A fun time was had with everyone pleased that they were not cycling a rickshaw out of Leek onto the Buxton road...hard work on the legs. Photos of the event are on the photo gallery.
The School Council decided to hold a pyjama party, in school with a collection for Pudsey, which raised £145. This will be forwarded to BBC Children In Need, which supports local children and young people.
Thanks everyone for your support!
Remembrance Day 2019 'Live On'
It seems hard to believe that it is November once again and time to remember those who have died in past and present conflicts, by supporting The Royal British Legion, and their Poppy campaign. Poppies and other commemorative items are for sale in school; please help support this fund raising by sending a small sum of money into school, for your son/daughter to buy a token of remembrance.
'At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them'
The Beatrice Narrowboat
On 4th October, a very special presentation occurred, at Castro's restaurant , in Cheddleton, when the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ, presented The Queen's Award For Voluntary Service to representatives of The Beatrice narrowboat charity. This takes the form of a crystal glass trophy which is etched with the details and a certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen.
The Meadows School were invited to share this prestigious occasion, representing other local Special Schools, who are all regular users of the boat, on cruises along the Caldon Canal. Four students, joined Mrs Suzanne Ivey and Mrs Joan Wright, in thanking and congratulating all the volunteers, who give their time, free of charge, to crew the narrowboat. This was a very special occasion, in the presence of local civic dignatories.
School Inspection Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th September 2019
Please click here to view the School Inspection - A guide for parents
Primary Science Quality Mark
Congratulations to Mr Harvey, Science lead teacher, on achieving the Primary Science Quality Mark , once again. This national accreditation acknowledges that Science is taught effectively throughout the school and that the subject is developed to engage all students at an individual level. The reviewer was particularly impressed by the resourcefulness of the staff in ensuring that Science has a high profile in the curriculum, involving trips and visits, and especially the innovative 'Science Day', when younger children from local schools were invited to The Meadows for activities led by our students. Well done everyone!
As one youngster commented when asked why the chocolate had melted..... 'Its because of Science!'
Autumn 2019. Welcome to the New School Year!
At the start of September we welcome all the new students and their families to our school, hoping that everyone will settle in comfortably and quickly feel part of The Meadows School community. Other students may be settling back into new classes or groups, and I am sure that they will be befriending the new young people.
Students are looking very smart in their new uniforms, and I do hope this this high standard will be maintained throughout the year. A reminder that 'Hoodies' should not be worn in school, unless they are specifically ordered from the school supplier, in school colours, and then only for PE.
Thanks for your ongoing support in this matter.
Hi de Hi from Butlins, Skegness!
Class NG have just returned from a fantastic week spent in Skegness, where they enjoyed all the fun of the holiday camp, while basking in glorious sunshine. Activities included swimming and the water rides in Splash Waterworld, fairground rides, paddling and building sandcastles on the beach. Evening entertainment with a 'Little Mix' tribute band, and even something educational with a presentation on exotic small animals, with a chance to handle a Madagascan Chameleon.
Special thanks must go to the staff who accompanied the group on what was an enjoyable, but challenging week.
Career Destination News
It is always a pleasure to meet with students who visit us, work in the community and attend our local Colleges and providers after leaving school.
As well as our students that have continued on to Leek College and Stoke College in recent years, we are pleased to announce with particular pride this year’s successes for students that have progressed from the Meadows to Reaseheath College.
Meadows staff joined the Reaseheath College Presentation of Awards Ceremony on Thursday 27th June 2019 to congratulate recent leavers from The Meadows for achieving the following awards:
- The Mere Hotel Award: The most improved student
- Certificate in Skills for Working Life (Entry 2): one student
- Certificate in Skills for Working Life (Entry 3): two students
- Level 1 Certificate in Land-based Studies (Animal Care): one student
Congratulations to you all! It is wonderful to see you are all achieving success in your next placement, well done and continued best wishes for the future.
Congratulations to The Beatrice Narrowboat! Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
We are thrilled to offer our 'Congratulations' to all our friends at The Beatrice Charity, on their recent award from Her Majesty The Queen... This is so well deserved by all those volunteers who give their time, to enable young people to have the opportunity to cruise through the beautiful Churnett Valley, on board our favourite narrowboat. No matter what the weather throws at them, the volunteers are always upbeat and cheerful, welcoming everyone with a smile. The charity has been operating for 40 years, from it's
base in Cheddleton, and is well known to local people who enjoy walks along the canal.
The Challenge of Standon Bowers
Last week's visit to Standon Bowers was a great success, helped in no small part by the lovely weather. All of the children who went thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were a credit to the school in terms of their behaviour and manners. They took part in lots of different activities including archery, climbing, high ropes and bushcraft and everyone tried their best, even when they didn't always find things easy. The staff all enjoyed the visit too even if we were ready for a rest by Friday.
Fun in The Sun
As Summer arrives a packed programme of outdoor activities has begun, with the first trip of the season on the Beatrice narrowboat, based at Cheddleton, cruising along the canal, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
A group have also been fishing with 'Star Anglers', a local charity, based at Sammy's Pool in Fenton, while Mr Harvey has organised a three day residential visit to Standon Bowers, near Eccleshall, which will include a range of challenging activities. Fingers crossed for suncream and sunhats, rather than waterproofs!
Presentation and Awards Assembly 2019
We were delighted to welcome Mr John Glandfield, Chair of the Board of Directors, of Manor Hall Academy Trust, to present Awards and Certificates, at our celebration assembly this week. This is always a special occasion when we celebrate the achievements of our students, in gaining external accreditation for their coursework. A wide range of subjects and levels were achieved including:
GCSE at English Language and Maths
British Safety Council
ABC Practical Horticultural Skills
British Safety Council Level 1 Award
AQA unit Award Scheme [various subjects]
ASDAN Personal Progress
National Citizen Service
Foundation Certificate of Secondary Education, Level 1, French
Functional Skills ICT
Parents, carers, family and friends looked on with pride as their sons/daughters came forward to receive their awards from Mr Glandfield, who was clearly impressed at the range of qualifications obtained, especially by some students who face additional challenges in their learning. 'Congratulations and Well Done to all.'
Sincere thanks to Mrs Thirlaway, Assistant Headteacher, for organising such a fabulous afternoon.
Sponsored Dress Fun Run
School turned out in force for the Sponsored Fancy Dress Fun Run on Wednesday 27th March. Special guest stars included Harry Potter, Chewbacca, Darth Vader , Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Mickey Mouse, Lionel Messi , Sandy from Grease, a Minion, John Lennon and Elvis Presley - quite an eclectic guest list . It was all in aid of the School's aim to purchase and install a defibrillator. Many thanks must go to Josh Pointon who thought of the event, the children who took part and to all their fantastically generous sponsors. It's always lovely to see everyone from all classes and departments enjoying an activity together and the added bonus is that we have made £408.76 towards the appeal.
On Thursday 14th March , The Meadows welcomed classes of pupils from Beresford Memorial Primary School, Leek First School and Springfield School to take part in a Science day. Groups of pupils from the Meadows had planned and organised a range of science activities to run on the day. They then took on the role of teachers for the day as they explained and demonstrated how the activities worked. All of the younger pupils who visited us had a very enjoyable day and we were very grateful to receive some lovely pictures and letters of thanks afterwards. Many of the staff also commented on the maturity and politeness of the pupils who ran the activities. Some of the activities are listed below:
- Lava lamps
- Ice- cream without a freezer
- Model volcanos
- Density columns
- Tornado in a bottle
From a teacher’s point of view, this was a truly memorable team-effort and everyone who took part can be very proud of themselves.
Our thanks also go to the British Science Association for providing the funding which made this event possible.
A special thanks to Mr Harvey for organising this fabulous, enjoyable, educational Science day!
National Careers Week
Week beginning 4th March saw the school immersed in the National Careers week. Students spent time researching jobs they are interested in. Teachers linked skills students learn in the classroom and their subjects to job areas, work experience and community services.
A webinar training event took place to inform staff and give an overview of the National Careers Service. An e-pack is available for schools from this service which includes Labour Market Information. The Labour Market Information tells us what employment is taking place in our region and other regions in the country, average income, growing job sectors and where most jobs are now.
There is also a free phone number (0800 1000 900), website and email service to access impartial advice, guidance and information. It is worth noting that the National Careers Service is available to adults seeking advice as well as school students.
The school plan to upload the next e-pack from the National Careers Service to our website for students and parents to browse and explore, so look out for its arrival every quarter.
Class NB and Class AT both enjoyed a visit to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre this week to support their science learning on the topic of space. They took part in two workshops during the day. One based around Tim Peake's work on the international Space Station while the other involved designing a way of landing a robot safely on the surface of Mars. The rest of the day was taken up with looking at the various space-themed exhibits, including a fascinating clockwork model of the Solar System and walking around the perimeter of the famous Lovell telescope. All the pupils enjoyed the visit and were a credit to the school in the way the behaved.
Last week, the team from Synapse were in school to run Sacred Space for the fourth year in a row. They set up a range of reflective activities in the nurture flat and each class had the opportunity to take part. This year, the activities were based around the colours of the rainbow with each coloured area representing a different aspect of who God is. Whether reflecting on God's creativity by making models from playdough and pipecleaners, praying for friends and family by drawing on paper chain templates or simply tasting rainbow-coloured fruit, all our pupils found the experience to be interesting and thought-provoking one and approached the activities in a respectful way. Our thanks go as always to Paul, Jane and Cate for giving up a whole week of their time for us and we look forward to welcoming them again in the future as well as every Friday lunchtime for the ever-popular 'chill and chat'.
The mild Winter has lulled us into forgetting what Wintry weather is really like, until we were suddenly confronted by snow storms and icy conditions across the Staffordshire Moorlands, with considerable drifts in some places, making transport difficult.
Thank you to everyone for your support in the recent bad weather and especially the taxi drivers who battled the conditions to make sure everyone could travel to and from school safely. School staff continue to be vigilant and aim to keep parents informed of any weather related changes, as we keep the Health and Safety of all students and staff in mind.
We have students travelling from such a wide geographic area, and conditions can vary locally, which is the reason we have to take a measured view on closing the school.
Thank you again for your support.
Paying our respects to the fallen...
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
"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
The National Citizen Service (NCS)
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'
Autumn Term 2018
The World Cup comes to The Meadows
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.
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
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.
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!
Cake sales proceeds to the Donna Louise Trust
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
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
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!
Spring Blooms to admire!
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
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
Sacred Space 2018
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
Treasure Island at The New Vic Theatre
New Year 2018
Christmas Concert 2017
'Do your bit in a Christmas knit!'
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!
Operation Christmas child shoebox appeal
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Jumper Day!
Children in Need 2017
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
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
Half term holiday
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!
Duke of Edinburgh Award
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
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'
‘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!
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.
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
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
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
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!
Head of School
Visit to the plague village Eyam
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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'
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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!
Head of School