Community and Celebrations
Abbotsweld Primary Academy has been on a journey of improvement since the NET Academies Trust became our sponsor in 2015. The period of instability prior to conversion witnessed a drop in pupil numbers as well as a lack of engagement between the school and the local community.
This process began by working to engage parents and then extended to the wider community. As a result, Abbotsweld now works in partnership with parents and the local community having formed several links. Parent forums and coffee mornings allowed parents to come together and form positive relationships. Workshops where parents came into the classroom meant that the learning that was taking place was shared.
Community links that we have forged are centred round our own special Sense of SELF programme. Developed by our inspirational Headteacher, we have identified the areas of real life in which our pupils need greater experience of and designed a bespoke programme to help support them. These include the development of Social Skills, Exposure to the community, Life Skills and Fascination of continual learning. Each teacher looks at each child individually and creates valuable sessions to support their needs. We recently launched our SELF programme and invited local businesses to work alongside us- meaning Abbotsweld Primary became a part of the wider community and the wider community became a part of Abbotsweld. The feedback from local businesses has been very positive and partnerships are now embedded rather than being a one-off collaboration.
Abbotsweld now works in partnership with parents and the local community having formed several links. Parent forums and coffee mornings allowed parents to come together and form positive relationships.
The developed partnerships with the local community have added a valuable dimension to the holistic education offered to our children. The strong links with the local care centre include the sharing of Christmas lunch, exploring each other’s interests such as regular board games afternoons, singing carols for the residents and the supporting of our curriculum (Remembrance Day memoirs).
The BITC (Business in the Community) programme is one that is pivotal to our collaborative curriculum: Through their designated representative we have links with Cadnet who deliver workshops about carbon monoxide safety. Our continuing partnership with Stansted Airport have provided us with lots of excitement including the opportunity to use their Aerozone.
Recognising the need for us all to be healthier we worked with a local personal trainer and developed a Bodycare programme. This includes the biology of the human body alongside fitness, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Continuing communication with the Community Engagement Manager from Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service ensures we support our young people effectively.
We are outward facing by sharing our community projects, through SELF, with four other local primary schools and are the sole representatives for NET Academies with The Prince’s Responsible Business Network. All of our links are vital in ensuring we create “life ready children” who will go on to become successful adults who can make positive contribution to their local communities. The future of our collaborative and community work includes a relationship with our local hospital (Princess Alexandra) and a STEM representative and future careers advice.
I met with Abbotsweld Primary Academy as part of my role as Business Connector for the Prince of Wales's Charity; Business in the Community.
The first thing that really impressed me about Abbotsweld was how proactive and innovative it was. It was great to find a school so open to new ideas and willing to take them forward, and so it was easy for me to introduce them to several local businesses and organisations. Some of these connections have led to workshops that complement the curriculum. These have included: Cadent gas, who run carbon monoxide safety lessons and provide free CO alarms; Stansted Airport, who are looking to close future skills gaps by promoting the airport using the Areozone; and we are just working on future projects with the NHS and Harlow Council.
All of these collaborations, are not only valuable for the pupils of the school, but also help local businesses and organisations tackle some of the challenges they face, as well as helping them achieve Corporate Social Responsibility goals. These are truly mutually beneficial, sustainable partnerships of which the school can be very proud.
Sharon Summerfield, Business in the Community
Thank you for your amazing contribution to PSHE. Many more events are planned and the children are embracing every opportunity with great enthusiasm.
They have made me extremely proud on every visit to the community and always show the residents wonderful manners and a keen interest in their lives.
Lorraine, Community Engagement Manager, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service and Jenny, Middle Leader at Abbotsweld
SELF is such a brilliant idea. A fundamental part of learning. Since beginning this initiative my son has continually come home talking about how much he enjoys himself.
I feel exactly the same. At the launch day I had a great time- it was well thought out and prepared well. It was great to see members of the local community at the school to join in with this new and exciting project. The school should be proud of themselves.
Joe enjoys it when parents and visitors come to school to work with him. I must just say I was very impressed with a young lad called *- he immediately asked me if I would like to have his seat... there was no prompting from staff for him to offer and I thought that was very respectful towards an adult... the pupils really are becoming positive citizens of the future!
Claire, Parent at Abbotsweld Primary Academy
Tabitha, Abbots Care Centre
Abbotsweld Academy has been a great asset to Abbots Care Centre and the residents that live here.
The residents really look forward to when they came in and just enjoy the company of the students.
The communication between the Home and the school is great and they are so supportive to the different needs that are through the home.
I have seen the children grow in confidence and the residents have opened up so much to the children, one example is we have one resident that does not like to socialise much with other people and because of his dementia and at times is limited to conversation. We involved him in the activities but he doesn't like to take part. When Abbotsweld Academy came in I was worried that the child he was with would be upset that the resident wasn't talking to him, but this child was great and just kept doing different things and really made the resident feel welcomed and valued. The difference in the resident now is amazing he talks with other residents and even still talks about the little school boy who was reading to me.
Abbotsweld Academy give so much to the residents at Abbot Care Centre.
Abbotsweld also opened their school to invite the residents to come to them, the children organised a Christmas lunch and Games afternoon at the school and it was great that the resident got out of the home and it felt like they were going somewhere.
We look forward to the future of what the school will bring and how it is changing the quality of life for the residents at the home.
Tabitha, Abbots Care Centre
The outstanding leadership and management (OFSTED, 2017) at Abbotsweld Primary Academy has enabled me, as a professional educator, to build partnerships with the local community.
Over the past year alone, we have forge a thriving partnership with nearby Abbotsweld Care Home, providing both students and residents the opportunity share the enjoyment of one another's company. Furthermore, I have been supported in driving a musical focus for the school with support for participation in the "Heart 4 Harlow" festival and the inaugural combined NET Academies Christmas Concert. Through these engagements, students have experienced an enrich curriculum of activities that enhances their understanding of the civics, citizenship and finding value in their local community.
Murray, Class Teacher at Abbotsweld Primary Academy