We have links with many other schools and public organisations in the community. These benefit our pupils and enrich their experiences, and also help the wider community to understand the abilities and lives of our young people with disabilities.
We are very active with lots of organisations, so this is a long page!
On 12th September 2013 we were delighted to welcome Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools. Lord Nash is piloting the Children and Families Bill through the House of Lords. The visit was organised to give Lord Nash a first-hand insight into the issues facing young people with highly complex special educational needs. During his tour Lord Nash was most impressed by the progress made by a pupil in the Primary Department learning to use a special switch to power her wheelchair and by the sophisticated track system. This pioneering system enables our young people, using their powered wheelchairs, to choose where they go on site and skills them up for driving independently and in the community.
Lord Nash also visited the newly built Futures Life Skills Centre. This exciting state-of-the–art new facility offers a full range of activities on one site which are not readily available to those with a physical disability. Young adults with a disability have on-going learning opportunities with a choice of fully accessible leisure and life skills’ activities including a gym and spa, cookery, arts and ICT sessions. It’s aimed at 19-25 year olds, from the local community who can choose from the wide range of activities on a ‘pay-as-you-use basis’, possibly using their own personal budgets as well as from Chailey Heritage’s residential transition service.
Lord Nash commented, “It was absolutely fascinating to see the wide range of technology used at Chailey Heritage to enable children and young people to make independent choices and access equipment and activities that previously they could only have dreamt of.”
Lord Nash also visited Futures@Chailey Heritage where he met with a group of young residents including Jonathon Stenberg and his father, Tony. Jonathon is one of 4 young adults who Chailey Heritage is supporting as part of the SE7 Pathfinder, testing out how the proposed new Education Health and Care Plan process can work for them. Their aspiration is to live together in bespoke housing in the local community.
Following a Committee discussion on the Bill, it is worth being aware that, in his response, Lord Nash mentioned his visit to Chailey Heritage School with Baroness Cumberlege, praising the school for its 'outstanding education, care and support to children and young people with the most profound and complex needs'.
In September the new Chair of Lewes District Council, Councillor Michael Chartier, paid a visit to Chailey Heritage Foundation, and met with Principal, Sylvia Lamb and the charity’s new Chief Executive, Helen Hewitt. He and his wife, Monica, enjoyed a tour of the facilities of Chailey Heritage School and were treated to a look around the new, ground-breaking facilities of Futures Life Skills Centre.
Triple Gold medal winning Paralympian, Sophie Christiansen OBE, visited children at Chailey Heritage Clinical Services recently to see the Petra running bikes in action and is pictured here with Keelie who is a pupil at Chailey Heritage School. The Petra running bikes are being assessed by youngsters, their parents, and experts on mobility for children with physical disabilities. The project is funded by the children's medical research charity Sparks and supported by Virgin Active Health Clubs, and aims to find out whether children with cerebral palsy can benefit from using individually adapted bikes. Sparks Chairman Jonathan Britton also visited and said 'We are delighted to be funding this innovative research and seeing the first steps with the Petra bikes we are confident it will bring lasting benefits to children such as Keelie.'
Liz Bryant, Senior Research Fellow at Chailey Heritage said 'Children with cerebral palsy have very limited opportunities to participate in exercise. The funding from Sparks will enable us to investigate whether novel devices such as running-bikes are a feasible and enjoyable mode of exercise and to determine their clinical benefit for children who are unable to walk independently. These running-bikes have the potential to allow children with cerebral palsy to take part in physical activity, as well as giving them freedom of movement and independence.'
Later, reviewing her visit, Sophie tweeted: 'Hope to see it as a Para sport one day!'
On 5th June 2013 - HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall, and the Foundation's Patron, The Duchess of Gloucester, visited Chailey Heritage to mark the centenary of the Foundation's St Martin's Chapel and the opening of the new Life Skills Centre. Together Their Royal Highnesses met some of the pupils at the school as well as some young disabled people who benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities in the Life Skills Centre. Visit our St Martin's Chapel page to find out more about the visit.
Arundel Cricket Club
Our pupils sometimes visit the beautiful grounds of Arundel Cricket Club and Castle and have had some great days out there. Chailey Heritage School was awarded the Christopher-Box Grainger Memorial Trophy for 2011. This award is made each year to the school or organisation which shows most dedication and commitment to their day of education and cricket coaching at Arundel in the calendar year.
A group of pupils visited Arundel Cricket Club in October 2012 to present a cheque for over £500 which was raised during our sponsored swim week. The weather has been a little kinder this year and we have been able to make five trips out to the Arundel Cricket Foundation to make the most of the beautiful surroundings and experience some cricket. These trips still prove to be very popular with the young people and staff at Chailey Heritage.
Communication Workshops in the Community
From the 1st April 2011 staff and pupils from Chailey Heritage have started to present Communication Workshops to local schools in the community. This is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills. The workshops are fun and raise awareness of the many different ways in which we already communicate with each other without realising it.
Blackboys C of E Primary School Communication Workshop
On April 26th 2012 Chailey Heritage pupils visited Blackboys Primary School to present a communication workshop. The pupils from Chailey were able to demonstrate how they communicate in many different ways, and were very happy to answer questions from the Blackboys pupils. Blackboys are hoping to accompany the pupils at Chailey in their Nativity play at the end of the Autumn term, with singing and signing songs to accompany the performance.
Blackboys CofE Primary School pupils joined us for a crib service on 19th December - click here to see photos.
Hoddern Junior School Communication Workshop
In September 2012 a group of Chailey Heritage pupils visited Hoddern Junior School (now called Peacehaven Heights) to present another communication workshop. Pupils at Hoddern really enjoyed the presentation - here are some of their comments:
'I really enjoyed the part when Rebecca spoke with the computer that she had. I thought how amazing it was because she used her eyes to tell it what she wanted to say' (Annabelle Year 5)
'Hi this is Bethany I thought that the assembly was amazing and it taught us how to do sign language. And I thought that it was really cool how the girl who had the computer done it with her eyes. Every one in my class was amazed, we all like the questions that we were asked.' (Bethany Year 5)
We visited Peacehaven Heights Junior School again in April 2013 to deliver signs to a song they were learning in their music assembly called 'Cauliflowers Fluffy and Cabbages Green'.
We have a Scouts Group at Chailey Heritage. Activities include a one week Summer Camp each year and a Firework Display organised by the Scouts for the whole school in November. Summer Camp 2012 was held in the beautiful grounds of Ardingly College.
Chailey Heritage School pupils have enjoyed visits from Albion in the Community (AITC), which is the award-winning charitable arm of Brighton & Hove Albion, They are one of the country's leading football club community schemes. They use the power of football and the reach of the Albion to make a positive difference to people's lives.
Football at Chailey Heritage
Since 2008, pupils at Chailey Heritage have been enjoying weekly football training. The training was originally provided by a team of volunteers who stayed after school, however since 2011 former pupil and current Futures (19+) resident Jadey Richardson has been organising and running the training sessions. The training is open to anyone in the school and there are always players from Primary, Secondary, 16+ and Futures (19+). A true highlight of the week for many pupils, the weekly training session has evolved to include a highly competitive end of term match between Secondary and 16+ (known as Chailey Heritage School) and Futures (known as Brighton Bombers).
In August 2012 Jadey will be starting a 2 year apprenticeship at Brighton and Hove Albion, within the two years Jadey will be learning how to coach football, completing a range of different FA approved badges and helping Brighton and Hove Albion set up a South East league for teams like Chailey Heritage. Perhaps most importantly he has committed to ensure that football at Chailey Heritage goes from strength to strength.
Chailey Champions Wheelchair Football Team romp to victory!
On Wednesday 3rd July 2013 Henry, Bradley, Ciaron and Sam took part in the Julie Hodder Football Tournament organised by Brighton and Hove Albion in the Community. The Chailey Champions were unbeaten and presented with the Julie Hodder Cup.
The Paralympics help Chailey Heritage School forge international links
On 11th September 2012 Chailey Heritage School had the pleasure of an impromptu visit from a group of delegates from North Korea, associated with the Paralympic Games. The school was honoured to welcome 17 year old Rim Ju-Song, North Korea's very first Paralympian who lost his left arm and leg in a childhood accident and only learnt to swim a few months before the 2012 games.....
A college link programme is offered to all Chailey Heritage School students, usually in Year 14. From September 2012 students will be able to attend Plumpton College for one day a week.
Our pupils sometimes visit the farm at Oathall School where they are always made to feel very welcome. Staff try to give our students as much of a sensory experience as possible including feeling and listening to the animals, using the milking machine (which sucks fingers) and obviously experiencing the aromas!
In the Summer Term 2012 Chailey Heritage linked up again with Whizz Kidz for another very successful wheelchair skills course on site here at school. The course was a huge success and many of the children enjoyed attending each week working towards their own individual wheelchair skills goals. The course was run again by Trish and this time she was accompanied by James. It was great to have Trish back, having been part of the pilot scheme the year before she was very much in tune with the needs of the young people at Chailey Heritage School and was able to adapt the course successfully. There were more games this time round incorporating different skills. The weather was very wet but it did not stop us having a great time in doors making use of all the areas around the school. Trish has now moved on and is covering another part of the country so sadly will not be joining us again in 2013, but we are looking forward to setting up another session for the young people over the next academic year.Whizz-Kidz believe that a vital part of providing disabled children with mobility equipment is making sure they know how to use it and to use it safely; they have created a unique wheelchair training programme across the UK which teaches young disabled people the vital skills they need to be in control of their wheelchair. The wheelchair training scheme helps young wheelchair users get the most from their mobility equipment by improving their wheelchair skills and confidence. Knowing how to use their wheelchairs not only ensures that they are safe, but it also means they can be more independent and have twice as much fun. For further information on services offered by Whizz Kidz please see their website: www.whizz-kidz.org.uk
Work Experience Students
Various local schools and colleges arrange for their students to complete their work placement assignments with us. This year our work experience students have come from Bexhill 6th Form College, Chailey School, Uckfield Community College, Tonbridge School, Lewes Old Grammar, Oathall, Warden Park, Dorothy Stringer, St Bede's, Putney High, Brighton and Hove High.
"You have taught me a lot about your students, and I really admire the way you and the other staff at Chailey Heritage work with the children to give them as normal a life as possible, there is a lot of happiness over there, this really struck me when I first visited and I was overcome with emotion." (Community Development Worker July 2010).