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Gatwick School impresses Leader of Council as it continues to grow

The Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor, Peter Lamb, paid a visit to The Gatwick School in Crawley recently to see first-hand the progress of one of Crawley’s newest schools.

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Operated by Aurora Academies Trust, The Gatwick School caters for students aged 4-16 and it began life as a free school in 2014 with only 44 children on roll.

Just 4 years later there are over 650 students and the school has waiting lists for places. Councillor Lamb was keen to see why the school has become so popular and he was not disappointed!

Visits to classrooms were organised and led by some of the student councillors including the Head Girl and Boy from both the primary and secondary phases.

Councillor Lamb was extremely impressed with the standards of teaching and learning throughout the school and commented on the high quality learning environment and the engagement in lessons, particularly noting one English lesson in which students were actively involved in constructing a reasoned argument, a skill needed by politicians at all levels!

Head of School, Mark Roessler said:

“This was a great opportunity for us to host the visit of the Leader of the Council and it was very definitely a two-way meeting: Councillor Lamb was able to see the high quality of education on offer and our students also got the chance to question him about his job and his vision for the town. He more than held his own in that exchange and replied very professionally to all the questions thrown at him!”.

Aurora’s Director of Education and Executive Head Paul Reilly said:

“In our first inspection we were rated by Ofsted as being Good with some Outstanding features and that has really helped cement our reputation in the community. We were thrilled that Councillor Lamb gave us so much of his time and showed such interest in seeing how the school has developed”.

Councillor Lamb later added:

“This was my first visit to the school since its opening. It’s great to see how things have developed over those last four years and there were a number of pleasant surprises for me in the way subjects are being tackled at the school. I look forward to seeing how The Gatwick School continues to grow and take shape over the years to come.”

Aurora’s CEO Tim McCarthy concluded:

“Aurora Academies Trust is very proud of The Gatwick School and everything that has been achieved here and we believe that we have delivered on the promise we gave to Crawley Borough Council from the outset that we would provide a great education for children and families in this area. We are delighted that Councillor Lamb has been able to see this for himself”.

Education

Chelsea FC Foundation brings initiative to Crawley school

The Chelsea Champions Programme is a Premier League funded project that enables Chelsea FC Foundation to place full-time staff within secondary schools and Thomas Bennett Community College was chosen for their programme.

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The aim of their programme is to increase physical activity, support leadership qualities and improve social, emotional wellbeing and increase resilience of pupils through a number of universal, targeted and individual initiatives.

Cutting through the jargon it is an exercise on both educating and motivating young people, in particular those who may be finding it harder than others with everyday situations

A spokesperson for Cheslea FC Foundation said:

“Here at Thomas Bennett Community College (TBCC) our Chelsea Champion is; Lauren Owens, who is supported by a Chelsea mentor; Yannick Jean. The Chelsea Fc Foundation Sussex department have taken over the old youth wing attached to TBCC, rebranded and relaunched it as the Community Hub. Open every day after school from 3-5pm, Monday-Thursday to TBCC students and Primary School students on a Friday. During half term, we open the Hub for Holiday Activities.

As part of support offered at TBCC, Chelsea FC Foundation have developed the Skills School project. An alternative learning provision that is to encourage positive behaviour in a group of ‘high profile’ students that struggle within main stream lessons. They take part in a variety of different activities and topics from English to Health and Wellbeing, Maths to Personal Skills. The aim is not only to help improve their behaviour in and around school but improve their self-esteem and resilience.”

Last Friday (15th March), the u18s Chelsea Academy Scholars delivered a session based around raising aspirations.

The foundation said the session was something planned out by the U18s Chelsea Academy Scholars based on information that they were given about the group of students.

The activities included looking at questions to encourage conversations around the following; ‘what being a role model was?’, ‘what qualities does a good role model have?’ and ‘what does aspirations mean?’ The main message they  put across to the students involved in the activity was that hard work pays off.”

For more information on how Chelsea FC Foundation can support your school, club or community please contact them on sussexdevelopment@chelseafc.com.

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