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The Ellesmere Blog

Signing Get-together

on Thursday, 09 June 2016.

 

Yesterday saw us hold the launch of an event aimed at supporting students living with a hearing impairment. Colleagues from the City council’s Hearing Support Team held the event called a ‘Signing Get-together’ at the Sports pavilion here at Ellesmere. The day brought together deaf and signing students from across the city to develop community, communication, social and practical skills. We welcomed students from Merrydale Junior School, Ashfield Academy and Spinney Hill School.

A number of students across Leicester find themselves as the only deaf/signing student in their school. Bringing such students together with other similar young people can do wonders for the confidence, well-being and engagement.

Students were supported through several sessions and workshops including cooking, hearing-aid cleaning and communication activities. The pavilion was a hive of activity throughout the day and it was clear to anyone venturing in that there was a whole of lot of fun being had by some very happy young people.

There is a hope that the event will become a regular occurrence and on the evidence of yesterday it would be a hugely welcome and rewarding experience.

 

 

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Dilly-Ding, Dilly-Dong

on Thursday, 19 May 2016.

The college and the city are finally coming-down from the high of Leicester City’s Premier league win. Many of our staff and students ventured out on Monday to help give the Premier League champions a huge welcome through the streets of Leicester and partied in the park with the blue army. The buzz within college recently has replicated that of the whole city and it is certainly an exciting and dynamic time to be living in Leicester.

If Claudio Ranieri and his men have shown the people of Leicester (and the world!) anything at all, it is that dedication, determination, self-belief and team-work can help you achieve your dreams. That is a message we should all share and it’s a true inspiration for all our young people.

As we approach half-term there are all-manner of activities and events taking place. Friday sees our year 9 students out on a trip to the Space Centre. Virtually all our year 9’s will be attending and a trip to the Space Centre is always a brilliant day out.

As ever at Ellesmere, numerous sporting events are taking place. Head over to Twitter and check out @ActiveEllesmere for the wide-range of sporting opportunities that are taking place.

Staff and students are currently finalising ideas for The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild event (Check the ‘#30DaysWild’ on Twitter for information, events and ideas).   

The event runs from the 1st - 30th June 2016. 30 Days Wild is the UK's month-long nature challenge. The Wildlife Trust are encouraging schools to sign-up, join in & do something wild every day for a month. Head over to the Trust’s website for more information (http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/)

To mark our 1st anniversary since being formally opened, Ellesmere College is celebrating the success of key Leicester based sports teams and individuals over the last year.

The event will also celebrate the partnerships created between the clubs and Ellesmere College and the impact of these on disabled people and special educational need students. We are expecting visitors from Leicester Riders, Leicester City ladies and Leicester Hockey.

We will be starting at 14:00 at our Community Café with students hosting and serving tea, coffee and cakes. We will then move into the Main Hall for a presentation with our Student Council representatives at 14:20. There will be a buffet after the event at 14.50 pm hosted by GNG FC at the Riverside Pavilion. 

Out of the Blue(s)

on Thursday, 28 April 2016.

Last week we were visited by www.bamboozletheatre.co.uk. They spent time in the Primary department making Cheeky rat puppets and the students had a wonderful time. Bamboozle’s approach engages with children and young people with a range of cognitive and behavioural needs, moving students’ engagement with the world to a deeper level. The students were enchanted by the delivery of the sessions and the puppets they created and all the classes I visited were abuzz with creativity and fun. Thanks to all the guys at Bamboozle and we hope to see you again soon.

The 6th form social enterprise ELLESprint have had a highly rewarding time recently. There was the success of the Choice Unlimited event (as highlighted in the previous blog post), the continued development of the 6th form prospectus project and now the opportunity has arisen for some exciting new projects. ELLESprint have been invited to a meeting with John Coster from Leicester Centre for Integrated Living to discuss some new projects he is keen to involve ELLESprint in.

Last Friday saw a whole-school PSHE day, full of activities and challenges aimed at improving, informing and involving students in issues regarding their health and well-being. The day was brilliantly organised and delivered with student engagement and enjoyment visibly apparent to all.

Some of our Primary classes are off to visit West Lodge Rural centre today where they will meet and handle lots of small animals and even meet the baby lambs! West Lodge is a fabulous place. Have a great day guys.

And finally, like most of the city, we here at Ellesmere are fervently ‘Backing the Blues’ (#backingtheblues) and supporting Leicester City in their incredible bid to become Premier League champions. City are just three points away from winning the title and could do it this weekend with a victory at Manchester United. We at Ellesmere are hugely proud to be from such a vibrant city and are thrilled that City are poised to bring sporting glory with what would be one of the most incredible fairy tales the country has ever witnessed. Come on City!

ELLESPRINT AT CHOICE UNLIMITED

on Friday, 22 April 2016.

Wednesday the 20th saw a group of students attend the Choices Unlimited (http://www.choiceunlimited.co.uk/) event at Leicester Tigers stadium. Choice Unlimited is “The marketplace for independent living, showcasing information, services and products for disabled people, older people and carers”. The Event is organised by Leicester Centre for Independent Living (@LeicesterCIL). The Sixth form Social Enterprise group ‘ELLESprint’ were invited by event organiser John Coster in recognition of the outstanding work they have undertaken this year.

The event also saw the launch of the latest issue of VOICE magazine which features a brilliant article all about Ellesprint.

 The group took part in a Q&A with journalists from De Montfort University, DeMon FM and Leicester Mercury, discussed their experiences of Ellesprint with a number of guests and other contributors and met-up with lots of potential customers. We came away with two potential new commissions and will be meeting-up with those organisations to discuss new projects.

Importantly the students also had a fantastic time and a whole load of fun at what is a really special, inspirational event.


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The Buttercup Girls

on Monday, 18 April 2016. Posted in News

Shining Star

The words for the song were written by Katie. Its about being proud of who you are even though you are different to other people. The music was written by the group, the song was recorded by the group in a morning session with help from Kev from "Rockschool"

  • Keeley Forryan - Drums and Triangle
  • Katie Akiens - Vocals and Keyboard
  • Megan Smith - Bass guitar
  • Elle Molyneux - Electric Guitar

 To listen to the song, click here

buttercup girls

Here to there

on Wednesday, 23 March 2016.

Easter already! This term has absolutely flown-by. So jammed-packed is our schedule here at Ellesmere than no sooner have we planned and delivered one event, another speeds round the corner! Following last week’s amazing Sports Relief day, this week sees us gearing-up for parents evening.

Here at Ellesmere, we always go full-throttle for Sports Relief but this year’s events saw things moved up another level. Our mini-Olympics involved the whole school and was fiercely contested throughout. We’re a competitive bunch here! The afternoon saw students involved in a whole range of sporting activities to raise money for what is an amazing cause.

Our collective college day was made today when visitors from George’s hairdressing came into college. George’s have been collecting donations and Easter eggs for a number of weeks, just so they could deliver them to our students in time for the Easter weekend. Staff from George’s arrived at our door this morning with over 300 Easter eggs! All the children we’re thrilled to bits with their eggs and everyone here at Ellesmere is full of gratitude and admiration for everyone at George’s. (http://www.georgeshairdressing.com/)

It's to be hoped that staff havn't gone too crazy with the Creme Eggs that we were kindly given this morning (By George's again!) as tonight see's our annual parents evening. As ever we are really looking forward to welcoming all the parents, carers and families into Ellesmere to share in the successes of our students. Parents evening kicks-off at 3.30pm. Thanks once again to the students who have volunteered to help-out this evening. Thanks guys!


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Welcome The Sun

on Tuesday, 01 March 2016.

Ellesmere is back in full-swing after the half-term break. There’s a warm glow and a feeling of optimism throughout the college that lightens the mood of almost everybody.

 The sun is shining later into the day this week and Ellesmere’s position set-up on the hill allows all the sunlight to flood the classrooms and dapple them with a beautiful hazy sparkle. The change in mood this engenders can be felt around the college, putting a spring into steps as winter begins to disappear in the rear-view mirror. We are so lucky to have our building on such an amazing site. The expanses of glass not only allow the sun to shine on us all but wherever one looks one can see green. Trees, shrubs and acres of grass leading down to the river create a rural idyll on the edge of the city that really begins to blossom as the Spring approaches.

 As well as luxuriating in what nature is providing for us, we are also enjoying the wide range of activities that this term is delivering. On Thursday we celebrate both World Maths DayandWorld Book Day. Our Maths department have created a whole programme of exciting maths challenges have been devised that the students can win prizes for.  Our English department becomes a Police department for the day with teams of students turning detective for a CSI-style search for the perpetrators of a series of heinous crimes.

Leicestershire & Rutland County Football Association are hosting a girls and ladies day here at Ellesmere College on the Saturday 12th of March. This is for girls and ladies of all ages and abilities, to come and try some football activities alongside some fun activities, including Soccersize (keep fit with a football) and other sports and games.

The day will be a football and fun activity day to encourage girls and ladies with disabilities and additional needs to have a go at football. Come along and give it a try. You never know…you could be the next Steph Haughton or Toni Duggan!

 Venue – Ellesmere College, Braunstone Lane East, Leicester, LE3 2FW

Time – 10.30am to 2pm

Cost – Free

The 6th form social enterprise group had great success selling the Valentine’s Day cards they designed. Over 80% of stock was sold and customer satisfaction was unanimous. Following this outstanding success, a range of Mother’s Day cards went on sale today.

River to Consider

on Friday, 29 January 2016.

As part of our PSHE programme we have a qualified Tai Chi instructor coming into Ellesmere who is going to do some training with sixth form staff. If any other staff have free periods and would like to join us they are very welcome.  6th form Students will also be having some half-an-hour instruction sessions in the next couple of weeks and then staff and students together will be starting some “ten minute tai chi” in the 6th form hub most mornings. In addition tai chi will be available to 6th form on a trial basis as a PE option after half-term. 

Eventually we will be able to involve the wider school community in starting the day in a positive and relaxed state of body and mind.

To help raise the Profile of the River Soar Catchment Partnership Ellesmere are engaging in a project to design a logo for the partnership. Students have been invited to design an eye-catching, river-themed design using the following questions as inspiration;

 Think about what the river means to you?

What do you love about it?

What makes it special to you?

Are there any activities or wildlife that make you think of the river, how would you draw them?

What colours make you think of the river and its surrounding environment?

What about the river environment inspires you?

We can’t wait to see what exciting, artistic and engaging concepts our creative students come up with and look forward to presenting the project with some amazing designs.

Safer Internet Day is fast approaching and as ever Ellesmere will be taking a full part in what is always an enlightening and enriching day. We are working on a number of activities both in school and online. Keep an eye on our Twitter account (@ellesmereleic) for updates and we will also be reporting back here on the blog.

Another annual event we always look forward to is World Book Day, which this year is on the 3rd of March. As always staff and students have loads of exciting ideas up their sleeves and we will report back on them nearer the day. 

Day-in, Day-out

on Thursday, 14 January 2016.

Ellesmere is now fully back into the groove following the Christmas holiday and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy and wholesome new year for 2016.

The weather may be turning freezing outside but the atmosphere here at Ellesmere is heating-up as we head into another exciting and innovative term.

A number of students are in the midst of exams and everyone here wishes them all the best.

Rehearsals and pre-production are in full-swing for our school pantomime performance of Robin Hood. The performance tales place nest week, Tuesday 19th of January, here at Ellesmere and as ever promises to be a hugely entertaining and enjoyable experience for all involved. ‘Oh yes it is!’

It’s always great to see the students back in the college after a long break as life if re-introduced to the building with an energetic flourish of excited activity.

The Leicester Riders basketball club are holding satellite sessions here at Ellesmere. Sessions are aimed at students from Leicestershire special schools or units. The player pathway from these sessions are through to Special Olympics Clubs that focus on players with a learning disability. Sessions are on Mondays between 4.00 pm and 5.20pm in our state-of-the-art Sports Hall with a cost of £2 per-session and is for students aged 12 and upwards.

ELLESprint, the social enterprise run by 6th form students are currently producing cards in time for Valentine’s Day. These will be available to buy from school reception from next week.

We are blessed here at Ellesmere with extensive outside spaces. The BMX Pump track and mountain bike trail built by ‘Bike It’ opened in October 2015 and was provided through contributions from Leicester Local Authority and Public Health. The last six months has allowed Ellesmere College students to access the track to create a dynamic teaching space including cycling, BMX, mountain biking, forestry activities and horticulture.

The pump track is yet another quite unique resource for Ellesmere and the coming months will see it used extensively.

December Dreamers

on Tuesday, 08 December 2015.

The countdown to Christmas is in full-swing and the college is a hive of festive activity. Our hotly-anticipated Christmas show The North Pole Express. Staff and students have been working incredibly hard (and having loads of fun!) getting ready for the performance and it promises to be a show to remember. The performance is on Tuesday 15th of December at 7pm and tickets are still available (although they’re going fast!).

Yesterday saw our Rock School assembly. All year Kev and Dan come in to college to get the students jamming and rocking and the annual assembly is a chance for the whole college to hear the results and a chance for the Rock Schoolers to seriously Rock Star it up in front of a large audience. There were some serious shapes being thrown up on stage and some great singing and playing. As ever it was a joy to witness and a massive ‘well done’ to all involved.

This Friday (11/12/2015) sees our annual Christmas Fayre. Between 9.30 and 11.00 we will be holding the fayre in the Main Hall and we would love to see as many of you here as possible so bring your family and friends and some money to spend! We’re expecting a special visit from a special man in a special bright red suit so it promises to be a magical morning.

The next few weeks promise to be a busy and exciting time as we count down to the festive period so watch this space.

AUTUMN ALMANAC

on Thursday, 12 November 2015.

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, activities here at school let us know that we are well and truly in the midst of the autumn term. The college is abuzz with busyness as learning, performance, sport, visits and special events are all racing along, creating one of the busiest terms of the year.

Whilst the weather may be more like May than November, nature’s beautiful colours that can be seen in-and-around our campus are a treat for the eyes.

 Last week saw a number of our partner colleges visit us to meet with our 6th form students who are preparing for their transitions to pastures new next summer. Photos from what was a hugely successful and enjoyable visit were posted on our Twitter feed and can be found at @ellesmereleic.

 Tomorrow (Friday 13th) sees the return of the bi-annual Children in Need charity fundraising day. Ellesmere always looks forward to this day and as ever staff and students will be throwing themselves into a number of events and activities to raise funds and have a load of fun!

One of the most-keenly anticipated CIN events is the staff Lip-Sync battle. We have quite a range of ‘artistes’ performing, from Katy Perry, to Bon Jovi, the Spice Girls to the Blues Brothers! It should put a smile on everyone’s faces and, more importantly, raise money for Children in Need.

 Ellesmere students recently joined a cast of 180 young people at The Curve theatre in Leicester in a performance of Strictly in Union, a show celebrating the Rugby World Cup coming to England and the many countries and cultures that are part of this marvellous sporting spectacle. Argentinian Tango, Waltzing Matilda and the fearsome Haka were brought to life in a truly unique, powerful and moving way.

The performances were a real showcase of the talents of young disabled people from all over the county. The confidence, sensitivity, lack of inhibition and fun bring a refreshing perspective to these dance performances.

Busy Being Fabulous

on Monday, 14 September 2015. Posted in News

The first few weeks back since the summer break have seen the college abuzz with activity…hence the lateness of this blog post! We have well and truly hit the ground running!

Last week we celebrated Ellesmere’s 20th birthday will a celebration event. A large number of former students, honoured guests and friends of Ellesmere joined us at the Sports Pavilion for what was a hugely enjoyable and rewarding event. Guests were welcomed with speeches from co-principle Lisa Pittwood, chair of governors Steve White and senior leader Mark Botterill.

We were honoured to be joined by a number of former students including Chris Southwell, Aiden Leighton and Ben O’Brien who have just returned from the Special Olympics World Games with a massively impressive four gold medals! The assembly listened intently as the related their experiences and then offered further congratulations to the three for their fantastic achievements.

Students and guests were then treated to a tour of the new college and many where overwhelmed by the fabulous facilities on offer to our current students. Both current staff and former students hugely enjoyed the opportunity for a ‘catch-up’ after all the years and it was quite emotional for many involved.

All participants were invited to add articles to the Ellesmere Memory box which will shortly be buried on the new site. Whenever this is opened in the future…maybe on our 40th birthday celebrations…it promises to be an exciting occasion for all involved.

The 6th form Social Enterprise team held our first meeting this morning. Very exciting, extremely positive and rewarding. Our 6th form students have set-up a business providing quality digital design, print and copying services. They will be offering a variety services including Leaflets / Brochures / Posters / Newsletters / Canvases / Direct mail.  The project will provide first-class products for our customers and deliver positive outcomes for students both academically and socially. Further details will be available on our website and on Twitter as the students develop their business marketing strategy. We are working-on producing a sample product range and are in discussions with potential customers. (Stop press; we have already have our first customers! The students are working on a commission to provide table-placing posters for a member of staff’s wedding and a brief to design and print posters and leaflets for Leicester Ladies Hockey Club. Four other potential customers have contacted us regarding providing products so we’re all-systems go! The project will resume in mid-September as a full part of the 6th form curriculum for the students AIM awards).

Ellesmere students will once again be taking part in a major theatre production at The Curve theatre.  The performance, called Strictly in Union, is based around the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. Auditions began last week for the performance that will be held in November. Keep an eye on our social media output for more details and further information can be found on The Curve’s website here curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/strictly-in-union

Official Opening

on Tuesday, 19 May 2015. Posted in News

Our Official opening was a huge, fabulous, resounding success for all involved. We were inundated with visitors all morning and it was fantastic to see so many faces here who have played important parts in Ellesmere’s journey. Leicestershire and England sports stars Emile Heskey and Paul Nixon joined with Baroness Sue Campbell and Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby and many more to lend the celebrations an air of grandeur and glamour. 


The ribbon was cut by Baroness Campbell following an assembly that was as uplifting as it was as uplifting as it was entertaining. The speeches were delivered by our co-principles Lin Richardson and Lisa Pittwood who spoke with empathy and warmth about the journey that has brought us to this momentous day. Chair of Ellesmere governors Steve White spoke about the impact the school can and is having on the local community before he was joined by members of our student council who spoke movingly about what Ellesmere means to them. Peter Soulsby spoke, appropriately enough, about the soul of the school which, whilst the new building is impressive, lies within the people who make this such a special place. Baroness Campbell concluded the speeches with energising words aimed at the students and their hopes, dreams and aspirations. They are…as was marvellously pointed out by many…the reason for all of this.

The whole event was an overwhelming success as these words by our co-principles demonstrate;

“Today, we demonstrated as a team that Ellesmere is a class act and is a thriving environment that continually strives for excellence. We are proud to be leading such an excellent team and feel privileged to work with such a dedicated group of staff and such brilliant students. This morning has well and truly showcased what Ellesmere College has to offer our students and they in turn have responded, as they always do, in such a positive manner. Visitors spoke unreservedly about how Ellesmere students are incredibly confident, polite, well spoken, positive and well behaved. They have been overwhelmed by the skills and successes the students have spoken to them about”

The visitors spent the rest of the morning touring the school and wider site, ably guided by the incredible Student Leaders whose dedication was a joy to behold.

Some photos from what was a truly special day are below, with more to follow.

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A huge thank you to Michael Stockton for the photographs used here. www.michaelstockton.com 

Open Up

on Monday, 18 May 2015. Posted in News

Tomorrow sees our Official Opening day! (http://www.ellesmerecollege.org.uk/index.php/welcome-to-ellesmere-college/news-and-events). We have been working and planning for this event for some time and everyone here is excite that the momentous da is finally coming around. A whole range of diverse activities are planned for our students and we can’t wait for our honoured guests to come and visit and see our community in action! (Further information regarding tomorrow’s event is available by clicking the link above).

A number of new students are starting with us this week and everyone at Ellesmere wishes them a very warm welcome and looks forward to the joining the Ellesmere family. The college garden has been a hive of activity over the past few days with the Outdoor learning team supervising the planting of a cornucopia of vegetables. Students will nurture the growing over the next few months with the aim of presenting Babs and her team kitchen staff with a range of healthy produce to be cooked here in our kitchen (take a look at the pictures below).

This week will see a number of musical activities taking place throughout the college. Our music department and our famous Rock School will be working on their future chart-topping sounds with groups of year 8 students.

Two interview days for new teaching roles here were held last week and we look forward to welcoming all the new staff members in September.

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD

on Wednesday, 06 May 2015. Posted in News

General election fever has gripped Ellesmere this week. We will be showing coverage of the election on both Thursday and Friday on the visual display units throughout the college as we look to further engage our students in what is the most open election in many years. BBC deputy political editor James Landale has said politicians, pollsters and the media were struggling to read the election, leading many to focus on what might happen if there is an uncertain result. "As such, Thursday might not be the end of the process," he said. "It might just be the calling of the half-time whistle." Friday promises to be an interesting day with staff ready to answer a lot of questions from our ever-inquisitive students!

Informal conversations have been held with student groups in the college’s internet café to discuss the nature of the electoral process. ICT/Communications officer Michael Richardson explained "It's important that children understand the importance as well as the process of democracy. Whilst pupils at our school are, in the main, too young to vote in the General and local council elections they are showing a developing understanding of political issues as the campaigning has been going on over the past few weeks”.

Whilst avoiding any overt party-politicisation, the college is helping as many students who are able to be engaged with the election to help bring democracy to life for them and attempt to create a positive impact on their opinion of the process.

Wednesday the 13th will see our on-site BMX / Cycle track open for the first time. Students will be out and about doing jumps, pulling wheelies and generally showing-off their skills on two wheels.

Wednesday will also see archery sessions taking place as we build-up to a number of forthcoming sporting events and our Open Day on the 19th. Much more information to follow. Watch this space!  
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