Autumn Message September 2023
Ms Marianne Best, Headteacher
To all parents/carers and our school community,
Following the somewhat damp and not so sunny summer, we have had a lovely start to our new school year! The school is expecting to have over 100 pupils on roll by the end of the year, growing to 120 when the building work is complete.
Building work commences after the October half-term, when the House will be shut for 2 years. The heating and electrical systems will be completely overhauled with all associated asbestos and repairs undertaken. We are very excited about the prospect of reopening the House in September 2025, with the proposal to reopen the residential provision to 38-week, high needs young people.
This year we have taken possession of 4 excellent temporary classrooms for use whilst the House is closed. Teachers and students in those 4 rooms are very keen to start using them next half-term. They are situated over at the School part of the site and we are looking forward to College and School working very closely together.
North Yorkshire Council, together with Welburn Hall governors, are managing our financial position and we are very privileged and grateful for the millions of pounds being invested in our school. Mindful of this, we are planning to create community-based resources in the House that will open from September 2025.
This term we are focusing on achieving the next level of accreditation with the National Autistic Society, as well as developing our Nurture Group provision. The majority of our students have autism and all benefit from the approaches that work for autistic children. Our ethos is to have the therapeutic approach to learning, respecting every child as an individual and building on their personal strengths. Despite the classes being much larger and all the challenges around resourcing, our pupils, as ever, have made a very positive start to the year with their new friends and teachers!
Our new Deputy Headteacher, Amanda Caton, is working with all teachers to ensure that we are a truly specialist resource and is focussing on communication as a priority this year.
I must mention our wonderful Home School Association, whose Chair is Evette Dadswell. Through Evette’s leadership and everyone’s unwavering commitment, we have raised thousands of pounds, which have allowed us to apply for a school minibus, to purchase new resources for outside spaces and contribute to specialist resourcing to support the communication needs of all our pupils.
The work we do here and the development of our school would be impossible without the staff, who are an amazing team of dedicated and highly skilled people. I am very proud of what we’ve achieved so far on our journey and we are supported by an incredibly able and involved governing body.
Finally, none of us would be here if it weren’t for the wonderful pupils, who brighten every day and make it a blessing to work here!