Partnership with Fairfields School
Our school has formed a number of strong links with Fairfields School. Fairfields is an outstanding special school for primary aged children with severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties.
We link in four main ways:
- As a strategic partner to the Fairfields Teaching School Alliance
- Providing opportunities to Fairfields pupils to use our design and technology and PE facilities
- Undertaking joint residentials
- Collaborating on Arts residencies
Design and Technology
We have established an excellent combined Design and Technology class with Fairfields School. Every week pupils from Fairfields attend sessions which give the staff and students from both schools opportunities to work with and support each other in a variety of small wooden projects.
This has proved to be a very successful programme as it allows pupils from Fairfields to develop their skills when working with tools and machinery, as well as providing opportunities to develop their social and communication skills.
In addition, this programme has given our students an opportunity to develop their self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. They go from being helped to helping others in a non-judgemental setting.
Students and staff from our two schools have been away on a number of sea-side based, week-long residentials to either Norfolk or Bournemouth. The benefits derived from such trips, for students and staff alike, are similar to those described in the joint D&T lessons above. However, given the intensity of contact over the week, the benefits go far deeper and appear to be much longer lasting.
On the first residential (to Longtown) one pupil from Fairfields was an elective mute and hadn’t spoken to her Headteacher for four years. By Wednesday of that week she was speaking comfortably with all of us such was her desire to a part of what was going on and to get involved with the TGS boys.
Another example is of a little girl who, by dint of her cerebral palsy, was unable to walk when she came on her first residential with us in June 2010. So keen was she to be able to mix and socialise with our students that, by the time we returned to school in September, she had taught herself to walk.
These examples speak of the enormous impact our joint work has.