£2.8m funding allows further growth at The Springfields Academy

SEN (Special Education Needs) award winning school, The Springfields Academy, has been awarded £2.8 million by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to build 16 new classrooms for students with complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.

The funding will enable The Springfields Academy to expand and make its world class standards of education available to an increased number of vulnerable pupils.

Established in 1988 for 45 pupils, The Springfields Academy has developed a reputation for innovative and ground-breaking initiatives. As a result, demand for places has steadily grown. Today, The Springfields Academy has 90-100 full-time boarding pupils. Its teachers also educate a further 500 students aged between seven and seventeen, some of which are from other schools.

The EFA provides revenue and capital funding to support the education of learners between the ages of three and 25 and for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Commenting on the award, Trystan Williams, Principal of The Springfields Academy, said, “If the planning goes ahead, this money will allow us to build the best possible classrooms – including IT classrooms - and therapy suites. We are delighted to be awarded such a large sum of money to invest in the academy. 2013 has been an exceptional year for us so far and the grounds at Springfields will soon reflect the growth that the students have accomplished.”

The initial planning ideas will be submitted in mid-May. The expansion process promises not to cause added disruption to traffic or increase noise in the local area.

The vision of The Springfields Academy is to inspire self-belief among vulnerable children. The academy provides extensive academic and vocational opportunities for pupils, nurturing their education and interests. Pupils are empowered to develop their self confidence by demonstrating and building on their abilities and sharing their achievements with their peers.

For further information, visit www.springfields.wilts.sch.uk

Twitter: @SpringfieldsAcd, www.twitter.com/SpringfieldsAcd

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Springfields-Academy/340226516022604

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-springfields-academy

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SpringfieldsAcd

Ends

Editorial contacts:
Sara Tye or Emma De Maio
redheadPR
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Email: sara@redheadpr.co.uk or emma@redheadpr.co.uk


The Springfields Academy – Backgrounder

The Springfields Academy is an award-winning visionary educational institution like no other. Providing support for vulnerable children with complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour, this specialist residential school is known for its world class standard of innovation in the educational sector.

The Springfields Academy has an impressive track record of awards. In the 2012 Times Educational Supplement Awards, they scooped two titles: Outstanding School of the Year and Outstanding Special Needs School of the Year. In the same year they also achieved the Special Education Needs Provision Award at the Business Education Awards.

By working with international partner schools and delivering a global dimension to curriculum-based work, The Springfields Academy achieved the full award level of accreditation from the International School Awards in 2009.

The vision at The Springfields Academy is to inspire self-belief among vulnerable children. The academy provides extensive academic and vocational opportunities for pupils, nurturing their education and interests. Pupils are enabled to develop their self confidence by demonstrating and building on their abilities, sharing it with their peers.

One of the many groundbreaking initiatives of The Springfields Academy is “The Extreme Classroom”, created by Principal Trystan Williams and Alan Chambers, MBE, Former Royal Marine Commando, a renowned, determined and inspirational figure most known for his expeditions in the Polar Regions. The intrinsic belief driving this project is that pupils excel when they are challenged, pushing them beyond the limits of expectation. The unique initiative presents an opportunity for pupils to develop self-belief, overcome adversity and prove a point to themselves and others who may have written them off. Vice Principal, Jon Hamp has lead and consolidated the development of this concept since its initiation.

Through The Extreme Classroom concept Trystan has the objective to raise awareness about complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour: the project has become the subject of documentaries filmed and aired by the BBC. The Hottest Classroom on Earth expedition in 2012 involved an eight-day trip to the African Rift Valley in Tanzania, in which ten pupils gained first-hand experience of the nomadic lifestyle of the Maasai tribes people. In 2011, The Coldest Classroom on Earth saw four pupils trek in near Arctic Circle. This year the selected students will face a Mount Everest Base Camp trek in The Highest Classroom on Earth, whilst plans for more of The Extreme Classroom programmes are in the pipeline.

The unique academy reaches several international locations. As a member of the Connecting Classrooms education programme, they have partnerships with  Yanbu , the Vocational School in Nanhai, China, Ahmad Toqan School in Jordan, and CIEP Mane Garrincha School in Mage, Brazil. The partnerships have facilitated students, and teachers, to experience a world of different culture and language, visit the schools abroad, and establish valuable connections with the Internationally-linked schools. Plans have also been made to install video conferencing facilities for communication with other schools in countries across the globe, including Mexico and Texas.

The Springfields Academy believes in providing comprehensive support for families, offering family and parenting support groups, as well as the option to use a family link worker.

Established in 1999, the academy has developed a wealth of expertise in educating pupils for qualifications within several sectors, including hospitality and catering, hair and beauty, sports, construction, leisure and the motor industry.

Accredited courses in animal care and horticulture, together with therapeutic activity sessions for young people have also become available, thanks to the academy’s foundation of the Greenfields Farm in 2012. The site’s entire development was overseen by The Springfields Academy, and it has become the community hub for sharing horticultural knowledge and experience.  As part of their ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Curriculum, The Springfields Academy aim to educate pupils about sustainable farming, as they believe time spent outdoors is highly valuable to instil a sense of constructiveness and teamwork.

The Springfields Academy is a specialist sports college, offering high level coaching for gifted children, and delivering sport for all.

The Springfields Academy have 90-100 pupils boarding full-time, and teachers also educate 500 students aged between seven and seventeen, some of which are from other schools.

For further information, visit www.springfields.wilts.sch.uk

Twitter: @SpringfieldsAcd, www.twitter.com/SpringfieldsAcd

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Springfields-Academy/340226516022604

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-springfields-academy

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SpringfieldsAcd

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