A smashing start for The Springfields Academy’s annual charitable Golf Day

With over 90 participants and an excess of £1000 raised, The Springfields Academy’s first annual Charitable Trust Golf Day on Saturday 9 February 2013 was a huge success, and has set the bar high for future events.

Staff, pupils and players were delighted to raise the impressive sum for The Springfields Academy and their Charitable Trust, which supports the work of the school; the outstanding SEN Award-winning residential specialist academy works with pupils who have complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.

Funds raised in this particular event are going towards The Springfields Academy’s ‘Extreme Classroom’ initiative, where they plan to take a group of the most challenging and disadvantaged children to a base camp at Mount Everest for The Highest Classroom on Earth in October 2013.

A crowd of players, family, friends and over 40 golf club members took to the fairways at Woodbridge Park Golf Club in Brinkworth to support of the cause. The 18-hole course is well-known in Wiltshire for its lush greens and fairways, but also for its challenges: golfers faced water hazards, bunkers and other tricky obstacles.

Whilst no-one was lucky enough this time to sink a hole in one, Sonny Saunders, a pupil at The Springfields Academy came closest and landed his shot within only four feet of the hole, in what was a thrilling day of competitive golf. Golfer, Olly Worts, powered a huge drive of over 325 yards to win the trophy for the longest drive, and The Springfields Academy team themselves, sponsored by Parent Ruth Diver, took the winning team trophy with 103 points.

Select Windows team member, Tony Bull, took the nearest to the line award, whilst Dan Pickford of the Fare saver Busses team said, “It was a fantastic day, well organised and great fun – we’ll definitely be back next year to win that car!”

The day was supported by event sponsors Chippenham Motor Company, Box Steam Brewery and TBT Ltd. Their help was instrumental with the success of the day.

Trystan Williams, Principal at The Springfields Academy, said “I was completely humbled that so many people turned up to show their appreciation and support for our cause. The Springfields Academy team put so much enthusiasm and creativity into the event and, as I expected, the entire day was a success.”

Kevin Derby, event organiser commented “it was a wet, cold and windy day, but the support received from Woodbridge Park Golf Club and all those who attended was heart-warming, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our sponsors. Plans are already being made to make next year’s event bigger and better: we want to involve more businesses, families, and no doubt the prizes will be even more enticing.”

One of many groundbreaking initiatives of The Springfields Academy, “The Extreme Classroom” was 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.

So far there have been two BBC documentaries covering the experience of the pupils with complex learning difficulties, on the extraordinary expeditions: The Coldest Classroom on Earth trip to the North Pole was 78 degrees north, whilst The Hottest Classroom on Earth saw the pupils, lead by Trystan himself, trek their way through an eight-day trip to the African Rift Valley, Tanzania, to the Ngoro Ngoro crater accompanied by Masai tribesmen. More of The Extreme Classroom expeditions are in the pipeline, including a climb to Everest Base Camp in 2013.

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

Twitter: @SpringfieldsAcd

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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 Artic 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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