The Springfields Academy ‘Lions Pride’ fourth annual Ball raised thousands with former British & Irish Lion’s Captain Gareth Edwards CBE

The Springfields Academy, an OFSTED Outstanding educational institution, raised approximately £7,000 at its fourth annual ball on Saturday 20 July, which took place in the school grounds in Calne. The Lions Pride honoured the return of The British & Irish Lions rugby team from its tour of Australia and welcomes former captain, Gareth Edwards CBE, as special guest and speaker.

The ball was sponsored by local family owned business, Chippenham Motor Company, while the drinks reception was kindly provided by redheadPR, the dynamic public relations consultancy.

The monies raised will help fund taking 10 students to Everest Base Camp as part of the institution’s latest Extreme Classroom Challenge, The Highest Classroom on Earth.

Guests enjoyed a four-course meal prepared the award winning ‘George and Dragon’ outside catering of Rowde. Throughout the evening, live entertainment was provided by Chris Poole and The Shades, the Birmingham-based six-piece function/party band whose musical style is broad and varied.

The highly valued array of auction prices went towards the £7,000 raised on the evening.

Guest speaker, Gareth Edwards CBE, who was declared the greatest Rugby player of all time in 2003, contributed towards the auction by supplying the British Lions poster from 1976, which raised £2,500.

Other prizes included a Luxury 4 star, four bed self catering holiday home located in the St Moritz complex (a short walk from Polzeat, Cornwall), this was sold for £800.

Donated by St Marys Sports Centre in Calne, a year’s worth of health and fitness for two sold for £385. Winners of this will enjoy the Annual Partnership Membership plus, two Hot Stone and full body massages, plus 10 personal training sessions worth a total of £1137.00.

Sponsors, The Chippenham Motor Company, offered the use of their 200BHP convertible RCZ Peugeot sports car for a week sold for £150.

A trio of Araucana Chickens which originate from Northern Chile was also up for grabs, the trio of fowl sold for £150.

The pièce de résistance, a 2013 Manchester United Football Club, Premiership Champions, t-shirt, signed by all the team after winning their unprecedented 20th title and had also been signed by Sir Alex Ferguson, manager, after his last game in charge before retirement. Unfortunately the t-shirt didn’t meet the reserve price, so this unique item is still available! If you would be interested in purchasing this t-shirt, please email Phil Cooch, Vice Principal Finance, on

With superb views of the game and surrounding city, two places in a corporate box at Bath Rugby to include lunch and refreshments was auctioned and sold for £325. In addition, the winner will also receive a signed Rugby shirt from the Bath Backs. A must for the rugby fanatic!

The money raised from this unique auction is going in the fundraising pot for The Extreme Classroom. This concept was conceived to help pupils gain confidence, develop their social skills and build relationships. Learning takes place outside the traditional classroom, often presenting tough mental and physical challenges. This year’s challenge, The Highest Classroom on Earth, will see 10 children, chosen from a selection and training process, climb to the Everest Base Camp. The Springfields Academy believes that pupils excel when challenged and push themselves beyond the limits of expectation.

The Springfields Academy provides 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.

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Editorial contacts:

Sara Tye or Emma De Maio


Tel: 07921 160 134


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

Twitter: @SpringfieldsAcd,





Editorial contacts:

Sara Tye or Emma De Maio


Tel: 07786 176 617 or 07921 160 134

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