The Springfields Academy

Ready to go!

The sun is starting to shine and the days are getting longer which means we will be able to start developing the therapy garden.

The first task is to get seeds planted and allotment beds ready! Thanks to the generosity of the Wiltshire Garden Trust we have been able to purchase some gardening tools and new planters. In response to a ‘shout out’ to staff and Governors we have received lots of seeds which we plan to start planting next week.

Thank you all for your generosity and support in developing the therapy garden! If you would have any gardening tools, pots or equipment that are looking for a new home, the therapy team and students would greatly appreciate them! They would be put to good use!

Please contact us by email – or by calling direct on 01249 814125.

Thank you for your continued support!

Liz Burns
Occupational Therapist
The Springfields Academy

How many times will “Kev’s Cuppa” get ‘shared’ and where will it travel to? ‘A Social Media Experiment’

An important topic within our Sex and Relationships Education program is ‘Social Media’.

Many children do not fully understand how powerful Social Media is, or how the power of Social Media can affect someone, in a good way – but also a bad way…..

Often, children do not realise that when they post a picture of themselves, their friends, their family, a partner or an ex-partner or even a stranger, it is out there in the world for all to see. The photo can be saved, shared, altered etc, etc. Anyone can now do anything they like with that picture – whether the person that posted it likes it or not!

Scarily, the person in the photo sometimes doesn’t even know that their photo has been posted online, or even taken at all….

So… When the children of Redwood House had a conversation with staff about Facebook and sharing pictures, we came up with the idea of seeing how many people would share a picture of Mr Derby’s cup of tea, we also wanted to see where the picture got to around the world.

Some of the children were asked what they think was going to happen?  “about 10 people will share it”, “it wont get shared”, “no-ones going to look at that!”


We’ll see!


Within minutes of posting, the cup of tea was shared over 20 times and had already been shared by people in America!

After a few hours, Mr Derby’s cup of tea had been shared by over 50 people and had been shared in Turkey, Canada and Australia.

And after only 12 hours, the post had been shared over 100 times and had been shared in countries as far away as Japan and New Zealand



If a picture of a cup of tea can be shared over 100 times around the world in just 12 hours….. just think about what would could happen to your picture?


Here is some advice for parents and children…

What’s wrong with this picture?

Sharing pictures and videos can be a great way of telling your story but always think before you share. Want to post that funny photo? Ask yourself these 5 questions first:

  1. Have I got permission?

    If you’ve taken a picture or video of your friends or family have you got their permission to post it online? Could it upset or embarrass them? If you were them, would you want it shared? If you think the answer might be no, then go and ask them or don’t post it at all.

  2. Would I put it on a billboard?

    Would you be happy for the picture to be put on a billboard so anyone – including your mum, dad or your teacher – could see it? If the answer’s no, then don’t post it.

  3. Who am I sharing with?

    Are you sending it to a friend, someone you met online or posting it for everyone to see? Remember, if you’ve only met someone online they might not be who they say they are. They could copy, edit or share your picture with anyone.

  4. What do I look like?

    Photos and videos are a great way of sharing what you’re up to with your friends but, remember, anything you post online could be there forever. We all do silly things sometimes but if we capture them on camera they can affect the way people think about us in the future. If you’re not sure they paint a positive picture of you (or your friends!) then think twice before posting.

  5. Is it legal?

    Taking and sharing naked or ‘sexy’ pictures or videos of people under 18 is illegal, even if you’re taking them of yourself. The law is there to protect you from adults who make these pictures but sharing them of yourself can be really unsafe. You also shouldn’t share naked or ‘sexy’ pictures of other young people – this is illegal and can cause them very serious problems.

Lost control of a picture or video?

It’s easy to share more than you meant to but remember it’s never too late to take control. 5 ways to take control:

  1. Take the picture or video down.

    Sounds obvious but if you posted it to a website the fastest way to get it down is to remove it yourself. Log on to the site and delete it.

  2. Ask others to delete it.

    If someone else has posted it, ask them to take it down from the site. If they won’t do it, speak to an adult you trust or someone in school – your school should have rules about what pupils can post online.

  3. Report it to the website.

    If it’s been posted on a popular website like Facebook or YouTube you can make a report to the site to ask them to take it down. Most sites have rules to stop people posting embarrassing or hurtful pictures – if the picture or video breaks these rules they should delete it from the site. You can find out how to make a report to Facebook or YouTube hereFind out how to report to other sites here

  4. Get help if you’re being bullied.

    If people are being mean about a picture or sharing a video to embarrass you, talk to an adult you trust. You can post messages and get advice on Childline’s Message boards or if you want to speak to someone confidentially you can call Childline on 0800 1111.

  5. Report if you’re being threatened.

    If someone’s threatening to share a picture or video of you that you don’t want other people to see, talk to an adult you trust or report to CEOP. Whatever may have happened CEOP will understand. You won’t be in trouble.

It’s Half Term already!!!

WOW… This term seems to have gone so fast… It’s true that time really does fly when your having fun!

So what have we been up to this term, well here are some highlights…

  • Andrew, Liam and Eddy went out for a meal this term, as a reward for Eddy achieving his APC 2 Star award at Army Cadets and for the three boys taking much more interest in healthy eating, hydration and nutrition – Well done boys!
  • Jareth, William, Luca and Ciaran have all visited the Youth Club in Melksham regularly this term – They all made new friends, enjoyed all the activities on offer and showed just how responsible and mature they can be.
  • Jareth has been working with Mr Jay this term on some amazing music production – which we’re excited about sharing with you all in the near future – watch out Daft Punk, Jareths coming for you!
  • Ciaran has been helping loads in the kitchen this term – he makes a mean scrambled eggs!
  • Luca took on the roll as “boss” for an evening and ran Redwood House whilst Kevin was away – What a fantastic night everyone had! Luca arranged killer pool, bird fish and animal, gym activities and a host of other brilliant things for everyone to get involved in. Well done Luca and a massive thanks to all the children on Redwood for support and encouragement that evening.
  • We went on a brilliant (very muddy) walk up to “sally in the woods” which is a really high point above the hills near Bath
  • Everyone had a really fun night at Ten Pin Bowling – A really nice family that were next to us, asked where we were all from. We had a chat about Springfields and they were so surprised at how well all the children were behaving they bought everyone a drink – which was lovely.

















Have a lovely half term break everyone – we’ve got some great things planned for Term 4!


Term 3 for Redwood House, is well under way!

All the staff on Redwood were very excited to welcome all the pupils back after the Christmas and New Year break.

Historically, the start to term 3 has been always been quite a difficult one – and not just for the pupils!

Considering everyone has been at home, enjoying the festive food, the family get-together’s, sleeping in, staying up late and not to mention those toys! It was a really nice to see all the smiles and hear how much everyone was looking forward to coming back to school.

So what does term 3 have in store? Well, we will of course be enjoying the usual trips and activities such as Swimming, Youth Club and visits to the local towns – but this term we will be concentrating on seeing how many of the ‘life skills 100′ we can tick off.

Our life skills program is based around the concept of the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’. A program they set up to not only get more young people out into the wild, enjoying nature – but to engage children and give them a sense of achievement through experiences that many of us take for granted.

Our ‘life skills 100’ program focuses on the things that we as adults often take for granted. How to change a plug, read a map, fill in a form etc. Already some of our pupils have ticked off around 20 of the skills which is fantastic and a real achievement – but there’s a long way to go!

We’ll keep you posted on our progress and look out for our video that were putting together!


Therapy garden news!

Welcome back to the new term!

The therapy team are rested and ready to get to work!

One of our projects is to start work on the therapy garden.

Until the weather improves and the grass dries out we will enjoy watching the two squirrels who have been busy collected food!

Apple CPD


Today 2 workshops were delivered across the Academy. A varied cohort of staff attended from teachers, therapists and support staff. We focused on basic apps for productivity and discussed their uses within a classroom, therapy and support environment.

We discussed environment and how we utilise the iPads. These are focused on 3 key areas :

  • Innovation – Teachers use technology to explore new ways to approach teaching
  • Integration – Teachers Integrate technology to deepen learning and teaching practices
  • Introducing – Teachers redefine their roles with innovative uses of technology

We then focused on four key areas around Apps and their use in the classroom on a daily basis.

  • productivity fundamentals
  • Getting organised
  • Planning and sharing
  • Documenting and reflectingScreen Shot 2018-01-05 at 14.41.37





We also used QR codes and clips to showcase how quickly and easily a video could be created to request tasks, tell a story or to capture pupil voice.



How to use Clips


A good and busy 2017 at Springfields

It’s certainly been a good and busy 2017 at Springfields.

We have more pupils, greater expertise and never had such a focussed drive towards improvement.

Most recently, many thanks to all of you who were able to attend the Christmas Fair. With lots of Pupil Input we raised £900.

Back in the summer we were camping and climbing. We never stop being adventurous outdoors. We’ve been as far north as Scotland (well-done Redwood!) We’ve climbed Cadair Idris, we’ve supported England at Wembley, and we’ve been to the Imperial War Museum and Natural History Museum. We’ve gone wherever there’s a good opportunity for learning. What happens day to day in the classroom is vital and I believe we have the best ever team of teachers working in partnership with all our other staff to meet need and build safe independent lives.

Staff gave me so many highlights of the year. In the classroom we had some brilliant year 11 functional Skills results in English and maths. In Science we‘ve shown the courage to conduct some fantastic whole fish dissections. We’ve designed mythical creatures in English and made them in clay in Creative arts. In Maths we keep pushing forward in all our calculating. We’re enterprising in IT and now very adept on the Hockey pitch.

It has been an exciting period for the residential houses. Following the closure of Olympus this summer and the opening of Aspen and Redwood in July, the residential pupils have adapted to the new routines well and continue to enjoy all of the activities that are on offer to them.

Since September we have taken the students to Wembley, taken part in a prison trip, enjoyed weekly access to local shops as part of life skills, held a meal where the year 11s took responsibility, supported and run a stall at the school fayre, held a Christmas shopping event in Bristol and eaten out at Za Za Bazaar. Additionally Mr Derby sees the visit to Jamie’s farm as a massive highlight of 2017. Together with trips to Shepton Mallet Prison

As we improve, more and more people and organisations want to work with us. Our partnerships with Bath Spa University, St Mary’s school, the Chartered College, Calne chamber of commerce, and our friends in the rotary and throughout the community continue to make us stronger. I’m delighted that we have supported local charities and community groups.

I love the fact that we are giving back to the community. Aside from fund raising, Mrs Bruce organised two trips to Calne library with Age Wiltshire, with our pupils serving tea and cake. Mr Bridges of Redwood wanted to help the children understand a little bit about what those less fortunate than ourselves, might be experiencing this Christmas. So Redwood staff and pupils visited the Melksham Food Bank, to deliver our donation of food. A big, big thank you to all the families that helped with donations of food. We are really pleased to have been able to help others less fortunate than us, at this special time of year. Staff also supported the Calne Food bank this Christmas. Thank you to all colleagues who contributed to this sad inevitability.

In 2018, we are looking forward to going further, in our own communities and into Europe. In March we have the Risoul Ski trip, a WW1 Battlefield Tour and a visit to Calais. There will be more I’m sure.

Sadly we’ve had to say goodbye to some staff who have all chosen to move their career forward. Miss Maidment and Mrs Worts have left since September and Mrs Reysenn leaves us at Christmas. We wish them all well in the future and thank them for all that they have given to Springfields. We’ve welcomed many new staff. I hope you get to know all of them in the New Year.

We ended the year with a pantomime trip to Peter Pan, a disco, reward trips, a fantastic carol service where everyone did their very best singing (many thanks as ever to St Marys church, Father Bob, Francis! and Mr Bevan our organist.) and Christmas dinner today. (Well-done Mr Lugg and his team)

We keep working to improve and that drive will continue into 2018 and beyond. We will continue to support every child and will continue to work closely on promoting independence and greater social inclusion, especially for our year 11s as they make their transition into the wider world in 2018.

Thank you for your continued support.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Please note we start the New Year on Monday January 8. I also look forward to seeing you at our parent/ Carer evening on January 10 1600-1830.

New Lunchtime Club!


In keeping with the building theme – there will be a new lunchtime “Construction Club” starting in January – if our resources arrive!

We will have Lego, Marble Run and  Knex for all those budding little builders out there!

Places will be limited but will be rotated termly.