LVS Oxford became the focal point of the local community on Friday when opening its doors to raise money for charity. The school took part in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Despite being still a small school having only opened last September, learners managed to raise an impressive £367.50 for Macmillan, easily the most it has raised for charity.
The coffee morning was the culmination of a project which involved literacy (instructional writing for creating cakes), maths and numeracy (via weighing amounts of ingredients and of course counting the proceeds), cookery and history, as the background of Macmillan was researched. The project was something that really resonated with learners as a number of them have been affected by cancer within their families and wanted to help do something positive, and they passed the test with flying colours. Tom’s mother Judith Martingale said: “Today is the earliest Tom has been in to school as he is so excited. He had been out of school for a year before joining LVS Oxford and now comes home happy every day, and today he is really entering into the spirit of things”. Jonathon sold raffle tickets all morning to raise additional funds for Macmillan, and his mother said: “To watch him running around talking to everyone and encouraging them to buy raffle tickets you wouldn’t know he had spent three years out of school before coming here. He loves coming in and is happy, and that has made a big difference”.
Proud parents were joined by local residents who dropped in to see the school and enjoy its hospitality (and cake!), and the local Women’s Institute branch were also well represented. In April Charlotte, a learner at LVS Oxford, became the youngest ever speaker at Begbroke Women’s Institute in an initiative to give her greater confidence and independence through public speaking, and the school was only too happy to return the favour and welcome the local WI to share the morning at LVS Oxford. Barbara and Colin Lloyd were two of those to take up the invitation to Begbroke Women’s Institute and said: “It is a really impressive set up here, with beautiful grounds and buildings. The warmth between the children and staff is obvious and they seem to be enjoying the responsibility of running their own event – they are doing great things”.
It was a real team effort to stage the event, with the residential learners – those who stay at LVS Oxford from Monday to Friday – going out to buy ingredients one evening for their classmates to bake with, in itself teaching them valuable life skills and independence. The school’s Speech & Language Therapist Abigail held special sessions with learners in the build up to the event, teaching them how to deal with the public, what to say and how to sell.
Key Stage 3 Teacher Claire Chaney who oversaw the project said: “It was an amazing amount to raise for such a small school, and our learners should be really proud of themselves. Children with autism often find communication difficult but by giving them the responsibility to stage this event they have shown great maturity, talking to guests, selling cake and raffle tickets, creating plans in advance and generally hosting the day superbly. I would also like to thank the local community for supporting us and all of the behind the scenes helpers such as parents, our catering team here and everyone else who contributed”.
View our album of images from the event here.
Parents and carers speak positively about the ways in which staff promote positive behaviour. One said "staff are very caring, they talk to students positively and handle things fairly"