LVS Oxford welcomes MP Nicola Blackwood to Harvest Assembly.
LVS Oxford welcomed Nicola Blackwood, Member of Parliament for Oxford West on a visit to the newly opened pioneering school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
Students of LVS Oxford came together to arrange a special Harvest Assembly and collect food for the North Oxfordshire Food Bank. Nicola Blackwood MP was invited to visit the school and watch the assembly.
The staff and students would typically hold an assembly each Friday to share their individual successes from the week, but on this occasion the children chose to arrange a special assembly of thanks giving. All the students have been involved with the planning of the assembly, from arranging with North Oxfordshire Food Bank to collect food, planning the programme of events and one student, Finn aged 11, composed music that was played as everyone entered the assembly.
During this visit Ms Blackwood was given a guided tour of the innovative school recognised for its ground-breaking work with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum including the ICT suite, library, playing fields, dining room and classroom, making introductions to teaching staff and fellow students along the way. The students and Ms Blackwood then made their way into the assembly hall for the Harvest Festival.
After introductions, the assembled group, including audience, stood to sing ‘Cauliflowers Fluffy’ and enjoy a performance of Vivaldi’s Autumn from student Quinton on keyboard. After a moment of quiet reflection, led by key stage 4 student Hugh, Sue and Mel, representatives from North Oxfordshire Food Bank, expressed their thanks to the students for arranging the food collection.
Nicola Blackwood then took to the stage to address the audience, introducing herself and what her position as a Member of Parliament entails, when Ms Blackwood asked the students if there was any particular message they would like her to take back to Mr Cameron, Bradley put his hand up and exclaimed “how good this school is!”
The event was a great success and goes towards supporting the children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning (SMSC) which is an important element of education at LVS Oxford.
Head of Centre Jane Straw commented: “It is still early days for students who, only five weeks ago, were strangers to each other, all of them with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum and some with huge difficulties being with other people. All of the children volunteered to take part in this special assembly, and at yesterday’s rehearsal I was almost brought to tears by the mutually positive and supportive atmosphere. Students burst into spontaneous applause in support of each other with no-one criticising or laughing at anyone else. The team spirit displayed is amazing and I’m so proud to be a part of it”
“Thank you to all the staff here at LVS Oxford for the extraordinary work that I know you are doing. I have had a wonderful visit and thank you for inviting me to your assembly, I hope I will be invited back to visit again soon.” commented Nicola Blackwood, who has previously visited the school in September 2013, during open days ahead of the school opening this September.
The focus of LVS Oxford is to educate young people and develop their independence and confidence, whilst equipping them with the skills needed for employment and dealing with the complexities of day to day life.
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"