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Columbus School and College

About Us

Columbus School and College (CSC) has been established after an interesting journey dating back to 2000. CSC was formerly two separate special needs schools in Chelmsford –Woodlands School in Patching Hall Lane and The Hayward School in Maltese Road.

Woodlands School catered for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex learning difficulties aged 3–19 years. Hayward School catered for children with moderate learning difficulties and autism aged 4–16.

The two schools federated in 2005 to form Chelmsford New Model Special School with a single governing body. There were two campuses – Woodlands Campus and Hayward Campus.

On 1st September 2009 the two schools formally amalgamated to form Columbus School and College. The School Campus in Patching Hall Lane currently has children aged from Nursery to Year 10 and the College Campus in Maltese Road currently has students from Year 7 to Year 11. There is an FE Department on College Campus which has students from Year 12 to Year 14.

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Our Mission Statement

The ethos of Columbus School and College is one of belief and opportunity. We believe that each and every child and young person deserves to access the best possible opportunities during their time here with us; the best possible opportunity to attain new curriculum-related skills as well as those highly important communication, independence, social and life skills. We have high expectations for our young people and do all we can to enable them to maximize their potential.

Columbus aims to be flexible in its approach to delivering a holistic care, therapy and learning package for every child and young person. We take into account the learning styles and preferences of each individual in order to provide personalized learning pathways for each pupil. We are flexible about where and how learning takes place in order to ensure that each learner receives their full entitlement and access to a broad and balanced curriculum in a range of stimulating and engaging settings. Many of these learning and social experiences will be based in the local community.

Columbus also aims to equip each individual young person who leaves the Academy with the skills they need to lead as fulfilled and as independent an adult life as appropriate.

The Columbus Academy is responsible for the care, safeguarding and education of each and every child and young person. We believe that we are responsible for the support and partnership working with families and do much to support parents and carers in getting the support, respite and any entitlements they require. Columbus works hard to ensure that support is available for families throughout the calendar year and not just during term time.

While we do all we can to support every family in the care and education of their young person, we do ask that they support the school by ensuring that their child or young person is in school on time, attends school whenever they are fit and well enough to do so and to support us in the learning and therapeutic packages that combine to make up their young person’s education and care plan. We also request that parents do not take their child out of school for holidays during term time.

Where appropriate, homework is provided to enable our pupils to consolidate the learning they access in school as well as to develop their social and communication skills. Columbus also presents training and education packages for families to begin to learn a little more about how to support their child’s development and these events are delivered by staff as well as our therapy colleagues from the Central Essex Community Services teams.

Columbus is very proud of its children and young people. We encourage them to believe in themselves and to try their best. Achievements are celebrated with them and publicised widely in order to perpetuate a culture of success and self-belief. 

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