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Oxclose Road, Washington, Tyne And Wear, NE38 7NY

0191 691 3940

Columbia Grange School

Little Steps, Big Aspirations For All

Welcome Back

Dear Parents, carers and children, welcome back for September 2023.

It was lovely to see so many of you happy and keen to be back to school when I was at the gate on the first morning of term. I have got lots to share as we have not be sat on our laurels over the Summer. We have been working away to continue to make a difference.

Thankfully, as a 2003 build, the school has no RAAC issues to deal with.

Within school we have developed some new spaces. Using the space left by removing the defunct ICT suite, we have installed the Hedgehog Hideaway. This is an exciting and fabulous new development to replace the Deep Sea Den, which had become quite tired through lots of use. Photos have been shared on Class Dojo. If you have not joined us on Class Dojo, then please do so ASAP, it is a really helpful communication tool. The space the Deep Sea Den was in has been divided to give us some additional calming space- the Peace Pod as well as break out teaching space. This is an exciting time and is the culmination of a project led by Jennifer Gullis, our sensory lead. Following consultation with staff and the formation of a working party, Jennifer has aligned the sensory provision we have and this still has our plan to install a Virtual Interactive room within it. Each of these multi access rooms will have protocols for their usage developed- purpose; who can access; timetabled/ drop in; time limits; level of supervision required and so on.

Further to this, work to install new boilers for heating and water will begin on 13th September.

We become part of Oak Learning Trust at 00:01 on 1st October 2023, meaning Columbia Grange will be part of a robust, forward thinking, supportive and challenging Academy Trust. It is just what we need for the future of our school.

I need to also share that we, as a school, can’t advertise Personal Assistant work vacancies for a number of legal reasons. This has no impact upon any existing arrangements and any such future arrangements must be made directly with no endorsement from school.

Looking forward, our first Parents’ evening is in November and will have a focus on target setting. Throughout the year we will have lots of assessment using our tracker (pupil progress) and SCERTS (individual pupil regulation). That will then feed into the Parent’s evening in June 2024- charting the successes of our youngsters across the year.

I am aware that following the COVID restrictions some parents and carers have not yet visited school for a tour. If this is the case, please get in touch and book onto one of our regular tours for prospective families. Having families who know the school adds to the tour and I don’t want any families having not visited the school in person.

Rosey Walker, Carmela Temple and Claire Aysling will all be undertaking EarlyBird trainer sessions to begin to deliver EarlyBird course once again as we look to expand our training offer.

Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Tony Chapman as a new TA. Tony brings a wealth of experience and a real drive to the team. This term will also be Brian Walker’s final term with us. My word, what service he has given us over the years.

Vicky Unsworth is now our new Designated Safeguarding Lead, with Rosey Walker and I operating as Deputy DSLs.

As a result, the School Senior Leadership Team is Me, Rosey Walker, Leanne Southern, Dawne Taylor, Amy Ramsay, Vicky Unsworth and Gavin Briggs.

We are sharing a clearer definition of what we expect from one another in school and this handy table is an illustration of that.



Leader(s) Responsible


E Books

L Southern, R Walker, A Ramsay

Start of year

PLP updated- linked to planning

L Southern, A Ramsay, J Lines


PPRM/ PLP Monitoring

L Southern, R Walker, A Ramsay

½ termly

Medium Term planning

L Southern, J Lines

½ termly

SCERTS target board


Start of year

SAP form

L Southern, J Lines

Start and end of year

Progress Tracker

A Ramsay,  J Lines, L Southern

Termly data drop

Annual Review Report

L Southern, J Lines, R Walker


Engagement profile & Motivation sheets P3ii & below

A Ramsay,  L Southern


Pre KS standards P4 and up

A Ramsay,  J Lines


Passports/ One page Profile

A Ramsay,  L Southern


Non qual/ SCITT obs

R Walker, L Southern, J Lines