A Word From The Head 18.3.22
Dear parents and carers,
This term we said “see you soon” to a very special member of the Phoenix community: Derek Stride. Derek retired from being the Chair of Trustees after more than 30 years working at Phoenix School and Phoenix Autism Trust. Derek has been incredibly supportive since I started at Phoenix College in September and he will be deeply missed.
A WORD FROM THE TRUSTEE
All good things must come to an end. This February, I retired from the board of the Phoenix Autism Trust. It all seems a bit of as blur, but having worked at Phoenix for over 30 years, I have had to get used to being part of big decisions to improve the lives of our students.
I had retired from Phoenix as Assistant Head in 2013, but continued work on specialised jobs for the school. We were very aware that there was a big gap in provision for many of our students who were leaving school. As a state school, there were limits on what we could do, so in 2015 we set up the Phoenix Autism Trust, to enable us to provide more for people with Autism.
Among other things, the Trust enabled us to provide education for young people over school leaving age, and the process was put in place to set up Phoenix College. Working with a great group of trustees, over the following years, after many, many meetings and battles with different organisations, the college was established as a partnership with Tower Hamlets College in Poplar.
The Phoenix at Tower Hamlets College (PATH) was very successful and provided an excellent curriculum more relevant to adult life. After a few successful years, we decided to become an independent college and moved to the purpose-built premises on Paton Close.
I feel very proud of working with an outstanding group of trustees, staff and students to have achieved an amazing provision for our students. When I visit I am so impressed by the purposeful atmosphere and the way the students are so independent and making great progress. I have supported the college by driving the minibus on a couple of residential visits to Norfolk and Sussex, where I have been struck by the level of confidence of the students, and the positive relationships the staff have developed with them.
Phoenix College is in good hands, and I feel confident that it will continue to develop with Renato and his staff looking for new ways to improve the lives of our students. I will stay in touch and continue to support where I can.
OPEN HOUSE – 24th March
We are hosting our second Open House on Thursday, 24th March. Phoenix College will be open to current, former and prospective parents from 4pm to 7pm. Please come to visit us!
I had a Communication Walk with the Head of Speech and Language Therapy, Ciara McCone, yesterday. We were both blown away by the quality of the sessions observed and by the support to communication offered to every single student. Please see below some celebrations of our total communication approach.
Ryan has been making great progress with his communication termly target. He has been getting his AAC communication iPad independently at the start of each lesson. In the morning for Tutorial Ryan is now able to communicate his feelings using zones of regulation without staff support and during lessons he is becoming more and more comfortable using the AAC iPad. Well done Ryan! Darren Serrano Griffiths (P2)
This week Thomas and Mustafa have shown great communication skills throughout. Thomas has been telling staff when he is feeling hot using his Core Board and Mustafa has been interacting wonderfully, both with staff and peers, and is very good at using his Core Board to express himself.
Soheli is becoming increasingly independent when using her Core Board to communicate with staff. Soheli used it during Enterprise to make wax melts and referred to her Core Board throughout the session. Soheli was also very good during drama and really focused on her emotions by using our Zones of Regulation. Frank and Alfie (P3)