Letter from Camphill

Autumn 2017

Dear Parents and Friends

As in previous years, we are grateful that so many volunteers have come to join our school community as we continue to strive to provide a quality service for your children; this year we have over 70 international co-workers in the foundation year, bringing, as they always do, their special brand of enthusiasm to our lives and work.

At the start of this school year we have had two of our services inspected by the care inspectorate: Cairnlee was seen to be offering an excellent service while the Care Home aspect of Camphill School Aberdeen was graded as very good.

This year will also see us celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the educational impulse within Camphill, known as the St John’s School. The founders believed that it was the right of every child to receive an education and the first school lesson took place on 13th October 1947. Few will recall that back in the 1940s many children were considered to be uneducable and Camphill became one of the first schools in the UK to offer such children education in an inclusive manner, as they were in classes together with the co-workers’ children and other local children. (It was only in the 1970s that national legislation was passed giving every child the right to education.)

While much has changed since then, there will no doubt be some among you who will be aware that there remain many children excluded from ‘mainstream’ education and whose parents still need to fight for this right for their children - there is much to do!

In October, we will host a visit of the Scottish Government’s Independent Child Care Review team who are reviewing all aspects of child care, and we hope to be able to offer them an insight into our unique way of living and working with children and young people with additional support needs while, at the same time, sharing with them how our two integrated classes work to make inclusion a reality. Linked to this, we will be participating in the first AGM of the Social Pedagogy Professional Association as we link with others across the UK to promote a strength-based, positive, relational way of working that we and our colleagues aspire to apply in our daily lives in our interactions with others.

The work to replace the electrical system coming into Murtle has continued apace with, I am glad, the minimum of fuss. However, it is likely that the drive from the gate to the roundabout will be closed while a new fast speed internet cable is put in. During this time traffic will be re‑routed around Robert Owen with traffic lights managing the one-way system.

A new parent and carers group has begun, arising out of the ‘old’, and many thanks go to Karen Johnston who both chaired the former group for a long time and who has been the ‘go to’ parent for many parents. The new group is being chaired by Alexandra Brewis who can be contacted via Fiona f.stuart@crss.org.uk in the School office in Camphill Estate.

By now many of you will have met Elaine who is our new term-time receptionist who we are glad to have in post; please contact her if you have any general enquiries.

Thank you to all of you who came and joined us at our busiest ever Open Day during the last holiday weekend. The sun shone and children played everywhere while Mums and Dads enjoyed the home baking and BBQ! It was, as one person wrote:

“…. a lovely afternoon, so many happy, excited faces …. Camphill changes lives and brings hope and fulfilment to so many, look forward to next year.”

Next year the Open Day will take place on Saturday 22nd September 2-5 pm on Camphill Estate so put it in your diary now!!

With best wishes for the October break,

Laurence Alfred
Executive Director