No one could have foreseen the partnership that would develop when Kingsbury High School agreed to temporarily host The Village School while Grove Park and Hay Lane Schools were demolished and rebuilt as one new school. The Village School (TVS) now proudly stands facing Stag Lane and has opened as the largest school with children with special needs in the country.
In June/July of 2011 we saw a building grow swiftly out of part of our Lower School playing field. Classrooms, treatment rooms, lifts and a hall all grew within weeks to provide a complete temporary school for our neighbours and from the start of term we became used to seeing buses and taxis passing through the site to deliver their precious cargo. And so began the opportunities for Kingsbury High to develop links with the students and staff of TVS.
The temporary site made it possible for TVS students to join our classes and within a year, several TVS students could even attend lessons every day; fully integrating into the life of Kingsbury. It became a common sight to see the blue sweatshirts of TVS students passing through our buildings and in true Kingsburian style the students of Kingsbury High welcomed them with respect and care. Kingsbury High students would attend their temporary building to help work with children with very special needs. School management teams began to meet regularly to plan joint events and staff training was developed between the two schools.
In June 2013 their exciting new school was ready and Kingsbury staff had the pleasure of visiting the new facilities before its official opening. Complete with a swimming pool, sports hall, delightful classrooms and a roof top playground, it was evident that at last TVS students would have a school that they truly deserved.
In return for having hosted TVS for these years we have been repaid by having a number of the temporary classrooms relocated on the lower school site as well as a brand new sports and play area where the building used to stand. The new classrooms are now in place and open and the playground offers increased opportunities for sport and recreation at Kingsbury High. We are delighted that 2 of the new classrooms linked by a care room will become home to a number of TVS students allowing them to continue their linked lessons with the students of our school. Our work with TVS goes from strength to strength. This year all of our Year 8 students will spend a day as ambassadors working at TVS; from helping run the café and shop to assisting with play, lunchtimes and with lessons.
After completing her day as an ambassador, Year 8 Kingsbury High student, Jessica Ablampah, wrote on her school blog “Overall, at the end of my day, I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a day with these inspirational children. I may complain when I don’t like something or if I don’t look right, but seeing these children always smiling, waving at me made me thank God for my life and made me understand how lucky I am.”