LVS Hassocks reinforced its position as a key part of the local community by hosting a fantastic end-of-term festival for learners and their families on Thursday July 23.
The school in Sayers Common, which helps young people with Asperger’s, autism and dyslexia thrive by developing their prospects in key areas such as social and emotional wellbeing and academic progress, put on a range of activities and displays for parents, families, and visitors.
The celebration of a memorable year combined musical entertainment, an outdoor cinema, circus skills, soak the staff and a photography competition amongst other entertainment.
LVS Hassocks’ commitment to academic progress and destinations beyond the school was evident as presentations were made to several learners who were leaving the school, with Will going on to a motor vehicle course at Bridgend College and Josh heading to the Berkshire College of Agriculture to study small animal care; both follow-on courses to qualifications gained at LVS Hassocks in conjunction with Plumpton College.
Will, said: “I love it at LVS Hassocks and would stay if I could. Before I came here I couldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know and didn’t have the confidence to do anything independently – now I can do everything myself.”
Josh’s mother also praised the school’s ability to develop autistic learners towards future careers and independence: “LVS Hassocks has been so supportive and encouraging – they have given Josh confidence, self-esteem, communication skills and a good work ethic. He is now very independent and can go to college with minimal support, which he couldn’t have done before coming here.”
Local businesses showed their support for LVS Hassocks by donating prizes for the photography competition, with Brighton businesses TeamSport indoor karting, Brighton Wheel, Laser Zone and Whirligig Toy Shop all donating prizes.
The competition gave LVS Hassocks the chance to introduce visitors to its new social building, which will be open in September along with a new two-storey, 7-classroom teaching block with state of the art food technology room.
Luis Mancini, manager of the Harris and Hoole coffeehouse in Burgess Hill, presented LVS Hassocks with a donation of £200 as its nominated charity for June, and chatted to learners to find out more about their school achievements.
The community theme continued as Hurstpierpoint Fire Brigade was present on the day to give learners the opportunity to climb aboard and explore a real fire engine.
The day also gave learners at LVS Hassocks the chance to demonstrate to visitors the talents and confidence they have gained at the school, with the Hassocks Allstars Blues Band following up public appearances at Autism’s Got Talent in London, Albourne School Fair and a fundraising performance at the Duke of York pub in Sayers Common with a sparkling show.
Mrs Sumner, a parent at LVS Hassocks, said: “It was the most marvellous, happy and inspiring day…so wonderful to see all the learners doing so well, and being proud of their achievements. Congratulations to all the staff at LVS Hassocks, they are stars!”
Head of Centre Kira Brabenec said: “The Summer Festival has been a wonderful way to cap a memorable year at LVS Hassocks.
“It has demonstrated the range and depth of skills that our remarkable learners possess, and the support of their families which helps make LVS Hassocks what it is.
“It has been sad to say goodbye to some of our learners today but with independent living and destinations beyond the school being two key outcomes that we seek to achieve, we are delighted to be sending them on to college courses with sufficient academic qualifications, social skills and confidence to continue the successes they have had with us.
“I look forward to seeing everyone else back in September where we have lots to look forward to, including our new teaching block and social space which has gained really good feedback today”.
A short video of highlights from the LVS Hassocks Summer Festival can be found here: https://youtu.be/MiCLHq_gHho
Report contributed by LVS Hassocks. Pictures by Sam Stephenson/Vervate: www.vervate.com