Feature: Middy takes a tour around Woodlands Meed

An outside view of Woodlands Meed school in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards
An outside view of Woodlands Meed school in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards

The Middy was delighted to go on a tour around Woodlands Meed, a special school which we are lucky to have right on our doorstep.

The school in Chanctonbury Road, Burgess Hill, offers ‘second to none’ facilities.

A pupil at the school playing tennis. Picture: Steve Robards

A pupil at the school playing tennis. Picture: Steve Robards

It is currently home to 161 pupils aged aged two to 14, who have a wide range of special needs. Most of its pupils come from the Mid Sussex area.

While on the tour, the Middy spoke to fundraiser Anna Hull, who said it was the staff and pupils who made it ‘special’.

“It is the staff and children that make it special here,” she said.

“And it is all of the staff – from the cook that was putting on a royal wedding lunch a couple of weeks ago to the headteacher.

It is the staff and children that make it special here

Anna Hull, fundraiser for Woodlands Meed

“They always go above and beyond and the children are really looked after.”

Anna has worked as a fundraiser at the school for two years. Her son, Freddie, aged nine, is a pupil at the school.

Her role is to look for grants and to establish links with donors for larger scale projects like the school’s sensory therapy room, kindly donated in 2017 by the William de Warenne Lodge.

While on a tour around the school she told the Middy it was not just the money that was important, which funds vital equipment and resources, but ‘being part of the community’.

A teacher helping a pupil at the school. Picture: Steve Robards

A teacher helping a pupil at the school. Picture: Steve Robards

“We are really well supported by the community,” she said.

“And it is important for the community to know us. The Burgess Hill Lions help us with this – they are a huge connection.”

The Lions have been helping the school since it first opened in September 2012.

John Carter, president for Burgess Hill District Lions Club, said it was a ‘pleasure’ to see when the club has been able to help.

“It is part of our motto to help Woodlands Meed – which is we serve,” he added.

Woodlands Meed was formed from the merger of Court Meadow School in Cuckfield and Newick House School in the town.

One of Woodlands Meeds’ biggest fundraising events it puts on is its Family Fireworks Evening, which takes place on Saturday, October 13.

The event, which has proved very popular with families, is now in its fourth year.

It is organised by The Friends of Woodlands Meed – the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), a registered charity which organises events and fundraises to support the work of the school.

While on the tour, the Middy also spoke to headteacher Adam Rowland.

He said his position was an ‘amazing opportunity’ and that the staff and pupils had ‘incredible energy’ and ‘enthusiasm’.

He added: “It has been great fun and it has been a privilege to support the staff over my time so far here. And the facilities we have at the school are second to none.”

If people or businesses would like to sponsor Woodlands Meeds’ Family Fireworks Evening or any other upcoming events they can email Anna at friendsofwoodlandsmeed@gmail.com

Pick up this week’s Middy, which is out tomorrow (May 31), to see more pictures of Woodlands Meed in our special report.