Annual Visit to Kimbolton School by Spring Common Academy Pupils
Spring Common Academy is a special school in Huntingdon where the large majority of students have either severe learning difficulties or autism. Each year, Kimbolton School's Community Service Unit hosts a one-day visit from a group of Spring Common children.
The aim is offer new experiences to the Spring Common Academy children while fully utilising the grounds and facilities of Kimbolton School. For the Kimbolton pupils, the aims are to offer something to the local community and to develop a sense of social responsibility.
This visit has been a part of both schools' calendars for many years so its origin is no longer clear.
The project relies on transport provided by Spring Common Academy and the grounds and facilities of Kimbolton School. Around 3 or 4 teaching staff from each school supervise the visit.
A typical visit lasts 4-5 hours and includes a nature walk around our grounds, an art project or craft activities, use of the microscopes in the Biology Department, a shared lunch, a tour of our Castle's state rooms (which links into the Spring Common History curriculum) and a party.
There is no financial contribution involved as the lunch and facilities are provided free of charge.
There is no formal assessment of the visits although the Spring Common staff regularly remark on the increased confidence and sheer enjoyment experienced by their children. For the Kimbolton pupils there are altruistic and other benefits, as recorded by one of our volunteers:
I noticed A as we were at the party, she had visibly grown in confidence from when she got off the bus and was laughing around with the other children, it was a heart-warming feeling to help give back to the children in the community who really need it. A gave me a tight hug and a meaningful thank-you before she jumped on to the bus. As they drove away she waved excitedly and I really felt that the CSU achieved something. Both the children and staff seemed tired, yet happy with the day they had spent at Kimbolton. It was a real honour to have them visit us.
Around 30 Kimbolton Year 10 to Year 12 pupils act as hosts on a 2:1 or 1:1 basis, depending on their guests' needs. Spring Common usually bring 14-18 children on this visit.
The visit is annual. There are no plans to discontinue it.