Category Archives: School

Louise’s skydive to help charity that saved her life

Louise Cade & Magpas Dr Andy Lindsay - Duke of Bedford School

Twenty-three years after surviving a horrific road accident, which killed her youngster sister, Louise Cade was back in Thorney on Wednesday to talk to children at the Duke of Bedford Primary School about road safety.

Louise and her sister Sally were both pupils at the village school in 1994 when, at around 3:30pm on January 21, a terrible tragedy struck.

Louise and Sally were coming home on the school bus, on what had been just another normal school day. The family were farmers on New Cut. Six-year-old Sally and eight-year-old Louise got off the bus and waited for it to pull away. They held hands, looked both ways and were crossing the road when a car – seemingly out of nowhere – collided with them at high speed.

Louise’s family will never forget the sound of the loud bang the car made on impact.

“My mum got to us as soon as she could,” said Louise. “My sister Sally and I were lying in the road. My mother says Sally was smiling at her, whilst I was unconscious. She remembers noticing Sally had fluid coming out of her ear and she knew then it wasn’t a good sign.”

Back in the 1990s, doctors from around the Eastern Region volunteered their own time with Magpas Air Ambulance and as result; Dr Simon Richards, Dr Andrew Knights and Dr Nick Jackson (who all worked at Thorney Surgery) were called out to Sally and Louise.

They did everything they could to save the sisters’ lives – in what had become truly devastating circumstances. Sally was first to be taken to hospital in an ambulance (with a police escort), shortly followed by Louise, with the Magpas Doctors on board. Sally died several times en route, as did Louise, but the Magpas doctors repeatedly brought them back to life.

Once at the hospital, Sally and Louise were next to each other in the ICU being treated. Louise explains, “Sally was on a ventilator but sadly died from head trauma and organ failure two days later.”

Louise had to have gravel sucked out of her lungs (one of which collapsed), she suffered a serious head injury and multiple broken bones, as well as a stroke. She says, “My family tells me I died several times and was not expected to survive. The last time I died, everyone thought I had gone when suddenly I came back – gasping for air, trying to rip the ventilator tubes out of me.”

Her parents were told she would probably not walk and talk again, but Louise was determined to get back to normal. At Sally’s funeral, the family asked only for donations to be made to Magpas Air Ambulance and raised funds to pay for a defibrillator for the charity to use. Not long after, the same Magpas Doctors were called out to another little girl called Rebekah; the defibrillator bought by Louise’s family, was used by Magpas to save her life that day.

Louise has lost most of her memory of what life was like before the accident. She explains, “It’s really upsetting I can’t remember much about my best friend who I miss dearly – but the motivation, determination and strength to live on has made me the person I am today.”

Louise, who is 31, now feels ready to tell her story for the first time. She wants the memory of her sister Sally to live on, by raising awareness for Magpas Air Ambulance who came to her rescue all those years ago.  As a result, Louise is to take part in the Magpas annual skydive this July.

Louise sums up why she’s embarking on such a courageous fundraising venture after everything she’s been through, “My sister means a great deal to me and I want to thank the charity that did so much for me on that terrible afternoon.

“Magpas Air Ambulance trains senior doctors and paramedics, from all around the UK, to bring the hospital to patients in life-threatening situations. I want to gather as many sponsors as I can and help Magpas give more lifesaving care to others in their time of need.”

Louise went back to The Duke of Bedford School to talk at the school assembly. Louise told her story, raising awareness about road safety and about the crucial lifesaving care Magpas Air Ambulance delivers, by land and air, in the East of England and beyond.

She summed up why this moment was so important to her, “I just want the children to take on the message of road safety and stay safe. I hope the children will take this on board and tell their parents – so that they can be more aware of children on the road.”

Louise was also joined by Dr Andy Lindsay of Magpas. He explained how they offer pioneering training to doctors and paramedics wishing to specialise in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, for which the charity is renowned in the medical world. He also summarised how he felt about being part of today’s gathering, “It’s wonderful to see Louise looking so well. Spreading the word about road safety to young children is an incredible investment of our time. It’s great to capture their attention and a real privilege to talk to them”.

The link to Louise’s fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JumpingwithSally

New role for Pigeons Farm

Pigeons Farm is to become a centre for children and young adults with learning difficulties.

Planning permission for the new project was approved this week by Peterborough City Council.

Pigeons Farm, on Wisbech Road, just east of the village, was a popular venue for families, with animals, play equipment and a cafe. It closed last autumn when the owners Linda and Bob Moore retired.

Animals were all found homes, with many going to Rutland Farm Park near Oakham.

The new centre will be run by the Kisimul Group, an organisation that provides education and care services to children and young adults with complex learning difficulties, including challenging behaviour and autism.

They will convert existing farm buildings into specialist educational facilities, including classrooms and workshops.

Kisimul has four other schools, two in Lincolnshire, one in Surrey and one in Shropshire.

It is likely Pigeons Farm will offer animal and horticultural based learning programmes, including gardening and animal husbandry .

There will be about 20 pupils at the site with an equivalent number of teachers and support staff.

Planning approval has also been given for three holiday lodges on the existing camping and caravan site. These will provide short-term holiday accommodation for the parents and families of Kisimul Group residents.

The application stated: “Emphasis is placed upon providing a stimulating and rich environment, including such activities as horse riding, cinema and ten-pin bowling as well as outings to zoos, theme parks and theatres.”

School needs more reading buddies

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Would you be able to spend half an hour or so each week helping a local child to improve their reading?

The Duke of Bedford Primary School is looking for people in the village willing to become Reading Buddies.

It’s a voluntary role and involves going into school once a week to read with a number of children on a regular basis during term time.

No special skills are required – just a love of reading and a wish to help children to enjoy books and to improve their reading skills.

Bert Brookes (88) of Chestnut Drive has been a Reading Buddy for a number of years. He says: “Some children – predominantly boys – have varying degrees of difficulty with reading. The individual attention that Reading Buddies can give to these children can lead to a marked improvement over a relatively short time.

“The main requirements of a Reading Buddy are a desire to help, a degree of perseverance and a modicum of humour and appreciation of the child’s difficulties.  The reward is well worth the effort.”

If you’re interested, you can contact Assistant Head Teacher Cathy Gibson via e-mail at cathy.gibson@dukeofbedford.peterborough.sch.uk or call the school office on 01733 270243 and leave your name and contact details.

“Our Reading Buddies are a great asset to our school,” said Cathy. “We’re really keen to encourage our children to enjoy reading and having a Buddy can be just the boost they need. The children gain self-confidence, reading skills and often a new desire to read.  They thrive on having someone to share a book with one-to-one.”

Open day at new village pre-school

The new Duke of Bedford Pre-School is holding an open day on Friday, September 30, to allow parents and carers an opportunity to look around.

There will be two sessions – at 10am and 2pm.

The pre-school, which is sited in a dedicated building in the school grounds opens on Monday, October 3 and will be running daily, during school term, from 9am to 3.30pm.

The open day will give parents a chance to look at the facilities, meet staff, see new resources and explore the outside area,

All three and four-year-olds (and eligible two-year-olds) are entitled to 15 hours of funded pre-school education.

More information is available on 270243 or e-mail: enquiries@dukeofbedford.peterborough.sch.uk

Childcare clubs will be run by school

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The Duke of Bedford School is to take direct control of running the before and after-school club.

The decision to run the club directly was made after the current external provider decided to quit.

Headteacher Mrs Cathy Bailey has assured parents that all children who attend the club at present will continue to have a place and there will be no interruption of service.

The club, which provides a vital service for working parents, will move out of the Children’s Centre and into the main school building in March.

Mrs Bailey said that, in future, it is hoped to be able to expand the group to provide more places and also offer breakfasts to children attending the before-school club.

Thorney among top ranked schools in city

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The Duke of Bedford School in Thorney has been ranked fifth best out of 56 primary schools in the Peterborough area.

The rankings are based on school performances at Key Stage 2 tests in the National Curriculum which assess reading, writing and maths skills.

Eye Primary School was ranked 37th and Newborough 24th.

As a district, Peterborough struggles near the bottom of results nationally, being 146th out of 152 local authorities, although it did move up two places this year.

This is blamed partly on the challenges of a high number of immigrants, which mean many children have English as a second language and many are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Could you be a school governor?

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Would you be interested in helping your local school provide the best possible education for village children?

The Duke of Bedford Primary School has a vacancy for a governor from the community and the school would love to hear from people in the village willing to help.

The school’s governing body does a variety of things – it is responsible for setting the budget, it appoints the head-teacher and works with the teaching staff to ensure that pupils have the best-possible learning experience.

The school governing body comprises 12 governors, including the head-teacher. There are four Parent Governors (filled by parents or carers of children at the school); five Co-opted Governors (appointed from within the community), one Local Authority Governor and one Staff Governor.

There are no specific skills required, just an interest in helping the school be as good as it can be. Professional expertise or experience of business can be helpful, but governors are expected to attend training courses run by the local authority to provide all the skills and knowledge required.

Chair of governors, Pauline Coakley said: “This is an excellent way of helping in the community and it can be extremely satisfying. Don’t feel that you can’t do it or you’re not skilled enough, we are just ordinary people doing our best for the school.”

Anyone interested can contact:

Pauline Coakley on 270693 or e-mail p.mcoakley@yahoo.co.uk

Eric Rayner on 270137 or e-mail: eric.rayner@btinternet.com

Thorney golf course closes

The 18-hole Fen Course at Thorney Golf Centre closed in January.

Thorney Golf Centre now just has the 18-hole Lakes Course available for play.

The restaurant, function room and bar remain open and the driving range is still in use.

The nine-hole Par 3 course is being extended around the driving range and should be open by early summer this year.

New head at Duke of Bedford

Mrs Bailey

The Duke of Bedford School has a new head teacher – Mrs Cathy Bailey.

Cathy took over at the start of the year, replacing Jackii Crockett who has moved on to St Botolph’s Primary School in Orton Longueville.

This is her first appointment as a head teacher, but she had previously been acting head teacher for two years at Sawtry Junior School.

Cathy was born in Cambridgeshire, but her parents moved to France when she was quite young, so she grew up a fluent French speaker. She returned to the UK to study and decided to go into teaching after graduating.

Cathy is the mother of two sons and lives in Bretton. She spoke to the Thorney Post after a few weeks in her new role:

Q: How are you finding life at the Duke of Bedford School?

A: I am hugely enjoying it! The children and staff have all been very welcoming and I am gradually meeting more and more of our parents who have been very friendly too.

Q: What do you like best about the school?

A: I love the building, with the huge windows in the classrooms and hall, but most of all I love the atmosphere in school which is purposeful and buzzing.

Q: Did you know Thorney before applying for the job as head teacher and what were your first impressions of the village?

A: I used to drive through Thorney when on my way back from the seaside. I always admired the cottages along the main road which are very attractive.

Q: Do you miss France? How often do you go back?

A: I do miss France and my family who still live there. I try to take my boys over there or they visit us here most years.

Q: What made you want to be a teacher? Would you recommend the profession to a young graduate?

A: Teaching is hard work and you have to be committed to it, but in my opinion there is no other job I would rather do.

Q: How do you unwind at the end of a busy week? What are your interests outside school?

A: I generally like to spend time with my family and friends, either going out for a nice meal or staying in and relaxing.

Q: If you were given a £10,000 gift for the school, what would you spend it on?

A: When I’ve been here a little longer I might have different ideas. For now, I think it might be useful to have a roof over the fantastic swimming pool we have, for those rainy summer days!

Q: What would you take as your Desert Island Disc?

A: These days we can compile our own playlists but I suppose that’s not allowed! I don’t think I’d survive for long without Daft Punk.