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Queens School

Mike became a parent governor in 1983 and joined the governing body 18 months later when a position became vacant for a local authority representative. He was appointed by the L.E.A. and became the Chairman of Governors and is still Chairman today.

Talks of merging Queens school and Oliver Wells school started in 1985, when Queens school started to become over crowded, and Oliver Wells was becoming under populated because of integration into mainstream schools.

Temporary buildings were put up at the Queens site and the children from Oliver Wells moved over to the Queens site while plans were made ready to rebuild at the Oliver Wells site. All work was stopped because they didn't have planning permission from the Department of Education.
In 1993 a new Head teacher was appointed, Mr Richard Fraser, Queens school and Oliver Wells school ceased to exist. It was now known as The Redway school, and finally moved to the new site on Netherfield in April 1977.
This is a photograph of the key used to commemorate the opening of the swimming pool in 1976.
Edward Shelley

I became Head of Queens Special School in 1976 when I was 39. I left in 1990. I'll leave you to work out the rest. The age of the pupils ranged from 5 to 16.

During the following years we were able to provide for young people up to 19. They were all assessed as having severe learning difficulties, whcih ranged from those with multiple and profound disabilities to those who were later able to undertake sheltered employment.

Activities on the edge of the curriculum include swimming, dancing, music, cycling, pony riding, camping, and so on. I liked to think we could take on activities that were useful, interesting and enjoyable for pupils -until curricula were imposed upon special schools in the late 70's - that is.

Special events - certainly lots of visitors - perhaps almost too many at times. Staff were regularly taking pupils on trips and holidays and there were many seasonal events throughout the year which pepped up the programme - sports day, Christmas celebrations, Easter presentations - and so on. Most of these also involved parents. Inevitably, changes take place over the years.

Some experiments are undertaken which fail and some ideas prove useful become part of
the school life. Generally I would say that I wanted the school to be a lively place with happy children and good staff morale. I believed that the present for pupils was as important as an anitcipated future and I regarded keeping them interested and active of prime importance. I tried therefore to broaden the curriculum and create staff teams within the teaching units which would have opportunities to teach in a flexible manner. I also regarded good record-keeping of pupils' progress and communication with parents as very important, and worked hard with staff at developing systems for this. We were also quite proud of our parent-teacher association (known as QSA) which was created, I think, about 1977. During my latter years at Queens, information technology was slowly being introducded into some Bucks schools and we carried out some very interesting early work with computers which showed considerable promise in helping some pupils learn language skills and also as a means of keeping effective teaching records.

I became a teacher in a special school in my mid 20's. I turned to this from mainstream becuase I felt I had quite a good rapport with pupils with learning difficulties and I also believed that one could work more closely to a child's individual needs in a special school, with its smaller class groups and more flexible and varied curriculum. I think I liked an imaginative approach to teaching and haven't found much scope for this in my particular mainstream experience. I later became a leacturer in two colleges of Education and ran a course for students who wanted to teach children with severe learning difficulties. In the mid 1970's though, I began to feel the need to get away from the theory and back into the practice - hence Queens.
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