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Henley Carol Singers

A SPECIAL school is a step closer to buying state-of-the-art communication equipment with the help of a £2,300 donation.

The Henley Carol Singers raised the money in December, when they performed at nine dinners and parties in and around Henley.

The money will go towards a new portable computer for Bishopswood School in Sonning Common that will help pupils to communicate and play games using their eyes.

Judy Whittaker, who co-ordinates the singing group, presented a cheque to headteacher Janet Kellett at the Grove Road school on Tuesday. Mrs Kellett said: “This is a fantastic amount of money and we are very grateful for the generous donations from people around Henley.”

The computer will help children who are unable to communicate through speech or sign language.

Mrs Kellett said: “All our children have communication difficulties. If they can’t speak or use their hands to sign, they can use this technology to indicate different options on the screen with their eyes.”

The Henley Carol Singers are made up of 34 members of local church choirs who have been singing together for the last 18 years. They took part in the school’s Christmas concert at St Michael’s Church in Peppard Road, Sonning Common.

Mrs Whittaker said: “We always try to go for a local charity, particularly ones which help children. We have previously raised money for lots of charities that help children who come to Bishopswood School.

“The school needs lots of funding because the sort of equipment they use here is specialist and expensive.”

Bishopswood School has a secondary department at Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common and a nursery department at Valley Road Primary School in Henley.

Published 12/01/15                       

Masonic Donation

A SPECIAL school will buy new communication equipment thanks to a £1,000 donation.

Keith Wadhams and Ken Huff, of the Berkshire Masonic Charity, presented a cheque to the Bishopswood School Association on Monday (November 24).

The association has already raised £8,664 to provide equipment for the school’s nursery class, which has two- to five-year-olds with severe special educational needs.

Jenny Wager, secretary of the association, said: “The equipment allows children to who have additional physical difficulties to use their eye gaze to operate computer software to make choices, communicate, play games and have some control over their environment.

“It is very specialist equipment and the school relies on the generosity of others through donations and fundraising to purchase this sort of equipment.”

The school has departments at Sonning Common Primary School, Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common and Valley Road Primary School in Henley.

The next fundraising event is the school Christmas fair on Saturday, December 6, at Sonning Common Primary School.


Bishopswood cheque - Ken Huff, nursery teacher Carol Parrey, Keith Wadhams, headteacher Janet Kellett, parent Natalie Dix and learning support assistant Sharon Dellar with James Corderoy, four, and Jackson Down, three.

A SPECIAL school in Sonning Common will buy new equipment with the help of a £1,000 donation.

Keith Wadhams and Ken Huff, of the Berkshire Masonic Charity, presented a cheque to the Bishopswood School Association, which has already raised £8,664 to provide equipment for the nursery class at Valley Road School in Henley, whose childen have severe special educational needs.

Association secretary Jenny Wager said: “The equipment allows children with additional physical difficulties to use their eye gaze to operate computer software to make choices, communicate, play games and have some control over their environment.”

The school’s next fund-raising event is a Christmas fair at Sonning Common Primary School tomorrow (Saturday).

Published 08/12/14

TV Presenter Performs at School Barbeque

Published 21/07/14 

CHILDREN’S entertainer Dave Benson Phillips sang and danced with the children at Bishopswood Special School’s summer barbecue. 

There were also games, a static tractor for children to sit on, a bouncy castle and a performance by Sam Brown’s International Ukulele Club at the school in Grove Road, Sonning Common. Staff, former pupils and their families as well as local residents attended the event, which raised £900. 

Benson Phillips, a TV presenter who also performed at last year’s event, played the guitar and sang favourites such as the Hokey Cokey. 

He said: “It’s such a fantastic thing — there is such a nice vibe about it and everybody’s really sweet. For me as an entertainer, it’s like doing my home crowd. I loved it and I hope the kids got a lot out of it. This day is all about them and what they have achieved.” 

Tamsin Johns, chairwoman of the Bishopswood School Association, said: “It was great. Dave gets all the children up and dancing — and the adults too.” 

Hundreds turn out for Regatta for the Disabled

Published 06/09/13

About 500 people visited the fourth annual event, which was held on the banks of the Thames at Phyllis Court Club.

The regatta was opened by Henley MP John Howell for the fourth year running. He said: "It’s always great to be here. It’s fantastic to have this opportunity to show that the river belongs to us all, whether we’re abled or disabled."

Eleven teams entered the dragon boat races, which are open to both able-bodied and disabled competitors. 
Other teams to take part included Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common, Phyllis Court Club and Oxfordshire disability charity Enrych.

The regatta was founded in 2010 by Jane Holmes, chief executive of the Building For The Future charity, and Louise Light, a volunteer with Headway. Both have disabled children.

40 Years of Fireworks

Published 11/11/13

 ABOUT 1,300 people attended Henley Round Table’s 40th annual fireworks display at Swiss Farm on Saturday night. 

The event raised about £5,000 which will be donated to charities, voluntary groups and individuals as part of Henley Round Table’s Helping Hands campaign as well as paying for Bishopswood Special School’s Christmas party at Phyllis Court Club. 

Moped Run for School

Published 24/06/13

A FATHER of a pupil at Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common is to attempt to ride 625 miles in five days on a moped. 
Cpl Dean Bristow, who serves with the Royal Air Force, will travel with a number of other servicemen on mopeds to Land’s End and back, setting off from RAF Benson on Monday. 
The ride, called “Moped of Hope”, will raise money for the school. The team will stop at various military bases along the way to collect donations. 

Cpl Bristow, whose five-year-old son Marcus has autism, said: “Bishopswood has been working wonders for Marcus and many other children with diverse special needs. Marcus has been learning to make friends, to talk and to enjoy school.”

His moped is a 1988 Simson that was built in East Germany. 

Kindness of Pupils

Published on 14 January 2013

A TOTAL of £1,882.12 has been donated to Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common by neighbouring pupils. The money was raised by Auriga House at Chiltern Edge School in the village, which made the school its chosen charity for the year.

Fund-raising activities included a sponsored 10-mile circular walk, two non-uniform days, cake sales, an Easter raffle and a barbecue. The special school will use the money to buy five African drums, three large scooters and some balls.

Chiltern Edge (Bishopswood) deputy head Janet Kellett said: “The children have worked so hard and they should be proud of their achievements. I know the children of Bishopswood are deeply appreciative.”

We were very fortunate last school year to be chosen by Auriga House from Chiltern Edge School as their Charity for the year. They raised over £1,700.00 for us to buy play equipment and resources. We have bought a set of large drums, two scooters and some balls. We hope to buy a sofa for the KS4 Home management room, 2 CD players and some gardening equipment.

Janet Kellett, Deputy Headteacher

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