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Headship for Mark Hall Academy's Associate Principal

4.10pm - 2nd July 2015

THE current Associate Principal of Mark Hall Academy in Harlow has been appointed as the new headteacher of Epping St John's School. 
Allan Osborne, who has previously served in a number of senior management roles in schools across London and Essex, will take up his new position in January. 
In the meantime Chris Seward, headteacher at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton, will take on the role of executive headteacher while continuing his role at Davenant. 
The changes have been necessary after current Epping St John's headteacher George Yerosimou announced that he would be retiring, on July 17, after 15 years at St John's, eight of which have been as headteacher. 
In a letter to parents, chairman of governors Ben Murphy said the appointment had followed a "nationwide search" for a new headteacher. 
A number of candidates visited the school in May and a strong pool of high calibre applications were received at the beginning of June. 
Governors then shortlisted six candidates for a two-day interview. 
Mr Murphy said Mr Osborne is "extremely focused on building upon the legacy Mr Yerosimou leaves behind and taking the school on a 'Journey to Outstanding'. 
The appointment of Mr Seward as executive headteacher has been necessary, Mr Murphy said, because of the standard notice periods required for headteachers. Mr Osborne will join Epping St John's on January 4. 
The Governing Body has been working with the Local Education Authority and Diocese of Chelmsford to recruit an interim leader from September 1 until December 31. 
Mr Murphy said Mr Seward, who has been headteacher at Davenant since 2001, is highly experienced and a National Leader of Education. 
Davenant is an Ofsted “outstanding” school, a National Teaching School and has a strong Christian foundation, Mr Murphy said. 
He added: "Mr Seward has agreed to spend a majority of his time at Epping St John's School but will continue as headteacher of Davenant."

Lego helps children interact

3.21pm - 2nd July 2015

A HARLOW school is using Lego to help its children interact. 
Freshwaters Primary Academy pupils, in groups of three, take on roles of architect, builder and supplier. Once the architect has designed a building they must use their communication skills to describe their plans to the builder who must then use their listening skills before establishing what materials - Lego bricks - they will need and put in their order with the supplier. 
Once they have completed this process, they switch roles and learn to understand the challenges other people face. 
Head of School Marios Solomonides said: “These sessions teach the children to listen and understand, to tolerate each other when the situation gets frustrating, to take their time to explain themselves clearly and to realise what it’s like to be in someone else’s position.” 
Lego Therapy is seen as a successful intervention tool for children with autism but Freshwaters is using the programme to benefit many of its pupils. 
Mr Solomonides said: “We were invited to complete the training and our special educational needs learning assistant, Humera Hamid, was keen to go along.
"Before the course she had already researched the idea and put it into action the day after her training was completed. 
“Through Humera’s work we have found Lego therapy challenges all children and helps them with their speech and language skills as well as helping them socially. 
"Some traditional interventions based on English and maths can make the children feel like they have failed. This feels like a reward which is fun but they are learning so much at the same time. They don’t realise it but they are learning and using methods which will help with their maths and English. 
"It will enable them to more easily access other areas of the curriculum.
“I am very excited about this - it is a terrific programme.” 
The school is looking for donations of Lego. Anyone who can help can email the school at admin@freshwaters.essex.sch.uk

MP welcomes airports' report

3.18pm - 2nd July 2015

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has welcomed the recommendations of a report looking into the expansion of London’s airports. 
Responding to the Davies Commission report, Mr Halfon said: "I’m glad that the recommendation does not call for a second runway at Stansted but instead supports strengthening the existing capacity of the airport. 
“I also welcome the recognition of investment by the Manchester Airports Group. With over 17 million people using Stansted every year, strengthening the existing capacity at Stansted is vital to ensure a better service for everyone.” 
The report acknowledges “the renewed focus on the needs of airport users travelling by rail to Stansted, and to Southend, in the consultation on the West Anglia Route Study” as part of a wider £80m investment in Stansted airport. 
Mr Halfon said: "I will be meeting with Abellio and Network Rail in the coming days as well as urging the government to support this recommendation. 
"Stansted is the third busiest airport in London and the fourth busiest in the UK, contributing over £400m a year to the UK economy. 
"I welcome any extra investment into Stansted and I pay tribute to the ongoing work that Manchester Airports Group are doing in making the case for a better Stansted."

Charities to benefit from sponsored walk

3.15pm - 2nd July 2015

A SPONSORED walk along the River Stort is being held by local Rotary clubs on Sunday, July 19. 
Walkers can set off from The Moorhen, Harlow, or Pig Lane, Bishop's Stortford, from 10am (with variable starting times until midday). 
The finishing point is Pishiobury Park, Sawbridgeworth, where there will be refreshments, entertainment, a beer tent and children's activities, plus a picnic area. 
The cost to take part is £10 for adults (children aged 16 and under are free if with an adult). 
The entry fees will go to St Clare Hospice. 
Entrants can be sponsored for the hospice or any other charity, of their choice, including the Rotary Club’s Trust Funds. 
Entrants can register via the St Clare Hospice website. Full joining instructions will be issued. 
For more information, ring event organiser John Crowther on 01279 832580 or email john.crowther2@ntlworld.com, or ring Don Cramphorn on 01279 731312 (email d.cramphorn@btinternet.com).

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