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Police appeal over two break-ins in
- 24th July 2015
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to two
burglaries in the same Harlow street.
A house in Little Pynchons was entered at
10.30am on Tuesday, July 21, but the person left
when they were disturbed by the elderly
The front door was later found to have been
A neighbouring property was burgled between
9.30am and 10.40am the same day.
The front door had been forced open and
jewellery was taken.
Pc Jo Snell said: "We are appealing for
witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously or
knocking on doors in the area of Little Pynchons
between 9.30am and 11am that day.”
Anyone with any information should ring police
on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555
New look and new name for school
- 24th July 2015
MAJOR building work will transform a
Harlow primary school over the summer
With the first phase of redevelopment at Cooks
Spinney Primary School completed earlier this
year, more extensive work is due to start over
the six-week holiday.
The new-look school will also welcome children
back in September with a new name to represent
the fresh start – Cooks Spinney Primary
Head of School Stuart Pope said: “This is all
part of our three-year programme to provide our
children with an environment which is fit for
the 21st century. The school building has not
been touched since it opened in 1954.
"When you enter the school site we want
visitors to look at something that says we are
amazing; we want the building to be as amazing
as our children. It’s the improvement which
has been missing for so long.
“This building work will provide us with three
new classrooms to suit today’s needs. It’s
part of our commitment to making the whole site
engaging and purposeful.”
Over the Easter break, new flooring was laid in
five classrooms and magnolia corridors painted a
palette of bright colours.
Now builders are set to move in to create more
space within the school to enable class sizes to
be reduced, to provide outside space for Year 6
classes, to connect nursery and reception
classes together to ease transition and to join
the two halves of the site together with a
walkway to replace the open air path.
A new staff room will also be created and the
head’s office expanded.
Building work, funded by £627,894 Condition
Improvement Fund from the Education Funding
Agency, is due to be completed before the
October half-term break and is not expected to
affect the day-to-day operation of the school.
Pupils' artwork goes on sale
- 24th July 2015
PUPILS at Freshwaters Primary Academy,
Harlow, designed pieces of artwork to be put on
display in their first art exhibition.
The work was framed by Images Stevenage and
exhibited for parents to view and buy with some
of the proceeds going to the school.
Teacher Frances Taylor said: “Each year group
chose a theme and a particular artistic skill to
give variety and evidence of progression; for
example Year 1 drew self portraits and used oil
pastels to colour.
“The children prepared draft after draft to
make sure they felt confident in the work they
were putting on display. They were so excited to
see their work framed.
“We have given them the real-life experience
of a gallery within their school and showed them
their work is valued.”
MP visits Harlow Stroke Support
- 23rd July 2015
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has visited the
Harlow Stroke Support Group.
He said: "This is a very special
organisation that looks after people in Harlow
who have suffered from stroke and related
“They run a huge amount of activities and do
everything they can to try and help people
"The best thing they do is to bring people
together who have suffered in a similar way and
create a wonderful community in which people can
get have fun, go on trips and even party
“I will be doing all I can to help the group
get the extra funding and resources it needs to
carry on its excellent work.”
MP meets rail bosses
- 23rd July 2015
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has met with
representatives of train operating authority
Abellio and Network Rail to discuss improvements
to Harlow Town, Harlow Mill, Roydon and
Sawbridgeworth stations and the rest of the
Proposals put forward include replacing the
older class 317 trains, better infrastructure at
some stations, a renewed focus on the
cleanliness and hygiene of trains and future
projects aimed at improving customer
Mr Halfon said: "Many Harlow residents
regularly contact me complaining about the
quality of service they receive on the trains
and these concerns were raised.
"Abellio and Network Rail have both assured
me they will be doing everything they can to
address many of these issues.”
Although the new franchise will not begin until
October next year, Abellio has said that by
March all of the 24 trains will have undergone a
Mr Halfon said: "I know cleanliness and
hygiene on the trains is also an issue for too
many Harlow residents.
"Abellio has said that despite investing
over £5m and hiring an extra 80 cleaners since
this time last year, they are aware more needs
to be done and are committed to hiring more
cleaning staff and exploring better cleaning
He added: "Many residents have raised with
me various issues at Roydon Station, in
particular the quality of the surrounding
infrastructure such as the gradual sinking of
one of the platforms.
"Abellio assured me this is something they
will be looking into with work on this due to
start from next year.
“At Harlow Town Station there is a particular
concern about the additional cost commuters are
faced with to use the car park.
"I am pleased Abellio said they will not
raise this charge in the coming year, and have
agreed to look into this issue to see if
anything can be done to reduce the cost in the
future.” Mr Halfon also raised the issue of
the lack of staff at station platforms.
Mr Halfon said Abellio had said it is investing
in extra staff and looking at bringing in modern
ticket machines to meet the demand.
Mr Halfon said: “The lack of staff at station
platforms has also become a serious problem. I
am glad Abellio is now thinking about ways to
resolve this issue such as having virtual ticket
offices whereby residents will still be able to
communicate with a member of staff.”
In addition to the ongoing plans for Roydon and
other stations, it is understood Abellio plan to
introduce a new smart card system giving
passengers the choice of paying for their ticket
either before or after their journey.
Mr Halfon said: “I hope that by the end of
this year Harlow residents will be able to
benefit from a more flexible and satisfactory
system of travel.
"I welcome the new proposals being put
forward by Abellio but the proof of the pudding
will always be in the eating.
"I look forward to working with them and
future train operating authorities to deliver
the best possible service for Harlow
School celebrates diversity
- 23rd July 2015
FAMILIES celebrated diversity with a
first Family Fun Afternoon at Freshwaters
Primary Academy, Harlow, as it acknowledged the
diversity of its families at the end of the
The event saw a picnic on the field with each
class organising activities.
Families enjoyed rounders, country dancing,
mask-making and designing and drawing Rangoli
Year 6 made marshmallow kebabs and friendship
bracelets to sell while students and teachers
from Burnt Mill Academy’s language faculty set
up a stall with language-related activities,
henna and face-painting.
Pupils also took part in a talent show
demonstrating their musical, singing, dancing
and sport abilities.
Head of School Marios Solomonides said: “All
in all it was a fantastic afternoon filled with
laughter, music and families spending time
“It felt like a real community coming together
and it showed our families how important they
are to us.
"We don’t want them to be on the
outskirts of the school; this school belongs to
them as much as it belongs to our pupils.”
11-year-old boy found at station
- 23rd July 2015
Drew Neale was found safe and well at
Bishop’s Stortford Station this afternoon,
police have said.
- 23rd July 2015
POLICE are appealing for help to find an
11-year-old boy reported missing from his home
Drew Neale was last seen by his mother in Harlow
town centre on Tuesday (July 21)
Police and his family are concerned for his
welfare and are asking anyone who knows where he
is to contact them as soon as possible.
Drew is 5ft tall, slim, with short blond hair
and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue
Slazenger polo shirt, grey Adidas jogging
bottoms with blue stripes, and grey and blue
He was carrying a black and white Adidas bag and
had a blue Adidas hooded jumper.
Drew has links with the Cheshunt and Bishop’s
Anyone with any information should ring Harlow
Police Station on 101.
Pets' Corner work continuing
- 22nd July 2015
THE refurbishment of Pets’ Corner is
continuing with various improvements and new
features being installed.
The frame and roof of the new Events Barn, which
will host events such as sheep shearing and live
talks, have been put up. The top half of the
frame will be clad and the bottom half left
The animal enclosures to the left of what was
the main entrance are being redecorated with
their wooden fascias renewed.
At the end of the concourse, the gate which
leads to the Spurriers House car park is to be
transformed into a new main entrance and
reception area which will feature a new gift
shop. A secondary entrance will be near the
The ramp leading up from the new main entrance
is also being replaced with a wider one with a
much gentler gradient to make it easier for
pushchair and wheelchair users.
Within the main courtyard area, extensive work
is underway to install a new drainage system and
paths. The biggest new addition will be the new
Learning Centre behind Pets’ Corner.
The foundations are being laid and the finished
article will feature both indoor and outdoor
learning spaces for school classes.
Next to Pets’ Corner, work is also taking
place at Spurriers House which is to feature a
ground-floor café which will include an outdoor
seating area and toilets.
Youth and community portfolio holder Emma Toal
said: “This work is much needed and is helping
to take Pets’ Corner to a new level with
excellent learning facilities and improved
“It’s worth noting that while the main
buildings remain closed to the public, people
are still able to come and enjoy many of the
animals in the outer paddocks each and every
"The hardworking Pets’ Corner staff and
volunteers also continue to run activities, such
as petting activities in the paddocks, during
the school holidays and the animals continue to
attend community events and activities.
“It’s great to see everything coming
together at the new-look Pets’ Corner and I,
along with many others, am really looking
forward to seeing the finished article.
“The date for reopening Pet’s Corner will be
announced soon and is dependent on the progress
of construction work in the coming weeks.
"There will also be some time needed after
construction work has been completed for staff
to get the facility up and running ready to
welcome back thousands of people who we know
will want to see Pets’ Corner’s
Weak bridge to be closed until end
- 22nd July 2015
A ROAD bridge spanning the River Lee is
to be rebuilt as it can no longer support heavy
Essex Highways structural engineers will rebuild
Fish and Eels Bridge, which carries Dobbs Weir
Road between Harlow and Hoddesdon, with work
starting on Sunday and continuing until the end
A new permanent footbridge will be built on the
south side and a footpath will be provided on
the north side of the bridge.
Essex County Council highways and transportation
cabinet member Rodney Bass said:
"Structural surveys have clearly shown the
ironwork supporting Fish and Eels Bridge has
corroded to the extent that it has become
dangerous for vehicles to cross it, especially
commercial vans and trucks.
“Clearly we need to maintain the safety of
everyone who needs to use it.”
The reconstruction project will require Dobbs
Weir Road to be closed to vehicles although
access for local residents and businesses will
A signed diversion will direct drivers onto
sections of Essex Road, Charlton Way, High Road,
Station Road, Nazeing New Road, North Street and
Sedge Green, while a temporary footpath will be
provided for pedestrians and cyclists.
Boats will be allowed to use the River Lee and
canal during the work however an occasional
closure of the canal may be required for safety
Mr Bass added: “Inevitably projects of this
kind will lead to disruption and longer journey
times but it is very necessary work and will
serve to maintain our highways to the highest
New uniform for primary school
- 22nd July 2015
A HARLOW primary school has announced
that it is changing its uniform.
Pupils at Little Parndon Primary School wear a
mix of black and grey trousers, skirts, shorts
and dresses along with polo shirts and smart
After consulting with parents, the school has
decided to drop the grey and for children to
only wear black along with their school
Children in reception up to Year 4 will wear
polo shirts in red or white while Year 5 and 6
pupils will now wear a shirt to take the new
black and red school tie.
Head of School Sophie Laing said: “This is
about having a more sleek uniform which enables
our children to feel proud of where they are
“The new school ties for Year 5 and 6 show
they are the older children, gives them
credibility and gets them in the mindset for
secondary school. The children really wanted the
tie to be introduced.
“These are small changes to the uniform which
will not have a detrimental impact on parental
New head for Burnt Mill Academy
- 22nd July 2015
A NEW head of school has been announced
for Burnt Mill Academy.
Former associate headteacher John Blaney has
been promoted to help lead the school, along
with Helena Mills whose role is now head of
Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust
The move enables Ms Mills to be freed up from
the more minor day-to-day tasks involved with
running Burnt Mill to focus on keeping standards
high and improving across the trust’s six
Ms Mills has promised to stay with the family of
schools for the rest of her career.
Ms Mills, who will be overall head of Burnt Mill
and Forest Hall secondary schools and four
primaries, said: “I am completely committed to
this family of schools. The core values I
brought to Burnt Mill will still be here and I
will be personally ensuring those values run
through every corner and every corridor of all
of our schools.
"Just because I will be overseeing six
schools does not mean my focus changes. I know
the name of every Year 6 child in all of our
primaries and what they are predicted to get in
their SATs. That won’t change.
"In fact, this new structure means I will
have more time to devote to our children.”
Ms Mills and Mr Blaney have worked closely
together for 17 years.
When Mr Blaney joined Burnt Mill in 2010 he was
tasked with transforming teaching and was the
reason the school was able to secure outstanding
for teaching in the new rigorous Ofsted
Ms Mills said: “It is because of Mr Blaney and
his team of talented lead practitioners that all
of our teachers are now outstanding.
"I take the credit for transforming the
school but that would not have happened without
John as my deputy.”
Mr Blaney said: “I am delighted to have been
appointed as the new head of school. “I have
worked here for the past five years, but have
worked alongside Helena for all of my teaching
career and I fully support her values and ethos
which is why I am so excited to take on this
"You can be assured it is my sole aim to
ensure the excellent standards achieved over the
past five years will remain the core of what we
do at Burnt Mill.
“I have the very same high aspirations for our
students; I expect every child to leave us
having achieved outstanding results; I want them
to develop as well rounded individuals; and want
all of them to have the opportunity to go to any
university in the world of their choosing.
"I want our students to leave us fully
prepared to take their place and be able to
compete on the world stage.
“I know it is through an excellent education
that our students will be able to achieve their
"I’m delighted to work with a very
talented team of outstanding teachers who will
continue to provide your sons and daughters with
the world class education they deserve.”
Man jailed over theft of heating
fuel from hospice
- 22nd July 2015
A MAN has been sentenced to 21 months
imprisonment after being found guilty of the
theft of over £1,000 of heating fuel from St
Fuel used to provide the heating for the hospice
was removed in May last year.
On Monday, March 2, Jake Seaton, of Barn Mead,
Harlow, pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Crown
Court and was remanded on conditional bail until
July 15 for trial.
Following a three-day trial at Chelmsford Crown
Court, Seaton was found guilty on Friday and
given a 21-month prison sentence.
Investigating officer PC Mark Smith said:
"Seaton had denied this heartless crime and
showed no remorse for his actions.
Upon summing up the judge remarked how it was
despicable to steal from a charity which cares
for people with terminal illnesses.
"The fuel is also paid for through charity
donations and voluntary work. "I am pleased
that justice has been done in this case.”
Witness appeal after car runs over
- 18th July 2015
A MAN suffered serious injuries when his
foot was run over by a car which failed to
The incident happened just after midnight on
Saturday, July 11, on Fourth Avenue at the
junction with Haydens Road.
The 20-year-old Harlow man received a serious
injury to his left foot after it was run over by
a green Vauxhall Corsa with white stripes over
the roof and bonnet.
The vehicle failed to stop.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, or who has
any information about the vehicle, should ring
PC Paul Marks at Harlow Police Station on 101.
Science comes alive for pupils
- 18th July 2015
YEAR 3 pupils at Little Parndon Primary
School, Harlow, visited the Science Alive
They got to go inside the inflatable
planetarium, learnt about chemical reactions and
made rockets before using compressed air to
Head of school Sophie Laing said: “This was a
big trip for the school, with all of Year 3
walking to the venue and back. “All of the
children came back absolutely full of enthusiasm
"The day was full of hands-on activities
and so the children were fully engaged in the
“At this age they do a little bit of science
in school but this helped to make science more
interesting and interactive for them.
“The children will also be able to use the
experience of a trip away from school to inspire
their writing as well as being able to refer
back to it when doing science in the future.”
School holds Diversity Week
- 14th July 2015
FRESHWATERS Primary Academy held its
first Diversity Week to help children understand
the differences between the families and
communities around them.
Each class discussed family trees before
creating their own, demonstrating no two
families are the same.
The topics of culture, race and religion were
also discussed to show how these factors make
each person unique.
A whole school assembly looked at the influences
other cultures have on Britain, from food to
clothes, while Year 6 looked at stereotypes and
Head of School Marios Solomonides said: “It is
especially important in today's political
climate to give children opportunities to
identify the similarities and differences
between them. No child is born racist or
judgemental in any way.
"Society changes some people and it’s our
job, along with our families, to make sure our
pupils grow up to be not just tolerant of
others, but to actively celebrate them.”
A Parent Champion shared their culture with
pupils, nursery children looked at the lives of
others around the world and Year 2 children
studied the diversity of their own fingerprints.
Schools celebrate exam success
- 12th July 2015
CHILDREN within the Burnt Mill
Co-operative Academy Trust primary schools are
celebrating their best ever SATs results.
Children at Cooks Spinney Primary School and
Roydon Primary School are achieving higher than
ever before since joining the Trust.
Freshwaters Primary Academy has also produced
another impressive set of results after last
year seeing a 30 per cent leap in its 2014
results, the first set since joining forces with
Burnt Mill Academy.
Pupils are expected to have reached level four
by the end of Year 6.
At Cooks Spinney, 18 per cent of pupils far
exceeded that level, achieving level six in
maths – a standard expected of children a
whole year older.
Other noteable results include:
* Cooks Spinney - 98 per cent of pupils at level
four in reading, compared to 78 per cent last
year. 94 per cent of pupils at level four in
maths, compared to 74 per cent last year.
* Roydon - 92 per cent of pupils at level four
in reading, maths and science - the best in the
* Freshwaters - 91 per cent of pupils at level
four in maths, compared to 83 per cent last year
- the best in the school’s history.
* Little Parndon - 89 per cent of pupils at
level four and above in reading and maths, with
30 per cent at level five.
Stuart Pope, head of Cooks Spinney, said: “These
are the best ever results for us. We are up in
all areas and progress is brilliant.
“The children have been amazing and worked so
hard while staff have worked tirelessly to get
“This is a real statement about the future of
Cooks Spinney. The year 2015 is the year
everything changed. We are so proud.”
Helena Mills, head of all BMAT schools, said:
“We are delighted with the progress our
children have made. They have continued to build
on the improvements from last year to produce
these incredible results.
"The results show what can be done with
exceptional leadership and teaching.
“Cooks Spinney’s results, in particular, are
above national averages and show how close this
school is to becoming outstanding.
“We are particularly pleased with the number
of pupils achieving level six in maths across
the Trust. Burnt Mill Academy is already
planning how to extend those children in maths
when they arrive in September.”
Man robbed by five-man gang
- 10th July 2015
FIVE men are being sought after a man was
robbed in a Harlow underpass.
A 51-year-old man, who lives locally, was
walking through the underpass under Fourth
Avenue at about 3.10am on Wednesday (July 1)
when he was surrounded by a group of five men
who stole his mobile phone, £200 in cash and a
personal cassette player.
PC Leo Fordham said: "The men snatched the
victim’s mobile phone and when he tried to
fight back they threatened him by putting a
needle containing dark coloured liquid up to his
face. The men then ran off towards Princess
The victim was left shaken but was not injured.
The five men were all wearing dark
Three were black and two were white.
Anyone with any information about the incident
is asked to contact PC Fordham at Harlow CID on
Essex Police 101 or ring Crimestoppers
anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Headship for Mark Hall Academy's
- 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
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
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
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
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
- 2nd July 2015
A HARLOW school is using Lego to help its
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
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
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
The school is looking for donations of Lego.
Anyone who can help can email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org
MP welcomes airports' report
- 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
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
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
"Stansted is the third busiest airport in
London and the fourth busiest in the UK,
contributing over £400m a year to the UK
"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
- 2nd July 2015
A SPONSORED walk along the River Stort is
being held by local Rotary clubs on Sunday, July
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
The entry fees will go to St Clare
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 email@example.com,
or ring Don Cramphorn on 01279 731312 (email firstname.lastname@example.org).