"Plume School has outstanding links with its local community, developed over many years."
Plume School has outstanding links with its local community, developed over many years. As the only secondary school in Maldon, many staff, parents and grandparents of our current students attended Plume (Maldon Grammar School or Maldon County Secondary School in its previous existence). Many staff live locally and have taught at the school for many years, giving a real sense of continuity.
‘Plume news’ gives weekly updates about the work of the school including community events. However, it is worth mentioning a few of the more unusual and interesting ways in which Plume is part of its community.
Specialist Arts College events
As a Specialist school in the arts since 2003, Plume is renowned for its numerous excellent performances, including an annual show open to the community (2009 ‘We will Rock You’, 2010 ‘The 80s Show’), work with local primary schools, an adult music society (PAMS), ‘Pluming Babies’, Christmas concert at Chelmsford Cathedral and open air performances by the river in summer.
Plume pioneered this successful scheme 12 years ago and has worked with other schools to help them implement their own version. Community Mentors are successful local people who voluntarily give up their valuable time to support Plume students. Mentors are linked to students who will particularly benefit from independent guidance and support. The Mentors draw on their life experiences to help individual students in a variety of ways, for example, with organisational skills, time management and building self-esteem. Some Mentors have been with us from the outset and gain the reward of making a difference to young people who will then in turn make a positive impact on their community.
Saint Fm, our local radio station
This is a recent development – StFM now broadcasts from Maldon for half the week (from Burnham the other half) and are based in a purpose built studio at our Fambridge Road site. This has given our students the opportunity to train as radio presenters, produce shows and work alongside adult volunteers.
Our floodlight third generation artificial grass pitch was opened by Tony Cottee in January 2010. It is used by the school during the day and the community in the evenings and at weekends. Funded by Plume, MDC and the Football Foundation, this is a tremendous resource – it is the largest such pitch on a site in England and the same size & quality as Aston Villa’s training ground.
Our links with Maldon Cricket Club go back to the 1970s and each Plume headteacher is a vice President of the Club. Highlights are the Quik Cricket Primary school event and participation in the annual Cricket Festival when Plume School plays a team from the club and another guest team in front of invited VIPs who have supported the school during the year.
Maldon annual events
Maldon has several important events that our students contribute to. The two ‘Victorian Evenings‘ take place each December with a visit from ’Queen Victoria’ and many people in Victorian dress. Our students perform music & drama each evening in the High Street. The carnival is located at our Mill Road site for a week and the carnival Queen and princesses are almost always Plume students. Taxi Day is a unique event when disabled children are taken to Maldon by 200+ London taxis and treated to lunch and entertainment at Plume – an innovation in 2010 was a procession through the High Street led by Plume students in pirate costume! The Maldon Mud Race is a major charity fund raiser around Christmas/New Year involving a race across the freezing mud of the river and back – Plume students and staff help organise and collect donations.
Maldon Rotary Club
Plume School work closely with the Maldon Rotary Club and Plume students are successful in many Rotary competitions, including Young Chef, Young Musician and public speaking.
Plume is pleased to host a Church worker who is based at the school and fully involved in its life, organising assemblies and running clubs and drop in sessions.
A little known but very important link dates back hundreds of years to the seventeenth century when Thomas Plume set up a school and gave land in the town for educational purposes. Plume School was built on this land and the headteacher is a trustee of the Plume library. The library is of international importance as it is a time capsule of what an educated person would have read 400 years ago and contains many rare and valuable books.
Fast Forward- Football and Schools Together
Nine years ago Plume school was the first school to become involved in a nationally funded scheme ‘Raising Achievement and Aspirations through Football’. As the scheme was extremely successful, when it finished nationally Plume carried on with its own version. We continue to work in conjunction with Ipswich Town Football Club with whom the school has excellent links.
Students are selected by their Achievement Leader and the P.E. Department in year 10. In exchange for all day termly coaching visits to I.T.F.C. and a match against an I.T.F.C. youth side at Portman Road, the participants have to attend a regular weekly one hour study session. Our groups consist of year 10 and 11 boys and the major emphasis during these sessions is the completion of BTEC and GCSE coursework, plus revising for both ‘mock’ and real examinations as well as on-going homework. Students are supported by teachers and all work undertaken is based upon the current needs of the individual student.