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  • Writer's pictureLaura Lyles

Gretton - A Story by Oliver

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

We wanted to share an extraordinary piece of writing, by Oliver in Year 11, below. It's a wonderfully written dialogue and lovely to see our school through the eyes of one of our students;

Gretton: A Story

On the bounds of the quaint university city of Cambridge is the small delightful village of Girton. A small little village full of life, love and laughter, a small community of people ranging from all ages and all backgrounds.

The small little village is only home to a few local necessities such as a couple of pubs, a shop and post office. Oh, and the beautiful luscious park grounds and the stunning Cambridge University campus of Girton College.

Towards the end of this stylish old Victorian village lies a new little beast on the site of an old goose farm; now the sight of a school previously with a feather as a logo in a hint of the old agricultural site.

The new beast of Girton is a lovely beast called Gretton School, a school made especially for children on the evergrowing Autism spectrum between the ages of 5-19.

A new kind of school where life moves differently, in a different world, where staff and students alike have more bonds than just someone who helps you answer the odd maths equation.

Life at Gretton is very different to a mainstream school. There's no school bell, there are no long corridors and no classrooms filled with 40 students. The most in a class is 6 students with 2 staff members.

The environment may be different but the set up for life is second to none and they push the limits to ready these students for their journeys no matter their condition, disability, religion, gender or sexuallity.

Many people criticise these schools as open places for freedom and chaos, but the reason life here is laid back, or strain free, is to protect student wellbeing and keep them in a safe and trusting environment because the autistic mind is not as simple as the average human mind.

Students enter the school with a smile and exit saying the words “I don’t want to go home” and that is what makes staff members overjoyed with what they do. Students come from far and wide in their taxis or some staying overnight because of the distance they travel but they all never want to leave.

Staff come from different backgrounds and age groups and generations each with their own unique tale to share with their pupils. The students enjoy hearing the different stories of many and they take these memories to their peers and family beyond. We even have students that genuinely never want to leave the gates and work at the school.

The dedication brings tears and joy to teachers eyes and makes them genuinely realise how much of a difference their work makes.

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