The Kaimes Special School Association was set up in 1996, receiving recognition as a charity in May 1997. It supports the pupils of Kaimes Special School in Edinburgh , primarily in the areas of Outdoor Education, Residential Experiences, ICT, and Cultural Enrichment.
The KSSA supports those programmes at Kaimes whose aims are to increase self-confidence and self-reliance, to enhance self esteem, and to prepare for independent living on leaving school. KSSA supports horse riding for children with Autism as a component of the Outdoor Education Programme.
In line with the School Improvement Plan, a greatly expanded programme of Residential Experiences is now in place with all Secondary and most Primary pupils having the opportunity of visiting an Outdoor Centre in Scotland or in the Lake District .
The Calvert Trust in Keswick was the first centre in the Lake District to be visited by Kaimes pupils and S1 students visit the Trust in February of each year.
S2 pupils enjoy a summer week at Bendrigg Trust in June each year. This proves to be a particularly successful exercise, not only in terms of improvements made in the pupils skills in outdoor pursuits, but also as regards their Personal and Social Development.
In November 2003, in line with the expansion of the Residential Experience policy, S3 pupils visited the City of Edinburgh Outdoor Education at Benmore, near Dunoon. As a result of this successful trip, S3 and S4 pupils returned there in October 2004 and 2005 and S3 returning annually in Autumn since 2007.
The more senior pupils in the Primary Department continued to use the Scottish Centre, Dounans, for their week’s Residential Experience. Younger pupils have the opportunity of one or two nights at a centre nearer Edinburgh.
S4 & S5 students continue to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. The Expedition Section, involving two overnight camps in remote country, ensures that the Residential Experience continues into the final year at school.
All students have Outdoor Education on their timetable. Activities range from hill walking and navigation skills to skiing, sailing and canoeing.
INFORMATION AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
KSSA continues to help the ICT and other departments improve and upgrade their computer hardware and software.
Autistic pupils are proven to be visual learners. Accordingly, each classroom has been furnished with a combi TV/ DVD funded by KSSA. Each department now has access to its own digital camera. Pupils display photographs of all aspects of their work at school.
Many trusts and charities have supported the KSSA and the following organisations having provided help in the past.
Derek Wallace Appeal Trust
Public Releations Practioners
Lothian & Borders Police charities trust
KSSA raises money through participation in the Great Weather Lottery