Brackenfield School is an area special school for the South of Derbyshire. We have 72 pupils from 4-16 year old with ranging complex needs, with a focus on communication and comprehension.
To meet the needs of our young people the school is organised in to 3 vertical pathways:
Pupils are in mixed aged groups which take in to consideration pupil’s academic needs, their social needs and their sensory integration needs.
To support our students to reach their potential and become functionally and emotionally literate young adults. Through a curriculum with functional life skills at its core, develop young adults who are independent and employable and are empowered to make positive choices about the next stage of their lives. To develop pupil voice to support the needs of all students and ensure they are able to engage safely in wider society, demonstrating an understanding of British Values. To support the individual regulation and social, emotional needs of our students. This enabling them to become self-managing, self-aware, self-confident individuals.
Our Ethos: Our /school Values
We all have the right to an education. Learning is bespoke and personal to you.
We all have the right to feel cared for and be safe
Opportunities for kindness are never missed.
Everyone is treated fairly
Your needs will be met with dignity, privacy and sensitivity.
Everyone has a voice
We learn from everyone to understand each other.
Teaching & Learning
At Brackenfield we run three learning pathways through the school. The school site is zoned to support these. Pupils are set on these pathways based on predictions made through academic data, social, emotional, communication and sensory needs.
Pupils may be on more than one pathway for different areas of their education and may move between pathways during their school career. Our curriculum for all pathways is based around functional life skills for the learners with a view that all learners leave as functionally able adults. Functionality looks different for each of the learning pathways. The curriculum offer for each pathway is underpinned by the government Preparation for Adulthood initiative.
PScale 2-8 at KS4 Focus on independent life-skills Working to promote the transfer of skills across context
Level 1 and 2 qualifications Skills for employment and futher learning
Old NC L1-L3 Developing work skills, exploring work
All pupils are entitled to a broad and balanced educational offer. At Brackenfield our curriculum offer promotes functionality to enable all are learners (regardless of starting point or cognitively ability) to navigate their environment, the world around them and make a positive contribution.
All pupils follow the curriculum model as stated below. This is comprised of curriculum subjects and Life Skills (which are based on the Preparation for Adulthood framework).
Healthy Lifestyles and School Food Standards
As part of Brackenfield’s commitment to promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles for pupils and their families, teaching and learning involving food will follow the School Food Standards and the EatWell Guide (detailed on the next page).
Recipes and further guidance of expectations can be found on the following websites:
Brackenfield School runs a best practice attachment aware model. This supports the wellbeing of our learners across all aspects of the school. The attachment aware model includes:
All class spaces are generic. The class teams shape the spaces for the individual needs of the learners. To support the anxiety and organisational needs of pupils we have reduced movement around the school to a minimum throughout the school day.
Each Pathway has access to their own kitchenette and toilets as well as sensory and breakout spaces where needed.
All classes are class based, this ensures that each learner has space that they can take ownership of so they feel safe and secure to learn. We also have a number of specialist teaching areas (food technology, design technology & art and Science) so that all learners have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
At Brackenfield we build teams of staff around the pupils. We recognise that children need adults to co-regulate their emotions. By supporting with a team approach there is always more than one adult who can support any child at any time. Each Pathway consists of 2-3 teachers (including the Pathway Lead) and 4-9 STLAs (Specialist Teaching and Learning Assistants) depending of the needs of the young people in the pathway.
Through work with the Derbyshire Virtual School and The Kate Cairns Associates we have built a bespoke tool called the J2L- Journey to Learn. With this we are able to measure and monitor wellbeing of all our learners so we are able to support their social emotional needs throughout their school life. We recognise that all individuals have varying sensory needs and ensure that we build sensory diets around each of our learners to ensure they feel comfortable and ready to learn.
We recognise that our learners specifically struggle with unstructured times, such as breaks and lunchtimes, for this reason we ensure that these times are staffed and pupils are supported to do a range of individual and group play activities depending on their individual levels of anxiety.
All staff and students use the schools four ethos statements to support expectations throughout the school day.
J2L - Journey to Learn:
We recognise that the families of our young people play an important part of supporting the school and we actively work in partnership with parents/carers and extended family.
All pupils are assigned a key worker who makes contact on a regular basis with home through communication channels which are most suitable (email, phone, text, home/school diaries and/or letters).
Parents/carers are invited to attend 3 parents evenings throughout the year to discuss their children’s progress and support transition through the school. Subsequent to this reviews of EHPs (Educational Health and Care Plans) take place annually.
Alongside our teaching staff, we have a Head of Pastoral Care who works with families and external agencies to support the needs of all our young people.
At Brackenfield we believe in a holistic approach and encourage families to get involved with school life through a number of organised events throughout the school year.