The Bridge School is one school split into two parts – the Primary School for 2-11 year olds and the Secondary school for 11-19 year olds. We are a special school for children with severe learning difficulties and/or autism based in Islington. Children at the school have difficulties with communication and sensory processing and therefore we work closely with speech and language therapists and occupational therapists to both minimise barriers to learning and extend their skills.
At The Bridge Primary we have the privilege of enabling children to reach their full potential by exploring what might be possible; meeting them at their stage of learning and designing their curriculum around the individual child. We pride ourselves on creating a fun and engaging learning environment where the children feel safe, happy and ready to learn.
The Bridge Secondary offers a highly personalised curriculum, drawing on expertise from the wider professional communities in education, health and care, to ensure we meet the needs of all children and young people in our school.
We aim to create meaningful learning experiences for our students which enables their participation in the wider community and subsequent transition to life after school. In addition to this we encourage all students to reach their full potential through building on their unique strengths and interests and see this as pivotal in the development of their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
We look forward to welcoming you to our school.
Julian Matthews, Headteacher
The Bridge School is an Outstanding special school for pupils aged 4-19, that’s welcoming to all and where everyone can be themselves; we always put our pupils first. We want everyone to be in a position to make choices so that they can affect and embrace change in their own lives. We overcome barriers, we make children/students feel safe and we create space for them to take risks so that they can flourish.
On our secondary site, we have 109 children on roll from Year 7 through to Year 14. All of our students leave school with an ASDAN qualification in Personal Progress and other qualifications. Our students move on to appropriate post-19 providers when they leave – for example, Further Education Providers or Social Care Providers.
As pupils progress through the school, our curriculum focuses increasingly on preparation for life after school, looking at accreditation options, independence and belonging and contributing to the community.
We aim to help every child reach their fullest potential by encouraging and building on their unique strengths and interests, and we work with students to develop and deploy ways to overcome and cope with their difficulties.
In addition to academic achievement, the focus is on developing every student’s social, emotional and personal development. This is supported by ensuring every pupil strengthens their independence and living skills which are pivotal to building their confidence and self-esteem.
Central to our work is our commitment to working alongside our parents and carers to support the progress and well-being of our pupils.
We’re committed to working closely with our mainstream and special school colleagues within The Bridge London Trust to share good practice.
The Bridge primary site is co-located with Hungerford Primary School. Our primary curriculum is focused on providing a wide range of relevant experience and knowledge which is cross-referenced to the national curriculum.
We have a total of 130 students and each class has no more than 8-10 children to ensure every child receives specialist attention. All classes are led by a teacher and there are at least 3 teaching assistants in the classroom. This gives a fantastic student-teacher ratio.
We believe that staff and students should all have fun every day. We want the children to enjoy coming to school, so we ensure that there is a great balance of classroom-based learning and movement-based activities to keep things exciting. Our lessons are usually around 20 minutes long followed by a movement break in our specialist rooms, including our sensory integration room and our on-site heated hydrotherapy pool.
Everything we do promotes communication. We provide our pupils with plenty of opportunities for interaction and engagement with adults, ensuring that they develop their confidence and communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and coordinated. We at The Bridge School regard all of our pupils and students as capable of making great progress over their school lives. We have very high expectations of them and we passionately believe that they are all capable of taking control of their own learning.
We aim for our pupils to be competent communicators through whichever method best suits them, to fulfil their potential in terms of being independent, and we want to provide relevant breadth and balance of learning opportunities so that being in a special school is a benefit to their life.
We aim to provide relevant experiences alongside mainstream peers and to enable the pupils to value themselves as part of society. All children should leave the primary department with an awareness of themselves and their capabilities. Time in school must be positive, stimulating and a fun learning environment where self-esteem and confidence can develop alongside practical skills and the ability to use and apply their knowledge where possible.
To provide a common framework for the curriculum, we have revisited each of our previous, diverse curricula and ensured that there are common subjects in all areas and common themes which pervade these subjects.
In essence in each of the curricula there are five Strands:
There are six Subject Areas:
What is taught in the subject areas will vary according the needs of the pupils for each of the curricula, but these headings are used for timetable purposes to ensure a common language throughout the school. Many teachers will use sub-headings to provide more detail to what is being delivered in the session and this is encouraged. Parents will receive three reports a year providing an overview of their son/daughter’s achievement in each of the subject areas. The targets from the strands are written in discussion with parents. They form the PCP targets that are taught through the relevant subjects. In addition to these, teachers set subject targets for the students which are reviewed at Progress Review Meetings.
All students access accredited work related learning and employability skills delivered both on and off-site by Bridge School staff and external partners. Sixth form students have opportunities for ‘real world’ work experience in a range of charities and other organisations depending on ability and level of independence.
Information is shared with parents at parents evenings, Annual Reviews, coffee mornings and transition workshops. Teachers are able to access training on accreditation pathways such as ASDAN, AQA and OCR during staff training and external CPD. We develop links with local employers who are able to visit the school to meet staff and students and then offer a bespoke work experience programme where appropriate. Previous placements include a local charity shop and Islington Council and we hope to continue with these and other placements when it is considered safe to do so.
1 student – Area 51 Education
4 students – Barnet and Southgate College
1 student – Alexandra Centre
1 student – New City College
1 student – B Six
Qualifications gained by 2021 leavers:
8 students – ASDAN Personal Progress Award
Careers Leader – Joanna Kurylowicz email@example.com
The Bridge London Secondary, 28 Carleton Road, N7 0EQ