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The Bridge School

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.

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 120? 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.

On our secondary site, we have 95? 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.

Hungerford Primary is for everyone. It’s an inclusive, happy school, where children feel looked after. Everything we do is for the children. We know that all children can succeed if they are taught using approaches which are individual to their needs and talents. We provide a high level of support for all of our children and think and work creatively to help them reach their goals. 

The school officially became part of The Bridge London Trust in 2018. Our vision is to help all our children to meet their full potential whilst keeping in mind the child-centred ethos that you will find in the Outstanding Special Schools in our Trust. We consistently drive each other and our children to be our best.

At Hungerford, we truly value each individual child, and work hard to develop their whole person as much as possible. 

All of our staff know the children really well, so we can identify their strengths, challenges, and the best ways of supporting them one-on-one. We are always on hand to help with whatever is needed to ensure that our pupils feel safe, welcome, and cared for regardless of their needs. 

We believe that children work best when they are happy, interested, and treated as individuals. We use Positive Behaviour Intervention Support to make sure that our school is a calm and happy place for children to learn, and we’ve worked alongside specialists in Windesheim University in Amsterdam to develop this approach.

We pride ourselves on using Project Based Learning – a teaching method in which children gain knowledge and skills for six weeks or longer to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem or challenge. This includes cross-curricular exploration, encouraging the children to look at issues from a variety of perspectives and experience a broad education. 

We are also proud leaders of the Islington 11 by 11 scheme, where we aim to provide every child with 11 cultural experiences by the time they are 11. This scheme contributes to our fantastic curriculum to develop well-rounded children who are culturally fluent and attuned to the world around them.

Our students can really be themselves at the ILS – all ways of learning are celebrated. We believe in unconditional positive regard, and we are always available. We keep our students safe and we let them grow.

For us, communication is everything: we listen and we offer opportunities for our students to engage at their pace and in their own way

We make ourselves openly available now. 

The Integrated Learning Space (ILS) is set up to provide education for 25 students with autism and different learning profiles. These students were previously at schools that were not in a position to provide the intense support and provision the ILS can provide.  They have come to the ILS to benefit from a wholly student-centred approach to the way they learn. 

Students at the ILS will generally have a profile that includes a combination of:

  • Sensory Processing Differences – how we take in information, how we process and respond to it;
  • Emotional Regulation Differences – how we manage our emotions, how we react to our feelings, and how we understand others;
  • Differences in Communication and Interaction – how we understand communication and express, how we articulate who we are and interact with the world around us.

We have developed a unique and innovative approach which seeks to truly integrate the work of all the people who care and support our students. We work collaboratively with different agencies and disciplines to get the best outcomes for our students.  Wesupport their parents and families and help them engage with their children to keep them safe at home and within their communities.

At the ILS, there is an unequivocal commitment to a holistic multi-agency team approach around each individual student, which has at its core the principle of ‘unconditional positive regard’. Working from this student-centric position, we prioritise sensory and emotional regulation and developing alternative forms of communication and social competence skills as these are well recognised in research as being key to the best long-term positive outcomes.

For many of our students, active participation and being present in their local community is a crucial part of their time at the ILS and will always be an important part of lifelong learning. The opportunities we offer are therefore located both in school and also outside in the community.

We are a school for children who have autism and are able to access an age appropriate curriculum – many of our pupils have previously had a difficult time in school with their needs not being met.  We help them become resilient and independent in a safe space.

We have a layered approach to support – our ‘green’ layer is what we ensure every single child has access to and is consistent throughout the school. For example, clear expectations, a structured reward system,  and visual props to help with access to the curriculum. And then we have the ‘orange’ layer for children who need more on top of that, and ‘red’ for those who need further support.

We support our parents– we help open their world and their opportunities

We never give up on our pupils. They matter to us, and we look at their individual needs.  We have consistent strategies for every pupil along with tailored support that reflects what each of them needs to help them self-regulate. 

We don’t exclude. Ever. The work we do takes time, but it makes a life-changing difference. Children who joined us four years ago really struggled, but today they can self-regulate and articulate when they are upset or finding something difficult. 

Our pupils work in small groups which helps manage any sensory overload from larger groups of children, and we teach a curriculum that marries the core content from the national curriculum, with a bespoke programme to address individual needs.

We’re always learning. Everyday our staff are learning and improving and changing their practice. For us, it is about a whole team approach, involving both school and home.

We work closely with our families to help support them on behaviour at home, helping put in place strategies that mean children can self-regulate both at home as well as at school.

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