The Nexus was established in 2008 to provide a much needed education for children from the South West of England who have been or are at risk of exclusion from other SEN settings because of their exceptionally complex behavioural needs. The Nexus provides bespoke educational programmes and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) for up to 13 young people who have severe and complex sensory profiles, learning difficulties and present with behaviours that can be exceptionally challenging. Most of our pupils also present with social and emotional difficulties and some a have history of recurring trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
The aim of this alternative approach is to reduce the risk of exclusion to education as a result of the challenging behaviours being presented. This is achieved by working in small groups to focus on supporting pupils with their individual needs and teaching them the skills and qualities they need to transition into their next chapter.
The Nexus is able to offer a unique, highly specialised and therapeutic level of education. The pupils are supported by highly trained, dedicated staff that support our young people on a 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 basis. The Nexus staff receive training in; understanding sensory processing difficulties, ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), trauma informed practises, positive behaviour support (PBS) strategies and Level 2 Team Teach Training. This wealth of training supports our staff to consider all behaviour as a form of communication and promotes an understanding of the function of behaviours as well as appropriate physical environments that meet the needs of the pupils.
All staff that support pupils in the Nexus adopt the TEACCH approach and support a model of total communication allowing pupils to communicate their wants and needs effectively. Each pupil has an Optimum Learning Map with identifies the positive strategies to use to encourage the pupils to Enjoy, Engage and Learn. Individual risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure these become working documents to best support the needs of the pupils.
Our mission is to provide a valuable education for our young people by offering an enhanced and balanced curriculum which addresses each young person’s individuality. We also aim to challenge our young people and provide them with opportunities to feel empowered to enjoy school life, engage with the community and educational experiences, and learn to their full potential. Difficulties faced by both families and other SEN settings often related to physical aggression, potentially resulting in requests for (out of County) residential placements. Our ultimate purpose is to provide our young people with the opportunity to continue the educational entitlement in Bristol and remain in their family home. As a team we are committed to enabling every pupil to experience success by developing their strengths, celebrating their achievements and acknowledging their unique personalities. Our long term goal for our pupils is for them to be able to achieve full or part time integration into a suitable key stage setting in the main body of the school.
We have a strong and passionate team of staff who take pride in delivering highly effective support for each individual across the department to ensure that all pupils can learn, thrive and be the best version of themselves.