Briarwood is a Bristol school committed to providing a high quality of education, care and life experiences for children and young people with Severe and Profound Learning Difficulties, Complex Needs, Autism and Sensory Impairment from 3-19 years. The school is based on three sites. The Primary and Post 16 Departments are on the Briar Way site. Our Secondary Department is on the Snowdon Road site, co-located with Bristol Metropolitan Secondary Academy and finally The Pod is our Early Years Centre, co-located with Barton Hill Academy. The Secondary site has a specialist centre for pupils with behaviours that challenge, called The Nexus.
The values of Briarwood School are that all pupils should enjoy their time with us, so that they can engage and learn to their full potential. A dedicated team of staff, governors and parents/carers are proud to support 155 children and young people aged 3 to 19 years on roll and are passionate about their progress, happiness and care. At Briarwood, we encourage staff to be innovative and creative with a bespoke curriculum that puts the needs of our pupils first, complemented by pioneering assessment and reporting systems. Events like the Briarwood Music Festival and the Art Auction, demonstrate that the staff are encouraged to be imaginative in providing the very best learning and enrichment experiences.
The development of the Nexus Alternative Education Provision has enabled pupils with the most challenging behaviours to remain in a school setting and the governors are wholly committed to full inclusion.
The school was last inspected by Ofsted in June 2017 and was recognised as Good. The inspectors said: “The school’s values, ‘enjoy, engage and learn’ shine through. During the inspection laughter permeated the school with pupils demonstrating their joy, fully engaged in their learning. As a result, pupils make strong progress with their learning and development.
Our aim is for Briarwood School to be a happy, welcoming, nurturing environment, where all pupils feel safe, secure and are ready to learn. All aspects of school life are designed to inspire and engage pupils, by implementing a mix of curriculum areas suitable for the different stages of education, creative approaches and essential life skills. We stress the importance of the personal development of each student to include social, emotional, physical, spiritual & moral education.
The role of communication is key in all we do and underpins our approach to learning. We value enrichment and inclusion and include this through such mediums as sport, dance, music, theatre, celebrations, community visits, charity fundraising, horse riding and swimming. Through planning and careful design, we can ensure an inspirational, accessible and adaptable environment that fosters a culture of learning and meets the requirements of all pupils.
We provide a bespoke approach to learning, to support children with often complex and widely differing needs. All pupils should be supported to achieve, no matter how small the goal or milestone. We have a developing curriculum, relevant to each stage of the children’s learning journey, which prioritises key areas and an appropriate mix of academic and life skills. All staff working with the pupils provide a culture of supported independence and encourage pupils to be as independent as possible in the world around them.
Nicolle Deighton, Headteacher