Brantridge School is a special school catering for boys from age six to twelve with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC), including those with Asperger’s Syndrome and those with a diagnosis of ADHD.
We honestly believe that, given the right environment and support, every child can flourish. We do not aim to replicate a mainstream school approach, rather we try to consider what approaches our particular pupils need, to achieve their full potential.
Some of our guiding principles are:
Confidence – many of our pupils arrive at our school with very low self-esteem. The education system has made them feel that they have failed. Addressing this issue is foundational if our pupils are to succeed. One of the key ways in which this happens is finding and celebrating each child’s particular gifting. That may be sporting, performing, artistic, musical or a whole host of other skills, but ensuring that the skill is valued leads to the child feeling valued. Once this sense of confidence and of being valued is restored, then progress can be made in other areas.
Respect – The lack of confidence often leads to a lack of respect. Lack of respect for themselves and in turn to others, be they staff or pupils. Regardless of a child’s behaviour our staff know the importance of engaging with a child in a respectful manner – we seek to model it in the way we engage with each other as staff and in all our engagement with pupils. In time pupils learn to respect – themselves and others.
Holistic approach – our aim as a school is far broader than simply meeting academic needs. We place great emphasis in this area, however we recognise our responsibility to support a child in meeting all the needs identified in their EHCP and oftentimes even beyond that! By working with our occupational therapist, art therapist, education staff, speech and language therapist, pupil support team, counsellor, mental health worker and emotional literacy support worker and others, we together seek to meet a child’s wider needs.
Individuality – each child is different and therefore one set approach is unlikely to work. Some children need movement breaks, fidget toys, wobble cushions, particular handwriting equipment, personalised learning spaces – the list is endless. But this will not be true of all our pupils, in fact no two pupils will have the same needs. We have a culture where our staff understand this. Therefore, personalising our approach is very much part of what we do at Brantridge and our pupils are comfortable operating within that environment.