Our Brightstowe Centre caters for pupils in Key Stages 3 & 4. All pupils have a primary need of autism and many will have moved to Brightstowe after attending our Shirehampton Centre. Most pupils will be expected to achieve a range of accreditation at the end of KS4. Some pupils attend inclusion lessons within the mainstream co-located Academy and will be aiming towards GCSEs in this context. Brightstowe is a 47-place provision. There are approximately 8 pupils in a class. Each class has a teacher and a full-time teaching assistant and extra teaching assistants may be involved with the class at particular times. Pupils are organised by Key Stage, but within their Key Stage they are vertically grouped, with classes grouped by academic/ social/ emotional need.
The National Curriculum is delivered at the Kingsweston Centre, but it is modified to meet the individual needs of our pupils.
All pupils have an individual education plan which focuses on the triad of impairments, and contains targets to improve communication, social skills and rigidity of thought. Some pupils also have an individual behaviour plan which is shared with all staff working with the pupil (and parents) so that there is a consistent approach to helping that pupil with his/ her behaviour.
In Key Stage 3, there are daily maths and English lessons, followed by opportunities to learn other core subjects via a cross-curricular topic, which changes termly. There is a focus on skills for learning, and pupils are encouraged to think about how, rather than just what they are learning. There is also a strong focus on Personal and Social Development (PSD), looking at areas such as personal hygiene, accessing the local community and autism awareness, as well as aiming to address areas of deficit within the spectrum, such as literal interpretation, emotional literacy, reading body language.
There is no specific overarching approach used by our staff, but elements of ASD approaches, such as TEACCH/ PECS/ Social Stories can be used if felt to be appropriate. Teaching resources support the visual learning style of the majority of our pupils, and each pupil has a fully networked computer at their workstation.
In Key Stage 4 there are many different accreditation pathways for pupils. Some access ‘mainstream’ qualifications, such as GCSEs; delivery of most of the GCSEs takes place in Oasis Academy but KWC staff support pupils and communicate with teachers in the Centre where pupils might need to revisit specific areas and receive more consolidation.
Alternatively, some pupils who are not maybe academically or emotionally ready to access this level take a range of subjects at Entry level and in some cases can work up right up to level 2. For English, Maths and ICT functional skills subjects, pupils have the opportunity to work from Entry level 1, 2 3 and then level 1 and 2.
For Entry level Science, Geography and History pupils who reach Entry level 3 may be offered the opportunity to extend their qualification to GCSE which can sometimes be delivered either in the centre or in the mainstream setting, dependent on the individual pupil.
Youth Award Scheme is also delivered to pupils and they have the opportunity to complete 6 credits = bronze award; 12 credits = silver award; 18 credits = gold award. Many of the challenges in Youth Award cover vital life skills and also link with work experience as well as the College Link Course.
Some pupils will also complete AQA units for Art and Design at Entry level.