Skip to main content

Local Offer

School Offer

As part of the Children and families Bill 2014 schools are required to make available details of how they support pupils with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice (2015) sets out the expectations of the local authority and related agencies. 

Briarwood School caters for children with severe Autistic Spectrum disorders (ASD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). A number of the pupils have additional needs related to complex medical difficulties or challenging behaviour.

You can find more information relating to Bristol City Council’s local offer at and more about what we offer at Briarwood School on our website at Some of the documents you may find useful are the SEN information report, the curriculum policy and Interventions Profile

The following questions and answers aim to provide you with information on what we offer at Briarwood School.

How will the staff at Briarwood School support my child?


Everyone in our school shares an objective to help keep children safe by:

            Providing a safe environment for children to learn in.

            Supporting children’s development in ways which will foster a sense of self-esteem and independence.

            Identifying and responding to children in need of support and/or protection.


Briarwood School provides an education for all, acknowledging that the society within which we live is enriched by the ethnic diversity, culture and faith of its citizens.

Briarwood School strives to ensure that the culture and ethos of the school are such that, whatever the heritage and origins of members of the school community, everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect. Pupils should be provided with the opportunity to experience, understand and celebrate diversity.

British Values

We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.

We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.

Engagement and Behaviour 

Briarwood School provides engagement and behaviour plans (See Engagement policy and Behaviour management policy on the school website), that are written in collaboration with parents/carers to ensure that pupils are happy and engaged in their learning. Each pupil will have an engagement target as part of their learning map. Briarwood Nexus provision offers early intervention support and provides bespoke education packages for pupils who present with the most challenging behaviours. Please see Briarwood Nexus overview for more information.

Medical needs                                                                                                                                                  

We have a school nurse allocated to the site who supports the school in developing medical protocols for pupils. They also ensure training is given to the staff at Briarwood School to ensure individual medical needs are met e.g. oxygen training, administration of medication training. We can also arrange for your child to have their hearing, eye sight and teeth checked in school. Medicals can be held throughout the year at your request.

How will I know if my child has settled well and is making progress?

We make regular contact with you through; writing in home/school diaries, phone conversations, text messages, our family link team, whole school celebrations and regular meetings to discuss your child’s progress throughout the year. This gives us the opportunity to talk about how well your child is settling into school and any concerns you may have.

You will have the opportunity to meet with the class teacher up to three times a year to set individual learning map targets and review progress. Your child will also have an annual review once a year where we will review your child’s statement/Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We set targets against national standards of other schools where your child will have challenging yet achievable targets that are reviewed and monitored regularly. We will also set targets which are bespoke for your child based on what they require at the current time. We have developed a life skills and creative curriculum to take account of the less traditional areas of learning.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

The curriculum offered at Briarwood School (See Curriculum Policy) is specifically adapted from the National Curriculum to provide for the academic and personal development of all pupils with learning difficulties. The starting point for the curriculum is the individual child with a programme designed to meet his/her needs taken from the full available curriculum, delivered in a way that is enjoyable and will engage each child or young person. Every child has an individual learning map which identifies their learning priorities and any specialist strategies.

The Briarwood curriculum encompasses complementary and overlapping curriculum elements and allows the use of personal (including behavioural and sensory) and therapeutic approaches alongside subject based activities. The balance between subject based sessions, personal and therapeutic input may vary for each of these pupils and is planned according to individual needs. It aims to promote independence, self-advocacy, pupil voice and opportunities for decision making for all pupils.

At Briarwood all aspects of school life are designed to inspire and engage pupils, through a mix of a learning curriculum, creative approaches and essential life skills. The roles of communication and engagement are key to all we do and underpin our approach to learning.

Our curriculum is designed as a cohesive approach with an individual’s EHCP at the core; therefore facilitating greater involvement of families, the pupil and other professionals in their learning and development.  The overarching curriculum vision is one that supports the idea of provision and curriculum linking together. Consequently, what a pupil needs at that point in time, becomes both a provision requirement and a learning opportunity. This means there are closer, consistent connections between the schools curriculum and the provision we offer. We provide positive challenges to foster individual achievements and promote confidence and self-expression. This allows the curriculum to show progress of pupils over time; celebrating the challenging, enriching and developmental progress of all pupils.

A range of specialised communication approaches including, Makaton PECs TEACCH strategies are used across the school to provide greater access to the curriculum.

The emphasis placed upon different areas will change as children move through the school. Throughout the school, great emphasis is placed on communication skills. For those at early developmental stages, objects, photographs and symbols and signs are used extensively to make choices. As their skills develop pupils are encouraged to use language appropriately in academic and social situations.

The other important element of the curriculum, which is continually addressed, is the development of functional independence for all pupils. From the earliest years onwards, pupils are taught appropriate self-help skills. There is emphasis upon the necessary behaviour to work and play happily with others in a group and as pupils get older, increasing activities are planned within the local community.

The key stage 4 curriculum, recognises the need for pupils to move towards a higher proportion of life skills and independence which is Supported by Asdan’s Transition Challenge and Towards Independence. By using Transition Challenge to enhance the curriculum, pupils will have the opportunity to gain accreditation for their work.

Our Post 16 curriculum builds on the life skills and independence that runs through the curriculum. Pupils participate in a range of courses and activities building up a portfolio of evidence to support accredited learning at a level to suit their learning needs and ability. Our courses are accredited by ASDAN and include modules to support achievement of awards, certificates and diplomas in Personal Progress, Employability and Personal and Social Development

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Everyone in our school shares an objective to help keep children safe by:

            Providing a safe environment for children to learn in.

            Supporting children’s development in ways which will foster a sense of

             self-esteem and independence.

            Identifying and responding to children in need of support and/or protection.

We support pupils in developing their communication, self-confidence/self-esteem and independence skills through;

            Setting communication targets with support from the speech and language team.

            Teaching them about emotions through our Myself curriculum.

            Promoting independence skills throughout the day

             e.g. during play times, lunch times and toileting times.

            Promoting pupil voice through; developing communication approaches, providing opportunities

             for pupil led learning and giving pupils a voice through our school council.

            Wellbeing interventions

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by Briarwood school?

           Nurse (offsite support)

            Speech and Language Therapist

            Occupational Therapists



            Community Learning Disability nurses

            Educational Psychologist

            Social workers

            Sensory support team

            Family Link team

            Team Teach trainers

            Hearing impairment teachers

            Visual impairment teachers

            Manual Handling trainers

How will the school support my child in transitions?

We will visit your child in their current setting in order to gather important information and ensure that Briarwood school can meet your child’s needs. We will also arrange for you to come and visit Briarwood school to have a look around, meet the teachers and talk to the management team (See Admissions Policy for more information).

When your child transitions from our Pod to the Primary or then onto our Secondary department you will be able to have a tour of the school. We will also arrange some transition visits for your child and give them a book of photographs linking to their new class and friends. We will discuss the transitions within an early annual review where you can also discuss Post 19 provision for your child. 

Who can I contact for further information?

Lots more information is available on our website at


You can also phone the Pod, Primary or Secondary site to talk to the management team and arrange a visit to the school.

Pod – Queen Ann Rd, Avon, Bristol BS5 9TX

Tel: 0117 9038727

 Primary School and Sixth form centre – Briar Way, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 4EA

Tel: 0117 3532651

 Secondary School – Snowdon Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2EQ

Tel: 0117 3773042



If you require more information about Bristol’s local offer, please visit


We hope this information has been useful to you and look forward to meeting you.

Close Menu