Briarwood Post 16 department

Briarwood’s purpose built Sixth Form Centre opened in September 2016 and caters for 16-19 year old students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Autism (ASD) and Complex Needs. It is a 25 place provision, with 3 classrooms, dedicated art/vocational studies room, Food tech facilities, and a common room for students to relax, socialise and utilise their own time.

The majority of pupils come from Briarwood school however we do also welcome visits and applications from pupils who started their education journey elsewhere.  Pupils offered a place must have a statement of educational needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and admissions are through Bristol City Council SEN department.

Much of the work within Briarwood Post 16 is based on the absolute belief that, fundamental to our role, is planning and preparing young adults for life beyond Briarwood. Within our sixth form, all aspects of the curriculum are based on this ideology fulfilling the Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes as required by the Department of Education.

PfA identified four key outcomes in relation to preparing young people for adulthood. These are:

  • Employment
  • Health
  • Independent Living
  • Community Participation

We modify the curriculum to ensure that we concentrate on building important skills in readiness for adulthood whilst supporting individuals to reach their full potential and maximise success. Students have access to excellent work experience opportunities and we have strong relationships with external partners who support us to provide exciting and relevant vocational experience. Many of our young people participate in running their own businesses and get involved in market research, shopping for, stocking and selling of goods. This supports the development of key work attributes as well as providing contextualised learning opportunities for Numeracy and Literacy skills eg: money recognition, completion of repetitive tasks and appropriate communication etc.

We actively encourage choice making ensuring that students are key participants in making everyday decisions as well as those about their futures. We recognise the importance of building on interests and the ability to self-occupy and provide leisure opportunities as well as ample socially inclusive opportunities to develop relationships with peers both within and outside of the school setting.

Ensuring that we provide students with excellent opportunities to build on their level of independence is also of the highest priority and shopping, cooking, self-care, health and home maintenance feature highly within the curriculum. We recognise the importance of enrichment and of the arts and work well with external partners to broaden student’s horizons and provide experiences to support personal growth and creativity. We enjoy community participation and ensure that ample opportunity is given for students to develop the skills needed to become responsible and active members of their own society able to make a contribution and excel.

Our curriculum is driven by student need and pathways, however we are able to accredit learning through nationally recognised awarding body ASDAN and all students leave Briarwood Post 16 with an exciting portfolio of qualifications to demonstrate their strengths and achievements to their next providers.

We have an excellent relationship with adult service providers and lead the LDD Post 16 partnership with three special schools. This has enabled us to develop courses offsite exposing pupils to new environments, peers and settings as well as sharing expertise.  This important, inclusive, transition work provides opportunity for young adults to experience adult centred and potentially future provisions in readiness for future destinations. (Please see LDD PowerPoint for further information).

We recognise the importance of working in partnership with parents/carers, the Preparation for Adulthood teams, social care, health, and education to ensure that transitions into the adult services are as smooth and carefully planned as possible. Pupils best interests and views placed at the heart of everything we do with a strong emphasis on preparing them for the journey into adulthood and indeed life beyond Briarwood.