Community Information

At Bradfields Academy, our students are placed within communities, based on their learning ability, as well as their social and communication abilities. Below, we have provided some further details about each community.

Primary Community

Each child is unique and constantly learning key skills including resilience, confidence and self-assurance. We offer our children the national curriculum but this is heavily adapted to ensure every child in Primary can access this at a level which is appropriate to them. Our curriculum is personalised and individualised therefore creating developmentally appropriate goals for each child.

We value making relationships, listening and attention skills, physical awareness and development and understanding emotions and self-regulation.

We use the iASEND assessment system to assess and set targets individually for each child in all subjects. This is then used to create the planning for lessons so each child is following the next steps which are needed to enable them to make progress.

At the very heart of our curriculum lies a strong focus on communication. We believe that functional communication is a priority and strive towards our students being competent and confident in a social world.

We offer our children a varied curriculum which focuses on breadth and depth of knowledge exposing them to a wide range of topics whilst also building on their existing interests and experiences.

Birch Community

Birch Community consists of KS3 students in Years 7, 8 and 9. Birch Community students can move between lessons and teachers. To ensure they have the best opportunity to develop their academic skills, they are set in groups according to their abilities.

Students access lessons across the academy but have a tutor group based with a Birch community tutor. There are daily check-in opportunities with their tutor who oversee the social development of students within the community. The opportunities allow students to develop friendships, communication skills and personal development in their understanding of character strengths needed as they progress in life.

Birch Community tutors and support staff help students develop a range of skills that encourage them to become more independent and resilient. Students are given opportunities to learn about character strengths, and the benefits and costs of adopting them in life, both in school and the future workplace. All students are supported to develop their understanding of the wider world and the impact they can have on it in their future careers or lifestyle.

Oak Community

Oak Community is made up of Key Stage 4 students who are based in 8 tutor groups.

Students are welcomed into the academy each day by their form tutor.  Form Tutors support students with their academic and emotional needs and liaise with parents throughout the year.  Students develop self-esteem, empathy and general well-being through student-led learning and are given strategies to learn how to cope within the wider community.  The academic and pastoral curriculum is set with clear outcomes with a focus on how to transfer these skills to everyday life and future opportunities through SEAL. There is a structured focus for each day, for example, My Day Monday, literacy and numeracy focus, form assemblies, Character Strengths and a Celebration Assembly.

Leadership skills are developed and we encourage students to take on responsibilities and learn to negotiate and problem solve.

Students are given the opportunity to have a voice and to represent the Community with roles of community captain in Year 11, and Vice-Captain in Year 10.  These students have Community Meetings and input into Community development and the implementation of ideas.

Years 10 and 11 Community Mentors have roles and responsibilities and are role models for others.  The focus is on developing students’ independent skills to enable them to prepare for Sixth Form and beyond.

Sixth Form Community

Students in the Sixth Form are not required to wear school uniform but have a smart dress code in order to promote a sense of pride and self-respect in their appearance as the senior members of the academy community.

As students move onto the Sixth Form they begin to follow programmes of study which focus more on developing their independence and preparing them for their routes beyond Bradfields and into the next steps of their lives.

Students will study for qualifications such as employability skills, independent living, and, where appropriate, will engage in an extended work experience programme.

When they get to Year 14, students are able to access the exclusive courses in travel training and community volunteering which aim to promote and develop the independence and life skills required to develop our students into confident young adults.

Students on the academic pathway will have the opportunity to retake GCSEs and we even have some Sixth Form students studying for their A-Levels in certain subjects.

Sixth Form students may apply to become Head Students and Prefects which helps to develop their leadership qualities, confidence and initiative. This in turn helps them to become positive and productive members of their learning community and role models for other students in the academy.

They can also enjoy access to the Sixth Form common room during breaks and lunches where they can play pool, listen to music and chat with their friends in a space just for them.

Our staff work in partnership with the students, their families, and outside agencies, to prepare them for their life after Bradfields.

Pine Community

In the Pine Community, we understand that not all pupils learn the same.

The Pine community consists of complex special needs. The majority of our pupils have language and communication difficulties associated with their Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many of our pupils have learning difficulties and high sensory needs. Due to the nature of Pine students and their neurodiversity, the pupils are educated in a small, nurturing environment in small groups.

Most of their lessons are taught within the same classroom by the same teacher as these students find change and transition difficult. Therefore helping to reduce the incidents of anxiety.

We are based in two buildings. The groups are set according to students’ communication, sensory and social needs. Students have access to individual learning spaces, whole group spaces, sensory and calming areas, as well as a sensory garden and the playground.

The students start their day with their morning routine and sensory input, where they have an opportunity to get settled and ready for their learning.

Each group follows personalised timetables to meet each student’s needs. We ensure that each student is taught the appropriate curriculum subjects, including literacy and numeracy skills.

In the Pine community, one of the main focuses is for our students to be as independent in everyday life as is possible. Therefore, during each school day, we work on the development of life skills, enhancing communication techniques and the ability to recognize and regulate our emotions and our behaviours. Our students take part in cooking lessons, road safety activities, and we encourage personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. Students have the opportunity to socialise with each other during structured activities: snack time, weekly assemblies, and less structured activities: playtime. This is modelled and supported by adults.

We enhance communication techniques by adopting a total communication approach. This includes symbols, signing, objects of reference, go talks as well as the use of positive language and allowing appropriate proceeding time.

The following approaches allow our students to stay calm and happy in our community:

  • Visual supports answering the key ‘what, now, next, where and how’ questions
  • Total communication approach across the community: singalong and visual supports
  • Individual behaviour plans
  • Aspects of TEACCH and SCERTS models
  • Movement activities to calm/alert or help students to organise themselves physically
  • Social Stories
  • Team Teach crisis avoidance strategies

Our aim for pupils within the Sixth Form age is to develop each pupil’s potential and support them in succeeding in their chosen pathway beyond out of Bradfields whether this be college, employment, supported living or any other avenue.

Maple Community

Maple students are taught mainly by one teacher, but they do access lessons in other parts of the Academy like PE, Food Technology, Music, Art and Science.

The day starts with sensory circuits, which help students reach their optimum alertness level and prepares them for a day full of learning. Form time activities include class discussions, classroom jobs, Zones of Regulation activities, Investors in Pupils activities and British Sign Language sessions.

Key Stage 3 students are taught English, Maths, PE, and Life Skills as separate lessons with other subjects being taught in a Topic approach across a range of themes from space to gardening. The curriculum is adapted to meet the needs and interests of Maple students, utilising a hands-on, multi-sensory approach that keeps students actively engaged and motivated.

Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students access options whenever suitable and continue to experience a rich and engaging curriculum that prepares them for life outside of the Academy. Students are entered for Entry Level Qualifications in English, Maths, Science, Computing, Life Skills and PSHE. They also take part in various trips in the Community and Enrichment Days. Life Skills units, like Road Safety and Food Shopping, aim to develop students’ independence and confidence.

Engagement Support Leads Contact Details