I am pleased to welcome you to Bower Grove School website. Our school is situated on the outskirts of Maidstone, the County town of Kent. Our modernised school building has generous grounds and excellent facilities in which to learn and play. We have six school vehicles enabling us to engage in lots of opportunity for offsite learning and sports activity.

 

As well as our main site we also have a twelve place satellite based within Westborough Primary School www.west-borough.kent.sch.uk/about_us1/asd_satellite for pupils in years 3 -6 who have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition and are cognitively able to function academically alongside mainstream peers with appropriate strategies and support. Pupils in our satellite provision will usually progress to mainstream secondary schools (including grammar schools) who have designated ASC provision.

 

Bower Grove School is a foundation day special school for pupils who have learning difficulties and associated social, emotional and mental health needs, autism spectrum conditions and social communication difficulties. All pupils will have an Education Health Care Plan. We belong to a school co-operative trust along with other Kent special schools; this is called Kent Special Educational Needs Trust.

 

We are a co-educational school for pupils aged 4-16 years, we have a population of over 200. We have a very wide catchment area with some pupils travelling over 20 miles to school each day. Most pupils have transport provided by the local authority. We have excellent relationships with our transport contractors and ensure that home school journeys are positive and any problems are quickly resolved. We encourage independence skills and where possible more senior pupils living locally will be supported with travel training to use public transport.

 

Our classrooms are very well resourced. There are specialist areas for all practical subjects and we have a separate sports hall and changing facilities. Our three age appropriate outdoor play areas provide opportunities for pupils to exercise, explore and develop social skills. School lunch is cooked on site by our own catering team. Many of our pupils have special dietary requirements or anxieties about food. Our cooks are sensitive to individual needs and will accommodate most lunch requests.

 

Although in one building our school is divided into Key Stage 1&2 (primary) and Key Stage 3&4 (secondary). Our classes typically have no more than twelve pupils. In our primary department the class team will be a teacher and up to three support assistants depending on the class size and in secondary it will be a teacher and two support assistants once again depending on class size.

 

Pupils have the opportunity to attend a rich variety of lunchtime and after school clubs to promote their interests beyond the classroom. We hold after school youth clubs on Mondays and Tuesdays and sports and gardening clubs on Thursdays.

 

Our pupils are encouraged to have a voice and take a shared responsibility for our school community. We have an active School Council and Captains and Vice Captains for our three houses Neptune, Mercury and Mars.

 

We take a holistic approach to learning and understand that many of our pupils benefit from some form of therapeutic intervention during their school career with us. Within our school team we have other professionals including a Speech and Language Therapist; Play Therapist; Complimentary Therapist; Counsellor; Talking and Drawing Therapy and Occupational Therapists (NHS). We have a member of staff called an Activities Co-ordinator and she specialises in sensory circuits for pupils and supports younger children to develop outdoor playtime skills. Our team of learning mentors, known as Student Support Co-ordinators, help pupils overcome short term difficulties and re-engage with learning. We also have a Nurture provision for some of our most vulnerable younger pupils and an ‘Enrichment’ provision to support identified senior pupils.

 

Our school offers a challenging and creative curriculum. We have an inclusive ethos and adapt our teaching to the needs of our pupils. Pupils join us throughout the school year and many have had periods of time out of school or have had disrupted learning. Our skilled staff ensure high quality support gets pupils back on track, experiencing success and making great progress. We offer a range of aspirational qualifications including GCSE for our highest achievers. Pupils’ broader curriculum experience include a wide variety of sporting activities; vocational and work related learning and developing strong social, emotional and self-management skills. We communicate high aspirations for our pupils. Our year 11 pupils progress on to college courses, apprenticeships or more specialist provisions. We communicate progress regularly to parents and carers.

 

Our school governing body, led by our Chair of Governors Mrs. Alison White, is a strong and supportive team who take an active interest in all aspects of the school and pupil progression and are regularly seen during the school day.

 

We are aware that many families live quite a long way away from our school site. We greatly value our home/school partnership and work hard to build strong relationships and good communication.

 

Our school governing body, led by our Chair of Governors Mrs. Alison White, is a strong and supportive team who take an active interest in all aspects of the school and pupil progression and are regularly seen during the school day.

 

We are aware that many families live quite a long way away from our school site. We greatly value our home/school partnership and work hard to build strong relationships and good communication.

 

We have an ‘open door’ policy and welcome your visits. We also encourage telephone and email communication and have a school Facebook page to promote our sense of community with our pupils’ families. We have a very active Parent Support Group which meets regularly at school and hosts speakers and workshops as well as offering a friendly, welcome and listening ear to anyone supporting children and young people with difficulties. Our Parents, Friends and Teachers Association (PFTA) works tirelessly organising social and fundraising events to raise funds to support this school.

 

We encourage everyone in our school to be respectful, responsible and ready to learn. We are very proud of our school and extend a warm welcome from all the pupils, staff and governors. We believe that ‘Together We Inspire and Achieve’.

 

Mrs L Salter

Head Teacher MA/NPQH

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