Children in an outdoors school

New South Brent special school site fully open

Sue Cade
Authored by Sue Cade
Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 14:53

The Outdoors Group’s newest special school is now ready to move forward to full capacity providing special needs provision to children in South Devon.

The new location on the edge of Dartmoor has dotted the i's and crossed the t's with the change of site use agreed, and improvements made to access.

As with the other two special schools run by the group in Shillingford and Tiverton, Bridge House Farm has a native woodland ideal for a curriculum based completely outdoors, with a central covered area and campfire to provide shelter and warmth.

The three year curriculum provides skills and knowledge to overcome previous barriers to learning, with themes including healthy lifestyles, families and relationships and shared responsibilities. It goes hand in hand with academic outcomes for all key areas of education such as English, Maths, PE, PHSE and Humanities.

The team of 20 staff recruited for Bridge House Farm have now completed training and are fired up to make a positive difference to young people with often challenging needs who need a provision other than that available at mainstream schools.

Head Teacher Robyn Vincent who oversees the site said: “Our team looks at the individual learner’s needs rather than a prescribed style of education. For the children who come to us, this often proves to be a real game changer.

“Some have autism, whilst others struggle with anxiety or trauma. It’s very much a case of working out how we can help each child to develop and enjoy their learning experience.”

The school is able to take 12 children aged 7 to 14. For some the timing has been spot on as Bridgehouse Farm has been able to offer places to those impacted by the recent closure of another special school in the region. “We’re glad we are here to support those children, and make sure they can continue with their education in the right environment.”

Places at Bridge House are commissioned by the local authority. |

Images taken at the Shillingford site by Pip Raud Photography


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