Situated close to Bristol city centre, Aurora Grace House School is a DfE registered Independent Special School providing specialist education for pupils aged 5 to 19 years with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
Aurora Grace House School is a DfE registered Independent Special School providing specialist education for pupils aged 5 to 19 years.
All pupils at Aurora Grace House School have Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and present Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD). Many of our pupils are diagnosed with autistic spectrum condition (ASC); some have severe learning difficulties (SLD) and some have profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).
As part of their complex needs pupils may present with severe language and communication difficulties; sensory processing difficulties; health needs such as epilepsy; sensory and physical needs; and emotional needs.
About our School
Welcome to Aurora Grace House School.
We are ambitious for every individual
We nurture individual’s physical and emotional health & well-being
We actively support our pupils to become citizens of our time
We ambitiously prepare our pupils for adult life
We provide a bespoke and needs led programme of learning for each pupil
We develop and promote resilience
We treat every pupil as an individual
At Aurora Grace House School, we emphasise creative approaches to learning through multi-disciplinary collaboration between our Education Team and our Therapy Team.
Our collaborative approach covers:
Communication Development through Speech & Language Therapy and Psychology assessments, interventions, reviews of impact involving the whole team around the pupil;
Interaction Development through an overarching approach to developing social skills, positive relationships with peers and adults;
Cognition and Learning Development through an overarching and well differentiated approach to learning across Education areas;
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Development through Wellbeing and Behaviour and Education professionals and, where applicable, Psychology and Psychiatric input;
Sensory Development through Occupational Therapy and/or advice with particular emphasis on minimising sensory overload and supporting the development of co-regulation and self-regulation;
Physical Development through PE/Movement (including swimming, cycling, rambling, etc.) and where applicable Physiotherapy;
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC) through opportunities to develop an appreciation and enjoyment of multi-cultural seasonal celebrations; to develop a sense of self-worth; and to develop a sense of rhythm and time.
Aurora Grace House School is situated at the heart of Bristol by the wonderful opens spaces of The Downs. There are plenty opportunities for our pupils to access learning in the local community and we make excellent use of what Bristol has to offer. We have the Bristol Zoo a walk away from the school; We The Curious and the Bristol Aquarium a bus ride away; Heleanze library, local cinema, supermarkets and local shops just round the corner; and our allotment at the Shirehampton community allotments.
Small classes with access to a variety of learning spaces
State of the art sensory room
Onsite and offsite allotments
Open and accessible outdoor spaces in our beautiful garden which offer opportunities for outdoor learning and for enjoying a variety of outdoor equipment including beautiful musical instruments
The school provides a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, designed to meet individual learning needs. Pupils benefit from small class groups and a high staff ratio.
The school morning runs from 09:00 to 12:30. The school afternoon runs from 13:30 to 15:15. Classes have weekly timetables which cover the Aurora Grace House Curriculum.
The school is staffed by the Head Teacher, Class Teachers, Subject Teachers, Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Teaching Assistants.
Throughout the whole day/week, pupils benefit from consistent and familiar rhythms that help them to make sense of and gain confidence in the learning environment.
Pupils are grouped as much as possible according to their chronological age and compatibility. Differentiated learning opportunities take into account age appropriateness, group dynamics and individual needs and interests.
The Aurora Grace House School curriculum focuses on pupils’ outcomes regarding developing cognitive skills, well-being and life skills with learning opportunities which relate directly to their Education Health and Care Plan outcomes.
We cover all relevant National Curriculum subjects with adapted content and approaches to learning. The curriculum focuses on 6 curriculum areas (We are Learning about)
Each area of learning is broken down into subjects and themes. We want every pupil to achieve the best possible outcomes in preparation for adult life through learning about Creativity, Productivity, Ability, Curiosity, Safety, Identity (curriculum areas)
We have high expectations of pupils’ progress and want to offer them the opportunity to develop and improve to the best of their potential.
English, Maths and Science are taught as distinct subjects for Key Stages 1 to 4. Horticulture, D&T and Multi-media / ICT are taught across all age groups.
Our Key Stage 4 & Post 16 offer
The Post 16 programme has a strong emphasis on developing interests, talents, practical and vocational skills towards developing independence and productivity in adult life.
Pupils completed accredited courses of study such as Personal Progress Units, QCF – ASDAN; AQA units; and where applicable specific routes of learning can be developed such as access to GCSEs.
Specific areas of interest are identified as part of meetings between an independent Careers Adviser and each pupil. These meetings start in Year 9 and take a strong focus in preparing for productivity in adult life as part of the Post 16 programmes.
Our curriculum is delivered through a variety of learning approaches to suit the learning styles and abilities of our pupils. Some pupils have bespoke learning programmes which are often project based tapping into their interests and learning styles.
The balance of the curriculum reflects our pupil's needs. Due to the pupils’ Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD), most of them are at the early stages of development as learners. They require a high proportion of time allocated to development ‘readiness for learning’.
Our pupils present a variety of learning styles (i.e. tactile, visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) and these are taken into account as part of planning for groups and individuals.
Pupils with a tactile learning style benefit from using the sense of touch whilst learning. This involves working with and manipulating sensory materials; and using three dimensional learning resources (e.g.objects of reference).
Pupils with a visual learning style benefit from using the sense of sight whilst learning. This involves visual resources (e.g. photos; symbols; visual schedules; and a range of visual media including the use of Interactive White Boards, iPads and other devices).
Pupils with an auditory learning style benefit from the sense of hearing whilst learning. They find easier to learn through spoken language and the use of sounds (e.g. engaging in dialogue, receiving verbal information; using specific sounds to create anticipation).
Each pupil’s EHCP outcomes provide the focus for the 3/4 year learning outcomes that identify pupil and family aspirations. Multi-disciplinary teams are consulted in developing learning plans, along with teaching team, who have a thorough understanding of each pupil so that the learning plan reflects pupils interests, strengths and barriers, medical needs, developmental stage and learning level.
Pupil learning plans identify a learning pathway that a pupil may follow but it is recognised that the steps taken may be lateral or via a bespoke pathway to achieve the longer term outcome. Pupils at Aurora Grace House School have very individual needs and aspirations, and may not follow linear progression routes, and the route to the end goal may not always be a straight road. We also recognise that our pupils do not learn in isolated steps (surface learning) but that progress needs to be supported through a range of opportunities, contexts and activities to embed skills (deep learning).
We set outcomes 3 times a year which are measurable and working towards the long term outcomes. These are set with the Head Teacher who moderate for challenge; we have a robust cycle of moderation within the outcome setting process, with teachers identifying strategies and interventions where necessary to address slower progress than anticipated.
We assess the pupils cognitive levels through two New Assessment Frameworks for Pupils with SEND: Engagement Steps and Progression Steps (BSquared).
Engagement Steps is an observation-based, formative assessment framework for use with pupils who are not yet engaged in subject-specific learning. It has been designed to help teachers to identify and record the ongoing achievements of pupils who are working profoundly beneath age-related expectations in all areas of their development. It can be used with pupils who are studying an informal curriculum.
Progressions Steps is an observation-based, formative assessment framework for use with pupils who are engaged in subject-specific learning. It has been designed to help teachers to identify and record the ongoing achievements of pupils who are working moderately or severely beneath age-related expectations in some or all areas of their development. It can be used with pupils who are either studying elements from a formal curriculum or those who are still engaged in a semi-formal approach to learning.
Both assessment frameworks are based on the recommendations made in “The Rochford Review: Final Report” (STA, 2016).
How to find us
Aurora Grace House School is within easy access of the M32, just off the M5 and M4.
Bristol Temple Mead train station, with mainline links to London and Exeter, is approximately 20 minutes by taxi.
Address: Aurora Grace House School, Westbury Park, Bristol, BS6 7JE
Tel: 0117 973 3301
Head of Education - Thereza de Lucca
Proprietor/Governing Body: Jeanette Young
The Aurora Group, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT
Tel: 020 3617 0156
Policies and Information
Term Dates 2019-20 - Click here to view and download
Admissions Policy - Click here to view and download
Attendance Policy - Click here to view and download
Anti-bullying Policy - Click here to view and download
Behaviour Management Policy - Click here to view and download
Exclusion Guidance - click here to view
Compliments and Complaints Policy* - Click here to view and download
*the number of formal complaints are available upon request