Situated close to Bristol City centre Aurora St Christopher’s School is a DfE registered Independent Special School providing specialist education for pupils aged 5 to 19 years with severe language and communication difficulties and with profound and multiple learning difficulties including physical and sensory needs.
Aurora St Christopher’s School will open on Monday 2nd September 2019.
About our School
Welcome to Aurora St Christopher’s School. We have one aim, to empower the children and young people we support to develop and grow in their own unique and inspiring way. In so doing, we work to progress all of our children in five distinct areas including: self-care, communication, community engagement, decision making and emotional resilience.
St Christopher’s provides specialist education and care for young people aged 5 to 19 years with severe language and communication difficulties and with profound and multiple learning difficulties including physical and sensory needs. These may be as a result of autism, cerebral palsy or other conditions that may also include complex health needs.
The skilled team at St Christopher’s is supported by a strong clinical team of nurses, doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist and therapists cover physiotherapy, speech and language and occupational therapy.
St Christopher’s is very much part of the local community, overlooking Westbury Park, in a beautiful five-acre site which has been designed to give students plenty of space and independent movement within a structured and safe environment.
This provides multiple classrooms for small class learning of up to five students and individual learning areas can be available if needed. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, gym and multi-sensory areas. Outdoor spaces are used for additional learning and development opportunities and include a horticultural garden, a tranquil sensory garden with water features, a sunken trampoline and a climbing wall.
The school provides a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, designed to meet individual learning needs. Students benefit from small class sizes of up to five and a high staff ratio. They are allocated a class and given a weekly timetable detailing both group and individual learning sessions. Specialist teaching takes into account group dynamics and each child is supported based on their abilities and strengths.
Where required, students may study in individualised learning spaces if their surroundings and other people impact their ability to learn. But the aim is to be inclusive and encourage group work and interaction as much as possible and to develop social and independence skills.
Students can work towards academic qualifications and accreditation through ASDAN (Personal Progress Units).
The school morning runs from 09:00 to 12:30. The school afternoon runs from 13:30 to 15:15. Classes have weekly timetables covering all subject areas and each pupil has an individual timetable detailing both group and individual learning sessions.
Throughout the school week students experience consistent and familiar rhythms that help them to make sense of the structure of their day. These are enhanced with therapy programmes designed to help break down the barriers they may face as a result of their disabilities and help gain skills that will in turn support their educational programmes.
This approach is enhanced by the imaginative use of a variety of interesting and appropriate resources and the environments they learn in - from the rich experiences of sound, colour and touch in the sensory garden, through to visits to the local parks or physical work in the hydrotherapy pool. Education extends into the local community and students access off-site learning experiences in the nearby park, shops and many of Bristol's other local attractions, such as the Sea Life Centre, Zoo and the docks. These regular trips provide opportunities for students to experience the local and wider communities and put their life skills into practice.
The school is staffed by Class Teachers, Subject Teachers, Teaching Assistants and supported by Learning & Care Assistants. Class Teachers are responsible for class groups of up to five children and young people.
Each class group has a maximum number of five children and young people grouped as much as possible according to their chronological age and compatibility. We aim to create age appropriate and differentiated learning opportunities which take into account the group dynamics. Some children and young people will have differentiated learning programmes and separate learning spaces with access to group sessions. The aim is to include all children and young people in group activities developing interaction and social skills.
Teaching and learning activities are adapted to suit the pupils’ individual learning styles.
The balance of the curriculum reflects our pupil's needs. Due to the pupils’ severe and complex learning difficulties, 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).
Evidence of progress/performance of students for the previous academic year is available from the school upon request.
How to find us
St Christopher’s 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 St Christopher's 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
Admissions 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