Bishopswood is a very special school. It is a well established and forward thinking school with dedicated, experienced and flexible teaching and support staff. It is also special because it offers special needs education within a mainstream setting at each phase: nursery, primary and secondary.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly and happy community offering support to families and involvement with the local community.
The school caters for pupils, aged two to sixteen years, with developmental delay, severe or complex learning difficulties. It is accessible to pupils with physical difficulties. We are an integral part of Oxfordshire County Council education provision in South Oxfordshire.
Our aims and values demonstrate the lively and optimistic spirit of Bishopswood School, a spirit that makes us not just a special school but an extraordinary school. Please read through our website and find out how they also form the foundation of our prospectus and how we plan and implement the curriculum.
> To create a community who respect and value each other.
> To provide an environment which supports and challenges learning, communication, confidence, self-esteem and independence.
> The inclusion of all pupils with their peers in partner and local schools as far as this process advances their educational and social development.
> To maximise links with the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum in an original way with a proper balance maintained with the development of life skills.
> The setting and monitoring of challenging but realistic targets that staff and pupils are motivated to achieve as they are based on thorough on-going assessments
co-ordinated with all relevant input.
> The provision of specialist training and professional development for teachers and staff to the long term benefit of themselves and pupils.
Values that support our actions
> We appreciate the unique
contribution made by each pupil to the
life of the school
> We believe the understanding and mutual respect that follows the development of closer links between Bishopswood and our partner schools benefits all parties involved
> We recognise the positive support that parents and carers provide in helping us to deliver our stated aims for each child.
> We celebrate the achievements, no matter how big or small made by individual pupils.
> We recognise the importance of teamwork and the different roles and skills contributed by each individual.
Bishopswood Charter of Children’s Rights
Revised February 2005
‘To provide a happy and supportive environment that maximises the learning potential and development of each pupil – physically, academically, socially and emotionally – in order to facilitate future independence’
Charter of Children’s Rights
When I am at Bishopswood School, wherever I am, whoever I am with, whatever I am doing, I have these fundamental rights:
> to be valued as an individual and to develop my potential through education
> to be treated with dignity and respect
> to be nurtured, supported and cared for
> to be safe
Being valued as an individual means:
> being cared for and treated as unique
> being talked to and about by my own name
> being consistently cared for wherever I go
> being encouraged to be me
> being given enough time to take part, to do things for myself, to understand and be understood
> being listened to however I communicate (voice, gesture, sign, communication aid) and being given time to express myself and time to respond
> being given opportunities to develop in all aspects through learning opportunities in school and in the community in order to achieve as much as I can
Being treated with dignity and respect means:
> being addressed with respect; never referred to or about as if I am my disability, nor as if I am one of my needs, nor as if I am a piece of equipment
> being involved in conversations; never being talked about as if I am not there
> having my privacy respected at all times and in all places
> having all information about me treated carefully, kept safe and shared only with those people who need to know; never discussing personal information about me in the presence of another child
> being involved in decisions that affect me: being actively encouraged to express my views and where these cannot be taken into account, then told why
> being given opportunities to make my own choices
Being nurtured, supported and cared for means:
> having the same rights and choices and as far as possible the same kind of life as other children of my age and culture
> having consistent care from staff who really care about me and know me well
> being actively supported as part of a family: having my parents/carers fully involved in any planning for me and acknowledged as ultimately responsible for me
> having access to communication equipment when I need it and being listened to and heard when I need to communicate, even if it takes a long time and I am not easy to understand
> being given information about what is happening before it happens, being given explanations of events in my day before they occur
> being given opportunities to play
> being given the best possible care that can be provided
Being safe means:
> being protected from risks
> being protected from abuse
> physical abuse includes any physical punishment or unnecessary rough handling
> emotional abuse includes malicious teasing and taunting, unjustifiably ignoring me, controlling me through fear, shaming or humiliating me or deliberately misinterpreting my communication
> sexual abuse includes any sexual act and inappropriate or unnecessary contact with me
> being part of a team who work together to protect my well being
> knowing that I have all of these rights all of the time I am at Bishopswood
> knowing that all of the important adults in my life are aware of these basic rights and being clear about what I can do if these rights are infringed or not respected
Statement of Adult Responsibilities
(in relation to the Charter of Children’s Rights)
Every member of staff at Bishopswood School, wherever they are, whoever they are with, whatever they are doing has these fundamental responsibilities in their involvement with the children:
Valuing children as an individuals and developing their potential through education means:
> caring for and treating every child as unique
> talking to and about every child by their own name or talking about a group of pupils by their class name; never using derogatory terms
> consistently caring for children and encouraging the children to be themselves
> giving children enough time to take part, to do things for themselves, to understand and be understood
> having high expectations of what each child can communicate, learn and do
Treating children with dignity and respect means:
> addressing every child with respect; never referring to or about as if they are their disability, nor as if they are one of their needs, nor as if they are a piece of equipment
> involving the children in conversation; never talking about children as if they were not there
> respecting every child’s privacy at all times and in all places
> treating all information about children carefully, keeping it safe and sharing it only with those people who need to know; never discussing personal information about one child in the presence of another child
> involving children in decisions that affect them: actively encouraging children to express their views and where these cannot be taken into account, then explaining why
> giving opportunities for the children to make their own choices
Being nurtured, supported and cared for means:
> offering the same rights and choices and as far as possible the same kind of life as other children of the same age and culture
> providing consistent care from staff who really care about them and know them well
> actively supporting each child as part of a family: involving their parents/carers fully in any planning for them and acknowledging their ultimate responsibility for their child
> ensuring access to communication equipment at all times when it is needed and listening to and hearing the children when they need to communicate, even if it takes a long time and they are not easy to understand
> giving the children information about what is happening before it happens (being moved, being taken somewhere, having something taken out of their bag) and giving explanations of events before they occur
> giving children opportunities and help to play
> giving the best possible care that can be provided
Keeping children safe means:
> protecting the children from risks and protecting them from abuse
> by reporting concerns
> physical abuse includes any physical punishment or unnecessary rough handling (e.g. smacking, hitting, pinching, hair pulling, punching, kicking, biting)
> emotional abuse includes malicious teasing and taunting, unjustifiably ignoring them, controlling them through fear, shaming or humiliating them or deliberately misinterpreting their communication
> sexual abuse includes any sexual act or contact with a child
> working as part of a team who work together to protect the well being of the children
> letting the children know that they have all of these rights all of the time they are at Bishopswood (these rights could only be denied if the exercise of the right would be injurious to the child or other people)
> ensuring that all of the important adults in the child’s life are aware of these basic rights and being clear about what the child can do if these rights are infringed or not respected
The staff and governors at the school support the following mission statement ...
To provide a happy and supportive environment that maximises the learning potential and development of each pupil - physically, academically, socially and emotionally - in order to facilitate future independence.
Our shared vision is...
A community of staff, other professionals, governors and parents who work together to provide a relevant, motivating, enriching, enjoyable and inclusive education for all our pupils.
Please click here to down load a full copy of our
The Nursery Assessment Class
There are the equivalent of eight places available in the nursery class at Valley Road school for Bishopswood pupils. These places are on a sessional basis to the pupils on roll. There is a fully trained Bishopswood teacher, learning support assistants and 1 lunchtime supervisor with these children, supported by Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy and Clinical Nurse Specialist on a part time basis. The Nursery is fully integrated with all staff and children working and playing together. Bishopswood staff will work with children to ensure that equipment, language and activities are pitched at the appropriate level. The staff observe how children interact with others in the Nursery and how they use the equipment and space. Over time this helps us build up an accurate picture of a child's abilities and areas where extra help may be necessary. The assessment of a child's progress will be discussed with parents regularly and plans made for the next stage in his/her education.
Preparation for moving to the next school at five years of age begins when a child is four years old. This is achieved together with parents and other professionals who look carefully and sensitively at the child's needs and where those needs can be best met after the nursery years.
The Nursery is a happy fun place which provides a good nursery education for every child who attends. Recent building work has added an extension to the entrance area, an additional multi-purpose room and a greatly improved hygiene area.
The Primary Classes at Sonning Common
Our new purpose-built building provides office accommodation for the Headteacher, secretarial staff, therapists and outreach team. There are currently three classes in our new primary department, with room for expansion. There are three teachers, learning support assistants in each class and lunchtime supervisors. We have some regular volunteers who help with activities such as swimming. The speech therapists, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and school nurse all visit regularly and form part of the team.
We may use the 'Waldon Approach' for teaching thinking skills and provide a special movement programme for pupils whose motor development is delayed. There is hydrotherapy at Chiltern Edge for pupils who may benefit. Bishopswood primary pupils also have access to the swimming pool at Sonning Common Primary School. There is also a superb interactive sensory room. An IT base is shared with Sonning Common Primary School. In addition, each classroom have computers. There is also a joint schools and community library. The grounds are extensive , pleasant and safe.
Most pupils attend the mainstream assemblies and we have our turn at taking the assembly, along with all the other classes. A member of our staff usually accompanies individuals or a small group into mainstream, although some of our mature junior pupils may attend classes alone. Small groups of primary school pupils also join our classes for specific activities. Our most disabled pupils are increasingly linked to named mainstream classes.
Pupils have a choice of school dinners or packed lunch. The pupils are closely supervised to ensure that good table manners are established.
The Senior Classes at Chiltern Edge
Our senior department is a part of the everyday life of Chiltern Edge. The classrooms are situated in the middle of the school, close to the dining room, hall, and Humanities Department. At present there are twenty pupils in the department. At Keystage 4 we subscribe to the ASDAN scheme (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network). Some students at Keystage 4 follow the Transition Challenge, a scheme specifically designed for students with severe learning difficulties. When the students have successfully completed forty tasks their work is taken for external moderation, and if the agreed standard is met, a certificate is issued. Other senior pupils follow the ALL programme by OCR which is is an accreditation for life and living skills designed for pupils 14 to 19 years old with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. It is a flexible qualification that allows schools and colleges to select those modules that are appropriate to the needs of their students.
The facilities we have are exceptional for all groups, including well designed bathroom and toilet facilities to meet the students' personal needs, a hydrotherapy pool and a sensory room. We have use of the main school's facilities, such as the library, science laboratories, large gym and sports hall. Swimming sessions take place at the public pool in Henley.
The Curriculum offers a rich educational experience based on special educational expertise. Pupils with multiple needs have a movement/sensory based day, while work with other groups develops basic skills in communication, numeracy and problem-solving linking into levels 1-3 of the National Curriculum. Pupils are involved with their own decision making whenever possible. A second important strand is time spent by pupils in mainstream lessons. It is always our aim to increase the number of mainstream classes that our pupils attend.
The senior department also promotes links with other mainstream secondary schools. Currently from year 9, some pupils attend the Conservation project at Little Wittenham nature reserve. We also set up link courses with Colleges for students in their final year (year 11), and ,where appropriate, work experience.
Bishopswood School Council
The senior department students elect two members from each class to form the Bishopswood School Council. Another pupil is elected to be the Bishopswood representative on the Chiltern Edge School Council who reports back to the Bishopswood Council. This year they have also been asked to elect two pupils to represent the school on the Henley Youth Council which is
a new venture.
Joshua and Colin – Henley Youth Council. Andrew – Chiltern Edge School Council. Elizabeth, James, Christina and Penny – Bishopswood Council
> Catchment area
> School uniform
> Help for parents
> A day in the life of our school
> Documents and policies
Currently there are thirty four children on roll with full time places
and six children with part time places in the nursery. All the children have Statements of Special Educational Needs or in the case of some children in the nursery are currently being assessed for a Statement.
The school caters for children who have severe, profound or complex
learning needs. Some may have other additional sensory, communication or language difficulties. The school has an Outreach Team which works with children with significant learning difficulties in local mainstream primary and secondary schools.
Any parent is welcome to visit the school and visits can be arranged by phoning the School Office 01189 724311. However places at the school have to be arranged through and with the consent of the relevant Education Office.
Please contact the School Office for any information you may require-