The Bridge School

Curriculum and communication at heart of The Bridge School’s ‘Good’ rating

A Suffolk special school is celebrating after a four-year journey of improvement led to them achieving a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

The Bridge School in Ipswich achieved a good rating in all five main Ofsted headings – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years provision.

Pupils’ strong relationships with staff and each other and a carefully thought-out curriculum – which focuses on the needs of the pupils and has communication at its heart, were highlighted.

Tina Sharman, interim headteacher at The Bridge School, said she, and all staff, took “great pleasure and pride” in the report.

She added: “I believe that this report reflects the journey the school has been on over the past four years and the dedication and hard work each member of staff involved with the school has provided. 

“It would be amiss not to mention Hazel Simmons (former headteacher) whose vision and leadership helped shape the school improvements both towards this Ofsted and in raising the profile of the school.

“I look forward to working with all our parents and our wonderful children to increase opportunities and experiences as part of their holistic education at The Bridge School.”

The school in Sprites Lane has pupils with a range of special educational needs and severe learning difficulties.

Inspectors noted that pupils “find a voice” at The Bridge in a relaxed and comfortable school environment.

The report said: “Staff understand that pupils’ SEND mean that they all have different needs.

“Approaches that work well for one pupil may not work for the person sitting next to them. “Staff are adept at adjusting what is taught, and how it is taught, to meet pupils’ individual needs.

“Leaders see communication as the heart of the curriculum. They recognise that helping pupils to communicate is one of the school’s most important roles. Staff focus strongly on finding the right approach for each pupil.”

The report said the school had been transformed and gone “from strength to strength” since it joined Unity Schools Partnership.

The report added: “The curriculum is well focused on helping pupils to prepare for adulthood. Throughout pupils’ time at the school, leaders keep this crucial end point in mind. Most pupils are unlikely to be able to lead fully independent lives as adults. 

“The school focuses well on helping pupils to develop as much independence as possible.

“The school is now securely good, with ambitions to be even better.”

Before the end of the school year, we were delighted to be joined by James Cartlidge MP to officially cut the ribbon on a very special set of swings to the front of the school.

The swings were a result of fundraising from one of our former pupils, Jessica Pearce.

On behalf of everyone at The Bridge School, we would like to say a massive thank you to Jessica.