Broomhill Bank is a coeducational foundation special school, situated within beautiful grounds in West Kent. We cater for students with communication and interaction difficulties (C&I) who have a Statement of special educational need and are likely to benefit from a place in a special school. Students eligible for places will probably have a diagnosis of autism, aspergers or other significant social communication difficulty, such as pervasive developmental disorder, and/or severe receptive or expressive language impairment or disorder.
Following an integrated Ofsted inspection in September 2010, Broomhill Bank was judged to be an ‘outstanding’ special school.
On site we are currently designated to cater for 80 students aged 11-19, which includes up to 30 places in our Further Education Department. However we are expanding over the next five years and the first two form year 7 entry started in September 2012. In addition, we support a large number of students in local mainstream schools, and provide training for mainstream staff through our Outreach Services.
Students are organised into classes of between 8-12 students, according to level of need, each with their own classteacher. During lessons a combination of whole class, group and 1-1 teaching may take place on any one occasion according to the demands of the task, supported usually by two or more teaching assistants. The majority of teaching is delivered by teachers or instructors who are specialists in their areas of responsibility.
In Years 7 and 8, there is significant emphasis upon successful transition and induction to secondary school, to enable new students to become confident and secure in a secondary setting where they can adapt to the new routines which a new school brings. Consequently, they spend more time than other classes learning with their classteacher and other familiar adults, in the purpose built 7/8 unit.
From Key Stage 4 a combination of Entry Level, GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications are available, tailored according to individual need and aptitude.
Within the Further Education Department the focus on preparing students for life intensifies. Through the Foundation Learning programme, incorporating Functional Skills, students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of learning pathways and to experience different vocational and enterprise opportunities, supported by dedicated projects for horticulture, catering and horse care. . Throughout, the focus remains keenly upon developing the life and work-related skills vital to future independence and self-sufficiency.
Learning experiences are enriched for all through the range of offsite visits and opportunities that are available to support the curriculum, including some residential experiences; there is also a range of extended day activities on offer to students during lunchtimes and in the evening.
Coordinated therapy programmes including speech and language, occupational therapy and physiotherapy are a pivotal part of our provision, integrated across all learning opportunities. This is also fundamental to the training all staff receive either when they first join the school or as part of ongoing refresher training, and there is widespread use of programmes such as TEACCH, Language for Learning, Makaton, Kar2ouche, Communicate in Print etc, according to need.
If you are the parent of a child whose primary need is communication and Interaction as stated on their SEN Statement, and you think a special school such as Broomhill Bank might meet their needs, you are very welcome to contact the school office to arrange an informal visit. Hopeful new parents should note however, that Kent County Council is ultimately the placing authority and any offer of a place is agreed strictly through the Local Authority Additional Educational Needs Department.