North Star 240°

Who We Are

About North Star 240°

Based in North Bristol, North Star 240° is a Secondary School that caters for pupils aged 11-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and associated learning difficulties. Pupils who have difficulties with their emotional and social development may have limited social skills and find it difficult to make and sustain healthy relationships. These difficulties may be displayed through the young person becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as through challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. SEMH can manifest as difficulties relating to problems of mood (anxiety or depression), problems of conduct (oppositional defiance and more severe conduct problems including aggression), self-harm, substance abuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. In addition to this some of pupils may have recognised disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), attachment disorder, or generalised anxiety disorders.

Our school holds places for 80 pupils. All young people attending North Star 240 must have a statement for Educational Needs or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) in which the primary need is ‘Social and Emotional Mental Health.’

All new admissions must be referred to North Star Academy Trust by a Local Authority SEN Department. Individuals must meet the SEN primary need type and also be of appropriate age. Unfortunately, if a child referred to us does not meet this criteria or they have additional needs which cannot be met, if their needs are not compatible with the rest of the cohort or class group we will not be able to offer a place at that time

Working with these challenging behaviours, our Mission statement is simply to “Reshape their Future” and our aim is to develop confident, ambitious people who are emotionally and intellectually equipped for a brighter future. We believe that every student should have the education, opportunities and experiences to prepare them for a happy, fulfilled, meaningful life. And to do this we value:

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Inclusion

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Nurture

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Success

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Perseverance

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Independence

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Respect

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Empathy

As a school we promote confidence, broad mindedness and tolerance whilst providing the best range of skills to allow them to succeed in society. Students at North Star 240° are never judged on previous experiences and our mantra of “every day is a new day” which informs our thinking at all times. We provide a nurturing, relationships-based environment, with firm boundaries, where we support pupils to develop strategies to manage their responses appropriately. We seek to celebrate successes and achievements to build self-confidence and esteem, whilst allowing space and time to reflect on the issues that prevent their full social inclusion.

Please explore our website to see what we can offer. Alternatively, please contact the school office for more information.

Our Accreditations

Our Mission Statement

To develop confident, ambitious people who are emotionally and intellectually equipped for a brighter future

SEN Methodologies

There is no single, universally recognised methodology adopted in school provision for pupils experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties.  In recent times however a number of significant themes have emerged, led by experts in the field.  Academies in the North Star Trust drawn on several of these to form our own unique provision, engaging with and responding to pupil needs. 

Key is understanding children’s experiences and physiology and how this can influence pupil presentation in school.  We know that our pupils have a significant need to feel safe, to learn to trust.  Insecurity and anxiety can lead to an impulse to try to control situations and this will be lessened when pupils feel safe enough to relax and learn. For this reason we offer boundaries and at the same time a highly nurturing environment. 

We focus on keeping to routines and systems, knowing that pupils like to be able to anticipate what will happen next.  Staff calmly carry the expectation that their requests will be met. Pupils are supported by even the smallest indication of unrest being noted and supported.   We look to develop a culture of ‘error’ and ‘not knowing’, promoting the idea that this is a normal part of the learning process. 

We encourage the development of professional, trusting relationships between pupils and staff, knowing this is key to engagement. Staff take positive delight in working with pupils. They understand the importance of letting them know that they are thought about, or ‘held in mind’.  Staff know how to attune to pupils and validate their experiences, listening actively to their verbal and non-verbal communications.  Pupils are helped to work towards solution-focussed, positive outcomes.  Supported reflective spaces are available when needed.

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Key is understanding children’s experiences and physiology and how this can influence pupil presentation in school. 

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We focus on keeping to routines and systems, knowing that pupils like to be able to anticipate what will happen next.

3

We encourage the development of professional, trusting relationships between pupils and staff.

How We Are Different

We value honesty from pupils and positively recognise when responsibility for actions is taken.  This encourages pupil engagement with restorative approaches. We recognised that opportunities for choice, as well as a focus on win/win outcomes improve a pupil’s acknowledgment of responsibility.

Staff in all schools encourage and teach pupils about their own needs.  They are supported in ‘owning’ their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and knowing the importance of their own voice.  This helps them to take increased responsibility for achieving short-term targets that steer them towards long-term expected outcomes.

Our school environment is predictable, organised and offers pupils reminders and guidance.   It re-enforces reward systems that are used to encourage engagement as well as celebrating achievement.  Praise is noted as being a significant motivator and we work towards all pupils being able to accept this.  Praise is always focussed on effort rather than outcome so as to encourage the idea that with determination, anything can be achieved.

Key to long-lasting and positive engagement is parental involvement and we have systems in place to ensure this happens frequently and positively.  We value the understanding that parents and carers have of their child’s needs and meanwhile look to share any knowledge that we have as professionals. We know that the best outcomes arise from working collaboratively with all those who support a child.

Testimonials

Trust Board Members

Richard Penska – Chair /GDPR

Janet Bremner – Vice Chair 

Kaye Plamer-Greene – CEO

Gabrielle Stacey – Safeguarding 

Adam Matthews – Whistle blowing 

Steve Hornsby – Health and Safety 

Pippa Harding

Irina Lazar

Meet the Staff

Kaye Palmer Greene

Chief Executive Officer

Clare Bowyer

Director of Finance and Operations

Jo Grayson

Headteacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead

Andy Gowell

Deputy Headteacher & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Rob Dickens

SENCO, Careers Lead & Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Elaine Cruse

Trust Speech & Language Therapist

Ollie Benzie

Strategic Lead Attendance, Safeguarding and Wellbeing & Deputy  Safeguarding Lead

Vikki Allen

Learning Support Assistant -PE

Jake Marmot

Reading Support Assistant 

Nicola Gadd

Speech and Language Therapist 

Get in touch

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