29th November 2019
Pupils have been celebrating the completion of swanky modern classrooms at a multi-million pound school near Bristol.
Kids at SGS Pegasus School moved into a new building on Hempton Lane, Patchway, earlier this month.
A celebratory event was held last night (Thursday, November 28) to mark the dawning of a new era, marked by autism-friendly classrooms and an updated curriculum.
Head teacher Dominic Broad said: “I feel pleased for everyone that’s involved and I feel really privileged to be given the opportunity to bring this vision to life.”
The school, set up in 2017, was formerly based in part of Patchway Community School, also on Hempton Lane.
But a new building was felt necessary because of the needs of the children, according to Mr Broad, who was appointed head teacher in September.
“Some of the environment in the older building was probably too similar to a mainstream school,” said Mr Broad, who explained children with autism require as few distractions as possible.
He said: “It’s all about creating an aesthetically pleasing environment with very little distraction for the children.
“No longer do we have really visually stimulating rooms because we’ve found that children with autism don’t respond well to them.”
Describing the typical scenes in a mainstream school, Mr Broad said: “You’re talking about lots of things on the wall and lots of colour – and that’s the last thing that some children with autism need.”
In the new building, which ran to a total cost of £11 million, the colours have been toned down and efforts have been made to minimise the potential for mess, according to Mr Broad
“We don’t have things dangling from the ceiling and there’s no clutter. Everything is neatly tidied away and everything has a purpose,” the head teacher said.
‘Passion and hard work of staff’
Around 50 pupils from Year 3 to Year 8 are currently enrolled, but Mr Broad said the number is expected to rise to 70 by September, just 10 short of the capacity.
Eventually, the school will cater for GCSE students and sixth form learners too, according to Mr Broad, who went on to praise his staff and chiefs at SGS Academy Trust.
“The passion and the hard work of the staff have got us to this point and going forward is a very exciting time for the school, the trust and the rest of South Gloucestershire,” said Mr Broad.
After praising the “inspiring” efforts of his 27-strong staff and hailing their relationship with the children, Mr Broad also thanked the vision of SGS Academy Trust CEO Kevin Hamblin and Mr Hamblin’s deputy, Stephen Miles.
During the celebration event, Mr Broad and staff took the chance to welcome parents to the building, before offering them a tour.
He also outlined details of the new curriculum, which includes a focus on developing key life skills to help the children be as independent as possible when they finish their school careers.