North Star 82°

Who We Are

About North Star 82°

Based in the North of Bristol, North Star 82° is a Primary School that caters for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. 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These difficulties may be displayed through the young person becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as through challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.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 62 pupils. All young people attending North Star 82°  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

At North Star 82° we believe that every student should have the education, opportunities and experiences to prepare them for a happy, fulfilled, meaningful life. They should be confident, broad-minded and have a range of skills to allow them to succeed in society. We need to work with them, and others to enable them to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential. 

We strive to work with our families to offer them the support that they need in various aspects of their lives. Students are never judged on previous experiences and our mantra of “every day is a new day” informs our thinking at all times. We pride ourselves on our welcoming and nurturing school environment that respect and celebrate diversity.

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.

1

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

2

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

Jilly Jones

Deputy Headteacher, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Lucas Wellington

SENCO Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Elaine Cruse

Speech and Language Therapist

Charlotte Wilkinson

Teacher Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Jo Trott

Teacher, North Star Outreach, Designated Teacher for Children in Care

Jan Blackmore

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Michelle Martin

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Jo Carr

Thrive Practitioner, Forest School Leader

Ali Barnes

Teacher, North Star Outreach

Dan Edwards

Learning Mentor, North Star Outreach

Nicola Burand

Emotional and Social Support Assistant

Sarah-Jayne Marshall

HR Admin, North Star Academy Trust

Get in touch

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