Two Bridges Academy, Alveston, is taking shape, with the construction team approaching completion of the steel frame installation.
Expected to open in September 2024, the new, non-ambulant Special Educational Needs (SEN) facility in Bristol will provide 112 places from age two to 19.
Additional needs including severe learning difficulties (SLD), Autism (ASD) and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and multiple overlapping conditions will be provided for through an enhanced curriculum and environment.
The school forms part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) sustainability pathfinder study, and follows the “Pathfinders Net Zero Carbon Schools 10 Point Plan”; designed to achieve net zero carbon in operation. A range of strategies incorporated in the building design followed a fabric first approach. In line with the RIBA Stage 4 specification at September 2022 (and therefore subject to change), the building is anticipated to use approximately 66% less energy than a building complying with part L2a recommendations. Photovoltaic panels are expected to produce 79kWh/m2/year , exceeding the 72.5kWh/m2/year anticipated energy use of the school.
A sensory curriculum will run alongside the main curriculum, addressing the needs of pupils with SLD/PMLD who require additional stimulus to fully meet their learning needs. Specific environments include therapies and play, trampolines, hydrotherapy pool and a sensory studio, designed to meet a broad range of needs.
Outdoor learning and variety of outside spaces have been identified as beneficial to pupils with additional needs. Several outdoor areas have been designed for a range of ages and abilities, including food growing areas, habitat corners and meadow areas. Separate external social play spaces for each learning stage will allow for small and large group gatherings, while land-based learning for older pupils will help support them into independence and potential employment later in life.
Two Bridges will form part of the DfE’s Free Schools Programme and be operated by the Enable Trust, a local specialist education academy trust which is committed to delivering outstanding outcomes for pupils with a wide range of complex learning needs.