Landmark new school opens in Newport

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

Ysgol Bryn Derw, the first school in Gwent specifically for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), opened this week.

The school, located on the site of the former Gaer Infant School, will provide pupils aged between three and 19 with specialist provision and structured teaching.

It will aim to provide the highest possible standards of education and support for all its pupils regardless of their level of educational need.

Pupils will also have opportunities to work and learn within the community to prepare them for their future role as valued members of society.

All the teachers have additional special needs qualifications and there will be a strong therapeutic approach to the pupils’ learning. There are specialist rooms with sensory equipment as well as soft play.

When full, the school will have 48 pupils and starts with 24 teachers and teaching assistants.

Head teacher Richard Drew said: “Newport should be proud that is the first local authority in Gwent to have such a facility. The council recognised that it was important for pupils who have complex needs to have an appropriate placement and this is what the school will give them.

“I met with all the parents, carers and pupils before the start of term and they were delighted that this facility was opening in Newport.

“Often the focus on those with complex needs is on what they can’t do but I am looking forward to finding out what they can do, and the talents they have, and how we can draw on those to help them deliver a successful future.”

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “I’m delighted that the council have been able to provide a specialist school for local children so they don’t have to travel out of the city for their education.

“This is a fantastic development for the city that will provide a happy, safe and thriving environment for all its pupils.”

Councillor Gail Giles, Newport City Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We felt it was important to provide a specialist school so children could be educated near their home and reduce the number of out-of-county placements.

“The school has excellent facilities and first-class staff that will aim to provide the highest possible standards of education and support for all the pupils. We want all children in the city, regardless of their level of educational need, to be helped to reach their full potential.”

The creation of the Ysgol Bryn Derw has been funded by Newport City Council and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme.

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