Snowfields Academy comprises two specialist sites, both designed to accommodate students between the ages of 11 and 18 whose primary need is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Our first site, Snowfields Academy Bearsted, opened in September 2020 as a brand new purpose-built special secondary school, accommodating 140 students. Our second site, Snowfields Academy Cranbrook, opens in September 2022. Both sites will work together to deliver the very best educational experience for our students, while still retaining their own unique identities.
All students at Snowfields Academy have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). At Snowfields, class sizes are small to enable learners to focus and to receive good levels of personalised support in the classroom.
A highly-supportive pastoral structure is central to the academy, placing the needs of each student first, and a commitment to instilling British values and delivering a strong Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education is evident within the curriculum. Staff at Snowfields Academy are trained to support those with both mental health difficulties and other behavioural needs, and all students and their families have access to the support they need, including contact with trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA). An emphasis is placed on preparing learners for their lives after school and supporting them in identifying and achieving their aspirations, and as a result students have the option of making choices from a blended curriculum which combines both vocational and academic subjects. Regardless of their pathway choice, every student experience is tailored to suit the needs and ambitions of each individual learner.
Snowfields Academy is part of Leigh Academies Trust (LAT); a selection of primary, secondary and special schools across Kent, Medway and South East London.
Academy Vision and Values
Every student at Snowfields Academy is an individual with a wide range of qualities, strengths and areas of need. We provide an environment which nurtures every student but also has the highest expectations for their academic and personal outcomes. Through our personalised approach to delivering the curriculum we ensure every student knows they are valued and cared for and that we are ambitious for their success. A highly skilled and empathetic multi-disciplinary team work closely with students and families to reduce barriers to learning and develop exceptional, confident and happy young people who are fully prepared for their next steps.
Our core values:
- A safe, welcoming and supportive environment purpose where young people with ASD thrive
- A highly personalised approach to all that we do allowing individual talents to flourish;
- Highest expectations for academic and personal outcomes;
- Ensure that the holistic needs of every student are met through working closely with families and professionals;
- Provide every young person with the necessary academic and vocational pathways to be successful in their next steps in life;
- Highly skilled, valued and supported staff who make a difference to each young person’s life, every day.
Snowfields Academy has a range of therapeutic and support staff on hand to reduce any barriers to learning by helping to meet the holistic needs of our learners. This team works with Education Welfare Officers, and will liaise with any other specialist provision that may be provided via Kent County Council (KCC) or the local Primary Care Trust (PCT). Our team includes:
- Full time Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT) to provide targeted support in the form of weekly whole class Communication lessons for Key Stage 3 and specialist support for individual students.
- A sensory-trained Occupational Therapist (OT) commissioned for assessments and support for staff and families.
- Experienced certified Counsellors commissioned for weekly sessions with specific students.
- Teaching Assistants who have had additional training to support as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA). ELSAs meet with students weekly for a term to support dealing with loss and bereavement, self-esteem, social skills, emotions, friendship issues, relationships, anger management, bullying and conflict.
- Commissioned Educational Psychologists (EP) who work across academies within LAT to support staff and families through student assessment, case discussions and educational workshops.
- I CAN for information about Speech, Language and Communication Needs
- The Communication Trust for information about Speech, Language and Communication Needs
- RCSLT for information about Speech and Language Therapy
- National Autistic Society for information about Autism
- Kent Community Health for information about various health services and referrals
- SMIRA for information about Selective Mutism
- Michael Palin Centre for information about stuttering
- Harmless for information about self harm
- ELSA network for information about ELSA