Caucasian woman with shoulder length blonde hair in a black blazer and blue shirt.

Welcome from the Principal

Dee Pickerill

As Principal, I would like to thank you for your interest in Snowfields Academy. Having trained for and taught young people with Learning Difficulties and ASD for many years, I am proud and honoured to lead an exceptional specialist ASD provision.

Snowfields Academy is an 11-18 special school for students with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and an Education, Health and Care Plan with this as the primary need. Students will usually be working at, or close to, age expected attainment levels.  We opened at Bearsted in September 2020 following approval by the Department for Education = in Wave 12 of the Free Schools programme. 

Snowfields Academy offers the very best personalised approaches within an inspiring learning environment. Our students are taught and supported by exceptional staff who offer care, challenge and support. Every student has a personalised transition from their starting point into our Academy and we work closely with other providers to streamline this process and smooth out any challenges along the way. Snowfields Academy brings our values to life:  Be Kind, Work Hard, Communicate, Stay Safe and Be Happy. These values permeate our building, our curriculum, our aims and our ethos and we work hard every day to ensure we bring our motto, Where Nurture Meets Aspiration, to life, and help our students to thrive.

In September 2022 we extended our offer into the Cranbrook area of Kent, 14 miles from our Bearsted campus. Snowfields Cranbrook College opened with Years 7, 8 and 9, just as Snowfields Bearsted College opened in September 2020. When full with all year groups on both sites we will be able to offer places for 280 students from Years 7-13 in total.

Our Values Charter diagram

We are extremely fortunate to have exceptional buildings at both Bearsted and Cranbrook. On both sites we offer outstanding educational settings which both inspire young people and support their often complex needs. Careful consideration has been given to all aspects of the design at both sites to promote wellbeing and achievement. Although not identical, they both offer exceptional vocational learning opportunities with a community café at Bearsted and a working farm at Cranbrook. We have also provided a range of breakout spaces for movement breaks at both sites.

Our curriculum reflects the full range of pupil needs. Specialisms in horticulture, catering and land based studies, will enable young people to gain real-life experiences and qualifications leading to the very best employment opportunities. We are forging partnerships with local businesses to offer work experience to facilitate this, and so provide every student with the skills necessary to confidently transition from school onto their next steps.

Snowfields Academy  leads the way in offering support for young people’s wellbeing through a team of highly trained specialists who will work collaboratively with families and young people to meet a wide range of complex needs. 

I welcome your interest in Snowfields Academy, whether you are a student, parent, carer or other family member, a professional or member of the local community. Please do contact me if you would like any further information or would like to register your interest.

Dee Pickerill | Principal