Bridge Road School

Safe, Respectful and Responsible learners

Telephone02 9519 8389

Principal's message

Bridge Road School is a specialist setting with expert staff providing intensive intervention for complex learners.  All students at Bridge Road School are 'known, valued and cared for'.

Our biggest job at Bridge Road School is to re-engage, disengaged learners.  Our teaching and learning programs have a strong focus on literacy and numeracy, PDHPE, social skills, creative arts and outdoor education. Our students are most focused and engaged when the activities are hands-on, engaging and relatable.

All students at the school have a personalised learning and support plan.  Staff know their students and how they learn and thus implement a differentiated and adjusted teaching and learning program.

Bridge Road School caters for 42 students from kindergarten to Year 6, with an emotional disturbance.  All students who attend Bridge Road School have a disability confirmation (Dis. Con.) for mental health (MH) as the primary diagnosis.  Students may internalise (MH1), externalise (MH2) or demonstrate a combination of both (MH3).  

Throughout the day students have numerous occasions to speak with all staff.  At Bridge Road we ensure that all teachers have various opportunities to build relationships with all students.  This is achieved through our daily fitness programs, breakfast club, whole school challenges, and art and music programs.  We believe this assists our students to transfer skills to their home school settings.

We are honest with our students.  We explain that they are at Bridge Road School because they sometimes make the wrong choices at their home school.  Our aim is for students to own their behaviour and accept consequences.

Bridge Road has a strong focus on student wellbeing.  We implement many programs to build self-esteem and promote a positive self-concept.  We practice mindfulness, random acts of kindness, reward whole school success and promote healthy eating.  Each week for example, Build Up Awards are given out, where a prize is drawn each week from raffle tickets awarded when students display prosocial behaviour, such as checking on their peers, providing comfort, or giving compliments.  Our therapy dog Mindy, a rescue greyhound visits every Friday thanks to Delta Dogs, and a music therapist attends every Tuesday.


Bridge Road School's reintegration program is based solely on our students.  We tell the students every day that they have the control.  Typically, when students have completed their second term at Bridge Road School, we start counting good days at their home school.  This gives our students control over when they return to their home school.  

Every day, all day, we talk to the students about the behaviour choices they are making. The more information students have, the better decisions they can make for their day and the future.

Our students need safe spaces, and time to calm down.  We have created a range of safe spaces and activities throughout the day to ensure all students are catered for during an emotional crisis or more importantly to stop the crisis from occurring.  All spaces can be fully supervised, and students can choose to enter these spaces as required.  The pillow room is a favourite place to relax, sleep and hide.  By providing different lunch time options, such as iPads, the forest swing, or sporting activities, we have dramatically reduced conflict between children on the playground.  As we have three breaks throughout the day, this is very important.

Building relationships with our families is also very important.  All staff at Bridge Road School work closely with families.  We communicate daily with families via email or phone calls.  Staff go out of their way to make positive phone calls to families to highlight the strengths of the children.

Without the support of our home schools the Bridge Road program would fail.  Bridge Road School teaching staff visit every student in their home schools on a fortnightly basis.  Together with our home schools and families we hold student reviews each term.  We offer every school ongoing support with crisis management, risk plans and personalised learning and support plans.  It is an important partnership for our students.  As we like to say, "We are just borrowing their students; we are not a forever school."

Bridge Road School is a successful program.  We have a high success rate of reintegrating students back into their home school fulltime.  Most of our students arrive at Bridge Road School, disengaged, unmotivated and with limited academic success.  Students leave Bridge Road School with improved self-worth, increased self-esteem,and increased confidence.  The staff's passion for their job and their dedication to their students is truly evident in the acamdemic, social and emotional growth in our students.

Bridge Road School strives for continuous improvement through analysis of data, collection of evidence, school evaluation, community feedback and staff reflection.

In the words of some of our students, they are not a fan of Bridge Road at first, but they get used to it.  Other kids frustrate them, but they build resilience and strategies to manage the behaviour of those around them.  Bridge Road School is an inclusive setting, with staff who make every effort to look at what is driving the behaviour.  We encourage students to own and reflect on past behaviours in their home school, and with our help, they will 'cross the bridge'.

David Lomas

Related content