Education at RNIB Pears Centre

Our special school for children and young people with complex needs and vision impairment at RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning is graded "Outstanding" by Ofsted.

Our specialist school

Building on over 50 years’ experience, we offer a stimulating and supportive, purpose-built environment. We aim to ensure that children and young people with complex needs who are blind or partially sighted reach their full potential for learning, independence and fulfilment. Our school is recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) as a non-maintained special school for up to 70 pupils, aged 2 to 19.

Ofsted inspection

We have been advised that Ofsted will be visiting our School on 14-15 November 2017 to complete their inspection of the school. 

For parents

Parent View gives you the chance to tell Ofsted what you think about your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. The survey can be completed at any time; you don’t have to wait until the school is being inspected.

Our ethos and values

Together we work to:

  • Create a strong, positive culture within school.
  • Provide opportunities for students to achieve and celebrate success.
  • Encourage students to have belief in themselves and their abilities.

We can achieve this through:

  • The delivery of an effective and appropriate curriculum, tailored to the individual needs of each student.
  • The consistent use of a structured Behaviour Policy with positive emphasis.
  • Involving students' families and carers in the life of the school and the meeting of students' needs.
  • Promoting an inclusive culture, both within RNIB Pears Centre and through links with other schools, agencies and the community.
  • Identifying, delivering and disseminating good practice in the education of young people with special educational needs.
  • Acting as a conduit and coordinator for multi-agency work, which addresses a child's individual needs effectively.

Find out more about our school policies and governance

Our staff team

The majority of our teachers are Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVIs), or are working towards this qualification. Teaching assistants also undertake additional studies to become specialists in supporting children with complex needs and visual impairment to learn. 

We have a highly specialised team of therapists who support our children and young people. Read more about Therapies offered at RNIB Pears Centre.

Class groups

Class groups are arranged considering not just age but developmental and sensory need. Each class is kept to a small number of usually no more than seven pupils.
The staff team within each class includes:

  • one teacher
  • a senior teaching assistant
  • at least two additional teaching assistants.

Our curriculum

Our school provides a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, which is differentiated to meet our students' individual needs. Lessons are varied, with students taking part in one-to-one work, small group sessions and whole class activities. Achievements are regularly celebrated and shared. Read more about our Curriculum at RNIB Pears Centre.

School facilities and multi-sensory resources

Our purpose-built school offers a range of specialist fully-accessible facilities including:

  • versatile classrooms with space for one-to-one and group activities, as well as physiotherapy and mobility equipment
  • multi-sensory environments
  • a large school hall
  • a library
  • an art and technology room
  • a music room
  • a sixth form centre
  • movement and therapy rooms.
  • meeting and conference rooms.

There are excellent amenities for personal care and overhead tracking for hoists is provided. Corridors are wide and all areas are accessible to wheelchair users. We aim to provide an uncluttered environment in which children and young people can develop their orientation and mobility skills. We also use environmental objects of reference and assistive technology to help children with complex needs understand their surroundings.

Our school kitchen has been awarded the top rating for food hygiene - 5 stars (very good).

Specialist learning resources

Our school at RNIB Pears Centre is well equipped with specialist resources which enable students to access learning in a variety of ways. Switches enable children and young people to operate a range of equipment, and communication aids support alternative ways of interacting. We make extensive use of assistive technology (AT) and low-vision aids (LVAs). We offer a good provision of computers, including iPads, and students are able to access the internet to enhance and extend their learning.

"RNIB Pears Centre's creative solutions have led to Haillo's increased confidence and his much needed development and independence. I have trust and confidence in the support system offered to my son here". Zanobia, Haillo's mum.

Watch our school tour video

Take a tour around our school with Becky:

​School prospectus and term dates

For more information about our special school’s education and curriculum, download our prospectus. Find out our school term dates and key events.

Visit RNIB Pears Centre

We welcome enquiries and visits from parents, carers, children, other family members and professionals. Find out how to find us and book your visit today!

Related links

Donate to RNIB Pears Centre now

Your donation can help us to provide wonderful experiences for children and young people with multiple disabilities and complex health needs who are blind or partially sighted, at RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning.

Donate now