A SPECIAL school Ysgol y Deri returned for a rerun on BBC Two as the new series is being made.

In 2019, cameras first captured the reality of life in Britain’s biggest special education school - Penarth’s Ysgol y Deri.

The series covers first day back at school in September 2021, with the cameras returning to capture the remarkable spirit of the school that provides a place for fun, laughter and achievement to pupils living with a diverse range of disabilities.

In the first episode, we meet sixth-former Gavin and wheelchair bound Grace who is being given state of the art assistance to help increase her independence.

We also watch the first school trip in two years with excitement levels high as the pupils go to Cardiff Castle, then on to Barry Island.

While headteacher Chris Britten looks forward to the start of a new school year, and the pupils returning, he also recalls the pressures the pandemic put on the staff.

Although many schools closed during the pandemic, Ysgol y Deri remained open, providing support for children of key workers.

Trips can also be a stressful experience, and not just for the children.

This is the first trip that newly-qualified teacher Joshua will lead. He admits to being nervous, and jokes that he’s been counting the children every step of the way so as not to lose anyone.

Back at the school, behaviour support teacher Tom checks in with a  Gavin who can struggle to control his emotions and temper. After an outburst later that morning sees the pupil escaping the class, Tom and fellow staff members must act quickly to defuse the situation.

Another pupil that Tom works closely with is Keelan – ‘the king of the corridor’. Keelan thrives on being in the corridor. The staff have put in place a system to help Keelan start his day on a positive note, with the ultimate aim of getting him back in the classroom.

Ysgol y Deri head Chris BrittenYsgol y Deri head Chris Britten (Image: BBC)

Grace getting a new state-of-the-art wheelchairGrace getting a new state-of-the-art wheelchair (Image: BBC)

In an emotional start to the new series, Mr Britten explains why Ysgol Y Deri is so special.

“There is nothing like passion in the staff to ignite passion in the kids, says Mr Britten.

“The more we can do on that side of things the better the school will be.

“You cannot teach it, you walk it and talk it and breath it. You make sure all the people are on the bus with you and the bus is going to go excellent, you do not know where but it’s going to go somewhere great.”

A Special School is filmed in partnership with The Open University.

All episodes of series two are now available on iPlayer.