Learning and Development
"Removing obstacles and enabling assess to learning" underpins all of our teaching and learning provision. We aim to develop life skills and as much independence as possible through personalised learning and appropriate support.
We accommodate over 300 pupils aged from 2 years to 16 years in 33 classes and four Hubs. Most class groups comprise a mixture of special needs.
The majority of pupils have Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), and there are also many with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and severe Autistic Spectrum condition (AS). Increasing numbers also have more complex needs. A number of pupils require a high level of individual support, either because of severe medical needs or particularly challenging behaviours.
You are probably aware of the financial restrictions schools are facing as it has been on the national news several times this year. Our Head of Woodlands Hub, Liz Bailey, is taking a year’s leave from September 2017 and we are not in a position to replace her. We have been creative in covering this vacancy in order to ensure each pupil has the most positive learning environment to meet their educational and emotional needs. We decided to reduce from 4 departments [Hubs] to 3. We would rather reduce management costs than cut the number of staff available to work in the classrooms with the pupils. Last year we created the Hubs to reduce the need for a pupil to move class because they are a particular age. Each Department will have a wider age range of pupils; this allows us to group the children according to their need, rather than their age.
We now have 3 Departments: Foundation, Middle Dept and Senior Dept. Our 2 small Hubs are part of the Senior Department, these are The Haven: for pupils who respond well to a quiet environment away from the hustle and bustle of the main school and The Space, our specialist unit in the grounds of the school.
Over their time with us most pupils will move from Department to Department. Many of our pupils cope well with this and even enjoy the moves. Some pupils find it difficult but are supported [by staff and transition activities] to cope and benefit from the changes, which we consider to be good preparation for coping with change in the outside world, and as preparation for the transition to post school settings and adult life. For a small number of pupils moving to a new classroom and/or area of school is extremely traumatic and it is beneficial to reduce the number of class moves they have during their school life. We are a large school and, whilst most pupils enjoy the hustle and bustle of moving down busy corridors during the school day, some pupils find it stressful; hence The Haven Hub.
Alongside this exciting development we are reviewing and developing the curriculum to ensure that all pupils will access the most stimulating, engaging and relevant curriculum possible.
You will find information about each of the Departments using the links on the right hand side.