Our aim is to provide pupils with a range of opportunities so that they can experience learning in a fun and interactive way.
Pupils in Key Stages 1 & 2 attend Westmorland School.
We provide a broad and balanced curriculum with opportunities for enrichment activities through educational visits and field trips. We take account of the National Curriculum and put an emphasis on pupils developing basic skills in Literacy and Numeracy with cross-curricular links across subjects.
We believe in encouraging pupil’s self-esteem, which is often low when they start with us, by ensuring that the curriculum and tasks set are challenging yet achievable, thus enabling them to further succeed and develop.
Our aim is to foster an excitement and a real love of learning in all of our pupils. We do this by helping them to engage effectively within their provision cluster, which offers them their most appropriate learning environment.
Our classes are divided into the following areas:
BEARS (Becoming, Emotionally Aware, Resilient and Sociable)
BIG CATS (Becoming Independent, Gaining Confidence, Achievement, Therapy, Success)
We follow the national curriculum and have a 3 year rolling programme for each class and follow a topic-based curriculum underpinned by the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme which helps our children to:
Bearcats is a specialist withdrawal provision for pupils in Sun Bears and Moon Bears classes. The setting also supports Key Stage 1 pupils who require additional emotional support and care, as often they join us after a period of time out of education or have only engaged in learning through one to one sessions with teaching staff, separated from their peers.
The aim of the provision is to allow pupils to experience their learning through play based activities in a calming and relaxing environment, located in the sensory garden. The time spent in Bearcats allows pupils to build their confidence and self-esteem in a nurturing environment, which will then support them to successfully reintegrate back into their class so that they engage with learning and continue to develop.
In response to the increased number of referrals for younger pupils, we have developed our Key Stage 1 ‘continuous provision’ (5-7 years of age) to provide pupils with an Early Years’ style curriculum.
The provision is supported by experienced and skilled staff, with a Key Stage 1 lead, who all work together to provide pupils with a stimulating and creative curriculum, matched to their developmental needs. The aim is to enable and encourage pupils to learn how to play and develop their basic co-ordination and literacy skills so that they can access learning again.
Pupils are also given the opportunity to take part in activities outside of the classroom, such as forest school and horse assisted learning, to help them to build their confidence and develop a range of skills to support their personal development.
This offer complements the school’s existing Bearcats nurture provision as it welcomes Key Stage 1 pupils in Sun Bears and Moon Bears to access the class, when required.
Since 2015 the school has implemented an iPad per child policy to break down the barriers to learning and to encourage our pupils to work independently as well as collaboratively, so that they become confident learners and develop critical thinking.
The innovative practice of using iPads has allowed learning to take place outside of the classroom so that pupils can have the opportunity to develop real world engagement to progress and improve their social skills, whilst evolving their IT skills simultaneously.
The iPads have also allowed teachers to personalise learning within the classroom enabling pupils to take responsibility and show creativity in the way they learn.
The development of the iPad scheme has also given our pupils the chance to take on the much coveted role of a ‘digital leader’. Each class in the school has an elected digital leader who can offer their expertise in lessons and break times to share the skills they have developed. An exclusive part of this role is that the team of leaders are able to access and test the latest innovations in technology at local universities, enabling them to further enhance their knowledge and skills.
This concerted team effort has resulted in our school being recognised by Apple and accepted as an Apple Distinguished School. This highlights the school’s offer in providing an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages pupils and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.
We provide young people with unrivalled levels of therapeutic support, both in terms of the expertise and experience of our in-school staff and the wide range of therapies offered.
Our Therapeutic Approach
We have an extensive Clinical Team, who are able to offer our young people within our school a truly personalised and comprehensive package of therapeutic support.
Our staff have a wealth of experience and qualifications in teaching and caring for pupils with Special Educational Needs. They have also received training from Witherslack Group’s Clinical Team, which includes clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and mental health practitioners.
Teachers and teaching assistants are extremely well equipped in providing appropriate support to meet the needs of our pupils and establish a positive and engaging learning environment. The education staff consists of a stable and experienced team and the professional development of teachers and teaching assistants is supported through regular internal and external training. This ensures extremely effective teaching practices are in place and lesson activities are well-planned to support learning.
The Pastoral Care Team develop excellent links with parents, carers and families, as well as professionals involved with a pupil. They also provide additional support, when required, to help pupils engage in classes.
We are dedicated to the development of the ‘whole child’, focusing on areas such as independence, self-esteem, resilience, making safe choices and communication.
All this support allows each child, whatever their needs, the opportunity to engage and enjoy their education.
The Pastoral Care Team ensure that all pupils’ well-being is constantly reviewed and developed, and that strong links are made between school and home.