West Lea School believe that to truly flourish children must feel valued, we focus on what each child can achieve and celebrate their successes. Recognising that every one of our pupils has quite specific requirements, we also place great importance on personalised learning. By bringing learning to life through trips, clubs, work experience and other extra-curricular activities, we encourage independence and develop the interests that help prepare each child to take their place in society.
Our vision is to seek an enriched understanding of the needs of our children, so that the response is targeted and effective, delivering the best possible outcomes. Through this deepened knowledge, and via the skills and expertise of the staff at the school, including the thoughts and wishes of our children and their parents, we seek to ensure that the outcomes for our children are:
• Our children have access to ‘peer’ groups and develop friendships and interests.
• Each child feels part of the school and local community, fostering a true vision for inclusion.
• Each child has access to high quality teaching, which develops social and self-care skills for future independence.
• Each child feels confident and respected by others, and has the opportunity to experience success and achievement at every level.
• Each child encounters the fundamental outcomes of physical and emotional well-being, and a platform for communication and personal safety, leading to higher level outcomes of enjoyment, achievement, feeling loved, valued and respected.
AIMS: Our aim is to work beyond standard ‘developmental’ and ‘teaching’ models, with a broad/widened definition of these key concepts that takes full account of our children’s needs, capabilities and aspirations for the future. A reality is that full independence and making an economic contribution is not something that some of our children can achieve. However, our vision, aims and ethos looks to celebrate the achievements of each child, within the context of his/her abilities and potential. Our focus is on paying attention to ‘fundamental’ outcomes, such as maximising communication abilities, which opens doors to opportunities to socialise and be active.
• An understanding of these ‘interrelationships’ allows the school to take a ‘holistic’ approach to the development and education of each child, as a result the aims are described as:
- Developing ‘communication’
- Socialising and having friends
- Being involved and having the opportunity to exercise choices
- Keeping children safe
- Working towards ‘economic well-being’
ETHOS – (THE WELL-SPRING): West Lea is a school of independence and opportunity, with an ethos of empowering each child to be as independent as possible. Independence is a ‘broad’ term used in many ways and in differing contexts. The West Lea School ethos of ‘Learning for Life’ is based on the following principles:
• Creating activities and experiences
• Education and Learning
• Self-care and life skills
• Feeling loved, valued and respected
• Identity and self-esteem