Westfield School is a Primary age special school which caters for children experiencing difficulties in Communication and Interaction. It is expected that the vast majority of our pupils have a diagnosis of ASd alongside other difficulties such as anxiety, sensory processing, ADHd and dyspraxia for example.
Children experiencing difficulties in these areas are often overwhelmed and experience anxiety and frustration within a busy mainstream setting. This may have caused them to have difficulties consistently accessing learning within a larger class setting and impacted on their ability to make progress within the National Curriculum. Their needs may also have caused them to present behaviours that are challenging to a mainstream school such as running away, refusals or meltdowns.
Westfield offers these children a smaller group setting with plenty of space together with a specialised curriculum and teaching methods to address their needs and make school a positive learning experience. Visitors to the school and parents often comment on how quiet and calm the school is and pupils say that they enjoy their learning and feel safe and cared for.
We provide the full National Curriculum and our pupils attain within the range experienced by mainstream schools. Although our pupils experience very real learning difficulties, their cognitive strengths can be fully exploited to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding so that their attainment falls within the range expected in a mainstream school. We also deliver a specialist learning curriculum designed to address the individual difficulties each child experiences in the following areas:
- Speech, language and communication: with particular focus on the impact this has on learning and social communication
- Sensory processing and integration: with particular focus on developing the child’s ability to manage their own levels of arousal in response to sensory stimuli
- Motor skills: with particular regard to the impact this has on academic recording and using equipment and resources across the curriculum
- Social and Emotional learning: with a focus on recognizing and responding appropriately to emotions within themselves and others
- Emotional regulation: with a focus on developing independence in recognising and responding positively to their emotional state.
- Social skills and behaviours: with a focus on recognizing and using the link between cause and effect of events and choices and consequences of different actions
- Attentional and inhibitory control: with a focus this has on learning, school-based behaviours and forming and sustaining relationships
- Memory and working memory: with focus on the impact this has on learning and behaviour
By addressing the difficulties the child has in processing and responding to the world around them, we are successful in ensuring that the majority of our pupils:
- make expected or better progress across the curriculum
- develop independence in self-management
- become successful members of a group and small community
The school is organized according to the pupils’ underlying special educational needs. This allows us to deliver consistent and individualised curriculums to each pupil throughout the day and within each subject. Each class has a minimum of 1 teacher and 1 Learning Support Assistant.
All pupils focus on learning core skills so that they have full access to, and make progress within, the National Curriculum.
Mars Base: for pupils with Social Cognition Difficulties (ASd).
Four classes of between 6 and 8 pupils.
Pupils in this base focus on learning to be adaptable in applying their learning of core skills across the curriculum and also in acquiring and independently using key social skills to learn successfully within a group/class situation. Pupils also learn to develop their introception so that they become more independent in regulating their anxiety or confusion.
Jupiter Base: for pupils whose prime difficulties are speech, language and communication and emotional regulation.
Two classes of between 6 and 8 pupils.
Pupils focus on developing core communication and cognitive learning skills alongside self-organisation and regulation skills.
Saturn Base: Early learning and school-specific behaviours
Two classes of 6 pupils.
Class1 is for pupils experiencing social cognition difficulties, including ASd. (Pupils not reintegrating back into mainstream at year 3 would progress into Mars base above).
Class 2 is for pupils experiencing cognition/speech, language and communication difficulties. (Pupils not reintegrating back into mainstream at year 3 would progress into Jupiter base above).
Pupils in this base focus on key learning skills, language and vocabulary use and classroom behaviours relevant to their needs so that make maximum progress within the more complex and demanding key stage 2 National Curriculum.
In September 2018, a third KS1/2 transition class will be opening in this base for early KS2 pupils who still need some time to develop core learning and language skills within the KS1 curriculum to ensure successful transition into KS2.
Central to the school’s ethos and aims is that we will address each child’s core difficulties so that they make such progress academically and personally that they can return to mainstream provision. Historically, we have a good record of reintegrating pupils back into mainstream schools prior to secondary transfer.
Reintegration to mainstream has a higher probability of happening for pupils who enter our school before they are in year 4 as we have time to work with them and their parents to fully address their needs and ensure they are independent in managing themselves before they return to a mainstream classroom.
Pupils who remain with us until the end of year 6 go on to attend a range of secondary schools from mainstream to specialist provisions.
We offer support to mainstream and special schools with regard to addressing the learning and social needs of pupils with ASd, underlying causes of challenging behaviour and learning needs in the form of INSET, twilight training, in-reach visits and individual consultations regarding an individual child causing concern. If you wish to access this service, please contact the school to discuss your requirements.