West Lancashire Community High School is a secondary specialist school for pupils age 11-19 years with a wide range of learning difficulties, including, ASD, PMLD, SLD, MLD, HI, and VI.
The school can provide the following:
Accessibility and Inclusion
• This school is a Specialist School for Communication and Interaction.
• The school is all on one floor, with excellent security and is totally accessible for wheelchairs. There is disabled parking, toilets, hygiene rooms and Sound-field System. There is also a well- resourced Light room and separate Sensory Room including assistive technology such as Tobi eye gaze equipment.
• All of our Policies are available from school. The main ones appear also on our website. They can be made available in any font size as requested. There are also translation facilities available to support parents.
• The whole school has pictorial and Braille signage throughout. There is also height adjustable furniture in nearly all rooms.
Teaching and Learning
• Most pupils arrive here with a Statement of Special Educational Need but it could be for a wide range of difficulties. Once in school pupils are regularly assessed in a variety of ways and these are reported to parents in Individual Education Plans and at Annual Reviews.
• In the classroom we have qualified Teaching Assistants who support pupils both academically and physically to meet their individual needs.
• Some classrooms are specialised for complex needs eg-The Learning Suite for pupils with more complex autism, or The Sensory Room.
• We currently have a Speech Therapist and an assistant who support pupils with language and communication needs. Additionally there is provision for pupils with hearing impairments to receive specialist support.
• We have our own Occupational Therapist but are also well served by NHS occupational therapists and physiotherapists.-We also have the support of a Young Peoples Service PA who will become more involved with parents and pupils as they approach transition times.
• As a Specialist School for Communication and Interaction all the staff are well trained and continue to update their skills through a rigorous CPD programme. We are also linked to two Specialist Teaching Schools which provide us with an additional network of support for staff. All have received training in special needs and autism and some have specialist skills and qualifications in strategies for autistic pupils.
• The curriculum is designed to meet the variety of levels of need the pupils have. We have six curriculum pathways that can be flexible to meet combination needs. Within this flexible approach we have successfully supported pupils who receive their education off-site for a variety of reasons.
• Pupils are entered for GCSE Art and Design and Entry Level GCSEs in a wide range of subjects in year 11. They also have opportunity for work experience and a weekly college link. Work Experience is offered in a wide range of settings including our own horticulture provision which includes a very large greenhouse and extensive outdoor areas. Other opportunities include conservation and Martin Mere. Y11 pupils with more complex needs have access to The Asdan Challenge programme for which they receive external accreditation and also visit Beaumount college.
• In Post-16, pupils follow OCR Life and Living at levels 1-3. In this extended provision pupils follow work experience, college link and school based work every week.
• Educational visits play a huge part in the learning of our pupils. Visits are linked to education, behaviour and wellbeing
• Residential experience is also part of our provision and all pupils should have the opportunity for a visit during their time in the school.
• Parents are welcomed to Annual Reviews and two parents evening each year. Additionally we have an open door policy for contact with the Headteacher who will discuss issues and arrange for appropriate staff to meet with parents as appropriate.
Reviewing and Evaluating Outcomes
• Annual Reviews of Statements/EHC plans and LAC reviews are held on an annual cycle although arrangements can be made for interim meetings as appropriate.
• Care plans and behaviour plans are also reviewed and pupil’s progress is tracked to ensure that the impact of the provision is appropriate.
Keeping Children Safe
• Any potential risks are identified by the Headteacher at the first visit with parents before pupils come to the school
• At the beginning and end of the school day most pupils arrive and depart on provided transport. Pupils are met from and escorted to the buses in an orderly manner. As we jointly manage transport with Travel-care we train all the drivers and escorts ourselves and liaise closely with Travel-care if there are any transport issues. There are designated areas for drop off and pick up where the pupils are safe from other traffic. A few pupils are trained by us to use public transport and parents who collect pupils are welcomed at a separate entrance where they can liaise with staff if necessary.
• Each key stage has their own designated leisure area for playtimes. At lunchtimes clubs are provided where there is close supervision of the pupils.
• Risk assessments of the environment are carried out by staff regularly overseen by Headteacher and Business Manager .Individual pupil risk assessments take the form of Care Plans and Behaviour Plans and are carried out by teaching staff. All visits are risk assessed by staff and overseen by an Educational Visits Coordinator.
• Risk assessments for PE and swimming are carried out as part of planning for teaching that subject and are overseen by The Deputy Headteacher.
• We have a policy for Care and Control of pupils, a Discipline Policy and an Anti- Bullying Policy. These should be read together and are available on the website.
Health including Emotional Health and Wellbeing
• Parents complete a medication form for pupils prior to their arrival at school. This includes medication they take at home (useful if they need to go to hospital if they have an accident in school) and any long term and short term prescriptive medication we are to give These forms are updated annually. Medication is always administered by two staff who countersign to ensure accuracy.
• In the event of a pupil having a condition such as epilepsy we draw up a care plan with parents/carers, specialist nurse and school. This will include any rescue procedures. The plans are different for each pupil in line with the type and pattern of their condition. All our staff have had training in the management of epilepsy. This is provided by the specialist nurse.
• In the event of an emergency our staff have had first aid training. Any incident which requires further treatment is dealt with by calling an ambulance. At that point parents will also be contacted so that they can meet us at the hospital. A member of the school staff will always travel in the ambulance with the pupil.
• All staff have a comprehensive training programme covering care and education issues. These will be provided by specialists in the individual area.
• School has their own Occupational Therapist and can draw on NHS OT and Physiotherapists. We have speech therapists who work alongside our teaching team to provide a seamless provision. All of our staff are APEC trained (the framework that speech therapists work from). All these therapies are available on site after parents have given permission for such intervention. Home visits are often arranged for therapists to obtain information/advice from parents.
• Our Nurture groups are available for named pupils. These impact on the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils.
Communication with parents
• Most information required by parents is on the school website.
• Some pupils also have a Home School Link book.
• There is one telephone number for the school. Parents can contact the Headteacher direct for any educational/pastoral issues or the office for any financial/lunch issues.
• We have an Open Door Policy for the Headteacher and Deputy who will then make the information known to any teacher with information on that topic. They will usually ring back within the day. A telephone conversation can be immediate but an appointment can usually be made on the same or the next day. If more people need to be involved in the meeting it may take a little more time to arrange for everyone to be together.
• Annual Reviews of Statement /EHC plans are held on an annual cycle.
• We hold two parents evenings each year. On a bi-annual cycle a Transitions event is held where pupils and parents in West Lancashire can visit around 40 different local and National Providers. Additionally we hold Transition coffee morning each half term to share information from various services with parents.
• Any person in the area who is interested in viewing the school, perhaps for a prospective place in the future can ask for a visit. They will be shown around the school and any queries will be answered.
• Feedback from both parents and pupils is gathered annually in the form of a questionnaire. This is collated and we respond to issues as appropriate.
• We have an active School Council and have had representatives on the Youth Parliament. Every class has an elected representative who is voted for. We also have an Eco Council and Prefects. The School Council make contributions to decisions such as appointments and changes around school. They have also contributed to many LA information gathering exercises.
• We have opportunities through annual questionnaires for parents and pupils to share their views. We also have a higher than average representation from parents on The Governing Body.
• The Governing Body receive information from a wide range of organisations.
• All parents are asked to sign a parental agreement which has the pupils needs at the heart of the concept.
• Pupils who need a Home School diary are provide with one and staff write in it as required. Parents are also able to respond in this way.
What help and support is available for for the family?
• The Headteacher is able to assist with documentation, or arranging for another staff member to assist. The Headteacher will also support as appropriate any requests from benefits offices at the parents request.
• Our post-16 coordinator looks after all transition issues and information sharing. We also have two other departmental coordinators who will assist with information for parents as well as The Headteacher and Deputy.
Transition from Primary School and School Leavers
• School will attend transition reviews at primary school once the school has been identified. A full induction programme is offered to all new pupils. In July two or three full days can be spent in school in preparation for entrance full time. A member of staff has responsibility for y6/7 transfer. Visits are differentiated according to individual need.
• All pupils have access to career guidance through lessons and through access to A Young Peoples Service PA. YPS provide 1:1 interviews with pupils to help them identify possible options available on transition.
• We hold transitions coffee mornings regularly and a transition event in addition to the Review and Parents evenings. Transition team members, YPS, Nurse, Social Care and many others are available at these to answer questions and give support.
• Our school nurse holds a weekly drop in session for pupils and occasionally attends PSCHE lessons to answer questions of a more medical nature about growing up.
Extra Curriculum Activities
• All pupils have access to free lunchtime clubs which are provided in school.
• We have after school clubs Mon to Thurs. These include cookery, art, zumba and other activities throughout the year. There is a charge for the clubs, but some pupils may be entitled to pupil premium to cover this
• In the holiday we run holiday clubs which last the equivalent of three days each week.
• A visit is usually included to somewhere each week.
• All pupils have the opportunity to attend a residential experience at some point during their school life. This will of course be dependent on their behaviour being acceptable. There will be a charge as appropriate. Some subsidy may be possible if the pupil is entitled to pupil premium.
• Social interaction is at the forefront of education at this school. It is based on appropriate behaviour and is consolidated in lunchtime activities and conduct around the school. Pupils are given continual opportunity to work with friends, communicate appropriately with friends and staff and visitors to the school.
• Our YPS PA is able to introduce pupils to appropriate youth club activity if they are 14-19 years old. These will be evening activities in the local community.
• For further information click on the link below