West Heath School

How we support

West Heath School is an Independent Special School set up specifically to support vulnerable children for whom mainstream schools were unable to meet need due to significant and complex needs. Part of that cohort includes children and young persons with significant mental health difficulties, High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and co-morbid diagnosis.

The varying needs of this cohort impacts upon their ability to engage with their academic and personal development. West Heath School has created a number of different learning environments and approaches to education to enable the broadest cohort of learners to successfully access provision and support to make learning possible. However, we have identified that a small number of learners need a significant uplift in the levels of support and on this basis our provision now incorporates an area for Higher Needs Plus students.  We have developed different levels of intervention and two bespoke environments to directly meet the need.

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Standard placement

KS3 & KS4: £52,500

 

For the majority of our students, West Heath follows the same programme of study as a mainstream environment. The opportunities and choices students have are aligned with mainstream schooling, this ensures that inclusion and opportunity are aligned with the spirit and focus of the Children and Families Act (2014). What we do differently is often unseen, with a seamless integration of therapeutic interventions embedded within classroom environment and teaching pedagogies. Our range of studies is also adapted to allow for social development along side that of academic, with bespoke programmes of study (eg Self Science) taking a lead role in reflecting social responsibility as a core aspect of personal development.

 

Where a specific therapy has been identified within a student’s EHCp, and their diagnosis and levels meet our entry criteria, then this is provided as part of the standard provision. All students have access to our therapy team. If interventions are identified, and short sessions of a particular therapy are required to support a student pass a particular hurdle; this falls within our standard fee structure and will be implemented once it has been established with professionals and parents that this is the right course of action.

 

There is also a degree of flexibility we take to supporting students, with a range of approaches to support access to education and ongoing personal development. This can range from a bespoke timetable to attending courses offsite, educated within different environments, following different approaches.

 

KS5: £37,000

College Placement:

Our standard provision for KS5 is based at one of our college partners. Working primarily with Hadlow College, West Kent College, Mid Kent College, we provide a supported transition back into a mainstream environment. For those students studying with us on this basis, we would expect to see transitioning to independent study in a mainstream environment or to the world of work the following academic year. A general overview of provision is as follows:

 

  • Course fee
  • Access to West Heath tutor
  • WH college space
  • Independent travel training
  • Equipment and additional course costs
  • Access to weekly counselling in college or offsite
  • Access to school based therapies if identified on the EHCP
  • Support in completing course assignments
  • Scaffolding relationship development with college staff and college peer group
  • Support with meeting the challenges of a Mainstream college environment in relation to needs identified in EHCP
  • Work experience

 

Some of the other KS5 providers and colleges we work with:

Holts Academy

TLT Bromley

Horizons

Plumpton College

Bromley College

SuperJam

 

Additional Support placement

KS3 & KS4: £67,500

 

Students whom require additional support will normally be identified after placement with us. This is for those students who are struggling to fully meet the demands of even a Special School environment, with reduced class sizes and specialist intervention already in pace. The additional support will ordinarily be that of a One-2-One Teaching Assistant, whom will work with the student when needed, whether this be in academic subjects, vocational learning and/or social times. They will be put in place when a high level of intervention is needed, ordinarily to ensure a level of engagement, keeping the student and/or other safe or to maintain the general focus of the cohort without a detrimental effect from one person.

 

KS5: £47,000

 

KS5 students requiring additional support may study with West Heath on site or at one of our college partners. Requiring ongoing support in meeting the challenges of an educational environment and / or facing continued difficulty with the social world around them; our additional support students will be working toward achieving the qualifications they require to follow the pathway or career path of their choice as well as focusing on the challenges to working independently in a mainstream environment.

 

School Placement:

  • Access to school tutor through the day
  • Independent travel training
  • Support in meeting challenges associated with barriers to accessing college
  • Course fees
  • Access to weekly counselling in school
  • Access to school based therapies if identified on the EHCP
  • Support in completing course assignments
  • Scaffolding relationship development with peer group
  • Work experience
  • Btec Accredited Courses
  • Core Subjects

 

College Placement:

  • Support during social times
  • Support during the majority of lessons & tutorials
  • Course fee
  • Access to West Heath tutor
  • WH college space
  • Independent travel training
  • Equipment and additional course costs
  • Access to weekly counselling in college or offsite
  • Access to school based therapies if identified on the EHCP
  • Support in completing course assignments
  • Scaffolding relationship development with college staff and college peer group
  • Support with meeting the challenges of a Mainstream college environment in relation to needs identified in EHCP
  • Work experience

 

Some of the other KS5 providers and colleges we work with:

Holts Academy

TLT Bromley

Horizons

Plumstead College

Bromley College

SuperJam

 

High Needs Plus placement – Mental Health

KS3, KS4 & KS5: £82,500

 

For our students whom Mental Health acts as a barrier to accessing their educational we have created a bespoke ‘independent’ unit / school environment. Based alongside HEART, our award winning therapeutic centre, is a bespoke suite of rooms that enables students whom are unable to meet the demands of even a specialist placement, to engage in their learning and make steps toward meeting the challenges which are acting as barriers to being active participants to the social aspects of their daily lives. This allows young people for whom their mental fragility has been a barrier to accessing education, to become reintegrated into an educational setting, to build resilience and to have the confidence to meet challenges within their lives.

 

Each student will have an allocated Key Worker and 1-2-1 support when needed. All lessons can be contained within the units (other than PE), with subject teachers delivering core and broader curriculum subjects. Access to therapists and professionals is fluid, with senior professionals having an active involvement in the education students working within this area. key worker who will be given dedicated time to ensure close and effective liaison between all those involved in her care and support and prompt access to specific therapeutic support from the HEART team as and when necessary. Social times can be spent here, and personal and independent living skills can also be taught in this area, allowing for all aspects of learning and social scaffolding to take place in an environment where students feel safe and secure.

 

Students working within our Higher Needs Plus area are continuously evaluated and moved toward becoming active members of the whole school cohort. A review of provision happens 3 times per year, unless substantial developments have been seen, where a review will happen more quickly. If a student is seen to be transitioning into the main area of the school, and that anxiety levels and associated behaviours are being managed successfully; we would aim for the student to no longer require Higher Needs Plus provision. Upon confirmation from all stakeholders, provision type and the level of support would be reviewed. Fees would also be reviewed at this time and reduced in line with the provision type.

 

High Needs Plus placement – Behavioural Difficulties

KS3 & KS4: £82,500

 

Behavioural difficulties and more extreme physicality and social conflicts continue for some even with the unique support and approach of West Heath. Students’ whom have made progress, yet are still meeting challenges that entail resulting behaviours that are not acceptable within our education setting, may require more than additional support and guidance throughout the day. For these students there can be a range of rationale behind the requirement for placement within our Educated Off/On Site (EOS) provision. The resulting behaviours and the ability to reflect on these behaviours will often be the defining factor for a student to fall within this category. The aim of this provision is to support a student’s behaviour, continue to provide the level of academic input, yet remove the stimuli that is leading to a non engagement or becoming a barrier to learning.

 

In order to achieve this we have invested in a bespoke learning environment on the edge of our grounds. This teaching space will be dedicated to providing those students that follow a ‘continuous’ patterns of behaviour that area considered to create a detrimental effect of their and other peoples learning and safety, yet the opportunity for students to continue learn and develop in both an academic and personal sense. The ethos of the EOS provision is to positively engage with students, identifying areas for development, setting goals to help meet the demands of the whole school community. By capturing students whom are regularly excluded and at the risk of permanent exclusion and placement breakdown; we are able to show a commitment to their continued development, keeping them working with our staff to grow and develop in order to meet the challenges they are facing.

 

Residential placements

KS3, KS4 & KS5: £35,500 (supplement)

 

Residential placements are very much part of a 24hour curriculum approach. Our residential students learn independent living skills as part of their ongoing development, the aim being to provide them with the skills to live independently in the future. Our boarding houses are set up as students’ homes, and follow a routine you would ordinarily find within the average family environment.

Each student will be living in one of the houses that we think will be best suited to their needs, they will have their own room which they are able to make their own, and giving them a quiet space to retreat to. Each house runs independently, usually with the same staff member called the House Manager, who develops a care plan catered to each individual student to support their needs. The House Manager will also keep regular contact with parents / guardians.

Each student is encouraged to develop independent living skills such as budgeting, shopping and cooking as well as to participate in daily activities to develop social skills and friendship circles.  West Heath Residential offers daily activity such as swimming, sports club, art, music and film club. Students are supported in arranging activities specific to their own interests, building upon areas they are likely to take forward into their adult lives either as an ongoing hobby or career.

Education goes beyond the school day, with clubs and activities run by teachers as well as residential staff in order to provide the best opportunities for continued development. Residential students have access to school facilities late into the evening, including the swimming pool, tennis courts and music room.


 

High Needs plus residential placement

KS3, KS4 & KS5: £55,500 (supplement)

 

Our High Needs Plus students will often display the same characteristics and vulnerabilities in the residential setting as they do during the school day. In order to ensure that a continuity of placement is adopted, with support being put in place at every possible touch-point; our High Needs Plus residential placement will allow for additional staffing to be in place to scaffold development and to help maintain a safe and inclusive environment for all students. This may involve the individual student receiving One-2-One support, being encouraged to follow activities where scaffolding learning around individual interests is possible.