West Heath School

Working Towards Independence

Here in boarding we like the students to feel part of a community.  Our aim is to develop the independent living skills of each individual to get them ready for the big wide world. 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. The houses are given a weekly food budget and students who are working towards living independently take charge of their own food shopping and will budget and cook for themselves. We will encourage students and their housemates to help staff keep the house clean and tidy. We create a homely environment for you so you will feel as comfortable as possible.

Students are encouraged to participate in daily activities to develop social skills and friendship circles.  We like the student to be kept busy so endeavour to offer activities daily such as swimming, sports club, Art, Music and film club. We like to encourage students to become part of our local community, and will support them in arranging activities specific to their own interests. Students also get money each week for an activity of their choice which normally takes place on a Thursday, many students choose to go out for dinner, go to a local shopping centre and we also arrange group trips such as go-karting, Laser quest or seaside visits.

Good behaviour is rewarded, and each student has daily targets which they are scored on by their house manager. These scores are added each week and equate to their ‘merit money’ which they are able to save up and spend on games, activities and trips out.