The children and young people who attend our school are the centre of everything we do. Respect and ambition for each pupil are at the heart of the school, alongside a belief in each child's potential.
Our pupils have a wide range of learning needs including severe, profound and complex learning difficulties and many have a broad range of additional special educational needs, including hearing or visual impairments, epilepsy or other health conditions, and autistic spectrum disorder.
Our school values are summarised by the Woodlands TRAIL:
Together we Raise Aspirations for Independence and Life-long learning.
Our school motto is
“Together we grow and learn”
This is about everyone – parents, staff, governors and the wider school community – working in partnership to ensure that every child can succeed and reach their full potential. To achieve this, and to carry out our role as governors effectively, we need to know what issues are important to you (so we remain responsive) and ensure that you know what issues the governors are discussing (so that we remain accountable).
The curriculum initiatives, the commitment by the staff to excellence and our aspiration for the children and young people results in outstanding achievements. This is expressed through the way the school plans, develops, delivers and evaluates.
Woodlands School is said to be an innovative and dynamic place to be.
We would be delighted to welcome you to visit us to experience our lovely school for yourself and meet some of the team on one of our Woodlands Tour dates. The tour is open to everyone: families, other professionals and local charities.
If you are interested in us and want to see what we do here then please give us a call to book on 01253 316722.
At Woodlands we personalise our offer as much as possible to meet the individual needs of the children and young people. Within class, teachers plan for each child and young person, and try to find unique ways to unlock their potential.
We have a very wide range of choices and interventions within our curriculum which enrich our offer and give greater opportunity to meet additional needs. To support this we use the expertise of a huge range of outside agencies and partnerships. They work with our young people but also train and support our staff in developing a greater skill base.
As a result, we think our curriculum has the flexibility needed to meet need whilst being creative, imaginative and stimulating.
What type of SEN do we cater for?
Woodlands School caters for students with Complex Needs including those with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and those with Multi-Sensory Impairments.
How do we support my child or young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?
The head teacher works with the staff team to oversee and plan the educational programme for your child, Teachers work in partnership with parents and carers, and the other professionals who support your child. They then produce a Personalised Learning Programme for your child which details the specific educational and care arrangements in place.
We have an open door policy at Woodlands and parents are encouraged to contact us at any time to discuss their child’s progress. We also invite parents in to school on a termly basis to discuss their child’s progress and share goals.
Who will work with my child or young person and how often?
The class teachers and their teaching assistants will work with your child on a daily basis to ensure progress is achieved. Each class has planned programmes involving teachers, teaching assistants and therapy support.
Who will explain to me what is in place to support my child or young person?
We value productive partnerships with parents and carers and work hard to build close relationships with you. Teachers and class staff ensure parents and carers are fully informed. We meet at least termly to discuss in detail the progress and plans for your child. Home/ school diaries ensure that parents are kept up to date with what is happening in school. This is also the opportunity for you to record what is taking place at home or any concerns you may have.
How are the governors involved?
Our governors strategically monitor and evaluate all aspects of school development. Regular termly governor meetings ensure that governors are up to date will all educational approaches and strategies. The governors come in to school between meetings to support the Senior Leadership Team with specific aspects of school life.
Will my child or young person have consistent support from staff known to them?
Your child will be based in a class group within one of the three departments in school. Your child may also have the opportunity to work with a wider variety of staff and students in school through other activities such as Schools Alive music, Blackpool FC Community Trust and drama productions.
Will staff be given time to plan and prepare materials, activities and lessons to enable my child or young person to access the curriculum?
Our teachers have access to planning and preparation time to ensure all students learn as well as possible. Time after school is also set to help our teachers and teaching assistants to train and meet as a class team.
Our curriculum is specifically adapted to ensure we apply an effective child centred approach to learning.
How will you know how effective your arrangements for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are?
We target set and measure all of our students’ progress using a variety of specifically designed assessment tools. These assessments focus on progress in both academic and developmental milestones.
What is your approach to personalisation?
Every pupil in the school has a 'One Page Profile' that outlines the key support information required for anyone working with them. These are written with parents and updated on at least an annual basis.
Woodlands School has a child centred approach to learning. The use of our rigorous and ongoing assessment ensures that teaching adapts and responds to the changing needs of each student. Effective home/school collaboration supports this process and ensures appropriate personalised learning is realised. Summary reports are shared with parents.
How will both you and I know how my child or young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
There is a parent/carer meeting held every term to discuss your child’s achievements and progress and to plan for the next steps. In addition a termly report is sent home outlining the progress and achievements that term.
Once a year, your child will have an annual review of their Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan. This brings together your views along with those of school and everyone who helps your child to look at progress and to ensure that the provision remains appropriate.
We also ensure that contact between home and school is constant through the use of Tapestry, electronic newsletters, text messages and social media updates. Parents are constantly kept up to date to ensure they are fully informed of activities and progress.
We recognise that some pupils have significant communication impairments which potentially limits their opportunity to play an active role in school life. However we are 100% committed to ensuring that all pupils are involved in all aspects of school life. Therefore, we are fully committed to using a range of communication support programmes and using parents as advocates to ensure that everyone is listened to.
We want to work very closely with you and for you to be involved in planning you child or young person’s education.
We welcome ongoing dialogue and discussion between home and school.
Do you offer any parent training or learning events?
Parent training events are offered throughout the academic year. The learning events on offer are needs led and decided upon by constant evaluation of training and parent/carer advice.
We always welcome ideas for future training and support sessions.
What pastoral, medical and social support is available for children with SEND?
In addition to the ongoing support from your child’s class and department teams, we have a dedicated nursing team and access to therapy services within school. We also work in partnership with children and adult social care and other partner agencies to ensure appropriate ongoing support.
What support is there for behaviour?
We have a positive behaviour approach which is supported by a comprehensive Behaviour Policy and Individual Behaviour Support Plans where appropriate.
How will my child or young person be supported to enable them to contribute their views?
We believe strongly that all of children have a voice and should be enabled to make choices. We ensure that every child’s preferred communication strategies are clearly identified and outlined in their One Page Profile. This may be through sign, use of symbols, vocalisation, gesture or augmentative and alternative technologies. All children are encouraged to indicate how they feel and action taken if a child is unhappy.
We have a School Council with representatives from each class. The School Council often takes an active role in many decisions made in school.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting, school or college?
- Qualified teachers of deaf and hearing impaired children
- Qualified teachers of blind and visually impaired children
- Teachers and Teaching Assistants trained to carry out sensory assessments
- Teachers qualified in working with pupils who have autism
- Makaton Trainers
- MAPA Trainers
- Cygnet Trainers
- Early Bird Trainers
- Centaur Trainers
What other services do you access including health, therapy and social care services to meet the needs of young people and support families?
- Nursing team
- Physiotherapy team
- Occupational Therapy team
- Speech and Language Therapy Team
- Social Care:
- · Disabled Children’s Service
- · Learning disability Team- Adult Services
Local Authority Contacts:
Statements and Education Health and Care Plans
SEND Assessment and Commissioning Team
Tel: 01253 476553
What staff training is in place to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
As a special school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, our entire focus is meeting those complex needs. To do this we ensure all staff are appropriately trained to meet the needs of the children. Our professional development framework has three strands: essential; core; and elective.
Our in-school training programme prioritises the essential and core training for all staff. In addition we strive to ensure that staff are able to extend their skills, knowledge and understanding into areas of particular relevance to the school and in line with their own interests.
How accessible is your environment?
We offer a special school which is fully accessible to children and young people with mobility and sensory impairments. The school has level access throughout, has overhead tracking hoists in some areas with mobile hoists being used where overhead hoists are not available. There are accessible toilets and changing spaces throughout the building. We have specialist resources to meet a variety of needs including a Sensory Room and we are working with the Friends Association and other agencies to raise funds for an Interactive Soft Play Room and Outdoor Sensory Space.
Woodlands School aims to provide an environment where Total Communication is accepted, valued and developed, where pupils can interact, express needs and preferences, make choices, ask questions, make friends and express feelings.
How will you prepare and support my child or young person to join the school?
Admissions to Woodlands School are arranged by Blackpool Local Authority Parents/carers should contact the Casework Officer within the SEN Assessment and Commissioning Team to discuss the options and decider, through consultation which school will best meet your child’s needs.
SEN Assessment and Commissioning Team
Children who have special needs are usually referred to us through the process of writing or revising a Statement of Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan. It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to write or revise a statement, although as parents you may have instigated it yourselves. Many people may be involved in the process including doctors, educational psychologists, teachers from previous schools, Early Years Support, therapists to name but a few.
Any parent considering admission to Woodlands is welcome to visit our school to see the provision we offer, meet the staff and chat to the pupils.
Once it is decided that your child or young person is coming to Woodlands School, we prepare in a number of ways: further visits to the school; meeting with your class and class teacher at home and at school; multi-agency meetings; and phased induction dependant on needs and requirements.
How will you support them to move on to the next stage of education or move on to adult life?
We ensure that all student information is readily available to any new setting. Transition meetings also help by ensuring we communicate clearly with another setting everything that should be in place.
At the age of 19 our students move on to a variety of service providers or to college. This process is completed in partnership with: parents and carers; The Careers Service; The Transitions Team, The Learning Disability Team and College or Service Provider representatives to ensure a smooth post 19 transition.
How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child or young person will receive?
Decisions about support are driven by each child’s Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan. The assessment process resulting in an EHC Plan or statement will be completed prior to your child’s registration at Woodlands School by Blackpool Special Educational Needs Assessment and Commissioning Team.
How will you judge if the support has had an impact?
Continual assessment takes place throughout your child’s time at Woodlands This is to ensure progress is mapped and built upon. This is shared with parents on an ongoing basis through home/school books, telephone conversations, parents meetings and through the school review process. Parental input is welcomed and encouraged.