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Curriculum Vision

"...very proud of our broad educational offer"

At West Heath School, our primary function is to rebuild lives through education.  Working with society’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, West Heath School’s curriculum is designed to re-engage students into learning, stimulate their creativity and broaden their opportunities. 

We pride ourselves on having an exceptionally broad and diverse curriculum, offering a wide range of subjects, coupled with high-quality facilities and adaptable teaching styles. 

The West Heath School curriculum is rooted in the principles of being:

  • rich in opportunity
  • challenging and stimulating
  • building cultural capital

"Our curriculum is a framework to support personal, social and academic development.  Children can flourish, learning to succeed and thrive"

Welcoming students into the school at all ages and from various, often very challenging and disadvantaged starting points, our curriculum is designed to be accessible, varied and stimulating.  Students need to experience success and to settle back into a learning environment, often after missing consecutive years of school.

Each subject is now embarking on the process of designing a curriculum programme which meets the aims of the WHS curriculum. Each subject is developing criteria of threshold knowledge and skills to ensure cross-phase development and progression. 

Our core offer includes Life Skills and Self-Science - two subjects rooted in developing cultural capital and exploring PSHE, promoting our focus on preparation for adulthood.

Many of our students are ‘hard to reach’ due to complex mental health needs or social issues.  To help these students engage with learning, we have an Education Off Site department, designed to support all learners to access a modified curriculum through home-tuition and placement-based vocational learning.

Within each curriculum programme there will be content that can be used with pupils across the ability range.  All of our students have Special Educational Needs but our approaches ensure the engagement, stretch and challenge of our more-able learners.

Through a range of different qualification types, students have the opportunity to achieve formal certification at both KS4 and KS5, supporting progression into Further and Higher Education.  We pride ourselves on developing the ‘whole child’ through the approaches we take to learning.  For example, reading is focused on ‘functional reading’ – working with students to learn key words and phrases associated with their particular area of interest or vocational study.  Embedded in our curriculum ethos, from Year 6 through to Year 15, is a focus on preparation for adulthood and broadening what would otherwise be, very narrow opportunity choices. 

We are very proud of our broad educational offer and this is often what surprises new stakeholders. Aside from our high-performing core subject departments, we also have thriving Creative and Technology Faculties. 

Alongside our conventional curriculum offer, we also provide students with opportunities for reflection in Self Science; outside discovery in our Learning Lodge and most importantly, every student will have Life Skills lessons on their timetable. Our Life Skills curriculum is personalised to each learner and will encompass independent travel training, personal hygiene, PSHE and RSE

Our school is divided into:

Key Stage 2 (Year 6)

In Key Stage 2, we follow a Primary School model, with one teacher delivering the majority of subjects in a designated KS2 area. We also work towards finding the balance of supporting students ready for their transition into Key Stage 3 by introducing more teachers and classrooms across their timetable so that they are used to more familiar faces across the school.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

At Key Stage 3, we offer a more traditional secondary school model, with students having a pastoral tutor who registers them each morning and afternoon. 8 lessons per day are split across core, creative and technological subjects, as well as time being made on the timetable for a more therapeutic and reflective form of study in Self-Science and our Learning Lodge outdoor provision in a woodland setting.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

Key Stage 4 comprises of option subjects being taught in the afternoons and core subjects and Self-Science being delivered in the morning. Our learners can choose from a broad range of subjects for their KS4 studies and we are able to offer a flexible array of qualification types and levels, ranging from Entry Level courses to GCSE full courses. 

Sixth Form (Post-16 Years 12-14)

Sixth Form studies with West Heath School are predominantly delivered offsite via one of our external partners, facilitated by West Heath staff. Most students will at Sixth Form level, begin their reintegration into mainstream settings, supported by our experienced staff. The majority of our students will choose a local partner FE college where we have a staffed base room and can support the students with their pastoral and academic needs in between their timetabled lessons and seminars.