24 Apr 2012

Weston Point College : Annual Performance Report

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New  Development

We are offering provision for girls at Weston Point College form the  ages 11 to 16 years from 1st January 2012. To find out more, or to discuss referral, contact Tim Whittle on 07964 526 875 or Mike Searle on 07554 995 060.

Introduction:

Weston Point College opened in January 2009 and, in a very short space of time, has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of our students and their families.

This school is safe. – Y8 student

 Weston Point’s mission is to offer the most vulnerable and challenging students the opportunity to re-engage with learning. All of our students have had a very negative and challenging experience of education prior to arriving at the college. Typically, they have been excluded from their previous schools and education settings due to their extreme disruptive and violent behaviour. Their attendance has been poor to non-existent and they are frustrated and angry and usually have both incredibly low self-esteem and an emotional fragility which means that any academic learning is a huge challenge.

This report shows the positive impact that we have had on our students. We are proud of our achievements and are pleased that our students leave us (often with extreme reluctance) with significantly increased emotional resilience, improved self-esteem and educational attainments which were only a dream when they enrolled at Weston Point.

I do more work here. – Y9 student

 Following our very successful Ofsted Inspection (rated ‘Good’ across all areas), in January 2010, the college has made rapid progress; we have broadened the curriculum, significantly raised attainment, challenged our students to improve and helped them develop team work and inter-personal skills.

 

1.1   Outcomes:

A key challenge for the college is to enable the students to move from a negative view of education and learning, where they expect to fail, to helping them to see that education has something to offer them and that they can achieve.

 

1.2   Attainments:

All students follow a personalised learning programme which is based on their prior attainment and an assessment, by our Educational Psychologist, of their learning style and potential. This has enabled us to improve dramatically both the individual and overall academic attainment of our students. This year we had six students leave Weston Point at the end of Year 11 with qualifications and they have all progressed in to further education or gained full time employment.

NS – 6 A* – C GCSEs –  at6th Form College studying A levels in preparation for University.

KS –GCSE’s Maths, General studies and 6 ELC Level 3 qualifications –

studying Preparation for Armed Forced

JJ – 5 ELC Level 3 qualifications – studying Construction

JS – 5 ELC Level 2 & 3 qualifications – Full time employment in Catering

JP – 2 ELC Level 1 & 2 qualifications – Key skills foundation course

RR –  GCSE’s Maths, General Studies and  5 ELC Level 3 qualifications – Studying Mechanics

The qualifications received far out performed the expectations at placement.

 

I can get qualifications here – Y11 student

 This represents an amazing achievement for our students. We are confident that it would have been impossible for them to have reached this level of attainment in their previous placement.

All of our leavers have gone on to further education, ranging from 6th Form College (and hopefully later to university), to vocational courses in their local college. We know that this will be a challenge for them as they will not have the level of support provided at Weston Point.

 

Staff are kind, even if I’m in a bad mood – Y9 student.

 1.3   Attendance and Behaviour:

We all know that young people’s attendance and behaviour are dependent on their believing that education is worth attending.  Their behaviour reflects the level of respect they receive from staff and to what extent they feel they have a ‘voice’ in the running of the school.

It is clear, from the attendance rate (90.4% for the whole school in the last academic year and four students had 100% attendance), that Weston Point is worth attending. Many of our students arrived with attendance levels between 20% and 60%.

The behaviour at Weston Point is good. – Ofsted, January 2010

Actually, we believe that, given the behaviours that the students displayed prior to entry to Weston Point, it is actually outstanding. Our Educational Psychologist reports that the social interaction of our students with both their peers and the staff has improved enormously. This is backed up by hard data: no permanent exclusions in two years and only 6 cases of physical intervention in the last academic year compared to 15 in the previous year. Our target is to limit physical intervention to 1 per term and we are confident that is attainable. We know, from our experience and comments from students that this is significantly different from most similar schools.

How Weston Point is developing:

We have now established Weston Point as a quality provision for young people with challenging behaviour and those who have become detached from the education process. We now want to build on our success and develop the range of work and services we offer young people.

We have now established an in-house therapeutic provision for all our students. We have a dedicated space where all students will have regular access to specialist support designed and delivered by Weston Point’s Educational Psychologist. Interventions are structured as part of an individual students’ programme or can be a swift response to a current event or trauma in a student’s life. Their individualised support includes anger management, cognitive behaviour therapy, solution focused therapy and mindfulness training.

The dedicated therapeutic provision builds on the College’s high level of staff expertise in managing student behaviour, raising individuals’ self-esteem.

We have formed a mutually beneficial partnership with Madeley Academy (one of the UK’s top performing and most improved schools). This has enabled Weston Point to benefit from  the outstanding curriculum and assessment systems at Madeley and they have benefitted from our experience of motivating and managing reluctant and disengaged learners.

Earlier this year our students participated in Operation Pathfinder which is a ‘life survival’ challenge operated by ex Special Services soldiers and supported by a highly experienced Youth Worker. The project prepares and debriefs the participants for a 24 hour survival exercise in the wilds of Cumbria. It focuses on building teamwork and team responses to challenges. Not only was it a highly motivating experience, it has the potential to give the students life-changing insights into their behaviour, resilience and their ability to operate collaboratively with their peers. As you can imagine, the students found it a ‘brilliant’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘I did really well – it surprised me’ experience.

We are now developing regular links with a local Elderly People’s Home where our students go to provide a range of support from making a cup of tea, or simply having a chat to or shopping for the elderly people.

The students have engaged in a number of charitable fund-raising events this year including a fun day for Children in Need where students and staff came to school in fancy dress, we had a raffle, a bake off and a cake sale. We also raised money for by selling cakes to local offices and businesses. Students also visited the Salvation Army in Warrington and helped with their Elderly Day Care programme including serving tea, coffee and biscuits, taking part in exercise classes and lunch time prayers.

 

 

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