Wood View Learning Community
Off Tamerton Foliot Road
Tel: (01752) 300101
Headteacher: Andrea Hemmens M.Ed. NPQH
Chair of Governors: Bill Wraight
Welcome to Woodlands School
Welcome to our school. I hope you find the information in this prospectus useful.
At Woodlands School we aim to meet the individual educational needs of all of our
students and aspire to develop engaging, independent young people. We believe
that a partnership with parents is essential to achieving this aim. We work with
parents and other professionals to enable your child to reach their true potential.
We have high expectations of all of our students. Woodlands is a happy
environment where staff and pupils enjoy learning. We believe in developing young
people’s ability to problem solve and become as independent as possible. Our
school is able to offer many specialist facilities having moved to a purpose built
inclusive campus as part of the Wood View Learning Community in 2008. The
location of our school and the partnerships we are creating mean we are able to
enhance the education of all our students. Inclusion is at the heart of what we do,
enabling the development of social relationships while also offering opportunities for
inclusive learning to meet individual needs and wishes. We also support a large
number of young people in Plymouth Schools who have physical disabilities and
mobility difficulties though our outreach service.
We are able to take pupils aged 2 to 19 years of age and our sixth form is
developing alongside our mainstream and special partner schools. This means that
young people can choose from an exciting range of options at 16 which is
broadening horizons and opportunities. We achieve high quality support for pupils
by working closely with speech and language therapists, physiotherapists,
Occupational Therapists, sensory advisory teams, nurses and specialist therapists,
incorporating their written programmes into all of our teaching and learning
opportunities to ensure an holistic approach to personal development at Woodlands.
We have attained a large number of awards for the work we do in school and
ensure that the high quality practices needed to gain the awards are embedded in
our routine practices. We have gained the Basic Skills Quality Mark for our work in
developing literacy and numeracy skills, the ICT Mark for excellence in ICT
provision and access, Arts Mark Gold in recognition of our long and colourful history
in support of creativity development at Woodlands. Woodlands is also an
International School with a number of strong links with schools in other countries
across the world. We are an Investor in People School and strive to develop and
support our staff well so that they can support your children.
We realise that starting a new school is an anxious time for the whole family. We
also realise that this prospectus cannot answer all your queries. Please do not
hesitate to ask any questions that you may have, during or after your visit.
Andrea Hemmens, Headteacher
Woodlands School will provide a supportive and inclusive
environment which offers equality of opportunity to all.
Woodlands will encourage self-confidence, a realisation of self-worth
and allow the whole child or adult to grow and develop to their full
Woodlands School Aims
• Create a happy, secure and supportive learning environment, rich in
creativity and challenge.
• Provide every pupil with a voice that is valued.
• Offer every pupil full and equal access to all areas of the curriculum, taking
into account developmental needs through personalised learning.
• Help each pupil achieve the greatest possible degree of independence
within the areas of intellectual, physical, social, creative, spiritual and
• Prepare each pupil for life beyond school, encouraging a sense of self-
worth and recognition of themselves as part of the community.
• Integrate therapies with curriculum activities wherever possible.
• Value all adults’ and pupils’ contributions to the school’s progress, and
celebrate success and achievement.
• Foster self-confidence, a high degree of responsibility and respect for self
• Ensure all adults access appropriate training and encourage development
to reach their full potential.
How do we achieve our aims?
• We work closely with families to make educational provision which is
• We focus on meeting needs, and developing strengths and abilities.
• The education, care and safety of our pupils is our primary consideration.
• Our pupils have equal access to a curriculum designed to meet their individual
• Woodlands will set realistic but challenging academic targets for each
individual pupil in order that they will maximise their levels of independence
and achieve their potential. This is undertaken in partnership with their
parents/carers and multi-agency teams.
Our success is measured by:
• The young people • Other professionals
• OFSTED inspectors • The school staff
• Local Authority advisors • The Governing Body
• Parents and carers • External accreditations
Woodlands at Wood View Learning Community
Woodlands School is part of an innovative, collaborative federation of schools and
provisions based at the purpose built Wood View Learning Community. We
believe strongly in the power of inclusion to break barriers in education and in
social relationships and all the partners are committed to ensuring every child in
our community succeeds.
Our federated Partners include:
• Wood View Short Break Service
• Sir John Hunt Community Sports College
• Whitleigh Community Primary School
• Centre For Young Parents (Pupil Referral Unit)
• Whitleigh Children’s’ Centre
• Wise Owls Nursery (Private Nursery)
• Community Youth Education
Wood View Learning Community provides opportunity for:
• Access to cross phase working and all through education for all
• Short break provision for young people with disabilities
• Blurred boundaries of traditional educational phases
• Access to specialist teaching facilities
• Access to facilities which will extend the range of learning styles and
• An integrated approach to education across all age ranges
• Community re-generation and Community multi agency provision
We actively support young people to engage in inclusive learning opportunities
during the school week. This is always considered on an individual basis. There
are a range of options that pupils can choose to access inclusion. We actively
support inclusion in our partner mainstream campus schools at Wood View. This
can take the form of support in lessons, play sessions and joint projects. We also
support inclusion in a child’s local school, working closely with our outreach service
to ensure that pupils’ needs are well met during their time there. Some pupils have
1 day in their local primary school to forge links within their community and
Woodlands actively supports this.
Professionals such as Educational Psychologists or Portage Workers may suggest
Woodlands as an appropriate place for your child. They will submit an application
for a place to Plymouth’s Multiagency Joint Admissions Panel if you are in
agreement with this.
All Admissions to Woodlands are made through this route for pupils from any
Local Authority area.
Admissions may take place at any time during the year if places are available.
We encourage prospective parents to visit the school, bringing their child with
them, by attending one of our open days, which are publicised on the school’s
Once a place has been offered we will work with you to find the best way to
undertake a positive transition for your child. We have a supportive process for
managing all our new pupils.
About our school
Woodlands accommodates up to 76 children with physical and sensory difficulties
between the ages of 2 and 19 years. Many pupils have additional medical and
other difficulties that may affect their learning. Our school is a resource which
serves the whole of the South West peninsula; pupils come from Plymouth, Devon
and Cornwall to learn and develop their skills.
We have a wide range of specialist facilities and therapies on site such as
hydrotherapy, dark and white sensory rooms, a creative arts room and highly
trained staff capable of meeting a wide range of needs. We also have access to
specialist teaching facilities on campus such as a learning resources centre, food
and design technology suites, dance studios, trampoline facilities and inclusive
The School Day
School starts at 9.00 am.
Break is from 10.40 – 11.00 am.
Primary Lunch – which includes personal & social development – starts at 12.00
After lunch, there is a range of stimulating play-based activities which run from
12.30 – 1.30pm.
Secondary lunch begins at 12.00 and ends at 1.00, and includes free time for
pupils to socialise and interact with others.
Whole School Assembly is held on Monday mornings and collective worship
happens in each class, each day before leaving school.
The school day ends at 3.15 pm.
Woodlands aims to offer all pupils a broad and balanced curriculum that provides
rewarding and stimulating activities for pupils and helps them prepare for
increasing involvement in a fulfilling social and cultural life. Our curriculum aims
• Promote personal development at the individual’s level and pace
• Develop independence and life skills including self-advocacy and
• Support pupils in making healthy choices;
• Establish a safe, secure and supportive ethos;
• Support learning which stretches individuals;
• Promote self-confidence and positive behaviour; and,
• Support pupils in contributing to the wider community.
We believe that personalised education in a special school context involves
organising the curriculum so as to enable each age group of pupils to access the
curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage or the National
Curriculum at a level appropriate to them. We have a curriculum that works at 3
distinct levels in order to best access pupils to the appropriate level of learning that
is needed. Within our pre-formal curriculum our pupils develop skills across the six
areas of learning in a holistic way that are focussed on developmental progress
rather than subject specific knowledge. Our Semi-formal curriculum continues the
development of individual developmental progress within a holistic framework with
increased subject specific knowledge that is embedded within individual pupil
programmes. Our formal curriculum is based on the National Curriculum which we
deliver through a mixture of topic approaches and single subjects.
Our curriculum addresses the areas of learning, communication, interaction,
sensory impairment or physical impairment. Through differentiating learning
objectives, teaching strategies and approaches within each lesson, we maximise
involvement and learning for each pupil. We plan subject-based lessons to
incorporate cross-curricular content, including the use of a broad range of
approaches to communication – object cues, speech, sign (Signalong or BSL as
appropriate), symbol, gesture / body language, and direct responses. We create
an ethos in which all pupils feel valued, by our response to individuals and by
giving an appropriate emphasis to social, moral, spiritual and cultural education.
We incorporate the use of strategies which we believe to be effective with
particular groups of pupils; for example, PECS, intensive interaction, objects of
reference and sensory integration. We effectively make full use of all members of
the classroom team to support pupils in active learning and additionally, we work
alongside the multi-disciplinary team to promote physical well being through
posture management, the development of language, communication and physical
Our curriculum framework also addresses the specialist curricular elements that
arise from pupils’ particular special educational needs, and the ‘key skills’ (PSHE,
communication, working with others and thinking skills), which are appropriate for
pupils with SEN. Pupils are given the opportunity to acquire, develop, practise,
apply and extend their skills in a range of contexts across the curriculum. Such
• Communication (including total communication approaches, literacy and
• The practical application of number
• Information and communication technology (ICT)
• Working with others
• Problem solving
• Thinking skills
• Independent learning skills
Within the curriculum, pupils' individual needs are met by the parents, medical,
therapy, residential and educational staff working together. The following areas
are of particular importance:
• Supporting the accurate identification and assessment of individual needs in
language and communication.
• Positioning pupils so that they learn effectively.
• Helping pupils to maintain good posture, and maximising their movement,
development and mobility skills.
• Providing accurate ICT assessment, equipment, software and adult support to
maximise pupils’ achievement.
• Helping pupils towards independent eating and drinking.
• Promoting relaxation and support to help pupils manage stress and anxiety.
• Providing palliative treatments for painful or degenerative conditions to ensure
pupils' health and well-being.
• Promoting pupils' autonomy and independence through support and the use of
specialist aids and equipment.
• Developing pupils' self-esteem.
• Allowing pupils' behaviour and alternative ways of communicating to be
acknowledged and understood.
• Where pupils have experiences in our residential provision, we ensure this is
linked closely to their educational targets and provide a 24hr curriculum which
ensures continuity in learning and developing skills.
Entitlement to Specialist Provision
Every child who attends Woodlands School requires a Statement of Special
Educational Need to qualify for a place. This process is usually started in the early
years by professionals outside school although sometimes it may start when a
child is in our nursery (see nursery section). This process involves parents and
professionals in a range of educational, medical and psychological fields
assessing the child’s needs. The Local Authority then considers this evidence and
writes a statement outlining needs (Part 2) and the special provision needed by
the child (Part 3).
In part 3, section B, the provisions that need to be provided by the school for the
child are identified. The statement is reviewed annually in a meeting with parents
and professionals. If changes are required, these are sent, along with appropriate
supporting evidence, to the Local Authority for consideration. Additionally, at this
meeting, everyone present decides if Woodlands School is still the most
Each pupil has an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) drawn up by the parents, pupil,
teachers, assistants and therapists working together. These ILPs are reviewed
and revised termly in February, May and November. Each ILP works towards the
yearly goals that are set for all pupils at their Annual Review of Statement
meeting. Pupils will also work towards other targets which will be part of the
teacher’s planning for lessons but these are not recorded on the ILP. The ILP is
specifically for the areas your child needs to specifically develop in order to make
the best progress in their learning and development.
• Pupils who are “Looked After” have a Personal Education Plan (PEP).
• Pupils with complex medical needs have a Health Care Plan and pupils who
have restricted mobility have a Manual Handling Plan.
• Pupils who attend Wood View Short Break Service have an annual Care Plan
and termly Placement Plan.
• Pupils requiring specialist emergency evacuation procedures have their own
plan both in school and if they attend residential provision (PEEP).
The school offers a wide range of specialist teaching spaces. Where possible,
these specialist areas are matched carefully to pupil needs. Each child’s learning
plan will take into account what is best to promote their total development. It may
be that parents and professionals need to discuss their expectations as what may
be seen as necessary for one child’s education may be very different to another
child’s needs. Each child is seen as an individual and so learning programmes will
necessarily be different.
Woodlands Assessment Nursery Provision
The Nursery provides a supportive, assessment environment for children with a
wide variety of physical, sensory and medical needs. As a result of these
difficulties, children may also experience a delay in skills development or learning
rate. The Nursery caters for children within the age range of 2 to 4 years.
Attendance is part-time up to 5 mornings per week, 15 hours in total. Parents can
arrange joint placements with a local playgroup or private nursery if it is thought
appropriate. Transport is available for families who request it.
Children are assessed during the first term using targets in the Nursery
Assessment booklet and thereafter using another assessment tool, appropriate to
each individual child. An Educational Psychologist will also see children in the
Nursery to undertake assessments prior to statementing processes. An Individual
Education Plan is developed in consultation with other staff and parents and
renewed on a termly basis.
Children may move on to other placements at a time that is appropriate to their
needs after full consultation with parents and professionals. The placement may
be in Woodlands primary department, another Special School, a supported
mainstream placement with a Statement or a mainstream place without a
Statement. Parental views and children’s abilities and their speed of skills
development will determine the next placement.
The nursery is a large, purpose built room with changing facilities. There is also a
dark sensory room for children who require visual stimulation on a very regular
basis. The floor is mainly carpeted, with tiled/lino covered areas for wet play and
creative activities (sand, paint, playdough, cookery). Outside is a secure play
space. Inclusion opportunities take place with children attending the Children’s
Centre and this is very successful for everyone!
Children who attend the nursery access a range of activities such as using musical
instruments and singing, role play, sand and water play, painting and collage,
story time and rhymes, puzzles, building, pretend play, counting and making
marks in addition to a varied physical curriculum and access to ICT. Activities are
carefully planned around the child-centred Early Years Foundation Stage
framework to ensure children are able to develop crucial skills such as listening
and responding, exploring and predicting, awareness of self and others and
experimenting in a supportive environment.
Older children in the nursery have access a curriculum based on the National
Early Years Foundation Stage guidance covering six areas of learning;
Communication, Language and Learning; Mathematical Development; Creative
Development; Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Physical Development;
Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Children access a range of
independent, child-led, adult-led, individual, small group and whole class activities,
which are tailored to individual needs. Activities include sharing stories, writing and
visiting the library, counting and recognising numbers, shapes and measures,
investigating how things work, using paint and materials to create artwork,
cooking, music (listening and performance) and role play. This is in addition to a
physical curriculum and access to ICT. All activities, morning and afternoon, are
planned around a termly theme such as “Me, Myself and I”, “Bears” or “Transport”
to engage and sustain their interest.
Children have regular access to information and communication technology and
they are first encouraged to use a switch to operate toys. This leads on to the
switch/touch screen operated programmes on a computer and then the use of a
joystick, mouse or keyboard to access programmes as appropriate.
Physiotherapists and the speech and language therapists regularly work in the
class environment to reassure children and share skills with staff to ensure greater
continuity of skills development. Most children have a weekly session in the
hydrotherapy pool at the school. The children take part in a number of other
physical activities including a physical education session in the hall, soft play
sessions and for some children a music and movement session. Trips out are
carefully linked to the curriculum.
The class has a teacher and teaching assistants to provide high levels of staffing
at all times. Staff are trained in Paediatric resuscitation and first aid to ensure the
safety of pupils both in school and on school trips. Links are maintained with
specialist teachers such as the advisory teachers for children with sensory
impairment. The Educational Psychologist, often visits pupils in the nursery and is
available to families on request through school to provide advice.
Aquatots is a swimming group for children who are not yet attending full time
school. It aims to cater for those with physical difficulties and/or severe visual or
Sessions are normally jointly run by the Nursery Teaching Assistant. Advice is
available on methods of promoting physical development and also on the
development of visual and auditory skills through sensory stimulation. The nursery
environment is available for use after the swimming session. Parents are
encouraged to stay on for refreshments after the session which often enables
people to chat, ask questions and observe their children interacting with others.
The aims of Aquatots are:
• To enable parents of children with special needs or severe visual/hearing
impairments to meet together in a relaxed environment, to share
experiences and enjoy each other’s company.
• To introduce children to the benefits of water based activity.
• To use water to work with the children to improve their motor skills.
• To allow children to relax in the water and enjoy a sociable time whilst also
receiving good movement to assist their mobility.
• To offer support and advice to parents of children with physical and/or
sensory disabilities, and to assess and monitor their children’s progress.
Our primary department provides a broad curriculum for pupils from Year R
(Reception) to Year 6. In the first year our children follow the Early Years
Foundation Stage curriculum at a level that is appropriate to their needs. Pupils
from Year 1 to Year 6 follow a developmental curriculum and are placed in classes
of children at a similar developmental stage so that their access to learning is
appropriate and meaningful. Throughout the day therapies and individual
programmes are integrated into lessons in order to support the whole child at all
times. All our classes make good use of our exciting learning spaces on Campus
including outdoor classrooms. We enjoy many activities with our partner primary
school such as visiting theatre groups and joint project work. The curriculum in the
Primary phase of Woodlands School has been developed over the years to best
meet the changing needs of our pupils whilst providing rigour and challenge to our
young peoples’ learning. Our topic cycle is designed to support this approach
offering breadth and diversity to the areas covered in the Key Stage 1 and 2
At Woodlands School the 11-14 curriculum (Key Stage 3) follows the full National
Curriculum which is taught, modified and adapted to meet every child’s individual
needs. The children are taught in small classes of mixed ability groups, concentrating
on a holistic approach to teaching. This includes their individual health needs as well
as the curriculum needs which cover the core skills in English, Maths, Science and
ICT. These are transferable skills needed for all subjects including the practical
aspects of the curriculum. The children are given every opportunity to experience
success in learning and to achieve their potential. Opportunities are made available for
children to work towards accreditations where appropriate and to experience extra-
curricular activities involving visits and outdoor activities. At the end of Key stage 3 the
children will be prepared and ready for the foundation learning challenge.
At Woodlands School the 14-19 Department (Key Stages 4 and 5) has implemented
the Foundation Learning program that will engage and motivate our students to work
towards a range of approved qualifications. Woodlands School delivers an
inspirational and meaningful personalised curriculum that will develop the necessary
knowledge, skills and understanding to continue to move forward and succeed at
following a pathway based on their aspirations for the future. The Curriculum will be
based on three aspects; the first aspect is a Vocational element involving off campus
education, work experience and life skills, the second is Personal Social and Health
Development and finally Functional Skills which includes English, Maths and ICT.
Woodlands vision for our students is to provide a holistic educational opportunity that
will finally lead towards independent Living and supported employment.
Transitions and Preparation for Life
Transitional information starts to be gathered at the beginning of the course and
the relevant support in social services, connexions and education is invited to
attend review meetings. The school fully supports this process with parents, carers
and students, by sharing information about colleges and residential centres in
county and nationally. The school’s aims in transition are to construct a smooth
and stress free movement for both student and parents into the next stage of
education or training and to ensure the student continues to be happy, fulfil their
potential and become a valued member of society.
All pupils aged 14 and above have access to Person Centred Planning. This puts
them at the heart of transition planning arrangements and fundamentally shifts
how their needs are considered by families and professionals alike. We support
young people to update their Person Centred Plans during the year, through our
curriculum, and they are regularly shared with families, to ensure that everyone is
adhering to the young person’s plan.
Work experience plays a major part in the provision for 14-19 learning. It is
fundamental to the school’s aims to give all students a taste of the world of work
and when a student is able to, prepare them for the possibility of accessing work
when they leave school. Our Connexions officer spends time with individual
students analysing their skills, aptitude and choices so we may be able to procure
suitable and progressive experience. As time progresses our provider base will
need to be enlarged to accommodate student choice and diversity. Woodlands
hosts talks for parents and provides support for families through close liaison with
transition professionals and our Parents Support Adviser. We believe that good
quality information and supportive processes are the best way of navigating the
Wood View Short Break Service is open 7 days each week for 50 weeks per
annum. The main purpose of the residential facility is to provide short break
opportunities for young people with a range of physical, sensory and healthcare
needs, in addition to often having moving and handling needs. Places are
managed through the Short Break Panel which is a multi-agency assessment
process which matches children’s needs to appropriate support. Eligibility for a
place is assessed by your Local Authority’s Social Workers through a Core
Assessment. Support for the child and their family may also be Identified in a CAF
meeting, which is then taken up by a Social Worker.
We provide a homely atmosphere in our residential accommodation so that
children feel relaxed when away from their families. Children are encouraged to
respect staff and care for one another, participate in activities and decision making
and take the opportunity to further their independence. To promote social
development, during the term-time weeks the residential unit seeks to link children
with various evening Youth Club activities and has connections with a range of
other clubs and organisations. Activities for all pupils include cooking, games, art,
music and singing, swimming, computer activities, a play station, light and sound
sensory experiences, soft play room and indoor or outdoor sports. Children are
managed under a ‘Key Worker’ system, enabling them to build relationships with
adults who have a personal interest in them. They aim to promote self-reliance
through building confidence and personal growth.
See the Short Breaks section of the school website for more details.
Medical Care and Nursing
A Senior Qualified Nurse is on duty throughout the twenty-four hours of each day.
Treatment, first aid and nursing care are provided for both day and resident pupils.
A monthly clinic is held by the School Medical Officer and regular clinics are
conducted by Consultant Paediatricians and specialists. Parents are contacted by
the nursing team if their child is due to have a medical check so that they may
attend the appointments if they chose.
The department maintains close liaison with medical and nursing staff within the
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, General Practitioners and Primary Health Care
teams. Other visiting specialists include an Orthoptist (vision), Audiometrician
(hearing) and a Dentist.
Parents or Carers are encouraged to discuss any aspect of their child’s health or
care with our nursing staff. Nursing staff receive high quality supervision and
support from the Community Children’s Nursing team to ensure that our practices
are compliant with those practiced by other health care professionals.
The school runs a termly Multiagency Panel involving education, health and social
care professionals to seek advice on behalf of families and school staff. Family
consent is always requested when we seek to undertake such processes.
The physiotherapy department is part of the service offered to children by the
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The superintendent physiotherapist supervises
and co-ordinates all the work of the paediatric physiotherapy departments.
The full complement of Woodlands physiotherapy department consists of a senior
physiotherapist, two physiotherapists and several part time physiotherapy
assistants. They are employed by the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and have
links with other paediatric physiotherapists in the area.
Physiotherapy is aimed at preventing or minimising the development of
contractures or deformities; promoting maximum independence, mobility, self help
skills and personal care; advising on positioning throughout the day and promoting
self confidence and self esteem. This is achieved by work in the physiotherapy
department, in the classroom and by parents carrying out home programmes.
Hydrotherapy is only offered by the physio team in the school pool. This activity is
specific therapy and can only be provided by specifically trained individuals.
Hydrotherapy will usually only be available post operations and for the treatment
of specific conditions.
There is a close liaison between educational, medical and social services staff
within the school and community. Paediatricians, Orthopaedic Surgeons,
Orthotists (feet) and Disablement Services Centre (wheelchairs) staff hold Clinics
at school which are attended by the physiotherapy staff. Social Services
Occupational Therapists are encouraged to visit the department.
The physiotherapy staff work closely with the child's family. Families are
encouraged to visit the department. In school holidays families are offered
physiotherapy appointments at Woodlands or Plymouth Child Development Centre
and home visits are carried out if necessary. This is a good opportunity to meet
with parents and update home programmes.
Speech and Language Therapy
The speech and language therapists for Woodlands are employed by the
Plymouth Community Health Services NHS Trust, and are members of the
Children's Speech and Language Service. The work is supported by a part-time
teaching assistant from Woodlands. The therapists are based at the school during
term time 4 days a week. There are 3 therapists who offer a wide range of skills.
The senior therapist is highly specialist in dysphagia (eating and drinking
difficulties) and alternative forms of communications (usually communication aids
and books); one therapist works closely with children with sensory difficulties and
another with children who have complex needs.
Each child is assessed individually and both parents and staff are involved in this
process whenever possible. Treatment may involve individual or group sessions or
may be in the form of a programme to be carried out within the classroom setting
and at home. It is important everyone is involved and committed to promoting the
child's communication. Regular advice is given to staff and parents about how
they can help.
Advice about eating and drinking and the use of augmentative communication,
e.g. Sign-a-long signing, symbols or electronic aids, is also given as appropriate.
The School has a link Educational Psychologist, who is experienced in working
with children and young people with severe and complex learning difficulties. Our
link Educational Psychologist supports the staff in reviewing pupil progress and
identifying children’s learning strengths and weaknesses, in addition to the many
statutory functions such as formal assessments for Statementing. Anyone wishing
to contact the Educational Psychologist can do so via the school.
An Occupational Therapist visits the school each week in order to assess the
seating needs of the students. Occupational therapists also support daily living
adaptations, access to learning, support for pupils with fine motor needs and
support for sensory integration difficulties.
Many of our pupils benefit from therapies not usually available in mainstream
schools. At Woodlands we aim to provide as many of these additional extras as
possible. Currently we have access, via a referral system to behaviour support
from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) based in school
and Art Therapy. We also provide access to therapeutic music sessions, advocacy
and individual counselling as required.
Our school’s catchment area covers several social services districts. The local
help desk can be helpful to parents if you need their support. It is social services
who can advise on benefits, respite facilities and other family based support. The
Children with Disabilities team covers Plymouth pupils, and Devon and Cornwall
have similar arrangements. For more information, please contact the Parent
Support Adviser via the school website or her independent mobile phone number.
Providing equal opportunities for all pupils means:
• treating our children as individuals with their own abilities, difficulties,
attitudes, backgrounds and experiences
• challenging myths, stereotypes and misconceptions
• ensuring that equal access to the curriculum means real opportunity to
extend children’s awareness, knowledge and understanding of different
cultures, languages and faiths
• valuing and promoting cultural diversity and cohesion
• offering positive images and role models for all cultures
Sex and Relationships Education
From September 1994 all pupils over 11 years are required to receive Sex
Education within the curriculum. Health, including Sex and Relationships
Education, is seen as a continuous process throughout the pupils’ time at school.
An early focus on self- care and the development of positive relationships to the
more specific needs of adolescence is followed throughout the school.
Any parent concerned about this area of the curriculum is very welcome to discuss
the issues and has the right to withdraw their child from any sex education
programme on request to the Headteacher. The school policy is available from
school and on our website.
RE and Collective Worship
RE at Woodlands is non-denominational and multi-faith in character. We believe
the fostering of spiritual and moral values is an important aspect of school life and
should permeate all aspects of the curriculum. RE is formally timetabled as a
subject in its own right and follows the Devon syllabus.
Our teaching aims to be realistic and relevant to the lives of our pupils and is
therefore related to the nature, experiences and needs of the pupils. School
Assemblies are at a level appropriate to the children’s needs and help maintain
and develop the positive ethos of the school.
We continue to develop and evaluate our record-keeping systems and believe it is
important that they are relevant, sensitive and flexible. These will include:
• Individual Learning Plans prepared three times a year. These specify our
learning objectives for each child as determined by their individual needs.
Parents are encouraged to suggest aspects of their child’s development
they wish to see supported before each learning plan is produced.
• A detailed Annual Review/Transition Plan completed for each child every
• Targets and tracked progress for English, Maths, Science, PSHE and ICT.
• A pupil record file, which contains each pupil’s timetable, weekly plans,
weekly targets, Individual Learning Plans, Annual Review and multi-
professional programmes, is kept for each pupil in class
• An secure online progress file which may contain photographs, pictures or
work selected by the pupil or teacher which indicates achievement of a
Keeping in Touch with Parents
We like parents to visit Woodlands. It is good for children to know that their
parents are interested in the school and their education. We see parents as
partners with the staff of the school. Parents are always welcome to visit, although
telephoning beforehand to arrange an appointment is advised.
Each term, parents are given the opportunity at a Parents’ Evening to discuss their
child’s progress with the class teacher and agree priorities identified in the child’s
Individual Education Plan. Other professionals are also usually available for
families to consult.
Annual Review Meetings take place during the year and are a statutory
requirement for all children who have a statement of Special Educational Needs.
The reviews are held during the year and involve the Headteacher or Head of
Department, the class teacher and other invited professionals. Whenever
appropriate, the child involved in the review will attend some or all of the meeting.
Children are encouraged to present their achievements and discuss their targets
A Home/School Diary provides an opportunity for a regular exchange of
information. Some older pupils may prefer to carry their own messages. Verbal
messages by telephone or text are also well supported and parents can also
access dictation machines for ease of communication. We discourage the sharing
of messages via the drivers or escorts of school transport as this can sometimes
lead to communication misunderstandings.
Meetings with the Headteacher, Deputy or Class Teacher can easily be arranged
by appointment. If time allows, we are always willing to see parents unexpectedly.
Termly Newsletters are a regular feature and are sent out to families in paper and
electronically. Our school website is always available and contains a wealth of
information on the school and it’s processes.
The School is always happy to organise workshops for parents on any subject or
issue. We have organised sessions on Sensory integration, Communication
passports, ICT and access, as well as individual training sessions. If you would
like to know more about a specific issue, do talk to a member of the school staff.
Parent Governors present the views of parents to the Governing Body, but they
speak and act as individuals. Any parent can arrange to see any member of the
Governing Body, but the Parent Governors are always happy to offer
advice/support and information about the school.
Parents are invited and encouraged to contribute to school life by:
• offering help in the classroom
• talking to small groups of children about their specific interests
• sharing their skills and talents
• bringing objects to school for children to see, handle and talk about
• talking to children about their jobs, etc.
All this helps to enrich the curriculum. If you feel you can help in any way please
contact your child’s class teacher.
We will always contact parents if we are concerned about any aspect of their
child’s welfare, progress or behaviour, and we hope that parents will let us know of
any problems or anxieties which may affect their child.
Friends of Woodlands
Woodlands has an active Friends Association who organise a number of events
throughout the year. They always welcome support. Any parent interested in
joining can make contact through the school. Funds raised by this group greatly
enhance the opportunities we are able to offer our pupils.
Home School Agreement
The governors and parents of the school worked together to produce a Home
School agreement. All parents/guardians are asked to support the principles
outlined in this agreement. Parents, pupils and school staff all need to work
together to provide a good education in a happy and safe environment.
The School will:
Encourage pupils to do their best at all times.
Encourage pupils to show respect for each other and their surroundings
Provide a balanced curriculum.
Inform parents of their child’s progress
Inform parents about what the teachers aim to teach each term.
Contact parents when there is a problem.
We expect that parents will try to:
Make sure the child is ready for school transport.
Make sure the child attends regularly and provides an explanation if the child is
Attend the Open Evenings and Annual Review Meetings.
Take an interest in the life of the School and their child’s work.
Contact the school if they feel there is a problem.
Support the child in homework activities and home learning.
We expect that the child will:
Be friendly and helpful and polite.
Take care of equipment and surroundings.
Try to do his/her best.
Tell an adult if there is a problem.
Access to Government and school policies and
The following documents are held at school and on our school website. Any parent
who would like a copy should contact the Senior Administrator at School.
• All Statutory Instruments and Department of Education circulars and
• Administrative memoranda sent to the school and which refer to curriculum
• All schemes of work in current use at the school in the Policy on Sex and
• Relationships Education.
• The Local Education Authority’s complaints procedure.
• The Authority’s agreed syllabus for Religious Education.
• Copies of the school prospectus.
• The Governing Body’s Annual Report, via the School Profile
• The Governing Body’s policy on charging
• The Governing Body’s policy on Careers
• The latest OFSTED report, school schemes of work and associated
If at any future time a report is made by an Inspection Team that relates especially
to Woodlands School then that too will be made available.
The Complaints Procedure
The School regularly asks pupils, parents and other stakeholders for their views of
its service. We also aim to keep in touch with ex-students so that we can learn
from their experiences after Woodlands School. We see review as a continuous
process to enable us to constantly develop and change.
The School and LEA have established procedures so that the concerns of parents
and others about the school curriculum and related matters may be considered
Our school procedure for dealing with complaints is as follows:
• We expect all our pupils, staff and parents to listen carefully and
respectfully communicate with each other.
• Minor complaints should be dealt with by the Class Teacher. If you are not
satisfied with the response, please contact the head of department.
• All serious complaints must be explained to the Headteacher so that an
investigation can take place.
• Parents who are unhappy about something should contact the school at
once. You can contact staff, parent governors or our parent support
• The Headteacher will always meet concerned parents in order to resolve
• A parent who is still not satisfied should contact the Chair of Governors.
• A complaint can also be made directly to the LA via the Director of
Our school community has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of
children. This means that we have a Safeguarding Children Policy which
incorporates all the aspects of Child Protection. All staff including our supply staff
are made aware of our procedures via induction and annual refresher training.
Parents and carers are welcome to read the full Safeguarding Children Policy and
its short version is provided in the Home/School Diary. The school will always
follow the Local Safeguarding Board Multi-Agency Protection Procedures.
When there are concerns about a child’s welfare, we may need to share
information and work in partnership with other agencies. The Authority requires
Headteachers to report any obvious or suspected case of child abuse to Social
Services including non accidental injury, severe physical neglect, and emotional
and/or sexual abuse. This procedure is intended to protect children at risk and
schools are encouraged to take the attitude that where there are worrying
circumstances, it is better to be safe than sorry.
This does mean that Headteachers may run the risk of upsetting some parents by
reporting a case which an investigation proves unfounded. In such circumstances,
it is hoped that parents, appreciating how difficult it is for Headteachers to carry
out this delicate responsibility, will accept that the Headteacher was acting in what
was believed to be the child’s best interests. We will endeavour to ensure that our
concerns about our pupils are discussed with their parents/carers first unless we
have reason to believe that this is not in the child’s best interests.
Our Designated Child Protection Person is the Headteacher:
The other fully trained members of staff include: Rosie luscombe, Deputy
Headteacher and Alsion Meads, Senior School Nurse. You are welcome to
contact school if you are concerned about the welfare or safety of a child.
Woodlands is committed to safeguarding all of our students. All permanent
members of staff, volunteers and supply staff are required to undergo an
enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The CRB check is repeated
every 3 years.
If parents need someone to pick up their child from school who is not their usual
escort, then we operate a password system. Parents provide us with a trusted
password and then we will require the adult who comes to collect the child to tell
us the correct password before allowing the child to leave the premises.
We also encourage young people to take steps to safeguard themselves and
through the provision of active sessions on Child Assault Prevention and
Cyberbullying, we work to increase children’s understanding and resilience in the
Behaviour and Discipline
At Woodlands we expect high standards of behaviour at all times. Pupils are
encouraged to be polite and considerate.
Our school rules are kept to a minimum and based on common sense.
Positive rewards accompany good behaviour - star charts in class, or a mention in
praise assembly. If a child misbehaves in school the teacher will impose an
appropriate sanction (for example missing a playtime). Should the problem persist
or get worse the class teacher would wish to discuss the possible causes of the
problem with you and together work towards a solution. Our expectations of
children’s behaviour are all based around a thorough knowledge of the child’s
ability. Where necessary, we can put a Behaviour Support Plan in place to support
the child’s needs and ensure consistent practice is followed by all.
The high level of staffing within the school means that children are never left
Teachers will send appropriate activities home for pupils, but parents may
request homework, and appropriate tasks can be agreed with the class teacher.
We appreciate your support at home, and class teachers will be happy to discuss
how you can help as well as giving advice on a child’s Individual Learning Plan.
The County Council provides free transport to and from school each day by
contracted school buses or taxis, supervised by an escort. Any enquiries about
transport arrangements can be referred directly to the school or the Council’
Transport Manager, telephone:
• Plymouth City Council Transport : (01752) - 307499
• Cornwall Council Transport : 0300 1234 222 ext 3869
• Devon County Council Transport : (01392) - 382389
We may ask to borrow a child’s car seat or wheelchair straps in order to safely go
out on school trips. We appropriately train staff in clamping and minibus driving in
order to secure their safety.
Adverse Weather Conditions
There are a few times in the year when bad weather and the condition of the roads
have an obvious effect on our transport arrangements. During these times
common sense must prevail, and always err on the side of safety if you are
unsure. When there is heavy snowfall during the school day, transport will be
asked to collect the children early and every attempt will be made to contact
parents. Information will be displayed on the school website in cases of
emergency school closure.
Uniform and Belongings
There is no compulsory uniform at Woodlands. We do however encourage
children to wear the School sweatshirt; which comes in turquoise for Primary
children and maroon for secondary aged pupils. This can be ordered through the
School office or school website. Post 16 pupils do not have to wear a uniform.
We ask parents to send children to school appropriately dressed. We ask for
parents to clearly mark their child’s name on their clothes and belongings as this
makes it less likely for items to go missing.
In the winter months particularly, suitable hats, gloves and hats, etc are
appreciated. In the summer months, any additions’ to wheelchairs such as
canopies, umbrellas or such protection are appreciated, as well as parents
sending in sun hats and sun creams where appropriate.
PE & Swimming Kit
You will be informed by the class teacher when a PE or swimming kit should be
brought to school. It would be helpful if items were clearly named. Two towels are
requested for older pupils who require moving and handling support.
All pupils have a PIN number which must be pre-loaded with credit before a meal
is purchased. The cost of a daily meal is £2.00. Any monies should be sent in to
school in a clearly marked, sealed envelope. Cheques should be made payable to
Eden Foodservice. Lunch is prepared on the premises, by external contractors.
Diets can be catered for if requested and a vegetarian dish is always available.
Children with dietary needs, such as pureed food or a food allergy, may request a
diet form from the school and this is sent to the speech therapist for agreement
then on to Eden Foods who will then prepare a bespoke meal for your child.
Students may bring a packed lunch if they prefer. Please ensure that any drinks
are stored in a plastic container: no glass bottles or cans please.
Free School Meals
Families on Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance may apply
to the County Council for their child to receive free school meals. This is reviewed
twice a year. Forms are available from the school office. This is also available to
children who only receive food via enteral feeding. The school gains funding from
central government for families on Free School Meals benefits in the form of pupil
premium. We always try to maximise the benefit for young people. By
demonstrating eligibility, the school can therefore draw increase funding for pupil
It is vital that we have up-to-date records of telephone numbers and emergency
contacts, etc, should we need to contact you during the day. A form is issued to
parents as part of our admissions package and is updated annually. Parents
moving home or changing phone numbers should let us know as soon as possible
at any time during the year.
When parents are separated or divorced and both partners have parental
responsibilities, we will need to have details of both parents’ addresses and
telephone numbers. We endeavour to keep both sets of parents appraised of all
issues that may arise.
Whenever a child is off school for sickness, appointments or family reasons, we
require a short note or phone call outlining the reasons for the absence. Failure to
supply us with that information results in an unauthorised absence which may be
investigated by the Education Welfare Officers.
When parents’/carers’ holidays do not coincide with the school term dates, it is
necessary to complete a holiday request form. Families may take a child out of
school for a maximum of 10 days per year.
We also give permission for children to attend hospice visits as we know these are
often essential for families and young people.
Illness in School
Although we have full nursing cover, pupils will be sent home if they become ill in
school, to prevent possible cross infection.
Parents are requested not to send children to school when they have been unwell
during the night.
All parents are required to leave a telephone number where they can be contacted
should their child be taken ill. Resident pupils may see the local GP when they are
ill, parents are informed and asked to make arrangements to have their child at
In the case of a child being admitted to hospital, a member of staff will accompany
the child to hospital; parents will be informed and requested to meet their child at
the hospital without delay, in order that the school is not left short-staffed for more
time than is necessary.
Information regarding infectious diseases is obtainable from the school.
If a child has had sickness and/or diarrhoea they should not return to school
until 48 hours after the illness has ceased.
Medicines and Health
Any prescribed medication that is required to be administered in school should be
delivered to the medical room and given to the school nurse. Non-prescribed
medicines cannot be given at any time.
The school nurse is responsible for medicines; although staff are trained to
administer medicines and undertake medical procedures where this is necessary.
All participating staff receive competence based training from our school nursing
team to ensure high quality practice is adhered to at all times.
Parents are required to complete an Administration of Medicines Form. Alterations
in medication must be notified in writing by parents. All pupils receiving medication
in school have a Health Plan. This is reviewed when medication changes and at
least annually with the School Medical Officer.
The Local Education Authority has asked that all parents of pupils who attend
Schools in Plymouth should be informed of the following:
“Pupils/students are insured against injuries caused by building defects, and
accidents which occur as a result of negligence by a member of the Authority’s
teaching and non-teaching staff.”
Parents may wish to take out their own insurance for equipment such as
wheelchairs or other eventualities.
We are lucky to have the use of a mini-bus and so we are able to arrange
educational visits for our children. Sometimes there are costs such as entrance
fees to which we ask parents for contributions. These are voluntary contributions,
and no child will be excluded if their parents are unwilling or unable to pay. If there
are insufficient contributions the visit may not take place.
If a residential visit is planned, the school can ask for a contribution for board and
lodging. Parents on income support or income-based job seekers allowance can
request help towards the costs from the school governors. A confidential request
to the Chair of Governors can be made through the school office.
Trips and Outings
The school has access to a Plymouth County Council mini-bus during the school
day. This is used for educational visits by class groups taking children to specific
off-site activities such as the Donkey Sanctuary and Music Zone and to support
our school residential visits and annual Ten Tors challenge. Parents may be
asked, from time to time, to make a voluntary contribution for some of these
The Federated Governing Body
The Governors of Wood View Learning Community are like a Board of Directors
and make decisions about how the school is run. They meet as a body at least
once a term at school. School Governors have legal duties, power and
Governors are appointed to help
• decide what is taught
• set standards and guidelines on behaviour and discipline
• interview and select staff
• decide how the school budget is spent.
School Governors are
• staff at the school
• local council representatives
• community representatives.
• Sponsor governors, such as from businesses
• Must have a child in school and are elected by the parents of that school
• serve for 4 years
Minutes of all Governors’ meetings are available for parents to see on the Wood
View Website, Governing Body section.
Chair of Governors – Mr Bill Wraight
Parent Governors 2011: Mr Murrary Barton
Mrs Wendy Hooper
Short Breaks Governor: Mrs Sylvia Guyler
Woodlands link Governor: Mrs Rosemary Evans
If you wish to contact a Parent Governor, please do so through the school.
We do hope that this information helps you
consider Woodlands as an option for
Please ask any questions which may not have
been answered, and do come and visit us.
Meal Time Wood View Short
Headteacher Senior Teaching Assistants Break Service
Andrea Hemmens (SLT) Assistant Karen Benwell
Jeanette Ninnim(XSLT) Samantha Dawe Manager
Deputy Headteacher Tracey Edgcumbe Kathy Carpenter
Rosie Luscombe (SLT) Teaching Assistants Doris Glover Deputy Manager
Sue Adkins Rosemarie Gurney Paula Tucker
Assistant Headteacher Angela Armour-Smith Alasdair Withers Deputy Manager
Chris Clark (SLT) Julie Ball Selina Parnell
Angela Boyes Mealtime Assistant
Teachers Sharon Carder Plus Administrator
Sarah Blee Julie Carter Julie Chanter Sonia Parmenter
Jackie Bryce Julia Coles Lisa Fowell
Andrew Copson (0.5) Julie Davidson Nadine Joce RCOs
Penny Gregory (0.4) Carol Daw Tracey Pope Marie Alford
Judith Hamilton Louise Day Patricia Bottom
Karen Johnson Jennifer Dean Senior Nurse Teresa Cummins
Roisin O’Shea Hannah Dupreez Alison Meads (SLT) James Currey
Beth Redfern Kate Elliott Karen Ecclestone
Amanda Fuller School Nurses Lisa Fowell
Ann-Marie Rodda (0.6)
Lesley Hetherington Gill Manghan Claire Hawkins
Frances Staniforth (0.5)
Alannah Holloway Susan Osborn Teresa Jarvis
Donna Holloway Cheryl Duce Valerie Jewell
Louise Woodhead (0.8)
Amanda Humphreys Tracy Mitchell
Dave Jenkins Healthcare Asst Karen Phillips
Rachel Kelly Angela Nairn Gina Sefton
Sue Carlyon (XSLT) Wendy Kelly
Michelle Köksal Other Agency Staff Senior Nurse
Joanne Massey Alison Meads (SLT)
Sue Price (SLT) Sally Melrose Health Authority
Debbie Miller Physiotherapy Dept Residential Nurses
Sharon Phillips Carole Sutton Linda Curtain
Adele Robins Adele Drew Sue Fice
Kathleen Salvage Jo Congdon Sally Ingleby
Jessica Scallan Hilary Strike
Gwen Sheppard Health Authority Katarzyna
Agnes Slezak Speech & Language Szymanska
Judith Soper Dept Caroline Westlake
Speech & Language Kat Statton Gill Matthews –
Judy Thompson Specialist Speech & Housekeeper
Marie Whiting Language Therapist Tracey Edgcumbe
Bernice Winstone Nicky Temple
ICT Assistant Kate Stevens
Stuart Penman (XSLT)
Teaching Staff – Responsibilities
Name Time Responsibilities
Andrea FT Strategic Improvement Child Protection Designated Person
Hemmens Leadership & Management Senior Information Risk Officer
Teaching & Learning - lead Parent and Family support (with PSA)
Strategic Project Development NQT supervision
&Management Community Behaviour Management
Cohesion & Equalities
Rosie FT Head of Lower School Physical Provision leader
Luscombe Teaching and Learning Deputy Child Protection leader
Curriculum AAC (with Speech and Lang)
Health and Safety Timetabling (with CC)
Assessment Lunch Management
Senco & Children in Care Apprentice Manager
Christine FT Head of Upper school Sex and Relationships Edn
Clark Teaching and Learning Spiritual, Moral, Cultural & Social
KS3 and Foundation Learning Timetabling (with RL)
Pathway School Council support
PSHE / Citizenship /
Sue Carlyon FT Outreach Service leadership and development
(Outreach) Inclusion Management
Sensory Provision leader
Louise 0.8 EYFS coordinator
Woodhead Creativity team member
Visual Impairment Specialist Teacher
Penny Gregory 0.4 Creativity team member
Sarah Blee FT Humanities and RE
Hearing Impairment Specialist Teacher
Multisensory Impairment Specialist Teacher
Beth Redfern FT Global Education and Eco-Sustainability
Multisensory Impairment Specialist Teacher
Outdoor education (with KW)
Senior leadership Link Teacher
Jackie Bryce FT ICT – Curriculum, T&L and training with AH
Karen Johnson FT English
Katy Wedgwood FT PE and Dance
Outdoor Education (with BC)
MFL (With KF)
Creativity team member
Ann Marie Rodda 0.6 Maths
Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)
Work Related Learning
Judith Hamilton FT Science
PMLD / Multisensory
Roisin O’Shea FT Literacy Team member
Frances 0.56 Creativity team member
Andy Copson 0.6 Design and Technology
Stuart Penman Leadership of TA Team. PPA cover, Music
William Wraight Community Chair
Sylvia Guyler Community Vice Chair
Vernon Pinches Community
Dr Rosemary Evans Community
David Smale Community
Capt Kelston Stanford Community
Cllr Brian Roberts LA
Jonathan Drean LA
Debra Barenskie LA Chair
Tracey Williams Parent
Verity Smith Parent
Murray Barton Parent
Wendy Hooper Parent
Phillipa Harrison Parent
Andrea Hemmens Staff
Wendy Brett Staff
Ian Cording Staff
Carolyn Roberts Staff
Julie Bevan Staff
Sue Price Staff
John Butcher Sponsor
Liz Salway Staff (ex officio)
Vacant Clerk to Governors