We promote British Values through the philosophy that enshrines our curriculum. This permeates through every aspect of the children’s time at Willow Dene School and supports the development of the whole child. These values and attitudes are promoted by all staff and provide a model of behaviour for our children.
At Willow Dene ‘British values’ are:
The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. We ensure that children are given a voice to communicate. This voice can be through using words, objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, touch cues, eye pointing or body language. It may also include the use of assistive technology such as iPads, eye gaze and other voice output systems.
We empower our children by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important, enjoy and are good at. We value each individual by listening and responding to their wants and needs and thus we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty. We believe that every child has a right to an education and help each child to realise their potential and do not put a ceiling on their learning.
Rule of Law:
The school actively seeks to promote and maintain a positive ethos for all children. High standards of behaviour are expected of each child. Due to the complex nature of their learning difficulties, many of our children need significant support in the development of appropriate personal and social behaviours. This learning forms an integral part of the school’s curriculum. The school clearly recognises that it is the behaviour displayed that challenges and not the person. We consistently take a positive approach, viewing inappropriate behaviours displayed as forms of communication. The school takes responsibility for providing learning opportunities and a school environment that minimises possible occurrences of challenging behaviour. We actively promote and support the development of appropriate behaviours. We look for the reasons behind inappropriate behaviours displayed rather than reacting to the effects of these behaviours.
Children at Willow Dene are encouraged to become valued and valuable members of the school and wider community. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible through curriculum-based learning, programmes such as MOVE, enabling environments and innovative use of technology. We recognise that children have various learning styles and provide opportunities for child-led learning, helping them to progress to the best of their abilities. We teach children ways in which they can make choices and give them strategies to communicate their needs, likes and dislikes and opinions. The school supports others by participating in charitable events such as those associated with Comic Relief and Children in Need and work with local community groups and within our partnership of schools. We believe that providing a consistent, well-structured enabling environment will help our children to thrive. Children will learn about how to keep themselves safe and where appropriate how to report worries and concerns to people they trust. This is differentiated and personalised to the needs of the individual.
At Willow Dene, we promote each child’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually, to meet their needs. They work with staff that know them exceptionally well and can respond sensitively to their needs. Interactions with peers and staff are always positively promoted on a personalised basis for each individual.
Pupils are able to work with students from other local schools in tailored workshops, therapists, medical professionals and creative arts groups etc. Our curriculum is differentiated and planned for each children needs, allowing them access to all environments around the school including outside areas. We also provide opportunities for children to go into the community for school trips, swimming, and interacting with children from other Compass Partnership schools.
We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the wider community as children, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
We believe as a school that each person is respected and valued equally without regard to faith, heritage, race, ability or gender.
Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all children’s experiences and awareness of others.
Topic-based learning helps all children to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes cover areas such as: friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events.
Our staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the children at Willow Dene are happy, well cared for, supported and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community. Our staff are confident and competent in their safeguarding responsibilities including PREVENT and FGM in order to protect and support all children.
Spiritual, Moral, Social And Cultural Development:
Children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development takes place within the context and ethos of the school. It supports and reinforces valuing all children equally and as individuals.
As part of their social, moral, cultural and spiritual development (SMCS), children are learning to be a positive part of their community. All areas of the curriculum support children’s SMCS development. At Willow Dene we focus on the development of the whole child and focus on the development of each child’s self-esteem and self-confidence so that they are able to take risks, assert themselves, work as part of a team and develop relationships with others.