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  • A:Westside School, Galena House, 8-30 Galena Road, London W6 0LT
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  • Westside Staff 2015

Our Vision & Ethos

Westside School: The Third Way

A small school where academic growth, inspiration and achievement is nurtured

Our Vision
We believe that:

  • Principle 1: Every young person has the capacity to make a success of his or herself, all students should be supported to achieve GCSEs and Vocational qualifications. All staff and trustees should consistently have high expectations to deliver and support high quality teaching and learning.
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  • Principle 2: Students who have struggled in mainstream will substantially benefit from a small, stable, caring and individually-focused school environment.
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  • Principle 3: General social skills, such as the ability to co-operate, negotiate, listen and interact positively with peers, must be nurtured.
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  • Principle 4: Families and other stake holders are key agents for change and must be supported to play a positive role in their children’s education.
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  • Principle 5: Educational establishments should educate the whole student and support them into their next pathway, whether it be education, training or employment.

Our Ethos
The Westside Ethos is:

  • Caring and Supportive: We believe that students at risk of disengaging with education often need a supportive and non-judgmental environment in order to grow as independent learners.
  • Ambitious: High expectations create high aspirations. Our staff team believes strongly in every student’s potential to achieve, with focus applied to bring out that potential.
  • Consistent, Fair and Understanding: Most students come to us with a long history of difficult interactions with inflexible, ‘one size fits all’ disciplinary systems. We believe in a clean slate for each student, while importing an understanding of the specific needs of each student into all disciplinary contexts.
  • Empowering of Students: Many of our students have come to view school as a hierarchy that acts against them and not for them. We want students to feel like partners in the Westside model. We have a Junior Leadership Team and consult our students on operational decisions ranging from curriculum, to uniform.

 

 Academic and vocational focus to get back on track in education – and beyond

 

 

What does this all mean?

The Westside Vision and Ethos underpin every aspect of our Education Plan: what we believe in is demonstrated by all that we do at the school.

Here are some examples:

 

 “Struggling students will benefit from a small, stable, caring environment”

Class sizes are never bigger than 13 students, each of whom has an Individual Learning Plan, with each teaching session supported by a minimum of one teacher and one teaching assistant

 

 “Every young person can be successful”

Students can start from Year 9 and stay to Year 11, when 100% will sit up to eight examinations both GCSEs and vocational BTechs, and Functional Skills in Numeracy and Literacy as appropriate. 

 

“General social skills must be nurtured” 

Westside provides an enhanced curriculum, increased vocational options and a day-to-day focus on fostering social skills, manners and communication between peers and between age-groups.

 

 “Families are key agents for change”

From day one of their time here at Westside, the students’ parents are encouraged, during an introductory meeting with the Head, to participate in a Home School Agreement. The School works hard to reach out to each individual involved in their students’ home lives. Your child will receive a school report every half term which will look at their academic, behavioural and wellbeing progress and parents are contacted frequently to discuss ways of improving students’ development.

 

 “Educational establishments should educate the whole student”

Some Westside students may have missed out on many cultural and social experiences and may be uncomfortable with adults outside their own family networks. As well as academic mentoring from outside supporters drawn from the professions, we offer our students a programme of extra-curricular trips designed to broaden their horizons and increase their confidence in dealing with institutions and individuals different from those in their immediate home communities.