is a social enterprise, which helps individuals & organisations make positive changes. We work on a not-for-profit basis to enable more effective, healthy and meaningful living.
|2006 - 2010||Developing Emotional Health to Improve Learning Outcomes "“Westhaven has been a fellowship of eternal love and friendship which I will remember for the rest of my life.” Quote from a Year 11 Leaver in 2009 who endorsed the House system and considered that through the small group meetings he had been able to “……… get to know myself better than I ever thought possible.” This student successfully gained seven GCSE passes."|
|Relationships and Context||An increasing percentage of students being admitted to Westhaven exhibited social communication needs (SCN), that is, they had a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. As such, they required very explicit forms of social communication and teaching/experience in small groups where their individual needs could be met. Assessment results showed that the small, but significant, number of students in the school who exhibited social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) worked better in smaller groups, and also with students who were not their age appropriate peers. Though the numbers on roll were small, the complex needs of all the students, reflected in their educational statements, indicated that specific interventions were needed to ensure progress was made.|
|Information, Understanding and Insight||Staff, governors, students and parents were all involved in identifying and planning the best way forward. The outcomes of their review, which were included in the school’s Improvement Plan, proposed the setting up of a system that would improve learning and behaviour for all students by enabling them to:
|Action for Positive Change||The school achieved these goals through a number of practical changes, which included the introduction of a House system. This was found to improve social networks and more effectively provide social and emotional support. Formation of these more 'community' type Houses enabled a sense of belonging and encouraged students to help and protect each other. The House structure also enabled students to compete effectively and safely with students from other Houses. Other changes included the appointment of House Personal Advisers (Mentors) for small groups of five students within each House. These smaller groups simulated the size of a family group and also offered a significant adult who would remain constant for children in that group over the student’s school career. These practical changes were seen to meet individual emotional health needs at appropriate levels and fostered a sense of belonging and self-worth for all involved. Learning outcomes were improved for all.|