We want our young people to enjoy their time with us and to develop skills and gain qualifications that will equip them for the real world. Our curriculum covers both academic qualifications (GCSEs and Functional Skills) and vocational qualifications (BTECs).
We work to the National Curriculum levels one to nine, however we break each level into nine separate subsections which enables even small improvements to be identified and acknowledged. We work alongside a range of carefully chosen partner organisations to deliver vocational training that cannot be provided on-site.
When they join us, each child is assessed so we have a good understanding of their abilities and level of understanding. We then carry out further assessments three times a year to monitor their progress and determine if we need to provide additional support. Our teachers also receive regular lesson observations, work book scrutiny and weekly teacher meetings. At the end of each academic year, the teachers are invited to reflect on their teaching over the year and identify areas that could be made even better.
We have regular staff, parent/carer and pupil surveys and actively encourage people to share their thoughts and ideas. In this way, we hope to continuously improve in line with what our young people, their parents/carers and teachers want.
While academic achievement is important, of course, we also celebrate children achieving personal milestones and breakthroughs.
All of our students study RHSE (Relationship, Health and Sex Education) twice a week to help them develop the skills and understanding they need for adult life.
A typical school day
Of course, the nature of any school is that no two days are the same. However, at Waterloo Lodge School we like to provide a supportive structure that helps our young people to feel there is a predictable pattern to the school day.
Every child arrives by taxi and is met by the Head Teacher at the top of the school drive. We host different break time activities throughout the week, including reading clubs, ping pong, art and games. Our School Council, which consists of elected young people, plays an active role in deciding on these activities. They were also instrumental in moving Form Time to the session after lunch rather than in the morning. At the end of the school day, the Head Teacher says goodbye to every young person as they leave.
“I wake up every day with a passion for what we do here. We have challenging days, like any school, but we also have a lot of celebration days. And sometimes it’s the smallest things that we celebrate. When our children walk up the drive at the end of their time here I want them to feel validated as an individual and ready for adult life.” Helen Rigby, Head Teacher, Waterloo Lodge School