Headstart is an Independent Special School with a unique and personal approach to education for 5 -21 year olds. The majority of our students have found conventional schooling a challenge and Headstart offers them a chance to engage with learning and creating. Headstart School aims to promote educational and social progress for all. Students thrive within a small, nurturing and positive environment. Our prime objective is to ensure students educational and social needs are at the fore of an innovative and informative curriculum delivered by teachers that really do care about the students. Our ethos actively promotes our belief in a holistic approach to learning which values the importance of outdoor learning with Forest School playing a key part in school life for all students of a wide range of levels and abilities.
Our class sizes range from 3 to 6 students with a minimum of one teacher and one TA working collaboratively to ensure positive outcomes for students. Some core curriculum teaching may take place on a one-to-one basis if seen as beneficial or necessary. Students meet with their personal tutor every morning before fulfilling the morning tasks, enabling time for reflection and discussion before their day commences. Headstart School truly values the importance of home/school liaison where regular links with home are promoted through daily/weekly teacher liaison, regular formal and informal meetings and organised coffee mornings with a member of our senior team.
Student’s communications skills are encouraged in all areas of the curriculum through speaking and listening, whilst incorporating basic skills of literacy and numeracy.
We believe that the curriculum is the structure through which students gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and experiences which will prepare them for participating purposefully and positively in society. It is fully integrated with the care and support that students receive from HEADSTART SCHOOL. All core curriculum subjects are co-ordinated by experienced subject specialists.
The key principles underlying the HEADSTART SCHOOL curriculum are those of breadth, balance and relevance. This ties in with the School Ethos, which is to: Provide an education that gives students academic and social skills for life, to provide a curriculum that supports Social and Academic Development and to provide positive pathways for students.
Headstart School, as part of its attention to individual learning, works, in part with a flexible approach to ensure that all the students’ needs are met. Therefore, programmes of study are usually personalised to suit students’ individual needs.
Headstart School is fully committed to the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural themes that aim to prepare our students for life in our society and an ever changing and developing world. We assist students in acquiring and respecting other cultures, values, traditions and beliefs to promote tolerance, harmony and patience within a wide and far reaching context. Where political views may be brought to the attention of the pupils we ensure that a presentation of wide and varied views is presented. We encourage understanding and respect of fundamental values that are recognised across all cultures.
Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 both work within a nurtured model to support transition and enable additional time to consolidate skills and confidence within the environment.We are fully aware that the foundations of a young person’s education are vital and this is why at Key Stages 1 and 2 we address the subjects within the national curriculum and the key skills they work towards. In addition, we have a clear focus on developing positive social skills. Key Stage 3 students have opportunities to work with a primary and a secondary trained teacher. This ensures that topic based work encompasses Humanities and PSHE with links to outside learning. Gradually, subject specialists for core subjects are introduced to the students within their area. The nature of the students social development is paramount within this key stage preparing them for a Key Stage 4 delivery tailored to individual need. Throughout Key Stage 4 our students begin to prepare for adulthood with options in abundance to support this, often students remain beyond Key Stage 4 further developing in our college facility currently based at Oakfield, Golden Cross.