Welcome to our residential provision
Integrated with our school, West Kirby School and College offers 38 week and flexible, short break residential provision, currently for young people aged 5 to 19. We specialise in provision for children and young people with complex communication difficulties, including Autistic Spectrum Condition; complex learning, sensory and emotional needs, social, emotional and mental health needs, across a range of cognitive abilities.
A parent said, ‘What he has achieved over the last year was thought impossible a year ago.’ Ofsted, 2021
Residential placements are available for up to 8 young people in our off-site provision. This allows for a more independent approach to a social care living environment, naturalising - as far as possible - the experience of residential placement to that of a natural home setting. The small homely environments also allow our young people to feel safe, while developing their life, social, communication and independence skills.
"An outstanding area within the residential setting is how children are prepared for their independence. " Ofsted 2021
A new development for 2021 is The Grove a semi-independent provision attached to the main residential provision, where pupils will have more responsibility for their continuing development towards independence.
We offer a range of packages to support pupils, their parents/carers and their referring Local Authority. Extended days allow pupils to join one of two residential groups for the evening. We also offer, when spaces are available, residential packages of one to four nights per week.
Utilising a seamless approach from education to care, we are able to enhance the learning of the individual. This enables West Kirby School to support the development of the young people across all areas. Staff are available across the 24-hour period to monitor and support our children and young people with their needs.
What our residents say:
“ I really like getting the bus to and back from school as it gives me my independence and shows how much the house and staff have helped me as I have got older”
“I like how much I’ve been able to progress and how the staff are able to support my needs. It’s a great place to learn new skills and make friends. I’m looking forward to moving into The Grove as the support I have been given has made me more confident in my independence.”
“I love staying at the house because I like the activities like football, DVD night and using the computer to play Roblox. I have learned to cook and do yoga. At bedtime I like to do mindfulness meditation to go to sleep.”
Our parent's story:
“Toby’s journey wasnt always straight forward but was made much easier and straightforward being at WKS. The relationships forged with the care staff were crucial to Toby’s recovery and then growth. We watched him slowly come back to us, he became more chatty and happier in himself. He forged friendships and was supported to manage relationships with both staff and other students.
We feel very strongly that without the dedication and expertise of the care staff at WKS our son would not be the young man he is today. He is able to cook, wash his own clothes, use public transport, talk to people and form relationships with people. All of which we could only dream of at age 12.”
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Our approach and ethos
At West Kirby School we strongly believe that, in order to support a young person in achieving their full potential, we must treat each as an individual and provide an holistic approach to meeting their needs.
All the departments within the school work closely to provide a bespoke package for each pupil, addressing their social, emotional, educational and communication needs and supporting their physical, cultural and moral development. The Residential Care Department play an integral role in this. Care staff support all of our pupils throughout the school day, and provide a supportive and structured environment during lunchtime. Pupils are encouraged to develop social skills and interests during the lunchtime period, in small groups staffed by Child Care and Education support staff.
The ethos of the school carries over into the residential groups, with the individual support plans and strategies being echoed on the residential side of school life. Through the seamless approach from education to care we are able to enhance the learning by incorporating it into the '24 hour waking curriculum'. This enables our school to support the development of the young people across all areas.
In our houses we try to create opportunities to help young people develop and build on their social and independent life skills. Every child matters here and we want every young person to enjoy their time with us.
Young people are encouraged to interact positively and to take responsibility for their own behaviour and environment. Emphasis is placed on individuals learning to show consideration towards others and to develop a more mature outlook in preparation for life ahead.
An environment of mutual trust, respect, tolerance and understanding of others is continually encouraged. This leads to each young person improving their self-confidence and self esteem.
What activities do our residential young people get involved in?
Our residential group offer a range of activities over the week, aimed at developing social skills, encouraging friendships, supporting independence and reinforcing their “formal” education through practical implementations.
Our week incorporates 'Active Tuesdays' and Thursday group options which encourages our young people to take part in a variety of activities with residents across all settings. Young people are encouraged to take part in a range of leisure activities as part of a healthy lifestyle.
All young people are encouraged to have an input into the activities within their residence at their weekly group meetings. As we're based in West Kirby with easy access to great coastal facilities, our young people enjoy many off site outdoor activities including visits to the beach, walking and crabbing. We also make use of the local multi-gym, climbing wall and swimming pool. Or perhaps something more relaxing involving a DVD night, drawing and cooking.
Our Statement of Purpose below has more information about:
- Our aims and objectives
- Individual care plans
- Links with education, communication and health care
Latest Ofsted Residential Care feedback
Judgement of overall experiences and progress of children and young people: Good
Please find our full report below from our latest Residential inspection - June 2021.
Ofsted Residential report June 2021 highlights:
Overall experiences and progress of children and young people: Good
- Residential children benefit from having their individual needs recognised. Plans, strategies and targets are shared between departments within the school, providing children with a consistency of care that links to their school day. Monitoring undertaken by the school clearly evidences the positive impact that residency has on pupils’ lives, particularly with their behaviour, communication and social skills.
- The relationships created between staff, children and parents are strong, which promotes trust.
- One parent told the inspector, ‘The staff are always available, and I can talk to them about any concerns that I may have or just for a general chat.’ Another said about staff, ‘They go that extra mile when supporting the children and their families.’
- Children enjoy the residential experience and look forward to the time that they spend there.
- A parent said, ‘What he has achieved over the last year was thought impossible a year ago.’
- Another child told the inspector, ‘I am quite new to the residential home, but so far it has been brilliant.’
- Children experience consistent support that meets their needs, as staff carefully assess their starting points, support their development and respond to any difficulties.
- Residential children along with day pupils have a strong voice within the school due to the excellent levels of communication and consultation that exists.
- An outstanding feature is how the school remained in contact with children throughout the COVID-19 restrictions. Also, some children helped to record the sessions, interviewed teachers and showed their work to the wider audience.
- Residential children benefit from experiencing an environment in which individual needs, disabilities and identities are fully accepted.
- Activities are well planned and designed to meet the children’s needs. Full use of community facilities plays a prominent role in the activities taking place. Activities for children is an area of strength.
- The residential accommodation is of an exceptional standard and is spacious, comfortable and well maintained.
- An outstanding area within the residential setting is how children are prepared for their independence.
How well children and young people are helped and protected: Good
- Safety is prioritised and promoted well.
- Safety is prioritised and promoted well. As a result, children feel safe and valued.
- Staff balance risks with the need to allow children freedom to develop independence skills.
- Behaviour management is well managed and monitored throughout the school. Good behaviour support plans are individual to each child. The plans work alongside school staff to help them understand the individual needs and requirements of children. This joint working promotes a greater consistency of care. As a result, the children’s behaviour is very good.
The effectiveness of leaders and managers: Good
- The principal of the school is also the head of care. There is a manager of the residential setting and a well-qualified, experienced and long-standing staff team. They work closely together so that there is a seamless transition between school and the residential provision. All parties demonstrated that the children were at the heart of the service.
- The head of care is well respected by her colleagues, parents and professionals. Without exception, all comment positively on her knowledge and professionalism. She understands the children well and promotes close working partnerships to ensure that the whole school and families work together. This provides the best possible, all-round support for children to thrive.
- Governors support new initiatives to improve children’s lives
- The residential provision remains an integral part of the services provided by the school.