What type of school are we?
Woolgrove School is Hertfordshire’s largest primary special school for children aged 4 to 11 years with LD as a main need. Many of our pupils have complex needs such as autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and speech and language communication needs (SLCN). They all have Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and our maximum capacity is for 125 children. Our pupils come from a wide geographical area including North Herts, Stevenage and bordering local authorities.
What is Woolgrove’s approach to teaching pupils?
We have 13 classes across the school. There are approximately ten children in each class with a high staff:child ratio. Each class has one teacher and at least two teaching assistants and the staff work very much as a team. Our approach is to ensure that the teaching is personalised to meet the needs of our pupils with the emphasis on practical real life experiences to make the learning relevant, fun and engaging. Our staff are imaginative and creative and have the freedom to try different approaches. Our aim is for the children to be happy, confident, independent learners and for them to love coming to school!
Life is never dull at Woolgrove!
We can guarantee that no two days are ever the same at our school! We have a “can do” approach to learning and achieving whilst providing an exciting and enriching curriculum that meets the individual needs of our pupils. Classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from Reception up to and including Year 3. Years 4 to 6 follow aspects of the KS1 Primary National Curriculum, as appropriate to the ability and developmental stage of the pupils. Our focus is to provide them with the life skills and knowledge they need to prepare them for life beyond Woolgrove. We value the uniqueness of each child and take great pride in celebrating all their achievements both inside and outside the school.
Some learning is facilitated through play or sensory activities and we place great emphasis on the arts, PE, music and outside learning. The children participate in a wide range of sports including horse riding, Rebound/trampolining and swimming. We have two specialist music teachers who teach all classes across the school as well as a music therapist. We also deliver Lego therapy and have part-time NHS speech and language therapists who work with the children and staff, offering training and advice.
We are passionate about outdoor learning and this is an aspect that we are continuing to develop. Our fabulous, beautiful grounds include a seven acre wildlife area, giving our pupils the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outside activities.
What expertise and training do our staff have to support pupils?
Woolgrove places great emphasis on staff development and all our staff receive a range of training to ensure that the needs of all pupils are met.
Staff are trained in Safeguarding, Prevent, Herts STEPS (Positive Behaviour and De-escalation), Attention Autism, SCERTS and administering emergency medicine. A number of staff are trainers for a variety of aspects including ELKLAN, PECS, Signalong (sign language) and STEPS. We also have an Autism Lead Specialist to oversee the provision for our pupils with ASD and proudly retain the Autism Accreditation awarded by the National Autistic Society.
Why is behaviour so good at Woolgrove?
Our expectation is that the children work hard, behave well, respect each other and have positive feelings about themselves. We care for and support each child with their emotional development, helping them foster positive relationships whilst developing emotional resilience.
“Pupils thrive in the safe, stimulating environment provided for them. Relationships between pupils, and with staff, are exceptionally strong.” – Ofsted, February 2017