Information for Students
Willow Bank is a small school and we provide an education for students who are not able to attend their usual school through ill health. Our aim is to provide a good school experience with a quality education and exciting opportunities to enable you to build your knowledge, skills and resilience so that you are better equipped to enjoy learning and life.
All students receive a warm welcome and have not one but two tutors! This is so that we can look after all your needs, in the classroom and around the school. We work closely with families and medical professionals so that we can be sure to provide the best support for each of you.
We have small teaching groups and every student has a timetable that is personalised. Some attend for a small number of hours and others have a full timetable. Some students will split their time between Willow Bank and their own school. We will try to find a way to maximize everyone’s potential while giving all the support that is needed.
Timetables are displayed around the school and a pdf copy can be downloaded here
Breakfast available from when students arrive in school after 8.45am.
FOOD AT WILLOW BANK
Breakfast club runs every morning. We understand that it is not always possible to find time to have something to eat before you leave the house in the morning and being hungry can make it hard to concentrate in your lessons. All students are welcome to breakfast and a drink free of charge each morning.
Morning break lasts 20 minutes and students are welcome to bring snacks and drinks into school or buy snacks and home-baked items from the kitchen.
Lunch time is 40 minutes long. Students are welcome to bring a packed lunch or can order a school meal from the kitchen in the morning before lessons begin. The kitchen offers a variety of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, paninis and soups. There is always a daily special. All our food is freshly prepared each day.
Current menus, current price list and further details about catering at Willow Bank School can be found at Food at Willow Bank
Fruit and water are always available to all students free of charge.
Students are taught in small groups with others of a similar age. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum to all which may include English, Maths, Science, Computing, Art, Drama, PE, RE, Film Studies, French, History, Geography, and PSHE.
For all the students the curriculum is delivered in small groups in a nurturing environment. Learning is supported by a strong pastoral element in the school and an active system of home visits and tutorials. Some students may have lessons within the schools learning suite where 1:1 lessons and small group work is facilitated. This are used to provide extra support in addition to work within the usual classes.
Students leave Willow Bank with a range of qualifications including GCSE, Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills or Entry Level.
WORK EXPERIENCE AND CAREERS
Students in Year 11 undertake a period of work experience in the autumn term, with some continuing to complete an extended placement. In addition, students are taught important employability skills through PSHE.
We have a careers advisor linked to the school from Connexions who will provide individual support for students when making choices regarding their transition after Year 11.
We offer a range of extra-curricular activities and clubs during the school year which include cooking, music, arts award, knitting and gardening. In the past we have organised other physical activities such as canoeing, climbing and dance.
Throughout the year we have ‘Enrichment Days’ where we focus on something a bit different. These include Arts, Science, Team-building and Community work. We regularly have visits from others who are able to run poetry days, theatre productions and sports events. Students are encouraged to suggest ideas for extra-curricular activities they would like to see.
MAKING NEW FRIENDS
Making new friends can be nerve-wracking and is often the biggest worry for new students. However, we have friendly staff and students to make it easier for you in your first few weeks with us. Willow Bank regularly takes new students so we are used to having new faces around the school. You may not be the only new student starting on that day.
All our students have come from a mainstream school for a number of reasons, but this means that every student understands how nervous you might feel on the first few days. The school is small so you will become familiar with others very quickly. You may even share transport with other students so it won’t be long before you make friends.
Some students here may be anxious about talking to new people so you might find you are as nervous as each other! A smile and a ‘hello’ may be all you need to do to break the ice, and working alongside each other in small groups will help to cement your new friendships in a remarkably short time.
The heart of Willow Bank School is the Hub (which is sometimes called the Student Circulation Centre or SCC) where students gather before and after school, as well as at break and lunch times. There are opportunities to sit and chat, read, eat your food or play a game of pool and table football!
If you need to bring any medication into school, they will need to be locked away for safety reasons. There is also a form that your parent / carer will need to sign. Please speak with reception or a member of staff for more information. Please do not share medicines with other students, whether or not they are prescribed by a doctor.
TAXIS AND TRANSPORT
Some students may be transported to school by taxi. If this is the case, you will soon get to recognise your taxi driver and get to know the other students who travel with you. When you arrive or leave, we ask you to sign in at the school entrance. Be sure to collect any of your medications from reception before you leave.
NEW STUDENT ASSESSMENT GROUP
New Student Group runs for around four weeks with students usually attending for two session a week. During this time you will be assessed for:
- Academic skills in curriculum subjects
- Strengths and Difficulties
- Social skills
- How you manage the school environment
- Your ambitions and links with their schools
This will help us to define a pathway for you.