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Fundraising continues for Westhaven School’s sports hall appeal

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 April 2016

Westhaven School pupils and staff carry out a science experiment.

Westhaven School pupils and staff carry out a science experiment.

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Fundraising efforts to build a modern sports hall for Westhaven School have continued in recent weeks, with donations still being sent in.

The Mercury is supporting the school, which is based in Uphill, with its appeal.

The school’s PE lessons are currently held in the same hall as its assemblies and lunches – and headteacher Tracy Towler hopes a modern sports hall and changing room can be built on its grounds.

This week, the Mercury is shining a light on the school’s ethos and how it supports its children, who have a range of learning difficulties or physical disabilities which mean they cannot use the facilities available in mainstream schools.

Ms Towler said: “Why is Westhaven an outstanding school? It is because of our outstanding teachers who share outstanding pedagogy, which is the art of teaching.

“The teachers are creative and well-planned, and they share successful teaching techniques.

“Some children within the school do have complex barriers to learning and the key to our success is we are a quiet school.

“It is a very quiet learning environment so children with hyper-sensitivity are not disturbed.”

The school, led by Ms Towler, has adopted what it calls the ‘Westhaven way’, an ethos followed by pupils and staff alike.

Ms Towler said: “This is showing learning behaviour, respect for others, being the best you can be and aiming high for the future.

“We are in the top three for academic results across the country for specialist schools with children with complex needs.”

The school aims for every child to begin learning 30 seconds after they enter a classroom.

There are a number of rewards on offer for good work and behaviour, and when they collect 100 points, pupils are given a £5 voucher to spend in the school shop.

Ms Towler said: “Within Westhaven, the children also have a true voice.

“We have a very active school council who take their responsibilities very seriously.

“I always give them a written response and highlight when things are taken forward, such as after-school clubs.”

The school also places an emphasis on the importance of vocational education, which gets the pupils ready for work.

This involves them working in a garden centre on the school grounds and selling plants to the public, and training to fix bicycles.

The pupils have also taken part in a mini marathon to raise money for Weston Hospicecare.

To support the Westhaven appeal, visit www.westhavenschool.org.uk/donate, or send cash or cheques to Westhaven School, Ellesmere Road, Uphill, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 4UT. They must be made payable to ‘Friends of Westhaven PTA’ and donors must say if they want their donation to be anonymous and say the donation is for the sports hall project.

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