SEN Communication and Interaction

West Oaks School has been re-designated as a SEN Specialist School through the Specialist School and Academies Trust. Through this process the school has changed its specialism from Technology to a specialist school for Communication and Interaction.

Schools with the SEN specialism demonstrate effective and innovative practice in removing barriers to learning for all students. At West Oaks School we have specialised in communication and interaction. Specialist Schools specialising in Communication and Interaction cater for students with:

  • Speech and language delay, impairments or disorders
  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Additional needs or moderate to severe learning difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Conditions and/or moderate and severe learning difficulties.

We have considerable expertise in developing and utilising communication systems to best meet the needs of individual pupils through such diverse media as Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), Intensive Interaction and Makaton (signing and symbols). Over 60% of our current pupils have a diagnosis of autism. The school has developed and enhanced facilities and resources to support pupils with complex communication needs.

Applied Learning

Our second specialism Applied Learning or vocational specialism encourages and supports the approach to teaching and learning that ensures that young people can not only grasp subject knowledge but can also demonstrate an understanding of how it is relevant in a workplace environment.

The specialism has helped West Oaks develop a network of local partnerships. These typically involve other schools, colleges, training providers, local businesses and employers. Our young people are able to progress and add value to their school and college experience through relevant and challenging work based learning in our two workshops and through our ‘shop’ in Boston Spa library.

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