The aim of The Woodlands is to deliver a personalised academic, social and therapeutic programme to allow every individual to move on successfully to their next steps in education, employment or training.
The Woodlands, previously known as Broom Cottages Pupil Referral Unit, is the Durham County Council provision for both permanently excluded pupils and those identified as close to permanent exclusion.
For pupils aged 11-16 the provision is located across 2 bases ‘The Elms’ and ‘The Maples’ in Ferryhill, Durham. The Elms and the Maples have a capacity of 70 pupils.
For pupils age 5-11 the provisions are co-located within a mainstream primary school in Langley Park (The Willows) and a second primary base (The Beeches) located at Broom Cottages Primary School. Each Primary base has capacity of 15 pupils.
A restructure of the Woodlands was implemented in September 2015. This included stream lining of the senior leadership team, appointment of a substantive Head teacher, appointment of Heads of Department, the Primary provision was increased and enhanced and a dedicated pastoral team was created to provide extra support to young people on both sites.
The school day at the Woodlands is organised around core lessons taught by experienced teachers: Maths, English, Science, PHSE, PE, Life Skills and Humanities. We deliver a 3 year KS3 curriculum and 2 year KS4 curriculum. Vocational options are delivered each afternoon including Hair & Beauty, Construction, Catering and Design Technology. A variety of out of classroom learning visits helps to motivate the young people including Forest Schools, museum trips and outdoor activities.
When appropriate, students have the opportunity to attend a variety of offsite placements, including for work experience.
- To provide appropriate short term educational provision, for up to two terms in Key Stage 3, to pupils who have been permanently excluded.
- To prepare and support pupils in their next step of education, wherever possible in Key Stage 3, should be a return to the mainstream setting
- To provide a provision at Key Stage 4 which prioritises accreditation and prepare pupils for life after they leave The Woodlands.
These aims will be realised through:
- accessing a child centred, structured environment where students can learn and develop with increased effectiveness
- a thorough identification and assessment of individual needs
- planned programmes of education which respond to those identified individual needs
- access to a broad, balanced, relevant curriculum that supports the personal, social moral, spiritual, physical and academic development of pupils
- full assessment of progress in learning and recognition of achievement through accreditation
- working in close partnership with parents / carers
- working in close partnership with other key professional agencies
- supporting student transition into the next stage of education
In Key Stage 3, The Woodlands does not offer a placement that is a long term alternative to mainstream or special education. It is a short term provision which seeks to support all those involved in securing a successful educational future for permanently excluded students.