The staff at Walton-le-Dale High School are committed to ensuring that our young people fulfill their potential. The achievement of excellence, according to each child's level of ability, is our priority.
Walton-le-Dale understands that 'Learning for Life' requires students to learn the skills, to develop the qualities and attitudes they will need in all aspects of their future life. We also understand that students have different learning styles.
Our Unique Key Stage 3 Opening Minds Curriculum
We understand that `Learning for Life' requires students to learn the skills and develop the qualities and attitudes they will need in all aspects of their future life. We also understand that students have different learning styles.
We place a strong emphasis on basic skills in literacy, numeracy and the use of ICT. However, we also know that to prepare students for their GCSE exams, and for later life, we need to develop other skills such as thinking, team work, problem solving, working independently and decision making. We also want to ensure that our youngsters develop those personal qualities which will set them up for later life, and to develop their self-esteem and creativity. This is why we created our own unique curriculum in Key Stage 3; a curriculum which has been highly praised by national educational bodies.
Students in `Opening Minds' curriculum, spend longer periods of time with their own tutor group and their teacher looking at themed topics such as `Lost' and `Moving Here'. They often learn through practical experience and taking responsibility for their own learning. Group work, independent research and the use of ICT are common features of these lessons. Students' survey show this is a very popular lesson.
We believe such a curriculum is much more effective and will lead to students gaining better exam results. We also believe that it will give our students the tools for their future lives and education.
Key Stage 4
At the end of Key Stage 3 each student chooses what they study over the following two years. All students follow exam courses in English, Maths, and Science, as well as courses in PE & PSHE, with the majority of students taking an examination course in ICT.
Students also choose further options, with guidance from parents and teachers, from a wide list of optional subjects, including Design Technology, Humanities subjects, French, Art, Performing Arts, Sport, Business & Healh & Social Care. We seek to ensure that all students take an appropriate mix of academic and vocational courses and as a small school we are able to offer personalised curriculum with some students completing work experience or a college course.
Special Educational Needs
Walton-le-Dale is one of the very few schools in Lancashire with the Inclusion Quality Mark. We are proud to be an inclusive school which does its best for each and every child. We have the advantage of being a small school where it is posisble to give attention to the needs of the individual. A child with special needs will benefit from the support of the staff in the Learning Support Department. Some students will receive individual intensive support in literacy and numeracy where necessary. However, for most of the time Teaching Assistants support students in lessons.
The school also provides support for students who are experience emotional difficulties by offering a counselling service through an external counsellor.
Talented, Able and Gifted
We also have students who benefit from opportunties to stretch themselves further. We have a programme of events, including visits to higher educational institutions, and some students may be entered early for exams. Lessons are monitored so our most able studentes are suitably challenged.
We seek to develop respect for people of all cultures, religion and race. Religious Studies lessons play a crucial role in this.
Religious Studies is delivered through Opening Minds in years 7 & 8 and is taught as a discrete subject in year 9. Religious Studies is an option at Key stage 4.. Whilst the study of Christian values, beliefs, teachings, practices and traditions forms the core of the course, other major world religions are also studied. Lessons do not involve any form of religious instruction. The emphasis is upon the nurturing of understanding and sense of perspective, moral issues, decision-making and the consequences of people's behaviour upon other people and society.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Studies but this seldom happens.