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Westfield Arts College

Our vision

To offer each of our pupils an exciting, well-balanced curriculum and outstanding opportunities that support them to achieve their full potential.

Broadening Horizons

To hold the pupil at the centre of everything we do by working in close partnership with them, parents and carers, external agencies and the community beyond the school.

To provide a safe and happy learning environment in which our pupils grow into confident, independent young people with the skills they need to make a positive contribution to society. 

To maintain and further develop a superb staff and governor team that is able to offer our pupils education and care of the highest quality. 

Ofsted rating


Outstanding (December 2016)


Read our latest Ofsted report.

Needs supported


We support pupils aged 4 to 19 years with a range of complex needs including:

  • moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
  • autistic spectrum conditions (ASC)
  • a variety of additional needs

Admission criteria

We admit pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
Admission is through the local authority panel process.

Our school and facilities

Westfield Arts College is located within spacious grounds with a number of buildings, including a sixth form bungalow.

We have a number of subject-specific classrooms such as:

  • a science lab
  • a design technology workshop
  • an ICT and computing room
  • a music room
  • an art studio
  • a drama studio

We also have:

  • a multipurpose hall
  • a sports hall
  • a climbing wall
  • sensory and soft playrooms
  • a library

On our site we have a large amount of outdoor space, including:

  • a games area
  • a green gym
  • a sensory garden 
  • a working allotment
  • an adventure playground

Class set up

Our classes are based on level of need and key stage, rather than year group.
Class sizes vary depending on the needs of our puils, with some being tailored to a particular approach.

Curriculum and qualifications

At Westfield Arts College we follow the national curriculum with appropriate differentiation to match individual pupils' skills and rate of learning.

Students in key stage 4 and in our sixth form work towards accredited courses, such as Entry Level maths and English. A very small number of pupils in key stage 4 may be able to access GCSEs if it's appropriate.

We have a strong focus on the arts, sport, creativity and outdoor learning.

Broadening Horizons

At Westfield Arts College we have a personal development skills curriculum called Broadening Horizons. This is aimed at develping independence and life skills. We embed Broadening Horzions throughout our school.
Broadening Horizons also includes:
  • outdoor learning opportunities
  • educational visits
  • residentials

Approaches and staff expertise

We train our staff to deliver:

  • fine and gross motor skills programmes
  • sensory circuits
  • Lego therapy
  • drawing, talking and rebound therapy
The wellbeing of pupils is at the centre of everything we do.

We have a team of intervention teaching assistants (TAs) who support pupils in a variety of areas where they may be struggling. We have a Pupil and Parent Support Team who provide emotional support and advice.

We're fortunate to be supported by the Swifts team who work with the school and parents on approaches to managing behaviours. We employ a part-time speech and language therapist to work with identified pupils.

Westfield gave my son the chance to be himself without judgement and plenty of support. He grew in confidence and I am proud of the young man he has become due to the help he received in Westfield.  

November 2018

Access to outside professionals

Depending on need, our pupils can access these therapies on site:

  • occupational therapy
  • physiotherapy
  • speech and language therapy
We also have a link educational psychologist.

Next steps and transitions


Special school places are not always permanent. Every year a child or young person's special school placement will be reviewed as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan review process and will discuss various options including:

  • into adulthood
  • life skills
  • developing independence
  • sixth form choices
  • Local Offer after 16 years and after 19 years
We support our pupils to find an appropriate further education place if they're able to move on to mainstream education after the age of 16.

If it's appropriate, our pupils can stay on for our school's sixth form for up to 3 years. The focus of our sixth form provision is to get pupils out into the community and develop their independence skills.

"Elliott came to Westfield aged 8, after struggling to manage in mainstream. He has a diagnosis of ASD and has difficulties with social interaction and communication.

From an early age Elliott was motivated by sport, particularly swimming. He swam competitively nationally and was supported by home to pursue his passion. At the end of year 11 Elliott achieved GCSE art, Level 1 in radio production and Entry Level qualifications in English, maths, science, PE and design and technology.

He also completed a successful work experience at a local leisure centre.

Unsure of what to do, Elliott stayed at Westfield to improve his basic skills and continue with a one day a week placement at the leisure centre. After a term of sixth form Elliott has a full-time job at the leisure centre and is a qualified lifeguard."

Westfield Arts College

Name: Seán Kretz, headteacher
Email: office@westfield.dorset.sch.uk
Tel: 01305833518
Full contact details