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Building confidence

Having fun

Encouraging growth mindsets

Sparking curiosity

Teaching & learning for the 21st century

Your journey begins here

A strong family ethos which encourages each child to develop as an individual.

A warm welcome to West Lodge School. Whilst you are probably looking at West Lodge because you have high expectations for your child, our vision of education is so much more than that. It is about character development, building resilience and life beyond the classroom.

Mr Robert Francis, Head Teacher

What makes West Lodge special?

1

Strong Academic Results

“The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent”. ISI Report 2002

- Students’ success at 11+ exams speaks for itself with our leavers regularly securing places at top performing state and independent schools.

- Preparation for secondary school entrance exams starts in Year 1 and the whole family is supported during the transition to secondary school.

- The large majority of leavers, including those with SEND, are successful in achieving places at competitive grammar or independent senior schools with high standards of entry.

2

An excellent school…

Our 2022 ISI report rated West Lodge as ‘excellent’ in all sixteen areas.

Some of the areas highlighted included:

- Pupils’ achievement is excellent; pupils, including those with SEND, make rapid progress over time.
- Pupils demonstrate advanced skills, knowledge and understanding for their age.
- Pupils’ attitudes towards learning and achievement are outstanding.
- Pupils’ competence in ICT is highly advanced.
- Pupils’ self-confidence and self-esteem are excellent.
- Pupils demonstrate outstanding moral awareness.

3

A head start to your child’s education

“Pupils demonstrate advanced skills, knowledge and understanding for their age”.
ISI Report 2022

Our nursery and reception classes provide your child with a head start in an environment where the priority is to ensure learning is fun and exciting. Daily literacy and numeracy lessons are at the core, with additional child centric topics and discrete subjects that encompass Science, Humanities, Art and Design and Sport.

Our superb brand new and well resourced outdoor learning area supports this learning.

“The progress and attainment of children in the EYFS are excellent, with above national percentages of children attaining and exceeding a good level of development in the same years”.

“Artwork displayed across the school, such as younger pupils’ versions of Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory and work on Kandinsky, is of high quality. It features strong composition and ability to use shape, colour and texture to create particular effects” 2022 ISI Report.

4

A ‘Growth Mindset School’

Pupils learn how to learn, to adopt a growth mindset and understand that mistakes are an important part of learning.

Pupils are encouraged to use their learning powers of concentration, curiosity, co-operation, self improvement and resilience in everything they do. These are skills that will empower them throughout their lifelong learning journey.

"Pupils were highly engaged throughout all lessons seen, showing excellent concentration and application of effort". ISI Report 2022

"The average impact of metacognition and self-regulation strategies is an additional seven months’ progress over the course of a year". Education Endowment Foundation.

5

Small class sizes, personalised learning

We know this model works, which is why we have no plans to increase our intake.

Class sizes of no more than 22, and one class per year group, means our dedicated teaching team knows each child well, allowing every child’s school experience to be personalised to their specific needs and interests.

Our small size, akin to the archetypal village school (but with 21st century technology and opportunity) means West Lodge is a strong and mutually supportive community and children clearly understand how they can make a difference in the school community and the wider world.

"Pupils’ contribution to others is outstanding...pupils demonstrate an outstanding sense of responsibility towards, for example, victims of war, families affected by hunger or severe illness, and animal welfare.... the oldest pupils’ reflections on their responsibilities toward younger ones show a strong understanding of why these matter". ISI Report 2022

"West Lodge is like your family away from your family". Year 6 Pupil

6

Truly independent

West Lodge is a not- for-profit school which is overseen by a board of trustees who ensure that the school is run for the good of the community and that all proceeds directly benefit the school's pupils.

This contrasts with some other independent schools which are privately owned by an individual or operated by a corporation to make money or turn a profit to pay shareholders or individuals.

Put simply, the children are at the heart of our educational model, but also our operational model, providing a truly child-centric approach, experience and benefits.

7

Setting imaginations on fire

Our broad curriculum and experienced teaching and support team empower every child to explore and discover a myriad of subjects.

Be it Literacy, Mathematics, History, Geography Latin, Food Technology, Geography, French, Spanish, Dance, Cookery, Public Speaking or Music there’s something for every interest.

"Pupils’ attitudes towards learning and achievement are outstanding...These highly positive attitudes are supported by enthusiastic teaching and pacey lessons that keep the pupils’ interest". 2022 ISI Report

"Pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding increase as a result of the teachers’ clear guidance and explanations. Staff ask questions to enable pupils to develop and express their understanding". 2022 ISI Report

8

Specialist teaching

"Children in the Nursery and Reception were able to identify different instruments in the music that they listened to, such as drums and ukuleles".
ISI Report, 2022

Specialist IT, French, Spanish, Public Speaking, Music, Latin, PE, Science and Food Technology teachers complement our team of experienced primary teachers who deliver the core curriculum, supported by our dedicated teaching assistants.

Having access to the specialist skills of these teachers enhances pupils’ learning, gives them a head start at secondary school, allows them to dive into a wide variety of subjects and enjoy success in these areas as the 2022 ISI Report outlines:

"The oldest pupils’ language work shows an excellent understanding of French and Spanish vocabulary".

"Pupils’ competence in ICT is highly advanced."

"Children in the Nursery and Reception were able to identify different instruments in the music that they listened to, such as drums and ukeleles. They displayed strong control of the tone and volume of their singing".

9

Empowering future leaders

"Pupils’ decision-making skills are advanced for their age". ISI Report 2022

Our role is to prepare children for careers that don’t yet exist; so equipping them with a wide range of technical and transferrable skills is integral to their future success.

"Most parents who responded to the questionnaire agreed that the school equips their children with the team working, collaborative and research skills they need in later life. Inspection evidence supports this view". ISI Report 2022

"Pupils achieve a very high proportion of distinctions in LAMDA examinations, with the other entrants gaining merits". ISI Report, 2022

"Pupils’ competence in ICT is highly advanced". ISI Report 2022

"They [the teachers] give pupils leadership roles that enable them to act on behalf of others". ISI Report 2022

"Pupils’ collaborative skills are very strong". ISI Report 2022

10

A focus on wellbeing

Pupils’ self-confidence and self-esteem are excellent.
ISI Report, 2022.

We know that happy children learn best, and pastoral care at West Lodge is second to none. Looking after the children to ensure they feel safe, secure and happy and feel that they have a voice and are listened to is at the heart of everything we do.

Each pupil’s well-being is carefully monitored and alongside assessment of academic progress, we use a tracking system to monitor each child’s personal development.

"Pupils’ self-confidence and self-esteem are excellent". ISI Report, 2022

"Pupils’ understanding of how to stay safe and keep healthy is notably strong". 2022 ISI Report 2022

When asked to choose 3 words that best describe West Lodge, a parent commented: "Nurturing, inclusive, child focused".

11

Educating the whole child

Pupils’ academic and other achievements are excellent...[their] achievements in these areas are supported by the wide range of clubs they attend. ISI Report, 2022.

At West Lodge we recognise the importance of providing a wide range of opportunities for pupils to explore and to support and enhance their classroom learning.

Pupils achieve a very high proportion of distinctions in LAMDA examinations, with the other entrants gaining merits. Pupils have achieved success in regional and ISA Art competitions and sporting events such as under-11 Netball, Cricket and Basketball. West Lodge Under 11 Netball Team are currently leading the Bexley High Five Netball League.

Pupils have achieved individual success in national poetry competitions and music scholarships. Individual pupils have taken part in a UK Intermediate Maths Challenge.

Pupils’ achievements in these areas are supported by the wide range of clubs they attend.

Meet our community

Our thriving and supportive community is a real strength of our school. 'Meet' some members of our community who tell their 'West Lodge Stories'...

Head Pupils

Reception Pupil

What do you like most about West Lodge?

Playing with my friends.I liked the superhero topic and I like PE.

What school visits have you enjoyed?

I liked going to the Police Station and meeting ‘Monster’ the cat!

What do you want to be when you’re older?

A vet

Year 4 Pupil

What do you enjoy most about West Lodge?

I like the lessons, teachers always make them fun.  Maths is my favourite because we get really hard challenges.

I also like doing coding and drawing in Art.

Which learning power do you use most?

Curiosity, because I like to know more about each topic.

Mrs Coleman

Head of English and Year 4 Teacher

How do you think West Lodge supports children to become independent learners?
Teachers ensure that every lesson provides children with success criteria, identifying the level of challenge available within the lesson, Children are empowered from the outset of every lesson to aspire to an appropriate level of challenge for themselves. This is supported by the school-wide marking policy which uses a purple pen for praise and green for an additional challenge. Children actively reflect on their learning and respond to teacher comments on their learning.

How do children at West Lodge use the Library to support their learning and reading for pleasure?
The staff and children of West Lodge are proud of the school library. Children from Reception upwards have the opportunity to select books to read and scan them in and out of the library system. These books are enjoyed alongside the Oxford Reading Tree scheme books until the children have completed the scheme and become ‘free readers’. Books are coloured-coded in the library in relation to age and appropriateness ensuring children can select books that are suitably challenging and enjoyable for them to read. Children are encouraged to take full advantage of the extensive range of books in the library through the school-wide reading challenges included in each child’s reading record.

Why do you think West Lodge is a special place for children to learn?
Children at West Lodge are nurtured and supported throughout their time at school. They are given appropriate challenges and are encouraged as independent learners to be curious and courageous. The curriculum at West Lodge enables children to fulfil their potential across all areas of the curriculum.

Year 1 Pupil

What do you like most about West Lodge?

When I get to do Computing.  I like reading books and playing outside, too.  I like the Hero Academy books as they are all about exciting rescues.

Which has been your favourite school trip?

The trip to see the police horses.

Which learning power do you use most?

Concentration.

Alumna

How did you feel before you started your new school?

I felt very nervous about making new friends, but also excited about the new opportunities I was about to experience.

How did you feel after your first day at your new school?

I felt calm and happy as I had already made friends during summer school. As it was our first few weeks the teachers weren’t as strict as I expected them to be. The year 8s were really nice and sociable and we were made to feel welcome.

Are you used to your new routine and uniform?

I have definitely got used to my new routine and my uniform, I make sure I pack my bag the night before so I don’t forget any books. I have to remember what clubs I have at lunch and after school.

What are the biggest differences between West Lodge and your new school?

The biggest differences are that we have different classrooms and teachers for each subject so it was a bit tricky trying to find them on your first day, but it gets easier. The size and the amount of pupils is a lot larger than West Lodge! 

What did you learn at West Lodge that has helped you in your first weeks at secondary school?

West Lodge has helped me to stay organised and to be independent. They have helped me understand the importance of keeping on top of homework and not letting it build up.

Which of your learning powers have you used most at secondary school?

Sadie the Squirrel (cooperation) has helped me as it can help you make more friends and get along with other people.

Year 5 Pupil

What have you enjoyed most about your time at West Lodge so far?

When we went to France. We had time to explore France and then could enjoy swimming in the evening with our friends.  Lunches were really nice; I would really recommend the School Journey.

What is your favourite subject?

I love doing PE and also creative writing, because you can play with your imagination.  I personally love writing rhyming poems; you can make them rhyme and make them interesting. In PE we do all sorts of different sports including cricket, gymnastics and tennis and we even go swimming as a whole class.

What three words would you use to describe West Lodge?

Family, teamwork, proud.

Which learning powers do you use most?

Concentration because I like to focus on the work I am doing.

Mr Weighill

Deputy Head Teacher and Year 6 Teacher

How does the KS2 curriculum at West Lodge ensure children are prepared for the next stage of their education?
For me, West Lodge truly is a unique school. It successfully combines a natural ability to balance both the core subjects (such as English and Maths) and specialist lessons (such Art, MFL and Music) into a “normal” week.

Alongside our class teaching, the curriculum is constantly enriched by other activities such as public speaking, current affairs, sporting activities and themed weeks.

Children of different abilities are given an element of choice and challenge to further and extend their own learning up until Year 6, whilst the transition to Year 7 is a smooth one due to protected time dedicated to this process.

How does West Lodge ensure students have a smooth transition to secondary school?
As part of our PSHE curriculum, children in Year 6 will have a variety of lessons exploring transition to secondary school in the summer term. Furthermore, alumni pupils in Year 7 are invited and encouraged to come and return to West Lodge to provide Q&A sessions with our current Year 6 pupils. These prove to be invaluable, as well as a proactive approach to speaking with the schools that our children go to. The number of teenagers who still return to our school for a variety of work experiences demonstrates how successful this process is.

What leadership opportunities does West Lodge provide to children?
Throughout their time at West Lodge, children are regularly provided with opportunities to lead. Each class votes for both School Councillors and Eco Councillors, who then lead their peers in related issues. Whilst in regular weekly scheduled problem-solving activities, children are able to demonstrate their leadership skills in these collaborative tasks.

As the children move up the school, naturally expectations increase and as children enter Year 6, they are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their increasing responsibility, whether it be as House Captain, Sports Captain or Head Pupil to name but a few, Year 6 children embrace the challenge of leading their younger peers through their education. West Lodge also takes pride in children leading tours for prospective parents as they know their school best!

What has been your favourite West Lodge moment to date?
I honestly have multiple favourite moments since I joined West Lodge in 2016. Most children would say I love our week at Osmington Bay for our school residential in May almost as much as them. But actually, as Year 6 teacher, my favourite time of year (and also the busiest) is the last few weeks of the summer term. It is the celebration of the journey the children have had at West Lodge, comparing the four year olds that join us to eight years later, when they are eleven and about to leave and are ready to move on to secondary school. It gives my job not only great satisfaction, but immense pride.

Year 3 Pupil

What do you enjoy most about West Lodge?

All my friends.  All the children are really nice and welcoming.  If someone is alone someone always says ‘Do you want to play?’.

What is your favourite subject?

PE.  Today we did PE at the start of the day and our brains were all warmed up before we started learning; we came into the classroom happy.

What three words would you use to describe West Lodge?

Curious, cooperative, welcoming.

What is your favourite memory of your time at West Lodge so far?

When Mr McCabe takes us to a football match.  We all cheer each other on.

What would you like to do when you’re older?

Be a footballer, but if I don’t do that I would like a job where I work 2 or 3 days a week and have time to do other things too.

Year 2 Pupil

What do you like most about West Lodge?

Doing subjects like PE and Maths.  I like the school trips; yesterday we went swimming.  We’re going to the beach before the summer holidays and we can have some ice cream there!

I like the food, my favourite is the pizza.

I also like doing LAMDA; it’s really fun.

Alumnus

How did you feel before you started at your new school?

A bit nervous but excited. 

How did you feel after your first day at your new school?

Slightly overwhelmed by the size and amount of other pupils but fine overall.

Are you used to your new routine and uniform?

Yes. You get used to it pretty quickly.

What are the biggest differences between West Lodge and your new school?

The size. Obviously West Lodge is quite a small school. There are more children in Year 7 in my new school than the whole of West Lodge. 

What did you learn at West Lodge that has helped you in your first weeks at secondary school?

Being organised and don't be afraid to ask questions or to put your hand up to answer a question.

Which of your learning powers have you used most at secondary school?

Resilience. 

Mrs Knights

SENDCo

What do you think is special about the West Lodge community?
West Lodge is a warm, friendly, caring and inclusive community of adults and children. There is a sense of family as soon as you walk through the door; everyone supporting each other to be the best they can be each day.

Describe a typical day for you at West Lodge.
I usually start my school day discussing with colleagues how children are progressing and planning how we can best support them. I then spend most of my day with children either on a 1:1 or small group basis, working on their individual targets. My day always contains meetings with parents and other professionals and ends with further reflection time with colleagues. My days are always full, interesting and varied.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?
The most rewarding part of my role is observing when a child has overcome a hurdle, made a step forward or realised their own aspiration, knowing I have had a hand in getting them there.

Nursery Pupil

What do you like most about West Lodge?

Playing with my friends and sharing toys.  I liked learning to sing ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ in French.

 

Alumnus

How did you feel before you started at your new school?

Excited and a little scared.

How did you feel after your first day at your new school?

Happy, welcomed.

Are you used to your new routine and uniform?

Yes.

What are the biggest differences between West Lodge and your new school?

My new school is a lot bigger.

What did you learn at West Lodge that has helped you in your first weeks at secondary school?

Presentation skills.

Which of your learning powers have you used most at secondary school?

Resilience.