Education

WESC Foundation offers specialist education provision for children and young people with a vision impairment. We support school age (up to 16) and college age (16-25) students.

All students have a vision impairment. They also have a diverse range of needs including:

  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Severe Learning disabilities (SLD)
  • Moderate Learning needs (MLD)
  • Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
  • Physical Needs

A specialist school and college

Our School (up to age 16) and specialist FE College (ages 16 to 25) are day and residential settings, and we support young people from across the UK.

A visual impairment limits opportunities for incidental learning. This means that our students typically require a longer period of time to acquire, practice and develop skills. As a result daily living skills and functional skills are embedded early on in our curriculum for the school and college.

Staff at WESC Foundation

Specialist teachers work at WESC Foundation, with many holding either the QTVI (Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired) or MSI (Multi-sensory Impairment) qualification. Teachers are required to begin the most appropriate course within 2 years of starting.

We also have our own team of therapy, mobility and orientation staff who are employed directly by the charity.

Visual impairment awareness training is an integral part of induction for every new staff member, regardless of where they work. Regular and ongoing training is given to all staff who work directly with our young people, including their teachers, therapists and enablers.

Specialist resources

Braille, Moon and tactile communication teaching and support is available through specialist teachers, tutors and therapists. Most enablers are training in Grade 1 Braille and some in Grade 2.

Students are able to access the appropriate technology, equipment and learning resources suited to their needs. Access technology support is available to ensure that staff and students are familiar with the latest and most appropriate equipment.

Facilities at WESC Foundation

Our young people live together in a student village on our 14 acre campus with plenty of outdoor space.

Kitchens are adapted with adjustable height work surfaces and appliances, talking microwaves and other equipment. Hoists are available in bedrooms and bathrooms for students who need them, and there are communal areas for eating, socialising and developing essential daily living skills like doing the laundry.

We are lucky to have enviable therapy and care facilities, including:

  • 25m heated swimming pool
  • separate Hydrotherapy pool
  • mechanical therapy horse
  • trampolines for Rebound therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy rooms with communication aids and other equipment
  • extensive outdoor sensory learning areas including the Discovery Garden and a separate site in the Devon countryside

The WESC Foundation Curriculum

Our curriculum has been specifically designed to support progression for children and young people with a vision impairment and additional needs

Our curriculum inspires our young people to engage with and enjoy the learning process, embedding learning into their daily lives.

Our curriculum ensures students engage in a broad range of exciting and creative opportunities, developing their independence and having fun as they learn.

It ensures that fun and enjoyment are an essential part of the learning journey, seeing motivation as key.

Learning at WESC Foundation happens everywhere and focuses on gaining independence and preparation for adulthood.

There is a wide range of opportunities for students to achieve accreditation where it is relevant and appropriate. Qualifications are not the driving force behind the curriculum; rather an additional incentive for those students who are aware of and choose to engage with them.

Specialist curriculum (more information)