The secret of crafting a strong vision: Big Dreams, Small Words

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” – NELSON MANDELA


West Lea is a distinctive, dynamic and diverse SEND* school where there is a strong sense of pride and belonging, with an ethos of empowering each child to be as independent as possible. This strategic vision is focused around creating an environment built on success, self-discovery, passion for learning and developing core skills for life. Their ‘Learning for Life’ mission is concerned with the advancement of the whole person: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Executive Head Teacher, Sue Tripp “I have never swayed from my vision for all of my pupils to be given the best opportunities to gain paid employment, independent living, housing options, good health, special friendships and community inclusion.”

When you visit any one of the three campuses, it is clear the school places great emphasis on the dignity of the individual and promotes respect for others. The students feel supported, welcomed and are involved in their own learning and help drive school decisions.

Tripp continues, “equality is not always about treating everyone the same (or spending loads of money!) – it’s about treating people in such a way that the outcome for each person can be the same; it’s about thinking outside the box, looking at things from a different perspective. If you’ve done what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got! Here at West Lea, we still have a long way to go but it’s up to the staff, parents and of course, our young people to take a stand and be proud!”

“We paint a picture in our own minds to pursue dreams and achieve goals to stimulate an idea of the future; a strong wish. A clear vision will open your mind to the endless possibilities of the future. It is crafting this vision that will help overcome the many challenges and obstacles our young people will face when times are tough.”

“A vision that is well defined helps you to focus the mind and create a purpose that becomes a measurement for your success, whatever the challenge life will throw at you!”

“Moreover, the school leadership firmly believe that a strong and current vision connects passion with potential, regardless of what is going on in this chaotic, confusing world – or the inherent challenges this presents to our young people. A key aim of the school is to help students understand what and why they are doing the things they are doing. Because of this strategy, our students feel engaged and more valuable as people when goals are achieved and accolades awarded.”

The Executive Headteacher concludes, “West Lea cannot cure, but by having high expectations; accepting and learning about who we are, self-efficacy, managing our health and disabilities. Our vision is to focus on what we can do – rather than to fixate on what we can’t. By believing in this compelling vision, our students will have access to a full and fruitful life.”

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” – BOB MARLEY

* SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability.