We give all of our students the support they need to succeed
As an inclusive school, we strive to ensure all students are able to succeed. The Academy helps students master basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as developing life skills in preparation for post-16 studies.
All staff use their best endeavours to ensure students with SEND receive the support they require and engage in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND. Our aim is to ensure high quality teaching is delivered which is well matched to students’ needs and abilities. This means we make adjustments to our lessons to embrace all students. However, if students’ needs cannot be met in this way, additional support is put in place. We use a model of deciding exactly what the student needs, planning this carefully, implementing it and then checking how they got on. We call this assess – plan – do – review. This individual support may include specialist interventions. Interventions are focused teaching programmes designed to enhance a pupil’s knowledge, understanding or skills. They can take place within a lesson or outside of the lesson. They can be for one student or for a group of students. They run for a set period when it is anticipated the student will have accelerated their learning. They can be delivered by teachers, Paraprofessionals or Intervention Tutors. They can cover any aspect of learning but are often to do with enhancing literacy and numeracy skills. The specialist interventions some students might require include an alternative curriculum pathway.
We place a high emphasis on student progress and as such, regularly monitors and reports on their academic progress and soft skills including communication, working with others, problem solving and independence. Our provision for SEND students is quality assured to maintain high standards of teaching and learning through what we call learning enquiries and observation through DOTTs (Developing Outstanding Teaching Teams).
The SEND team ensures all members of staff are regularly updated with the individual needs of SEND students and are aware of strategies to support them. This is shared via the additional needs registers, pupil profiles and regular continual professional development.
How do we plan the support we give?
We use a model called ‘assess- plan- do- review’ to decide exactly what a student needs; this model works by assessing the student’s needs, planning carefully, implementing the support and then checking how they got on. This individual support may include specialist interventions. Interventions are focused teaching sessions designed to strengthen a pupil’s knowledge, understanding and skills. They can take place within a lesson or outside of the lesson and be for one student or for a group of students. They run for a set period of time and can be delivered by teachers, Paraprofessionals or Intervention Tutors. They can cover any aspect of learning but are often to do with improving literacy and numeracy skills. If a student needs a specialist intervention this might include an alternative curriculum pathway.
We want all of our students to achieve the best they can and we regularly monitor and report on academic progress and soft skills including communication, working with others, problem solving and independence. Our provision for SEND students observed through high standards of teaching and learning through what we call learning enquiries and observation through DOTTs (Developing Outstanding Teaching Teams).
The SEND team makes sure all members of staff are regularly updated with the individual needs of SEND students and know the right strategies to support them. This is shared via the additional needs registers, pupil profiles and regular continual professional development.
Who leads our SEND team?
Our Director of Inclusion (SEND), Kamran Ayub, is a qualified teacher and has gained the National SENDCo Award, which is a Master level qualification. He is also the designated teacher for Children Looked After (CLA) by the local authority. He leads the SEND team and updates the Academy leadership team on a regular basis.
How do we spend our SEND budget?
The SEND budget is used in a number of ways; a large proportion of this is spent on staffing to support students with SEND. We also use this budget to buy additional resources like specialist material and programmes that will help our SEND students.
We make sure students with high needs funding, provided by the local authority, receive additional support in the nurture/foundation learning groups, additional intervention support, access to our Learning Support Unit (LSU) or additional input from specialist services.
How does the Curriculum and Teaching and Learning for students with SEND?
We offer a wide curriculum to allow our students the best opportunity to fulfil their potential. We work with students to build strong foundation skills with an emphasis on literacy in all subjects.
All teachers have high expectations for all students and differentiate learning activities accordingly, making sure lessons are suitable for every level of ability. Registers of students with additional needs provide teachers with relevant information about our students.
Students in KS3 take part in additional literacy based programmes, a couple of which are called Lexia and Read Write Inc. Students in KS4 have the option of choosing subjects they are interested, which can also include vocational studies at college.
Some of the students in our foundation learning group are encouraged to take part in a range of programmes that focus on the application of skills in the ‘real world’ – these may include Functional Skills, BTEC courses, Step-up qualifications, ASDAN and Prince’s Trust. These are all great courses with external qualifications, which are often suited to the needs of SEND students.
How do we manage transition to and from the Academy?
We understand that change can be scary; to help students have a smooth transition to our Academy we offer taster days, summer school and additional visits for those that need them. We also help students with their steps into post-16 study or work with similar taster days, individual support and advice.
How do assessment happen for SEND students?
Regular assessments are done by teachers throughout the year with the results shared through reports and at parents’ evenings. We love to discuss the results of these assessments and encourage parents and carers to stay in contact with us.
For students who require something different or extra support, access arrangements are put in place. A couple of examples of these are having someone scribe for them or being allowed additional time in assessments. This becomes their normal way of working during all assessments.
For some students who have significant cognitive needs, progress is monitored through B Squared (an assessment toolkit based on the National Curriculum which helps to measure small steps of progress). Like all other assessments and reports, the results will always be shared with parents and carers throughout the year.
What training do staff get?
We are proud that we offer an extensive package of training for all staff. All classroom based staff take part in training during INSET days and are encouraged to attend twilight ‘Join the DOTTs’ (Developing Outstanding Teaching Teams) training sessions. Staff are also encouraged to participate in various other training opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge. Newly Qualified Teachers also have their own weekly training sessions.
In addition, all Intervention Tutors (classroom based support staff) take part in weekly twilight sessions on Thursdays focusing on developing their practice and expertise.
The SEND team works closely with professionals from external agencies to develop skills and knowledge in different areas. We also work with external agencies to support students when they need it, and if they require a level of support that we cannot offer on our own.
How we work in partnership with other agencies
The Academy works collaboratively with our fellow academies in the Co-op Academies Trust; sharing best practice and expertise. We also work closely with a number of local authority external agencies to ensure our students’ needs are met:
· SENSAP (Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment and Provision team) create and monitor Education Health and Care plans.
· SENIT (Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team) is a team of specialist teachers and inclusion workers who work closely with students who have significant learning and social emotional needs.
· EP team (Educational Psychologists) work closely with staff to develop support for students who may be experiencing a range of difficulties.
· CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) support with assessments and therapy work for students with social emotional and mental health needs.
· STARS (Specialist Training in Autism and Raising Standards) a team of autism specialists who offer advice and training for students with autism
· SaLT (Speech and Language Therapists) provide support for students who have communication difficulties.
· DAHIT (Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team) provide guidance and support for students with hearing impairments.
· VIT (Visual Impairment Team) provide guidance and support for students with visual impairments.
In addition, a number of pastoral staff work closely with the Children’s Social Work Service, medical professionals and targeted support services. Through this they are able to identify and support families who require ‘early help’.