Our Special Educational Needs co-ordinator is Mrs J Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mrs Robinson works with two assistant SENCos, Chloe Tyler (Kinder and Hollins houses) and Laura Rowland (Bowden and Combs houses).
This school is unusual in that we not only cater for students in the mainstream setting, who have additional needs but we also have an Enhanced Resource Provision on site. We have experience of meeting the needs of students with disabilities and the building is fully accessible. Our admissions are managed by Derbyshire County Council. Parents of students with an existing Education, Health and Care plan have the opportunity to consider a range of provision on transition to secondary school and should work with the Local Authority to find the best provision for their child. The Local Authority must agree your child’s placement and parents should contact the SEN section, County Hall, Matlock DE4 3AG email@example.com to discuss this.
We are always happy to meet with parents to discuss how we could meet your child’s needs. Parents of students with additional needs who are considering requesting in-year admission should contact Mrs P Griffiths, Assistant Headteacher and arrange to visit us.
In the mainstream setting we aim to meet the needs of all students and ensure that they make the best progress of which they are capable. All teachers are responsible for the progress of all of the students they teach. All teachers are expected to make reasonable adjustments in their teaching and to differentiate their teaching and materials according to the needs of the students in their class. This is the basic “quality first” expectation of teachers in the school.
Some students will require additional provision which is different from and in addition to that which is received by their peers. We offer some small group teaching for students who need to improve their basic literacy and numeracy skills. We run a number of time limited interventions focussing on specific skills, where we identify gaps in learning.
There will be some students who may continue to experience difficulties despite additional provision. It may be necessary for us to seek additional guidance advice or support from external agencies or specialist support services. Ultimately if the school is unable to meet your child’s needs with the resources available to us, we will work towards requesting that the Local Authority assess your child in order to agree an Education Health and Care Plan.
Our Enhanced Resource Provision is a 36 place facility which caters for students with moderate learning difficulties and/or complex needs who are unable to access a mainstream curriculum. Typically students within our ERS provision will be working at a level at least 3 years below their chronological age. Students are taught in small groups by specialist teachers with shared teaching assistant support. Some students will also attend mainstream lessons according to ability, interest and need. All children attend mainstream tutor groups, with support if necessary, and all children are fully included in the life of the school. The classrooms are located within the main school building and all children use the same playground and other school facilities. Students should therefore be able to manage the day to day challenges of a busy mainstream secondary school setting. Enhanced Resource classes are only accessible to students with an Enhanced Resource Education, Health and Care Plan, whose placement has been agreed by the Local Authority in line with the LA’s agreed criteria.
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How will you adapt the curriculum and the environment to meet my child’s needs?
What additional help can you give my child?
Are there any additional activities available for my child?
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What can you tell me about the expertise and training of your staff?
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What do you do to help my child in making his/her post 16 choices?
How can I find information on the local authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?
Your child may have been assessed as having an SEND at some point during their primary career. Our transition process means that we speak to all year 6 class teachers and all primary SENCos to gather a detailed picture of your child’s needs. If we deem that your child continues to have a long-standing learning difficulty or a specific diagnosis that is likely to impact significantly on progress and if your child will need ongoing provision or support beyond that which is offered to all students, we will record your child as having a special educational need.
All students complete baseline entry cognitive ability and reading and spelling tests. Reading and spelling tests are subsequently conducted annually in years 7, 8 and 9. The maths department monitors student progress carefully through regular testing.
This helps us to identify those who might be in need of additional support. Students causing concern are referred by subject staff to the SENCo for further assessment. Progress of all students is tracked both by individual subject areas and through whole school processes. Staff can raise concerns and refer students for additional assessment or intervention though our Academic Panel meetings.
All students who access enhanced resource classes have an Education, Health and Care Plan. These are reviewed annually.
A formal meeting is held twice a year, along with annual parents' evenings, to review progress against EHCP objectives.
The pastoral team work with staff to identify students with emotional, social or mental health needs and the school works closely with external agencies to identify the holistic needs of every child. The pastoral and SEN team hold joint pastoral panel meetings to discuss students causing concern.
The work of the learning support department is evaluated, as for all departments in the school, through our departmental review process, subject exam review meetings and work scrutiny exercises.
The progress of students with SEND is evaluated as part of each departmental GCSE exam review and curriculum learning managers are responsible for addressing any identified concerns within the department. Addressing the needs of all learners is a focus on every lesson observation.
Interventions such as our Accelerated Reading programme and year 7-9 extra English classes are evaluated through monitoring student progress across the curriculum and staff conduct baseline and exit assessments for students undergoing intervention programmes.
All parents of students with EHCPs are invited to attend IEP meetings and annual reviews. At these meetings we discuss feedback from subject teachers and the outcomes for your child. We discuss progress towards those outcomes at Parents’ Evenings and review meetings. We issue assessment grades to parents twice a year in years 7-9 and three times a year in years 10 and 11.
We also formulate student profiles for some students with additional needs who do not have an EHCP. These are reviewed with parents on an annual basis. Parents are encouraged to make appointments with the lead SEND teacher for their child at Parents’ Evening to review progress and adjust profiles where necessary. Parents are encouraged to make contact with the form tutor at any point if they have concerns about their child’s progress.
Curriculum resources and teaching approaches are differentiated with the aim of enabling all students to make good progress. We employ teaching assistants who have specialist knowledge in the fields of speech and language, visual, hearing and physical impairment and these staff provide advice to teaching staff and liaise with specialist services, implementing recommended programmes. Some students require adjustments within the classroom and we work with you to formulate profiles which describe your child’s needs and strategies that class teachers should implement in order to meet those needs.
We make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students’ needs are met. For some students this may mean a slight reduction in their timetable load for example, or adapting activities in lessons to enable all students to access the curriculum at an appropriate level. Specialist support in PE, and the expertise of our staff in making adaptations, ensures that all students are able to access activities if desirable. Rise and fall tables and specialist equipment enable students to access practical activities in science and technology. We would always work to ensure that no child is disadvantaged because of their special educational need or disability and where we are not able to do this within our own resources we would seek support from the Local Authority or health service.
No child is excluded from accessing extracurricular activities or school trips because of a special educational need and we would make every effort to make reasonable adjustments within the resources available to us. Where the resource required exceeds that which the school is able to provide we would seek additional support and advice from the Local Authority.
We have literacy intervention programmes in years 7, 8 and 9 and an additional English and maths option class in years 10 and 11. We have a range of short-term intervention programmes to address specific difficulties. Some of this work may be delivered on a 1-1 basis and some in small groups. We try to minimise disruption to your child’s normal curriculum. We use assessment and progress data to prioritise additional provision in line with the limited resources available.
Teaching assistants work in a limited number of curriculum areas and thereby develop expertise in those areas. Additional funding for students is identified on EHCPs and the school uses this funding to support students in the most appropriate and effective way. This might include access to teaching assistant support in class or provide access to additional intervention.
We operate a supervised Lesson 6 homework club on four nights a week.
We run an extended day after-school club until 5pm for identified students once a week. All students can access all clubs and activities in school; this commitment is part of our inclusive ethos. Details of clubs can be found on the student page of the website. If support is needed, we will aim to do our best to meet this.
Student profiles indicate the strategies that staff should employ to promote your child’s social and emotional development and this is monitored by the lead SEND teacher for your child. The learning centre works with students who might be struggling to access education for a variety of reasons and aims to support students to become independent, resilient learners. We may refer your child for additional intervention for social and communication skills or behaviour. We run a breakfast club nurture group for a small number of students and we employ a school counsellor. We offer Positive Support to identified students.
The form tutor also monitors students’ wellbeing and liaises with the pastoral leader, teachers and SEN staff to address any concerns. All students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and our vertical tutoring system creates an environment where older students are able to nurture and support others.
Teachers working within our learning support department are extremely experienced and well qualified.
All have undertaken specialist further professional development and the majority have specialist post-graduate qualifications. We are committed to ongoing professional development for all staff.
Our teaching assistants are equally well qualified, with specialism in, for example, speech and language, hearing and visual impairment and social and communication difficulties.
All staff participate in regular training in meeting additional needs in the classroom through our Inset programme.
We access specialist advice through liaison with our Educational Psychologist and other Local Authority services. We also liaise closely with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health team.
Our school is fully accessible. We have separate, dedicated disabled showering and toileting facilities and changing facilities for children who require adult support. There are two lifts. Where additional specialist equipment is needed and recommended, we liaise with the Local Authority who provide this. The Local Authority will then work with their own specialist support services and our building operators to agree and implement adaptations where necessary and possible. Our current Accessibility Plan can be found on the policy area of the website.
All parents are fully involved in the writing of profiles and IEPs and are invited to attend all meetings relating to meeting a child’s needs. Your views are incorporated in all statement/EHCP reviews. The views of all young people are sought prior to or as part of the annual review process. Students are welcome and invited to take part in meetings where appropriate.
Parents are welcome to come in to school at any time by arrangement to discuss their child’s needs and we will be honest and open with you.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress in a particular subject, the subject teacher is your first point of contact. If you have a general concern about your child you should contact the form tutor. If you have a concern or want to discuss how the school is meeting your child’s additional needs you should contact Mrs Robinson, SENCo.
If you have a complaint about the support the school is providing for your child, please contact Mrs P Griffiths, Assistant Headteacher. Alternatively, you can write to the Headteacher and follow the school’s complaints procedure, detailed on the policies page of the website.
There are some external providers and agencies available in this area and we will work with you to identify what support would be most suitable for you or your child.
Derbyshire Information, Advice and Support Service for SEND can help you find the information you need to make informed decisions and can attend meetings with you.
Tel: 01629 533668
We will refer to school health and the multi-agency team where additional family support is needed. This will always be done in consultation with you. We also refer to the local CAMHs team, again with your permission. Other external agencies include voluntary bodies such as Derwent Rural Counselling and Derbyshire Young Carers.
There are occasions when older children seek additional support, for example with drug or alcohol misuse, sexual health advice or wish to engage with the school counsellor and they do not wish their parents to be informed. If we believe the young person to be capable of making that decision, and do not believe him or her to be vulnerable, we will not inform parents, although we would always encourage the students themselves to do so.
Occasionally we may refer your family to social care, either to seek additional support for you via the disabilities team or because we have immediate concerns about your child’s well-being or the well-being of other family members.
We recognise that transition can be a very challenging time for students with SEND.
We visit all children and their teachers during year 6 and gather information about your child’s needs. We inform our subject teachers and wider staff about those needs via our data systems prior to your child starting with us. We write profiles on students with more complex difficulties and these are published to all staff. We invite some children to do additional early visits before our Induction Day in the summer term so that they become familiar with key staff and the environment. Our learning support staff attend year 5 and 6 annual review meetings, where invited.
All form tutors have responsibility for monitoring students on entry and because we operate a vertical tutoring system they are able to keep a close eye on the small number of year 7s that they have in the group and alert you or the learning support department promptly of any concerns.
Students work closely with the school’s independent careers advisor and our in-school careers co-ordinators to discuss the best route forward. All students are offered individual careers appointment. We will support your child by completing applications with them and by helping to write personal statements and CVs. We support with college visits where you are not able to do so. For students with more complex needs who would struggle to identify their next steps, we work with you to identify what we collectively feel is the best option for you to pursue. The careers advisor plays a full part in the annual review and transition review process.
For students in learning support with ERS Education Health and Care Plans we offer a comprehensive Learning for Life curriculum. Students learn independent living skills such as self-care, shopping, cooking, money handling and transport.
We would encourage you to take full advantage of the services on offer. If you have any difficulties accessing information from these services, please do contact us and we will be happy to help.