SEND Information Report

Saint Aidan’s Church of England High School is a non-selective school secondary school.

We believe that all children should be valued as individuals. We have an inclusive ethos with high expectations and targets, a broad and balanced curriculum differentiated to meet individual needs and systems for early identification of barriers to learning and participation. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.

Question         How does the school know if students need extra help with learning?

  Achievement with care is our vision for all our students.  We aim to ensure that:

  • Students with learning difficulties are able to access their entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum as part of the whole school community.
  • Students with SEND are educated, wherever possible, in an inclusive environment alongside their peers to enable each student to reach his or her full potential.
  • We match levels of additional support for learning to the wide variety of individual learning difficulties, while enhancing self-esteem.
  • We identify and assess students with SEND as early and as thoroughly as possible using the revised Code of Practice (2014).
  • Parents/carers and students are fully involved in the identification and assessment of SEND, and that we strive for close co-operation between all agencies concerned, using a multi-disciplinary approach.
  • We meet the needs of all students with SEN by offering appropriate and flexible forms of educational provision, by the most efficient use of all available resources.
  • We maintain up to date knowledge of current SEN good practice and methodology in order to offer support and training in these areas to all staff in the school.

There are four types of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), decided by the Department for Education:

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, mental and emotional health
  4. Sensory or physical

If a student has SEND, then their needs will fit into one or more of these categories.

A school’s provision for SEND is defined as support which is additional to or different from that which is available to all students. 

At Saint Aidan’s, we recognise that students make progress at different rates.  Therefore, students are identified as having SEND in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Liaison with primary school/previous school
  • The student performing significantly below expected levels
  • Concerns raised by parent/carer
  • Concerns raised by teacher
  • Liaison with external agencies, e.g. physical health diagnosis from paediatrician

If a student is identified as having SEND then their name will be added to the SEND register, but we recognise that students’ needs may change over time and provision must reflect this.  The aim of any additional provision is for the student to achieve age expectations, so once they reach this threshold they may be removed from the school SEN register.  If they fall behind again at any point, then they may be added to the register again.

Question         What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

 Your main point of contact at school should always be your child’s Form Tutor who will be able to discuss your concerns.  If you need to speak with other staff members, such as Heads of Year or the SENCO, then the Form Tutor will be able to help you arrange this.

Question        How will school support my child?

Subject teachers are responsible for the progress of students in their lessons.  They are trained to teach children with all types of additional learning requirements and are responsible for making the curriculum accessible to all students.

The SENCO is responsible for ensuring that:

  • Teachers understand a student’s needs
  • Teachers are trained in meeting those needs
  • Teachers have support in planning to meet a student’s needs
  • The quality of teaching for students with SEND
  • Provision across the school is efficiently managed.

Sometimes, some students require additional support to make progress across the curriculum, because they are significantly below the expectations for their age.  Then, the SENCO is responsible for organising intervention for an individual or small group of students, which might include one of these provisions, for example:

  • Additional adult support in the classroom – Teaching Assistants support the teacher in helping the learning of whole classes
  • Withdrawal sessions/Nurture Groups – when students comes out of some lessons for pre-arranged sessions with TAs on, for example, handwriting, reading, numeracy, study skills, organisation skills, social skills, etc.
  • Disapplication – if long-term intervention is needed, a student can sometimes be disapplied from a subject on the national curriculum, in order to allow time for intensive support with learning

Homework

The homework set by teachers is an integral part of students’ learning and can contribute directly to how well a student makes progress.  Homework consolidates and builds on the learning in lessons, ensuring that students fully understand concepts and apply skills they have learnt.  The school expects parents to engage with their child’s learning at home, so that students can see the high value their parents place on working as part of a home-school partnership.  This provides essential support for teachers and means no opportunity is lost for supporting every student’s learning.

Who will explain provision to me?

  • Information about the provision in individual subjects can be discussed with subject teachers or Faculty Heads.  There is an annual opportunity for this at Parents’ Evening, but teachers can meet with parents/carers at any point in the school year to discuss students’ progress.
  • In the case of individual or small group interventions, the SENCO will write to parents/carers explaining the aims of the intervention.  Letters, phone-calls or emails will be used to keep parents/carers updated on their child’s progress and discuss support in more detail, if required.
  • The Teacher of the Deaf will also use letters, phone-calls, emails or meetings to keep parents/carers updated on their child’s progress and to discuss support in more detail, if required, in relation to hearing impaired students within the provision.

Question         How are the school governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

The SENCO reports to the governors annually to inform them about the progress of students with SEND; this report does not refer to individual students and confidentiality is maintained at all times.

One of the governors is responsible for SEND and meets with the SENCO. This ‘SEND link governor’ also reports to the governing committees, to keep all the governors informed.

Question         How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? What are the school’s approaches to differentiation and how will that help my child?

Subject teachers are responsible for planning lessons that are accessible to and differentiated for every student.  In some curriculum areas (English, Maths and Science) students are grouped by levels of ability, whilst other curriculum areas are taught in mixed ability groups.  Students are entitled to participate in all areas of the curriculum and it is the subject teacher’s role to differentiate resources and activities to ensure the student can access the learning.  This can mean teachers plan:

  • A range of activities suited to the individual student’s learning preference
  • Small group or 1-1 learning with a TA
  • Pre-teaching content or vocabulary
  • Over-learning topics
  • To set alternative activities for homework
  • To provide specially targeted texts and resources appropriate for students’ reading ages
  • To provide additional apparatus or materials
  • To adapt and adjust resources and materials to make them accessible for students with specific learning difficulties

In preparation for Key Stage 4 (Year 10 onwards) students choose from a range of GCSE and BTEC courses, which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college, apprenticeships or work.  Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.

There is a free whole school homework club, ‘Learning Plus’ available to all students (Monday-Thursday from 3.00pm until 4.30pm,) where students can seek help from a member of staff and use IT facilities. Parents/carers can speak to their child’s tutor for more information about Learning Plus.

For students with SEND, the Achievement Room can be used at lunchtimes. This is much smaller and staffed by TAs, so that students can receive more targeted help and staff can differentiate materials to support the student in accessing the curriculum. 

Question         How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress?

Parents/carers are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either a subject teacher or tutor or any other teacher, and discuss how their child is progressing.  Parents/carers can contact staff members directly by email or by writing a note in their child’s planner, or through the school office: [email protected] or 01253 810504

Planned arrangements for communicating between school and home include:

  • Every student has a school planner; comments from parents/carers and teachers or Form Tutors can be shared and responded to as needed
  • Each year group has one Parents’ Evening each year, when all subject teachers are available to meet with parents/carers and discuss progress and learning
  • Each year group has a reporting programme, which includes graded reports and a written report. Years 7, 8 and 9 have two graded and one written report each year. Years 10 and 11 have four graded reports and one written report. These are sent home to parents/carers and provide a basis for discussion about progress in different subject areas
  • If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of SEND, then there are legal requirements for at least one formal meeting each year (the Annual Review) organised by the SENCO and attended by parents/carers and outside agencies involved in the student’s education.

Question         How does the school know how well my child is doing?

Teachers monitor and review all students’ progress throughout the year.  The whole school system at Saint Aidan’s includes:

  • Data collection each term, from all teachers, showing the current level of attainment of all the students they teach.  This means that teachers and academic leaders in each subject area can track the progress of students across the school year and intervene if students experience difficulties.
  • In-class additional support is reviewed weekly at the Learning Support Team Meeting.  TAs and teachers work together on a day-to-day basis, planning and reviewing lessons.
  • At the start of Year 7 students are screened for reading, spelling and maths skills.  This allows us to identify when students may need further support, intervention, or additional assessment to detect any underlying difficulties.
  • The school behaviour management system (rewards) provides parents/carers with information about how well a student is engaging with the learning opportunities on offer, and provides pastoral staff with evidence for how well a student is learning at school.

Question         What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school?

Saint Aidan’s operates a vertical tutoring system, which means that students are placed with students from every year group for their tutor group.  This encourages community cohesion, communication across age groups and opportunities for mentoring and leadership.  This system also means that students are able to share their experiences and provide support for students experiencing the same changes and transitions that they have already faced.  Form Tutors are the main point of contact for parents/carers about their child’s pastoral and social well-being.

Students who struggle with social situations are provided with a choice of quiet spaces to go during lunchtimes, break times and before school, where they are supported by TAs and our Student Support Co-ordinator to manage unstructured social time.

If a student is unwell during the school day, then they will be sent to Reception. If the student is too ill to stay at school, their parent/carer will be contacted and asked to make arrangements for collecting them as soon as possible.  The Form Tutor or Head of Year will decide if the student is well enough to stay at school or not. 

In a medical emergency, a member of staff who is first aid trained will attend urgently, or may call for an ambulance if the student requires hospitalisation.  Staff are trained annually on administering Epi-Pens for anaphylactic shock, and students who have severe allergies or other significant health/medical needs are flagged-up to all staff throughout the school year.

Question         How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

Please see the policy ‘Supporting Students in School with Medical Needs’ which is on the school website.

Question         What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

The school uses a positive behaviour system. Rewards are given to students which are recorded and students receive awards for how many they achieve. These rewards also are linked to an end of year trip.

There are sanctions for poor behaviour, which are outlined in the school behaviour policy.  As well as losing rewards, students can receive sanctions such as detention, isolation or fixed term exclusions.

However, if a student is falling significantly behind their peers, and their behaviour is affecting their learning or the learning of others, then additional support may be provided.

  • The Head of Year and Attendance Officer help parents/carers manage their child’s attendance at school and can support with outside agencies coming into school.
  • The Attendance Officer monitors attendance, oversees legal action against parents/carers whose children do not attend school helps liaise with outside agencies who can support families in difficult situations.
  • The Student Support Co-ordinator works with students when their learning is affected by their behaviour providing emotional support, sign-posting to sources of guidance and advice, liaising with external agencies relevant to improving emotional, social and mental health.

Question         How will my child be able to contribute their views?

Students’ views are highly valued at the school and their opinions are sought on many areas of school life, as well as their own learning.  We use a variety of methods for seeking student views:

  • The school has an active Student Council, where students are elected each year to represent their peers.  The Student Council consults on school linked initiatives, leads on charity activities at school and is able to express student views to senior leaders throughout the school year.
  • Student panels regularly form a part of the school’s interview process for new members of staff.
  • There is an annual student questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of students on a range of topics.  The results of this questionnaire are used by the Senior Leadership Team to develop the whole school improvement plan.
  • If a student takes part in an intervention programme, then they will contribute to viewing their progress.
  • If your child has an EHCP or Statement of SEND, their views will be sought before any review meetings.

Question         What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

The SENCO liaises with many specialist services and outside experts, to ensure provision for our students is appropriate and meets all needs.  The school works closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual students’ needs, including:

  • Health – GPs, school nurse, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists (CAMHS), paediatricians, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists
  • Social services – locality teams, social workers, child protection teams, family intervention programmes
  • Lancashire Educational Psychology Service
  • Specialist Teacher Advisors – hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical disabilities, ASD, communication and language, SEND team

The Teacher of the Deaf (Helen Bates) is a qualified specialist. 

The VI specialist teacher is Nancy Miejluk.

Question         What SEND training have the staff had or are currently having?

SEND training is an on-going rolling programme of professional development for our staff, throughout the school year.

  • Three senior TAs have extensive experience and training in planning, delivering and assessing intervention programmes.
  • All staff are trained each year on the needs of new students joining the school – this can include training from specialist agencies or consultants.
  • SEND training forms part of the continuing professional development of all teachers and TAs and is organised in accordance with the needs of the students.
  • The school works closely with other local schools, especially our feeder primary school. 
  • The Hearing Impaired resource provision is led by a qualified Teacher of the Deaf.  The Team is comprised of two TAs experienced in working with students who have hearing difficulties and a Deaf Role Model.  All staff receive professional updates from organisations such as the local Implant Service.
  • All staff at the school are trained in teaching and working with hearing impaired students, with updates at Induction and INSET days.

Question         How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

All students are entitled to be included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.

A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised.  This may include specialist advice where relevant.  In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school. 

Question         How accessible is the school environment?

  • The school site is positioned on a hill, which means there are steps. 
  • Ground floors of all buildings are accessible for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility.
  • The site has two disabled toilets large enough to accommodate changing in the Peirse Wing and Community Learning Centre.
  • Car parking is available on site close to reception with parking bays for disabled badge holders marked clearly.

Question         How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

We want to make sure our new students feel like they belong at Saint Aidan’s before they officially arrive.  Learning is most effective when students feel they belong and are comfortable in the school environment.

Key Stage 2-3 (Year 6 to Year 7)

  • Careful transition is planned and arranged.  The Assistant Head/SENCO works closely with primary schools to organise activities, visits and experience of secondary life for those students who are especially vulnerable at transition.
  • All students in Year 6 who have accepted a place at Saint Aidan’s for Year 7 are invited to an Intake Day in July.  The day provides a taste of secondary school life, gives experience of lessons, information about how the school runs and provides an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates. 
  • Parents/carers are invited to an ‘Induction Evening’ to receive information about the organisation of the school and about expectations of the next five years.
  • The Assistant Head/SENCO visits feeder primary schools to meet Year 6 pupils and to gather information from Year 6 teachers and support staff.
  • All teachers and TAs are provided with information about all new students’ needs, strengths and background before the start of Year 7.  
  • Our vertical tutoring system means that Form Tutors welcome only five or six new students to their form group each year, meaning that the students are well known in school very quickly.  The Assistant Head/SENCO allocates Year 6 pupils to form groups using relevant advice from the primary school.
  • A Pre-Start Half Day is held on the afternoon prior to the first day of term in September. Parents/carers are invited as well as students. Activities are organised for them separately to familiarise them with the school, expectations and also for the parents/carers to meet their child’s Form Tutor and establish contact at the beginning of their child’s career at Saint Aidan’s.
  • The school arranges regular transition visits for vulnerable Year 6 pupils to get to know the school site, meet staff with whom they will work and learn about how the school is organised. 

Key Stage 3-4 (Year 9 to Year 10)

  • At Saint Aidan’s, our academic year changes in June so Year 9 students start KS4 before the summer break. This is so that our students have more time to spend on developing the skills and knowledge required for achieving qualifications at the end of Year 11.
  • For KS4, students choose from a range of GCSE and BTEC courses to help prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college or apprenticeships. Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.
  • There are opportunities for some students to attend local colleges on a part time basis during Years 10 and 11, to follow a vocational course as part of their timetable.

After Saint Aidan’s (Year 11 to Year 12)

  • The school arranges visits to open days and further education establishments for all students.  Support is available when making decisions.
  • All students in Year 11 are provided with 1-1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education.
  • Students with a Statement of SEND or an EHCP who are moving on to further education are supported by the county’s Youth Support Services.  A youth support worker will attend all Annual Reviews from Year 9 onwards to help plan and organise support for the move to college or vocational training.
  • The Learning Support Team liaise closely with local colleges about individual students with SEND.  This liaison is arranged in accordance with the student’s needs, but typically can include: extra visits or tours; meetings with college support staff; or, guidance and advice on meeting the student’s needs for college staff.
  • All information relating to a student’s exam concessions and required differentiation is passed on to college or training provider during the summer term of Year 11, when college places have been confirmed.

Joining mid-year

  • A student ‘buddy’ is chosen to support the new student for the first few days of being at Saint Aidan’s.  The buddy takes the new student to lessons, introduces them to other students and answers questions.
  • Contact is always made with the previous school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file.

Moving to another school

  • Contact is always made with the new school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file.

Question         How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s needs?

We ensure that all students with SEND have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability, within the funds available. The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The students who have the most complex needs are given the most support.

Question         How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Our provision is arranged to meet our students’ needs, within the resources available.  This approach reflects the fact that different students require different levels of support in order to achieve age expected attainment.

The SENCO consults with subject teachers, Faculty Leaders and Heads of Year, as well as with support staff, to discuss the student’s needs and what support would be appropriate.

There are always on-going discussions with parents/carers for any student who requires additional support for their learning

Question         How do we know if it has had an impact?

  • We see evidence that the student is making progress academically against national/age expected levels and that the gap is narrowing – they are catching up to their peers or expected age levels
  • The student is achieving or exceeding their expected levels of progress
  • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and student
  • Formal or informal observations of the student at school
  • Students may move off the SEND register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.

Question         Who can I contact for further information?

A parent/carer’s first point of contact should be the child’s Form Tutor to share concerns.

Parents/carers can also arrange to meet the SENCO (Mrs Kate Bray)- email [email protected] or telephone school on 01253 810504.

Look at the school’s policy on SEND/Inclusion and our Local Offer which can be found on the school website.

Additionally, the school liaises with and can refer parents/carers to the following agencies for information and support:

  • Parent Partnership, offering independent, free advice for parents of children with SEND:
  • The National Autistic Society
  • Dyslexia:
  • County SEN Team: 

Question         Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?

Contact the school admin office to arrange to meet a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

[email protected]

Updated July 2016

 

@SaintAidansCEHS

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