SEND and Student Support
The work of the Student Support Department involves a wide range of activities. These include assessment, supporting and teaching students, working as members of different teams, liaising with staff in school, with outside professionals and with parents.
Our work with parents is a vital element of our role which enables parents to have confidence in the knowledge that their children’s needs are being met.
We view our parental work as a clear partnership and views of parents are sought, for example when drawing up an Individual Education Plan or carrying out a review of a statement, or the daily contact with parents through our pastoral system.
We address students' needs in a variety of ways, predominantly by providing the best possible learning opportunities for all our students, enabling access to the curriculum for our students and encouraging them to become more independent in their learning.
The majority of pupils are supported in class. In addition, a programme of withdrawal takes place:
- To address individual needs where this is not possible or practical to do so in the classroom
- To address literacy/numeracy difficulties in small group
- To facilitate group work to address social/emotional needs
In class support
Most support is delivered in class. Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) work with subject teachers to support students with Special Educational Needs. This support may take the form of individual or small group work, reading or writing for/with the students, helping with presentation work, assisting with spelling, punctuation and grammar, re-phrasing or elaborating on instructions or subject material, assisting with numeracy and other basic skills, working on social skills, focussing students on the task at hand, motivating, praising and encouraging good work and effort. Although Learning Support Assistants contribute to the behaviour management of the group, this remains the responsibility of the subject teacher.
Subject teachers provide Learning Support Assistants with information about the content of lessons and with specific requests prior to the beginning of the lesson to be supported.
Literacy and Numeracy Groups
Students from Year 7 who have been identified as having weak literacy and numeracy skills are withdrawn into a small group. Students work for approximately three hours a week with a dedicated Learning Support Assistant. Reading, writing, spelling, grammar and comprehension are all covered using a variety of learning materials. The progress of the pupils is carefully monitored and reported to parents and the Senior Leadership Team.
The Homework Club is run by members of the department and operates in the Learning Resource Centre on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3.10 to 4.00pm. Students are encouraged to attend the Homework Club to receive help with homework and to make use of the computers, photocopying, and other available resources.
The Student Support Department runs a number of reading schemes. Toe by Toe is an individual book-based structured Phonic Reading Programme. Reading Wise and Lexia are ICT based programmes. Mrs Oliver has responsibility for co-ordinating and monitoring the reading intervention programme and for correspondence with parents about this programme. Work takes place every day for 20 minutes during tutor time, lunchtime or after school.
We have been very fortunate this year to re-engage the services of RELATE. We have a full counselling service available to students each Thursday and the referral system is a very simple process and means that the pupils are seen very promptly.
The engagement is for approximately six weeks initially and reviewed at the end of this period. This service has proved very popular with the students.
Youthscape supports us in running groups to support behaviour, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-harm. These groups operate for a six week period, one session a week. Youthscape also offer some extended groups that enable a larger piece of work be completed with some specific pupils.
Family Lives (Previously - Parent line Plus)
In order to further support families in the very important role of parenting, we have made links with Family Lives to facilitate some support sessions for parent/carers. We intend to develop this work in the coming year and look to providing some very focused groups on individual needs. Family Lives recently provided us with a range of support booklets for parents for our transition evening.
Exam Access Arrangements
Pupils who are identified as having significant difficulties with reading, writing, motor skills and visual difficulties and whose cognitive abilities indicate that these difficulties are causing them to underperform, may be entitled to exam access arrangements. The Special Educational Need Co-ordinater (SENCO) will arrange for an assessment to be completed to request this further support.
Inclusion Passports (IPs)
Inclusion Passports (IPs) are a 1 page document outlining a student's special educational need and suggests strategies for staff to implement when working with the student. All our IPs are held in the Student Support area of the internal intranet and are fully accessible to all staff. Each IP includes a section for aims, strategies and outcomes. IPs are held for students that are on student support status and statement/EHCP, on the Student Support Register. IPs are regularly reviewed with students and copies are sent to parents.
This is an overview of the wide range of support we have in place currently; however we constantly monitor the type of support a student or group of students may need and respond accordingly. The department has an ethos of a “can do” approach and we are very proud of the efforts we make to include all students in their learning. We feel strongly that to succeed in education students need to be fully included because:
Inclusion is about ALL of us
- Inclusion is about living full lives - about learning to live together
- Inclusion values diversity and builds community.
- Inclusion is about our 'abilities' - our gifts and how to share them
Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) - Mr J. Hall
Assistant SENCO - Ms A. Buxton