“You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God.” Galatians 3:26
“I have come that they may have life and live it to the full.” John 10:10
We provide an inclusive education for all students and value all students as individuals, focussing education on ‘the whole child’. All students receive an education that will best meet their particular needs, to enable all pupils to receive their full entitlement to a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum, with access to a wide range of experiences. We pride ourselves as being an inclusive school; one where diversity is valued and support is provided to every child regardless of their level of need. All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented. We believe that positive relationships are the foundation of all learning and therefore have developed an ethos that values these above all else. We also believe that praise and encouragement is the best way to improve self-esteem and foster motivation amongst our pupils. Children learn best when their basic needs are met, therefore we will work closely with parents and other agencies to ensure that pupils are able to make good progress, adopting a person centred approach to any provision. We recognise that our pupils have different strengths and weaknesses and will develop and progress at different rates; each child is unique and we aim for them all to reach their full potential.
We provide an inclusive education for all students and value all students highly as individuals, focussing education on ‘the whole child’. According to Goransson and Nilholm (2014), inclusion should include the creation of communities with special characteristics such as social inclusion, equity, justice and valuing diversity. This is the forefront of our whole school provision, where staff have high expectations of all students – academically, socially and emotionally. All students receive an education that will best meet their particular needs, to enable all pupils to receive their full entitlement to a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum, with access to a wide range of experiences.
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school; one where diversity is valued and support is provided to every child regardless of their level of need. This is outlined in the Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools: Evidence Review, where it states that ‘accepting diversity means having the same educational aim for each child or young person in the school’ (p15). All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented. Individual student needs will be identified as part of the transition process and these will be targeted appropriately to ensure students can receive the level of support suited to their individual needs and make progress in line with their peers.
We believe that positive relationships are the foundation of all learning and therefore have developed an ethos that values these above all else. According to Bronfenbrenner’s biological theory as outlined in the SEN Review, March 2020, the drivers of pupil development are the everyday activities and interactions that a student engages with, therefore establishing positive role models for our students is essential if we expect considerate, appropriate behaviour from them. The research also highlights the influence of personal characteristics (for example pupil disposition), time (for example spent on activities) and environment (class, local area etc.) on pupil outcomes. We therefore strive to promote positive home – school links at every opportunity, beginning with transition meetings and summer school events. We also believe that praise and encouragement is the best way to improve self-esteem and foster motivation amongst our pupils. We also believe that all children learn best when their basic needs are met. Therefore we will work closely with parents and other agencies to ensure that pupils are able to make good progress, adopting a person centred approach to any provision. This is outlined through the SEN Code of Practice and also through research conducted by Helen Sanderson and the lead Educational Psychologist Beth Sheldrake.
We recognise that our pupils have different strengths and weaknesses and will develop and progress at different rates. Each child is unique and we aim for them all to reach their full potential. We celebrate every small step of progress that they make. Pupil assessment is an ongoing process and is used by teachers to differentiate lessons to ensure all children are working to their full potential. The DfE (2015) highlights three steps of early action to assess whether a student has SEN – high quality teaching, differentiation for individual pupils, using accurate formative assessment and early assessment materials. This, in conjunction with pupils, parents and external professionals where appropriate ‘setting out’ the desired outcomes for pupils and by removing any potential barriers to learning. Our teachers are also well informed of students’ specific needs and strategies that will support them in their lessons through individual student passports. According to the SEN Code of Practice (2015), making higher quality teaching available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require SEN support, we therefore put this at the forefront of our Teaching and Learning Policy.
Early interventions enable students to make good progress in English and Maths and, ultimately, across the curriculum. The Learning Support Department provides a range of intervention sessions and support to students before, during and after school in conjunction with the support provided by parents. Pupil strengths, targets and support strategies are shared via specific support plans on ‘Provision Mapper’ to enable all staff to provide a holistic approach to supporting students across school to become successful and confident young adults.
A detailed Provision Map can be found via our school website, which details all support strategies used across the school. The SEND Information Report also includes more detail about specific interventions that we offer in school, which can be accessed on the school website.
Through our intervention programme, we aim to develop portable and transferable skills for students in the following areas to enable them to progress into successful and confident young adults:
More information can be found on the SEND Provision Map
All students begin school with a full curriculum, except in exceptional circumstances. This allows students to have a fully inclusive curriculum with equal access to the range of subjects on offer. Teaching staff and Teaching Assistants effectively differentiate for students with additional needs using Quality First Teaching strategies, whilst ensuring that all students are allowed to make progress in line with their ability. According to the SEN in Mainstream Schools Review, March 2020, ‘school ethos, staff attitudes and the quality of teaching and learning taking place in school can all affect how personal characteristics impact on development’ and ‘good teaching and learning and positive behaviour support can address potential barriers to learning’. We continue to hold these values in high regard within school to provide students with a supportive, yet academically challenging environment where all students feel safe and able to learn. At KS3, the focus is on early identification and intervention; helping pupils to make good academic and progress and to become independent learners. Following discussion with parents / carers a small number of students with specific needs are withdrawn for literacy support. We aim to provide one hour of intense support each week, with students receiving in-class support to assess progress and implementation of targeted strategies. Students are expected to work on literacy-based ICT programmes such as Lexia and IDL at home and during form-time to supplement this provision, and parents are also provided with strategies to support where possible. Lexia has recently reported to show +3 months progress with struggling readers and will be used as a programme to supplement other literacy-based support across school.
Withdrawals from lessons may be on a short-term rotating basis, or a longer-term provision, dependent on need. A small number of students may also require interventions from our Trinity provision, which provides social and emotional support for students in school. Regular learning walks, work scrutiny and tracking analysis allows for this process to be monitored.
The aim of the curriculum at KS4 is to prepare our young people for the transition to further education, training or employment. It builds on the skills that pupils began to develop in KS3 and now gives them the opportunity to apply these skills in a wider context. Literacy and communication skills underpin all areas of the curriculum; teachers will embed these skills throughout their lessons. We continue to provide literacy intervention at KS4 where appropriate, for example as stipulated in an EHCP. We also support students with other elements of their KS4 curriculum such as essay writing techniques, revision skills and numeracy skills. We assess students for exam access arrangements to ensure the correct additional arrangements are in place for external examinations, to enable all students to have equal access to qualifications on offer at school. Entry Level qualifications are offered to certain students in English and Mathematics to enable them to feel a sense of achievement early on their KS4 journey to reinforce the skills and knowledge needed to progress to GCSE courses. BTEC courses and personalised curriculum plans are also offered to support specific students who require a more individual approach. A minority of students may be offered college placements or education within an Alternative Provision to meet their specific needs. This is always in consultation with individual students and their parents / carers.
We work closely with Young People’s Services, 6th form staff and local college providers to establish an effective transition to KS5 and find the right pathway for our young people. We use a range of learning methods and resources, links with other professionals and agencies and the community to ensure students achieve their potential. The continued emphasis is on promoting independence and effective communication, whilst fostering students’ ability to make informed choices about their own career and life aspirations.
For some pupils school can be a particular challenge. Our Trinity area offers a variety of solutions in an alternative space to the traditional classroom setting. Within the Trinity suite all the areas have a slightly different focus and use. We offer ELSA support sessions and other cognitive behavioural based therapy to support and encourage students so that they feel able to attend their lessons and participate fully in school life. Reasons for using Trinity vary greatly but, amongst others, have included bereavement, family breakdown, friendship issues and emotional problems. During the first part of the morning, Trinity staff provide general support that facilitates student re-integration into school. The rest of the day is used to provide specific social, emotional or mental health-based interventions and in class support, therefore Trinity is shut for drop-ins. The impact of any Trinity-led intervention is always fully evaluated and shared with pupils, staff and parents / carers as appropriate through Provision Mapper. Trinity is also available during break and lunchtime for pupils who may find unstructured time overwhelming where pupils can come along and meet friends and have a drink and biscuit or play a game.
Within Trinity, our Nurture Room is a specially designated space for students who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences, or have been referred due to a significant social and emotional need. Mr Dutton runs weekly drop-in sessions for students within each year group to provide social and emotional support. Within the Nurture Room, we also offer Social and Emotional Support for students who are struggling to manage their emotions and behaviour responses. This is done in a nurturing environment and is based on mutual respect, focussing on developing positive relationships in a supportive environment. The Year 7 Nurture Group is particularly successful in aiding a soft transition to high school, where students have regular access to a dedicated member of staff to work through any difficulties.
The impact of covid-based absences on our learners is monitored rigorously by all staff in school to ensure that all students are provided with adequate catch-up interventions for both academic and social / emotional needs. Referrals to the SEN and Trinity team are followed with appropriate intervention packages to support students based on their individual needs. Support is offered to vulnerable students during periods of self-isolation. This includes wellbeing calls, social skills, personalised schemes of work and continued literacy support. EHCP provision and targets are closely followed using appropriate adjustments where necessary. Students are fully supported upon return to school, on an individual need basis.
Students are given access to a range of support clubs including a games club, gardening club and reading club. Students from The Autism Resource Base attend an annual Special Interest quiz and Base Christmas buffet, which involves students planning, budgeting and shopping for refreshments. We also offer a walking club every Friday for vulnerable students, which is well attended
AT KS3, Teaching Assistants work across all departments to enable a consistent approach for students and staff. We have specialist Teaching Assistants in a number of subject areas including Maths and Literacy, who offer a more personalised provision to students. A literacy specialist HLTA provides support to students and disseminates best practice across subject areas to maximise the impact of interventions.
We aim to build an open communication with parents/ carers and students during their transition, fostering strong links throughout school. For some students, this begins within Year 5, who are supported through enhanced transition visits and regular meetings. We also have a Year 5 and 6 Summer School, promoting increased self-confidence and wellbeing prior to joining us in Year 7 and allowing students to get to know key members of our staff. The views of the student and their parent / carer are central to planning and form part of the annual review process and during transition, at any stage. Students who require additional support with transport to and from school may receive guidance from the Independent Travel Service, promoting independence in travel. From Year 9, we involve Young Peoples’ Services and other careers guidance services to support decision making and offer specialist advice in preparation for adulthood and to support GCSE options. Young Peoples’ Services continue to be involved in career guidance for specific students with SEND and we support applications and transition visits to ease the process of change.