Communication and Interaction
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. Children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. (SEND Code of Practice 2015)
School staff have attended various courses to gain further insight into ASD. The School liaises regularly with the Autism Outreach Specialist Teaching service. Where necessary the School will consult with an Educational Psychologist. For many students with ASD their needs are successfully met within the classroom without the need for additional support.
Our SENDCo has a level three Elklan qualification and can advise on strategies in the classroom. Where students have significant speech and language needs that are not being met, we will refer them to the Speech and Language Service.
Cognition and Learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. (SEND Code of Practice 2015)
A range of interventions is offered for children with learning difficulties. These include RWI Fresh Start, Success at Arithmetic, individual reading, maths support and spelling interventions. Older students receive subject specific support in liaison with the class teacher. Homework Club is available for those who find it difficult to complete their homework. Students with reading difficulties have access to the Accelerated Reader programme.
One of our HLTAs has a qualification to teach children with dyslexia. Our SENDCo has Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) and holds an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC). This enables her to undertake in-house exam concessions testing up to age 16 and assess for dyslexia in some instances.
Staff across the School are involved in continuous professional development (both internal and external professional courses) as required. Learning Support have recently had training for interventions to support Inference, Dyslexia and Neurodiversity, Functional Skills in English, EAL, Better Reading Partnership, phonics training, Success at Arithmetic and maths intervention training. In house dyslexia training is in place for staff this year.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties that manifest themselves in many ways. (SEND Code of Practice 2015)
Our Department works closely with the Form tutors and Pupil Support Officers to ensure needs of pupils are being met. Several members of staff (including the SENDCo) have attended the MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) course for schools. Teaching staff and HLTAs have also received some training.
The School Nurse visits regularly and an appointment can be requested. Where specialist intervention is required, the School works with Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs) and will refer to other agencies through the Early Help Assessment as appropriate. Where appropriate referrals may be made to CHUMS, mental health and emotional wellbeing service for young people. For students with particular needs the Educational Psychologist may be consulted. Some staff have attended an attachment disorder course. Where appropriate, the School will consult with the Virtual School or Post Adoption Support Services.
Should you have any concerns, please contact the Pupil Support Officers (PSOs) in the first instance:
Mrs C Palmer: Years 7-9
Mrs K Denman: Years 10 & 11
Mrs A Beaumont: Years 12 & 13
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers. (SEND Code of Practice 2015)
We offer an inclusive curriculum so all pupils can participate. Where applicable we work closely with parents to plan their child’s involvement in school trips. The School employs a dedicated trips co-ordinator who liaises closely with the Learning Support Department.
We have wheelchair access to all teaching areas within the School. Where pupils need to move away from the main site, for example to the sports field or the Cathedral, a minibus may be provided. We ensure all buildings and classrooms are accessible to all pupils. The only exception to this is the upstairs Maths classrooms and so where necessary pupils will be taught Maths on the ground floor. There are disabled changing and toilet facilities. Where appropriate, modifications have been made to the auditory/visual environment to meet the needs of particular pupils. We work with external agencies to secure particular equipment or resources such as Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Hearing Impaired Service and the Visually Impaired Service.
Recently staff have attended courses to support students with Hearing and Visual Impairments, and on how to use RNIB Bookshare. Teaching staff are able to access “Joinme” screen sharing software.
For further Information, please refer to the Admissions Criteria.