APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF CHILDREN WITH SEN/D
Welcome to our special educational needs and disability (SEND) information pages. These information pages will hopefully inform you about the variety of ways we can support your child to reach his / her full potential. We are an inclusive school and believe that all children should be valued and treated with respect. As a school community, we endeavour to ensure that the provision for all our students is of the highest possible standard, whilst acknowledging that we can always need to continue to improve our practice. We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between children with SEND and their non-SEND peers. We are working to achieve this in a variety of different ways as outlined in this information section relating to our ‘Local Offer’.
Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is Mrs Donna Hill.
Our SEN policy can be found on the information section of the school’s website.
The School works with due regard to the SEN Code of Practice (2001) and the Equality Act (2010).
At Netherwood we believe that:
- All students are entitled to be valued equally, be respected as individuals and be included regardless of abilities, needs and behaviours.
- All students are entitled to a broad, balanced and enriching curriculum which is adapted as appropriate to meet the individual needs of students.
- All of our teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs.
- All of our students are able to make progress and learn.
- Effective assessment and provision for children with SEN/D will be secured in partnership with parents/ carers, students, Local Authority and other partners.
- Maintaining young people’s safety and well-being is central to their development.
Staff have high expectations of SEN/D students, providing appropriate learning and teaching activities within a supportive pastoral framework. We aspire to nurture in students expectations, confidence and ambitions which allow them to achieve and attain. We aim to celebrate their successes and to foster their development so they are independent learners and responsible citizens, in partnership with families and the wider community.
Q: WHAT IS A SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED?
‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post -16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Clause 20 Children and Families Act)’ (Draft SEN Code of Practice 2013, 1.8)
Q: WHAT IS A DISABILITY?
The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
A physical or mental impairment includes: learning difficulties such as dyslexia; speech, language and communication impairments; sensory impairments such as visual or hearing impairments; autistic spectrum disorder; Asperger’s syndrome and medical conditions including epilepsy, diabetes and more severe forms of asthma and eczema. If the impairment has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities it may amount to a disability.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD HAS SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OR A DISABILITY?
If you feel that your child may have SEND or have been informed by school that they have been identified with a need then you should speak to the Progress Leader responsible for their year group. The school closely monitors all students with SEND and would be happy to discuss the strategies in place already and what impact they are having, as well as any other strategies that could remove any barriers to learning.
GRADUATED APPROACH TO MEET SEND
Q: WHAT IS MEANT BY A GRADUATED APPROACH WHEN MEETING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS?
Following the SEN Code of Practice, Netherwood uses a graduated approach to meet the needs of students with SEND. Up to 20% of children and young people have SEN at some stage in their time in school; only around 2% have SEN which are of a severe and complex nature. For many children, simple changes to the way that the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact and help to remove the barriers to their learning. With these changes in place they are soon able to catch up with their peers and make the expected levels of progress. We call this ‘differentiating the curriculum’. Your child’s subject teachers will be doing this on a daily basis in order to ensure that all the students in the class can make the most of the learning experiences presented.
NETHERWOOD’S GRADUATED RESPONSE:
Each teacher has the responsibility to meet the needs of all the pupils in the school in their curriculum areas.
For some students ‘differentiating the curriculum’ may not be enough to enable them to make adequate progress. They may require interventions which are ‘additional to and different from’ that which is normally provided for all students. If a student requires this kind of support the school will monitor them according to the SEN Code of Practice. You will be kept informed of any additional support your child is receiving. Where strategies used by subject leaders are not having an impact on your child’s progress, your child will receive further small group interventions alongside other students with similar needs. Any interventions will be carefully targeted to address the student’s needs and progress will be closely monitored and evaluated.
A wide variety of strategies are used to provide SEN support for students in various areas of the curriculum. The following interventions and methods currently exist:
- Differentiation of lessons. This is done by differentiating input, tasks and outcomes
- In-class support dependent on the student’ needs (HLTA and TAs)
- Small group/individual intensive support sessions in English, Maths and social skills/behaviour
- Academic mentoring from teaching assistants
- Use of ICT facilities including software packages
- Student support paired reading and handwriting sessions
- Extra-curricular homework sessions
- Support in examinations specific to individual needs
- Speech and language support for identified pupils
- Target setting (IEPs) and Pastoral Support Plans (student passports)
- Regular monitoring and review meetings with identified key staff
- Secure external support from specialists
- Medical support
Netherwood will set homework to support your child’s development and will expect your support in ensuring that students are able to access opportunities to practise the new skills they have taught. If you would like advice regarding appropriate support that you can offer at home if your child has SEND then please speak to the SENCo.
Q: WHY WOULD THE SCHOOL INVOLVE EXTERNAL AGENCIES TO HELP?
This means that Netherwood have decided to involve some external professionals or agencies to provide them with more specialist advice and guidance in order to support them to remove the barriers to your child’s learning. This external support might be from an Educational Psychologist; Speech and Language Therapist; Occupational/Physiotherapist; Specialist Advisory Teacher; or a medical professional. If your child’s needs are wide ranging or more complex, then it may involve several of these people who will need to work in a co-ordinated way.
As more people become involved in helping Netherwood to meet your child’s needs, your child’s identified key staff, the SENCo, or EHA Coordinator for ‘Additional Needs’ (Mrs Crew) may talk to you about holding a Early Help Assessment meeting. This meeting will help Netherwood to organise a meeting where everyone involved (including yourself) can sit down together and discuss the best way forward to help your child to make progress. Netherwood may decide to draw up a personalised learning plan. This will record the additional, specialist strategies and interventions that will be required to help remove the barriers to your child’s learning. In addition, some or all staff may undertake specific training in order to help ensure that the environment and strategies used are appropriate to meet a student’s needs and staff have the relevant skills to allow our child to make progress. You will be kept informed all the way through the process and will be able to make suggestions as to how you can help at home to ensure all round support for your child.
Q: WHAT IF MORE SUPPORT WAS NEEDED AFTER THIS?
Only a very small percentage of children require support of an additional nature beyond this. If this is the case, then the SENCo may discuss with you the possibility of asking the Local Authority to undertake a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment of your child’s needs. If this is considered appropriate, Netherwood will collect together all your child’s information and evidence of all the carefully evaluated additional strategies and interventions that have been put place. Then, with your permission it will be sent off to the Local Authority for them to consider the information at a panel meeting and make a decision whether or not to carry out a EHCP assessment of your child’s needs. Whilst this is taking place Netherwood will continue to meet your child’s needs with the support that is already in place.
Q: WHAT IS A ‘EHCP’?
Once the Local Authority receives a request to consider whether to make a EHCP assessment or not, a legal timescale begins. The process of EHCP assessment is carefully bound by the legislation and guidance within the SEN Code of Practice. The SENCo will be able to explain the process and timescales to you or alternatively you would find this in the SEN Code of Practice. If the decision is made to go ahead with a EHCP then the Local Authority will signpost you to guidance and support that will assist you through the process.
CURRICULUM AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ADAPTATIONS FOR CHILDREN WITH SEN/D
Children and young people will have full access to the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum will be differentiated to take account of each child’s particular needs and will be modified to suit each child’s academic and personal development.
The school has a nurture group in Year 7 which is a group for high needs students (maximum of 14 students) who follow the curriculum. This is heavily weighted toward core skills, but remains balanced (see curriculum map). In Year 8 there is an intervention group for students who need additional support in literacy and numeracy (maximum of 16 students). Students access this group for 6 weeks at first and then the decision is made as to whether enough progress has been made to support the students in the mainstream curriculum. If so the students return to mainstream classes. If this is not the case the students continue to access the intervention group to allow them to make greater levels of progress. In Year 9, literacy and numeracy remains central, but a range of realistic, practical and achievable option choices are available. Choices in Year 9 will form the foundation for Key Stage 4 courses, with the addition of opportunities for students to work with external partners and providers studying accredited courses.
Behaviour for Learning is an important part of Netherwood’s inclusion provision. Should students experience difficulties affecting their ability or capacity to learn in mainstream classrooms, they may be referred to Learning Support (otherwise known as ARC). Learning Support will offer vulnerable students an opportunity to reconnect with their learning, a route into pastoral support if necessary and will provide the inclusion team with an opportunity to assess needs carefully before advising return to mainstream lessons. Although Learning Support is not exclusively for students with a SEND, we expect some students with SEND to be likely to require the kind of help Learning Support offers. In conjunction with Progress Leaders, the Inclusion staff will proactively identify students with learning needs and anticipate the help they will need. Through careful analysis of achievement data and information received from discussions with staff, the team will manage learning and pastoral support packages for students. The process of referral provides the learning support team with a diagnosis. The team will work to provide solutions to difficulties with a view to managing the phased return of a student to mainstream learning. Although not definitive, students may be referred to Learning Support for the following reasons:
- Significant underachievement
- An inability to manage learning difficulties in a mainstream setting
- Deep routed behaviour for learning difficulties linked to emotionally and social difficulties
ADDITIONAL LEARNING SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN WITH SEN/D
The Inclusion team are committed to students accessing mainstream learning wherever this is right and appropriate. The priority is that students make at least good progress. For specific learning needs, such as those related to literacy and numeracy, students will be withdrawn from lessons to participate in small group or one-to-one interventions.
We aim to identify learning needs early in Year 7 to minimise disruption to learning and progress as the student moves through the school. The learning need of a student is addressed at this time because:
- There will be continuity for the student as intervention continues from the primary school setting.
- The intervention will help students cope with the demands of the curriculum.
- We aim to help students to overcome barriers to learning so that they do present problems for the student during further years at the school.
The Inclusion team is continually expanding and developing expertise to deliver a variety of intervention programmes. Students will also, where necessary, receive pastoral support and intervention (see the provision map attached for further details).
Learning support is allocated dependent upon need. The nature and need for support is discussed by the SENCo with young people and parents/carers at annual reviews. The distribution of range funding, including allocated support, is monitored on individual spread sheets for each student with a statement of SEN/D. All students with a statement have an allocated key worker; monthly meetings will be held in form period. Learning support is organised departmentally to maximise staff expertise and collaborative practice.
The progress of students accessing wave two intervention is reviewed on a termly basis. Students are identified initially from annual reading scores (conducted whole school) and then in consultation with the English department. Improving literacy skills through quality first teaching and learning is one of five whole school priorities; a strong focus on literacy development is evident in all lessons.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR ASSESSING AND REVIEWING PROGRESS INCLUDING HOW YOUNG PEOPLE WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS
ASSESSMENT & MONITORING
Students are continuously assessed by their teachers and, currently, attainment data is collected three times each year. The progress of SEND students is monitored by the SENCo, Progress Leaders and the leadership team. The information is used when advising teachers about possible teaching & learning strategies and in progress discussions with students. Students annual review targets are monitored and updated termly in discussion with their key worker. A bring and brag system encourages the young person to share their achievements on a monthly basis with their key worker.
If your child has a special need or disability we will:
- Talk to you about your child’s difficulties in learning or disability so we can understand their needs.
- Make an assessment of your child’s learning so we know which skills they need to learn next.
- Ask the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) to support and advise teachers so that your child can learn in the best way for him/her.
- Have a range of programmes to help children who need extra support to read, write, learn maths or manage their behaviour.
- Regularly check and inform you about progress
- Ask for advice from an educational psychologist, advisory teacher, speech and language therapist or health colleague if we are unsure how to help your child make progress.
- Tell you how to get in touch with Parent Partnership Services who can offer advice and support inform you about how to make a complaint if you are not happy with the support we are offering your child
- Talk to you if we think we need to consider asking the local authority for an early review of your child’s needs because more advice/resources are needed to help your child to make progress.
Students’ views are very important and feed directly into all policies, procedures and daily teaching of children with SEND. Students are given regular opportunities to:
- Self-assess in class
- Attend mentoring sessions once a month with a designated key worker to discuss how they feel about their general well-being, learning and progress towards targets
- Take part in Child Conferences
- Attend review meetings, where possible working with their key worker to lead on a student centred review
- Suggest possible targets to achieve
- Suggest how school can better provide for their needs
- Be part of the school council
SHARING SPECIALIST INFORMATION
The school works closely with the Barnsley Educational Psychology Service and various strands of Barnsley Inclusion Services. Relevant specialist information is shared with staff through a secure electronic SEND register and information on student passports which are updated on a termly basis.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN WITH SEND
Extra- curricular opportunities are available to all students; activities are listed on the school website. Reasonable adjustments will be made wherever possible to ensure students can participate in educational visits and enrichment opportunities.
A dedicated homework club is available each night after school to support students with learning needs who require additional support or would prefer to complete independent work at school.
The Link opens at break and lunch time and is available to all students with a statement of SEND and or specific vulnerabilities. The Link provides a safe, small environment where students can eat lunch and play games with others away from the main dining space. The Link is staffed by teaching assistants during unstructured times.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUPPORTING AND IMPROVING THE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN WITH SEN/D
Hazel Crew is our Student Manager for Individual Needs. She works very closely with the well-being team (based on site) to develop various on-going programmes in conjunction with social care, CAMHS and other outside agencies. These include:
- Self- esteem groups
- Self Harm
- Sexual Awareness/Healthy Relationships
- Cyber Bullying
- Listen to Me
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Anger Management