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Learning Support

PUPILS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES: SCHOOL INFORMATION REPORT

Introduction

Prince Henry’s High School is an inclusive mainstream academy high school which welcomes students with a range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).   If your child has a disability/ learning difficulty you will find the information below useful in helping you to understand the types of provision that we make for students with special or additional needs.  There is a glossary at the end of this offer to explain the many acronyms used in this document.

  • Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO) is Mrs R Baston
  • Our Governors with responsibility for SEND are Mrs S Sollis and Mrs J Brett

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify students with SEND?

We liaise very carefully with our feeder schools in order to build on their expertise and to transfer key information about new students with learning or additional needs.  At the start of Year 9, all students have their reading assessed so we can establish who might need additional support to help them catch up. In addition, teaching and support staff meet regularly to review any pupil who is not making progress and about whom they are concerned.  Support options and strategies are then considered. Importantly, parents are encouraged to raise any concerns throughout the year with the student’s form teacher, class teacher or directly with the Learning Support team.

Although we recognise that some students may have a specific diagnosis, which we are happy to work with, we do not rely on students having a label to describe their learning needs. For example, students who have the reading or writing difficulties associated with dyslexia will be offered
appropriate   support without having a formal diagnosis, and a pupil with social communication difficulties would be offered similar support to that given to those who are formally recognised as being on the Autism Spectrum.  Students are treated as individuals and supported according to their educational need rather than their diagnosis.

What is your approach to teaching children and young people with SEND?

We are committed to closing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND students and our staff understand that they are all teachers of Special Educational Needs.  We support the learning of all students through quality first teaching and differentiation and share good practice at departmental meetings.  We use a range of technology to ensure that all students can access the learning material, including hearing induction loops and iPads in addition to in-class support where possible.  We have six Learning Support Assistants and as it is stated as good practice, we do not have child-specific LSAs. This is in order to promote a student’s independence in preparation for the working world or their next stage of education or training. Since our support is limited, we will prioritise support in Maths and English first and then any subject that requires support for health and safety reasons.

What kinds of SEND are provided for?

  • Communication and interaction (including SLCN and ASD)
  • Cognition and learning (including moderate learning difficulty and dyslexia)
  • Social, mental and emotional health (including ADHD)
  • Sensory and/or physical (including visual, hearing and physical difficulties)

 

How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning     environment of children and young people with SEND?

Additional support and intervention is provided on the basis of a student’s needs and the resources available at the time. Where anything over and above the normal school curriculum is proposed, parents/carers are contacted either by letter or telephone to advise them of the nature of the
intervention, how long it is intended to last, when it will take place and who with. We would usually request that a reply slip be returned to our office to confirm receipt of the letter and to either accept (or decline) the offer of support, however in cases where the reply slip fails to make its way back to us, permission is assumed and the pupil will be expected to participate.

This is an outline of what we can offer to students who have SEND:

  • Quality first teaching including differentiation, as appropriate.
  • Staff with knowledge of each student’s needs, as detailed in students’ personal profiles.
  • Reasonable adjustments, as necessary.
  • Smaller classes in lower sets, where subjects are ability grouped.
  • Arrangements for examinations, as appropriate.
  • Support for Year 9 students when making choices about their ‘option’ subjects for KS4.
  • In-class support using skilled and experienced LSAs, where available.
  • Additional visits to school, as part of the transition arrangements at the end of Year 8.
  • A Careers advisor works with students with SEND throughout their time in school and helps them to make positive choices about future careers or college courses.
  • A Nurture Room to provide those students who require additional intervention for SMEH needs.

 

Cognition & Learning Needs (including Moderate Learning Difficulties & Dyslexia)

  • Differentiation to ensure the development of literacy, numeracy, expressive language and 
    communication skills
  • Materials which reduce or support note taking, copying of diagrams and charts and/or alternative approaches to recording
  • Staff trained and able to support students with a range of learning difficulties
  • Additional Literacy Group (KS3)
  • Literacy and Numeracy Group (KS4)
  • Alternative curriculum in KS4 – including college links
  • Spelling / Reading / Writing Groups
  • Tutoring by LSA with specialist dyslexia support from Assistant SENDCO

 

Communication and Interaction Needs

  • Whole school awareness and understanding
  • Staff skilled in adjusting the pace and order of activities to maintain interest and attention
  • Grouping arrangements or additional support in the classroom are used flexibly to promote
    social interaction, language use/understanding,
  • An approach that incorporates routines, structured tasks and rewards
  • Life and Independent skills taught
  • Consideration given to stress-producing factors which might result in sensory overload
  • Mentoring opportunities available 
  • Staff trained and able to implement strategies and support students on the autism spectrum
  • Access to other professionals as appropriate eg Educational Psychologist/Autism team/ Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and/or Specialist teacher from Learning Support Team (LST)
  • Strategies in place to target social communication skills
  • Strategies in place to target organisational difficulties

 

Social, Mental and Emotional Health (SMEH)

  • Whole school practice promotes and develops social and emotional skills for all students
  • Small group intervention programme supports students in developing self-regulation/self-     management skills
  • Pastoral Support Plans are in place to meet individual pupil need
  • Appropriate use of withdrawal for re-focus and pastoral support
  • Pastoral support across the school includes Education Welfare Officer, School Counsellor,
    Attendance Officer, Learning Mentors and School Nurse
  • Whole school CPD programmes include training to support successful social, mental and        emotional pupil development
  • Effective use of a school mentor system, including Sixth Form.
  • Involvement of Educational Psychologist, as appropriate
  • Close liaison with external health professionals / CAMHS
  • Referral made to Family Front Door
  • Medical Education Team intervention for students diagnosed as too ill to attend school
  • Alternative Provision intervention in place for students at risk of permanent exclusion
  • Support from the school’s pastoral managers including monitoring report cards
  • Use of the Nurture Room (H1¾).

 

Sensory and / or physical

  • Staff are skilled at selecting appropriate methods and materials in lesson plans to ensure access across the curriculum
  • Favourable seating arrangements are identified
  • All staff are aware of individual students’ sensory/physical disability and implications in all
    teaching and learning environments
  • Staff use appropriate technology to support students, including wearing radio microphones to assist hearing impaired students
  • Staff encourage students to wear appropriate sensory equipment
  • Where possible, books are made available electronically for visually impaired students
  • Students are made particularly aware of safety measures in Science labs/Technology rooms
  • School reviews its accessibility and disability plans on a regular basis and identifies areas for improvement
  • General whole school training, advice and support from external professionals is accessed, as appropriate

 

How accessible is the school site?

Prince Henry’s has many different buildings on several different levels.  We would strongly advise parents/carers and potential students with mobility issues to visit on Open Evening before choosing this school and we would be happy to accommodate additional visits to help you to make a
decision.

What are the arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes?

Students receive written reports once a year and two further progress reviews. Where you are concerned about progress and/or attainment in a specific curriculum area, initially it is a good idea to contact the subject teacher or Head of Department.  However, if the concerns about learning are more general, then a call to Learning Support is recommended.

Students who have a Statement of SEN or an EHCP have it reviewed annually and at that point feedback is received from individual teachers and members of the support team as well as from parents/carers and the students themselves.

SEND support is carefully monitored for its effectiveness using a cycle of Assess/Plan/Do/Review.  There is a graduated approach to supporting all students in school and where children and young people are not making the expected progress, consideration is given to providing additional or
alternative support. Parents or carers and students are involved in discussions which include reviewing the clear outcomes that have been planned and the pupil’s progress towards them. In discussions, the focus will be on how the school and parents or carers can support the work that the pupil will do to achieve the desired outcomes.

How will my child be included in all the activities available in school?

There are a great many clubs, trips and opportunities available to students at Prince Henry’s and students with SEND are encouraged to attend in all cases (details are in the Extra-curricular Activities area of the school website).  LSAs are involved with supporting students on trips out of school when necessary and we actively encourage the students with SEND support to find or develop areas of interest outside of the classroom environment.

What support is there for improving emotional and social development?

Talkabout Living Life to the Full and Zones of Regulations are programmes to support the development of social skills and anxiety management delivered by SENDCO and trained LSAs during some lessons.  There are regular opportunities for students to be mentored at the start of the school day and during the school day during pre-arranged slots, agreed by SENDCO, parents and students themselves.  As Gatekeeper to H1¾, the SENDCO approves all use of the Nurture Room, following discussions with HOY’s, the Attendance Officer or School Counsellor.

The SENDCO regularly reviews the emotional and social development of SEND students with the Education Psychologist and the School Counsellor.

How do you prevent bullying of children and young people with SEND?

See Prince Henry’s Student Discipline Policy

All reported instances of bullying are investigated by the pastoral team in school and, in addition, the SENDCO is involved where there is a suspected element that includes any aspect of a student’s difficulty or disability. The issue of bullying is also discussed in regular meetings with student representatives and concerns are then addressed through the pastoral system.

How do you listen to the views of children and young people?

Wherever possible, we believe in “Nothing about me without me” so our Family Conversations always involve the student. There is a termly meeting between staff and students with difficulties or disabilities and discussions include changes that the students would like to see as well as ideas or improvements that have been suggested by staff and parents.  Targets set by these Family Conversations are then added to the Interactive SEND Register so that they can be promptly absorbed in classroom practice.

What arrangements are there for supporting children and young people who are looked after by the local authority and have SEND?

Looked After children have additional support through a Personal Education Plan which addresses learning issues and is discussed at their annual LAC Review.  In KS4, mentoring and / or tutoring is available through ISL as additional support for such students.  Any concerns or issues which specifically relate to Looked After Children, aside from their educational needs or support, should be addressed to Mr B Freeman, Deputy Headteacher.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with the arrangements made for my son/daughter?

Teachers are very willing to speak to or email parents if they are contacted about any concern.  Within school, form tutors, subject teachers, subject heads, year heads and the Learning Support Department do their very best to ensure that your child is well cared for and progressing successfully.  In the first instance, you should try to address this issue through the most appropriate contact in school.  If you are not satisfied with any of the provisions made, please contact either Mrs N Barker (Assistant Headteacher) or Mr B Freeman (Deputy Headteacher).

What is the expertise and training of staff at Prince Henry’s Department Staff?

Head of Learning Support
Mrs R Baston, National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination
Postgraduate Award of Proficiency in Assessment for Access Arrangements

Assistant Head of Learning Support
Mrs L Rowthorn
Postgraduate course in Difficulties in Literacy Development

Lead Learning Support Assistant
Ms C Cook – Specialist SLCN training

Learning Support Assistant:
All Learning Support staff receive regular training in supporting students with SEND

All teaching and support staff receive regular training in working with students with SEND. Recent training includes working with students with: autism, behavioural difficulties, cognition and learning needs, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory impairment and SLCN as well as more general teaching
strategies focusing on working with SEND students.

Since the appointment of three Learning Support Assistant Apprentices, one of whom has been made permanent, all staff have been given the opportunity to gain a Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching & Learning in Schools.

What links do you have with outside agencies?

PHHS works in a collaborative partnership with many different agencies. This means that a supportive plan can be developed to meet your child’s needs both in and out of school.

Listed below are some of the outside agencies with whom we work collaboratively:

  • Integrated Specialist Support Service (Visual and Hearing Specialist Teachers; Complex Communication Needs)
  • Physical Disability Service
  • Community Paediatrician
  • Educational Psychologist (EP)
  • School Nurse
  • CAMHS
  • A full list of local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations who support    families, children and young people with SEND is available at http://worcestershirelocaloffer.org.uk/directory

 

 

How do I contact Learning Support?

Learning Support staff are contactable by telephone on 01386 765588 Extension 240.   You may be unable to speak immediately to the member of staff you require, as all staff have classroom commitments.  It may be easier to email, and this is a particularly useful form of communication if you are at work or find it difficult to contact us during normal school hours. 

Mrs Baston, Mrs Rowthorn enquiries@princehenrys.worcs.sch.uk

How are students supported at transition times?

We liaise carefully with our feeder schools to identify any students who may feel vulnerable as they engage with the transition process here.  Additional visits are arranged to view Prince Henry’s and   
students work in small groups with an LSA to understand the practical details of how the school works.  In addition, we may liaise directly with parents who have concerns and arrange an individual visit.  These arrangements are in addition to the careful structure of visits, discussions and information sessions which are already in place for the whole cohort of students.

When students with SEND leave us, our Careers Advisor, Mr C Brewster, works with individuals to ensure that they move to an appropriate education provider or suitable employment.  For particularly vulnerable students, this may include facilitating college visits or arranging additional work experience and for others it may be encouraging an interest in higher education.  Care is taken to ensure that they are prepared for outcomes that reflect their ambitions for adulthood.  All students with SEND are given additional careers guidance from Year 9 onwards. 

What is the Code of Practice?

The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range and aims to ensure closer co-operation between education, health services and social care.  A new Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has replaced Statements of Educational Needs for children and young people with the most complex needs.  There is a greater focus on including the views of students and parents/carers in decision-making and on supporting those with SEND to succeed in their education and make a successful transition to adulthood. 

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is produced by the Local Authority and details information about the provision they expect to be available in the area for all students and young people, whether or not they have SEND.  In Worcestershire, the document ‘Ordinarily Available’ includes details of the provision that should be available for students with special educational needs, together with factsheets, information and support for parents and more details of the SEN reform.  It can be accessed at http://worcestershire.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

How do access arrangements for exams work?

We can apply for special arrangements for students who have difficulty reading, processing or recording their responses in conventional exam arrangements.  Prince Henry’s has an accredited assessor who can formally test students and, where relevant, apply for special arrangements on their behalf.  Any arrangement made must not give a student an advantage over other students and is not related to ability but to a specific difficulty in demonstrating their knowledge or understanding in normal test conditions.

How do you decide who to test and when is it done?

We usually have a testing session towards the end of Year 9 so that any arrangements made are valid for a student’s GCSE examinations in Year 11.  Some students are selected as a result of a previous diagnosis. Teachers and parents/carers raise queries throughout the year when they notice particular difficulties a student may be experiencing and some become apparent during the Year 9 examinations.  However, we can test a student at other times if there is reason to believe that they would benefit from alternative arrangements.

Glossary

ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder

CAMHS Child and Mental Health Service

EHCP Education Health and Care Plan

EP Educational Psychologist

LSA Learning Support Assistant

KS3 In this school, this only relates to Year 9

KS4 Years 10 and 11

KS5 Sixth Form

LSA Learning Support Assistant

SENDCO Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SEND Special Educational Needs and/or Disability

SLCN Speech Language and Communication Difficulty

Sept 2019