This school is unusual in that we not only cater for students in the mainstream setting, who have additional needs but we also have an Enhanced Resource Provision on site. We have experience of meeting the needs of students with disabilities and the building is fully accessible.
In the mainstream setting we aim to meet the needs of all students and ensure that they make the best progress of which they are capable. All teachers are responsible for the progress of all of the students they teach. All teachers are expected to make reasonable adjustments in their teaching and to differentiate their teaching and materials according to the needs of the students in their class. This is the basic “quality first” expectation of teachers in the school.
Some students will require additional provision which is different from and in addition to that which is received by their peers. We offer some small group teaching for students who need to improve their basic literacy and numeracy skills. We run a number of time limited interventions focussing on specific skills, where we identify gaps in learning.
There will be some students who may continue to experience difficulties despite additional provision. It may be necessary for us to seek additional guidance advice or support from external agencies or specialist support services. Ultimately if the school is unable to meet your child’s needs with the provision available to us, we will work towards requesting that the local authority assess your child in order to agree an Education Health and Care Plan.
Our Enhanced Resource Provision is a 38 place facility which caters for students with moderate learning difficulties and/or complex needs who are unable to access a mainstream curriculum. Typically students within our ERS provision will be working at a level at least 3 years below their chronological age. Students are taught in small groups by specialist teachers with shared teaching assistant support. Some students will also attend mainstream lessons according to ability, interest and need. All children attend mainstream tutor groups, with support if necessary, and children are fully included in the life of the school. The classrooms are located within the main school building and all children use the same playground and other school facilities. Students should therefore be able to manage the day to day challenges of a busy mainstream secondary school setting. Enhanced Resource classes are only accessible to students with an Enhanced Resource Education Health and Care Plan, whose placement has been agreed by the Local Authority.
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How will you adapt the curriculum and the environment to meet my child’s needs?
What additional help can you give my child?
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Your child may have been assessed as having an SEN at some point during their primary career. This does not transfer automatically through to the secondary setting. However, our transition process means that we speak to all year 6 class teachers and all primary SENCos to gather a detailed picture of your child’s needs. If we deem that your child has a long-standing learning difficulty or a specific diagnosis that is likely to impact significantly on progress and if your child will need ongoing provision or support beyond that which is offered to all students, we will record your child as having a special educational need.
All students complete baseline entry cognitive ability and reading and spelling tests. Reading and spelling tests are subsequently conducted annually in years 7, 8 and 9. The maths department monitors student progress carefully through regular testing.
This helps us to identify those who might be in need of additional support. Students causing concern are referred by subject staff to the SENCo for further assessment. Progress of all students is tracked both by individual subject areas and through whole school processes.
All students who access enhanced resource classes have a statement of special educational need or an Education, Health and Care Plan. These are reviewed annually.
A formal meeting is held twice a year, along with annual parents' evenings, to review progress against statement/EHCP objectives.
The pastoral team work with staff to identify students with emotional, social or mental health needs and the school works closely with external agencies to identify the holistic needs of every child.
The work of the learning support department is evaluated, as for all departments in the school, through our departmental review process, subject exam review meetings and work scrutiny exercises.
Interventions such as our Accelerated Reading programme and year 7 extra English classes are evaluated through monitoring student progress.
All parents of students with statements/EHCPs are invited to attend IEP meetings and annual reviews. At these meetings we discuss feedback from subject teachers and the outcomes for your child. We discuss progress towards those outcomes at Parents’ Evenings and review meetings. We issue assessment grades to parents twice a year.
Curriculum resources and teaching approaches are differentiated with the aim of enabling all students to make good progress. We employ teaching assistants who have specialist knowledge in the fields of speech and language, visual, hearing and physical impairment and these staff provide advice to teaching staff and liaise with specialist services, implementing recommended programmes. Some students require adjustments within the classroom and we work with you to formulate profiles which describe your child’s needs and strategies that class teachers should implement in order to meet those needs.
Some students with statements or EHCPs have an entitlement to access in-class support provided by teaching assistants. Teaching assistants work in a limited number of curriculum areas and thereby develop expertise in those areas.
We have literacy intervention programmes in years 7, 8 and 9 and an additional English and maths option class in year 10 and 11. We have a range of short term intervention programmes to address specific difficulties. Some of this work may be delivered on a 1-1 basis and some in small groups. We try to minimise disruption to your child’s normal curriculum. We use assessment and progress data to prioritise additional provision in line with the limited resources available.
We operate a supervised Lesson 6 homework club on four nights a week.
We run an extended day after-school club until 5pm for identified students once a week. All students can access all clubs and activities in school; this commitment is part of our inclusive ethos. Details of clubs can be found on the student page of the website. If support is needed, we will aim to do our best to meet this.
Our student support centre caters for students who might be struggling to access education for a variety of reasons. We run a breakfast club nurture group for a small number of students and we employ a school counsellor. We offer Positive Support to identified students.
Teachers working within our learning support department are extremely experienced and well qualified.
All have undertaken specialist further professional development and the majority have specialist post-graduate qualifications. We are committed to ongoing professional development for all staff.
Our teaching assistants are equally well qualified, with specialism in, for example, speech and language, hearing and visual impairment and social and communication difficulties.
All staff participate in regular training in meeting additional needs in the classroom through our Inset programme.
We access specialist advice through liaison with our Educational Psychologist and other Local Authority services. We also liaise closely with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health team.
Our school is fully accessible. We have separate dedicated disabled showering and toileting facilities and changing facilities for children who require adult support. Where additional specialist equipment is needed and recommended, we liaise with the Local Authority who provide this.
All parents are fully involved in the writing of profiles and IEPs and are invited to attend all meetings relating to meeting a child’s needs. Your views are incorporated in all statement/EHCP reviews. The views of all young people are sought prior to or as part of the annual review process. Students are welcome and invited to take part in meetings where appropriate.
Parents are welcome to come in to school at any time by arrangement to discuss their child’s needs and we will be honest and open with you.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress the subject teacher or form tutor is your first point of contact. If you have a concern of a more generic issue you should contact Mrs Robinson. If Mrs Robinson is unable to help or you feel the issue has not been adequately addressed, you should contact the Headteacher and follow the school’s complaints procedure.
There is a range of external providers and agencies in this area and we will work with you to identify what support would be most suitable for you or your child.
Derbyshire Information, Advice and Support Service for SEND can help you find the information you need to make informed decisions and can attend meetings with you.
Tel: 01629 533668
We will refer to school health and the multi-agency team where additional family support is needed. This will always be done in consultation with you. We also refer to the local CAMHs team, again with your permission. Other external agencies include voluntary bodies such as Derwent Rural Counselling and Derbyshire Young Carers.
There are occasions when older children seek additional support, for example with drug or alcohol misuse, sexual health advice or wish to engage with the school councillor and they do not wish their parents to be informed. If we believe the young person to be capable of making that decision, and do not believe him or her to be vulnerable, we will not inform parents, although we would always encourage the students themselves to do so.
Occasionally we may refer your family to social care, either to seek additional support for you via the disabilities team or because we have immediate concerns about your child’s well-being or the well-being of other family members.
We recognise that transition can be a very challenging time for students with SEND.
We visit all children and their teachers during year 6 and gather information about your child’s needs. We inform class teachers about those needs via our data systems prior to your child starting with us. We write profiles on students with more complex difficulties and these are published to all staff. We invite some children to do additional early visits before our Induction Day in the summer term so that they become familiar with key staff and the environment. Our learning support staff attend year 5 and 6 annual review meetings, where invited.
All form tutors have the responsibility for monitoring students on entry and because we operate a vertical tutoring system they are able to keep a close eye on the small number of year 7s that they have in the group and alert you or the learning support department promptly of any concerns.
Most students work closely with the school’s careers advisor and our in-school careers co-ordinators to discuss the best route forward. We will support your child by completing applications with them and by helping to write personal statements and CVs. We support with college visits where you are not able to do so. For students with more complex needs who would struggle to identify what they might wish to do, we work with you to identify what we collectively feel is the best option for you to pursue. The careers advisor plays a full part in the annual review and transition review process.
For students in learning support with ERS Education Health and Care Plans we offer a comprehensive Learning for Life curriculum. Students learn independent living skills such as self care, shopping, cooking, money handling and transport.
We would encourage you to take full advantage of the services on offer. If you have any difficulties accessing information from these services, please do contact us and we will be happy to help.