Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) - Miss Ursula Coyle
The Clere School
Individual Needs Report
The Clere School is a small secondary school with an inclusive ethos. We have high expectations of all our pupils, and will support and encourage every child to achieve their very best. Teachers at The Clere School set appropriate learning challenges and respond flexibly to their pupils’ diverse learning needs. Some pupils may have barriers to learning; in these cases, teachers take account of these barriers and differentiate accordingly to meet these pupils’ needs. Some students may need additional support or adaptations in order to access a broad and balanced curriculum.
If you think your child may have special educational needs, you should initially approach your child’s tutor, the Head of Year for their year group, or the subject teacher if you think the learning need is in a particular area. The tutor/subject teacher will discuss your concerns with the Head of Year who will in turn liaise with the Faculty Leaders to gather any supporting evidence that may exist that would indicate that there is a Special Educational Need. In any case the Head of Year will then meet with you to discuss their findings and plan the next steps. Should it be evident that there is a Special Educational Need that meeting will also be attended by the SENDCo, Miss Coyle
Before pupils start at The Clere School, the SENDCo liaises closely with the previous schools, so that we are aware of any pupils who have already been identified as having special educational needs, and can share relevant information in order to ensure the progress of these pupils. In Year 7, we also use a ‘Cognitive Abilities Tests’ to assess pupils’ verbal, numerical and non-verbal reasoning abilities. This information, along with teacher assessments and SATs data from Year 6, enables us to identify pupils who may benefit from additional support.
Progress data is regularly collected from all subject teachers. If your child is not making progress, this may be because there is a barrier to their learning. Either the Head of Year for your child’s year group, or the Faculty Leader for any subject area, can make a referral to the SENDCo for further assessment and support. You will be kept informed throughout this process.
At The Clere School, we respond flexibly to each child’s particular need, and are supported by the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service and the Hampshire Educational Psychology Service to identify learning needs and plan support to help pupils to overcome these, in discussion with subject teachers, Subject/Curriculum Leaders/Faculty Leader and Heads of Year. All decisions will be discussed with the child’s parents at every stage.
All pupils at our school are encouraged to take responsibility and to develop as independent learners. Teachers engage pupils in discussion of their subject targets, and pupils are expected to make judgments about their own progress towards these targets as part of their day to day learning.
Pupils with special educational needs will also be asked to make a contribution to a regular progress review. If a child finds it hard to express themselves in writing, they can explain their views to a teacher or learning support assistant, who will write these down on their behalf, or they can complete a questionnaire at home, with the support of a family member or carer. Pupils will be encouraged to participate in or contribute to the review meeting.
Every teacher is a teacher of children with special educational needs. Teachers therefore have a responsibility to consider the individual needs of every child in their class, and to ensure that they present the curriculum in a way that enables each child to access it at an appropriate level. To enable all pupils to make good progress, the school may recommend particular adaptations or modifications to the curriculum, in line with the SEN Code of Practice.
Where appropriate, a ‘Staff Awareness’/Pupil Passport document may be written to share information about a child’s needs and to ensure that effective strategies are implemented across the curriculum. These are drawn up collaboratively, with involvement from the child, parents, subject teachers and the SENDCo.
For pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), this Staff Awareness document will incorporate the short term targets agreed in the Annual Review that will support the pupil in reaching their eventual learning goals. In addition to accessing the mainstream curriculum, these pupils may follow an intervention programme to support them in achieving these targets.
At times, the school may request additional support from external agencies and other professionals, to ensure that a particular child’s needs are met.
The Clere School provides all pupils with the opportunity to follow a broad and balanced curriculum, offering a range of teaching styles and learning experiences. Lessons have clear objectives, and effective assessment is used to inform future planning. The Staff Awareness system, along with additional training facilitated by the SENDCo and Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning enables teachers to differentiate appropriately, and to use a range of strategies to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs. Wherever possible, we avoid withdrawing pupils from the mainstream curriculum. At times, however, we may decide that it is more beneficial for pupils to follow a specific intervention programme. In these cases, you will be informed of your child’s participation in the programme and of the outcomes of this intervention with regular reviews.
Over the course of an academic year, there are many ways for parents to find out about their child’s progress. Progress data is collated into a termly Progress Report for each pupil. There are two opportunities to meet with teachers for each year group, as well as additional information evenings at key times, for example, in Year 9, when pupils are choosing their GCSE option subjects.
If at any other time you should wish to discuss your child’s learning in more detail, you should contact the school and ask to make an appointment either with a particular subject teacher, or with your child’s form tutor. Alternatively, you can email the school or an individual teacher with a request for further information. Finally, if you have a particular concern that relates to your child’s special educational need, you can always email the SENDCo, Miss Coyle, on firstname.lastname@example.org
At The Clere School, we are committed to working closely with parents. We have regular contact with parents through the termly Progress Reports. We also use Show My Homework, accessible as a link from the school’s own website, so that parents can access the work that pupils have been set. For pupils with special educational needs, the Staff Awareness sheet outlines strategies for teachers to use, which can also be practised with parents at home. Some pupils may also have individual support plans for consolidating learning at home.
Parents have regular opportunities to meet with staff throughout the year including two opportunities for face to face consultations. Parents’ first contact point is their child’s Form Tutor or Subject teacher, in addition Subject/Curriculum Leader, Faculty Leaders and of course the Head of Year. The SEN department can also be contacted through the school office.
The SENDCo, teachers and LSAs have access to continuous professional development, matched to the current needs of the pupils. As well as specialist courses, this includes subject specific network meetings, conferences and SEN update meetings relating to legislation and current educational practices. Within school, all teachers participate in ‘Learning Together’ meetings, which regularly include input on strategies to support the progress of pupils with special educational needs.
Several members of the support staff have first aid training, and we also receive regular visits from the School Nurse Service. We are able to make individual referrals to this service where appropriate.
Because of the diverse needs of our pupils, we have regular visits from specialist advisory teachers, who offer teachers guidance on supporting students with EHCP’s in their specific needs such as hearing or visual impairment; speech, language and communication needs; or autistic spectrum disorder. The Clere School accesses services and expertise from a wide range of specialist services to ensure that we make appropriate provision for pupils with special educational needs. We would seek guidance from outside agencies in any case where, after a period of assessment and intervention, a child was still not making progress in his or her learning.
The Clere School is a small school, with a caring and inclusive ethos, where everyone is valued. Relationships between pupils, and between staff and pupils, are positive. Pupils have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities as individuals, and unkindness is not accepted. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural values are explored through weekly assemblies, and in tutor time through the theme of the week. The most important adult in your child’s time at the school will be his or her form tutor, supported by the Head of Year; however, all staff members have a strong sense of responsibility for each pupil’s well-being, and will intervene where appropriate to ensure that pupils at the school feel safe, happy and valued. In specific cases, we may also suggest a referral to ELSA/FIPs, other counselling services or to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
There is a wide programme of curricular enrichment activities at The Clere School. These run at lunchtimes and after school, and include a range of activities such as music, drama, cookery, technology and sports. These are available to any child who wishes to take part; appropriate adaptations are made as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
A full risk assessment is made before any off-site activity; in some cases, additional adults may be required to support children with particular needs, and where necessary specialist staff training can be provided in preparation for these visits. In recent years, all visits and residential trips have been accessible to all the children within our care. Any individual needs have been discussed with parents in advance, and decisions made about adaptations which may be required.
When pupils join the school in Year 7 at The Clere School, the SENDCo liaises closely with the previous schools, sharing relevant information. In some cases, an Inclusion Partnership Agreement, drawn up collaboratively between the two schools and the pupil’s parents, may be appropriate to ensure that the transition is successful. These meetings are organised and chaired by the SENDCo of the primary school. Additional support may be put in place during the child’s first term at the school, to help the pupil to manage and reduce any anxieties that they may have.
As pupils prepare for the next stage in their education, the SENDCo liaises with the careers advisory service (currently the Basingstoke Consortium) to ensure that pupils with special educational needs receive thoughtful and relevant guidance on their future progression. There is then close communication between the SENDCo and staff at our pupils’ receiving colleges, or other destinations.
The school is not fully accessible for wheelchair users. The site is geographically small, however, and all stairs and steps have banisters or grab handles. There are accessible toilet facilities in the main building. All routes around the school are kept clear to ensure the safety of children with visual impairment or reduced mobility; contrast paint has been used to identify key routes and obstacles, and to highlight stair edges etc.
The governing body has due regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out its duties. The governors endeavor to secure the necessary provision for any pupil identified as having special educational needs, consulting the LEA and other schools when appropriate. The SENDCo works with the governing body, and the SEN Governor in particular, to ensure that the governors are kept informed of the progress of vulnerable pupils and those with special educational needs.
Parents who are concerned should in the first instance contact the SENDCo, Miss Coyle. All concerns will be taken seriously, and our intention will be to resolve issues through discussion and agreed joint action. If these issues cannot be resolved, the headteacher, Mr Bond, would then be consulted.
The school liaises closely with the LEA in responding to the needs of children with special educational needs. The LEA runs regular SEN briefings and conferences, which are attended by the SENDCo in order to remain up to date with new legislation and approaches to teaching. The LEA also offers specific training courses for teachers and learning support assistants. LEA advisors are a valuable source of information and guidance, and are available to come into school to provide support where appropriate.
A wide range of services are available in Hampshire for the parents of children with SEND. The Web address from the local offer is: