Our aim is for students to unlock their potential and achieve individual excellence, through experiencing the highest quality of education. We are passionate and determined that within their education, every student, no matter what barrier, achieves and enjoys their learning, is happy and cared for, develops as a well-rounded individual and is included fully within Academy life.
The work of the Student Support department involves a wide range of activities. These include: assessment; supporting and teaching students; working as members of different support year teams and departments; liaising with staff in school, with outside professionals and with parents.
Our ongoing work with parents/carers is a key element of our role, which enables parents to have confidence in the knowledge that their children’s needs are being met across the school day, both academically and socially.
We view our parental work as a partnership and the views of parents are sought, for example, when creating SEND Student Overviews, carrying out a review of SEND Support or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). We also stay in frequent contact with parents/carers through the Head of Year and Assistant Head of Year.
We address students’ needs in a variety of ways, mostly by providing the best possible learning opportunities for all our students through differentiation within the classroom environments, enabling access to the curriculum for our students and encouraging them to become more independent in their learning.
The majority of the SEND students within the Academy are supported within the mainstream environment. In addition, some withdrawal for interventions takes place:
- To address individual students needs where this is not possible or practical within the classroom.
- To address personal social development gaps where a bespoke social skills programme is delivered.
- Group work to address social emotional needs of students.
In Class Support
The majority of support is delivered within the classroom: Student Support Assistants (SSA’s) work with subject teachers to support students with Special Educational Needs. This support may take the form of individual or small group work, reading or writing for/with the students, helping with presentation work, assisting with spelling, punctuation and grammar, re-phrasing or scaffolding instructions or subject material, assisting with numeracy and other basic skills, working on social skills, motivating, praising and encouraging good work.
Subject teachers provide Student Support Assistants with information about the content of lessons and with specific requests prior to the beginning of the lesson, so differentiation teaching and learning ensures access to learning for all students.
Student Support Break/Lunchtime
Identified students – who require a quiet and calm area away from the main Academy environment – can access Student Support at break and lunch time. The area is always supervised by Student Support staff, where positive interactions are encouraged, and support is offered for students who require emotional regulation.
Social Skills Intervention
Identified students, predominantly students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, take part in weekly social skills lessons. The sessions are delivered by a range of staff within the Student Support team and the sessions focus on: rules of conversation, social norms, working together, positive relationships, listening to others opinions and preparation for adulthood.
Social Emotional Mental Health Needs
Students who are identified with social and emotional need are supported within the Student Support department. We have Specialist Student Support Assistants who work daily with students to support them to manage their emotions and positively engage with the Academy.
To support students who are demonstrating significant social and emotional needs, we have an on-site alternative provision – within Key Stage 4 – that provides an alternative curriculum for these students, focusing on a bespoke curriculum and their social and emotional needs.
Specialist Counselling Service
In order to support students, we have a full counselling service available every Friday, and the referral system – through the Heads of Year- is a very simple process, meaning that the students are seen promptly.
The engagement is for approximately six weeks, initially, and then reviewed at the end of this period.
Exam Access Arrangements
Students, who are identified as having significant barriers, which are may be causing them to underperform, may be entitled to exam access arrangements. This is applied for through the Joint Council for Qualifications, in Year 10. The Lead SEND Practitioner will arrange for an assessment to be completed to request this further support.
Student SEND Overviews
Student SEND Overviews are a one page document outlining a student’s special educational need, and suggests strategies for staff to implement, when working with the student. The Student Overviews are fully accessible to all staff and are kept securely on the Academy intranet.
Each Student Overview includes: a section for strategies that help me; main areas of difficulty and strengths; things that are important to me. Student Overviews are held for students that are registered on the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and identified students who are pre-Code of Practice. Student Overviews are regularly reviewed to ensure the needs of students’ are fully met.