Q1: Who are the best people to talk to in Chesterton Community College about difficulties with learning and Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND)?
To discuss any aspect of a student’s learning, your first port of call will always be the form tutor. The form tutor’s role is central in caring for students and monitoring their progress both academically and socially, encouraging involvement, commitment, and high standards of work and behaviour.
It may also be appropriate and helpful for you to talk to a specific subject teacher. Subject teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of all students by using a variety of teaching styles and providing appropriately differentiated tasks. They participate in appropriate training and take an active part in the assessment, target setting and review of students with SEND. They work in partnership with the SENCO, SEN Specialist, teaching assistants and progress support workers, as well as students, parents and outside agencies.
Responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy lies with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator or SENCO. The SENCO coordinates the provision made for students with SEND as specified in their Statements of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plans by means of Annual Reviews and liaising with teachers and external agencies. The SENCO also
- fulfils statutory obligations and oversees the records for students with Statements of SEN or Education, Health and Care Plans;
- maintains the register of students with Additional Needs and ensures that teachers know the names of the students with SEND, the reason for their inclusion on the register and the most effective strategies to support those students;
- promotes and develops a whole-school approach to SEND;
- contributes to the in-service training of staff and others, as appropriate;
- develops effective ways of overcoming barriers to learning and sustaining effective teaching;
- ensures special exam arrangements are in place to support those students with special needs, according to the criteria set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications;
- coordinates the work of the teaching assistants and Progress Support Workers and the SEN Specialist;
- uses evidence-based strategies to support students with SEND and ensures other staff do the same;
- summarises the key points of the students’ Statements of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plans for teaching staff, Progress Support Workers and Teaching Assistants, to ensure they take account of those key points when teaching.
Chesterton Community College also has a SEN Specialist for Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia who
- coordinates the provision made for students on the Additional Needs register with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD);
- leads on the College’s programme to assist students who have SpLD, ensuring that the College has properly embedded systems and practices which will have a sustainable impact on students’ personal development, progress and attainment;
- leads on the identification of students who have SpLD and finding out what works best for them;
- liaises with parents of students with SpLD;• shares knowledge with other key staff, such as the SENCO, the Data and Intervention Manager and the Senior Leadership Team, to help ensure the sustainability of the College’s provision; • provides regular reports to parents, the SENCO and the Senior Leadership Team on the progress of students who are on the Additional Needs register with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD).
- trains and supports teachers to ensure that they make effective provision for students on the Additional Needs register with SpLD;
Q2: What are the criteria for being on Chesterton’s Additional Needs register?
The SEND Code of Practice (6.28-6.35) identifies four broad areas of need:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
- Sensory and/or Physical
If a student has a specific diagnosis under one of the four areas of need, he or she will automatically be included on the College’s Additional Needs Register. A student can also be added to the Additional Needs register if, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or concentrated support, the student:
- continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period;
- continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age;
- continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills;
- has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme;
- has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service; has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
Q3 What are the different types of support available for children with SEND at Chesterton Community College?
“High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.”
Special Educational Needs Code of Practice6.37
This page sets out the many different ways in which students who have or may have special educational needs are supported in school at Chesterton.
Excellent targeted classroom teaching by subject teachers, also known as ‘Quality First Teaching’
- All students should be getting this in school as part of excellent classroom practice. It means that:
- all teachers have the highest possible expectations for all students in their class.
- all teaching is based on building on what each student already knows, can do and can understand;
- different ways of teaching are in place so that every student is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning;
- all teachers carefully check on every student’s progress. This enables them to identify any gaps or difficulties in understanding or learning which may be overcome with extra support to help them make the best possible progress;
- specific strategies (suggested by the SEN specialist or outside professionals) are in place to support the learning of each student to meet their special educational needs as required.
Targeted group work
This type of support is available for any student who has specific gaps in their understanding of a particular subject or area of learning. Students are:
- taught in small groups, also known as Intervention groups, either in the classroom or elsewhere, which are run by a SEN teacher or a Progress Support Worker who has been trained to run an Intervention group;
- supported to work towards specific targets which will enable them to make progress.
Specialist support involving professionals from outside the school
This type of support is available for any student who has been identified by the SEN specialist or SENCO (sometimes as a result of parents, carers or students themselves sharing information or raising concerns) as having specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First teaching and Intervention groups alone, meaning that they require additional specialist support in school. This specialist support will come from a professional from outside the school, such as the Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need) or the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service. The processes by which this level of support is obtained in school are as follows
- parents or carers will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss the student’s progress and help plan possible ways forward;
- parents or carers may be asked to give permission for the school to refer the student to a specialist professional such as a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and parents, carers and the students themselves understand the student’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively;
- the specialist professional will work with the student to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
- making changes to the way the student is supported in class such as giving some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better,
- support for setting better targets based on the outside professional’s specific expertise,
- a group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional such as a social skills group,
- group or individual work with the outside professional;
- the school may suggest that the student needs some agreed individual support in school. The school will tell the student and their parents or carers how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
Specified Individual Support
This type of support is available for students whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong. It is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).This means the student will have been identified by the Local Authority as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. Usually the student will also need specialist support in school from a professional from outside the school such as the Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need) or the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service or the Locality Team. The processes by which this level of support is obtained in school are as follows:
- the school or a parent or carer can request that the Local Authority carries out a statutory assessment of the student’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided;
- after the school has sent in the request to the Local Authority (together with all relevant information about the student, including some from the parents or carers and the student themselves), they will decide whether they think the student’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask parents and carers and all professionals involved with the student to write a report outlining the student’s needs. If they do not think the student needs a statutory assessment, they will ask the school to continue with the support interventions;
- after the reports have all been sent in, the Local Authority will decide if the student’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and whether they need further support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an Education Health and Care Plan (this used to be called a Statement of Special Educational Needs). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support interventions and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to enable the student to make as much progress as possible;
- the Statement or EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual or small group support the student will receive from the Local Authority and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also set long and short term goals for the student;
- the additional hours may be used to support the student with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups which the student attends.
Q4: How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?
If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s form tutor initially. The form tutor will pass on any concerns to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or Special Educational Needs Specialist.
If you feel that your concerns are not being managed and that your child is still not making progress, you should speak to the SENCO.
If you are still not happy you can speak to the school SEND Governor or Head Teacher.
Q5 How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?
If your child is identified as not making progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:
- listen to any concerns you may have;
- plan any additional support your child may receive;
- discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning
Q6 Who are the other people providing services to students with special educational needs and/or disabilities in Chesterton?
Who are the other people providing services to students with special educational needs and/or disabilities in Chesterton?
- Educational Psychology Service
- Sensory Support Service for children with visual or hearing needs
- Speech and Language Therapy (provided by Health but paid for by the Local Authority).
- School Nurse
- Occupational Therapy
- Locality team- A team of professional workers to support the school
- Early intervention family worker
- Romsey Mill- To help with year 6-7 transition
- School Listener
- Young Carers
- Centre 33
Q7 How are the teachers in Chesterton helped to work with students with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and what training do they have?
- The Assistant SENCo and SENCO roles include support for teachers in planning for children with SEND.
- The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole-school training on SEND issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and speech and language difficulties. There will be a number of training programmes for all staff during the next academic year 2016-2017.
- Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of individual students in their class, for example, from the sensory support service or Educational Psychology department.
Q8 How is teaching at Chesterton adapted for students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities?
- Subject teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all students in their class, and will ensure that an individual student’s needs are met.
- Specially trained support staff can adapt the teacher’s planning to support the needs of an individual student where necessary.
- Specific resources and strategies will be used to support students with SEND individually and in groups.
- Planning and teaching will be adapted, on a daily basis if needed, to meet individual student’s learning needs. The Assistant SENCo and SENCO provide plans to support class teachers to support individual students.
- Recorded on Chesterton Reporting System
Q9 How do we measure the progress of students with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities at Chesterton?
- Progress is continually monitored by form tutors and subject teachers.
- Progress is reviewed formally every term and a level of 1 – 9/ predicted grade will be given in all subjects.
- At the beginning of year 7 and year 9 all students are assessed using the CAT4 test. This gives a baseline of ability and tracks all progress made. All new students who arrive at the school, at a different time than year 7 and 9, will also undertake the CAT4 test to ensure that we have accurate data for all students and any learning difficulty may be identified.
- Progress of students with a statement of SEND or Education, Health and Care Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review in consultation with all those involved in the student’s education.
- The Assistant SENCo and SENCO will also check that students with special educational needs and/or disabilities are making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
Q10 What support do we have at Chesterton for you as a parent of a child with a special educational need and/or disability?
- The form tutor is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
- The SENCO and SEN specialist are available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns or worries you may have and offer support strategies you can use at home with your child.
- All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you face to face or, where this is not possible, in a report.
Q11 How do we support students with special educational needs and/or disabilities when they are leaving Chesterton or moving on to another class?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a student with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
- When a student is moving to another school or further education establishment we :
- contact the school SENCO and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for the student
- make sure that all records about the student are passed on as soon as possible.
- When moving classes in school we
- pass information on to the new class teacher in advance and, in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher.
- When a student is moving from primary to secondary school:
- the SENCO attends a meeting with the SENCO of their primary school (and the specialist session for students with an autistic spectrum disorder, when appropriate).
- the student learns about aspects of transition to help them to understand the changes ahead.
- where possible, the student visits their new school on several occasions and, in some cases, staff from the new school visit the student in Chesterton.
Q12 Will my child be eligible for special considerations in class tests and examinations at Chesterton if they are diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty?
Special exam arrangements include such things as taking exams in a separate room from others, having extra time, supervised rest breaks, time prompts, use of a reader or a scribe, use of laptops, colour filter overlays and so on.
Special exam arrangements are also called ‘Access Arrangements’ because they allow students with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment.
The school and awarding bodies (exam boards) comply with the duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for students. It is important to note that to be eligible for any of these special arrangements there must be evidence of need (such as being within the specified scoring criteria and/ or having a medical or educational psychologist’s or other recognised professional’s report) and, in the case of use of a laptop for example, this must also be the student’s normal way of working in school.
It is most important that parents, carers and students let us know as soon as possible after arriving at Chesterton if there may be any requirement for special exam arrangements. Please do not leave it until Year 9.
The member of staff with responsibility for access arrangements is our Exams Officer, Nicola von Schreiber.
Please follow this link to the Joint Council for Qualifications information about special exam arrangements: http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration and click here to read our procedures for Assessing for Access to Exams.
Q13 How can I support my child’s learning at home?
If your child has been diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, you may find it useful to speak to the SENCO or SEN Specialist about what specific support you could offer your child at home to aid their learning. Below is a list of books which are recommended if your child has a specific literacy difficulty. They can be purchased via any good bookshop or on www.amazon.co.uk
- Toe by Toe
- Alpha to Omega
- Brainbox memory games
- Syllabification game
There are also many free apps, which can be downloaded onto your child’s iPad which will support spelling and memory. These include:
- Brain Games
- Apples and pairs
- Irregular plurals
- Flash Cards
- Mind maps
There are many excellent organisations with very informative websites about all types of learning difficulties and disabilities. If you would prefer to watch and listen to information rather than read it, most websites contain information videos or you can try typing the name of the learning difficulty or disability into YouTube to hear talks, interviews and short films on the subject– www.youtube.com