Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
- have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the Local Authority
- are under compulsory school age and fall within the definitions above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them (Code of Practice September 2014).
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
At Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, students are identified as having special educational needs through a variety of ways including the following:
- Liaison with primary school/previous school
- Child performing below age expected levels
- Concerns raised by parent/carer
- Concerns raised by teacher: for example, behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
- Liaison with external agencies: for example, physical or sensory
- Health diagnosis through paediatrician.
How will I raise concerns if I need to?
- Contact your child’s Head of House or Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) – Carole Sowerby (01603 497711).
- We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents and working as a team.
How will the school support my child and who will oversee, plan and work with my child and how often?
- The subject teacher will oversee, plan and work with each student with special educational needs in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made.
- The SENCO oversees all support and progress of any student requiring additional support across the school.
- There may be support staff working with your child either individually or as part of a group, if this is seen as necessary by the SENCO. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.
Who will explain this to me?
- The SENCO or a Mentor of the Special Educational Needs team will explain provision to parents/carers and will discuss your child’s needs, support and progress regularly.
- For further information the SENCO is available to discuss support in more detail.
How are Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?
- The SENCO reports to the Governors to inform them about the progress of students with special educational needs; this report does not refer to individual students and confidentiality is maintained at all times .
- One of the Governors is responsible for Special Educational Needs and meets regularly with the SENCO. They also report to the Governors to keep all informed.
- The Governors agree priorities for Special Educational Needs spending with the overall aim that all students receive the support they need in order to make progress.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs, how does Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form approach differentiation and how will that help my child?
- All work subject areas are pitched at an appropriate level so that all students are able to access it according to their specific needs. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be different levels of work set for the class/subject area, including individual differentiation.
- The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all students can access a lesson and learn at their own level and with regard to their learning style.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress?
- You are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with the Special Educational Needs team to discuss your child’s progress. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
- We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
- If your child has a Education, Heath and Care Plan (EHCP), a formal meeting will take place to discuss your child’s progress annually.
Education, Health and Care Plans will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs.
How do Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form know how well my child is doing?
- We measure student’s progress in learning against National expectations and age related expectations.
- The subject teacher continually assesses each student and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. Students’ progress is tracked regularly throughout their time at school, using a variety of different methods.
- Students who are not making expected progress are picked up through the rigorous termly monitoring. Appropriate interventions will be introduced to help students to reach their potential.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form?
- We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that high self-esteem is crucial to well-being. We have caring, understanding teams looking after our students and young people. A Student and Family Counsellor works with vulnerable children and parents during the school day supported by the BEST Team (Behaviour for Education Support Team) and our pastoral system. Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form takes a strong stance against bullying
- At Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, the Head of House has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every student in their House, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the SENCO for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Care.
How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
- Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site.
- Parents need to contact the school office if medication is recommended by Health Professionals to be taken during the school day, and the procedure will be explained.
- Staff with responsibility for managing medical needs will have regular training and updates of conditions and medication affecting individual children/young people.
What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?
- As a school we promote positive behaviour.
- Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form supports any student with identified behavioural needs and relevant interventions are put in place.
- After any behaviour incident we expect the student to reflect on their behaviour with an adult and take a restorative justice approach where appropriate.
- Attendance of every student is monitored on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon. Good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school.
How will my child be able to contribute their views?
- We value and celebrate each student being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is carried out through the School Senate, which has an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised. The Senate also sends representatives to the Partnership Schools’ Council.
- Students’ views are sought regularly regarding their experience of school.
- If your child has a Education, Heath and Care Plan their views will be sought before any review meetings.
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form?
- SENCOs in the Thorpe St Andrew Educational Partnership meet regularly to share expertise.
- As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual student’s needs within our school including:
- Health – including GPs, school nurse, clinical psychologist, paediatricians, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists
- Social Care – including family support workers and social workers
- Educational Psychologists
- Other local specialists and charities, for example Autism Anglia.
What training have the staff supporting students with Special Educational Needs had or are currently having?
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form have staff with the following qualifications:
- Level 7 OCR (to identify specific learning difficulties)
- Level 5 OCR (specialist teaching of specific learning difficulties)
- Level 3 OCR (specialist knowledge of specific learning difficulties)
In addition, teaching staff and support staff have benefited from training in, for example:
- Autistic Spectrum Condition
- Visual Stress (for example Meares Irlen).
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
- All students and young people are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
How accessible are the school environment?
- Recently there has been much work undertaken to make the site more accessible to disabled students. Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form is a split site school with many steps and stairs and no lifts. There are disabled toilet facilities on both sites and wheelchair access to all ground floor classrooms
- We liaise with English as an Additional Language Service who assist the school in supporting our families with English as an additional language.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
- We encourage all students to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around the school. For students with special educational needs we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings. Staff from Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form also visit students in their current setting, where appropriate.
- We write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult.
- At Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, we run a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable students.
- We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring students to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
- If your child has complex needs then an Education, Heath and Care Plan review will be used as a transition meeting, during which staff from both schools will attend.
How are the schools’ resources allocated and matched to student’s special educational needs?
- We ensure that all students who have special educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
- We have a team of support staff who are funded from the special educational needs budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
- The budget is allocated on a needs basis which is reviewed regularly.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
- Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form recognises that excellent teaching enables every student to make the best progress.
- Support staff will always work under the close direction of a subject teacher. Support staff recognise that students need to become independent learners and therefore they may be assigned to more than one student.
- The subject teacher, alongside the SENCO, will discuss the student’s needs and what support or teaching strategy would be appropriate.
- Different students will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
How do we know if it has had an impact?
- We use the Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach to monitor impact.
- We measure impact by looking at progress in any of the following areas:
- Communication and Interaction (speech and language)
- Cognition and Learning (for example English and Mathematics)
- Social, Mental and Emotional Health
- Sensory and Physical.
- Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and student contributes to evidence of progress.
- Students may no longer be considered to have special educational needs when they have made sufficient progress in any of the above areas.
Who can I contact for further information?
- First point of contact would be your child’s Head of House or a member of the Special Educational Needs team
- Look at the Special Educational Needs policy on our website
- Contact Parent Partnership – www.norfolkparentpartnership.org.uk
Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?
- Places are allocated by the Local Authority.
Contact the school office for an appointment to meet the appropriate member of staff.
For contact details of Local Authority Children’s Services personnel, go to http://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk
To access Norfolk’s “Local Offer” please click HERE