Thank you for your interest in our school. Please find below information that will outline how we address different aspects of SEN. If you would like further information, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
What kind of special educational needs are catered for in your school?
Springwell Learning Community is a specialist provision for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. A number of our pupils have secondary needs including difficulties with their communication and learning.
Which policies identify children and young people with SEN?
At our Special School, all of our pupils have an EHCP, which are related to their SEMH needs. Many of our pupils have secondary needs relating to cognition and learning, communication and interaction and sensory/ physical needs.
At our Alternative Academy, a small number of pupils have an EHCP.
Where these have yet to be identified, school staff, with support from the SENCo, use a variety of data and observations to assess needs and implement strategies to overcome barriers.
Our SEN policy includes further information on this, including the role of the SENCo in improving the outcomes of our pupils with SEN. Additional policies that talk about the identification of need include our Admissions Policy and our Interventions Policy.
How are their needs assessed?
If we feel that pupils have additional needs that are not in their EHCP, then we write them into their learner journal and implement provision and intervention to meet these needs. Where possible, we aim to use formal methods of assessment such as standardised scores. When this is not deemed appropriate due to the pupil’s needs, we rely on observational methods to both assess and monitor progress.
Who is the school SENCo?
The SENCo at Springwell Learning Community is Laura Leithgoe.
Contact- 01226 291133
How do you consult with parents of children with SEN and involve them in their child’s education?
As a school we aim to build partnerships with parents and carers that are based on honesty, trust and mutual respect with the purpose of supporting the academic, personal and emotional development of our pupils. As a consequence, we consult and communicate with parents on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the annual review of special educational needs, parents and carers are invited to contribute to and discuss the following:
- Pupil Progress
- Positive Handling Plans
In addition, we call parents and carers on a regular basis. We are fortunate to be supported by an outstanding pastoral welfare team who can also offer support for our families out of school, and can make home visits to maintain strong partnerships.
How do you consult with children and young people and ensure they are actively involved in their own education?
Success revolves around the pupils themselves. With this in mind, we value the views of our pupils. As part of our parental consultation evenings, their views are recorded formally once per term, including before their annual review.
Pupils are invited to all review meetings and are encouraged to suggest possible targets and how school can better provide for their needs. If due to need, pupils do not feel able to attend, they can select an advocate to share their views. Pupils are also encouraged to self-assess and peer-assess work in class and reflect on their progress in a daily Review and Reflect session.
Each year, pupils take part in an online PASS survey. PASS is nationally recognised and provides a measurement of a pupils’ attitudes towards themselves as learners and their attitudes towards school.
How do you assess and review children and young people’s progress towards outcomes?
Reviewing progress towards EHCP outcomes takes place at an annual review and in termly meetings or conversations with parents. Parents and carers are involved in this process and their views are recorded and taken into account. To support this process, a variety of school data is used including progress in subjects and social and emotional development.
What opportunities are there to work with parents and pupil as part of this assessment and review?
To gather views, class teams and the SEND admin will contact parents and carers in advance of meetings. These can be obtained over the phone, depending on what is most preferable to parents and carers.
How do you support children and young people who move between phases of education?
On admission to our school, our Pastoral Manager works with parents, carers and other professionals to plan a personalised transition for new pupils. This might include:
- Parent and carer visits
- Supported visits with trusted adults
- Supported time in the classroom
Likewise, we support the transition from primary to secondary within school by implementing a personalised programme depending on the pupil’s needs, which helps them to prepare for change.
When the pupil is ready to move to their next provision, school or college, there is a carefully planned transition programme where pupils, parents, school staff and relevant outside agencies are involved at every stage.
How do you help children and young people prepare for adulthood?
As outlined in the school’s vision and mission statement, we aim: “A purposeful learning environment that is physically and emotionally safe. A specialist educational offer that ensures children and young people are well prepared for college, employment and participation in society.”
We prepare pupils for adulthood through:
- Personal development
- Curriculum – qualifications
- Real-life experiences
- Careers support and advice on site
- Classroom activities based on problem solving and the ability to use initiative
- Social communication development
What approach do you use when teaching children and young people with SEN?
At Springwell Learning, our pupils which Key Stage 1 and KS 2 are placed in mixed year groups based on ability and needs. At Key Stage 3 and 4 they are in year groups, all of our practice is guided by the six founding principles of nurture.
The six principles of nurture are:
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in children’s lives
We also ensure that all pupils access ‘Quality First Teaching’ which is differentiated to meet needs.
An elements based curriculum is offered in which outdoor learning is highly valued. This is based on a different learning topic each half term, appropriate for each key stage, where a range of curriculum areas can be covered. Wherever possible, and in a variety of weather, groups are encouraged to learn outdoors.
How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN?
Like mainstream schools we work within the statutory guidelines set out in the National Curriculum. Our aim is:
- To shape successful learners who enjoy school, make great progress and achieve a range of qualifications; confident individuals, who lead safe, health and fulfilling lives and responsible citizens, who make productive contributions to society
- To focus on the acquisition of attitudes and attributes, for example, perseverance, resilience and respect; skills, for example, literacy, numeracy and personal development; and knowledge and understanding
To do this we:
- Provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that supports all pupils to push the boundaries of their potential
- Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils
- Ensure all pupils gain appropriate qualifications and accreditation at KS4 enabling them to successfully access post 16 education
- Offer an extended enrichment programme that develops pupils’ confidence and helps engender an appreciation and enjoyment of human creativity and achievement
- Provide pupils with the essential knowledge and skills they need to be good citizens and make the most of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
The curriculum is planned through both discrete and topic based lessons that combine elements of nurture into routines and activities throughout the day. Additional, intense and focused interventions are planned where necessary.
The following interventions and methods are used to adapt the curriculum and learning environment when needed:
- Further differentiation of tasks and resources, for example, simplifying the readability of the text or adapting it to meet personal interests
- Targeted in-class support using Teaching Assistants (TA)
- Small group/individual support sessions for English, maths (literacy and numeracy skills) and social, emotional development
- Use of ICT to support preferred learning styles
- Access arrangements for examinations and in preparation
What expertise and training do your staff have?
All of our teachers and support staff are experienced in working with pupils with SEMH within a nurture setting.
When additional expertise is necessary, group staff are supported by the SENCo, who can provide further strategies and recommendations.
How do you secure additional specialist expertise?
When desired progress has not taken place through school interventions, specialist expertise is sought, either directly or on a consultancy basis, depending on the needs of the individual pupil. These specialist recommendations and strategies will then be implemented in school.
There is an ethos of continued professional development embedded throughout our school to ensure that all staff members are trained and informed of new developments in education and, in particular, developments in the teaching of pupils with a broad spectrum of SEN.
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN?
All senior leaders, class teachers and support staff play a key role in evaluating the effectiveness of our provision. On an annual basis all staff contribute to the school’s self-evaluation form. This document includes information on our overall key strengths and areas for improvement, and informs our school development plan.
The SENCO also plays a key role in evaluating the effectiveness of our provision by:
- Robustly monitoring and reviewing SEND provision
- Monitor and reviewing individual pupil progress
- Overseeing regular assessment arrangements
- Recording and analysing the impact of interventions
- Making comparisons with local and national data
- Analysing school data
- Gathering feedback from relevant partners
How are children and young people with SEN enabled to engage in activities?
Building the self-esteem of our pupils and allowing them to experience success is key to our nurturing ethos. Activities, whether based in or out of the classroom, are differentiated and personalised to meet individual needs to meet this.
We encourage our pupils to be confident, and to lead fulfilling lives. We do this through enhancing our curriculum by providing a variety of trips, visits, outdoor education and after school activities. The school provides a small fleet of minibuses to enable our pupils to engage with such activities.
How do you support the emotional and social development of children and young people?
Improving emotional and social development is key to the trauma informed provision the school offers.
We use the Motional to explore our pupils’ needs holistically, identifying areas of strength and development. Motional works on the emotional systems within the brain and as such programmes of study are created to support the students to make progress towards their mental health.
The school council enables pupils to engage with the pastoral team to discuss whole school plans. This provides vital social skills and helps to build confidence.
Our highly skilled pastoral team supports each pupil’s social and emotional development through short and long term interventions, close work with families and through providing a rewards system that enables pupils to achieve goals and targets.
The school has an anti- bullying strategy in place which is reviewed in staff meetings. Bullying is addressed through restorative practice by group staff. Where bullying continues, parents and carers become involved and incidents are followed up with the pastoral team.
How does the school involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEN and supporting their families?
As a school, we work with a wide range of partners including those from health, social care and the Local Authority.
We gather a variety of information on admission to ensure that we are involving and working with all relevant bodies from the start.
Early Help Assessments are offered when we feel that families may need support. We can refer and signpost them to other relevant services in order to better the lives of the children and young people. Staff from the school attend various professional meetings to ensure close working with the family and other professionals to achieve the actions that are set.
It is often necessary to share information and work alongside other professionals including the school nursing team, social workers, family support workers, MST, YOT and others in order to achieve the best for our pupils.
What arrangements are in place for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at school?
Springwell Learning Community aims to provide the best possible educational experience for all its pupils and their families. Queries from parents and other members of the public are initially dealt with by Ruth Radcliffe.
We like to hear when we are doing something well but also realise that there may be times when you are unhappy or you just might want to make a comment about how we can improve.
If parents or carers would like to make a comment, pass on a compliment or make a complaint about our school they can contact the school directly by telephone, email or in writing and will be directed to the most appropriate person.
Our underlying principle is that concerns ought to be handled without the need for formal procedures. The school is committed to responding to the queries of the parents and guardians as soon as possible in line with Chapter 11 of the 2014 Code of Practice.