The Aim of the Learning Support Department:
To increase whole school and community awareness of the importance of quality and equality of opportunity for students regardless of ability or disability. We are committed to providing an integrated and inclusive curriculum commensurate with meeting individual needs, promoting positive achievement and independence for all.
Any queries regarding learning support can be forwarded to Mrs A Lines. SENCO.
Information about Gartree High School’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with special educational needs:
Pupils with SEND have often already been identified within their primary school provision and this is shared with us through close liaison and partnerships. The SENCo will attend annual reviews during year 6 for pupils with statements or Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to support early transition. Enhanced transitions and early identification of pupils with SEND is essential and a variety of data tools can be used to assess if additional SEND needs have not already been picked up. Key stage 2 SAT results and teacher assessments are used, as well as annual standardized reading test and spelling tests to identify any concerns that may not have already been addressed. Year 7 also take the CAT test to give the school additional data to help them further. If required the school will screen some pupils using the GTR dyslexia assessment screener to help identify any with possible specific learning difficulties. In some cases if a pupil is continuing to experience significant difficulties further external expertise may be requested. The school will refer to external agencies for assessments or diagnosis as appropriate following consultation with parents/carers are offered to vulnerable pupils where it is felt they would benefit from additional time at the school to experience what is on offer. Additional visits during the summer term are organised to allow pupils with SEND or anxiety to have further experience of life at Gartree High School. Regular meetings are held between the SENCo and primary schools to ensure that we are fully informed of any pupils with SEND who are transferring to the school. In addition there are opportunities for parents/carers to meet with the SENCo in the summer term to reassure them about any concerns they may still have.
Information about Gartree High School’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not pupils have Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans, including:
(a) How we evaluate the effectiveness of our provision for such pupils:
Information from primary schools and reading and spelling ages are used to target pupils for literacy intervention group work. The SENCo provides all staff with information regarding pupils Special Educational Needs
Subject teachers and tutors monitor regularly to identify pupils who are not making progress or who have needs which are affecting their ability to engage in learning activities. Initial identification will occur through concerns raised during the schools normal assessment cycle and termly data tracking. Staff may raise concerns if children have
Have fallen behind expectations for that child or …
Are behind and not making sufficient progress to stay in line or catch up with expectations for that child or …
Are not behind but are underperforming in line with expectations for that child.
(b) Arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs:
Annual Reviews are held each year for pupils with statements/EHCPs and parents are met with each term to discuss their child’s progress by a member of the Learning Support team. Parents of pupils on the SEN Record are also met with termly, usually at the time around progress reports being sent home. Progress is monitored by subject teachers and the SENCo, with strategies being discussed and implemented if progress is limited. Reading and spelling tests are given at the start of Year 6 and then at the end of each year to track progression and highlight any areas of concern that may have not been identified previously.
(c) Gartree High School’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs:
Classroom based support and intervention can take place in 1:1, small groups or whole class settings. Subject based interventions are usually provided by subject specialist staff. Classroom based support is available through a team of experienced Teaching Assistants. Literacy intervention occurs through timetabled lessons and activities, intending to enhance and revisit the basic skills that some pupils struggle with. Classroom differentiation is used to enable all pupils to make progress and dyslexia friendly strategies are routinely applied. There is a variety of technologies used to enhance the opportunities for pupils in their learning. The Learning Support Department has a range of Windows laptops for pupils to sign out and use within lessons if they find hand written recording difficult.
(d) How we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs:
A variety of adaptations can be made to meet the needs of our pupils. We have a modern building, constructed in 2007, with equipment built in that can adapt
in size and height, such as tables in science and hobs in food technology. There are two lifts at both ends of the building for pupils with physical disabilities. Dyslexia friendly strategies, such as coloured backgrounds on worksheets, clear labelling and extra time to complete tasks are applied for pupils with specific learning difficulties. Microphones are worn by staff when teaching pupils who have a radio system to assist their hearing impairment. Where SEN pupils are reading at a much lower age than their chronological age, literacy intervention groups are implemented in the Learning Support Department with opportunities for regular reading with staff at registration. Differentiation of leaning objectives and tasks are applied in classrooms to ensure all pupils are able to make progress within their ability range. We ensure our learning is fun through high quality teaching and learning as well as developing our pupils into positive citizens through our enriched curriculum. Gartree high School will ensure that every pupil fulfils their potential, enjoys their learning experiences and develops a positive set of values, personal learning and thinking skills.
(e) How we provide additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs:
Pupils with statements/EHCPs are given access to an additional adult in class, the amount of support depending on the nature of the pupil’s difficulties. Additional adults are used flexibly to help groups and individual pupils with a long term goal of developing independent learning skills. Small group work including friendship groups, social and communication groups and literacy groups are implemented to meet specific pupil need within the Learning Support Department.
(f) Activities that are available for pupils with special educational needs in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum:
We believe that the curriculum should not be constrained to lesson time, and that all pupils should have enrichment opportunities to support or stretch their learning, to enhance their life experience and simply for leisure and enjoyment. All pupils have access to extra-curricular trips and educational visits including foreign and British residential, sports trips, visits to enhance the curriculum, fieldwork and sports fixtures. Enrichment Week is run in May, where every pupil gets the opportunity to choose from, and participate in, a range of week-long activities including trips abroad for Year9, hiking in the Peak District, sports weeks, cookery courses, trips to London where they can see a show, take a trip on the river Thames and visit key buildings, alongside a whole host of other activities. Pupils also have the opportunity to perform in a range of dramatic and musical events through our annual drama production and our weekly orchestra. A range of clubs take place during school lunchtimes across all subject areas and there is also Homework Club which runs between 3-4pm Monday to Thursday, all year round.
(g) Support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with special educational needs:
Pupils at Gartree are assigned to a tutor group for the start of Year 7. The pupil’s tutor is the first point of contact for pupils and parents with any pastoral concerns. Our pastoral team helps address any pastoral needs of pupils who require assistance in overcoming barriers to learning in order to achieve their full potential. In addition, support and guidance is available from Educational Psychologists, CAMHS, Social Care,
Youth Offending and Menphys SOS. A variety of strategies are used to support and modify inappropriate behaviour; using school sanctions and rewards systems in line with the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy. In addition support from external agencies such as Behaviour Support Team, Counselling Services, and the link Educational Psychologist to gain additional advice can be called upon. We expect pupils to aim for 100% attendance and to be punctual to school and to all lessons. Where attendance is an area of concern then the pastoral team will initiate support. The Attendance Improvement Office (AIO) can offer welfare support for those pupils who are struggling to attend school. Regular liaison between the Pastoral and Learning Support Department ensures that if a pupil is not attending due to a social, emotional or mental need, it can be identified quickly, and appropriate support or external agency guidance can be put in place.
Name of SEND Co-ordinator within the Learning Support Department:
The Learning Support Department is led by the SENCo, Alison Lines As a part of this role she is responsible for:
Coordinating provision for children with SEND and creating opportunities that allow them to access the curriculum in a safe and secure environment.
Developing the school’s SEND policy.
Ensuring that parents are involved with supporting their child’s learning and access.
Informing parents / carers about the range and level of support offered to their child.
Including parents in student reviews.
Supporting successful transition whether within groupings in the school or to another school or external provision.
Liaising with external agencies who can offer advice and support to help students overcome any difficulties.
Provide specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.
Additional support is provided by Lead Teaching assistants, Berenice Bramley and Roxanne Kaba and a team of experienced Teaching Assistants.
Pupils with medical conditions or concerns are supported by the Pupil Health Administrator.
The setting’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education:
Effective, supportive and nurturing transition arrangements both from primary schools to Gartree, and from Gartree to upper schools are crucial to ensure a smooth transition process for identified pupils. There are a number of opportunities where Gartree and primary schools work together using science, maths, and technology to create a friendly and welcoming experience for pupils in Years 4 and 5, where members of staff visit primaries and teach a lesson. For Year 5 pupils with identified SEND or vulnerability, transition will start with the attendance of the SENCo at the annual review or multi agency meetings for these children. In liaison with primary schools, enhanced transitions are offered for vulnerable pupils where it is felt they would benefit from additional time at the school to experience what is on offer. Additional visits are arranged during the summer time to allow pupils with SEND or anxiety to have further experience of Gartree life. Regular meetings are held between the SENCo and primary schools to ensure that we are fully informed of any pupils with SEND who are transferring to the school. In addition there is the opportunity for parents of these pupils to meet the SENCo in a less formal setting during the summer term by arrangement. This allows parents to chat to with the SENCo who may be able reassure parents of any concerns they may still have. There will on occasion be a need to create a personalized programme for induction and this can be organised quickly with the SENCo to ensure a successful experience for the child.
For pupils transferring to Upper schools a close liaison also exists. Upper school colleagues are invited to attend Year 9 annual reviews or multi agency meetings to ensure information is shared and families can direct concerns to the appropriate colleagues. Extra visits are organised and supervised by members of the Learning Support Department to the upper schools to give our pupils an opportunity to experience their new school in smaller groups before whole school induction days. Information is shared during the summer term so that upper school staff are fully informed of the needs and successful strategies for that child. When it is required, Teaching Assistants will also liaise with schools and individual children to ensure there is a seamless transition for them.