Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy

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1 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy Approved by the Board of Governors Date: April 2014 Review Date: April 2017 Policy Contact: Mrs Breege Jinks, Deputy Head (Academic)

2 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy Introduction 1 The Children and Families Act 2014 Section 66 requires schools to use their best endeavours to meet the Special Educational Needs (SEN) of the children and young people that they educate. 2. Section 19 of the Act sets out the general principles that needs to be taken into account of, when supporting those pupils with SEN under part 3 of the Act. Particular attention needs to be paid to: a. The views, wishes and feelings of children, young people and their parents. b. The importance of children and young people participating as fully as possible in decision making. c. Supporting children and young people s development and for them to achieve best possible educational and other outcomes. 3. The term Special Educational Needs (SEN) has a legal definition, which is set out in the Education Act 1996 and the Children and Families Act It applies to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it significantly harder for them to learn or access education than most other children of their age. 4. Independent Schools must have regard to the Code of Practice 2014 and have duties under the Equality Act Some children find it harder than other children of the same age. Schools will try many different ways of helping pupils to learn and boost their progress. This will include adaptations to teaching methods and the resources used. 6. Children and young people who have SEN tend to have more significant barriers to their learning. They do not necessarily have a disability and many disabled children and young people do not have SEN. Types of SEN 7. The term SEN covers a wide range of types of needs, including: a. Specific learning difficulties b. Moderate learning difficulties c. Speech, language and communication needs d. Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties e. Autistic spectrum conditions f. Visual and hearing impairment g. Physical disability h. Multi-sensory disability i. Profound and multiple learning difficulties. s Approach to These Factors 8. At we aim to give each pupil an education that allows them to reach their full potential in all subjects. The College has excellent sports, drama, music and art facilities to ensure that those students whose strengths may lie in these fields can exploit their talents to the utmost.

3 Ethos of the Learning Support Department 9. The Learning Support Department at the College aims to provide any student with the help required for them to access the curriculum. The majority of students attending the department have some form of Specific Learning Difficulty. We believe that all students should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our aim is to help them achieve this by supporting them in their learning in whatever way seems most appropriate. This includes relevant screening to identify a young person s educational needs and a tailored programme to suit their preferred learning style. 10. The Department treats each student as an individual, with differing needs to be met, and differing strengths to be encouraged. We liaise closely with subject staff to facilitate the student s learning experience. We try to ensure that each student enjoys their time at. We wish to give them the best possible support in accessing the curriculum. We also aim to help them to integrate fully in all College activities and aspects of College life. We want students to fell that they can to us with any concerns in the knowledge that they can speak frankly and be dealt with fairly. It is vital that we have a relationship of trust with our students, so that we can help them overcome any previous sense of failure and grow in self-confidence. It is important that they feel able to come to us in times of crisis. 11. The Department tries to develop and maintain excellent communications with parents, so that consultation and exchange of information can take place easily and freely regarding the student s education and welfare. Some Important Characteristics of SPLD (Dyslexia) 12. It is important to remember that SpLD may affect a person in many different ways. The characteristics listed below are common. However, one person with dyslexia may experience difficulty in all of these areas, another in most, someone else in a few and the severity of the difficulty experienced varies greatly from person to person. It is vital to remember that one is dealing with an individual, not a condition, and that there is likely to be a marked discrepancy between the student s performance and their underlying ability. 13. Reading and spelling rarely become fully automatic skills proficiency can vary from day to day or even hour to hour. Spelling difficulties can include: a. Confusing letter shapes d/b, u/n b. Confusing similar letter sounds d/t, v/f/th, and short vowels c. Reversals saw/was, no/on d. Transposals felt/left e. Omission or insertion of words f. Confusing small words of/for/from, who/how or what/that Reading difficulties can include:

4 a. Expending so much effort on the mechanics of reading that students have difficulty in understanding and remembering what they have just read. b. Keeping correct place on a line. c. Reading a word perfectly and then being floored by the same word moments later. d. Mispronouncing known words: hospital/hostipal. e. No expression or incorrect intonation. f. Having extreme difficulty in finding their place again if they have to look away from the page (this impacts on the ability to copy from the board). Writing difficulties can include: a. Foreshortening: rember/remember, sudly/suddenly. b. Repetition of words. c. Capitals being omitted or being incorrectly placed. d. Generally confused punctuation and layout of work, despite repeated teaching. e. i s not dotted, t s not crossed, l s crossed. f. Tiny/illegible handwriting to cover up inability to spell. g. Finding it extremely difficult to proofread written work. h. Work being of an inconsistent standard, which may be seen as deliberate or not trying hard enough. i. Written work being restricted to words that can be spelt rather than using the full breadth of spoken vocabulary. j. The same word being spelt in different ways in a piece of work poor visual memory means that students will find it difficult to recognise the correct version. k. Having poor fine motor control and/or hand/eye co-ordination leading to: difficulty in keeping on the line; each line starting further from the margin; scrawling handwriting and incorrectly formed letters; smudgy, messy work; awkward pencil grip. l. Dyspraxia. Where appropriate students are encouraged to word process their work. Difficulties in copying work from the board might include: a. Poor hand/eye co-ordination. b. Slow speed of writing work is erased before finished. c. Poor short term memory cannot retain sequence of words for sufficient time to transfer to the page. Short term memory difficulties might include: a. Not being able to retain information until it has been fully assimilated. b. Students having to over learn in order to compensate for short term memory issues. c. Having problems with instruction not remembering which book they are meant to have with them, which page they should be on, the paragraph/exercise to start from etc. d. Finding mental arithmetic difficult as students often cannot retain information for a sufficient period to manipulate it to work out answer. Concentration difficulties might include: a. Being fidgety. b. Becoming easily distracted. c. Tiring quickly (dyslexic students have to put effort into every aspect of reading and writing).

5 Students with dyslexia may struggle with sequencing skills, for example finding difficulty with remembering the sequence of a. The alphabet b. Days of the week, months of the year, numbers c. Times tables d. Words in a sentence e. Events in essay writing f. Order in which to carry out a task Students may also struggle with time and direction examples of this may include: a. Understanding time concepts, for example before and after. b. Left/right confusion c. Confusing North/South/East/West d. Telling the time e. Difficulty in measuring how much time has elapsed, so work often incomplete f. Problems with punctuality Students can have problems with organisational skills, leading to them to forget: a. Sports kit b. Lesson equipment c. Deadlines d. Homework e. Messages/instructions 14. As so many of the processes required in employing literacy skills do not become automatic for dyslexics, it is easy for them to become overloaded when carrying out several tasks at once. For example, spelling a word in a test may not be a particular problem. Spelling a word in a creative piece of writing, however, whilst trying to remember the order of the words in the sentence being written, exactly what they wanted to write, where the words needed to be placed on the page, the direction the letters have to be written in, and what punctuation needs to be used, becomes a task of daunting proportions. 15. Due to all of this, students with SpLD may well have poor self-esteem for example: a. Having feelings of inadequacy at school from a very early age. b. Being aware of the ease with which peers manage schoolwork leading to doubting their own ability and intelligence. c. Masking feelings of inadequacy by becoming the class clown d. Starting to expect failure if they have experienced little success and becoming demotivated. e. Lacking motivation. Learning Support Department Staffing 16. The College has a large learning support department, housed in its own dedicated building in the centre of the College. The department staffing is: Mrs A Angier Head of Department

6 Mrs E Barden Mrs S Dallyn Mrs S Ferris Mr N Foster Mrs M Gilbert Ms Jensen Miss J Lorimer-Green Mrs H Russell Department Organisation and Systems 17. The Department gives new pupils screening tests this the term before their first term at Seaford. This is to discover if any student may have special educational needs that have not been previously identified. The Department will then discuss any areas of concern with the pupil and their parents. It is important to talk with the pupil regarding their difficulties to establish how they perceive them and to see if there seems to be any underlying anxiety or lack of self-confidence. It is also important to take into account the parents views of their child s needs and how they would like their child to progress/be supported. 18. A differentiated curriculum is set up according to the student s needs, and they may be put in sets for core subjects. The student also has the option of coming to the Learning Support Department for one to one lessons (subject to parental consent) to help with literacy, numeracy, study skills, curriculum and coursework. An IEP is drawn up for the students and this is reviewed twice yearly, to ensure that it is relevant and effective. This will be phased out in line with the Code of Practice 2014 and replaced with more face to face contact between parents, pupils and staff. 19. tries to establish excellent communications with parents to facilitate the students learning. To this end, parents meetings are held and it is possible for parents to arrange an individual meeting. Learning Support staff contribute to the whole school reporting system on a comments only basis. If a student is giving cause for concern, forms are filled out regarding the nature of the concern. Other teachers are asked to comment on how the pupil performs in their lessons, so that a rounded view of the student s general attitude and progress can be achieved. Staff will contact parents and may invite them to the College for a meeting to discuss the way forward. 20. It is the aim of that students should enjoy their time at the school and be provided with the education, support and advice they need to achieve their goals in life. Timetabling of Learning Support Lessons 21. The timetabling of lessons is managed with extreme care. Students must not come out of core subjects. It is also important to ensure they are not taken out of subjects that provide pleasure and may be strengths, for example sport, music or art. It is vital that the student attends willingly. If progress is to be made, their full cooperation is required. 22. Timetabling is carried out through discussions with the students and subject teachers as well as parents. Every effort is made to be as accommodating as possible to the student s wishes. Lessons are available before the school day starts, at 8.10am. This gives students more flexibility and is particularly useful for those approaching their GCSEs. 23. The Learning Support Department can only commit to one lesson a week for each student with SpLD staff. Other time may be arranged with the gap year students or TAs for reading and general support.

7 Lesson Structure and Content 24. The lessons in the department are on a one to one basis. This is an excellent way of ensuring the student is free from distractions and can fully concentrate on the set task (one difficulty often encountered by students with dyslexia is poor concentration). One to one lessons allow frequent questioning and rehearsal of facts to establish whether the student understands the work. Overlearning is a very important part of the teaching programme for a student with dyslexia. The lessons usually cover one or more of the following areas: a. Literacy skills b. Study and organisational skills c. Handwriting d. Coursework and curriculum support (including helping with homework) e. Numeracy skills f. Behavioural techniques g. Revision and exam techniques 25. The lessons also provide the student with an opportunity to raise any concerns. A vital part of the department s work is boosting self-esteem and raising confidence. This is another reason why it is so beneficial to the student to have an individual lesson. IEPs 26. Although these are still in place, they will be replaced in line with the new Code of Practice. Advice has been sought (May 2014) from the SEN casework team at WSCC which is currently unsure how the new code will be implemented. 27. IEPs are currently produced twice yearly to set targets and monitor progress for students with special educational needs. The targets in the IEPs are different or additional to those already in place in the classroom. Pupil Profiles 28. The Learning Support Department produces this resource each year. Its purpose is to provide teaching staff with a brief sketch of each SEN student s strengths and weaknesses. This gives staff a useful guide to appropriate ways of supporting the student and differentiating their curriculum. Information on each pupil with SEN is added to SchoolBase. Access Arrangements 29. Access arrangements for GCSE and A Level exams are carried out in house by Nicholas Foster, Annelise Jensen and Ann Angier, who are qualified to do this. Pupils are screened in Year Parents of those whose scores fall below average are contacted at the beginning of Year 10 for consent for a full assessment to take place. Pupil consent is also obtained. Pupils are then seen individually to assess reading comprehension, word reading accuracy, spelling, writing speed and legibility, processing speed and working memory. Standardised tests are used. A report is written, one copy of which is sent to parents and one copy of which is stored in the department. Application to the Exam Boards for concessions is made through the Examinations Officer.

8 31. The process to assess Sixth Form pupils has changed for 2013/14 and onwards, according to JCQ regulations. Evidence from teachers is now sought that the concessions in place are still necessary; pupils are consulted too. A resubmission to JCQ through the exams office is then made. Attending the Learning Support Centre 32. The Learning Support Centre offers to help any student who asks for it, providing their parents agree. Some students refer themselves to the department. This is indicative of the way the department is integrated into the school, so that asking for support is seen as a positive action, rather than something negative. Some students have had one to one support in their previous schools and it is generally agreed that this should continue. If a student s initial screening tests have shown areas of concern, then the parents and the pupil will be consulted. The possibility of having lessons at the department is discussed, along with other strategies. Sometimes a pupil has had an assessment from an Educational Psychologist and it has been suggested that the pupil may benefit from one to one help. 33. Subject teachers may observe a student who is struggling despite the measure they have put in place. Again, there is the option of a student attending the department should the parents and the pupil wish it. During a student s attendance at the department, their need for this ongoing support will be regularly assessed. Most of the students who come to the centre have a specific learning difficulty. Lessons in the department are an extra charge. Preferred Learning Styles 34. The Learning Support Department recognises that each student has a preferred learning style. Most of the students benefit from mind mapping. The system is particularly useful for those pupils who have a very good visual memory. It is an extremely effective method of essay planning, note taking and revision giving the student a clear overview of the subject. The Learning Support Department uses Mindmanager and Inspiration, both excellent mind mapping programs. Statemented Pupils 35. Statements are now being replaced with EHCPs but those currently in place will continue as determined by the new Code of Practice If a child at has a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the strategies to meet the short-term targets are written in the IEP. The IEP only records the strategies that differ from or are additional to those already being carried out in the student s normal differentiated curriculum. All previous support must remain in place. Staff at Seaford continue to keep detailed records of their contact with the student and the student s responses to the measure used.

9 Annual Review of a Statement of Special Educational Needs (to be Replaced by EHCPs) 37. The LEA will notify the College when it is time for the annual review of a Statement. The annual review provides an opportunity for all the relevant participants to discuss the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Statement. A decision can be made to end the Statement at a review, if it is felt the objectives of the Statement have been achieved. It is also possible that the Statement may require amending to encompass newly identified needs. Suggestions for Supporting the Dyslexic Student in Class 38. Seating Arrangements seating dyslexic students near or at the front of the class may help with copying from the board. It may also cut out some of the distractions of the classroom, enabling them to concentrate more easily. 39. Hand-outs/worksheets where possible, it is very helpful to dyslexic students to give them a clearly typed out hand-out, rather than getting them to copy information from the board. Typed rather than hand-written hand-outs are easier for dyslexic students to read. 40. Coursework/Classwork/Homework Dyslexic students often produce much better work if allowed to use a word processor. Their self-esteem is improved as work is well presented. Corrections can be carried out more easily and organising their thoughts is facilitated by the available functions. It is also much easier for the students and teacher to read. 41. Instructions for Homework If possible, it is better to give these at the beginning of the lesson. The student is fresher. They feel they have more time to write down information and this avoids feelings of being overloaded in the final minutes of the lesson. Increasingly, homework is being added to the intranet system which allows students ready access to the task they have been given. 42. Marking This should be done in accordance with the school marking policy. The emphasis is on helping the pupil to identify where they can improve and to avoid disheartening the pupil. 43. Vocabulary/Spelling Lists It is enormously helpful if subject specific vocabulary is available for Learning Support staff to incorporate into the lessons in the department. 44. Class Reading Some dyslexic students find reading aloud in class a very difficult experience. It is useful to have a private word with them to discover if they would prefer not to be called upon. 45. Verbalising Work To help dyslexic students retain facts, it can be useful to encourage them to explain information given in a video, demonstration, experiment, etc. Rehearsal of recently presented facts helps retention. It may also help the student with sequencing facts. 46. Study and Organisational Skills Encourage the use of highlighters to pick out key points. Encourage student to read the questions on a text, read the text, re-read the questions before embarking on a answer. Once more, use highlighters if practical to do so. If a student finds mind maps an effective way of note taking, this should be encouraged. 47. Strengths and Weaknesses It is extremely important to remember that dyslexia is a pattern of strengths and weaknesses, and these strengths and weaknesses can vary considerably from student to student.

10 Dyslexic students often excel in fields such as design and technology, art, architecture, information technology, engineering, sports and music. 48. Parental Contact It is important to establish good lines of communication with parents to ensure they feel able to contact the department if they have any concerns about their child. It is also essential that parents pass on any information regarding their child that may affect their performance and welfare at school. 49. Use of Information Technology We have a dedicated room with six computers in the department. This was largely funded by a donation from a grateful parent. This facility allows pupils who are taught in the department to have a quiet space where they can study. Pupils are encouraged to word process work where appropriate. Programmes such as Mindmanager, Inspiration and other are suggested for use by students, for either planning or revision purposes. EnglishTypeSenior is recommended for students to learn to touch type. The use of ipads is being investigated and some staff have been on training courses for use of ipads with SEN pupils. A maths programme, Dynamo and Multi Step, has been purchased between the LS department, Maths Department and the Prep School for pupils to use. Moral and Spiritual Opportunities 50. The department seeks to encourage pupils to respect and care for all members of the community and to promote equality of all. Mindfulness has been introduced via the.b programme and is being expanded; it aims to make pupils aware of the importance of emotional well-being for all, as well as having an awareness of the environment around them. The department has had projects in the past to raise awareness of charities such as the local homeless charity. Pupils have visited and raised money for this venture. Learning Support Teaching Materials and Resources 51. There is a large store cupboard in the department containing a range of teaching resources. These include materials on: a. Grammar and punctuation b. Numeracy c. Spelling d. Reading Comprehension e. Study Skills f. Visual Discrimination g. Self-esteem/problems h. Audio tapes i. Handwriting j. Tracking k. Cloze exercises l. Educational games m. Computer programmes n. Testing and assessment materials o. Curriculum resources

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