Mark College Local Offer

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1 Mark College Local Offer Name of site Address Contact names Mark College Blackford Road, Mark, Somerset, TA9 4NP Chris Sweeney (Principal) / Polly Adams (Vice Principal) Telephone number address Website address Facebook / Twitter feed 1. What does your service do? Mark College is a specialist residential school for boys and girls aged 10 to 19 with specific learning difficulties including language disorders, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia as well as students who have ASD. Students are offered a flexible curriculum individually tailored to meet their needs. We provide a holistic approach to education supporting the student s social needs, their self-esteem and self confidence as well as offering the opportunity to follow a wide variety of academic subjects, including up to 8 GCSEs. We are also able to provide students into Sixth form through our well established links with local FE colleges, where students can follow a programme of study that is supported with additional work at Mark College. Mark College provides a warm and welcoming environment in which students benefit from being with others who share similar difficulties with language. The level of challenge and support are specifically designed to overcome the challenges that our students face. We currently have a number of International students, around 15% of our register, and are well resourced and experienced to meet their needs. We are very lucky to have excellent grounds and sporting facilities allowing us to ensure our students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of competitive sports thereby boosting their self esteem. These include 2 rugby/football pitches, a cricket pitch, nine hole golf course, 2 tennis courts and a play area for younger students.

2 The services offered are: Small classes and personalised programmes of learning geared towards individual success Specialist therapeutic team comprising speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and art therapist. This team provides direct and indirect work; working directly one to one and in small groups with students and indirectly with the staff team to work therapeutically with the students Subject specialist staff, trained to teach students with specific learning difficulties and language disorders Emphasis on educational achievement Voice output and voice recognition technology to assist learning Focus on self achievement and becoming independent learners Flexible curriculum designed to meet individual needs A classmate for each pupil (education specific laptop with a dyslexia friendly interface and keyboard) Specialist dyslexia software Sixth form life skills programmes 2. How are decisions made about who can use your service? Mark College s admissions criteria are: Girls and boys aged 10 to 19 years Diagnosed with specific learning difficulties, language disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD or dyscalculia We are unable to accommodate young people with a primary behavioural problem Referrals are considered by an assessment team made up of Senior Staff Initial consideration is then given as to whether Mark College is able to meet the students needs A visit by parents/carers and their child is arranged to the school

3 If it is thought that needs can be met then an indicative fee banding is proposed A trial day (and overnight if residential is being considered) is arranged and if all parties are in agreement that Mark College is the right place for the student, then the placement is confirmed 3. How will school staff support the child/young person? Each pupil will have an educational teacher as a tutor and boarders a care key worker. Provision is usually dictated by the statement of SEN or other reports Educational Psychologist/SALT/OT etc. All needs are recorded within the pupils Access2Learning Plan, which drives the students individually tailored curriculum. Additionally, we have a Vulnerable Learners Team who provides support to individuals both in the class and on a withdrawal basis. The Therapy team is integrated into the service as a whole and provides direct support/programmes for students, as well as designing programmes for implementation by other staff. 4. How will the curriculum be matched to the child or young person s needs? The young person s prior learning as measured by standardised tests and performance on trial days are used, along with received reports to ensure the curriculum is suited to the individual. Each young person is seen as an individual and teachers differentiate tasks within lessons to meet the needs of each learner. Multi-sensory approaches are used in lessons to ensure young people have the best possible learning experience. For example, students with AS, a range of communication techniques for example TEACCH and PECS are used to support learning.

4 5. Do you offer any therapeutic services? We have on-site speech and language therapy, art therapy and occupational therapy. This operates at a whole service level, providing direct therapeutic intervention for students, as well as working with staff to support the students. 6. How does the school celebrate the success of children with SEND? The school celebrates success informally at every opportunity within every lesson, around the school campus and within the boarding environment. Formally, we celebrate through our reward system of quarter points, prefect system and the summer Prize Day. 7. How will the parent/carer know how their child/young person is doing and how will you help the parent/carer to support their child s learning? All parents/carers are involved from the beginning of the relationship with Mark College. We pride ourselves on working with parents to ensure needs are both recognised, understood and addressed. We view the parents/carers as the experts for their child and that only through our partnership working, will we provide the best provision for their young person. We operate an open door policy and make it clear to all parents/carers that they are more than welcome to contact the school whenever they feel the need. We believe a strong home school relationship is the best way for us to work holistically to support each young person. We collect curriculum data termly and monitor value added against prior attainment. 3 weekly briefings enable staff to share and celebrate achievement and concerns. Communication files between the day and evening staff help information to be shared for each individual across the school. The SMT who work across both school and care environments support this. Regular communication with parents/carers facilitates understanding with parent s days, reports and data linked to national curriculum levels inform parents of their child s progress. Parents are also kept informed formally through the Annual Review process, contribution to reports and Access2Learning Plans.

5 8. What support will there be for the child s overall well-being? Holistic pastoral, medical and social support is provided to all pupils as needed daily. School staff are trained to administer medication and strict procedures are followed to administer, store and record this. Every incident is responded to on an individual basis which allows us to respond to the specific circumstances of the young person at that moment. De-escalation techniques, listening and understanding are the key focus of our approach. All staff are trained in Team Teach which provides an holistic response to managing behaviour. The young person s voice is key to all we do. They are centre to all decisions regarding their education at Mark College both by individual discussions and more formally through PSHE lessons, tutor times, school council meetings, food council, house meetings and a suggestion box. The school fosters an approach which values the contribution of every individual and all within the community make time to listen to individual pupils. Tutors and SMT members are available for young people to talk to at all times during the school day and the vulnerable pupils team are also available throughout the day. 9. What specialist services, training and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? A number of staff have English/Maths have specialist dyslexic qualifications and the majority of teaching staff have a post grad Cert in Vulnerable Learners. Staff qualifications are also published in our prospectus. Ongoing training is provided via Foundations for Growth, in-house training via therapists and individual training as identified through the staff appraisal process. Specific training programmes in sensory integration training, communication, ASD and the use of social stories are available. 10. How will children/young people be included in activities outside the classroom and how does the school ensure that children with SEND are able to access leisure and residential activities? All young people are encouraged to participate fully in the extra curricula life of the school. An activities programme is organised each evening between pm for all pupils. Additionally a wealth of opportunities are offered to the boarding pupils during the evenings and across the weekends, some of which involve opportunities to mix with mainstream peers. For example, local youth theatre, air cadets, local rugby club and choir groups. Boarding trips are shared with parents and the young people are able to make suggestions on the types of activities they would like to undertake.

6 11. Does your school offer any outreach? We have a number of joint placements post 16 with 2 local colleges and a formal link with a partner FE provider. This is an area we are looking at developing further. 12. How accessible is the school environment? Disabled changing and toilet facilities are available within the Sports Hall. Currently pupils whose first language is not English are placed through agencies and we use this service to communicate. If needed we would use translation services to support with this as well. 13. How will the school prepare and support the child for transition or the next stage of education and life? Every child is given the opportunity to join lessons and visit the school. This process is individual and will last as long as needed. Detailed transition planning takes place from Year 9 onwards via annual reviews and in Year 10 all pupils take part in work experience. Careers teacher input from Year 11 onwards including application for a job, preparing a CV and formal interview evening with local employers are introduced and supported transition visits take place as needed. n the Sixth form, support with university taster days and applications is provided and detailed discussions with new/previous providers takes place to support any transitions. 14. How is the decision made about what type and how much support the child will receive? All staff input via a taster day and visit. SMT after discussion with parents/carers and taking account of statement of SEN and professional reports decide on the level of support required. All those involved with the young person are able to contribute this either directly or via professional reports The impact of the support will be reviewed through an annual review process, review via school reports, staff discussion and formal assessment data.

7 15. Do you have a children's/young person s council? There is a school council, two boarding house councils and a food council. 16. Does the school provide any specialist equipment (e.g Sensory)? Young people are provided with a laptop computer with a range of software to support their learning. 17. How do you support young people to move onto the next stage of their life? Each young person is supported individually through their transition. This involves the careers teacher, teaching staff, sixth form staff, parents/carers and the young person working together. In the boarding house, an independence programme is also followed. 18. Where do young people go when they leave your service? Students have had successful transitions into Further Education, Higher Education as well as vocational routes such as Apprenticeships. 100% of students go onto education or employment. Get in touch To make the process of referring a young person into Priory Education Services as seamless as possible or for further information about Mark College, please contact our dedicated enquiries office today on

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