January 2015 Special Educational Needs Report/ Local Offer

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1 January 2015 Special Educational Needs Report/ Local Offer How will school / college staff support my child? Peacehaven Community School (PCS) is an inclusive school with a strong commitment to meeting the needs of all our students. The Learning Support and Development team work together with all staff to ensure that lessons include a range of tasks and ways of working, and extra curricula activities are accessible to all students. We also provide a range of additional support for students who have been identified as having a specific need. This might include: small groups of up to students taught by the same teacher in English, Maths and Humanities; in-class support across the curriculum; language and literacy groups (2-8 students) taught by specialist teachers; social skills groups; behaviour, emotional, social development projects; or support with homework; access to specialist software e.g. Lexia, Rapid Plus, Read & Write Gold; access to technical hardware; intervention from external professionals e.g. Educational Psychology Service, East Sussex Behaviour and Attendance Service, Children s Integrated Therapy Service, Dialogue counselling. Many Lewis, Assistant Head, manages the Learning Support and Development Team, working together with a team of teaching and support staff. Learning Support and Development staff can be contacted via How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? PCS staff meet with primary school teachers before your child joins the school to discuss the needs of each child. Your child s progress is then monitored throughout their time in school and intervention plans are put in place if children do not make

2 expected progress. Assessment by specialist teachers will take place where there are concerns about particular areas of development. Some students will make good progress and will no longer need SEN support. Teachers and support staff will share any concerns regarding SEN with Learning Support and Development staff, who will carry out further assessments (formal and informal) and liaise with other professionals where appropriate. Similarly, if parents and carers have concerns they should contact the Learning Support and Development Faculty via Maria Budd on How will the curriculum be matched to my child s needs? All teachers are responsible for using a range of strategies and resources to make sure that students enjoy and achieve within their classrooms e.g. resources using symbols, ICT software to support writing or writing frames. The Learning Support and Development Team and staff from outside the school advise and support teachers to devise a range of tasks and methods of working to support all pupils. We work closely with the Educational Psychology Service, Language and Learning Support Services, Therapy Services the Behaviour and Attendance Service to ensure that the curriculum is matched to your child s needs. PCS was the first mainstream school in the country to gain I Can Secondary Talk specialist status (Special Facility) and embedded status for the whole school. This means that good practice in supporting students with speech, language and communication difficulties occurs across the school. We are also a Dyslexia Friendly School (Level 1). What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school / college? PCS has access to the full range of Local Authority specialist services in education, health and social care [see the LA local offer]. PCS has specialist teachers in literacy and speech, language and communication. Staff take part in an ongoing training programme which includes sessions on Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN); and dyslexia. Many have attended courses or gained higher qualifications in different aspects of Special Educational Needs (SEN), for example we have staff who have completed post degree level courses in SLCN, University Certificates in ASD and Master s degrees in SEN teaching and learning. This year we have a whole school focus on literacy and all Learning Assistants have had training in attachment issues.

3 How accessible is the school / college environment? PCS is a modern school building which is fully wheelchair accessible. It has disabled changing and toilet facilities and a lift. When your child first joins the school we will ask you to let us know of any access issues you or family members have. How will I know how my child is doing? At PCS we track your child s progress on an ongoing basis and take action when students are not making the expected progress. You will receive regular reports and be invited to attend meetings to discuss your child s progress. Learning Support and Development staff are available to meet you at each of these meetings. Students with a statement of SEN or an Education and Health Care Plan will also have an Annual Review meeting to discuss arrangements and progress. School Based Plans will also be reviewed on a regular basis. Additional meetings are available by request ( or telephone) and for students with a high level of need, regular contact can be arranged. The support that a student receives will be outlined in a letter sent to parents once a year. Parents and carers will also be informed when any new arrangement is put in place. This letter will list support and show the targets each student is working to. In addition, targets will be set by subject teachers and by the student s mentor. What support will there be for my child s overall wellbeing? At PCS we are committed to helping all children stay safe and healthy and enjoy their time at school, and to help them to grow into mature and caring young people who make a positive contribution to the school and the wider community. We have recently been awarded Rights Respecting School Status Level 1 by UNICEF. This award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of the school s ethos. All students at PCS have a mentor who they meet with four mornings a week. We also have a Behavioural, Emotional, and Social Support Team (BESST) who will provide additional support for students with identified with social, mental and emotional health needs. The team includes a social worker, a higher level social, mental and emotional health and a key worker. The team are joined by a school counsellor, school nurse and advisers from the East Sussex Behaviour and Attendance Team and the Targeted Youth Support Service, who comes into school

4 on a regular basis. They also refer to other agencies for student and family support. The BESST team have responsibility for Child Protection and Looked After Children. Young people are encouraged to contribute their views on school life. All students can give their views to School Council via their mentor representatives. How will I be involved in discussions about, and planning for, my child s education? Teachers will meet with you at academic and pastoral meetings to discuss your child s progress. All parents and carers of children on the special educational register will also have the opportunity to discuss progress and plans with staff from the Learning Support and Development Faculty. Positive parental involvement in school life is always welcome, parents and carers are asked to feedback on their child s reports at each data point and feedback sought formally through questionnaires. How will you help me to support my child s learning? Research shows that parental involvement has a significant impact on the progress that students make in school. We encourage regular communication with parents and carers. Students are given regular homework and an internet based programme, called Show my homework, allows parents to see what homework their child has each day. Specialist staff are able to offer advice on how best to support your child s learning. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips? All students at PCS have access to all activities offered by the school and, where necessary, additional adult support will be available to assist your child at after school activities and on school trips. Parents will be asked to meet with school staff to plan appropriate support where necessary. How will the school / college prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school / college or the next stage of education and life? The staff at PCS work closely with primary schools to support all children when transferring to our school. In addition we run a weekly transition programme in terms 5 and 6 for students with a high level of need, and we have run summer transition

5 programmes for the past five years. Parents and carers of Year 6 students are invited to meet with their child s mentor for an induction meeting and attend an induction evening. Staff from the Learning Support and Development Team will, where possible, attend the Year 6 Annual Reviews of children with a statement of Special Educational Needs. A Personal Intensive Adviser will advise on suitable post 16 courses for your child, and PCS staff will accompany children with high levels of need on college taster days. If your child has a high level of need they will have a plan which will outline their needs and effective support. This will be sent to the school or college that your child will attend. How are the school s / college s resources allocated and matched to children s special educational needs? Pupils will be allocated resources based on their individual need. If, in exceptional circumstances, the school considers that a pupil needs extra resources it can apply to the local authority for more funding. How will the school / college decide how much money is spent on my child? The school s budget is used to provide the wide range of support outlined above. Your child will have access to this support according to their needs. Support for students with the highest level of need will be outlined in Education Health and Care plans, and for those with lower levels of need, information from parents, other professionals and school staff will be used to plan support, which will be paid for by the school. Who can I contact for further information? Your child s mentor is the first person to talk to. If you have a specific question or concern relating to SEN, you can contact Maria Budd or Barbara Billington who will answer your concern or pass them on to the relevant member of staff. Please see Inclusion Policy and Accessibility Plan for further details. Reviewed January 2015

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