Learning Difficulties and Disabilities/Special Educational Needs (LDD/SEN) Policy

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1 Learning Difficulties and Disabilities/Special Educational Needs (LDD/SEN) Policy Introduction Even within the context of a carefully planned and appropriate curriculum, there will be individual pupils who require more specific help or support in order to fulfil their potential. For the purposes of this document, these will be defined as pupils with special needs. The majority of pupils in the school with special needs are dyslexic and, if they enter the Dyslexia Centre, they are supported by the Head of the Dyslexia Centre and the Learning Support Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO also co-ordinates the support of pupils with other special needs and oversees any pupil who has a Statement of Special Needs. Pupils with special educational needs can be identified from the Learning Difficulties and Disabilities/Special Educational Needs (LDD/SEN) Register, and on the internal reporting system. Concerns about pupils on the LDD/SEN register should be raised with the SENCO, while concerns about non- LDD pupils who appear to be experiencing unexplained learning difficulties should be raised with the Form Tutors. They will follow the new SEN code of practice 2014 and alert the SENCO should further investigation suggest the need for a formal assessment and parents are happy to go ahead. The SENCO produces and updates the LDD/SEN register on a regular basis. Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class; however, the SENCO liaises routinely with Form Tutors, Heads of Year and SMT to ensure that teachers are aware of the needs of their pupils and that individual targets are set and reviewed. All the pupils on the LDD/SEN register have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), comprising a summary of need, specific teaching strategies, areas of strength, details of any special provision, as well as other relevant information. Each pupil is also given individual targets, set by the SENCO in consultation with the pupil s tutor, which are reviewable at the time of interims and end-of-term school reports. In this way, the monitoring of pupils with special needs is integral to the school s existing monitoring system. The Form Tutor or relevant Head of Pastoral Care remains the primary channel of communication for formal reporting and home-school contact. Page 1

2 The SENCO coordinates the support delivered to each pupil through the work of the academic departments through weekly departmental meetings and weekly staff meetings within which each department is able to raise and discuss pupils with potential or on-going difficulties. Specialist support for dyslexic pupils: The Brighton College Dyslexia Centre admits pupils who have above average intelligence, who have a specific learning difficulty, and who are judged to be able to cope in the mainstream classroom with support. External candidates are admitted on the basis of a recent educational psychologist s report, assessment in Mathematics and an English assessment with the SENCO. The SENCO, Head of Dyslexia Centre or Headmaster will liaise with the parents to discuss their child s specific learning difficulty and how the child can be supported. The Centre aims to help its members to achieve academic success whilst recognising the importance of nurturing strengths in areas such as Art, Design, Sport, Music and Drama. Developing and sustaining self-confidence is a crucial part of this support. The Centre aims to support pupils in the work they face in the mainstream classroom and to use, wherever possible, such material as a vehicle for the promotion of good study skills. In this sense, the Centre does not set out to deliver a remedial programme. However, the Centre uses the Alpha to Omega system, Toe By Toe and other recognized programmes to support children s learning in spelling and reading. English and English Literature are taught to CE level in groups no larger than 9 in the Dyslexia Centre. Pupils are encouraged to make regular use of the ICT facilities available in both the Centre and the school as a whole. Small group support in Mathematics is also available from a member of the Dyslexia Centre staff. For those pupils who do not require the full support of the Centre, ad hoc assistance can be arranged. It is recognised that removing pupils from timetabled lessons for support can compound the original problem by disrupting learning and creating the added pressure to catch up with missed work. The Centre avoids this difficulty by removing one subject from the timetable completely and using this time to provide small group support. The subject lost is French, on the basis that learning any foreign language is likely to be very demanding for the dyslexic child. In addition, the subject may well not have been taught in the years running up to entry, as specialist feeder schools invariably adopt a similar policy. However, arrangements are made for dyslexic pupils to study spoken French in Years 7 and 8. The Dyslexia Centre offers the following opportunities and facilities to pupils: 1. Dyslexic pupils are taught English and English Literature, following the Common Entrance syllabus, in the Centre, in groups no larger than 9 2. Access to dedicated computer labs, including text to speech software 3. Access to small group support in Mathematics 4. Opportunities to learn subject-specific spellings as well as some remedial work on spelling generally Page 2

3 5. Courses designed to promote study skills, i.e. help with learning how to learn 6. An environment in which they can build self-esteem, share concerns and feel successful 7. The opportunity to practise reading aloud and to develop reading fluency in a sympathetic environment 8. The opportunity to follow a specific reading programme to develop reading fluency when required 9. The help and support of one another Entry Criteria In order to ensure that a child will be able to cope with the demands of the curriculum at Brighton College, we require a minimum Verbal Scale of 115. This is because experience has shown that pupils with scores below that level usually do not cope with the curriculum. We therefore ask for a copy of a recent educational psychologist s report in order to be able to establish, with confidence, that we are able to meet a child s needs. The school would need to be confident that the child would be capable of attempting to gain 55% in English and Mathematics, as well as an average of 60% across other examined subjects, in the Common Entrance examinations SEND According to the SEN Code of Practice 2014: Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, even where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff. The aim of the Graduated Approach to identification and support as outlined by SEN Code of Practice guidelines is to identify pupils needs as quickly and accurately as possible. To implement a monitoring programme in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice To work within the guidelines proved in the SEND Code of Practice To ensure high quality inclusive teaching by 1. Initial response, Waves 1 and 2 2. School Support for pupils identified with SEN-Wave 3 (The Equality Act 2010 makes discrimination against pupils (and potential pupils) on the grounds of their disability unlawful. This places a duty on the school to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled pupils have full access to all school services. Both the school and each individual member of staff can be held liable for contravening the act. There are four main strands to be considered in attempting to meet the demands of the act: The curriculum The physical environment The organisation of teaching, marking and strategies Admissions) Page 3

4 The Curriculum All students (with the exception of our dyslexic pupils, who generally do not study French and have additional support in English by agreement with parents), have access to the whole curriculum irrespective of gender, ability, creed, culture or ethnic background. Pupils with dyslexia in the Prep School all study Mandarin. Years 7 and 8 pupils who do not study French full time have access to a period of conversational French each week. The school endeavours to establish natural, logical progression towards BCAS and CE examinations and to build on previous learning and attainment using the spiral delivery model, whilst also making use of available UK nationally standardised data such as NFER tests. The children on the LDD/SEN register who have impaired hearing, visual problems or other disabilities are then dealt with in an appropriate way using designated and widely known strategies (such as pupil positioning within the classroom) to minimise the effects of the disability. Pupils with dyslexia and dyspraxia in the Prep School are always given an additional time allowance in major internal and external examinations (where this is recommended by the child s educational psychologist report). Their disability is taken into account when all subjects are examined. All pupils have access to all school trips where possible. The physical environment Please refer to the Brighton College 3 year SEND plan. The teaching, marking and strategies Teaching The primary educational disablement experienced by most of the school population with a LDD is dyslexia and/or dyspraxia. Pupils with dyslexia often have problems with processing language efficiently. They can be slow writers and readers and may have difficulties with simultaneously writing and listening during lessons. Individuals with dyslexia almost always have a poor working memory; a characteristic can be starting to write down an idea during a lesson, but forgetting the details of what they are writing before they can complete the sentence. Consequently, it is important that all pupils have unfettered and easy access to relevant information in a form which is appropriate to their needs. Some pupils with dyslexia may excel in group and/or individual situations (especially in comparison to their written work) whilst others may have word-finding or speech-processing difficulties and may be poor at explaining their ideas aloud. Some dyslexic pupils are withdrawn to the Dyslexia Centre in groups for specialist teaching, while some pupils receive weekly ad-hoc support. Staff are given guidance as to how to assist pupils who have a learning difficulty. Marking We have an anticipatory duty to ensure that disabled students are not less favourably treated. The marking systems in these guidelines should be seen not as leniency but as a method for Page 4

5 reducing the disadvantages of students with dyslexia and marking in a way which does not penalise dyslexic attributes unnecessarily. Individuals with dyslexia who have poor short-term working memory and spelling problems often have a difficulty in writing fluently. When writing complex sentences they forget what they have planned to say. This may result in grammatical inconsistencies or in losing the thread of an argument and rambling off the point. They are likely to have difficulties with seeing visual details such as punctuation and spelling errors and may not notice when a visually similar word has been substituted for the intended word. For marking coursework or general classwork of LDD/SEN pupils: The marker needs to look for a clear separation between the content of the work and the language errors. This will allow credit to be given for the content and establish whether the student has achieved the intended learning outcomes. It may be worth considering what a good copy editor would have made of the script and also whether a weak candidate in terms of knowledge and understanding, whose spelling and sentences structures are good, should receive a higher mark than a knowledgeable and perceptive candidate who writes poorly Look for ideas, understanding and knowledge Be very clear about the marking criteria especially in terms of knowledge and understanding Make constructive comments and set appropriate targets Explain your comments in a straight-forward way Accentuate the positive Write legibly! Let the student know if you are marking for English If you are marking for spelling, grammar and punctuation, select a sample section rather than correcting the entire essay and inform the student that this is your approach General Strategies Ensure that knowledge of the weaknesses of each disabled pupil is current (see IEPs) Make lesson notes or outlines available in advance as targeted preparation can help the pupil more readily follow the content of the lesson; knowledge of the content improves the pupil s ability to write and listen at the same time and reduces the amount of writing needed Ensure that all material presented visually during a lesson is also explained orally Make sure all instructions and announcements are presented both orally and visually and also consider the use of for home/school working Leave any Notebook or PowerPoint slides up for long enough so that even the slowest individuals can transcribe or print out the slides Page 5

6 Summarise complex information as bullet points Pause and sum up frequently Break lessons into chunks to allow time for reflection and review: remember dyslexic pupils can become overloaded with information if given too many instructions at the same time. Above all, make sure the dyslexic pupils in your class really do understand what they are expected to do and be prepared to remind them if they forget! PowerPoint presentations should use fonts in at least 24 points Use dark lettering on light backgrounds e.g. navy blue text on cream. Be aware that a few pupils may tell you they find certain colours difficult to read Give a clear summary of the structure of the lesson at the beginning with headings, main points and important details Introduce the whole picture and then the parts Give an indication of the underlying aim of the lesson and relate it to the rest of the topic Make explicit links from the particular examples to the general overall idea Give concrete examples to build up a picture of more abstract ideas New pupils in Years 7 and 8 with dyslexia can experience difficulty learning specialist subject-specific terms. Short glossaries that are handed out in advance of lessons can be helpful for all Group work Post large subject-specific words in classrooms Use interactive whiteboards and visual methods for conveying information Encourage every pupil to speak near the beginning of the term to break the maiden speech barrier and boost confidence If in class reading is absolutely necessary, make the text available in advance Be sensitive to the needs of all the pupils. Check with each pupil individually if you suspect any difficulty Always express expectations verbally and in writing Allow for appropriate devices such as tape recorders or laptops where appropriate Differentiate Dyslexic pupils often find it very difficult to develop their ideas on paper. Try to help them structure their written responses with writing frames so they can learn to sequence their ideas 3.2. Admissions Please refer to the Brighton College Prep School Admissions Policy. Page 6

7 3.3. Proposed Accessibility Action Plan (Also see SEND Master Plan ) What Review curriculum structure, (within given timetable constraints), each year to maximise access to curriculum (within agreed parameters) for all disabled pupils Discuss needs of disabled pupils and resources available at each department meeting and ensure that necessary provisions are being made Whole school awareness/refresher on strategies/learning styles each year led by dyslexia specialists and school SENCO where appropriate Who By Deputy Head Academic HoDs Dyslexia Centre/SENCO When What Who By When Regular feedback sessions between support teachers and subject teachers Ensure that study skills form part of the PSHE programme for all year groups Ensure extra time allowance for exams Research latest developments in ICT hardware and software for network installation Subject teachers and Dyslexia Centre/SENCO Head of PSHE/SENCO Deputy Head Academic/SENCO Director of ICT/ SENCO Weekly and termly as appropriate Adapt as necessary annually Each exam session Reviewed by Tim Herbert and Liz Lowe, February 2015 Reviewed by Harry Hastings and Jane Ashfold February 2015 To be reviewed annually Page 7

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