SENCoMrs Rosemary Brooks
Carre’s Grammar School prides itself on being an inclusive school and we are committed to encouraging and enabling all of our students to unlock their full potential. We recognise that a number of our students will, at different stages of their development, require tailored and targeted support over and above the usual academic and pastoral provision. The Student Support Team at Carre’s aims to tailor and target support for individual students who have been identified as having a specific learning need, so that he or she can:
- be an effective and successful learner who achieves their full potential
- embrace the range of opportunities available to him or her as a valued member of our school community
- move into adult life confident that he or she has the skills and independence to fulfil his or her ambitions
We are privileged to have a dedicated Learning Support Suite based in the old School House which is staffed by a team of three very experienced Student Support Mentors. Visitors have commented on the supportive atmosphere that prevails in the support area and parents speak highly of the personalised support we offer. This has been validated by Ofsted who at our last inspection in 2017 reached the following judgement: “Pupils at the school feel safe. Those who spoke with inspectors were unanimous in saying they are happy and well cared for in school. They are confident that adults within the school will help them if needed.”
Our Approach to Intervention and Support: Assess Plan Do Review
We seek to be creative and proactive in our approach and over the years we have developed a wide range of expertise and strategies. We have experience of successfully supporting students with the following needs:
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Slow Processing
- Visual impairment
- Hearing Impairment
- Physical Disabilities
- Chronic Medical Conditions
- Mental health and emotional needs
- Attachment Dfficulties
Programmes of intervention and support are planned in consultation with the student, their parents/carers and their teachers. We also reference Guidance on SEN Support which has been compiled by the local authority SEND Team who have worked closely with the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum, schools, colleges and partner agencies to develop and endorse this guidance. A copy of the current guidance can be found on the Lincolnshire Local Offer directory. The SENCO and the allocated Student Support Mentor work closely with teaching staff to ensure strategies for individual students are appropriate and effective. Plans are monitored and reviewed to an agreed schedule. Our ultimate aim is to enable students to take control of their own learning needs so that when they leave us they can be confident that they can manage those needs in the adult world.
Personal Education Profiles (PEPs)
The planning process is designed to result in a Personal Education Profile (PEP) that is predominantly informed by the student’s own description of their specific difficulties. Their voice is key to providing effective support. The PEP is formally reviewed at least annually but remains a live document that can be updated as the result of interim reviews at Parent Consultation Evenings or through the regular contact with the key worker. Pastoral Teams also feed into the review process as part of the three progress reviews students participate in with their tutors and Heads of Year. Teachers can access the PEP via a link attached to the student’s entry on the Inclusion Register. The student entry also includes links to advice on best practice in supporting their specific need.
Preparation for Adult Life
We seek not only to support a student through their education at Carre’s but also to equip them with the means to assert and manage their support needs as a young adult and in their future working life. We therefore believe that it is crucial that their voice is central to our planning and review process.
Intervention and Support Strategies
Each Student Support Mentor has been encouraged to develop expertise in different areas of support and this has allowed for a greater depth of understanding within the team of the learning needs that are most common amongst our student community: Anxiety, ASD, Dyslexia, ADHD and Slow-Processing.
The following strategies and interventions are representative of those that we have employed to support our students in recent years but, are not exhaustive.
Learning Support in the Classroom / Academic Support
Teaching staff receive regular updates and training with regard to the provision of effective support in the classroom. Electronic records of intervention programmes allow teachers to access successful strategies across different curriculum areas. Typical examples of support and intervention:
- Targeted short term support programmes for individual students / small groups
- Differentiated approaches to accessing class material
- Classroom resource packs provided for specific learning needs
- Use of interactive whiteboards
- Use of visual support to support understanding and facilitate access to the school environment and learning
- Individual access to computers and other ICT so word processing can be developed as “normal way of working”
- Provision of specialist equipment, e.g. A tablet for a visually impaired child
- Adapted or modified resources e.g. enlarged text / coloured overlays & exercise books
- Students with a significant cognitive learning difficulty may be offered a reduced option curriculum in Key Stage 4. This enables us to offer them 5 hours of supervised individual study in the Learning Support Suite allowing them to reinforce skills and knowledge in the core curriculum subjects as well as boost their performance in the remaining options. Students work to an agreed schedule with support materials provided by the relevant subject heads.
Emotional Support & Mental Well-Being
Students who face a greater challenge with their learning and their ability to process the world around them can experience increased levels of anxiety. Other students can find themselves temporarily at a disadvantage due to increased anxiety levels. We have found the following effective in supporting such students:
- Self-esteem programmes
- Anger management programmes
- Access to professional counselling
- Circle Time to raise awareness of ASD with peers
- Social Skills programmes
- Peer Support Groups led by Student Support Mentor
- Student Mentor from 6th form
- Supported Private Study /Homework in the unit
Two members of the student support team have completed specific training in supporting young people with their mental health and are able to provide tailored in-house support for students.
Professional Referrals and Support
Referrals to other professionals and agencies are made when deemed necessary. We are always happy to facilitate sessions in school. The following services have been accessed:
- Educational Psychologist
- Community Paediatric Team
- Specialist Teacher Service
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS, NHS)
- Healthy Minds (NHS)
- Family Action
- Working Together Team (Supporting Students with Autism)
- Behaviour Outreach Service (BOSS)
- Individual Counselling (Bereavement, Anxiety, Emotional Well-Being)
- SEND Parent Forums
Parents/Carers in Partnership
actively encourage parents/ carers to maintain regular contact with school so that our partnership can be effective and productive. Every student referred to Student Support will have an allocated key worker, one of our Student Support Mentors, who will be the main point of contact between parents/carers and Student Support. Parents/Carers are involved at every stage of the support process: from consent to an initial assessment to applying for an Education and Health Care Plan.
We recognise that modern parenting is a challenging responsibility and this challenge can be even greater when supporting a child with learning needs. We therefore seek to be constructive in our support of parents, offering practical support from associated professionals such as the Parenting Skills Team, Early Help Team or The Working Together Team. Support services available do change from year to year depending on funding streams and service streamlining. However, the SENCO’s regular attendance at the Local Authority Briefings ensures we remain current as to the services we can access for our students. There is also increasing collaboration with regard to the in-house services we offer across the Robert Carre Trust in meeting the needs of our students with SEND.
Transition and Induction
All prospective Year 7 students are visited in their primary school by a member of the pastoral team and primary school teachers are consulted. Where there is a known learning need and/or disability a meeting will be arranged with the parents/carers and SENCO to agree a transition plan. Where appropriate, additional familiarisation visits will be arranged and preparation for independent travel training for home to school travel can be explored.
A similar process will be offered to students transferring to Carre’s at different entry points.
Transition to Post 16 Courses/ Apprenticeships in Colleges or University
Students seeking to transfer to other educational institutions to complete post-16 courses/apprenticeships are supported in those transitions. Students are supported in identifying suitable courses and the completion of the application form. The receiving institution is apprised of the student’s specific needs and where appropriate familiarisation visits can be arranged. If appropriate prospective employers will be made aware of the Access to Work service which provides assessment and advice to employers with regard to any specialist equipment that might be needed to make reasonable adjustments.
Students wishing to pursue Higher Education courses are encouraged to do so and are likewise supported in identifying suitable courses. Where necessary the key worker will liaise with the SEND Officer at the relevant institution to ensure that all necessary information is available with regard to any assessments that might need to be carried out to support their learning needs. The Enrichment Curriculum for 6th form students at Carre’s also provides practical preparation with the offer of basic cookery lessons. Students should also be aware that they can apply for the Disabled Student’s Allowance via Student Finance to assist with the purchase of specialist equipment or support: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas
Strategies to Support Literacy and Numeracy
whole school literacy strategy operates and the Literacy Coordinator and SENCO collaborate closely on its implementation. Numeracy support ranges from individual support outside of the classroom to targeted group support in the classroom as well as access to extension activities such as the Schools Maths Challenge.
On admission to the school in Year 7 students undergo a series of tests designed to provide the school with a current baseline assessment: Cognitive Abilities Tests and a Reading age test. The school aims to identify any gaps at the earliest opportunity so that effective intervention strategies can be put in place.
Strategies to Support Behaviour
The school operates a staged disciplinary system. Where behaviour does not meet with expectations school students face the “consequence” of their actions and are sanctioned. However, for students with an identified learning need a reasonable adjustment is made and typically, this amounts to a student having additional stages of warning and/or remaining longer at a specific stage. However, our system has sufficient flexibility to allow us to tailor consequences to the needs of the individual student.
also operate a classroom exit card system which can provide students with access to relevant support as soon as the need arises.
Support during Unstructured Time
Student Support Mentors can provide targeted support programmes that are designed to bolster or improve social skills. In addition to such support we also have designated safe places at lunchtime available to all students and will also put in place peer support groups or a buddy system for children new to the school or requiring additional social support.
Supporting Medical Needs and Conditions
All students with medical needs or conditions have a Health Care Plan drawn up in consultation with parents/carers. Should these needs impact on their access to learning a referral is made to the SENCO who will put in place an appropriate support plan. Support from specialist medical staff is sought where appropriate and designated school staff will undergo relevant training to enable them to provide the agreed support.
Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP)
Where individual need is determined to be complex or requires a greater level of provision beyond the capacity of the established team then the school will look to complete an application for an EHCP. If successful, this can release additional funding to support the identified needs. An application would normally require the support of the Educational Psychologist and substantial evidence that the school had reached a point where additional resources were needed to meet the identified needs.
Lincolnshire Local Offer
The Local Offer is part of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN&D) reforms from the Children and Families Act 2014.
There are two main purposes for the Local Offer
- to improve information about services and provision available for families, children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and to make it easier for all families to find this information by making it available in one place.
- that by working directly with families, children and young people on developing the Local Offer, Local Authorities and Health partners can improve provision.