We are a non-selective school for pupils aged between 2 and 18 years. Our school site comprises a range of buildings. The newer buildings, including the Nursery, allow access for pupils with physical disabilities.
At Rushmoor School, identifying and assessing pupils with learning support needs, at the earliest opportunity, enables us to work out what action the school needs to take to achieve the best outcomes for the pupils concerned. The four areas outlined below give an overview of the range of learning needs we plan for:
• Communication and interaction
• Cognition and learning
• Social and emotional difficulties
• Sensory and /or physical needs
In practice, individual pupils often have needs that cut across two or more of these broad areas and may change with time. The support provided is based on an understanding of a pupil’s particular strengths and difficulties.
Policies for identifying students with SEN and assessing their needs:
At Rushmoor School, class teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class or early years environment, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants, support teachers or specialist staff. High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may need learning support. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.
The decision to provide learning support will involve consultation with parents and the pupil (where appropriate). The class teacher in partnership with parents, together with the SENCo, will consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside national data and expectations of progress. This will include accurate formative assessment, using effective tools and early assessment materials. For higher levels of need, we will arrange for more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals and when these are completed we send a summary of the report to all staff as long as parents have given their permission.
All teachers at Rushmoor School have access to and are familiar with the Learning Support Policy and the Learning Support Register. These are accessible to staff at all times via the intranet.
Arrangements for consulting and involving parents of pupils with SEN:
At Rushmoor School we are committed to working in partnership with parents, who play a vital role in supporting children with additional needs. The decision to raise a child as ‘causing concern’ or to make special educational provision will involve consultation with parents and, where appropriate, the pupil. This will enable parents to play an active and informed role in supporting their children. Regular feedback and discussion is encouraged, with opportunities for meetings at the official Parents’ Evenings or before or after school, by arrangement. Practical support and advice will be made available to parents as required.
Arrangements for consulting and involving young people with SEN:
Where appropriate, pupils are encouraged to participate in discussions regarding any difficulties they may have and are also invited to contribute to the creation of their Individual Education Plan. Before preparing new Individual Education Plans for each pupil, parents are given the opportunity to feedback on their child’s progress with the current targets or suggest any changes.
Arrangements for assessing and reviewing student’s progress towards outcomes:
Following the identification of a pupil with Learning Support needs, which will involve parents, the class/subject teacher and the SENCo, the class teacher and subject teachers, supported by the SENCo, will devise interventions which are additional to, or different from, those provided as part of the School’s usual curriculum. It is important to recognise that children are normally offered a differentiated curriculum. The interventions provided will therefore be beyond those differentiated activities. Children at this stage are defined as having Learning Support Needs and will be recorded on the Learning Support Register.
In consultation with parents and with the support of the SENCo, the school may seek advice and support from a variety of external agencies, as appropriate, for example, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, occupational therapists and special needs consultants. With the support of the Learning Support Department, an Individual Education Plan may be devised in association with the child and the child’s parents. The targets on the IEP will reflect the additional needs identified and will aim to overcome the barriers to learning or close the gap in knowledge and understanding. The targets will be used by the class teacher and the child’s subject teachers to inform their planning and support them with the implementation of a programme to help the child make progress, for example 1:1 speech and language sessions, 1:1 literacy/numeracy support or the use of a visual timetable.
The Individual Education Plan will be reviewed at least twice a year, in association with parents, the class teacher and Learning Support Co-ordinator, with new targets set as appropriate according to the progress made.
Arrangements for supporting pupils in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood:
Rushmoor School is committed to ensuring that the transition between classes/year groups and for those moving between phases is planned for and managed to make sure that pupils continue to build on their achievements. This enables them to transfer between classes or schools with confidence and in the knowledge that information relating to additional provision has been communicated to the new teacher or setting. In order to facilitate a smooth transition there is close liaison between staff in different departments at the school as well as pupils and their parents being involved. Information, Options and Transition Evenings are held.
The approach to teaching and adaptations made for pupils with SEN:
The Rushmoor School Learning Support Policy details how the school will do its utmost to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who needs learning support and how those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them. The school will use its best endeavours to ensure that teachers in the school are able to identify and provide for those pupils who have learning support needs and to allow pupils with those needs to join in all activities of the school, so far as is reasonably practical. The school will ensure that parents and pupils are kept informed of any special provision that is being made for their child and will consult and liaise regularly to ensure that provision continues to be appropriate and beneficial.
Where the normal classroom structure with appropriate, individualised and personalised approaches and adaptations in place does not overcome the barriers to learning or gaps in knowledge, and where it is beyond the scope of the class teacher to provide support effectively through the use of a differentiated curriculum, a child may be identified as needing Learning Support and the Learning Support Policy will come into effect.
At Rushmoor School we support The Teachers’ Standards 2012 which make it clear that it is every teacher’s responsibility to ‘adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils’, including those with Special Educational Needs. We are committed to raising the aspirations of and expectations for all pupils with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities, with the focus on improving outcomes for all children with Learning Support needs. We aim to:
• treat every child as an individual
• identify and provide for pupils who need learning support or have additional needs
• work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice, 2014
• operate a “whole pupil, whole school” approach to the management and provision of support for pupils needing learning support
• provide a Learning Support Department who will work within the Learning Support Policy
• provide support and advice for all staff working with pupils needing learning support
The expertise and training of staff:
EYFS staff attend regular Bedford Borough training courses and network meetings. They also meet with staff from the SEND team on a regular basis.
We work with professionals such as:
• Foundation Stage Advisory Teachers
• Educational Psychologists
• Autism Advisory Team
• Speech and Language Therapy Team
• Occupational Therapy Team
• Social Care Team
• CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
• CHUMS (Child bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Well-Being Service)
• Sensory Impairment Team
• Support Challenge and Intervention 0-19 Team
Support provision at the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher. This responsibility is partly delegated to the Learning Support Co-ordinator. The school employs Specialist Support Teachers and a number of Learning Support Assistants who provide additional support within their timetabled commitment. In some circumstances, where the normal support provision is insufficient to ensure a child is able to access the curriculum, it will be necessary to consider the provision of staffing beyond the school’s normal staffing levels. Any extra parental contributions in funding, in addition to school fees, required to ensure support provision is fair and appropriate, safeguarding the needs of all pupils, will be discussed and agreed by the Head Teacher and the parents. The individual learning support lessons, delivered by Specialist Teachers, incur additional costs to parents.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision:
Rushmoor School is committed to regularly and carefully monitoring and evaluating the quality of provision we offer to all pupils, including those with Learning Support needs. We sample parental views via questionnaires, and sample staff views via staff meetings, weekly briefings and staff questionnaires. Our Rewards Policy ensures that all pupils, including those with Learning Support needs can celebrate their successes, in and out of the classroom, with the awarding of House Points, Merits and Head Teacher’s Awards in assemblies, as well as Progress Prizes at the annual Prize giving.
How students with SEND are enabled to engage in activities available to pupils who do not have SEND:
We endeavour to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their needs, have full access to the activities of our service. If any pupil has needs which are additional to/different from those of their peers, we create and implement an Individual Education Plan to assist them in integrating fully. The class teacher and SEND team monitor and review IEPs on a regular basis. Parents are invited to contribute to IEPs.
Support for improving emotional and social development:
Staff at Rushmoor aim to maintain constant vigilance over the social interactions among the pupils to support those who find the emotional and social side of school difficult. The methods we use to support social integration can include: social skills groups, Assembly themes, PSHE programmes and personal tutors. Pupils are also made aware that the SEN Department is a “safe haven” for any who may be experiencing difficulties and just wish to sit quietly or talk with an adult.
How the school involves outside agencies:
The Head Teacher, with the support of the Learning Support Co-ordinator as appropriate, is responsible for involving external agencies in the education of children needing additional support. External agencies will usually conduct more specialist assessments to inform planning or measure a pupil’s progress, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials, and in some cases provide support for particular activities. In consultation with parents and where appropriate, the support of an external professional may be sought via a GP consultation, an NHS referral or a private appointment with a specialist. In some cases there may be an additional cost involved to parents. The following list contains some of the external agencies that may be consulted:
• Local Authority SEND Team
• Speech and Language Therapy
• Social Services (when children are at risk)
• Educational Psychologists
• Occupational Therapists
• Communication and Social Behaviour Team
• Visual/Hearing Impairment Team
We have the pleasure at Rushmoor of being able to present 3 prizes from the SEN Department to Year 11 pupils before they leave. One is for “Sustained perseverance for learning”, the second for “Consistent helpfulness throughout the school” and the third, the “Hepher trophy for SEN achievements”. We often have difficulty in deciding who should be given these as there are too many deserving candidates.
Over this past year we have a group of Year 5 pupils who have made fantastic progress with their handwriting skills due to an intervention group set up and we have also been privileged to witness several of those who have individual lessons improving in their spelling and reading levels as well as their understanding of the passages read.
One or two pupils have joined the school unhappy and anxious, experiencing very low self-esteem in relation to learning. They were reluctant to complete class work and could not be assessed as this process was too stressful for them. They have now settled into school life, have a much more positive attitude towards learning, are completing classwork and homework and one is due to sit GCSEs in the coming year.
There are a few pupils who have come to the school having been told that they will not be able to gain GCSEs in one or several areas and we have been pleased as a whole school to be able to support them in gaining those qualifications.
Over and above these achievements, we are able to celebrate on many occasions, a gain in confidence by our pupils. Students who have low self-esteem find that the ethos of the school and the nurturing environment works to support them in their growth in confidence and belief in their own ability.
Arrangements for handling complaints:
In line with the Parental Complaints Policy, complaints from parents will be dealt with according to the Three stages in the Parental Complaints Procedure.