The aim of the department is to ensure that the individual learning needs of students are met within school. Including early identification and provision of interventions to support students, parents and staff in breaking down barriers to progression.
The SEND department is led by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Ms. A. Simmons and supported by an Assistant SENCO Mrs. J. Leese.
The department team consists of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) and Teaching Assistants (TAs). Within the school there are a suite of rooms that the department can access, along with an open learning area.
A specialist teacher, Mr J Lewis M.Ed (Learning Difficulties, Dip.Ed(Special Ed), Cert. Ed, AMBDA is employed by the school to provide testing for examination arrangements, along with supporting the department with testing of students to identify specific learning difficulties.
We have considerable experience and expertise in meeting the needs of students with a range of needs including:
• Dyslexia – registered with CRESTED 2014
• Autism (ASD)
• Visual Impairment
• Hearing Impairment
• Other difficulties with literacy
A full transition programme can be arranged to make the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth and stress free as possible for both the child and parents.
This may involve special needs staff working with primary colleagues in year 6: organising, planning meetings, talking to parents and additional pupil visits to Ercall Wood prior to the taster days.
Each student with a statement of special educational needs or a particular level of need may have a Key worker.
Key workers meet regularly with the pupil, liaise with home and subject teachers and generally look after the day to day welfare of the child.
Some pupils require a high level of supervision and care throughout the day. They are able to spend unstructured times (break, Lunch, before and after school) being supervised in the Learning Support Department if necessary.
Teaching and learning
• Where there is an identified need we may teach children in small groups for English, Mathematics, Life Skills and Personal, Social & Health Education.
• If students are unable to access GCSE examinations they may follow an Entry Level course in subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Life Skills and PSHE.
• The timetable may be adapted for some children to allow their needs to be met. This may include withdrawal from certain subjects for extra literacy or numeracy tuition or for respite, all with the agreement of the parents and child.
Other Support Available
• We keep in regular contact with parents by phone, e-mail, or any other agreed means if this is thought necessary.
• There is provision for children taught in the department to have help after school on Tuesday and Thursday with homework until 4.00pm under the supervision of HLTAs/TAs.
• Some students with particular barriers to learning in school can be seen by our Learning Mentor if required.
All our students enjoy attending the Learning Support Department. We have found that it is important for children with special educational needs to have a ‘base’ within a large secondary school to build their confidence and to help to make their secondary school experience a happy and successful time.