Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Our contact details for our SENCo are as follows: Mrs R Stewart email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
The Year 7 pastoral team and I work closely to facilitate each student’s smooth transfer to secondary school by visiting them in their primary school to gain information from both teacher and students. Furthermore, if your daughter is in receipt of additional classroom support at their primary school and/or they have an EHCP, it is possible to arrange a visit to Presdales, and/or a meeting with me during the summer term. Together we will compile a pupil passport ready for when your daughter starts in Year 7.
All students are tested on arrival in Year 7 including assessments of: reading and spelling ability, baseline knowledge across all subjects, and Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT 4). Teachers continually assess students; when progress and attainment are significantly below age- related expectations, a learning support assessment may be necessary. If this reveals any additional learning needs I will contact you to arrange a meeting.
If you think your child may have SEND you are welcome to contact their form tutor or myself to discuss your concerns. This may be at a parents’ consultation meeting, by telephone or e-mail.
How will school staff support my child?
Each subject teacher is responsible for all the students in their class, including those with SEND. Teachers use information about students which is communicated through pupil passports, to plan and teach lessons which are personalised to the needs of individuals.
It may be necessary for your child to receive extra support in a small group. Occasionally I may suggest the involvement of an outside specialist. Please be assured that you will be fully involved at every stage of this process.
Form tutors and Heads of Year monitor students’ behaviour, attitude and general progress as part of the school reporting system and alert me if there is cause for concern, in which case I will make contact with you to discuss how we can best support your child. If you have any specific concerns about your child’s learning needs please contact their form tutor, or me.
Three Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) are employed within the school; support is primarily given for literacy and numeracy but additional support is given to individual students where needed. Sixth Formers are present in many lessons to support all students.
The Green Room is open during every lunch-time for students who may need additional emotional/social support, or who may just want a quiet space to ‘be’ for a while. There is also a daily touch-typing/homework club which is manned by one of our LSAs – this is open to all students.
How will I know how my child is doing?
You will receive regular reports, and be invited to appropriate parents’/carers’ consultation meetings, which are held annually for each year group at regular points during the year. In addition to parent information evenings for each year group; at which the marking, assessment and pastoral system will be fully explained to you.
If you have concerns about your child’s progress, I suggest you contact their form tutor/relevant subject teacher to discuss any specific issues. This may be at a parents’/carers’ consultation meeting, or by telephone or e-mail.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
This will be achieved through quality inclusive teaching by teachers who differentiate within their class to support all students.
Students who have an arrangement to use a laptop in examinations can bring their own device into school whilst following some strict guidelines of use. A small number of Chromebooks are available for students with SEND to borrow for use in school.
What support will be there for my child’s overall wellbeing?
An excellent pastoral care system is in place led by the Deputy Head of Pastoral, the Assistant Heads of Pastoral: KS3 and KS4, Head of Sixth Form, Deputy Head of Sixth Form and Heads of Year and form tutors.
There is a Big Sister/Big Brother programme whereby Sixth Formers are attached to the Year 7 and Year 8 forms to support students.
There is a PEER mentor scheme which the Sixth Formers run to offer additional support to individuals if that is deemed appropriate.
The school employs its own professional counsellor. Assemblies and PSHE supports the whole pastoral process.
Participating in extra-curricular activities and clubs supports self-esteem, social development and enjoyment; all students are encouraged to join at least one club.
If your child has a medical condition, please see our Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions Policy.
What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having?
I have been in the school for 6 years and have successfully completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (NASENCO). I have over 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people in a range of settings.
CPD for staff has included training on Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Working Memory, Autism and Quality First Teaching. In addition to this, ongoing information and ideas sharing workshops, open to all teaching staff, are held regularly with a focus on a particular SEN.
On-going advice is obtained from external specialists.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Along with the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) I will request support via a Single Service Request Form for any external support. This form must be signed by the parent/carer so you will always be kept informed. This includes the Education Psychologist, the Autism Advisory service and the Low Incidence Team.
The school employs its own professional counsellor.
The school employs a qualified assessor who is able to assess for extra time arrangements if deemed appropriate.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
There are opportunities during parent consultation meetings to speak to me and subject teachers. You are however encouraged to contact us if you have any specific concerns, or you may speak directly to the appropriate Head of Department.
To help you to support your child’s learning there is subject specific curriculum information, on our school website. Edulink provides a means for parents/carers to stay in-touch with homework tasks that are set.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
You and your child will be fully included in discussions about their needs and any support that may be required. Together we will compile a pupil passport which outlines your child’s barriers to learning, strengths, and strategies which teachers can use to support them in the classroom.
Parents/carers are invited to meet the subject staff and pastoral staff at regular consultation evenings which are held for every year group at specific times in the year to discuss progress following a written report.
If at any time you are concerned about your child’s progress, you are encouraged to consult your child’s subject teacher or the appropriate Head of Department.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All students are given the opportunity to attend all school trips and activities outside the classroom, unless it is judged that their presence would create a risk to others or themselves.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school has wheelchair access to all ground floor entrances. The school is a building which offers education on three floors and at the present time there is no access to these other floors via a lift. The Accessibility Plan is regularly reviewed and improving access is an ongoing challenge, but where possible we will strive to do what is feasible.
Who can I contact for further information?
For matters concerning academic progress you are welcome to speak to the subject teacher and for matters concerning pastoral care we suggest you speak to your child’s tutor or Head of Year.
As SENCO, I am the point of call for anything concerning SEND and can be contacted via email: email@example.com
If you have a specific pastoral concern; please contact either of the two Pastoral Heads: Ms Kate Chandler responsible for KS4, Mrs Ellie Sykes responsible for KS3 or Mrs Sara Miller who has whole-school responsibility. Alternatively contact the Head teacher, Mr Warren.
Parents are also able to speak to the Chair of Governors, Mr Howard Freed or the SEND link governor, Maddie Waller
All relevant policies are available on the school website.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
The Year 7 pastoral team/SENCo are trained to facilitate the smooth transfer to secondary school by visiting all students in their primary school to gain information from both teacher and students.
Careers staff are very aware of the need to prepare students for the next Key Stage and beyond. Students with SEND in Years 9, 10 and 11 will be supported by having an interview arranged with a member of the “YC Herts” Service.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The budget is also used to employ the SENCO and Learning Support Assistants within the school and purchase resources e.g. laptops, screening packages and electronic reader software.
In the event that any student has an EHCP, we may be able to access additional funding (ENF) to be used specifically for this student
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
Following a learning support assessment, decisions about personalised support for individual students are made in consultation with you, your child’s teachers, your child and me.
Regular review meetings are held with professionals and these may include your child where appropriate.
We believe that all students should be able to make good educational progress regardless of their SEND needs and we support all students to ensure they also develop resilience and independence.
We are concerned to ensure that there is careful monitoring of support leading to the development of your child’s independence.
How can I find information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?
Information about the Hertfordshire Local authority offer can be found at: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/healthsoc/childfam/specialneeds/