Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Our contact details for our SENCo are as follows: Mrs R Stewart email: email@example.com
Courses/workshops for parents/carers
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 liaising with their primary school to gain information from both teacher and students. If possible, members of Presdales’ pastoral/SEND team will visit each child in their primary setting.
If your daughter is in receipt of additional classroom support at their primary school and/or if they have an EHCP, it is normally 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 Presdales in Year 7.
To help identify learning strengths and difficulties at an early stage, all Year 7 students undertake a range of assessments within the first few weeks of starting. Assessments consist of: a Scholastic reading assessment, Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT 4), and a dyslexia screener (which may indicate if your child has some dyslexic tendencies but it is not a diagnostic assessment). In addition, class teachers regularly assess students; their reports inform the Assess, Plan, Do and Review process which we follow.
External students joining us in Year 12 will also sit the dyslexia screener.
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?
School staff will work closely with you and your child to ensure that your child receives the right level of support and challenge for them. Teachers use information about students which is communicated through pupil passports, to plan and teach lessons which are personalised to the needs of individuals. Teaching staff and Teaching Assistants receive regular updates about students. Throughout the term ‘Teach Meets’ are organised to share good practice among staff who are involved with students requiring additional support.
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.
I meet regularly with Form Tutors and Heads of Year who monitor students’ behaviour, attitude and general progress as part of the school reporting system, if there is cause for concern, 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.
How will I know how my child is doing?
You will receive regular reports and feedback from staff; academic tracking points mark your child’s termly progress, and consultation meetings give you the opportunity to speak to your child’s teachers (these are held annually for each year group). Our marking, assessment and pastoral system will be fully explained to you at annual Parent Information Evenings.
If you are concerned about your child’s progress, pastoral needs, or learning support please contact their Form Tutor, subject teachers, or me. 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 inclusive, quality first teaching delivered by teachers who differentiate within their class to support all students. Teaching Assistants work closely with class teachers to support students with additional needs, usually within the classroom.
Students’ progress is regularly monitored and is used in planning appropriate interventions.
What support will be there for my child’s overall wellbeing?
An excellent pastoral care system is in place to provide a safety net of support for your child. The pastoral team is led by the Deputy Head of Pastoral, the Assistant Heads of Pastoral: KS3 and KS4, Head of Sixth Form, Heads of Year and Form Tutors; regular pastoral meetings are also attended by the SENCO and Assistant Head responsible for Pupil Premium. This ensures that we have a joined-up approach to pastoral care.
We have a Big Sister/Big Brother programme whereby Sixth Formers are attached to the Year 7 and Year 8 forms to support students.
The school employs its own professional counsellor who runs regular drop-ins in addition to time-tabled one-to-one sessions. Assemblies and PSHE lessons support the pastoral process.
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 7 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 teaching and support staff is on-going and has included training on Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Working Memory, Autism and Quality First Teaching. We are working towards becoming a recognised ‘ADHD friendly school’.
On-going advice is obtained from external specialists.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
We have strong connections with local Hearing and Vision Impairment Teams who regularly visit school to support students and staff. The Autism Advisory Service provides support and advice for both the school, and families, of students with an autism diagnosis, and those who have been referred.
Help and advice from other specialist services is accessed as and when needed. When external support is required, I, along with the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) will request support via a Single Service Request Form. This form must be signed by the parent/carer so you will always be kept informed.
The school employs its own professional counsellor, and 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?
We recognise the important role that parents/carers play in supporting their child’s learning. Curriculum information, which can be found on our school website, will help with this, and Edulink ensures that parents/carers are informed of homework tasks that are set.
There are opportunities during parent consultation meetings to speak to me and subject teachers directly but you are welcome to contact us at other times if you have any specific concerns, or you may speak directly to the appropriate Head of Department.
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, as well as 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, the appropriate Head of Department, or myself.
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 please contact your child’s subject teachers. For most pastoral concerns, your child’s Form Tutor and/or Head of Year are the appropriate contact. However, 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.
As SENCO, I am the point of call for anything concerning SEND and can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively contact the Head teacher, Mr Warren. Parents are also able to speak to the Chair of Governors, Mrs Jackie Harvey or the SEND link governor, Mrs Jay Salter.
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 and SENCO work closely with primary schools and families of Year 6 students to facilitate the smooth transfer to secondary school.
Students with SEND in Years 9, 10 and 11 will be supported by having a careers interview arranged with a member of the “YC Herts” Service. For some students additional support may be needed – which will be agreed in consultation with the student, their parents/carers and outside agencies, if required.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The school makes decisions about the allocation of resources based on an individual student’s needs. These needs may change over time, as the child becomes more independent or progresses in a particular area for example, and so the allocation of resources will be reviewed regularly.
The budget is used to employ the SENCO and Teaching Assistants within the school and to purchase resources e.g. chromebooks, screening packages and electronic reader software.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
To ensure that students receive appropriate support, we gather together as much information about them as we can, as early as we can. This includes primary school data, and the results of Year 7 assessments. After analysing this information, I may contact some parents/carers to offer a further learning support assessment with a qualified assessor which may lead to some students trialling exam access arrangements (such as extra time). All decisions about personalised support for individual students are made in consultation with you and your child alongside our professional judgements.
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. 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/