Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Meet the team …
Specific Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
Further information and support
Information for Sixth Form Students
SEND Information Report
1. 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 has a diagnosis of a Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) and is in receipt of additional classroom support at their primary school and/or if they have an EHCP, it is possible to arrange a visit to Presdales, and 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.
New students joining us in Year 12 will also sit the dyslexia screener.
On occasion, if the above assessments indicate that your child may have a mild learning difficulty, I will contact you to discuss the results and any concerns you have. If appropriate, we will offer your child an Exam Access Arrangement assessment which is carried out on site by a qualified assessor. This assessment helps us to pinpoint if there are specific areas of difficulty which may mean that your child could receive extra time in exams and extra support in lessons.
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.
2. 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. Ongoing communication between students and their families, and school staff, is encouraged: we are a team working together to ensure the happiness, well-being and best outcomes for your child.
Quality First Teaching Strategies: 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.
Additional support: interventions: It may be necessary for your child to receive extra support in a small group. We currently have students receiving interventions in: Maths Skills, Literacy, Speech and Language Therapy, Study Skills, and Social Skills. Some students are placed into a smaller teaching group for Maths and English lessons.
Involvement of specialists: Occasionally I may suggest the involvement of a specialist, such as: an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, dyslexia specialist teacher, ADHD mentor etc. Please be assured that you will be fully involved at every stage of this process.
Pastoral support: Our Form Tutors, Heads of Year and SEND department work closely together to ensure that the social and academic needs of your child are met. We also have a school counsellor who runs a weekly drop-in session as well as sessions for students who have been referred.
Monitoring students’ progress: 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.
3. 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. All staff emails are available on the school website.
4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
Following the ‘Assess, Plan, Do and Review’ model we monitor your child’s progress regularly and this information is used to ensure that the level of support and intervention is appropriate to your child’s changing needs. All of our students benefit from inclusive, Quality First Teaching delivered by teachers who know their students and differentiate within their class to support all students. Teaching Assistants work closely with class teachers, sharing observations, feedback and expertise. Some students may require additional interventions, which are regularly reviewed.
5. 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 of 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.
We have a sixth form mentor who is available to meet with students who may require additional help with planning or organisation.
Students with ADHD and/or who are autistic are invited to meet with a specialist mentor –this may be a short-term arrangement or ongoing depending on the student’s needs/preference.
If your child has a medical condition, please see our Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions Policy.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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. For students requiring additional support, together we will compile a Pupil Passport which outlines your child’s difficulties, 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.
10. 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. Some students may require additional support in preparation of going on trips – in which case a meeting can be arranged between myself, the trip leader, and the family. If this is the case for your child, please get in touch.
11. 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.
12. 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: Mrs Ellie Sykes responsible for KS4, Ms Chandler 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, Jackie Harvey, or the SEND link governor, Jay Salter.
All relevant policies are available on the school website.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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 Exam Access Arrangement 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.
16. 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/