The Clere School
Individual Needs Report
The Clere School is a small secondary school with an inclusive ethos. We have high expectations of all our pupils, and will support and encourage every child to achieve their very best. Teachers at The Clere School set appropriate learning challenges and respond flexibly to their pupils’ diverse learning needs. Some pupils may have barriers to learning; in these cases, teachers take account of these barriers and differentiate accordingly to meet these pupils’ needs. Some students may need additional support or adaptations in order to access a broad and balanced curriculum.
1. What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you think your child may have special educational needs, you should initially approach your child’s tutor, or the Progress Leader for their year group, who can look closely at your child’s progress over time across the curriculum. It may help to gather extra information from your child’s subject teachers, and the Progress Leader will be able to co-ordinate this. The Progress Leader will then liaise with the SENCO, to ensure that your child’s needs are met.
2a. How does the school know if my child needs extra help?
Before pupils start at The Clere School, the SENCO liaises closely with the previous schools, so that we are aware of any pupils who have already been identified as having special educational needs, and can share relevant information in order to ensure the progress of these pupils. At the start of Year 7, we also use a ‘Cognitive Aptitude Test’ to assess pupils’ verbal, numerical and non-verbal reasoning abilities. This information, along with teacher assessments and SATs data from Year 6, enables us to identify pupils who may benefit from additional support.
Progress data is regularly collected from all subject teachers. If your child is not making progress, this may be because there is a barrier to their learning. Either the Progress Leader for your child’s year group, or the Curriculum Leader for any subject area, can make a referral to the SENCO for further assessment and support. You will be kept informed throughout this process.
2b. How is the decision made about the type and how much support my child will receive?
At The Clere School, we respond flexibly to each child’s particular need, and are supported by the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service and the Hampshire Educational Psychology Service to identify learning needs and plan support to help pupils to overcome these, in discussion with subject teachers, Curriculum Leaders and Progress Leaders. All decisions will be discussed with the child’s parents at every stage.
2c. How will the school involve my child in decisions about his or her education?
All pupils at our school are encouraged to take responsibility and to develop as independent learners. Teachers engage pupils in discussion of their subject targets, and pupils are expected to make judgments about their own progress towards these targets as part of their day to day learning.
Pupils with special educational needs will also be asked to make a contribution to a regular progress review. If a child finds it hard to express themselves in writing, they can explain their views to a teacher or learning support assistant, who will write these down on their behalf, or they can complete a questionnaire at home, with the support of a family member or carer. Pupils will be encouraged to participate in or contribute to the review meeting.
3. How will the school staff support my child?
Every teacher is a teacher of children with special educational needs. Teachers therefore have a responsibility to consider the individual needs of every child in their class, and to ensure that they present the curriculum in a way that enables each child to access it at an appropriate level. To enable all pupils to make good progress, the school may recommend particular adaptations or modifications to the curriculum, in line with the SEN Code of Practice.
Where appropriate, a ‘Staff Awareness’ document may be written to share information about a child’s needs and to ensure that effective strategies are implemented across the curriculum. These are drawn up collaboratively, with involvement from the child, parents, subject teachers and the SENCO. For pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), this Staff Awareness document will incorporate an Individual Education Plan (IEP), setting out specific short-term targets to support a pupil in reaching their eventual learning goals. In addition to accessing the mainstream curriculum, these pupils may follow an intervention programme to support them in achieving these targets.
At times, the school may request additional support from external agencies and other professionals, to ensure that a particular child’s needs are met.
4. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
The Clere School provides all pupils with the opportunity to follow a broad and balanced curriculum, offering a range of teaching styles and learning experiences. Lessons have clear objectives, and effective assessment is used to inform future planning. The Staff Awareness system, along with additional training facilitated by the SENCO, enables teachers to differentiate appropriately, and to use a range of strategies to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs. Wherever possible, we avoid withdrawing pupils from the mainstream curriculum. At times, however, we may decide that it is more beneficial for pupils to follow a specific short-term intervention programme. In these cases, you will be informed of your child’s participation in the programme and of the outcomes of this intervention.
5. How will I know how my child is doing?
Over the course of an academic year, there are many ways for parents to find out about their child’s progress. Progress data is collated into a termly Progress Report for each pupil. There is an annual parents’ evening for each year group, as well as additional information evenings at key times, for example, in Year 9, when pupils are choosing their GCSE option subjects.
If at any other time you should wish to discuss your child’s learning in more detail, you should contact the school and ask to make an appointment either with a particular subject teacher, or with your child’s form tutor. Alternatively, you can email the school or an individual teacher with a request for further information. Finally, if you have a particular concern that relates to your child’s special educational need, you can always email the SENCO, Miss Ursula Coyle, on firstname.lastname@example.org
6a. How will the school staff help me to support my child’s learning?
At The Clere School, we are committed to working closely with parents. We have regular contact with parents through the termly Progress Reports, which include specific targets for each subject area. We also use Show My Homework, accessible as a link from the school’s own website, so that parents can access the work that pupils have been set. For pupils with special educational needs, the Staff Awareness sheet outlines strategies for teachers to use, which can also be practised with parents at home. Some pupils will also have Individual Education Plans, outlining specific short-term targets, with suggested ways for you to help your child towards achieving these.
6b. How are parents involved in the school, and how can I get involved?
Parents have regular opportunities to meet with staff at Curriculum Information evenings, and at Parent Consultation events. Parents’ first contact point is their child’s Form Tutor; Progress Leaders, subject teachers and the SEN department can also be contacted through the school office.
7. What expertise or training do the members of staff supporting children with SEN have?
The Individual Needs Co-ordinator, teachers and LSAs have access to continuous professional development, matched to the current needs of the pupils. As well as specialist courses, this includes subject specific network meetings, conferences and SEN update meetings relating to legislation and current educational practices. Within school, all teachers participate in ‘Learning Together’ meetings, which regularly include input on strategies to support the progress of pupils with special educational needs.
Several members of the support staff have first aid training, and we also receive regular visits from the School Nurse Service, and are able to make individual referrals to this service where appropriate.
8. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Because of the diverse needs of our pupils, we have regular visits from specialist advisory teachers, who offer teachers guidance on supporting students with specific needs such as hearing or visual impairment; speech, language and communication needs; or autistic spectrum disorder. The Clere School accesses services and expertise from a wide range of specialist services to ensure that we make appropriate provision for pupils with special educational needs. We would seek guidance from outside agencies in any case where, after a period of assessment and intervention, a child was still not making progress in his or her learning.
9. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
The Clere School is a small school, with a caring and inclusive ethos, where everyone is valued. Relationships between pupils, and between staff and pupils, are positive. Pupils have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities as individuals, and unkindness is not accepted. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural values are explored through weekly assemblies, and in tutor time through the theme of the week. The most important adult in your child’s time at the school will be his or her form tutor, supported by the Progress Leader; however, all staff members have a strong sense of responsibility for each pupil’s well-being, and will intervene where appropriate to ensure that pupils at the school feel safe, happy and valued. In specific cases, we may also suggest a referral to counselling services or to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
10. How will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom, including school trips?
There is a wide programme of curricular enrichment activities at The Clere School. These run at lunchtimes and after school, and include a range of activities such as music, drama, cookery, technology and sports. These are available to any child who wishes to take part; appropriate adaptations are made as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
A full risk assessment is made before any off-site activity; in some cases, additional adults may be required to support children with particular needs, and where necessary specialist staff training can be provided in preparation for these visits. In recent years, all visits and residential trips have been accessible to all the children within our care. Any individual needs have been discussed with parents in advance, and decisions made about adaptations which may be required.
11. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new setting or to the next stage of education and life?
When pupils join the school in Year 7 at The Clere School, the SENCO liaises closely with the previous schools, sharing relevant information. In some cases, an Inclusion Partnership Agreement, drawn up collaboratively between the two schools and the pupil’s parents, may be appropriate to ensure that the transition is successful. These meetings are organised and chaired by the SENCO of the primary school. Additional support may be put in place during the child’s first term at the school, to help the pupil to manage and reduce any anxieties that they may have.
As pupils prepare for the next stage in their education, the SENCO liaises with the careers advisory service (currently the Basingstoke Consortium) to ensure that pupils with special educational needs receive thoughtful and relevant guidance on their future progression. There is then close communication between the SENCO and staff at our pupils’ receiving colleges, or other destinations.
12. How accessible is the school, both indoors and outdoors?
The school is not fully accessible for wheelchair users. The site is geographically small, however, and all stairs and steps have banisters or grab handles. There are accessible toilet facilities in the main building. All routes around the school are kept clear to ensure the safety of children with visual impairment or reduced mobility; contrast paint has been used to identify key routes and obstacles, and to highlight stair edges etc.
13. How does the governing body support provision for SEN at the school?
The governing body has due regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out its duties. The governors endeavour to secure the necessary provision for any pupil identified as having special educational needs, consulting the LEA and other schools when appropriate. The SENCO works with the governing body, and the SEN Governor in particular, to ensure that the governors are kept informed of the progress of vulnerable pupils and those with special educational needs.
14. How does the school respond to concerns about the provision made for my child?
Parents who are concerned should in the first instance contact the SENCO, Miss Ursula Coyle. All concerns will be taken seriously, and our intention will be to resolve issues through discussion and agreed joint action. If these issues cannot be resolved, the headteacher, Mr Bond, would then be consulted.
15. How does the school work together with the Local Education Authority?
The school liaises closely with the LEA in responding to the needs of children with special educational needs. The LEA runs regular SEN briefings and conferences, which are attended by the SENCO in order to remain up to date with new legislation and approaches to teaching. The LEA also offers specific training courses for teachers and learning support assistants. LEA advisors are a valuable source of information and guidance, and are available to come into school to provide support where appropriate.
16. What support services are available in this area for parents of children with SEND?
A wide range of services are available in Hampshire for the parents of children with SEND.