What are our key objectives as a school when it comes to recognising and supporting children with SEN?
The guiding principles and objectives of the School’s SEN procedures are to ensure that the aims of the school ethos are secured for all students.
We recognise that all students may have special educational needs at some time in their school career and that provision for these needs is on a continuum. We regard the students’ self-esteem to be of vital importance to their learning and intend that students should not feel stigmatised by their need. Teachers aim to ensure that all students have the chance to succeed, whatever their individual needs and the potential barriers to their learning may be.
Colours Academy offers pupils a safe and secure environment, where staff are qualified to meet the student’s needs. Students have the ability to express concerns and take time out whenever required or deemed necessary. The staff within the department have a broad range of expertise including experience of working with pupils with dyslexia, dyspraxia, Autistic Spectrum Condition, ADHD/ADD and Visual and Hearing impairment. We also have lots of experience with children with anxiety and mental and emotional wellbeing needs- we feel that our ethos and flexible and relaxing setting is a fantastic foundation for this need being positively met.
The SEN team coordinates the provision of support from liaising with teachers to individual pupils in agreement with parents and as in-class support in order to support pupils with their learning in the classroom. Assessment for learning difficulties and access arrangements are also completed either by the SEN team or our Intervention coordinator in agreement with parents, or by an Independent Educational Psychologist by private arrangement.
Recognising and assessing SEN at Colours Academy:
We, together with teaching staff aim to identify a pupil’s special need as soon as possible. We use both formative and summative assessment in the form of both baseline tests, interim assessments and an ongoing process of monitoring progress by teachers. Some students’ difficulties will have been identified by their previous school. The student, once identified, will be referred to the SEN team and/or Intervention coordinator and after a discussion with parents will complete assessments for a full diagnosis. If the difficulty the student is experiencing in due to a gap in learning, specialist lessons may be recommended.
If after further testing we feel that a learning difficulty is evident, the SEN team will circulate recommendations regarding strategies to support the pupil to teaching staff to inform their practice. Extra specialist tuition will be arranged at parents’ request. In some cases the SEN team and/or Intervention coordinator will recommend that the student is assessed by an educational psychologist to identify the particular strengths and weaknesses and give advice on teaching strategies, or if she feels that the pupil may have more complex needs that need investigating.
Educational Health Care Plans:
Pupils with Educational Health Care Plans and those whose difficulties are outside the normal range of differentiation will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) written by the Intervention coordinator and the SEN team in conjunction with departmental staff. IEPs are reviewed twice a year and an EHCP review is arranged every year. In addition, such pupils will have Pupil Passports, detailing how teachers can support their learning in lessons. Progress is monitored both formally and informally by teaching staff. Appropriate special arrangements in Key Stage and GCSE examinations will be sought for those students with learning difficulties. The central aim of Colours Academy is to provide all of our students with educational experiences and opportunities which will enable them to discover and fulfil their own potential. All schemes of work enable this and differentiation is built into our curriculum planning. We uniquely shape our planning to flexibly in coordinate with SEN of pupils, as we understand that every child is different and their education is at the heart of our Ethos.
Involving Pupils in Assessment and Decision-Making:
We seek to promote active participation by pupils in any programme of intervention designed to support their learning by:
Providing clear and accurate information about the pupil’s special educational needs and the purpose of any assessment, individual education plan or intervention.
Ensuring that the pupil understands the agreed outcomes of any intervention and how they can be a partner in working towards the goals as pupils who play an active part in assessment and in developing and monitoring agreed targets will also have greater self-esteem and feel confident that they are making progress.
Explaining clearly what additional support or assessment arrangements are being made and how the pupil can contribute to them.
Consulting with pupils who need individual support to ensure that such support is provided in a timely and sensitive way.
Recognising the potential stress of assessment and review arrangements and ensure that the pupil understands the role and contribution of any other professionals who may be involved.
Drawing up Pupil Passports together with the pupil, particularly in Key Stage 3.
Promoting inclusive practice across the curriculum. Criteria for using a word processor in examinations - Colours Academy will only allow the use of word processors in public examinations if a pupil has a specific learning difficulty, planning and organisational difficulties, slow hand writing or a medical difficulty (long-term or temporary). This will be evidenced through assessment and will be their normal way of working within the centre.
Making an IEP for children with SEN and drafting a chronology to identify key areas in which the pupil needs to improve on and to set targets that are followed through in lessons and learning times
The school endeavours to ensure that all pupils are fully integrated into the life of the school where safety permits. Supporting pupils with a range of special educational needs involves everyone across the school. The SEN team and Intervention coordinator liaises with the Headteacher regarding the provision of professional development of staff regarding meeting the needs of pupils with additional needs.
There are a range of professionals within education, health and social work whose expertise, advice and service will from time to time be sought: Educational Psychology Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Visual Impairment Advisory Teacher, Auditory Impairment Advisory Teacher Devon & Cornwall Careers Service Devon and South Hams Local Education Authority.
We value and welcome the perspectives of parents on their children's special educational needs. We also welcome any help parents can give to their children at home; both the SEN team and Intervention coordinator are always available to advise on the ways that parents might help their children and to discuss any worries or give information on progress. The school takes very seriously any complaints by parents or pupils (see ‘Colours Academy Complaints Procedure’). Parents also have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST), where the claim is that a child has been discriminated against because of a disability.
Transition within and between Schools:
We aim to support the transition of pupils within Colours Academy, between schools or onwards to further education by providing relevant information to the receiving Key stage, school or college. We recognise the importance of the transition process for pupils with SEN and the need for affective co-operation between the different agencies involved. We enlist the help of the Careers Teacher in providing information and assistance to pupils, enabling them to enter appropriate further education or work.