While we are ambitious for every student at our school to achieve, we also recognise that some children are unable to access their full academic potential without flexible, creative, and individualised support. With this positive and helpful approach, many children discover that they can make rapid progress at City Academy as our teaching and learning environment is inclusive, adaptive and focused upon success.
The Principal, SENCO and pastoral leaders oversee students who may need additional support, either individually or within the classroom environment. Students with SEND are initially identified through close liaison with the primary schools. Students’ needs are also identified through the initial assessment procedures in Year 7 and by ongoing teacher/TA referral, as well as through lesson observations, data analysis and work scrutiny activities. The school is also very keen to listen to parents’/carers’ concerns and to work in partnership with parents and carers.
The SEND Department will liaise closely with teachers, to ensure that every student’s individual needs are being met, including the use of resources such as laptops within the classroom, through quality first teaching. Students identified as having SEND needs are fully included within the school by use of additional resources, including staffing and facilities. All teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of all students with SEND (as indicated by the revised Code of Practice).
Additionally, support for students can be arranged using an intervention. All interventions used are chosen on an individual basis and can range from added Literacy and Numeracy support, mentoring, Thrive, counselling, access arrangement assessments and social and emotional intervention. Students will be assessed on need and the appropriate intervention assigned.
All students on the SEND register have a SEND Student Profile on Provision Map [software] which is how information is shared with teachers. Parents/Carers are also able to meet regularly with SEND Department colleagues to review their child’s progress and wellbeing. Our SENCO meets on a weekly basis with our Designated Safeguarding Lead and key pastoral colleagues to discuss students who present with concerns around attendance, safeguarding, and SEND.
The SENCO is part of the school’s Extended Leadership Team and regularly shares and discusses individual students’ needs and concerns around groups of students with SEND, with colleagues in this team. Students with SEND are statistically more at risk of exclusion, more likely to present with attendance concerns, and less likely to achieve predicted outcomes than students without SEND, and so middle and senior leaders focus on strategies to address these potential disadvantages, as part of their wider school improvement work.
The SENCO also meets on a weekly basis with colleagues from the Pastoral and Safeguarding Team to discuss students for whom we have significant concerns. The SENCO regularly reviews and updates SEND students’ profiles on Provision Map and discusses how best to meet students’ needs with individual teachers and also with groups of teachers, often using a Circle of Teachers approach. Our whole school behaviour policy is regularly adapted to meet the needs of individual students for whom meeting behaviour expectations is more challenging.
Students with complex needs are supported through 121 mentoring and a range of small group interventions, to understand and explore their own needs and to practise useful strategies so that specific aspects of their school lives become more manageable. The SENCO works closely with Pastoral and Senior colleagues to reduce bullying of students with SEND and to address such incidents when they arise. We work hard together to ensure that those who bully others can learn from these experiences and become more accepting of students that they perceive as different, and for students with SEND to feel safe and supported in school.
Students and parents/carers are signposted to external sources of support, including the following:
Kooth- free, safe and anonymous counselling support.
Family lives- information and advice for parents/carers of children and young people.
SOS!SEN- independent and confidential telephone helpline for parents and others looking for information on Special Educational Needs.
Young Minds- advice surrounding mental health for young people and parents.
IPSEA- offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations.
Send and You, formerly known as Supportive Parents.