SEN Information Report
Oakbank School: What you need to know
How do we identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?
What should I do if I think my child has SEND?
Make an appointment with the SENCO at Oakbank as quickly as possible to explain your concerns. We can work together to make a plan of action. The SENCO is Miss Emma Whitely and you can reach her on the telephone by calling 0118 988 3616 EXT 337 or via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for Children with Special Educational Needs
If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?
How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?
A letter will be sent out if your child has been identified for targeted support.
You will receive a phone call if we are concerned about your child’s progress.
We sometimes have a home/school liaison book if we want to let you know how school is going.
You can make an appointment to come in and see us at any time.
How will the school balance my child’s need for support with developing their independence?
• We have skilled TAs and Teaching staff who are very aware of the fact that we need to support children with SEN whilst at the same time challenging them and building independence. We discuss this at annual reviews and meetings so that we can support what you are doing at home to build independence.
How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child’s needs?
• Some students have a strategy sheet given to all staff so that we can consistently use the most suitable teaching methods and content to meet your child’s needs.
• All staff are aware of the type and requirements of your child’s SEN and so can match differentiation to individuals.
Training is given to all staff for most commonly found SEN on a regular basis.
What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?
Please click here to view a sample strategy sheet.
What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?
• SENCO leading and managing SEN provision
• Assistant SENCO managing assessments, provision and intervention
• 7 highly trained TAs including:
• Specialist intervention staff who support literacy & numeracy skills
• We buy in Speech and Language staff from the LEA
• We use ASD mentors for ASD students
What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?
• A fully resourced and large SEN area.
• Intervention rooms
• Nurture room
• Lunch cub for SEN and vulnerable children
• ICT suite
• Dyslexia overlays and specialist exercise books
• Laptops for those SEN students who need them to use in class.
• Additional Transition Afternoons for SEN and vulnerable children transferring from primary school to Oakbank.
What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?
• Where appropriate, students with SEN will be tested for special arrangements for exams. These arrangements can include extra time, scribes, readers and enlarged papers.
My Child’s Progress
How will the school monitor my child’s progress and how will I be involved in this?
Your child will be assessed in every subject termly. You will then receive a grade card termly and a full report once a year.
When my child’s progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?
• Targets will be based on all students making to National Curriculum levels of progress over Key Stage 3. The progress of SEN students will be reviewed termly by the SENCO. If there is an issue with academic progress your child may be targeted for intervention to support them and you will be notified if this is the case. Feel free to contact the SENCO at any time if you are concerned about progress in any subject.
ln addition to the school’s normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress with school staff?
• There will be two parent’s evenings throughout the year. Please feel free to make an appointment with the SENCO at any time should you wish to discuss progress. We have an open door policy.
What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?
• Staff are happy to receive emails or phone calls from parents and encourage as much contact with home as possible. Please feel free to make an appointment with the SENCO should you wish to discuss any matter relating to SEN or additional needs.
How can I help support my child’s learning?
• Ensure regular reading sessions at home. Reading regularly is one of the key features of a successful student.
• Ensure students have a quiet place to do homework. Make sure homework is done.
• Check your child’s homework planner and if you feel they are not recording homework then let us know.
• Ensure your child attends every day. Do not let them stay at home for minor reasons. Seek help from us if you feel your child is avoiding school for some reason.
• Support the school with our decisions. We must show a unified front.
• Stay in regular contact with tutors, subject teachers and the SENCO where appropriate.
Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child’s learning, e.g. training or learning events?
• We will run parental workshops to help you with issues such as behaviour at home and cyber-safety. We will run information evenings for parents so that they are aware how to support students in each year group.
How will my child’s views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?
• We regularly audit student views about school. Regular feedback in subject areas, that they are required to respond to, will ensure they know where they are and what they need to do to move forward. We ask that, where appropriate, if you meet with staff in school, students also attend, so that they can be involved in any conversations about progress. For students with an EHCP, views are sought in advance of the annual review and students and parents are now at the centre of the planning for progress process.
What accredited and non-accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?
• GCSE options in all subject areas
Alternate GCSE programme available on a case by case basis
How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?
• Oakbank is subject to OFSTED and Department of Education inspections. The overall effectiveness of SEN provision is reported on by these bodies. An SEN Self-evaluation is done by the SENCO and reported to the Principal. This then feeds into a development plan which is regularly used to constantly improve services to students. Parents can comment on their experience to the Principal at any time and these can be used as a tool for self-improvement. Parents can also comment on the OFSTED Parent View website as to the overall effectiveness of the school.
Support for my Child’s Overall Well Being
What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?
• We run additional transition afternoons for students with SEN and anxiety about transition before the main transition day in July. We also run various groups for students to promote emotional and social development. These include Nurture groups, Social Skills groups, Self-Management programmes as well as one to one sessions for students where emotional and social difficulties are a barrier to learning. Tutors and Heads of Year also lead strong pastoral care for students to promote social and emotional well-being. Termly PHSE days are run and differentiated for students with SEN. We encourage students with SEN to apply for positions of responsibility such as student council and prefects. SEN students are encouraged to attend school residential and trips to build confidence.
What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?
• At Oakbank, we have the same expectations for behaviour for students with SEN as those students who do not have SEN. However, we do understand that sometimes students with SEN will need a more individual approach to “getting it right”. Student behaviour is monitored closely. If staff or parents are concerned that behaviour has become a barrier to learning then we have numerous small group and one to one programmes available to tackle these issues. In some cases, we find that low literacy levels can sometimes affect behaviour. We tackle the root causes of behaviour challenges as well as the behaviour itself. If an SEN child is at risk of exclusion we will call an emergency annual review or start a supportive pastoral programme to ensure we avoid exclusion at all costs.
What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?
• We will discuss any medical issues on a case by case basis and ensure that we have the expertise and training to support that child. There is a first aid room should a child fall ill in the day and, if we feel it appropriate, we will call parents to advise them of any concerns.
How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
• Students are allowed to keep a small quantity of basic pain relief medicine with them with parental permission. However, if parents would prefer the office to keep the student’s medication safe then the following process is followed:
• The parent/carer will complete a form titled: Record of medication administered to child. This is available from the school office.
• This form is kept with the medication, in the student’s file, in a locked filing cabinet in the office.
• The student will then come to Reception to take their medicine and sign the form to confirm the quantity and type taken.
• Office staff will then copy the signed form for the student to take home as proof of intake.
How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, e.g. help with toileting, eating etc.?
• The help required for personal care is assessed on a case-by-case basis after discussion with the student, their family and other professionals as necessary and support put in place where it is needed.
Specialist Services and Expertise Available at or Accessed by the School
What SEN support services does the school use, e.g. Specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc ?
We buy in the following expertise from the three local authorities our students come from:-
• Educational Psychologist
• Speech and Language Team
• ASD Mentors and advisory service
• Education Welfare Officer
• Visual Impairment Team
• Lexia Team (Dyslexia)
What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?
• Please feel free to contact the SENCO if you feel your child needs support from one of these services. The SENCO is always happy to discuss support packages for students with SEN.
How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?
• If these services are required by students, we have to buy in this support as part of a package for the child. This is usually linked to the requirements of the child’s Statement of Educational Needs (now EHCP). These professionals are sometimes involved in the diagnosis of special educational needs. These professionals are not permanent members of staff at Oakbank and we have to book appointments and agree times for visits well in advance.
What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?
• Please do feel free to discuss this with the SENCO at Oakbank.
What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children’s Social Care services?
• Our Vice Principal is the designated member of staff in charge of Child Protection and will liaise with Social Care on a regular basis where appropriate.
Training of school staff in SEND
What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?
• There are regular twilight training sessions for staff on SEND. This training ranges from training on the individual needs of our students, to differentiation in the classroom, to the effective use of TAs in the classroom. We also have weekly staff briefings to train staff on strategies to help support students in the classroom.
What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?
Teaching Assistants are invited to all whole staff trainings and regularly help to run them. Two TAs have studied for and been awarded Higher Level Teacher Assistant training, and another TA is currently studying for this qualification. Training is a standing item agenda on SEN team meetings. We meet as an SEN team fortnightly to ensure staff are up to date with the latest strategies and information to support SEN in the classroom
Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?
Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?
Activities outside the classroom including school trips
How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?
• Our equality of opportunity policy ensures that all students have access to out of school activities and trips. In most cases, we will call parents if we feel that a slip has not been returned or if particular SEN students or their parents/carers are not aware that the trip is running.
How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?
• We ensure we run information evening for residential trips, inviting parents to attend. Where closer planning is required, please do feel free to make an appointment with the SENCO
Accessibility of the school environment
How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
• Oakbank School is fully accessible to children with mobility difficulties/wheelchair users.
Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?
• We make full adaptations to teaching and learning resources for students with visual impairments.
Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?
• There are accessible changing and toilet facilities.
How do you ensure that all the school’s facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?
• We rely on parents/carers to advise us of student requirements in advance. We ensure we strive to meet these requirements before the students start with us.
How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?
• This will be decided based upon the individual needs of our parents/carers. It can range from email telephone, face to face meetings or letters.
How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?
• We can provide communication in different languages.
Preparing my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life
What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?
We encourage potential parents and students to visit us as many times as they wish during a regular school day to get a feel for the amazing atmosphere present at Oakbank. This can be before the students are in Year 6. We even get some Year 3 and 4 students visit us and encourage visits as much as possible. We have two transition afternoons for students with SEN as we realise we may need more time to get to know them in advance and vice versa. If parents want to set up additional visits, we are happy to accommodate this. There is a main transition day for all students in July. On this day, SEN students will be supported by our TA team in order that they can access the day to the fullest extent. Feeder primary schools are visited in the summer term so we can start to get to know students and talk to your child’s current teacher. Please feel free to meet with the SENCO in advance so that any and all SEN needs can be discussed and planned for in advance.
How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?
• We do a range of small group and whole class sessions on the transition process. These sessions cover a range of topics from “Worries” to “Organisation” as well as celebrating the process of “moving on” We understand this is a big step for children and realise that there are different responses to this from excitement to anxiety. Please feel free to discuss any concerns with a member of staff or with the SENCO.
How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school and how will you support a new school to prepare for my child?
• Personalised transition programs will be put in place for students transferring to college or another school.
What information will be provided to my child’s new school?
• The information provided to a new school will include full details of a child’s SEN.
How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?
• Personalised transition and preparation programs will be put in place to prepare a child for transition to further education of employment.
Who can I contact to discuss my child?
Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?
Please contact the following members of staff to discuss any matter:-
• Form Tutor
• Head of Year
• SENCO: Miss E Whitely
• Assistant SENCO: Mrs J Callaway
• Principal: Mrs M Segrove
Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)
Specific support is provided where this is highlighted as a need. The school currently works with Family Support Workers involved in a small number of families. We also have a student advice and guidance worker who does work with families should they request support.
What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?
• Miss Whitely can signpost external agencies where appropriate.
What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?
The school has an open door policy and parents are encouraged to communicate any concerns, to the form tutor in the first instance. Please contact the following members of staff to discuss any matter:-
• Form Tutor
• Head of Year
• SENCO: Miss E Whitely
• Principal: Mrs M Segrove