Carre’s Grammar School prides itself on being an inclusive school and we are committed to encouraging and enabling all of our students to unlock their full potential. We recognise that a number of our students will, at different stages of their development, require tailored and targeted support over and above the usual academic and pastoral provision. The Student Support Team at Carre’s aims to tailor and target support for individual students who have been identified as having a specific learning need, so that he or she can:
- be an effective and successful learner who achieves their full potential
- embrace the range of opportunities available to him or her as a valued member of our school community
- move into adult life confident that he or she has the skills and independence to fulfil his or her ambitions
We are privileged to have a dedicated support unit based in the old School House which is staffed by a team of three very experienced Student Support Mentors. Visitors have commented on the supportive atmosphere that prevails in the support area and parents speak highly of the personalised support we offer. This has been validated by Ofsted who at our last inspection in 2013 judged our student support provision as outstanding.
Our Approach to Intervention and Support: Assess Plan Do Review
We seek to be creative and proactive in our approach and over the years we have developed a wide range of expertise and strategies. We have experience of successfully supporting students with the following needs:
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Slow Processing
- Visual impairment
- Hearing Impairment
- Physical Disabilities
- Chronic Medical Conditions
- Mental health and emotional needs
- Attachment Disorder
Programmes of intervention and support are planned in consultation with the student, their parents/carers and their teachers. The SENCo and the allocated Student Support Mentor work closely with teaching staff to ensure strategies for individual students are appropriate and effective. Plans are monitored and reviewed to an agreed schedule. Our ultimate aim is to enable students to take control of their own learning needs so that when they leave us they can be confident that they can manage those needs in the adult world.
Intervention and Support Strategies
Each Student Support Mentor has been encouraged to develop expertise in different areas of support and this has allowed for a greater depth of understanding within the team of the learning needs that are most common amongst our student community: ASD, Dyslexia and Slow-Processing
The following strategies and interventions are representative of those that we have employed to support our students in recent years but, are not exhaustive.
Learning Support in the Classroom
Teaching staff receive regular updates and training with regard to the provision of effective support in the classroom. Electronic records of intervention programmes allow teachers to share successful strategies across different curriculum areas. Typical examples of support and intervention:
- Targeted short term support programmes for individual students / small groups
- Differentiated approaches to accessing class material
- Classroom resource packs provided for specific learning needs
- Use of interactive whiteboards
- Use of visual support to support understanding and facilitate access to the school environment and learning
- Individual access to computers and other ICT so word processing can be developed as “normal way of working”
- Provision of specialist equipment, e.g. A tablet for a visually impaired child
- Adapted or modified resources e.g. enlarged text / coloured paper & exercise books
Students who face a greater challenge with their learning and their ability to process the world around them can experience increased levels of anxiety. Other students can find themselves temporarily at a disadvantage due to increased anxiety levels. We have found the following effective in supporting such students:
- Self-esteem programmes
- Anger management programmes
- Access to professional counselling
- Circle Time to raise awareness of ASD with peers
- Social Skills programmes
- Peer Support Groups led by Student Support Mentor
- Student Mentor from 6th form
- Supported Private Study /Homework in the unit
Professional Referrals and Support
Referrals to other professionals and agencies are made when deemed necessary. We are always happy to facilitate sessions in school.
- Educational Psychologist
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS)
- School Nurse
- Family Support Services
- Targeted Youth Support
- Grief & Bereavement Counselling
- SEND Parent Forums
Parents/Carers in Partnership
We actively encourage parents/ carers to maintain regular contact with school so that our partnership can be effective and productive. Every student referred to Student Support will have an allocated Student Support Mentor who will be the main point of contact between parents/carers and Student Support. Parents/Carers are involved at every stage of the support process: from consent to an initial assessment to applying for an Education and Health Care Plan.
We recognise that modern parenting is a challenging responsibility and this challenge can be even greater when supporting a child with learning needs. We therefore seek to be constructive in our support of parents, offering practical support from associated professionals such as the Parent Support Adviser or Education Welfare Officer. Support can be provided either in school or at home.
Transition and Induction
All prospective Year 7 students are visited in their primary school by a member of the pastoral team and primary school teachers are consulted. Where there is a known learning need a meeting will be arranged with the parents/carers and SENCo to agree a transition plan. Where appropriate, additional familiarisation visits will be arranged and preparation for independent home to school travel can be explored.
A similar process will be offered to students transferring to Carre’s at different entry points.
Strategies to Support Literacy and Numeracy
A whole school literacy strategy operates and the Literacy Coordinator and SENCo collaborate closely on its implementation. Numeracy support ranges from individual support outside of the classroom to targeted group support in the classroom as well as access to extension activities such as the Schools Maths Challenge.
On admission to the school in Year 7 students undergo a series of tests designed to provide the school with a current baseline assessment: Cognitive Abilities Tests and a Reading age test. The school aims to identify any gaps at the earliest opportunity so that effective intervention strategies can be put in place.
Strategies to Support Behaviour
The school operates a staged disciplinary system. Where behaviour does not meet with expectations school students face the “consequence” of their actions and are sanctioned. However, for students with an identified learning need a reasonable adjustment is made and typically, this amounts to a student having additional stages of warning and/or remaining longer at a specific stage.
We also operate a classroom exit card system which can provide students with access to relevant support as soon as the need arises.
Support during Unstructured Time
Student Support Mentors can provide targeted support programmes that are designed to bolster or improve social skills. In addition to such support we also have designated safe places at lunchtime available to all students and will also put in place peer support groups or a buddy system for children new to the school or requiring additional social support.
Supporting Medical Needs and Conditions
All students with medical needs or conditions have a Health Care Plan drawn up in consultation with parents/carers. Should these needs impact on their access to learning a referral is made to the SENCo who will put in place an appropriate support plan. Support from specialist medical staff is sought where appropriate and designated school staff will undergo relevant training to enable them to provide the agreed support.
Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP)
Where individual need is determined to be complex or requires a greater level of provision beyond the capacity of the established team then the school will look to complete an application for an EHCP. If successful, this can release additional funding to support the identified needs. An application would normally require the support of the Educational Psychologist and substantial evidence that the school had reached a point where additional resources were needed to meet the identified needs.
SENCoMrs Rosemary Brooks
Lincolnshire Local Offer
The Local Offer is part of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN&D) reforms from the Children and Families Act 2014.
There are two main purposes for the Local Offer
- to improve information about services and provision available for families, children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and to make it easier for all families to find this information by making it available in one place.
- that by working directly with families, children and young people on developing the Local Offer, Local Authorities and Health partners can improve provision.
Lincolnshire's Local Offer includes leisure and activity providers, health and care services, education providers and support groups. Further details can be found here.