Our provision for students with special educational needs and disability (SEND) at Edgar Wood Academy is inclusive and allows for reasonable adjustments to be made to support the learning and wellbeing of these students, regardless of need. We believe that every individual student at Altus should be challenged and supported to make outstanding progress and develop into an independent, considerate and confident young adult. We believe every young person can succeed and we devote ourselves to improving student achievement through high-quality teaching and student support. Through a culture of mutual respect, positive behaviour and high standards, we aim to inspire and engage all students, regardless of prior attainment or social background.
The SENDCO will work with teachers and learning support staff, as well as students directly, to make sure that specific learning needs applicable to each student requiring support are identified early and met. The SENDCO is available to all students who may require differing levels of support throughout their journey through the school but will also ensure detailed plans with measurable targets are in place for all students on the SEND Register. They assure compliance with the statutory duties required of the school in order for Edgar Wood Academy to meet requirements and best practice as set out in the current SEND Code.
Our graduated response is tailored to meet learning needs, from increased differentiation to working with external multi-agency support. As literacy is of such fundamental importance in terms of curriculum access, we review student information and in particular reading ages and spelling ages in order to produce individualised interventions so that full access to the wider curriculum is supported from day one. This ensures that students make progress as rapidly as possible so that their reading age is equal to their chronological age as a minimum expectation / intervention outcome.
To ensure all students can access the curriculum and achieve their potential, we will ensure students’ needs are met by liaising effectively with local agencies. We will work effectively with a range of agencies and partners to support students with differing learning and emotional needs, such as:
- educational psychologists
- social services
- speech and language therapists
- educational welfare officers (EWOs)
- community support officers (CSOs)
- child and adolescent mental health services
- Sunrise Team
The SEND team will work with Rochdale LA SEND team to review students with Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP). SEND students are given full access to the curriculum and our accommodation and provision are DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant. Student data from previous schools and information from parents is taken into account in how we teach SEND students in KS3 and beyond.
ICT provision has a key role to play in supporting mainstream SEND students as follows (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Students who find handwriting difficult experience a focus on developing high-level keyboard and mouse skills that enable them to produce and record work more easily at school and at home including via an e-portfolio.
- Speech to text to speech software helps SEND students via vocalisation of phonemes.
- Students with visual problems are assisted through the use of different coloured screens and font sizes.
- Icons and screen menus can be enlarged.
- Screen contrast can be altered.
- Students with co-ordination and fine motor control difficulties benefit from varied mouse speed, cursor travel rate and number of clicks to open a document.
- Sticky keys can help students in that one key will do the job of two.
- Personalisation of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) interface is possible enabling ready access and enjoyable use for SEN students.
- Specific applications assist in tailored fashion to assist with specific learning needs of SEN students.
- ‘Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children’, February 2018
- ‘Keeping children safe in Education’, September 2016
- ‘The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children’, February 2018
Students with English as an additional language will take diagnostic tests on entry (where possible, prior to entry) to assess language and literacy levels and support needs. We will then use this diagnostic information to provide effective support for these students. We will closely monitor and provide effective and timely interventions so that they acquire the language skills necessary to successfully access the mainstream curriculum. We will provide training for all staff as part of our professional development programme, to address the needs of EAL learners.