Special Educational Needs and Disability
At Challney High School for Boys we believe in achievement, ambition and progress for all children and we aim to meet the needs of all children through highly effective teaching and learning.
There is an emphasis on early identification of need with support to develop skills and strategies which reduce barriers to learning. We undertake a rigorous system of monitoring children’s progress and using a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of life-long learning and independent living skills for all children.
We work in a flexible way to develop effective partnerships with children and their parents/carers, the SENCO, specialist teaching staff within the school and external professionals, (such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and child and adolescent health services (CAMHS) ) to ensure that the school can meet a broad range of special educational needs.
How do we support children with special educational needs ?
Children with special educational needs are identified from information sent through from the junior schools at transition. However, as all children move through the school any new teacher or parent/carer concerns are listened to and investigated and if necessary a support plan will be arranged. This may include interventions from outside agencies or careful monitoring within school with the involvement of staff to help agree further interventions to meet the needs of the child.
This close monitoring and tracking process is critical in identifying children who may potentially have a need that will demand more specific intervention strategies. Regular professional development helps staff and teaching assistants to recognise and support pupils with special educational needs.
How will you be informed about your child’s progress at school and how will his progress be measured
The progress of all pupils is carefully monitored by the classroom teacher, the Head of Department, any support staff involved in the well-being of a pupil and the Senior Leadership Team. There are always open evenings for parents/carers of Year 6 pupils to come and visit the school, meet staff and see the facilities available. Every pupil will start in mixed ability classes within a year group and progress according to ability.
Every child has a planner which records messages to and from the home and acts as a diary for the pupils. Parents/carers are encouraged to monitor this book and write any questions in it. Important announcements from the school are communicated by letter. However, other forms of communication include: Statement review meetings, Parents’ evenings, SEN open evenings, opportunities to visit the school by appointment, progress reports, open evenings, letters and telephone calls home and subject postcards acknowledging individual success.
Who are the most important people in the school to discuss your concerns about any difficulties with?
The Pastoral team and the Support for Learning team work closely with the Local Authority and neighbouring catchment schools to ensure a smooth transition of early years pupils arriving into high school. As part of the Inclusion Policy of the school, parents/carers can arrange an appointment with a member of the Support for Learning team or the Pastoral team to discuss how the school can specifically help to meet the needs of their child.
A number of specific staff are identified to be a point of contact for parents. These include: the Form Tutor, the Head of Year, support staff, the Support for Learning manager and the SENCO. All are available to meet with parents in person or talk to on the phone. (Contact details at the end) We recognise that parents/carers of pupils with SEND may from time to time have particular anxieties about the well being of their children and we operate an open door policy welcoming early contact to enable us to investigate and address any problems as soon as possible. We endeavour to develop a good working relationship with our parents/carers so that together we can support our pupils with SEND to ensure that their school days are enjoyable and productive
Staff are also available at Parents’ evenings, of which there are two a year for each year group, and at targeted pupil meetings. i.e. review meetings.
All pupil progress is reported at Parents’ evenings through reports and dialogue with staff. If staff have particular concerns about a pupil’s progress then parents/carers will be invited to the school to discuss strategies to support the child over a period of time.
How do we allocate resources to support children with SEND?
Funding is used in a variety of ways to support pupils with SEND. These include:
- Support for Learning classroom assistants who work in small groups or individually with pupils within the class or in withdrawal sessions;
- Higher Level Teaching Assistants who work in the classroom to support small group and individual learning
- Smaller classes for targeted groups of pupils
- Identified Support for Learning rooms with resources for pupils with SEND to access during social hours in school
- Specific resources used in the classroom to support identified pupils
- Involvement of outside agencies to advise and support pupils
- Transition teams to help pupils move smoothly between Key Stage 2/3 and Key Stage 4/5
- Parent workshops on specific topics
- Access to support groups for pupils and their families
- Staff training in specific fields relating to SEND
- Support for pupils with SEND on external visits to ensure every child is able to particpate
What support is offered to ensure the well-being of your child ?
There are a range of strategies in place in school to support all vulnerable pupils and ensure that the whole school community realises its responsibility to promote well-being for all. These include:
- Workshops and assemblies
- Anti-bullying policies and strategies
- Supervised break times and lunch times with staff in identified areas within the school
- Drop-in centres for pupils with SEND at break, lunch, before and after school
- Medical room on site
- Pastoral teams which incorporate all staff attached to a year group
- Personal, Social, Health, Careers Education (PSHCE) lessons looking at our role in society
- 30 minutes form tutor time every day
- School Council
- Inclusion Profiles for pupils with SEND
- Classes to support parents/guardians of children with specific SENDs
- Signposts to information from outside organisations for pupils and parents
- Regular meetings with school teams and/or outside agencies supporting the progress and well being of pupils
What different types of support can your child receive in school?
All children have access to the national curriculum within whole class groups which may be set according to levels of ability. However, there may be need to withdraw individual pupils to work in smaller groups on specific areas within that curriculum. There are also Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants who work with small groups of pupils withdrawn from certain lessons or within a whole class environment to support pupils with specific needs. Differentiated learning is encouraged in all subjects to ensure all pupils’ needs are met and progress is monitored regularly. All pupils have individual academic targets but some pupils may have social skills targets as well.
Other support for pupils include the following:
- Homework and handwriting clubs after school
- Enrichment activities before and after school and during breaks and lunchtimes
- Paired reading during registration
- Targeted extra English and maths classes both within the school day and during other social hours
- Sports clubs during lunch times
- Social skills classes during registration
- Off site provision to meet specific needs
- Phonics and Inference classes during school
- Targeted support for GCSE subject areas
- Tailored timetables
- Mentoring for individual pupils
- Targeted parent/guardian support meetings for pupils with specific identified need
- Support to find suitable placement at KS5 upon leaving school
Who are the other people external to the school who can provide services to your child?
The school has good, well established links with a number of external services working to support pupils in and out of school. These include: Educational Psychologist, SENS team (autism advisory service), Young Carers support, Speech and Language Development, Social Services, Local businesses, Young Enterprise Scheme, Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Youth Offending Team and Community Police Officers.
We also work closely with our post 16 providers to ease transition between Year 11 and Year 12. These include: Barnfield College, Luton Sixth Form, Central Beds College, sixth forms in schools, National Apprenticeship Service, St Albans College, Bedford School and Bedford University Technical College.
We also work with off-site providers to help meet the varying needs of some of the pupils. These include: Eden Theraputic Centre, Active Support, Xers (KPS) Motorcross Project, the Grange, ACE, Denbigh High School and Woodlands Secondary School.
How are teachers in school supported to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?
All staff have access to continuing professional practice which is delivered through the meeting structure that takes place after school on two evenings a week and on the five training days allocated to a school throughout the year. These sessions cover a range of educational matters including the support of pupils with special educational needs and disability. This can be provided by staff from the school including the Support for Learning team or from external agencies or individuals with specialist knowledge and experience in a particular field.
All staff are encouraged to attend external courses which support their areas of expertise and help deepen their knowledge and understanding of specific educational issues and any new information available.
The school provides opportunities for staff to attend case study meetings around a child and their family where particular needs have to be met and it is just one example of the opportunities for teaching staff to meet directly with the family and other agencies supporting a child to explore the different approaches to help support that pupil.
Staff are encouraged to attend local centres of excellence to improve knowledge and guidance from external professionals.
How will teaching be adapted to support your child?
The curriculum is differentiated dependent upon identified needs of the pupils. This could mean a range of alternate lesson aims or working from different starting points. Pupils can work with a Teaching Assistant or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant within the classroom or in smaller withdrawn groups on specific learning aims.
All progress for children with SEND is carefully monitored by the classroom teacher and the Support for Learning Team. The Leadership Team of the school review all progress data for all pupils every half term. Specific targets for pupils with SEND are also regularly reviewed through inclusion profiles, statement or Education Health Care plan reviews and Personal Educational Plan reviews (PEP). Reports are available for parents at least termly and in some cases half termly. There are also opportunities to discuss progress at parents’ evenings, which occur twice a year.
The Support for Learning team are available to help and advise staff on differentiated tasks for pupils with SEND and provide training to all staff as part of the continuing professional development of the school and the trainee teachers as part of the Chiltern Training Group, the school centred initial teacher training programme based at Challney High School for Boys.
What support will you receive from the school?
The Support for Learning team is in regular contact with parents/guardians of pupils with SEND. They are also easily contactable if a parent has a specific concern that needs to be discussed quickly. Parenting workshops may also be offered for parents/carers of pupils with a specific need. Occasionally, the Support for Learning team invite guest speakers in to help advise and discuss ways parents can support children with their learning of social skills and personal organisation in the home. They are also given more information on the specific needs of their sons or signposts to organisations offering further support or information.
Further information on the kinds of support available in the school can be found in earlier sections.
How will the school support your child in unstructured times such as lunchtimes and playtimes and enable him to have access to after school clubs, school trips and journeys.
There are three ‘refuge’ rooms available at break and lunch time, as well as before and after school, for targeted children. Here the pupils mix across the key stages and engage in conversations or games to help strengthen their social skills. There is also a sports club for vulnerable pupils and those with a special educational need where they can learn the spirit of team play and co-operation while building their sports knowledge/ skills and the co-ordination of their bodies. At times, vulnerable pupils with SEND may be supervised on the playground at lunch and break times.
All year groups are allocated rooms for wet breaks. School corridors are supervised by staff during lesson change-over and all social areas of the school are supervised by an adult outside of lesson times.
As far as possible school trips are planned with pupils with SEND in mind so that venues are suitable and children are not excluded because of their needs. Detailed risk assessments are carried out before the trip.
How will the school support your child moving on either to another school or college or the next stage in education or life?
The school has developed strong links with local post 16 providers and works closely with their transition teams and the post 16 transition co-ordinator for children with statements from the local authority. There are frequent meetings to discuss the needs of specific pupils and the best way to introduce the pupil to this next phase.
All Challney pupils are given impartial careers information, advice and guidance through PSHE lessons from years 7 - 11 and individual one-to-one mentoring sessions and interviews during Key Stage 4. Pupils are also given the opportunity to attend work experience during Year 10 which helps build their skills and confidence in readiness for the post 16 transition.
Some of the more vulnerable pupils are given the opportunity to begin an early phased transition during year 10 or 11 and are accompanied to the college to become familiar with the environment, the staff and the expectations required of them in this new phase of their lives.
Parents are involved at all stages of the transition. With agreement, all relevant information is passed to post 16 providers to ensure continuity of care and understanding of the needs of the pupil and the journey they have travelled to reach this point.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school is a 1948 bungalow site which drops five metres from front to back. Throughout there are steps to compensate for the differing levels. Where possible the site has been made wheelchair friendly but it is not fully wheelchair accessible and there are no facilities in school for wheelchair storage.
There are soundfields installed in one room in each department around the school for children with hearing impairments and for those with visual impairments there is zoom text and enlarged pc monitors.
There is a ‘safe zone’ for children with autism experiencing ‘melt down’ in school and other rooms available during social times for children to sit in and work quietly rather than face the busy playground environment. There are also members of the Support for Learning team timetabled during lesson times and social times to help support pupils and a number of bi-lingual staff in school who act as interpreters where needed.
Contact details for further information
The first point of contact will be the SENCO or the Support for Learning Manager. As the pupils move from Year 6 to Year 7, there are a number of meeting opportunities for parents to accompany their son and view the school, meet with staff (form tutor, Heads of House, Support for Learning Team) and other pupils with SEND.
Initially, school staff will endeavour to meet the child’s needs by liaising with the family and junior school staff. If further advice is needed this may be sought from a team of professional advisors. Further advice may also be found on the Luton Borough Council website.