Churchill Special School SEN Information Report
The School’s contribution to the Local Authority’s Local Offer
This information report has been written in regard to the Children and Families Act 2014, the Code of Practice: 0-25 2014 and the Equality Act 2010.
A young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions
Our Vision – Difficulties mastered are opportunities won
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won
The vision of our school has several distinctive features which can be summarised as:
- A culture that supports and challenges learners to become confident, successful and independent adults
- In an ethos of respect, a flexible and personalised approach which ensures that each learner makes progress in all areas of their learning.
- A challenge to the traditional ways of working, pushing boundaries with regard to intervention and support for all pupils.
- A network of support and partnership between pupils, parents/carers, other schools, specialists and external agencies to provide opportunities for individual needs to be addressed.
- A responsibility to the community where individuals have a sense of belonging.
The happy and secure environment of our school allows pupils to reach their fullest potential. Our model for learning begins with fostering curiosity and enquiry, and emphasises the process and development of skills and concepts.
The school environment creates conditions for effective learning, to stimulate and motivate children to find out about themselves and the world they live in. Pupils are valued and supported in the process of growing up and developing into adults.
The school will strive for educational excellence in all it does. It will recognise that each individual has a unique set of skills and that each individual is able to fulfil his/her potential.
We believe as Churchill said that “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” Churchill Special Free School is a testament to his determination and resolve and the pupils who attend are demonstrating day by day that, despite problems and difficulties they face with the right help and support, they can be successful.
We believe that Communication is a fundamental human right. It is a key life skill which underpins a pupil’s social, emotional and educational development. It is at the core of all social interaction and for some children and young people, acquiring the ability to communicate is difficult and painful.
Approximately 7% of five year olds entering school in England have significant difficulties with speech and/or language. These children are likely to need specialist and/or targeted intervention at key points in their development. A significant proportion of children and young people in both primary and secondary school with special educational needs have SLCN as their primary need. In contrast, secondary SLCN are associated with other difficulties that the pupil may be experiencing such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing loss or more general learning difficulties.
Churchill Free Special School is here to help them. To intervene as early as possible to prevent the anguish, isolation and suffering that this group of children can endure.
This report has a question and answer format, which was identified, by parents, as being of most use to them in finding out the information they required.
What is the admissions process at Churchill Special School?
We cater for boys and girls aged between 8 and 18 years who are of average or above average cognitive ability, usually with a diagnosis of language and communication difficulties, high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, social pragmatic difficulties and those difficulties associated with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
The pupils’ needs may be complex, creating significant barriers to learning. They may have associated behavioural difficulties, but they will not have severe learning difficulties or behaviour difficulties that relate to complex emotional problems.
Each application is assessed on an individual basis. In each case, we take account of the needs of the individual pupil and consider whether the school would be suitable to meet their needs with particular reference to the following factors.
- Pupils will be aged between 8 and 18 years at the time of admission
- Pupils will be assessed as performing average or above on the Wechsler scale or equivalent assessment measure
- Pupils will have a statement of special educational needs/ education and healthcare plan, specifying that he/she has specific difficulties with language, interaction and communication or a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder, such as high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Due to the variation in diagnostic terminology pupils may be diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, autistic spectrum condition, autism, pervasive development disorder.
The criteria below will be considered in relation to the two core provision areas of specific language difficulty and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
1. A specific language difficulty relating to receptive language or expressive communication or Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder.
The pupil will present with many of the following:
- Long term specific language behaviours indicating skills significantly below those of peers
- Limited expressive language that severely limits participation in classroom/setting activities
- Severe difficulties in communicating with peers, leading to social isolation and apparent behaviour difficulties
- Expressive communication that severely limits participation in classroom/setting activities
- Severe difficulties in following instructions, classroom routines and in maintaining attention to tasks, making it impossible for the pupil to participate in most ordinary classroom/setting and activities without a high level of support and structure.
2. The pupil will have a formal diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Social Communication Disorder.)
The pupil will demonstrate many of the behaviours (below) which may be ameliorated given appropriate structures and social learning:
- Highly atypical behaviour, such as obsessive, inflexible and/or withdrawn behaviours- some severe, linked to communication difficulties
- Irrational fears and high anxiety
- Inappropriate use of language, abnormal responses to sensory experiences and poor communication leading to substantial evidence of distress or emotional disturbance
- Highly inappropriate social behaviour leading to rejection by peers and social isolation, due to speech delay or inability to express themselves
- Severe difficulties in communicating with peers, leading to social isolation and apparent behavioural difficulties.
- A high level of frustration caused by the inability to participate in the classroom/setting or interact with peers
For more details regarding admissions please see the Pupil Admissions section of our school website and the school’s Admissions Policy.
How will my child be included in all school activities?
- All pupils have full access to the curriculum – including access to Enrichment activities and all school trips.
- As a purpose built special school, Churchill School is fully accessible. The building is light, classrooms are large and the site is both safe and secure.
- In KS4 additional curriculum options are available for pupils who prefer an alternative to a traditional curriculum offer – pupils are able to undertake vocational courses at local colleges. ASDAN, Employability Skills and Entry Level English and Numeracy are also offered.
How will my child’s needs be identified?
There will be early identification of specific needs through:
- Information from transferring schools and other settings
- Information from parents, families and carers.
- Information held within the statement of special needs/ education and health care plan of the pupil and annual reviews of the plan.
- One page pupil profiles
- A range of additional assessments are carried out if there are concerns about progress or additional needs that have not yet been identified.
- There is a School’s Medical Conditions Policy – Care Plans are in place for all pupils needing them.
How will my child’s needs be assessed?
- Standardised assessments of reading, spelling and mathematics are carried out on entry to the school. These assessments are repeated annually or at the time of annual review if this is no less than 6 months since the previous assessments were given.
- All pupils are assessed using standardised tests by the Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist on entry.
- Class teachers conduct writing assessments with pupils within the classroom environment.
- Additionally pupils may be assessed by the Educational Psychologist if a pupil is experiencing difficulties in learning, behaviour or social adjustment.
- We may amake referrals to our school nurse to ensure that pupils are safe and comfortable whilst at school and that their health needs provide limited barriers to them accessing the curriculum.
- Assessments are carried out in KS4 so that Exam Access Arrangements can be put in place for all pupils who meet the criteria. Pupils and parents will be informed when this occurs
Do staff have appropriate training in SEND?
- All staff receive comprehensive and ongoing training in meeting the needs of pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Speech Language and Communication Needs.
- Most teaching staff have attended the TEACCH 3-day training course.
- Whole school training includes: safeguarding, manual handling, first aid, training related to administration of medication such as Epi Pens, behaviour management, Social Stories, social skills programmes and Schoolsafe training in: Legal framework, Theory of de-escalation, Risk Management and Physical de-escalation .
How will my child be supported?
- Classes have high staffing ratios and each highly skilled class team is able to quickly identify requirements for additional support on an ongoing basis throughout the year and will discuss these with senior managers and parents.
- Class sizes are no more than 10 pupils.
- The class teacher plans for the pupils with the guidance of the SENCo and support of Teaching and Learning Assistants.
- The class teacher is responsible for the overall assessment of pupil progress.
- Pupils are taught as a whole class, in small groups and 1:1 by both the class teacher and teaching assistants.
- We believe it is important for pupils to develop relationships with a number of adults and so we do not allocate specific assistants to work with identified pupils.
- All pupils work with every adult in their class team.
- Life skills are developed through the PHSE curriculum for all pupils across the school through the use of such programmes as Talkabout and SULP (Social Use of Language Programme). In addition, ASDAN and Employability are offered which specifically supports work-related learning and preparation for adult life.
The school Governors are ultimately responsible for the progress and attainment of all the pupils although they delegate this responsibility to the Head Teacher. Governors receive collated and anonymised data about the progress of groups of pupils and hold the Head Teacher to account for how good this is.
How will my child’s emotional well-being be supported?
- Our pupils' emotional well-being is as important as their academic progress.
- Class teachers plan for the holistic development of each child in his/her class, using detailed knowledge of each individual to promote their confidence and self-esteem.
- On admission a one page profile summary, outlining a pupil's needs and abilities, is written for each pupil in collaboration with pupils and parents/carers.
- Individual behaviour plans and expectations use a child's personal likes such as Minecraft, Dr Who etc which are incorporated as motivators and rewards. This increases the chance of the programmes success and adds to the child's enjoyment of school.
- When a child's behaviour becomes challenging, teachers are supported by senior leaders in understanding the behaviour and agreeing with parents as to how best to manage it in a positive and proactive way.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my pupil's learning?
- A Home-School Link Book is used to share essential information by both school staff and parents.
- On entry to school, parents/carers and staff commit to writing information in the books regularly. Essential, personalised information will be shared via the book.
- Pupils and parents are invited to contribute to the pupil’s one page profile on entry and at the time of the annual review.
- Monthly newsletters are used to inform parents of school based activities. In addition these newsletters are included on our website.
- Copies of each pupil’s IEP are shared at Pupil Review Days, which occur once a term and there is an opportunity to discuss progress at the Annual Review.
- All pupils are invited to attend all or part of the annual review if they wish to share their views on school and their progress.
- Assessments of a pupil's progress are made on a daily, weekly and half termly basis so the teacher always knows what each pupil in his/her class has achieved and what needs to be further developed.
- Once a term, each class teacher meets with the assessment coordinator and the Head teacher to discuss each pupil’s progress. This pupil progress meeting is used to identify whether pupils are on target or need additional support to make progress.
How will my child be supported through transition periods?
- Preparation for transition from KS2 into KS3 takes place in the summer term through liaison with parents and teaching staff. Pupils in year 6 have the opportunity to attend a summer school at the Academy to allow them to meet the academy staff and get to know pupils they could be integrating with.
- Preparation for transition from KS3 into KS4 takes place during the summer term through liaison with parents and teaching staff. The new timetable at the Academy begins at the end of the summer term in July when pupils transferring between Key Stages have 2 weeks to get to know their new teachers and timetables before September. This gives Churchill staff the opportunity to sort any issues that may arise in a timely fashion.
- Pupils with statements/ education, health and care plans have Transition Plans in place following their Y9 Annual Review. During this review more emphasis is put on post 16 provision and preparing for adulthood.
- Before leaving Churchill pupils and parents will be involved in activities to promote preparation for adulthood, employment and independent living. We have a functional bedsit in our KS5 area which will enhance our ability to offer relevant and useful life skills, in a practical way, to older pupils such as preparing simple meals, keeping the food preparation area clean and organised, doing laundry and bed making.
How can I raise concerns and be involved in supporting my child?
- Parents/carers are invited to Pupil Review Day interviews three times during the year – the SENCo will attend meetings where further support is needed. This is an opportunity to discuss progress and any concerns.
- In addition to the school’s policy of communicating and reporting to parents/carers, the SENCo can be contacted at any time by phone or email regarding any concerns - appointments may also be made to meet with the SENCo.
- Parents are always involved in decisions regarding referrals for education, health and care plans and for specialist advice/support from Educational Psychologists and other agencies.
- All decisions about pupils needing additional support will only be made after consultation and agreement with parents/carers.
- Parents/carers may also request referrals to be made.
How and when could my child integrate into the Academy?
From KS3 (Yr7) pupils at Churchill have the opportunity to integrate into Samuel Ward Academy for some lessons. Whilst the full curriculum is taught at Churchill, pupils are able to access lessons at the academy if they want to and are ready to do so. The pupils, parents, Senior Leadership team at Churchill and Heads of Department at the academy decide when and how integration will develop. Pupils may wish to join one or several subjects with pupils at the academy. Once a subject is identified:
- A member of the Churchill staff will approach the subject department and select an appropriate teacher and teaching group for the pupil to work with.
- All pupils have a one page profile which is forwarded to the subject teacher in order for them to understand the pupil’s needs before they attend the lesson.
- Samuel Ward staff are invited to Churchill to meet the pupil in their own environment
- The pupil will visit the classroom that they will use for their lessons.
- The pupil will have a trial lesson with their class before deciding to attend the class permanently.
All pupils attend their lessons with a teaching and learning assistant to support them during all lessons at the academy. However if the pupil feels confident to do so, and with the agreement of the subject teacher, this support may be decreased or in some very successful cases withdrawn completely.
Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact for anything relating to your pupil's education is the class teacher. We encourage parents to contact us on an ongoing basis. Staff are always available to talk outside of teaching hours, or an appointment can be made for a mutually convenient time, please either telephone or write in the Link Book.
If you have any questions regarding Churchill School contact:
Mrs Georgina Ellis, Head Teacher
Mrs Kirsty Richards, Assistant Head Teacher/SENCo
Churchill Special School
Tel: 01440 760338