The happy and secure environment of our school allows students 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. Students 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 their potential.
We believe that Communication is a fundamental human right. It is a key life skill which underpins a student’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.
The SENDCos at Churchill Special School are Miss Ashman and Mrs South. If you wish to contact them please do so using the following email addresses or the telephone number on our Contact Page.
We cater for young people 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 students’ 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 student and consider whether the school would be suitable to meet their needs with particular reference to the following factors.
Students will be aged between 8 and 18 years at the time of admission
Students will be assessed as performing average or above on the Wechsler scale or equivalent assessment measure
Students will have a statement of special educational needs/ education and healthcare plan, specifying that they have 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 students 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 student 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 student to participate in most ordinary classroom/setting and activities without a high level of support and structure.
OR 2. The student will have a formal diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Social Communication Disorder.)
The student 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 Admissions section of our school website and the school’s Admissions Policy
All students 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 students who prefer an alternative to a traditional curriculum offer – students are able to undertake vocational courses at local colleges. ASDAN, Employability Skills and Entry Level English and Numeracy are also offered.
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 student and annual reviews of the plan
One page student 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 students needing them.
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 students are assessed using standardised tests by the Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist on entry.
Class teachers conduct writing assessments with students within the classroom environment.
Additionally, students may be assessed by the Educational Psychologist if they are experiencing difficulties in learning, behaviour or social adjustment.
We may make referrals to our school nurse to ensure that students 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 students who meet the criteria. Students and parents will be informed when this occurs.
All staff receive comprehensive and ongoing training in meeting the needs of students 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.
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 students.
The class teacher plans for the students with the guidance of the SENCo and support of Teaching and Learning Assistants.
The class teacher is responsible for the overall assessment of student progress.
Students 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 students to develop relationships with a number of adults and so we do not allocate specific assistants to work with identified students.
All students work with every adult in their class team.
Life skills are developed through the PHSE curriculum for all students 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 students although they delegate this responsibility to the Head Teacher. Governors receive collated and anonymised data about the progress of groups of students and hold the Head Teacher to account for how good this is.
Our students’ emotional well-being is as important as their academic progress.
Class teachers plan for the holistic development of each child in their class, using detailed knowledge of each individual to promote their confidence and self-esteem.
On admission a one page profile summary, outlining a student’s needs and abilities, is written for each student in collaboration with them and their 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.
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.
Students and parents are invited to contribute to the student’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 student’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 students 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 student’s progress are made on a daily, weekly and half termly basis so the teacher always knows what each student in their 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 student’s progress. This progress meeting is used to identify whether students are on target or need additional support to make progress.
Preparation for transition from KS2 into KS3 takes place in the summer term through liaison with parents and teaching staff. Students 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 students 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 students 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.
Students 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, students 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 students such as preparing simple meals, keeping the food preparation area clean and organised, doing laundry and bed making.
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 students needing additional support will only be made after consultation and agreement with parents/carers.
Parents/carers may also request referrals to be made.
From KS3 (Yr7) students at Churchill have the opportunity to integrate into Samuel Ward Academy for some lessons. Whilst the full curriculum is taught at Churchill, students are able to access lessons at the academy if they want to and are ready to do so. The students, parents, Senior Leadership team at Churchill and Heads of Department at the Academy decide when and how integration will develop. Students may wish to join one or several subjects with the students 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 student to work with.
All students have a one page profile which is forwarded to the subject teacher in order for them to understand their needs before they attend the lesson.
Samuel Ward staff are invited to Churchill to meet the student in their own environment.
The student will visit the classroom that they will use for their lessons.
The student will have a trial lesson with their class before deciding to attend the class permanently.
All students attend their lessons with a teaching and learning assistant to support them during all lessons at the academy. However if the student 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.
The first point of contact for anything relating to your child’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: Mr Chris Komodromos, Head Teacher