Special Educational Needs

 
AIMS
 
We aim to create an environment in which differences are respected and where all individuals can achieve success regardless of ability, race or gender. 
 
With reference to the document entitled Inclusive Schooling (DfES/0774/2001) our Learning Support Department aims to ensure that “all children should have access to an appropriate education that affords them the opportunity to achieve their personal potential.”
 
It is our aim to ensure that all pupils with special educational needs are provided with a broad and balanced based curriculum which enables them to have full access to the National Curriculum.
Statemented pupils are allotted SEN learning support assistants and specialist teachers to meet the requirement and provision of their statements.
 
THE LEARNING SUPPORT DEPARTMENT’S PHILOSOPHY
 
Our specific objectives are as follows:
  • To identify students with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure that their needs are met.
  • To ensure that students with special educational needs and disabilities are able to join in with all the activities of the school.
  • To ensure that all learners make the best possible progress.
  • To ensure that parents are informed of their child’s special needs and that there is effective communication between parents and school.
  • To ensure that learners express their views and are fully involved in decisions which affect their education.
  • Through our programme of assessment and record keeping, evaluate and track student’s progress through numeracy, literacy and emotional wellbeing.
  • To identify any pupils with developing or more serious SEN as soon as possible and move them onto an appropriate state of intervention.
  • To liaise with the appropriate outside agencies which include the school nurse, educational psychologist, speech and language therapists etc.
 
NB: In line with paragraph 1.31 of the Code of Practice (2002) “Provision for pupils with special education needs is a matter for the school as a whole.”
 
 
LEARNING SUPPORT CURRICULUM AT KEY STAGE 3 AND 4
 
As a principle, St. Thomas More Language College expects all pupils to have equal access to the National Curriculum.  Some subjects are taught in mixed ability groups and many taught in sets where work is differentiated as appropriate. A student can be in a variety of sets depending on their aptitude in different subjects.  
It is our aim to include all students in as wide a range of subjects as possible at a level appropriate to their ability, differentiating when necessary. Learning support assistants will supply additional help to enhance the learning of students in the classroom.  Alpha Smart Keyboards are available for use in lessons where writing is causing a problem.
 
Where appropriate, students can be withdrawn for a small proportion of time each week for specific tuition sessions for literacy, numeracy, life and social skills.
 
The Learning Support Department provides a lunchtime club every day for pupils who feel vulnerable or experience difficulties socializing on the playground. This is always supervised by an experience member of the Learning Support Department.  There is a homework club run every afternoon, primarily but not exclusively, for pupils with learning difficulties. This is supervised by the Learning Support Assistants.
 
TRANSITION FROM PRIMARY TO SECONDARY SCHOOL
 
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Ms. J Athaide) attends primary school Annual Reviews for pupils with statements. Time is also spent gathering information regarding student’s that have already been identified as having areas for concern. We aim to ensure a smooth transition from year 6 to year 7 for all pupils.
 
TRANSITION FROM SECONDARY SCHOOL TO F.E.COLLEGES
 
Students are mentored by various agencies including Connexions, careers advisors and Learning Support staff to ensure Year 11 pupils are advised and given access to suitable placements. Time is spent by the Learning Support Department helping pupils prepare and complete personal statements, curriculum vitae and college applications. Parents are liaised with so that they are aware of the options available for their child.
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