At Bedford Academy we recognise and value the importance of working in partnership with parents. We listen to parents/carers and work together with them to ensure their children get the best out of their time here. All parents are able to contact key staff at the Academy by email, phone or in person and are welcomed to attend a number of events, including target setting and review days, parents’ evenings and information evenings during the school year.
During the academy day, parents/carers are encouraged to contact their child’s form tutor or Learning Village Leader if they have an urgent query. In addition to the support provided to all parents/carers, parents/carers of SEND students with more serious or complicated SEND needs will have an identified ‘key person’ at the academy, who will be their main point of contact and will also meet with them at least once every term to review their child’s progress and agree targets and strategies to ensure good progress. Parents/Carers are invited to attend the Access Coffee mornings/evenings throughout the year to give feedback and share ideas on the SEN support provided by the Academy. Refreshments will be provided.
How we support your child's learning
If your child has had a statement/EHC plan or SEN support at primary school there will be a transition programme to ensure that their needs are met as soon as they start in year 7. If your child is joining us in Year 7, they will be assessed during their first half term at Bedford Academy and we will put these assessments together with information from their primary school and any available teacher assessments and observations to ensure:
• The most appropriate support for your child
• The most appropriate groupings for your child
• Participation in appropriate small group support.
Bedford Academy works closely in partnership with all its feeder schools. Information is shared between the Academy and the feeder school with regard to SEN where this is agreed with the parents and students involved. As part of the transition process, students and parents will have the opportunity to meet with Mrs McCrossan Director of Access (SENCO) and the SEN support team and to visit Access where SEN and well-being support takes place. There is usually opportunity for students to take part in induction activities both in Access and as part of the whole Academy transition programme for example ‘New Beginnings’, induction days and/or Summer School.
Students that have been identified as having SEN in their primary school but do not have an EHC plan will be closely monitored for progress over the first year and their needs evaluated. If sufficient progress is being made, students may no longer require SEN. Students with EHC plans will have undergone their review in sufficient time prior to their move to the Academy to enable appropriate and planned interventions and support to be put in place. The deadline for completion of this review is February 15th in the year of transfer.
Accessibility of our service
- Wheelchair accessible
- Lifts to all floors
- Disabled toilets on every level
- Hygiene room
- Disability desks / work spaces
- Translators can be sourced for parent / carer meetings
- ETMAS - check translation programme
- Some internal EAL staff translations
- Laptop trolley access in every village area
How we identify SEN
At Bedford Academy your child’s progress is continually monitored by subject teachers and Directors of Learning/Lead teachers and Learning Village Leaders. In addition:
• Students will have an SEND progress report which is reviewed termly. This will include overall targets for the student which will focus on their areas of specific need and subject specific targets to develop student provision and progress.
Progress is reviewed formally at the end of every half term:
• Students’ profiles are posted to parents each half term, showing their child’s targets, current working grades and attitude to learning grades for each subject studied.
• There are also opportunities to gain information about progress expectations and to discuss your child’s progress at meetings for all parents, which include Key Information Meetings in September, Target Setting and Review Day and Parents’ Evenings later in the year.
• If your child has complex SEN needs, you will be invited in once every term to attend a review meeting, where we can discuss your child’s progress with you and your child and together develop a plan for the next term.
• In addition, the progress of students with a Statement of SEN or EHC Plan is formally reviewed once a year at an Annual Review with you, your child and all adults involved with her education.
• Our SENCO will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work, and in any group, that they take part in.
How we support your child/young person
Wave 1 - Intervention - class teacher intervention/personalisation of learning in class/normal enrichment/additional work or homework.
Wave 2 - Compulsory enrichment/ revision booster sessions/ additional lessons literacy and/or numeracy/ Learning Assistant Support.
Wave 3 - Highly managed learning/ external agency involvement/ DECS/Alternative education/Access withdrawal.
Wave Model: At Bedford Academy we categorise the intervention our students receive using the wave model above. The triangle depicts the numbers of students involved in the type of enrichment, with fewer students receiving Wave 3 intervention than Wave 1 intervention. Most students receive some form of intervention during the course of their time at Bedford Academy usually for a short period of time or for a focused skill or learning need.
Use of Data in Identification: Bedford Academy recognises the benefit of early identification and making effective provision improves the long-term outcomes for the child or young person. Students will be assessed on entry for reading, spelling, writing and numeracy; account will be taken of any KS2 data available from Primary Feeder Schools. Students that are identified as being below age related national expectations will receive additional support to close the gap. Progress will be closely monitored. Where students are unable to close the gap within the natural cycle of the support programme, or are exceptionally low on entry to the Academy, will be assessed by the SENCO and her team. In addition, evidence will be considered that a student may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and reasonable adjustments made.
How we match the curriculum to your child's needs
We personalise our teaching as necessary to ensure that the learning needs of all students are met. This may take the form of:
• Working in small groups or pairs
• Using a variety of materials in the classroom
• Using a range of strategies as advised by our Director of Access (SENCO)
• Support from a Learning Assistant
• Using technology such as a laptop
Curriculum: All Bedford Academy students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The curriculum offer is highly personalised to the individual student in order for them to be successful both in terms of their learning, progress, outcomes, character development and their progression to their future pathways.
Differentiation enabling Curriculum Access: Our teachers will set high expectations for every student, whatever their prior attainment. Assessment targets (based on prior attainment) will be set centrally by the Academy according to the Academy’s Assessment Policy. Teachers will set individual student next steps towards their targets based on their assessment of student’s individual work and their developmental needs which are deliberately ambitious for the individual and are in line with this policy. In addition, teachers will provide specific, subject based, written, formative feedback in the form of marking to enable students to work towards their next milestone in the subject. Lessons will be planned to address any potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to student achievement. In the majority of cases, this will mean that students with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full curriculum.
Post-16 Curriculum and SEN: All students aged 16-19 who are attending Bedford 6th Form, will have met the entry criteria as advertised for the courses studied. They will follow a coherent programme which provides stretch and progression; the study programme will enable students to progress to a higher level of study than their prior attainment, they will not be able to repeat learning they have already completed successfully. Teachers are expected to differentiate appropriately for all students in the 6th Form including those with SEND in order to remove barriers to their learning.
Nurture Group: Some students in Key Stage 3 Year 7 may be part of a nurture group (The Phoenix Group). This comprises of a small group of students that have been identified by the Director of Access (SENCO) and her colleagues in our Primary Feeders. They receive their subject specific teaching as a group of students, supported by a Learning Support Assistant, rather than in sets by ability. Their curriculum diet is focused particularly on literacy, numeracy and social skills development, although they have access to a broad range of subjects, including arts, PE and science through which these skills are supported. Their curriculum is overseen and monitored by the Director of Phoenix. The Phoenix Group has a curriculum base for the majority of their teaching although they do move around the Academy to access some specialist teaching areas. Teaching staff for the nurture group meet regularly with the Director of Phoenix to discuss students’ progress and the strategies that maximise progress of students within this group. The Phoenix Group programme runs over the course of one year and students may remain in the group for all the year or be moved out to the mainstream curriculum. Students are supported to make the transition from the Phoenix Group to the mainstream curriculum and this may take the form of a staggered approach. Phoenix Group students are fully integrated into the Learning Village pastoral system and attend tutor time with other students.
The support we give to your child's well being
We are aware that not every student with a disability has special educational needs, and that not all students with SEN are disabled. We are pro-active at making “Reasonable Adjustments” for students with a disability to ensure that they have full and equal access to the building and the wide and varied curriculum. We consider all users, including staff, governors, visitors and others who use the academy, and remove barriers that might deny anyone access to our academy/services. The layout of our school building is simple, spacious, attractive, accessible and clearly signposted. Students with a physical disability have the option of using a lift to help them move around the school and access all classrooms and areas with minimum disruption to their learning. Our programme of extra-curricular activities is accessible for all students. Most equipment used in classrooms is accessible to all students regardless of their needs, and we provide adaptive technology or other equipment for those who need it to access the curriculum. If a student with a disability wishes to attend Bedford Academy we will always do our utmost to make the adjustments to the building, curriculum and resources needed
The expertise we have access to
Involving Specialists: Where a student continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidenced based support and interventions that are matched to the student’s area of need, the Academy will consider involving specialists or outside agencies for example: educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMH), specialist teachers such as those for Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired or Multi-Sensory Impaired, therapists such as speech and language therapists. This may involve working with the local authority on joint commissioning. The involvement of specialists and what was discussed or agreed should always be recorded and shared with parents and teaching staff involved in supporting the student. The SENCO and tutor along with the Specialist, involving the parents, should consider a range of evidence-based supports for the student. They should agree outcomes to be achieved through the support, including a review date.
Bedford Academy works closely with the School Nurse who sees students through appointments or drop ins. We also have a weekly Brook clinic.
How we include your child in extra curricular activities
Students with SEN are encouraged and expected to participate in Academy life as fully as those without SEN. In order to achieve this, additional staffing is put in place on trips and at events to ensure students are fully supported. Students needing additional support with their homework are able to come to Access to complete it. There are regular opportunities for students with SEN to partake in specialised interventions such as a group of students with ADHD receiving reward trips which incorporated life skills.
How we prepare your child to join us or transfer to another setting
Support to Prepare for Adulthood: Bedford Academy will work to understand the interests, strengths and motivations of our SEN students and use this as a basis to plan support around them. We will provide support to ensure that SEN students are included in social groups and encouraged to make friendships. This may be through full participation in the tutor programme; social skills workshops; pastoral work; nurture group membership or one to one support in the form of counselling or other well-being support. In addition, SEN students will be encouraged to take part in enrichment activities both within and beyond the Academy day, this includes the prefect programme; trips and visits and other leadership programmes.
Preparation for Adulthood: For students in Year 9 onwards, Bedford Academy will seek to work in partnership with other agencies such as employment services; Bedford College; post-16 providers including Bedford Academy and other 6th forms; alternative education partners; housing agencies; disability organisations and other relevant agencies as required to ensure that students understand what support and opportunity is available for them as they get older. Where possible, Bedford Academy will seek opportunities for students to meet adults with additional needs who are successful in their work or who have made a significant contribution to their community. For teenage students, the focus on achievement and post-16 options is essential; this will include preparation for higher education and/or employment. Training options such as supported internships, apprenticeships and traineeships or support for setting up your own business will be discussed as required. For students with an EHC plan, transition planning will result in clear outcomes being agreed that are ambitious and stretching in preparing the student for adulthood.
Young People making their Own Decisions: As our students develop, Bedford Academy will ensure they are more and more closely involved in the decisions about their own future. We recognise that after compulsory school age the right to make requests and decisions under the Children and Families Act 2014 applies to them directly, rather than to their parents. In the vast majority of cases, parents will be involved in supporting our students to make decisions. Bedford Academy will continue to involve parents wherever possible and appropriate, but the final decision rests with the young person. Bedford Academy will continue to involve parents where there are concerns around attendance, behaviour or welfare. In addition, parents will continue to be involved in discussions around the young person’s studies and progress whilst remaining at Bedford Academy Sixth Form.
Planning Transition into Post-16 Education and Training: In Year 9, Bedford Academy will enable students to explore the various post-16 options and the help that can be provided to get the SEN student to this point. In Year 10, more specific courses and providers will be explored, to include taster days or visits as relevant. In Year 11, students and families will be supported to decide on a firm destination post-16 and to familiarise them with the expected new setting. This will include contingency planning. Information about previous SEN provision will be shared with any post-16 provider before the young person takes their place, preferably in the Spring Term prior to their start to enable the provider to develop a suitable support plan. Bedford Academy will share this information sensitively and with the best interests of the student at the centre. Students must agree the information to be shared.
How we match our resources to your child
There are a number of sources of support for students:
Learning Village Leader: Oversee pastoral support for students via form tutors and meeting students individually.
Access: A number of interventions are held in access to support students, for example anger management, anxiety, self-awareness, social skills and one to one mentoring sessions.
Nurture Class: The nurture class works with students on their emotional development through the adapted curriculum and through personalised interventions for the students within the class.
Links with external agencies: Students can access a number of external agencies who come in to work with students one to one or group basis in school, for example, Brook, Plan B, Aspire, Impact and Young Carers. These are referred to on an individual basis, dependent on the needs of the student.
How we involve parents
There is a strong focus on working in partnership with parents/carers at Bedford Academy, which means that we do not wait for a concern to arise but are proactive in seeking input from parents/carers. If you have comments, questions or concerns as a parent, we will listen and respond to them.
Ways to contact us are:
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or using the initial and surname of the person you are trying to reach followed by @bedfordacademy.co.uk
• By phone: 01234 301500
• In person: In order to ensure that you meet with the relevant person, it is best to call and make an appointment.
Information about the Academy will also be shared with you by:
• Text message
• The Academy website
• Our Twitter feed (@Bedford_Academy)
• Via termly newsletter
• Letters sent home with students.
Who can I contact at the Academy?
• Your child’s key person (if she/he has one)
• Your child’s form tutor
• Your child’s Learning Village Leader
• Director of Access (SENCO) Mrs Emma McCrossan
• Vice Principal with responsibility for SEN Mr Scott McGregor
• Principal Mrs Claire Smith
• SEN Governor Mrs Christine Highams
In the very unlikely event that you feel a query/concern has not been addressed, there is an Academy complaints policy which is found in the policies section of the website.
How we include your child in the planning of their support
(SAP) (Student Action Panel): this group is compiled of Village LVL(Learning Village Leader), Village AP(assistant Principal) Vice Principal: Behaviour and Character (CHAIR) and Principal. The group meets fortnightly and discusses the needs and progress of all vulnerable students ain the Village. This group makes decisions regarding the support provision for students that are vulnerable and focuses on removing barriers to learning. The purpose of the group is to ensure that Bedford Academy is responding to students’ needs in a timely fashion, has a clear pathway forward for each student and that communication with parents and students is organised, clear and effective. This group will refer to students to different areas of support within the school and/or through our external partners.
Raising Achievement Plan (RAP) Group: There are several RAP meetings that take place weekly, fortnightly or monthly; each one is focused entirely on the achievement and progress of students in a particular subject, group of subjects or student group. The meetings are chaired by the Principal and attendees include the relevant Directors of Learning/Lead Teachers (depending on the focus of the meeting); their line manager (Assistant Principals) and the Vice Principals. This group holds responsibility for Wave 3 intervention and for monitoring the progress of Wave 2 intervention (that which occurs through compulsory enrichment or withdrawal within the Academy day). Reports of the impact of Wave 1 intervention are also monitored by this group. Responsibility for informing parents and students of any agreed interventions is delegated and monitored. Students with SEN are discussed at a RAP meeting once per fortnight. Included in the RAP schedule is a SEND RAP where we discuss the progress and impact of interventions for SEND students.
General Contact Information
Phoenix Group (Nurture Group provision): Some students in Year 7 may be part of a nurture group. This comprises of a small group of students that have been identified by the support team and her colleagues in our Primary Feeders. They receive their subject specific teaching as a group of students, supported by a Learning Support Assistant, rather than in sets by ability. Their curriculum diet is focused particularly on literacy, numeracy and social skills development, although they have access to a broad range of subjects, including arts, PE and science through which these skills are supported. Their curriculum is overseen and monitored by the Director of Phoenix. The Phoenix Group has a curriculum base for the majority of their teaching although they do move around the Academy to access some specialist teaching areas. Teaching staff for the Phoenix Group meet regularly with the Director of Phoenix to discuss students’ progress and the strategies that maximise progress of students within this group. The Phoenix Group programme runs over the course of one year and students may remain in the group for all the year or be moved out to the mainstream curriculum. Students are supported to make the transition from the Phoenix Group to the mainstream curriculum and this may take the form of a staggered approach. Phoenix Group students are fully integrated into the Learning Village pastoral system and attend tutor time with other students.
Director of Access (SENCO) – Mrs Emma McCrossan
Director of Phoenix – Mrs Julie Maher
The Learning Assistants provide specific support to students who have a statement/EHC Plan. All learning assistants who work through Access receive training from the Director of Access(SENCO) and her team.
We always encourage our staff to attend training courses that not only develop their knowledge and understanding of SEN but that will also add value to the education of our students.
Contact for more information
Record Last Reviewed On: 09/12/2016