Ridgeway School

Mission Statement

Ridgeway School is a maintained special school situated in Bedford Borough. It is a school for children with a physical disability, medical needs and associated learning difficulties. The children have a wide range of Special Educational Needs in addition to their physical or medical conditions, including communication difficulties and visual and hearing impairments.
Currently, with the exception of a few children on assessment placements, all pupils have a Statement of Special Educational Need. (From September 2014 the statementing process will change and all children will have an Education Health Care Plan).
Our aim is to provide high quality education in a supportive and caring environment which promotes and enhances the all round development of our children through the provision of inclusive, individualised and motivating learning opportunities.


How we support your child's learning

• Children at RIdgeway are assessed regularly and extensive evidence of achievement is collated;
• Photographic records of achievement are kept for all children cross referenced to the National Curriculum, P levels ( see link for explanation ) and Early Years Foundation Stage levels of achievement;
• Parents have access to the evidence folders;
• An initial review meeting is held for each child after six weeks in school. Annual reviews are held to look at the child's statement and review progress. Six monthly reviews are held for those children who are under five. (Review meetings are official meetings that must be held each year to monitor each child's statement of special educational need.)
• A report is written for each child at the same time as their annual review;
• Parents evenings are held each term;
• Parents are able to come into school to meet with staff , a phone call to arrange a mutually convenient time is all that is required;
• Each child has a home school book in which staff relay the events of the day. Parents can use the book to let school know how the child has been at home, news etc;
• A school newsletter is sent home weekly which describes general events and news about school;
• Staff regularly phone parents regarding a range of matters;
• At the beginning of each term an outline of the planning for the child's class is sent home to inform parents and to support them to help with homework etc.


Accessibility of our service

• The school building is single storey, on one level, has no steps and is fully accessible;
• All toilet facilities have ceiling hoists, changing beds and are fully accessible;
• Disabled parking bays are available for parents, carers and visitors next to the school building;
• Equipment such as standing frames and specialist seating are purchased by the school or the local authority to support the needs of those children who require them ;
• The multi disciplinary approach to our work with the children ensures that their all round developmental needs are met;
• Inclusion placements are organised with mainstream schools which can offer accessible buildings and appropriate toilet facilities;
• Students at Post 16 link into the local FE colleges which have fully accessible facilities;


How we identify SEN

Ridgeway School is a school for children with physical disabilities, medical needs and associated learning difficulties;
• The school caters for children with a very wide range of special educational needs and cognitive abilities;
• The majority of children at the school have a statement of special educational need but assessment places are available in some circumstances;
• Children are referred to the school in a number of ways: by professionals at the Child Development Centre, through the Assessment and Monitoring Team at Borough Hall or from other neighbouring local authorities;
• Parents may approach the school themselves if they have concerns about their child. They will be invited to talk to senior staff who will discuss processes and procedures to them and explain about the school;
• The school has an informative website: www.ridgewayschool .org.uk


How we support your child/young person

• Ridgeway School offers small classes and a high ratio of staff to children;
• Children are supported by members of their class staff;
• In exceptional cases children with very complex needs have one to one support specified in their statements ;
• All arrangements will be explained when a child is admitted to school;
• The school has an ' open door' policy and welcomes parents into school. No parent is asked to leave their child in school until they are happy and confident to do so;
• Six weeks after admission an initial review meeting is held involving parents and all professionals working with the child. At this meeting all arrangements regarding the child's placement in school are discussed;
• An individual education plan will be set for each child during their first few weeks in school formulated between staff and parents. This will highlight priorities for the child's learning and will be agreed by all involved;
• The school continually carries out a process of self evaluation which includes lesson observations, the monitoring of planning and curriculum reviews in response to National initiatives;
• The school governors visit regularly and ensure through continual monitoring and regular meetings that standards are maintained and improved;
• Ofsted inspections take place regularly. The school' s most recent inspection was in November 2012 when a grade of 'Good' was awarded : (copy link)


How we match the curriculum to your child's needs

• Children at Ridgeway School are continually assessed to ensure that their needs are met;
• Individual pathways are followed , planned by school staff using their knowledge of the children in their class - children all have varying needs and within our small highly staffed classes these can be met;
• All teaching staff have experience and expertise in the area of special educational need;
• Learning support assistants assist the children in all areas of the curriculum. All are experienced in working with children with special needs;
• Differentiation takes place throughout each class in school according to cognitive ability, sensory or physical needs. Staff may work in small groups or individually with children to maximise learning;
• The school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance and the National Curriculum in a creative way and at a level that allows access for all children;
• The school offers a wide range of opportunities including regular hydrotherapy, horse riding, soft play, sensory room activities and out of school visits;
• Children have varying therapy needs. At Ridgeway we work closely with the therapists to ensure that the children's all round development needs are addressed;


The support we give to your child's well being

• Ridgeway has an excellent pastoral ,medical and social care system which supports both children and their parents;
• Classes are small and staff to child ratios are high which mean that staff become very familiar with all of the children's needs and are able to offer support as required;
• The incidence of bullying in school is negligible. The children have a caring and positive attitude towards each other encouraged and fostered by the positive example set by staff;
• The PSHE curriculum supports children in their understanding of their special needs ;
• Empowerment and the development of self esteem and confidence are high priorities for the school;
• Provision for children with medical needs is a specialism of the school. There is always a school nurse on the premises and school staff have high levels of training and expertise in this area;
• The school caters for children with a wide range of medical needs. The administration of medicine is managed by class staff and is overseen by the school nurse. Each child has an individual protocol regarding their medical needs and class staff are familiar with each protocol for the children with whom they work;
• Each class at Ridgeway has access to a fully accessible bathroom equipped with a ceiling hoist and a changing bed as well as individual accessible toilets;
• The school has an intimate care policy which lays out strict procedures for personal care. Many children at Ridgeway require support with personal care and this is built into their day and managed by experienced support staff;
• Safeguarding procedures at Ridgeway are followed to a high level as the school acknowledges the vulnerability of many children with special needs;
• All staff have received safeguarding training and are fully aware of procedures;
• No mobile phones are allowed in areas of the school where children are present;
• Behaviour at the school is very good. Over the past five years there have been two exclusions;
• Individual behaviour plans are in place for the minority of children requiring them and the school works in liaison with the Borough behaviour support team should their services be required;
• Expectations for standards of behaviour are high and these are on the majority of occasions met;
• The school has a school council which allows the children to contribute their views regarding the school, events to be planned etc. children form all key stages contribute;
• Children contribute their views to their annual review reports;
• Students choose subject options and at post 16 level make choices about their future pathways;


The expertise we have access to

• Staff working at Ridgeway all have experience of working with children with special educational needs and disabilities. Many have specialist qualifications;
• The school is committed to ongoing training for staff and should a child present with a need beyond the staff experience knowledge and training will always be sought;
• All staff receive training in first aid and moving and handling. Many staff have specialist medical training in the administration of medicine including rescue medication and in the administration of gastrostomy feeding;
• The school works in a multi disciplinary way to support children's all round needs . Children at Ridgeway access a wide range of professionals according to their needs : physiotherapists, occupational, music and speech therapists, the visual and hearing support services and the community and school nursing teams;
• Therapists work within classes and in their own specialist areas. In addition to one to one therapy programmes are undertaken by class staff under the direction of the therapists;
• Inclusion placements are arranged into mainstream provisions for some children for whom these are appropriate.


How we include your child in extra curricular activities

• All children are included in school trips and activities outside the classroom supported by class staff who are familiar with their needs;
• The school currently has five fully accessible mini buses available to support all extra-curricular activities and educational experiences beyond the classroom;
• All mini bus drivers are qualified and MIDAS trained;
• Activities are organised throughout each term which support the many curriculum themes offered;
• The school organises residential experiences for small groups of children;
• Trips to a variety of sporting events take place throughout the year;
• Outside play during break and lunch times is supervised by class staff and Midday Supervisory Assistants. All children are encouraged to be active and join in with playground games.


How we prepare your child to join us or transfer to another setting

• Primary aged pupils, supported by the CDC or their mainstream school are encouraged to visit the school with their parents to meet staff and their peers;
• Senior staff will make visits to the current provision to discuss with staff and parents and their child their educational and social needs;
• Transition visits are made to ensure that children transfer into Ridgeway with confidence;
• Information such as current reviews, annual review paperwork, statements and current therapy and medical reports are all shared with all professionals involved;
• A transitions co-ordinator supports parents and students to plan for the future beyond Ridgeway;
• Students leaving school for FE colleges or residential colleges will be supported to make visits by senior and class staff from within our Post 16 provision;
• Many students attend local colleges on linked courses prior to leaving Ridgeway;
• A period of transition will be supported by staff from Ridgeway to ensure that FE staff are fully aware of any individual educational, medical and care needs.


How we match our resources to your child

• Funding for all pupils at Ridgeway is made via the local authority. All pupils receive a planned placement and top up funding dependent upon their level of special educational need;
• Class support is very high and reflects the various individual needs of our pupils;
• Some children are allocated 1:1 support through their statement to meet their very complex needs;
• The school budget is set and managed by the Headteacher in consultation with the Governing Body.


How we involve parents

• Parents are involved in day to day communication with school through the home – school books;
• Open mornings are held for parents and consultation evenings take place termly;
• Parents are always welcome to visit school by prior arrangement and phone calls between home and school are made frequently;
• The school has a Parent Teacher Association known as the Ridgeway School Association which parents are actively encouraged to become involved with. The association runs social events and fundraises for the school;
• Parent helpers support classes but are not encouraged to be in their own child’s class.


How we include your child in the planning of their support

• Children form good relationships with their class staff which enables them to express their views and make choices about their learning;
• Before entry into school older children are encouraged to make preliminary visits and express their opinions about the provision;
• Pupils contribute towards their annual review meetings and some secondary aged pupils attend the meetings and join in discussions;
• The school has an active school council whose members express opinions about school and make suggestions which support planning for future developments;
• Some pupils in the secondary department are involved in county wide advocate groups.


General Contact Information

• For initial referrals or enquiries contact the school office;
• Contact the Headteacher, Graham Allard or the Assistant Headteachers Helen Roy and Deborah Saville on 01234 402402
• When your child is attending the school the class teacher or support staff should be your first point of contact;
• You can contact the local authority and their Assessment and Monitoring Team on 01234 276541 to discuss placement issues relating to your child;
• The school’s web site is: www.ridgeway.sch.org.uk On the website you can find further information about the school.


Contact for more information

Name:
Graham Allard
Address:
Hill Rise, Kempston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 7EB
Telephone:
01234 402402
Email:
graham.allard@ridgeway.bedssch.co.uk
Website:
http://www.ridgewayschool.org.uk/