The Hills Academy

Mission Statement

‘All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.’ ‘Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations’ (Quotations taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years-September 2014).
The Hills Academy is an inclusive school and actively seeks to promote the inclusion of pupils with SEN and disabilities. We use our best endeavours to ensure that all pupils with SEN and disabilities are able to fully participate in the life of the school, both in their learning and in the wider provision and life of the school.


How we support your child's learning

Where a pupil is diagnosed with a special education need, support will be put in place to help them make progress. Such support might involve: further differentiation in class by teachers, advice to teachers on a pupil’s need and strategies to be implemented. Additionally, there may be one-to-one or small group targeted intervention sessions with a Learning Mentor, a specialist Teaching Assistant, the SENDCO or in-class Teaching Assistant support. Referrals may be made to outside agencies.
• The SENDCO is a dyslexia specialist
• 5 Teaching Assistants are trained and accredited in the Better Reading Partnership
• All staff delivering interventions have been appropriately trained ‘in-house’ and externally
• 2 Teaching Assistants have specific SEN training at Level 4
• 2 Teaching Assistants are trained learning mentors
• Many other Teaching Assistants have NVQs at levels 2, 3 and 4
Interventions may involve bespoke packages or a programme developed specifically for that pupil or group of pupils. Current interventions include spelling, reading, Numeracy, writing and handwriting /co-ordination skills, Social Skills interventions, Emotional Literacy groups, Speech and Language Therapy support, Dragonflies, an outdoor learning group, and Individual Mentoring.
Interventions follow a monitoring cycle involving: assess–plan-do-review. Where an intervention with a pupil is not found to be effective, the school will endeavour to find out why and put in place a more effective programme. Interventions are regularly reviewed and discussed with pupils and parents/carers through the Individual Education Plan and updating of target sheets in the pupils’ learning journals. This ensures that interventions are effective and that the school is continually striving to improve their programme of intervention.
Carers and Parents of pupils with SEN will have regular meetings with school staff to discuss their child’s progress, support needs and any concerns they may have. Pupils may have a home school diary to enhance support. Parents/carers are welcome to request a meeting or discussion with school staff or the Head Teacher if they have a concern. The school has a formal complaints procedure detailed in school policies.


Accessibility of our service

We use our best endeavours to ensure that all pupils with SEN and disabilities are able to fully participate in the life of the school, both in their learning and in the wider provision and life of the school. Young people who are looked after by the Local Authority and who have SEN will have their needs carefully assessed to identify specific support needed to ensure that they are effectively included.
Adaptations and provisions are made for SEN and disabled pupils to enable them to participate in all school trips and other out of class activities. For example, pupils may need an individual risk assessment, modification for the trip or additional staffing needs. For more information, refer to our Disability, Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan in the Policies section of our website.
Pupils with SEN are actively encouraged, supported and given opportunities to become involved with extra-curricular activities. For example, current pupils with SEN have been involved with the following clubs: lunchtime and breakfast clubs, after school clubs such as cheerleading and choir. Additionally, there is a termly outdoor learning group in school–Dragonflies. There is also the opportunity available to all pupils to attend the school residential trip.
SEN pupils fully participate in the school council, school productions, all school trips and the wider life of the school.
All pupils at The Hills Academy are aware of targets and next steps in their learning journeys. They are supported when needed to achieve and understand them.


How we identify SEN

The Hills Academy puts working with parents/carers and pupils at the centre of its work. Pupils are regularly involved with reviewing their progress and encouraged to express their needs and concerns with relevant staff. Pupils with SEN are encouraged to express any concerns they may have to the SENDCO, Learning Support Assistants, their class teacher, or any other member of staff with whom they feel comfortable to talk about their concerns.
Parents and Carers are equally at the centre of supporting their children. They are fully involved in decisions about support for their child, including decisions to investigate a potential diagnosis, referral to external agencies, planning and evaluating support. They are encouraged to contact any member of staff at school if they have any concerns about their child. The SENDCO is always pleased to discuss any concerns involving SEN with parents and carers. Targets and next steps for all of our pupils will be readily available and accessible in the Learning Journals.


How we support your child/young person

Despite high quality teaching, some pupils are unable to make expected progress and this could be for a variety of reasons, one of which is a special educational need. Within the Special Needs Department we have our own ‘in-house’ spelling, reading, numeracy and handwriting assessments which supports the identification of pupils who may benefit from additional support. Staff track pupil progress using all available data and knowledge of pupils to identify pupils with additional needs and if they have a concern that there might be an undiagnosed special educational need, they will raise that concern with the SENDCO.
The SENDCO will then investigate further by liaising with parents, gaining the views of the pupil, gathering more information about the pupil from other staff who teach or support them, carrying out testing as appropriate and referring the pupil to the PAST Service (Psychology and Specialist Teacher) if appropriate. The SENDCO may complete a specialist dyslexia report to further help the identification of individual needs. Once this information has been gathered, if a special educational need is suspected or diagnosed, a meeting will be arranged, including parents, to discuss the pupil’s needs and subsequent actions.
The definition of a special educational need is ‘where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.’ (Definition taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years-September 2014).
Pupils with SEN will be placed on the school’s SEN register, which is accessible to all staff in school.


How we match the curriculum to your child's needs

The Hills Academy staff strive to provide high quality teaching to all of our pupils. Teachers prepare lessons which support the learning and progress of all pupils through a variety of methods, creative and innovative teaching techniques and the use of a wide variety of resources. Teaching staff adapt their teaching and resources to suit the needs of all learners, including those with SEN, in their classrooms (known as differentiation). Such in-class differentiation may involve many adaptations, modifications and strategies, dependent upon the needs of the pupil. For example, Soundfield equipment is in place in two classes and also in the school hall for pupils with hearing and auditory processing difficulties. Staff have access to regular training opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills, including regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) sessions on a wide variety of educational concerns, including SEN issues. For example, in 2015-16 the CPD programme available to staff included sessions and day courses on Autism, Speech and Language (4 day ELKLAN training attended by Mrs Souter and Mrs Thomson) , Numeracy, Safeguarding, marking guidelines and policies, medical conditions- Neurofibromatosis and Ehrlers Danloss, EHCP (Education Health and Care Plans), SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and Grammar), Guided Reading and Phonics. CPD already planned for 2016-17 includes sessions on using an EPIPEN (yearly update), Diabetes, Safeguarding, Behaviour Logs and ELKLAN training cascaded.


The support we give to your child's well being

Interventions may involve bespoke packages or a programme developed specifically for that pupil or group of pupils. Current interventions include spelling, reading, Numeracy, writing and handwriting /co-ordination skills, Social Skills interventions, Emotional Literacy groups, Speech and Language Therapy support, Dragonflies, an outdoor learning group, and Individual Mentoring.
Interventions follow a monitoring cycle involving: assess–plan-do-review. Where an intervention with a pupil is not found to be effective, the school will endeavour to find out why and put in place a more effective programme. Interventions are regularly reviewed and discussed with pupils and parents/carers through the Individual Education Plan and updating of target sheets in the pupils’ learning journals. This ensures that interventions are effective and that the school is continually striving to improve their programme of intervention.


The expertise we have access to

Where a pupil with SEN is not making progress and The Hills Academy feel that they need advice and support from external professionals, we will discuss such a need with parents. If it is felt appropriate, we will then refer a pupil to an external agency and/or professionals for diagnosis, support or advice. Subsequent to such a referral, we will work with the external agency to support such pupils, using their support and advice. The Hills Academy has a contract with the Local Authority PAST Service (Psychology and Support Teaching Service) to whom we make referrals for Advisory Support Teachers and Educational Psychologists. The Hills Academy also works with other external agencies such as:
• The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
• Speech and Language Therapy
• Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Services
• CHUMS – counseling and bereavement
• The vision clinic at Union Street
• The Advisory Teacher for Autism
• The School Nurses (0-19 Team)
Teaching Assistants deliver programmes written by external professionals for example, individual speech and language sessions and occupational therapy motor skills work.


How we include your child in extra curricular activities

Adaptations and provisions are made for SEN and disabled pupils to enable them to participate in all school trips and other out of class activities. For example, pupils may need an individual risk assessment, modification for the trip or additional staffing needs. For more information, refer to our Disability, Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan in the Policies section of our website.
Pupils with SEN are actively encouraged, supported and given opportunities to become involved with extra-curricular activities. For example, current pupils with SEN have been involved with the following clubs: lunchtime and breakfast clubs, after school clubs such as cheerleading and choir. Additionally, there is a termly outdoor learning group in school–Dragonflies. There is also the opportunity available to all pupils to attend the school residential trip.
SEN pupils fully participate in the school council, school productions, all school trips and the wider life of the school.


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

The Hills Academy understands that transition between schools and other establishments is sometimes an anxious time for parents/carers and pupils, especially for pupils with SEN. Children with SEN who are coming to The Hills Academy from Nursery schools and other providers are visited in their current setting and a transition and, if appropriate, a planning meeting convened with parents/carers and other professionals. Necessary adjustments and modifications can then be made to support the individual.
From September 2017, pupils will remain at the Hills Academy until the end of Year 6. At the point of transition, Secondary school staff will visit and meet with Year 6 teachers and pupils in the summer term, to gain as much information as possible about pupils, including SEN information. There will be a secondary school transition day. For pupils with SEN, the SENDCO and Assistant SENDCO at The Hills Academy will liaise with SENDCOs from our secondary schools and all relevant information, including SEN files will be transferred. SEN pupils can request additional visits to schools and if indicated a multi-professional meeting is held to further inform transition.
Parents/Carers of pupils with SEN at The Hills Academy are also invited in to a weekly coffee morning to get to know how other parents and our parent support leader, Mrs Marcia Harcombe.
The Hills Academy creates its class groups with great care. The Leadership Team and class teachers’ work together to ensure that all available information is considered when classes are split after KS1, based on pupils’ individual needs. Transition to new year groups or classes is carefully planned for individual pupils with SEN. Prior visits, photographs, discussions and schedules for new activities are put in place if needed. Classroom structure is also considered for example, two classes currently have hearing loops. Workstations are set up as needed in classrooms. Daily transition is also supported through visual schedules, based on PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).
For pupils with Statements of Special Educational Need or Education Health and Care Plans, the SENDCO will organize the annual review meetings to ensure that we are fully informed and able to maximize individual progress.


How we match our resources to your child

Where a pupil with SEN is failing to make progress, despite high quality teaching and support through their SEN support, an application to the Local Authority for an Education, Health and Care Plan may be considered. Parents/carers, the pupil, the Local Authority and outside agencies will be fully involved in such decisions and meetings will be organised to consider and plan such a referral. More information on the application process and criteria for Education, Health and Care Plans is available on the Local Authority website.
Pupils with current Statements of Special Educational Need will continue on these until the Local Authority reviews their provision to decide if they fulfil the criteria for an Education, Health and Care Plan. There is a three year transition period for reviewing all pupils on Statements of Special Educational Need to decide if they fulfil such criteria and the Local Authority has a programme for this transition.
Pupils with SEN who have Statements of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plans will receive a higher level of support than other pupils and such support is co-ordinated by the SENDCO. Their Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan will be reviewed regularly, at least once per year, with the parent/carer, pupil, the Local Authority and appropriate outside agencies.


How we involve parents

Parents and Carers are equally at the centre of supporting their children. They are fully involved in decisions about support for their child, including decisions to investigate a potential diagnosis, referral to external agencies, planning and evaluating support. They are encouraged to contact any member of staff at school if they have any concerns about their child. The SENDCO is always pleased to discuss any concerns involving SEN with parents and carers. Targets and next steps for all of our pupils will be readily available and accessible in the Learning Journals. Carers and Parents of pupils with SEN will have regular meetings with school staff to discuss their child’s progress, support needs and any concerns they may have. Pupils may have a home school diary to enhance support. Parents/carers are welcome to request a meeting or discussion with school staff or the Head Teacher if they have a concern. The school has a formal complaints procedure detailed in school policies.
Parents/Carers of pupils with SEN at The Hills Academy are also invited in to a weekly coffee morning to get to know how other parents and our parent support leader, Mrs Marcia Harcombe.


How we include your child in the planning of their support

The Hills Academy puts working with parents/carers and pupils at the centre of its work. Pupils are regularly involved with reviewing their progress and encouraged to express their needs and concerns with relevant staff. Pupils with SEN are encouraged to express any concerns they may have to the SENDCO, Learning Support Assistants, their class teacher, or any other member of staff with whom they feel comfortable to talk about their concerns. For pupils with Statements of Special Educational Need or Education Health and Care Plans, the SENDCO will organize the annual review meetings to ensure that we are fully informed and able to maximize individual progress.


General Contact Information

SEN Contacts
Key staff working with pupils with SEN are as follows:
SENDCO: Mrs Elizabeth Craigen
Responsible for:
• Implementation of the school’s SEN policy
• Management of the day to day support, progress and inclusion of all pupils with SEN
• Identification of pupils with SEN
• Liaison with parents, pupils and outside agencies
• Providing support and training for all school staff on SEN needs
• Liaising with feeder nursery settings and secondary schools

Contact Details
The Hills Academy
Stancliffe Road
MK419AT
01234-266498
ecraigen@thehillsacademy.co.uk

ASSISTANT SENDCO: Mrs Elayne Souter
• Supporting the implementation of the school’s SEN policy
• Assisting in the management of the day to day support, progress and inclusion of all pupils with SEN
• Liaison with parents, pupils and outside agencies
• Liaising with secondary school SENDCOs to support transition
• Leading the Learning Mentor Programme

LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANTS: Working with SEN pupils both in-class and on intervention programmes.
SEN GOVERNOR: Mrs Sarah Holme


Contact for more information

Name:
Elizabeth Craigen
Role:
SENDCo
Address:
Stancliffe Road, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 9AT
Telephone:
01234 266498
Email:
ecraigen@thehillsacademy.co.uk
Website:
http://www.thehillsacademy.co.uk/

Record Last Reviewed On: 15/05/2017