Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre
SEND and Learning Support Information
SEND Provision and Learning Support
This booklet aims to provide you with comprehensive information about how we support learners to maximise their achievement along with our philosophy and approach to inclusion.
Students, including those who are disabled or have special educational needs, make good progress from their starting points so that they are well prepared for later learning or employment.
Students who join the school with weaknesses in reading, writing and numeracy are given good support and improve their skills so that they use them confidently in Key Stage 4, which supports their achievement across a range of subjects.
….the performance of potentially vulnerable groups, including those receiving support through the pupil premium, has improved well, reducing the gap between their achievement and that of others. The achievement of disabled students and those who have special educational needs and, for the small number of students for whom English is an additional language, is good.
……..where teaching assistants are present, effective planning with the teacher in advance ensures that students are given individual support and make good progress.
Ofsted (September 2012)
SEND and Learning Support Policy
Homewood School and Sixth Form College SEND and Learning Support Policy is updated annually to reflect the policies and practices required by the Code of Practice for special educational needs and disabilities and other appropriate legislation. The policy outlines the foundation from which Homewood's inclusive ethos has developed. It is important to note at that this time of great change in SEND provision, the policy continually evolves.
Electronic, hard and accessible copies of our policy document are available on request
The Learning Support Department is built around a strong desire to identify as early as possible the potential in all students regardless of need and to ensure students are enabled to meet their full potential in order to create possibilities for the future. We pride ourselves in providing a flexible approach which is tailored to the individual needs of each child within the constraints of a mainstream educational establishment.
The Learning Support Faculty consists of the Director of Learning Support who is also the SENCO; Assistant SENCO; Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs); Learning Support Assistants; a Phonographixs Tutor and our SEND Administrator. This is supplemented by Local Authority services and specialist agencies. At present these include:
· Ashford District LIFT Team
· Specialist Teaching and Learning Service
· Speech and Language Therapy Service
· Sensory Needs Service
· Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services
· Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services(CAMHS)
The Department also works closely with Homewood’s:
· Director of Behavior Management and Life Centre Staff;
· internal pastoral support structure especially our Family Liaison Officers and Assistant Heads of College;
· Early Intervention Officer;
· Early Help Co-ordinator ;
· in-house Counsellor;
· Youth Worker;
· School Nurse;
The SENCO also has responsibility for:
· Key Skills Curriculum and Classes
· Exam Access Arrangements
All teachers at Homewood are teachers of SEND and thus all staff are involved in the identification and support of students with additional needs in their mainstream classroom. Staff are encouraged to register any concerns about students and develop links with member of the Learning Support Department if there are serious concerns.
Information about students on the SEND Register is readily available and circulated to all staff by the SENCO at the start of each academic year and is regularly reviewed and up-dated during the course of each year. This includes details of differing needs; stages of assessment under the Code of Practice; strategies to support individuals; and interventions and the involvement of outside services. Teaching staff familiarise themselves with the needs of the students they teach and will respond appropriately with the support of the Learning Support Department.
From September 2014 we have been working within the new SEN Code of Practice. All students on the SEND Register have a Pupil Passport which is co-produced with each student. The Passport outlines the student’s academic and cognitive ability as well as allowing them to voice their view on their SEND, learning and being supported. All staff have access to these and are expected to refer to them when completing specific provision maps for each class.. The personalised provision for each student is individually recorded and regularly reviewed at regular intervals throughout the year. Students for whom the new categories of need categories are not appropriate are then identified as being at risk of under achievement due to other factors such as numeracy, literacy or attendance and placed on our Vulnerable Student Register.
The progress of SEND students is tracked via the whole school data capture and reporting systems. This information is then used to develop individual reflection reports looking at both hard and soft data. Areas of strength and areas for further development are identified and discussed with classroom teachers and targets are set. This is also linked directly to attainment and achievement tracking work each subject and College conducts.
Students with EHCPs have targets and strategies set by the SENCO or other members of the Learning Support Team. Frequent reviews are held involving the student, parents/carers, subject staff and other professionals evaluate progress made in achieving targets and the impact of strategies.
Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) are allocated on an individual needs basis to support individuals or groups of learners as allowed by resources. Staff work closely with them to ensure maximum effectiveness. Our LSAs and HLTAs have a wide range of skills to offer in supporting students directly and indirectly, assisting staff and working with parents/carers.
The involvement and voice of both students and their parents/carers is central to our SEND provision at Homewood and we pride ourselves on our accessibility and work with all involved in the learning experiences of students. Students, parents and carers are encouraged to speak directly to Learning Support staff should they have concerns or require additional information or support.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the school identify young people with special educational needs?
We work closely with feeder primary schools and ensure we receive all necessary information including attainment data, targets, and support requirements of each pupil. The Director of Learning Support and members of the Discovery College Team then meet with feeder primary SENCos and the parents of students before they start at Homewood which allows us to get to know the students and identify any areas of concern at an early stage.
Students complete a number of standardised tests at the start of Year 7, which give us a greater insight into their learning needs. These tests include CATs; reading and spelling tests; Lucid screening and baseline Maths assessments.
Students are monitored throughout their school career by teachers and our support staff. Any concerns are flagged up and dealt with as quickly as possible. If parents have any queries or concerns, they can contact the Learning Support Department at any time.
How will school staff support the young person?
We provide targeted individual support which may include in class support; a differentiated curriculum; small group and one to one intervention sessions. Students are supported by their College staff, SEN staff and teaching staff throughout their time at Homewood.
How will the curriculum be matched to the young person's need?
Some students are part of our Key Skills learning groups during Key Stage 3. Key Skills groups are smaller class settings with a lower student to adult ratio including HLTA support. The differentiated curriculum for Key Skills groups provides a nurturing environment in which the building blocks of literacy, numeracy and social skills can be enhanced. This then in turn helps students access the mainstream curriculum. Other students are involved in mainstream classes with targeted support then provided in addition when appropriate. This allows us to tailor the learning experiences in key subjects to the particular needs of students.
Students are supported by LSAs and HTLAs who provide a tailored programme in literacy and numeracy and differentiate class work according to a students' needs. In some cases, students will have 1:1 or small group support sessions, for example withdrawal from a subject such as modern foreign languages. At Key Stage 4 some students continue to be part of Key Skills groups for the core subjects of English, Maths and Science.
The nurture and differentiated curriculum aspects of Key Skills groups are also continued to Key Stage 4 and 5 through our ASDAN, Study Skills and Skills for Working Life options.
How will parents know how their children are doing and how to support their child's learning?
At Homewood we aim to develop close links with parents and carers. There are a number of opportunities through the year for parents/carers to talk to staff. In addition, reports in the form of data captures and more detailed subject reports are sent home to parents. Parents and carers are welcome to phone or email staff at any time with concerns, questions or queries. Advice can be sought at any time from individual subjects and the Learning Support Team on how parents can support students at home.
What specialist services and expertise are available at the college?
The Learning Support Department has worked hard to develop close working relationships with specialist support services available in the local community and through the LEA.
In addition, many of our Learning Support staff have areas of specific interest and expertise such as Phonographixs; Dyslexia; Dyscalculia; Autistic Spectrum Disorder; social and emotional needs; physical and medical impairments; social skills and speech, language and communication needs.
The Learning Support Team also works closely with Homewood’s internal Inclusion Team and pastoral support structure, especially our in -house counsellor, mentors, Life Centre, College support staff, Early Help and Early Intervention staff.
What training do the support staff have?
All LSAs have completed induction training in house and with the Local Authority and many have achieved Level 2 and 3 qualifications in Supporting Teaching and Learning or more specific qualifications such as the specific Higher Level Teaching Assistant qualification or specific Dyslexia Qualifications. Others will be completing specialist qualifications in the furture.
All staff have received behaviour management training, child protection training and training in specific areas of special educational need.
Our Learning Support Team meet once a week for training specifically tailored to the needs of students we are currently supporting. These training sessions are led by the Director of Learning Support but are often delivered by a member of our local Specialist Support Services.
We actively encourage staff to attend courses throughout the year, which will enhance our provision. Many of our staff frequently attend training sessions in our extended community, such as sessions delivered by CAHMS or local Special School Providers such as Goldwyn School.
How will students be included in activities outside the classroom and on school trips?
All students are encouraged to join clubs and take part in activities at lunch, break and after school. SEN Support Level students are monitored and special attention is paid to their level of participation. As a Department, we try to ensure that all students can go on trips they would like to attend, by offering support and guidance, including help with costs for Pupil Premium students.
How accessible is the school?
The site team is vigilant in making sure the site is safe for all users including those with disabilities. We have disabled toilets and lifts. We have the support of the EAL service for students whose first language is not English. We routinely complete accessibility audits and adapt to the needs of the students on role.
How will Homewood support my child to join the school and to transfer to further education?
We have close connections with our feeder primary schools. Students begin visiting Homewood throughout their time at primary school, for a variety of activities such as sports festivals, science lessons and out of hours Master Classes. In this way, they become familiar with the school.
More specific work with primary schools begins in Year 5 and Year 6. Our Director of Learning Support and other team members gather information from primary schools at this time, and then meet the primary SENCOs to discuss students in more depth. This is then followed by further events for parents and students. The Learning Support Team also spend time visiting students with SEN at their primary school, either in lessons or in a small discussion group.
During the last term of Year 6 we hold a Transitions Week where students get to know the school, teaching and support staff who will be working most closely with them. Prior to this we hold additional transition sessions for students for whom transition to secondary school is a particularly challenging prospect.
In terms of Post 16 education and training, we work alongside students and their parents/carers to facilitate the move onto further education by organising visits to local training and education venues, supporting students and parents with applications and any queries they have. We aim for 100% of our Year 11 students on the SEN Register to have a Post 16 college place or to be involved in a development programme.
A high number of SEN students return to Homewood for the Sixth Form. We are proud of the range and levels of courses available to students in the Sixth Form including vocational qualifications. We have recently developed a Skills for Working Life Programme for students with a high level of SEN need who attend our Sixth Form. Students continue to be supported academically, socially and emotionally at Sixth Form.
We also work closely with our assigned Connexions worker and various other youth support agencies to support those for whom Post 16 transition is a daunting prospect.
Whom can I contact for further information?
You can contact our Director of Learning Support (Miss L. Stephen) by telephone or email via 01580 764222 Ext 290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from Students
“I like having my one to one time with teachers or LSAs because they help me to learn.”
“Learning Support will always helps you when you are upset or in trouble.”
“I have found Learning Support helpful as if you don’t understand homework in a lesson then they will help you understand it. It then means I can do it.”
“I really like the small group work in Learning Support because I get help and I like having time with somebody that understands my needs.”
“I like Learning Support because the LSAs help me with work that I find hard and they are always there if you have anything you are worried about.”
“I have only just joined Homewood but having help from Learning Support has helped me in lessons to catch up with work and settle in my new classes.”
“I like being in the small Key Skills class. Doing TTRS and Phonographixs have helped me do better in my other lessons.”
“Having Learning Support at Homewood makes school easier. The LSAs are easy to get on with and are keen to help.”
Feedback from Parents and Carers
"Our first experience of SEN was not until Year 9. Since then the support and commitment to our daughter’s right to a fair education and continued wellbeing has been incredible. Our trust in them is absolute and we are secure in the knowledge that this will continue right through her education. So much so that we have already made the decision that our daughter will remain at Homewood until she is 18 with their continued support. Thank you doesn't seem enough."
“I feel we have great support and feel it is going from strength to strength”
“I was concerned when my daughter started at Homewood, worrying she wouldn't cope with the huge changes and social situations. However with all the help and support from Learning Support, all these worries have disappeared. She has become a more confident child due to the reassurance of the team as she knows their door is always open and will listen to her and understand her. Through everything you have put in to place to support her needs, all of this has resulted in her feeling able to express herself and work to the best of her ability. A few years ago, I could never imagine she would be doing so well. Many thanks for all your support.”
“The staff at Homewood that work closely with my son understand both his physical and emotional needs. I am very impressed with the support that he has received from Homewood.”
“The Learning Support Department at Homewood have helped and supported my Autistic and Dyslexic son and I with many different situations including assisting him with learning, liaising with staff about his specific needs and spending time talking to him when he is feeling low and confused.
Having a Learning Support Key Worker has made communicating with the school a lot less stressful. I can phone my son’s dedicated person or leave a message or email and get a reply the same day.
Having the Learning Support Department has helped my autistic son develop his learning, confidence and social skills to enable him to develop friendships and feel accepted like any other student at Homewood school.”
“I have nothing but praise for the SEN Department at Homewood School having moved to the area with my son at age 14. I was very anxious how he was going to settle at a new school with his special needs.
I did not have to worry as the school have been amazing from day one such as getting him his one to one help and putting him on the ASDAN course - things that were denied in a previously. This has made him so confident in going to school, learning and working without any scary pressure. The Learning Support Department support him in everything that he needs from his learning and work to medical, social and even out of school needs.
He has just sat GCSES that we was told he would never sit and we are so proud and thankful.
We would never have done it without the help of the school and in particular the Learning Support Department who have helped with all the day to day normal things that my son finds so difficult. They have helped him to grow into a very confident young man who isn't afraid of going to school anymore.
The day he came out of school smiling and said “Mum, I fit in at last” was the day I realised I had made the perfect choice of schools for him to attend. I am pleased that he is staying on for Sixth Form. “
Feedback from Specialists
I have found the SEN department at Homewood such a lovely place to work, it has really stood out to me as a kind and incredibly hard working department, a real pleasure to be involved with and I always look forward to my Homewood days.
Speech and Language Specialist
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