1. What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
The Academy currently supports mainstream pupils with needs across the SEND code of practise. Currently, we have approximately 17% of pupils supported at SEN support or higher. Of these, a high proportion require Communication and Interaction support together with many requiring support with Cognition and Learning. A smaller proportion of our SEND pupils receive support for Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties and fewer still with physical, and hearing difficulties. Currently, we have no pupils who receive specialist vision impaired support.
2. How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
At Maple Court, pupils are assessed routinely and regularly as part of the ongoing curriculum. These assessments form part of our ongoing tracking in which the progress of each child is monitored. This tracking of pupils enables the early identification of any pupil who is not making expected progress. Any concerns regarding progress or attainment will be raised with parents at the earliest convenience either in informal discussions or at formal parents’ evenings which occur three times per year. If concerns continue despite class teacher intervention, the Academy will speak to parents and discuss the next steps which may involve entering your child onto the Special Educational Needs register. This will mean they have needs that require intervention that is greater than or different from their peers in order to make expected progress. We currently have over 15% of pupils who require this type of intervention. You can always speak to your child’s class teacher about anything to do with your child’s education. You can contact the academy at any time to arrange a meeting with any of the staff or if want to come and have a look around. The SEND department is led by Mrs Guard- SENCo and Inclusion Manager who is available to discuss any specific SEN queries. Alternatively, support about SEND services within Stoke on Trent generally can be found at www.stoke.gov.uk/SENDservices
3. How will the setting support my child/young person?
Pupils who are identified as having special educational needs will receive an SEN plan that is reviewed at least 3 times per year. This plan will identify a pupil’s strengths and areas needing development. Targets will be set in consultation with parents, pupils and class teacher and additional support will be provided to enable a pupil to achieve these targets. A child at School Support will initially receive additional support in the classroom but may, if progress remains slow, receive additional support in a 1:1 situation from the learning support practitioners or learning mentors. Those pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan will receive additional support / interventions as outlined in the plan. Throughout each school year, the effectiveness of the interventions and provision being made is regularly monitored by the SLT (senior leadership team) and the SENCo. From this monitoring, provision may be changed/ adapted in order that the best outcomes are achieved for pupils. Every year, the governing body require the academy staff to report on the SEN provision in the academy and its effectiveness in making a difference for those pupils.
4. How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
Ongoing assessments and monitoring ensures that staff can provide a well differentiated curriculum for your child. Work is set at the level appropriate to the child as are their targets for improvement. Those pupils with greater needs are given additional support in line with their difficulties. This may come as a result of consulting with external agencies and taking their advice.
5. How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
Through ongoing assessments, the staff at Maple Court have a clear idea of how well each child is doing. This is communicated to parents both informally at the beginning or end of the academy day as well as more formally at parents evening s and in end of year reports. Throughout the year, pupils who are identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability will receive additional monitoring with standardised tests which give a reading age, spelling age and a score for vocabulary understanding (BPVS). Pupils with social, emotional or mental health difficulties may be assessed using the Boxall profile throughout the year. These scores are tracked and will help us to understand what difficulties a child may be having. These pupils and their parents will also be invited to discuss the SEN targets and progress towards them regularly through the year. Part of this discussion involves how parents can help their child at home. The academy will support parents to help their child at the academy through workshops which provide detail as to how we teach different aspects e.g. phonics, reading, spelling, maths. We are also on hand at the end of each day for a chat about a specific difficulty with e.g. homework. If needed, the academy will set up home: school books for a child whose behaviour, confidence or emotional well-being is a concern. This will give the staff and parents the opportunity to share information more easily and keep track of any significant events either at the academy or at home.
6. What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
Pastoral Support Pupils at the academy are supported in many ways. We have a team of learning support practitioners and learning mentors who are on hand to deliver small group or 1:1 interventions aimed at developing social skills, emotional well-being, confidence, attention and listening, language, anger management and self-esteem. These sessions take place throughout the day on either a timetabled basis or as is required following an incident. Medication: If a child requires regular medication during the academy day, we will require a parent to sign that this can be administered by academy staff. Medication is kept securely in the academy office until required. In the event of epipen or inhalers being required, a care plan will be drawn up with the school nurse and parent. A copy of this will in the classroom along with the medication so that there is easy access to it throughout the academy day. Parents are made aware of any occasion where epipen or inhaler are given to a child in the academy so that they can monitor usage. Behaviour support The Academy uses a wide range of rewards to engage pupils. Regular praise from staff, certificates, stickers, collection of stamps that can be traded for gifts as well as good behaviour treats etc. It is hoped that through consistent routines and clear expectations of behaviour that all pupils will make the right choices. A range of strategies are in pace to support pupils who are struggling with their behaviour. Class teachers will meet regularly with parents to discuss triggers and possible interventions that may be needed. Pupils may have an individual SEN plan or individualised targets set for behaviour which are linked to rewards that can be earned. Fixed term exclusions are used as a last resort if behaviours continue or for a one-off incident of significant severity.
7. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Here at Maple Court we work closely with the local authority SEND services team. This involves a lead SEND advisor who is available to advise the academy in what support is needed for pupils needing more than class teacher support. Specialist advisors are also available to the academy in every area of SEND, including CAMHS if this is required. The academy works closely with the Educational Psychology Service also when needs are becoming more complex and require additional support. Outside of educational support, the academy also accesses behavioural support from the inclusion team at the local authority and we buy into the Younger Minds counselling service for those who need emotional support. In terms of social care, the Academy has close links with the locality social workers and the team of family support workers based at Treehouse Children’s Centre and by working in partnership we can provide access to a wide range of services to support families and young people including housing support, counselling, welfare support etc.
8. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
The staff at the Academy have regular training opportunities to support their work with pupils with special educational needs. The training offered takes full account of the many and varied needs of the pupils we teach and forms part of the rolling programme of quality continuing professional development for all staff. Additional training for specific needs can be accessed from the local authority SEND service.
9. How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
It is the aim of the Academy that all pupils will have opportunity to access a full range of activities both in and outside of the academy, including school trips. Where difficulties may arise in this, the Academy staff will liaise with parents to minimise issues and to reduce risks. We will always aim to make reasonable adjustments to ensure all can fully participate.
10. How accessible is the environment?
The academy grounds are predominately flat and easily accessible by all its users. We have a disabled parking bay directly inform of the academy office. Within the building, there is disabled access to all of the ground floor classrooms and communal spaces. There is a disabled toilet available. In terms of the curriculum, reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate all SEN needs and / or disabilities. With regard to information, parents and visitors can request information to be presented in a range of ways including larger print, audio, different languages etc. These accessibility arrangements are reviewed every three years as part of the Academy’s accessibility plan.
11. How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
The Academy has close links with the local nursery schools and we make it a priority in the Summer and early Autumn term to engage in positive transition work including discussions with staff and visits for pupils to our site. Should a child wish to join us mid-year, transition can be arranged with the previous school so that a pupil can come to visit and, if necessary, come to us on a phased entry. Within the academy, transition from one year to the next is handled sensitively with time to meet new teachers, share work and build relationships all before that start of the new academic year. Those pupils with additional needs will be able to access a greater level of transition as best meets their needs. When transferring to the high school, transition during the summer term becomes a big focus. Regular visits and meetings are planned into the curriculum time to enable pupils to experience their building, meet their staff and get to grips with some of the big changes that face them. Again, those requiring a more extended transition will be offered this personalised support to ensure a successful move to high school.
12. How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
When a pupils needs are assessed, resources are allocated on a priority needs basis. Where a pupil has an Education Health and Care plan, resources will be deployed to support the outcomes which are outlined in line with the funding which is provided. Where a pupil is assessed as requiring support from within the academy’s own resources (School Support), it is at the discretion of the Principal, Inclusion Manager and the Governing Body to deploy resources in order to best meet the needs of all learners.
13. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Any decision regarding the support your child will receive is made in collaboration with parents, pupils, teachers, support staff and, where needed, external agencies. Discussions will take place in which the needs are identified and appropriate strategies/ resources are suggested. It is then at the discretion of the Academy to decide how available resources are deployed to best meet the needs of learners taking account of parent wishes and external agency advice where possible.
14a How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
Pupils are involved at all stages. In the first instance, pupils engage in assertive mentoring alongside their class teacher. These 1:1 conversations help the pupils to identify areas of strength and potential barriers to their learning. Strategies can also be identified. For SEND pupils, there are opportunities at least termly to discuss their needs using the Pupils Passport. These documents help a child to identify what will work well for them and what will not. Pupils who have a higher level of support either through a statement or EHC plan, their views are gathered regularly and will be fed into the statutory reviews at least annually.
14b. How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
In much the same way as pupils are involved throughout, parents are also involved. Parents are invited to attend informal and more formal meetings with class teachers throughout the year. There are regular opportunities to share ideas and strategies. For SEND pupils, parents are invited to contribute to the pupil passport at least 3 times per year. Also, for pupils with a statement or EHC, parents have opportunities throughout the year to contribute to reviews and share their views on how their child can best be supported. The Academy welcome the views of any pupil or parent about how outcomes can be best achieved.
15. How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Parents are encouraged to be involved in the life of the academy in many ways. This may involve being invited to special events e.g. class assemblies, concerts etc; parents’ workshops; parents evenings; sports day etc. Parents are also heavily involved in discussing progress of children and setting appropriately challenging targets; both formally in meetings and informally in regular chats with staff. The academy staff work hard to engage parents in all areas of the academy and parents are invited to attend the Parent’s Forum where their ideas and suggestions are welcomed.