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SEN Information Report – FAQ

What can I expect if I send my child to St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy?

St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy is a caring and inclusive school that provides appropriate educational opportunities for a wide range of pupils. We have high expectations of everyone and we are ambitious in the pursuit of excellence for all. We have excellent facilities in all areas of our curriculum. We aim to develop successful learners, confident young people and responsible forward thinking young adults of the future.

We have cultures, policies and practices that include all learners. We aim to promote a sense of community and belonging and to offer new opportunities and experiences to our learners. We will not treat all learners in the same way, but we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences, interests, strengths and needs. We value diversity and promote the needs of all pupils.

We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ability, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners.

What should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

You know your child better than anyone else. If you have concerns that your child may have a Special Educational Need you should talk to the school’s Special Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO), who organises extra help for children with SEN. You should talk to them about:

  • why you think your child has SEN
  • whether your child learns at the same rate as other children their age
  • what you think the school can do to help
  • what you can do to help

The SENDCO will then use the SEN Code of Practice to work out whether your child has SEN.
If it has been decided that your child has special educational needs the school will put a step-by-step plan in place which follows the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice guidelines.

How does St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy organise support for children with SEN?

At St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy we have adopted a whole-school approach to SEN policy and practice. Pupils identified as having SEN are, as far as is practicable, fully integrated into mainstream classes. Every effort is made to ensure that they have full access to the National Curriculum and are integrated into all aspects of academy life. The main methods of provision made by the academy are:

  • Full time education in classes, with additional help and support by class teacher/subject teachers through a relevant, differentiated curriculum.
  • Periods of withdrawal to work with a support teacher (where appropriate).
  • In-class support provided by adult assistance.
  • Support from other professionals within class or as part of a withdrawal programme.

The SENDCO in collaboration with subject teachers will decide the action required to help the pupil progress. Based on the results of previous assessments, the action might be:

  • Deployment of extra staff to work with the pupil.
  • Provision of alternative learning materials/special equipment etc.
  • Small group support.
  • Additional intervention groups e.g. 1:1 reading intervention, social skills groups etc.
  • Provision of additional adult time in devising interventions and monitoring their effectiveness.
  • Staff development/training to undertake more effective strategies.
  • Access to educational psychology, speech and language therapy, CAMHS or other outside agencies for advice on strategies, equipment or staff training.

The strategies for a pupils’ progress will be recorded in an IEP (Individual Education Plan) containing information on:

  • Specific needs of the child
  • Relevant medical information (if appropriate)
  • Short-term targets
  • Teaching strategies
  • Provision made for the child
  • Relevant updates resulting from a review of their SEN
What happens if my child has a high level of need?

The SENDCo will be heavily involved in planning the transition for your child. Your child will be monitored on a daily basis, their plans will be reviewed regularly and support adjusted as required. Advice will be sought from other professionals who work with the child. Our SENDCo will link with other medical professionals to create a care plan personally tailored to your child.

Staff will be kept informed about any adjustments that need to take place in the classroom, and additional testing will be carried out and intervention put in place if required.

Your child may be entitled to special arrangements in exams. This could include support with reading or receiving extra time to complete the exams.

What clubs are available to my child?

The Academy offers a wide range of opportunities to our students. We run various activities before, during and after the school day.

We are committed to providing a wide range of extra-curricular activities to increase the opportunities for students of all ages and abilities. We try to offer a range of clubs/classes that our pupils will find enjoyable such as:

  • Breakfast Club from 7.45am.
  • Sports Clubs (including football, basketball, netball, badminton, table tennis, athletics, fitness/gym, trampolining).
  • Dance and Drama
  • Orchestra and Choir
  • Art and Design Technology
  • Food and Textiles
  • Homework Club
  • Reading
  • Revision Classes

In addition to the activities above we are also proud to offer our students the opportunity to travel the world to experience different countries and cultures. Some of the amazing places we have visited include:

  • Berlin
  • Whitby
  • Barcelona
  • India
  • London
  • Paris
  • Swaziland
  • Rome
  • Salzberg
How will I be informed about my child’s progress?

There are parents/carers evenings for all students, and reports on key assessments are sent home to parents/carers termly. We also have three personal development days where the students track and monitor their own progress. These meetings provide regular opportunities to discuss concerns and celebrate progress. The Academy celebrates our students’ successes with our postcard reward system which enables parents and carers to see the areas their daughter(s) are achieving highly in.

  • Parents/carers are able to make other appointments with specific staff upon request
  • Regular communication between the Academy and home will ensure that concerns are promptly acted upon
  • Parents/Carers may also be invited to celebrate their child’s success at our end of year Awards Ceremonies
  • Students with an Education Health Care Plan or Statements of Special Educational Need will have a formal annual review of their plan. This meeting will include the child (if appropriate), parents/carers and any other professionals working with the child
  • Students who have a Special Educational Need at Action Plus (A+) level will also have a yearly review. This meeting mirrors the EHC meeting to enable parents and students to be actively involved in the education
  • Individual Education Plans are reviewed with the student termly. This enables the Academy to be actively involved student voice in our SEN provision and ensure that students have a say in their own educational careers
What additional intervention may my child receive at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy?

If your child requires support above that delivered by the teacher within the mainstream classroom they may be given:

  • Teaching Assistant support in class
  • Small group teaching
  • Adapted materials or equipment
  • Social Skills Group support
  • Educational Psychologist assessment
  • Behaviour Intervention Team support
  • Peer tutoring
  • A 1:1 reading programme
  • Subject specific intervention e.g. coursework support sessions
  • Homework Club
  • Autism support groups
How will the school prepare and support my child when they join the school or move onto further education or training?

St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy has an excellent working partnership with all of our feeder primary schools. The process of transition starts early in year 6 when the Deputy Pastoral Leader for year 7 and the Student Support Team begin their visits to the feeder primary schools to discuss every child’s individual educational needs. They also make time to meet the children and answer any questions or concerns they may have about moving to the ‘big school’ (as most of the children put it).

We also have a very effective induction programme for the large number of out of area students. As part of the induction process the students are invited into school for ‘Taster Day’ sessions. They are met by their future Pastoral Leader, Headteacher and present pupils of St Anthony’s . They spend the morning with staff from various departments and take part in a range of educational activities; this hopefully helps them to become familiar with the school and to help them to settle into what will be their new environment.

Primary School staff will also meet with staff from our academy prior to pupils attending the academy. Any concerns about the particular needs of a child will be brought to the attention of the SENDCO at this meeting. Where necessary the SENDCO will arrange a further meeting to discuss the needs in more detail. Parents will be made aware of the provision that will be available to their child within the academy.

Staff in our academy will receive information about children joining us from another school. If there is an SEN issue the academy will contact the previous school to obtain information. When children transfer from St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, the SENDCO will discuss the child with the new school/college and send details of the child’s particular needs and any additional provision that may need to be made for the child.

On entry to the academy each childs attainment will be assessed in order to ensure continuity of learning from Primary School, or transference from another secondary school. For pupils with identified SEN, the Deputy Headteacher for Curriculum, SENDCO, literacy and numeracy co-ordinators and pastoral colleagues will:

  • Use information from the Primary/Previous School to shape the pupil’s curriculum and pastoral provision in the first few months.
  • Identify the pupil’s skills and note any specific areas that require support.
  • Ensure ongoing observations/assessments provide regular feedback on achievements/experiences, in order to plan steps in learning.
  • Ensure pupils have opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in all subjects (including in the pastoral programme).
  • Involve pupils in planning/agreeing their own targets.
  • Involve parents in a joint home-school learning approach where appropriate.
  • Link with the Connexions advisor regarding the most appropriate post 16 placement.
How will St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy ensure my child is included in all aspects of school life?

At St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy we have adopted a whole school approach to SEN policy and practice. Pupils identified as having SEN are, as far as is practicable, fully integrated into mainstream classes with appropriate support. Every effort is made to ensure that they have full access to the National Curriculum and are integrated into all aspects of academy life. Staff at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy value pupils of different abilities and actively support inclusion.

Within the academy both staff and pupils will be consistently involved in deciding the best ways to support each child’s individual needs. There is flexibility in the approaches used in order to cater for these individual needs.

The academy recognises the entitlement of all pupils to a balanced, relevant and broadly based curriculum. This may include appropriate vocational qualifications and 14-19 pathways.

Our SEN policy reinforces the need for teaching that is fully inclusive. The Governing Body will ensure that appropriate provision and reasonable adjustments will be made for all pupils with SEN

Within each class, teaching and learning styles and organisation will be flexible, to ensure effective learning. Grouping to support children identified with additional needs will be part of this process.

Where appropriate, links with partner special schools/academies and support services may be made.

How will my childs needs be identified and assessed?

At St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy we aim to identify any additional needs as early as possible and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every child to achieve to her full potential during their school career. Teaching and supporting SEND students is a whole school responsibility requiring a whole school response.

At St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy we have adopted a whole-school approach to SEN policy and practice. Pupils identified as having SEN are, as far as is practicable, fully integrated into mainstream classes. Every effort is made to ensure that they have full access to the National Curriculum and are integrated into all aspects of academy life.

All teachers are responsible for identifying pupils with SEN and, in collaboration with the SENDCO, will ensure that those pupils requiring different or additional support are identified at an early stage. Regular assessment should ensure pupils with SEN can be identified effectively. Whether or not a pupil is making progress will also be seen as a significant factor in considering the need for SEN provision.
Early identification of pupils with SEN is a priority. The academy will use appropriate screening and assessment tools to ascertain pupil progress through:

  • Transition data/information provided by previous school/schools
  • Evidence obtained by teacher observation/assessments
  • Their performance when judged against the appropriate National Curriculum level descriptions (also including PIVATS etc)
  • Standardised screening or assessment tools
  • External support services may also play an important part in helping the school identify, assess and make provision for pupils with SEN
How will staff in St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy support my child’s learning?

Schemes of work and policies for each area of the curriculum are in place and are differentiated to include appropriate learning outcomes for all pupils.

Differentiation takes a variety of forms within each teacher’s planning. Learning intentions are made explicit and activities may be adapted. Alternative methods of responding or recording may also be planned.

Children with sensory or mobility impairments or a specific learning difficulty will be given access to the curriculum through more specialist resources e.g. ICT, Communication Aids, specially adapted subject specific equipment etc. where it is appropriate. Needs and adjustments will be considered on an individual basis.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

We recognise that each individual pupil learns at different rates and that there are many factors that may affect their achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity. We aim to provide a differentiated curriculum appropriate to the individual needs and abilities of each student.

What Specialist resources and services are available at or accessed by the School?

The academy recognises the important contributions that external support services make in assisting to identify, assess, and provide for our SEN Pupils.

When it is considered necessary, colleagues from other support services will be involved with SEN pupils. These agencies include:

  • The Specialist Support Team for Children with Physical and Medical Needs
  • Educational psychologists
  • Parent Partnership Service
  • School Nurse, Consultants, GP’s etc.
  • Speech and Language therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Advisory teaching services for children with sensory impairment
  • The Autism Outreach Team
  • Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)

In addition, important links are in place with the following organisations:

  • The Connexions Service
  • Attendance Development Officer
  • Social Care
  • Other relevant groups or organisations e.g. The ME Society.
  • Local Colleges
How will I be involved in discussing, planning and supporting my child’s education?

We value the partnership between parents/carers and ourselves. It is the most important factor in the success of our pupils and we are keen to ensure you are involved and well informed about the progress of your child.

We believe a strong partnership with parents/carers will further enable children and young people with SEN to achieve their potential. The academy recognises that parents/carers have a unique overview of the child’s needs and how best to support them, this gives them a key role in the partnership.

The academy considers parents/carers of SEN pupils as valued partners in the process. Depending upon the age and appropriateness, SEN pupils will also be encouraged to participate in the decision-making processes affecting them.

At review meetings with parents/carers we always try to make sure that the child’s strengths (as well as weakness) are discussed. Where we make suggestions as to how parents/carers can help at home, they are specific and achievable. We hope that all parents/carers go away from the meeting clear about the action to be taken and the way in which outcomes will be monitored and reviewed.
IEP targets will include targets to work towards at home (where appropriate) and parents/carers are always invited to contribute their views to the review process.

Parents/carer evenings and Personal Development Days provide regular opportunities to discuss concerns and celebrate progress. Parents/carers are able to make other appointments on request.

Regular communication between the academy and home will ensure that concerns are promptly acted upon.

Parents/carers will be given information regarding the Parent Partnership Service available (if required). This service provides independent support and advice for all pupils with SEN.

What if my child needs transport to or from school?

If your child has an Education Health Care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs they may be entitled to a taxi funded by the local authority. Home to school transport is the responsibility of the local authority and further information can be found on the Sunderland City Council website.

What care, guidance and support is available at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy to ensure the overall wellbeing of my child?

The emotional health and well being of all of our pupils is very important to us. We have a well established pastoral team who know our children well. We have robust policies in place to ensure that all pupils feel safe and understand what is expected of them in terms of their behaviour within the academy.

We are an inclusive, caring community and we believe that all children should be valued equally. We strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel included.

On entry to the academy each child will be placed into a Tutor Group. They will usually remain in this tutor group from Years 7-11. They will have the same Tutor throughout the 5 years they are with us. The Form Tutor is an important part of the pastoral team, which is led by a Year Leaders and Pastoral Transition Coordinators. Daily contact with the Form Tutor along with regular progress reviews by subject teachers; ensure careful monitoring of each student’s achievements.

The PHSE curriculum includes issues of disability, difference and valuing diversity.

Topics covered in assemblies address issues of disability and may include talks from visiting speakers e.g. the Police Force.
The library resources are regularly reviewed, to ensure that they include books that reflect a range of special educational needs issues and come from a disability equality perspective. Priority is given to the ordering of books with positive images and a positive portrayal of a wide range of people.

Great importance is placed upon the awareness of individual needs and social development. Every student is issued with a personal planner. This is used to communicate between home and school.

We ask our parents/carers to provide us with all essential information and an emergency contact number. If you provide us with an email address and mobile number you can also receive messages when key information has to be given out. We can also keep you up to date with reminders about important events.

What training have the staff supporting my child had at the School?

The SENDCO attends regular local authority cluster meetings which provide regular updates regarding current developments in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion.

Staff within the Academy have been trained in the following areas:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Speech, language and communication
  • Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties
  • Administration of medicines
  • Epi-Pen administration
  • Dealing with grief and loss

Additional SEN/Inclusion training is provided for all staff through staff meetings, inset days and weekly professional development sessions.

All staff have access to professional development opportunities and are able to apply for SEN/Inclusion training courses on an individual basis.

Who should I contact for further information about my child?

The SEND Co-ordinator – Mrs Ashleigh Hall
The SEND Co-ordinator (Pupil Premium)- Miss Rachelle Prestwood
The Student Support Manager – Mrs Kath Richardson Dunn
Your child’s tutor or Pastoral Leader
Individual subject teachers

Contact details for the academy can be found here.