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Our offer to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) At Headstart School, we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our students, whatever their needs or abilities. All students are valued, given a sense of self-worth and are helped to develop confidence in their abilities and strengths throughout their school experience. Support is provided for all students who require additional or personalised provision to enable them to achieve success. These students will have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and will currently have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. In addition some of these students may also be nationally recognised as vulnerable to under achievement, such as children who are looked after by the Local Authority (LAC), students eligible for free school meals (FSM), Gypsy, Roma Travellers (GRT) and those from ethnic minority groups (EM). All teachers are able to teach across a range of abilities and personalise learning according to individual student need. We recognise that it is the teacher’s responsibility to meet the needs of all young people in their class through their classroom organisation, materials used, teaching style, differentiation (planning tasks to take account of different learning styles) and through partnership working with our highly specialist staff team, outstanding communication with external professionals, parents/carers and active 1

engagement in the local community. We firmly believe that this lies at the heart of good inclusive practice. This document sets out the offer we make to those children and their families.

‘Turn around, excellent progress’ – a recent carer comment on progress.

Contents Overview of provision Frequently asked questions: How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? How will the school support my child’s learning? How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? How will both you and I know how my child is doing? What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What training have the staff had who support children and young people with SEND? How accessible is the school environment? How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips? How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to college or the next stage of education and life? What if I think my child may be dyslexic? How can I be involved? Who can I contact for further information?

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Partnership In caring for and educating your children we recognise the need to work in partnership with you and with other services that can support your child. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), in conjunction with the staff team, will suggest which services to refer to after discussing your child’s needs with you, any current specialist involvement and with teaching staff. We have close working relationships with: East Sussex County Council Children’s Services (including SEN, Sensory Needs, Educational Psychology teams)

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

NHS speech and language therapists

Targeted Youth Support (TYS) r=1&aw

Family Champions Traveller and English as an Additional Language Service (TEALS)

Sussex Police

A range of community and voluntary sector agencies Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service (ESBAS) Excellent communication, greatly improved – parent comment at Annual Review


Provision Your child’s education at Headstart School falls broadly into five phases: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key stage 5 with highly targeted support in each of these highly specialised areas. Additionally, all of these key stages can receive support via the ASDCN facility. Support strategies and interventions vary across these phases and are tailored to meet the needs of each student. We offer a range of interventions co-ordinated by the SENCO and her specialist team of staff that include:  full access to the national curriculum, suitably differentiated to take account of each individual’s special educational needs and taught in classes by specialist teachers;  support to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the school and across all other transitions within the school;  all Key Stages have the luxury of small class sizes with a high level of support worker intervention. Learning in Key Stage 3 is based upon a primary model where subjects are all taught by the same teacher in the same class groups in the same classrooms - this reinforces positive relationships between their peers and staff; 


 targeted literacy intervention by specialist staff incorporating the use of Lexia across the school, where students are not meeting their age related expected levels of progress;  in-class support from support workers with expertise in subjects and individual needs;  social and emotional well-being work focussing on social skills, friendship etc. for targeted individuals;  bespoke individual support and mentoring for students social and emotional well-being across the school;  dyslexia-friendly teaching in all lessons, advice and support from our SEN/dyslexia specialist Assistant SENCo;

 small group and/or individual social communication skills intervention through the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP);  access to a supervised and supported environment during break times;  access to key staff with whom trusting relationships can be developed and students can share their concerns – SENCo, assistant SENCo’s, tutors, support workers, vocational trainers;  access to a trained and qualified personal counsellor;  developing use of iPads for students and access to laptops to assist with learning and recording work.


I still have a question about the offer for my child …..

All students We gather a huge amount of information from your child’s previous schools. We also carry out cognitive ability tests and reading and spelling screening assessments with all our incoming students. This, combined with information about national curriculum levels, is used to plan tutor allocation and teaching areas. Students with SEND and/or targeted students Information about individual needs and disabilities is made available to all of our staff, who use it for their planning. Students with Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) will have the opportunity to build up a relationship with both the SENCo and other key staff prior to joining the school. There are a number of taster days held within the school for targeted students that we feel might need further visits. Most importantly you need to talk to us about how you feel – you know your child best. When parents/carers raise concerns about their child’s educational needs the SENCo will gather all the relevant data and information from all of the child’s teachers so that a full assessment can take place before any necessary support strategies, referrals or interventions are put in place. If you are worried that your child may have additional special educational needs to those already noted you should contact the SENCo to discuss the matter further.


Students with SEN and/or targeted students Children’s needs are best met through high quality teaching by subject specialist staff that takes account of the needs of each child. Dyslexia-friendly teaching with appropriate resources and a range of teaching styles takes place in all areas. Where necessary, an individual programme of support and intervention for your child will be drawn up by the school and it’s important that you take part in this process since you know your child best. The plan can include any of the things listed under Provision (page 4-5) and may also include input from external agencies and services. Some students with less complex needs have a shorter Individual Provision Plan. Students with a Statement will have an individual plan through their annual review process.

All students Teaching groups are mixed ability with some areas set to suit the ability range of the students. Lessons are set appropriately so that all students can learn and progress. All teachers take account of the needs of the individual and differentiate tasks and materials appropriately. At each assessment point each class teacher analyses the progress of all students and targets those who are underperforming - All teachers pay particular attention to students in their class that are from groups that can be at a disadvantage. This is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team. Students with SEND and/or targeted students At each assessment point students’ progress against their indicator levels (targets) is checked; this may lead to your child being chosen to be withdrawn from lessons for additional, targeted and focussed support. However, research evidence shows that for children with special needs, teaching is most effective when delivered in the classroom by subject specialist teachers.


It is for this reason that we aim to withdraw children as little as possible. The exception to this is where specialist literacy or numeracy intervention is required to make progress. In this case students are withdrawn and taught in very small groups to help boost their performance. We are keen to address gaps in literacy skills and boost performance. We consider this of great importance because literacy is a gateway skill that is needed for so many aspects of the wider curriculum. At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students follow a pathway of choices that is matched to their ability so that every student has the best possible opportunity for examination success. When Year 9 students are going through the process of making their choices, you are invited to coffee mornings so that you and your child can speak to leadership staff about each of the courses on offer. The SENCo is available for meetings to discuss any of your worries as you navigate through this process.

All students You will receive a report twice a year that shows your child’s progress in each subject area. There are also three open mornings during the year which offers an opportunity for you to discuss progress with teachers and where advice from the SENCo is also available. Students with SEND and/or targeted students Students with special needs, or other circumstances that make them vulnerable to under achievement, are closely monitored by the SENCo and senior staff and are seen by the most appropriate member of the staff team on target setting and monitoring day in order to discuss provision - All students with Statements will have an Individual Provision Plan that clearly outlines the support that is in place. Children with Statements of Special Needs will also have an annual review.


We work in partnership with a wide range of specialist services, some of whom are listed under the heading Partnership (page 3). Within the school team we have specialists in dyslexia and speech and language as well as ASD, behavioural emotional and social difficulties.

All students Every area is led by a key stage leader who along with the child’s tutor will be available to discuss your child’s well-being with you. The ASDCN facility day to day management is led by Lorraine Colegate, with leadership through the Head of School. It is tutors that have daily contact with your child so they will be the first point of call for such matters. Upon identification of an issue that presents a challenge to a young person’s well-being, the tutor would ordinarily work with the Key Stage Leader and SENCo and the parent/ carer, in order to find an appropriate course of action. Students with SEND and/or targeted students The SEND team offer an additional point of contact for parents/carers of children with barriers to learning. Support workers in your child’s class can offer a real insight into the overall experience that your child has during the day. We offer a range of support services to our students. A student may be referred for mentoring, anti-bullying work or for a range of social intervention group work programmes or academic study. In some cases it becomes necessary to refer students to external professionals. Quiet areas can also provide a calm environment for students when, on occasion, respite is needed. The relationship that we build with students through our specialist team is an important tool in wrapping support around some of our most vulnerable learners. 9

Whole school staff training regularly takes place with a focus on special needs and vulnerable groups. Over time there has been training for staff on managing challenging behaviour, ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, hearing and visual impairments and moving students forward academically. Our staff have access to a wide range of training and many of them have developed specialisms across the range of special educational needs. This includes our specialist assistant SENCo qualified in specific learning difficulty (dyslexia) who supports the Exams Officer with access arrangements for examinations.

There is easy access to all classrooms. Every effort is made to allocate students with difficulties to appropriate classrooms, but due to the constraints of timetabling, this is not always possible. Further details can be obtained from our Accessibility Plan that is available on our website, or a hard copy can be obtained from reception. Please let us know if your child encounters any problems or you feel that your child has needs that are not being catered for.


At Headstart School we strive to ensure that all young people, regardless of their individual needs, have access to the whole range of educational opportunities and activities. We comply with all legislation in respect of accessibility and make reasonable adjustments where necessary. In line with the Equalities Act 2010, we carry out equality impact assessments where necessary. This ensures that we can identify opportunities in our practice for promoting our vision and our duties on equality legislation across all aspects of school life, including school trips and experiences where reasonable adjustment might need to be made.

As a parent/carer we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us so that we can plan for full inclusion. Further details can be obtained from our Equality Policy that is available on our website, or a hard copy can be obtained from reception.


All students Throughout their time with us we work on improved communication skills and there is a thorough careers programme that ensures that all students have raised aspirations for the future and a confidence in their ability to achieve their goals and ambitions. Parent information sessions at the start of Year 10, 11 and 12 ensure that parents/carers are fully aware of routes of progression through to college and apprenticeships. In Key Stage 4/5, students are offered taster days at local colleges and sixth forms. Any student that has not secured a place at Headstart School, college or on an apprenticeship by the closing stages of Year 11 is referred to Targeted Youth Support (TYS) so that a mentor can continue to support them 1:1 to obtain a place and start in September. Students with SEND and/or targeted students Some targeted students are given the opportunity to visit the University and other institutions as part of the widening participation initiative to raise aspirations. Lyn Parker provides impartial careers information, advice and guidance through individual meetings targeted at those students that we fear may fail to secure onward placements without extra support; this includes students with particular special needs and those in other vulnerable groups. Students are given greater 1:1 support with CVs, application forms and personal statements as the need arises and we run an employability skills programme for the particularly hard to reach through our inclusion team. All students carrying a Statement or EHCP are provided with specialist careers advice from the county SEND team.

Teaching at Headstart School is dyslexia-friendly and most problems are avoided by following some simple guidelines in the classroom. If you (or a teacher) think your child may be dyslexic we will start a process to investigate 12 further. Depending on what we find this could lead to a Dyslexia Screening Test (DST). The DST can tell us how high the risk is of the child being dyslexic and we can then look at appropriate strategies and support.

Headstart Offer Note - July 2014  
Headstart Offer Note - July 2014  

Our offer to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).