Special Educational Needs and Behaviour Support

Gillingham School SEND information report 2016/17

Important Links

Access Arrangements Policy

Attendance Traffic Light Guidlines for Parents and Students

Behaviour Policy

General Complaints Policy

ICT Policy

Local Offer

SENDIASS -formallyparentpartnershipservice

SEND Policy

Supporting Students with Medical Conditions

Support for Learning Staff

Deputy Head Responsible for the Support for Learning (SfL) Department - Sarah Turnbull
Head of SfL - Rebecca Smith
SENDCO - Karen Seldon
HLTA’s - Julie Chatfield
Janice Lucas
Jackie Marsh
Sandra Trowbridge

In addition to this we have 13 Faculty TAs and 12 Year team TAs.

Gillingham School is a mainstream comprehensive secondary school. We are able to support mainstream SEND areas within our existing daily resources in all 4 categories of need. For more information on these see Local offer.

The SEND Policy can be found on the school website.

How does the school know if students need extra help

The needs of students at Gillingham School are identified in a number of ways amongst others these include:

  • Liaison with previous school setting

  • Child performing below ‘age expected’ levels or equivalent (e.g. percentile rankings)

  • Concerns raised by a parent

  • Concerns raised by a teacher e.g. if behaviour or self esteem is affecting performance

  • Liaison with external agencies e.g. for a physical/ sensory issue, speech and language

  • Use of tools for standardised assessment e.g. tests of literacy/numeracy

  • Students with a Statement / EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) already have many of their needs clearly identified. The school will work to meet these needs; placement at Gillingham school for these students is a decision made by the Local Authority

More detailed information on how we identify student’s needs can be found in the SEND Policy.

Gillingham School currently has 70 students on the SEND register.

How we support and monitor the progress of students who need extra help

The SENDCO is responsible for overseeing the progress of any student who is identified as having SEND. These students will be placed on the schools SEND register, the support they receive can take many forms including:

  • differentiation of the curriculum to match tasks to ability

  • grouping of children according to ability for some subjects to ensure that tasks are suitably matched to ability

  • use of a range of teaching styles which recognise the individual learning styles of the children in the class

  • use of TAs to provide additional support within lessons

  • Withdrawal of small groups and 1:1 teaching by the SEND staff

  • accessibility to resources to support pupils with sensory or physical difficulties

  • alternative means of accessing the curriculum through ICT, and use of specialist equipment

  • peer group support through mixed ability grouping, paired working and “buddy” systems

  • use of positive behaviour modification strategies within the classroom and as part of the whole school Behaviour Policy

  • access to extra-curricular clubs, and to the social life of the school

  • In-Service training for all staff on the needs of children with SEND

The School has a number of criteria by which the effectiveness of this support can be measured:

  • All pupils, including those with SEND are monitored regularly within their year group. This allows the School to review the quality of work, attitude and behaviour. It also means that students with specific problems can be highlighted and provided for within the terms of our SEND Policy

  • All pupils have two progress reports a year – as well as a much more detailed summary later in the school year. The system allows us to monitor the progress of SEND pupils already identified, as well as identify new SEND pupils, and to implement the appropriate stages of the graduated response (see below) if it is deemed necessary.

  • Pupil achievement e.g. weaknesses in Reading, Spelling or Numeracy standardised scores will improve over time. This support/monitoring will form the basis of a provision map which will be sent to parents with an explanatory letter

  • Tracking of pupils’ achievements through use of SIMS data will demonstrate progress over time

  • The number of SEND pupils who pursue education after the age of 16

  • Feedback from pupils and parents- for pupils on the SEND register at the termly outcomes/progress meetings

More detailed information on how we support students and monitor their progress is available in the schools SEND policy.

How we support students who are taking exams 

Students who are taking public exams are supported through the use of access arrangements. They are identified as needing support by teaching staff and teaching assistants throughout their time with us. Assessment for access arrangements occurs at the end of Year 9 and throughout Year 10 and 11. For more information see the ‘Access Arrangements Policy'.

What support will there be for a student's overall well being

We are an inclusive school that considers students’ social, emotional and mental health as important as their academic progress.  The school currently has 3 members of staff trained as ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant). Referrals can be made for this style of support through the Head of the SfL department.

We are also fortunate enough to have a School Counsellor. Referrals to this service are made through the Head of the SfL department.  Any additional staff working with vulnerable children requiring support during the school day, will work under the direction of the Head of the SfL department.

We also have a dedicated team of first aid trained staff who can support students with medical needs, medication etc. This consists of:

  • Sue Jesson
  • Jo Stirk
  • Helen Lewis
  •  Kelly Lever
  • Roxy Clifton
  •  Rachel Wright
  • Annette Morse
  • Alex Stickland
  •  Liza Greaves 

Further details of how the school supports students with medical needs are available in the supporting students with Medical Needs Policy.

You may also wish to refer to the schools Behaviour Policy.

What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusions and increasing attendance

  • The school has adopted behaviour and exclusion policies available on the school website. If a student has significant behaviour difficulties, a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) can be written to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets with a view to identifying and addressing the underlying reasons behind the behaviour. The school has an isolation room (SGC) and individual learning suite (ILS) where students can be supported and worked with to reduce the behaviours that are having a negative impact upon their education.

  • The school has an attendance policy, this can be found on the school website. Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the school. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported.

  • The school are also able to support families in making contact with other agencies who can provide appropriate support. The school is led by Dorset County Council as to policies and procedures surrounding issues in reference to poor attendance and attendance levels.

How accessible is the school environment

Our school has an adopted accessibility policy, this can be found on the school website

  • The majority of areas of the school are accessible by wheelchair. Ramps are provided near stepped areas and disabled parking bays are available outside

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available in most blocks with hoisting facilities available in the PE and Science blocks. There is a disabled changing and showering facility in the PE block.

How will students be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips

All students are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim, within reason, for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful and may discuss this in advance with parents. It might be appropriate for additional consideration to be made depending upon the student’s individual needs and this is discussed with the parents where appropriate.

  • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a young person to take part in an activity, then alternative activities that will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided within the school environment, wherever possible.

  • There are a variety of lunchtime and after school clubs, listed on our website. We aim for these to be as inclusive as possible. Some young people find the lunchtime period challenging. Depending upon their needs, it might be appropriate for them to use the safe room (E8) during this period of time. Alternatively, we have a Lunchtime Guidance programme which aims to support students in learning necessary skills to enjoy a lunchtime. Each student’s needs will be considered on an individual basis.

How will the school prepare and support students when joining the school or transferring to a new school

  • We encourage all new students and their parents to visit the school prior to starting. The school holds open evenings in the Autumn term and individual/small group tours can be arranged through the Year Head or SENDCO.

  • We run a Transition Programme to support students prior to transition. This runs during the second part of the Summer term. Admission to this is via referral from the primary school to the Head of the SfL department.

  • We liaise closely with the staff when receiving and transferring students to and from different schools, ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are communicated and understood. A member of the SfL department will visit any primary school which requests a visit.

  • If students have complex needs, a Statement or EHCP, the Year 5 Annual Review will be used as a transition planning meeting which a member of the SfL department will attend.

At any point where a young person with SEND is preparing to leave our school, we would seek to arrange additional visits for them to support smooth transition.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school

Within the school we have a culture of sharing good practice and expertise; this enables us to ensure our staff have as much knowledge as possible within the field of supporting students with SEND.

  • We have a Learning Support classroom that can facilitate students who need additional support with their learning, either on a 1:1 or small group basis

  • As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to supporting individual student’s needs within our school including: GPs, school nurse, specialty nurses, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), clinical psychologist, paediatricians, speech and language therapists, occupational and physiotherapists, locality teams, social workers, Ansbury (formally Connexions) ; educational psychologists and specialist advisory teachers.

Training for staff supporting students with SEND 

We look to ensure that we have a variety of skills among our staff body, in order to enable us to support young people in the best possible way.

We currently have staff who are trained to support students in the following areas

  • Teaching students with Specific Learning Difficulties (4 staff)

  • Emotional Literacy (ELSA 3 staff)

  • Social Skills/ASD (2 staff)

  • Art Therapy

  • Lego Therapy

  • Reading Inference

  • Specific medical needs including Physical Therapy

  • Mentoring