Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum - Supporting Students with SEND

How we Support SEND

The Gainsborough Academy prides itself in being very inclusive and will endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need.  All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented.

To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:

  • Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities.
  • Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
  • Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
  • Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
  • To work in partnership with parents/ carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional)
  • To make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
  • Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • To promote self- worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
  • To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
  • To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.

We understand that pupils learn and develop in different ways. Teachers and teaching assistants recognise this and use different teaching styles, resources and plan different levels of work in the classroom to cater for the various ways children learn.  However, many pupils, at some time in their school life, need extra help.

We offer the following support for SEND pupils:

  • We talk to parents/carers if they think their child has a special educational need and let them know what special help the school can offer. Mr Boucher is our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO)
  • We have a written Special Educational Needs Policy – View our Policies section to view or download the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Policy.  This policy is also available from the school office upon request by emailing admin@thegainsboroughacademy.org.uk 
  • As a school we provide quality first teaching if a class teacher identifies a need they will find ways to support a pupil within the classroom setting.  This may involve:
  • Changing the way activities are planned and delivered
  • Matching activities to the ability / need of each pupil (differentiation)
  • Adapting learning materials such as equipment and activities to suit each pupils needs
  • Offer small group support to promote skills identified in plans
  • Provide support where needed through the deployment of a keyworker to act as a main point of contact for the pupil and their family

With the permission of parents we may seek additional advice from outside specialists such as health professionals, specialist teachers or educational psychologists who would:

  • Carry out further assessment of the child’s needs
  • Provide advice to schools on how to best support the child
  • Suggest resources that would help the child make progress

Our teachers/teaching assistants work in partnership with parents and the SENDCO to find ways to support each pupil with their needs, including giving parents ideas on how to help their child at home.

Our school staff will set targets for SEND children which will be shared with parents, either during Parents’ Evening or a Review Meeting. If your child has Special Educational Needs our SENDCO will:

  • Ensure the right support is put in place for each pupil
  • Advise other teachers and teaching assistants on how to help each pupil and ensure they have an up to date Support Plan detailing how their needs will be met in school utilising pen portraits
  • Arrange training for staff so they understand each pupil’s needs
  • Work closely with parents on a regular basis to talk with them about their child’s needs and listen to any ideas or concerns they might have
  • work with other professionals (if necessary) who may be able to help individual children, e.g. speech and language therapist /medical professional/educational psychologist

A Support Plan / Provision Map details what the school, the class teacher and the SENDCO plan to do to help individual pupil learn. A Support Plan will be written for any child with SEND.  It will include:

  • Short term targets for the pupil which are linked to their needs
  • Details of any extra support the pupil will get
  • Who will give the pupil help
  • How often the pupil will get help
  • How and when the school will look at the pupils progress again (usually at least three times a year)

These plans are shared with parents / carers.

If a child’s needs are very complex and/or severe we may ask the Local Authority to carry out an Education, Health and Care Assessment:

  • This is a very detailed assessment of each pupils needs.  Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide written reports.
  • At the end of the assessment phase the Local Authority will consider these reports to help decide whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan for the child.
  • Parents/carers also have the right to ask the Local Authority to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if you can do this with the support of the school.

Education, Health and Care Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. Mr Boucher, our Academy SENDCO, will be able to advise you about this.

Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

At The Gainsborough Academy, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.

It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of additional opportunities that the school organises in order to enrich the experiences of our pupils underpinned by our Gainsborough Pledges. Our curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning.

All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. Our SEND philosophy places SEND children at the heart of personalised learning and our curriculum is tailored to meet individual pupils needs.

At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented. To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum The Gainsborough Academy remain committed to:

  • A range of teaching and learning styles.
  • Differentiated learning materials
  • Access to ICT and Technology.
  • Additional in class support
  • Additional out of class support
  • Flexible groupings – including small group support work.
  • An innovative, creative and supportive curriculum.
  • The appropriate use of rewards and sanctions.
  • A broad range of extra-curricular activities, including pledge club, performing Arts clubs and various sports clubs and activities throughout the year. 
  • Assessment procedures that emphasise pupils’ strengths and achievements using ‘I can’ Statements
  • Applications  to obtain access arrangements as appropriate.

How we Identify and Assess Children with Special Educational Needs

Most children and young people will have their special educational needs met in mainstream schools through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

At the Gainsborough Academy, we follow a graduated support approach which includes “Assess, PlanDo, Review”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a pupils special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

As part of this approach, we will produce a SEND Support Plan that describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s special educational needs and agreed outcomes.  Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Pupil assessment is an on-going process and forms an essential part of teaching and is designed to promote the raising of achievement. Pupil assessments provide important information for pupil review and support meetings and is also used to gather evidence for referral to external support agencies.

A special educational need can be a number of different things.  For example, a pupil may be having problems with reading and number work, which can be helped by putting extra support in at school and by working in partnership with parents.  It may also be due to a disability which makes it harder for a pupil to use the same educational facilities that the school provides for the majority of children.  For some pupils this may be a temporary difficulty, while others may have a long term need for special help.

Types of Special Educational Need and Disability

At The Gainsborough Academy we have experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of need including:

  • General Learning Difficulties  –  pupils whose learning progresses at a slower pace
  • Speech and Language Difficulties
  • Dyslexia (difficulties with reading, writing and spelling)
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Autistic Spectrum
  • ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder – ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Social/emotional needs
  • Other Physical or Medical Needs
  • Mental Health issues

Staff Expertise

Within in school we have teaching and support staff who have extensive knowledge of SEND.   The school has a number of Teaching Assistants who have training and expertise in the following areas;

  • Fine and gross Motor Skills
  • Speech and Language
  • Autistic Spectrum
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Behaviour support
  • Mentoring support

If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the Academy to arrange an appointment.