Personalised Learning (SEND)
At RWBA we believe that all students are individuals each with specific talents and needs. Some will find learning easy, others will find it hard. All students will have good and bad days. Nevertheless, RWBA is committed to providing an inclusive education for all young people, regardless of ability, gender, language, ethnic or cultural origin. Our aim is for all students to leave the academy with the skills necessary to make a successful transition to adulthood in an ever-changing and highly technological world, whether it is their intention to move on to further or higher education, training or work.
Students who have a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan as well as those placed at SEN Support are monitored closely by the Personalised Learning Team. We work hard to support a range of student needs that include moderate learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties (Dyslexia), sensory impairments, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, speech, language and communication needs and for those on the autistic spectrum. We also liaise effectively with a wide variety of external agencies and individuals to focus on improving outcomes for all students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
All students follow a broad and balanced curriculum, based on the National Curriculum and have access to many extra-curricular activities to further enhance their learning. Teaching and non-teaching staff work together to provide for children who have special educational needs; normal routines and procedures are designed in such a way that, wherever practicable, no child is excluded from any activity. All teachers are teachers of students with special educational needs and disability and have a responsibility to ensure each one is valued and their self-esteem promoted. Explicitly, quality first teaching has to be at the fore. We also work in close partnership with parents/guardians as it is important that they take an active and valued role in their child’s education.
The policy of the Academy is that pupils with a special educational need or disability should be taught within their Year group and, whenever possible, within their normal classes. Withdrawal from lessons will be considered in individual cases when this is felt to be in the best interest of the child concerned and where resources allow.
· To raise the standards of attainment for all students with SEND through a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that is differentiated to meet individual learning styles (e.g. using visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning preferences);
· To create a climate where all staff are aware that they are responsible for all students with SEND and plan their lessons accordingly with effective differentiation thus overcoming potential barriers to learning;
· To use data effectively to ensure all students make effective progress at the end of each key stage;
· To work in close partnership with outside agencies to support the needs and provision for pupils who have SEND.
How can we help students?
Teaching Assistants readily support in lessons and work with the students in a variety of ways such as helping them to understand the work they are doing, or taking small groups/individuals out of the class to work on specific skills/concepts, scribing, paired reading and differentiating resources. Teaching Assistants are very valued members of staff. They work effectively and closely with class teachers, planning as well as leading a variety of intervention programmes and social skills groups.
Who do we help?
You may feel that it is unlikely that your child will ever need support from the Personalised Learning Team, but statistically 5% of all students will at some stage or other require extra help at school. As well as being supported academically, this may also take the form of receiving social, emotional or medical support. It could be that a student may break their arm just before some crucial exams and need a scribe or the use of a laptop.
How are students selected for extra help?
We work closely with all our feeder primary schools to find out which students need extra help in Years 5 and 6 so we can continue this in Year 7 if necessary. All students with SEND need are placed on our Personalised Learning Register and teachers are given strategies to help support their needs. Those with significant special needs will be provided with a My Support Plan. This is written by the Special Needs Coordinator, using information from parents, primary school and outside agencies and shared with all teachers. It provides information on the child’s problems, targets and guidelines for support and is reviewed three times a year. In addition, Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan have to have an Annual Review meeting. From Year 9 onwards these reviews will consider KS4 and post-16 options.
The Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistants work in teams based on the main areas of SEND need and with their specific knowledge are able to offer prompt, appropriate and relevant support for identified groups of students. They also advise teachers on learning strategies that work when supporting students.
We have 19 Teaching Assistants. Of these, one is linked to each of the core subjects of English and Maths and others are linked to each year group. They work within lessons to support students through adapting, amending and differentiating materials.
Teaching Assistants can also support in the following ways:
· attend parent meetings & parent evenings;
· be available for any parent to talk through any problems;
· support reading with the Accelerated Reader Programme
· Mentor students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties;
· Mentor students with social and communication difficulties;
· Lead small group withdrawal sessions for students with specific literacy and/or numeracy problems;
· Offer handwriting support;
· Offer ELSA programmes (Emotional Literacy Support)
· Be available at the supported homework club.
Personalised Learning Facilities and Teachers
· 3 dedicated teaching rooms each with a Smart board and well equipped with resources;
· 1 x Specialist Teacher (SpLD);
· 1 x KS3 SEN teachers;
· 1 x administrative assistant for 4 days per week.
· The Department is led by the SENCO who is also an Assistant Headteacher;
· We have a link Governor who has a specific focus on SEND;
· There are SEND representatives from each subject area who meet regularly to discuss strategies for improving learning with our SEND students.
Curriculum Pathways at Key Stage 3
Students are banded according to ability for English, Maths, Science and Humanities and for all other subjects are taught in their tutor groups.
Currently, students in Year 8 and Year 9 who have difficulties with literacy do not follow a Modern Foreign Language but are put in the Launch Group, a small group taught by teachers who focus primarily on reading and comprehension skills following the DISTAR reading scheme. It should be noted that students are not able to reintegrate into learning a language midway through the year, neither at the end of the year. Therefore, students are not able to take a GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language at Key Stage 4.
Students who find it more challenging to access learning are placed in our Nurture Group. This is a small group setting where students follow curriculum content at a pace relevant to their learning capacity. They do not take a Modern Foreign Language but follow a bespoke timetable concentrating on improving reading, writing, numeracy and social skills. We currently have a Nurture Group in Year 7 and Year 8.
Students who have numeracy difficulties are set appropriately to ensure their needs are met. There is also opportunity for additional support during iLearns.
Curriculum Pathways at Key Stage 4
Students follow a pathway tailored to their SEND need. For some this will mean following a full GCSE programme, for others it will be a mix of GCSE and BTec courses as well as time out at college placements. Generally, a bespoke pathway in consultation with teaching staff, the student and parent works really well for our SEND students.
Supported Homework Club
All students with SEND are invited to attend the supported homework club that runs from 3-4pm from Mondays to Thursdays. This is led by the Teaching Assistants and valued highly by parents.
For more information about the structure of Personalised Learning, please read our SEND Policy.