Abbot’s Hill welcomes pupils with a wide range of skills and talents. We aim to enable all pupils to achieve their full potential in all aspects of school life but we recognise that some pupils are challenged by specific learning difficulties.
We are able to support pupils with learning difficulties, but we are not a special school with Unit facilities and therefore can only offer a limited level of support. Pupils are allowed to study one less foreign language if languages prove difficult for them and it is possible to keep one GCSE option block ‘free’ for study, thereby reducing the pressure of work. This extra time can be used to reinforce work done in lessons, spend more time on preps, undertake extra reading and research or to have individual specialist support lessons.
All pupils with a diagnosed Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) should give the School an up-to-date Educational Psychologist’s Report in order that we may best meet the pupil’s needs. Some pupils may have a condition other than an SpLD, eg Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Asperger’s Syndrome or M.E. which will require some form of support and monitoring. Any background information, reports from specialists, information relating to previous help should be provided so that we can provide effective support and enable your child to make progress. It is the responsibility of the parents to supply this information and not the previous school.
The school aims to meet the special needs of all children within the school as they arise. Many children will have a special need at some time during their school life. These should be identified and diagnosed and effective learning strategies or support put in place.
The school aims to operate a ‘Whole-School’ policy of intervention so that all pupils can fulfil their potential and can maximise the educational facilities on offer. In order to do this we:
– Identify and provide for pupils who have special educational needs and additional needs.
– Work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice 2014.
– Operate a “whole pupil, whole school” approach to the management and provision of support for special educational needs.
– Provide support and advice for all staff working with special educational needs pupils.
Support is planned around the pupils’ areas of difficulty which are encapsulated in an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The specialist teachers and pupils agree targets which relate closely to the student’s current levels of achievement and needs. They plan an appropriate programme of study based on these targets. Skills taught are to enable the pupil to access the curriculum with greater ease. The Learning Support teachers incorporate multi-sensory techniques to help improve pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. Pupils are encouraged to apply these techniques in the classroom.
The Rose Garden is a designated Learning Support base in the heart of the school grounds. It comprises of two offices for use by department staff, two fully equipped classrooms with SMART boards, a suite of laptops, WiFi access and a large meeting room. The base is open from 8am to 5pm daily so that pupils and teachers can access specialist teachers, facilities and the wide variety of resources.
The School recognises the needs for Staff INSET on issues of SEND provision and incorporates this within the plans for full Staff INSET. In addition, an awareness of SEND issues is part of all new Staff Inductions and addressed appropriately at regular staff and pupil assessment meetings. The Head of Pupil Progress also provides INSET to PGCE pupils and NQTs on the staff.
Staff are encouraged to drop into the Rose Garden to seek the advice of our specialist staff. We have a library of information books that can be borrowed and electronic information sheets are also held on the T drive. Observations of pupils in class can be requested and advice given to the teachers as appropriate.
The SEN team take part in cluster group meetings with other independent and maintained schools and regular training is provided with groups such as the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre. Department meetings each term include short presentations by each member of the team disseminating information gained through courses or reading.
All teaching staff and support staff that work with pupils in the school will be provided with general or specific training on meeting the needs of SEND. Occasionally, specialised training will be necessary to support the needs of a particular pupil. This will be provided to those staff most directly involved with the student. Training may be delivered in school, by specialist services working with a particular pupil.
Learning Support lessons are provided within the normal fee structure where the school deems the support necessary for progression to be made. The school will decide on the most appropriate level of support and groupings in order to facilitate this progression. Assessment by outside professionals is funded by the parent.