SEN Information Report

 

Chadsgrove School SEN Information Report

(This forms part of the Worcestershire LA Local Offer)

 

Introduction

Chadsgrove School is a purpose-built Local Authority maintained special school for children with Physical Disabilities and/or Complex Medical Needs located in north Worcestershire.  The school is an all age (2-19) day school serving children from within Worcestershire and across the west midlands.

Through high quality teaching, learning and pastoral care, we aim to develop confident, caring and independent young people who are able to succeed in life after school.

Our most recent Ofsted report in February 2016 states:
 
"The school continues to maintain an excellent balance between caring for each pupil and ensuring that they make the best progress they can, academically, socially and personally...Far from standing still since the last inspection, you have all continually sought to improve."
 

What kinds of special educational needs (SEN) does the school make provision for?

All pupils will have a physical disability and/or complex medical need; some may have additional or associated needs such as:

  • learning disability
  • visual impairment
  • hearing impairment
  • communication difficulties
  • autism
  • social and emotional needs
  • profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)

The majority of children will have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (or be in the process of obtaining one), in which physical disability and/or complex medical needs are listed as a significant need. A small percentage of children who attend Chadsgrove have ‘assessment’ places. Children may join the school at any age between 2 and 19 years and at any point during the academic year.

 

Specialist support

In addition to following the statutory curriculum, Chadsgrove also offers specialist support to pupils in the following ways:

  • Nursing and medical needs met by on site school nurses and trained support staff
  • Physiotherapy (Primary Care Trust), along with on site Hydrotherapy and Rebound Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy (Primary Care Trust)
  • Occupational Therapy (Primary Care Trust)
  • Development of communication skills using programmes and equipment such as Signalong, Eye Gaze, and specialist ICT
  • Independent Living Skills (learning the skills needed to live independently)
  • Comprehensive physical development programmes
  • Music therapy
  • Sensory programmes

Classrooms are equipped with a range of specialist and adapted equipment to meet pupils’ needs.

 

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision?

The Governors and Senior Leadership Team use a number of different approaches to ensure that the education and care provided for Chadsgrove pupils is effective.

The school annually carries out a rigorous evaluation of teaching and learning, whole school pupil progress, behaviour and safety, and leadership and management. This is reported on in the school’s Self Evaluation Framework document.

The evaluation is carried out in consultation with the Governing Body and takes into account the views of parents, Ofsted, Teaching School Alliance partners and the school’s School Improvement Advisor (an external consultant who regularly reviews the work of the school).

 

What are the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of its pupils?

Pupil progress is tracked and recorded using CASPA and B Squared assessment tools. Pupils’ academic work is marked regularly with work scrutiny carried out by SLT on a regular basis in order to ensure that all pupils are making appropriate progress.

Various strategies are used to assess the progress of those pupils with severe learning difficulties (SLD) or profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), including ebooks and MAPP (Mapping & Assessing Personal Progress). MAPP is a suite of materials that facilitate the planning, assessment and recording of progress in relation to personal learning intentions. In particular it provides a way of recognising lateral progression. It also facilitates planning and the assessment of learning for pupils who are working within P-levels.

Medical needs and interventions are monitored by on-site School Nurses and the Medications Manager.  Other professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech and Language Therapists are either based at the school or in close proximity, and are able to monitor and develop appropriate individual programmes alongside class teams.  Families are invited to discuss pupil progress at Parents’ Evenings, Annual Reviews, Education, Health and Care Plan meetings or at informal meetings arranged with the school.

 

What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs?

The school has Teachers and Teaching Assistants who are experienced in working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Many have additional qualifications in areas of practice such as visual impairment, autism, profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties and Conductive Education.  The school believes that all pupils should be given opportunities to succeed and develop self-confidence. 

Staff are experienced in developing appropriate adaptations in order to enable all pupils to access the curriculum, and, for older pupils, exam board qualifications.  For those pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties progress is supported through use of the Barrs Court Curriculum.  

A wide range of extra-curricular activities and visits take place every week in order to engage pupils and encourage success at all levels of learning. The school employs a Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Coordinator who advises on and supports provision for pupils with complex needs.

 

How does the school adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs?

Where possible, all pupils access the curriculum in small groups with a high staff to pupil ratio.  Some pupils may be working on materials from an earlier key stage than their actual year group, and move on when learning is consolidated to ensure success. Sports such as boccia are offered to support the P.E. curriculum and many classrooms have physical adaptations such as rise and fall benches and specialist technology. As already mentioned, those pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties follow the Barrs Court Curriculum.

 

What additional support for learning is available to pupils with special educational needs?

As well as small group learning supported by a high staff to pupil ratio, individual interventions are used where necessary. This may be, for example, to develop Literacy or Numeracy skills or to support a pupil in working towards a particular qualification.  Some pupils may use iPads, laptops, communication aids or other specialist ICT devices to support their learning.

 

How does the school enable its pupils to engage in the activities of the school?

The school environment is wheelchair-friendly and accessible to all pupils.  The School Council is asked to contribute to decisions about extra equipment or activities to ensure a high level of pupil interest. Home/school books are used to inform parents about school activities and vice versa. Specialist equipment such as hoists are available to ensure, for example, that pupils can access the hydrotherapy pool.  A high level of staff support is always available to support pupils in a range of activities both during and after the school day.

 

What support is available for improving the emotional well being and social development of pupils with special educational needs?

Peer mentors (someone of a similar age or experience) are available to help pupils work through any difficulties. There are also trained well-being mentors available for pupils to talk to about any difficulties they have. A drop-in service is available at certain times for older pupils and their families to meet with the Young Adults Social Work Team from Worcestershire County Council, to discuss relevant issues. There are also a wide range of social activities available to pupils and their families which are facilitated by the Chadsgrove Families Team. A social worker is also based at the school.

 

What specialist expertise and training do the staff have in relation to the needs of the pupils?

Many of the staff have additional qualifications in relevant areas such as PMLD, autism and visual impairment. Staff are trained in a wide range of health and safety techniques such as manual handling so that they are able to lift and assist children to move safely. The school runs a wide range of training including Rebound Therapy courses which are also available to staff from other organisations. The Teaching School runs courses on a wide range of topics relevant to the needs of Chadsgrove pupils, and these are available to any member of staff who expresses a wish to take part.

 

What specialist equipment and facilities are available at Chadsgrove to support the learning and development of its pupils?

There is a wide range of technological support to enable pupils to learn effectively such as Eye-Gaze, switches, and a wide range of programmes and applications for various subjects. Equipment specifically to help those pupils with physical disabilities includes hoists, Acheeva beds, and mini-buses with tail lifts. The school has its own hydrotherapy pool, and hosts facilities for NHS School Nurses and Physiotherapists who work on-site.

 

What arrangements are there for consulting parents or carers about their child and how are parents or carers involved in the education of their child?

Teachers and members of the Senior Leadership Team will often make phone contact with pupils' families if they wish to consult quickly with a parent or carer.  For more routine matters, there are Parents’ Evenings, Annual Reviews, Education, Health and Care Plan meetings and, for older pupils, a ‘Moving On’ event where parents, carers and pupils can access information about possible destinations after Chadsgrove. Where necessary, Team Around the Child or Child in Need meetings are also facilitated to support multidisciplinary team working and promote the health, wellbeing and education of individual pupils.

Informal activities include coffee mornings, concerts and productions, visits home to families of children who attend our nursery, and end of term activities. A family training programme and calendar of events for families are also available.

 

How are pupils involved in choices and decisions relating to their education?

Pupils are asked to contribute their views, where possible, to the Annual Review of their Statement or EHCP. Pupils are regularly asked to self-assess their learning to decide if they should move on or keep practising a particular skill. The School Council is regularly consulted on a range of relevant matters and is involved in the appointment of new staff.

 

If parents or carers wished to make a complaint about the provision at Chadsgrove, what would they need to do?

Initially, if parents/carers are unhappy with any aspect of provision at Chadsgrove they should raise the matter with the Headteacher. If they are still unhappy then they should follow the school’s complaints procedure, available on the school website, or consult the Chair of Governors. 

 

How does the Governing Body involve other bodies, including health and social services, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of its pupils and in supporting the families of such pupils?

The Governing Body is supportive of the involvement of all other agencies who contribute to meeting the needs of its pupils. They are keen to continue to offer facilities for professionals to work on-site, and it is policy and practice to invite all relevant agencies to contribute to pupils’ EHCPs.  Where necessary, appropriate budgets are put in place to buy in relevant support from other organisations and support services. Governor training has been provided for Governors by Edgehill University.

 

What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education or in preparation for adulthood and independent living?

Pupils often join Chadsgrove during an academic year and plans are made for phased induction visits, where possible. It is usual that all professionals involved with a child would be consulted about the child’s needs with regards to specialist equipment or other provision. When transferring between the primary and secondary phases at Chadsgrove, pupils would have regular visits to their new class base and class teacher before the full-time transfer; there is very close liaison between class staff.

If staff felt that the needs of a particular pupil could be better met elsewhere, they would do everything possible to support parents/carers in accessing more appropriate provision. Equally, if a parent wished to move their child to a different organisation, Chadsgrove staff would do all they could to facilitate a move. 

Because of the specialist nature of the environment and curriculum offered at Chadsgrove, almost all pupils choose to stay at the school when moving on from key stage 4.  The curriculum for Post-16 pupils is devised to enable all young people in Key Stage 5 to experience life in the community and, where appropriate, to be supported to access mainstream college. Independent Living Skills such as cooking, learning how to do laundry and going shopping are developed as appropriate alongside skills such as travel training. The school organizes a ‘Moving On’ event in conjunction with another local special school during the Spring Term to enable parents/carers and young people to gather information and advice about possible post-19 destinations, including the 19-25 provision available through the Chadsgrove Education Trust.

 

Where can I find the Local Authority’s Local Offer?

The Local Offer lists and describes all provision offered by Worcestershire County Council for children and young people (up to the age of 25) in the county, and this can be found on their website (www.worcestershire.gov.uk).