My Child Has Special Educational Needs
Local SEND Offer
Gilbert Inglefield Academy
As part of the Children and Families Bill 2014, all schools in Central Bedfordshire are required to make available their Local SEND Offer to families, detailing how they can support children and young people with a special educational need and/or disability (SEND).
An overview of the school
Gilbert Inglefield Academy is a middle school of 510 children aged 9 -13.
We are an inclusive school and strive to support all children to enable them to make the best possible progress and achieve well. To accomplish these aims, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum with high quality teaching, and provide effective support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
While children are still at lower school information is collected which helps identify those with learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties. This information is passed on to the SENCo and to the Year 5 class teachers, and appropriate in-class support or individual attention is arranged and timetabled accordingly.
In addition, during the first three weeks at GIA all children’s abilities in reading, spelling and maths are assessed, and those found to have difficulties targeted for further help.
The SENCo, class teachers and support staff all work together calling also on parental involvement. Partnership between home and school is vital if effective provision is to be made for children.
The work is designed to allow children to develop at their own pace. In-class support for children most in need of help is provided
Where appropriate, children with special educational needs are placed in smaller teaching groups where they receive more individual attention, particularly in English and Mathematics. In these smaller groups lessons are delivered at a slower pace and work is matched to needs. Children are monitored half-termly with their English and Maths teachers.
Additional support and guidance is available from outside agencies, for example the Education Psychology Service and the Sensory Impairment Service.
Identifying children’s additional needs
How will the school know if my child needs additional help and how will the school share information with me?
Links with lower schools: The SENCo and Assistant SENCo liaise with feeder lower schools to discuss information and assessment material on children with special educational needs. Transfer information forms are also filled in by Year 4 teachers and sent up to Year 5 teachers with an accompanying up-to-date Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Provision Map.
Requests for assessments
We may find that a child needs additional help if concerns are raised by a parent/carer, by the child’s teacher or by the child.
We would be alerted by a teacher or parent/carer if a child in any age group is making limited progress or if there is a change in their behaviour. Sometimes, other professionals, for example in Health, may notify the school of any concerns.
Parents/carers can approach the SENCo at any time if they are worried about their child. They are kept informed at all stages in the process of identification and assessment of needs. They are invited to meet the SENCo and participate in discussions about the support planned for their child. Further assessments may involve a specialist such as the school’s Educational Psychologist or allocated Speech and Language Therapist. Parents/carers are given copies of any specialist assessment reports and can discuss them with the SENCo.
Dedicated contacts at the school
Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my child's SEND?
- Tracey Rathbone – Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo
- Gill Melisi – Assistant SENDCo
Involving pupils and parents/carers in planning support
How will the school involve me as a parent and my child in meeting our SEND needs and in general school life?
The SENDCo and Assistant SENDCo meet with parents/carers at regular intervals throughout a child’s school career at Gilbert Inglefield, including:
- Year 4 transfer reviews for children with EHC Plans;
- The prospective parents/carers evening and on subsequent open days before children are due to transfer to middle school. Prospective parents/carers are welcome to come along with their child to discuss his/her needs and exchange information;
- The Year 5 open evening for children coming to Gilbert Inglefield, when parents/carers can discuss individual special needs and how those needs will be addressed once their child is in school;
- After the first few weeks in middle school, when the child has been through several assessments and tests, the SENCo will inform parents/carers by letter as soon as their child has been placed on the Inclusion Support Register. The letter will invite parents/carers to contact the school if they wish to discuss their child’s needs with either the form teacher, the SENCo or both;
- At planning, monitoring and review meetings;
- Parents/carers have the opportunity to discuss their child‘s progress and needs at consultation evenings, but can also request a meeting with the SENCo at any time of the school year. They can also email the SENCo at email@example.com.
The SENDCo and Assistant SENDCo meet with children at regular intervals throughout their career at Gilbert Inglefield, including:
- At planning and review meetings;
- Individual child/teacher conversations;
- Mentoring meetings;
- Consultation evenings.
Range of support available to my child
What different kinds of support are available to children with SEND?
- Curriculum adaptations/differentiation
- Support for behaviour
- Specified individual support
- Support for health needs
- Grouping of pupils
- Specialist teaching groups
Measuring children’s progress
How will the school know how well my child is doing and how will they inform me about this?
Subject teachers monitor each child’s progress and discuss this with the SENCo, child and parent/carers.
Support and training for school staff
Have any staff received specialist training in SEND?
We identify training needs and have a detailed training plan for teachers and support staff. Our SENDCo, who holds the National Qualification in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination, organises SEND training, calling on the services of the specialist providers, such as our Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapist and The Chiltern School as necessary.
- The school’s SEN requirements are considered together with the training needs of all other staff in the school.
- The SENDCO, teachers and LSAs will attend SEND courses which are of interest and have a particular bearing on pupils they are supporting.
- Staff will be involved in developing practices which promote whole school approaches to SEND.
- New LSAs will access induction programmes as required and all LSAs are invited to attend whole school INSET training.
Staff are issued with an interim inclusion/support register at the beginning of the Autumn term. All staff who teach a pupil who is on the inclusion support register then become aware of and are sensitive to the pupil’s needs.
Accessibility of the school
How is the school accessible to children with SEND?
- Wheelchair ramps into every teaching block
- Library lawn pathway – wheelchair width .
- Lift in Science block.
- Lift in Year 7/8 teaching block.
- Equipment in Food Room specially adapted for wheelchair users.
- Disabled toilets in Administration and Science Block..
- Evacuseats on all staircases
How will the school ensure that my child will be included in all activities at school, after school clubs and on school trips?
Pupils with SEND are encouraged to participate in all school activities. We make it a requirement that any independent provider of after-school clubs must cater for pupils with SEND. School trips are accompanied by a high ratio of adults to children. Specialist transport is engaged if necessary. Parents/carers are invited to accompany school trips and may be asked to plan visits with school staff.
Starting or changing schools (Transitions)
How will the school support my child to change classes and/or move on to a new school when they reach the appropriate stage(s)?
Careful consideration is given to preparing pupils with SEND for transition at all stages. Initial contact is made with the setting previously attended as soon as we are notified that a child is transferring into our school. When a child changes classes or moves to another school, teachers liaise together and with parents/carers, sharing information and preparing the child well in advance of the move.
Teachers and SENDCos pay particular attention to preparing children with SEND when they transfer from lower to middle school and middle to upper school, and address any learning and well-being concerns that may arise.
Year 4 to 5: During the summer term before transfer, 10 to12 Year 4 children are offered the opportunity to take part in our “Stepping Up” programme, run by Kay Webb, the Director of Pupil Well Being.
Year 8 to 9: During the summer term before transfer,10 to 12 Year 8 students are offered the opportunity to take part in “Not the Summer School”, a programme of six, one-hour sessions at Cedars and Vandyke Upper Schools. During these sessions students become familiar with their new school site, meet some of their prospective teachers and peers, and take part in social and learning activities.