REDDISH VALE HIGH SCHOOL SCHOOL OFFER
We believe in excellence for all. Our School Offer sets out how we make sure that this happens for children with special needs and disabilities so that every child can achieve his/her best.
How do we identify pupils with Special Needs and Disabilities?
We work closely with parents, other schools and pupils to identify which of our pupils have special needs or disabilities. When pupils start at Reddish Vale High School they sit a small number of tests called CATS (Cognitive Ability Tests). We use these tests and the year 6 SATs scores to see who may need extra help and support. The end of year tests and the progress reports can also help us to know who needs support. We then look more closely at each pupil so that we know where their strengths are and what kind of extra help and support is best for them.
Ms Watts our SENCO will organise small groups for Literacy and Numeracy Intervention with KS3 pupils. For pupils who need extra support, particularly emotional and social support, we have support groups in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. If we feel that a pupil would benefit from learning in a very small group setting then we will place them in the support group.
How are Annual SEN Reviews organised?
From September each pupil who has a EHC Plan will have a review once a year. At this review school SEN staff will have chance to discuss progress with parents and pupils. Depending on the pupil’s needs it may also be that the Assistant Heads Of Year or Senior Staff attend at the review too. The SEN team will then collate the notes and will make sure that the support is put in place to support the needs of the indicidual. The SEN team will also make sure that all paper work is sent to parents/carers, the Town Hall and the Learning Support Service.
Individual teachers will be made aware of pupils’ needs and will be given information and guidance on how to make resources suitable for each pupil and how to support them in lessons. Training will be given to staff if required. Pupils with specified special needs will be given diagnostic tests to see where best to target support and intervention. Pupils with EHCPs will have a Behaviour and Learning mentor working with them in lessons. The exact number of hours of support that a pupil will receive will be dictated by the information from the EHCP.
Do Reddish Vale High School Staff go to Transition Reviews whilst pupils are in Year 6 at primary school?
The SENCO and/or the Assistant Head of year 7 will attend the Transfer Review meeting held in Year 5, as well as the Year 6 Review if we are asked to. At these meetings we will outline the support that would be available. Parents/carers and pupils are both welcome and encouraged to visit the school before the review meetings.
What happens if my child joins the school part way through a year?
The majority of pupils join us in year 7 but sometimes a pupil may come to the school at another time. When this happens we make sure that we liaise with teachers and support staff at the pupil’s last school so that we are aware of any special needs and disabilities. We may decide that the pupil should have a reading /spelling test on entry to Reddish Vale as a diagnostic tool to make sure that support is appropriate within the class.
How do you deal with bullying?
We take all cases of bullying very seriously. Bullying can be reported to any member of staff and we also have a designated member of staff who has special responsibility for dealing with bullying issues. Older pupils help us with preventing bullying. Each pupil has a tutor that they can talk to and a Head of Year and Assistant Head of Year who is available to talk through any problems that may arise in school. Reddish Vale have a very strong culture of Pastoral Support and Safeguarding, please see our Safeguarding section of our website and our Safeguarding Policy.
How is my child kept safe?
Mr Whoriskey if the Designated Lead in school for safeguarding. Ms Vivante is our Safeguarding Officer. Keeping all our pupils safe is very important to us. There is more information on the home page of our website.
Security/safety measures in place
Pupils are able to come into the school grounds through two entrances from 8.00am. The gates are locked at 8.35am and reopen at 2.50pm. During the school day visitors can only enter via the school’s reception. Some of the school corridors and grounds have CCTV. All employees wear ID badges. There are staff on duty before tutor period, during the changeover of lessons, at break and lunchtime and at the end of the school day to ensure pupils move calmly between classrooms. When pupils arrive at the start of the day and leave at the end of the school day, staff are on duty outside the school grounds. Staff wear high visibility jackets so that they can be easily identified.
How do you keep in touch with Parents/Carers?
If parents/carers are concerned about their child they should email or call the school and ask to speak to their child’s tutor or classroom teacher. If parents/carers feel they would like to speak to someone else, they should contact their child’s Head of Year or Assistant Head of Year. To find out who this is, parents/carers can look at the school website under Pastoral Care. If parents would like to come and speak to somebody face to face, then they should contact the school to make an appointment.
We send our parents/carers a Progress Report for their child each term. This will include information about their child’s progress in lessons, attendance, attitude to learning and homework, as well as the targets their child is working towards.
Each parent/carer will be invited to a Consultation Evening at least once a year. This is an opportunity for parents to speak to each of their child’s teachers about their progress. If we have concerns about a child then parents/carers may also be invited to one of our Targeted Consultation Evenings, which take place five times a year. If, at any point during the year, the school has more serious concerns, then we will contact parents/carers to make an individual appointment.
For pupils in Year 9 we hold an Options Evening. Parents/carers are invited to school to speak to teachers about which subjects their child should study at GCSE.
In addition, there is an Open Evening towards the start of each year, when parents of primary school children can come and look around the school and speak to staff. Again, the date for this can be found on the school website.
Parents can give feedback to the school at any time. They can do this by contacting the school directly and speaking to a member of staff or via email. There will also be the opportunity to take part in parent surveys throughout the year.
How do Learning and Behaviour Mentors support pupils?
The school has a number of Learning and Behaviour Mentors to help SEND pupils. These are some of the ways they help support pupils:
- The Learning and Behaviour Mentor will make sure that class teachers know the targets of pupils with SEN. They will work with the pupils in lessons to support their learning.
- They can provide help sheets if pupils are struggling in lessons.
- They can provide differentiated tasks according to target levels after consultation with the teacher.
- They can use a variety of ways to check that new learning has been understood.
- They can provide personalised targets in books for pupils to work from.
- They can make sure that pupils understand their National Curriculum levels.
How are pupils able to more become independent?
- In different lessons and subject areas discussion based activities are used prior to independent writing activities to help organise thoughts and ideas. Pupils are encouraged to talk with others in order to clarify their own thoughts, feelings and ideas.
- Computers, laptops and tablets are often used to encourage independent writing so that pupils don’t have to worry about poor handwriting or spelling; they can concentrate on the vocabulary
- Writing frames are often used to encourage independent writing.
- There are many opportunities to enter writing competitions (iPad for story writing competition)
- Real life audiences e.g. visiting writers and poets come into school to speak to pupils.
- Motivating pupils through rewards and praise. We have a reward system in school called the Vivo system which electronically records points that pupils are given for excellent work and behaviour in class. Pupils can download the Vivo ‘app’ on their phones and this will give them an immediate idea of how many Vivos they have gained throughout the year.
- Teaching well-planned and engaging lessons that allow pupils to develop a love for learning. All teachers in school have undergone training in TEEP (Teaching Effectiveness and Enhancement Programme) in order to make lessons more stimulating and motivating. All teachers will differentiate activities in lessons so that pupils of all abilities can access work within a particular subject area.
- Giving pupils ‘The big picture’ before they start working, sharing with them what the lesson will be about and what they will achieve in that lesson.
What training do the staff have around SEN or disability?
All teachers will have training and information to support them in working with SEND pupils. In the last few years teachers have received training in:
- ADHD awareness;
- Autistic spectrum awareness;
- Experience working with members of the traveller community;
- Supporting pupils with a visual impairment;
- Dyslexia awareness;
- Delivering literacy booster sessions
Teachers are also helped in other ways in supporting pupils with SEND by, for example;
- In class support from experienced SEN teachers and teachers from Stockport’s Learning Support Service. Victoria Lofas of LSS works with us on a Thursday and a Friday supporting SEND pupils on a 1 to 1 basis and advising us on diagnostic tests.
- The Ethnic Diversity Service offers teaching and support for pupils with English as an Additional Language. Ruxana Parveen from this service works within Reddish Vale on a Monday in order to support the neediest EAL pupils.
- Teaching staff and support staff have regular timetabled discussion time to talk about the pupils and how best to help them.
- Information is given to teaching staff at beginning of each academic year, which indicates (briefly) details of National Curriculum levels gained at KS2, KS2 assessment data, medical needs and behaviour issues.
- Some pupils use IT equipment such as Notebooks. They are given to pupils to use on a daily basis to help with them in class with handwriting.
- Training courses available to all SEN staff via the Learning Support Service and other providers, as funds allow, to co-ordinate and run, for example, Better Reading Partnership, to help deal with mental health issues, to support pupils on the ASD spectrum, with developing work on social stories, and developing motor skills.
What reasonable adjustments are made and what support is providing to the pupils during tests and exams?
Certain pupils are assessed before end of year 9 to see if they should have special consideration in tests and exams. This could mean that they will have a reader to read the questions, or a scribe to write them, or that they may be able to use a word processor. We also identify pupils who should be given special consideration because of medical needs, social and emotional issues or stress. These pupils are tested by a trained Access Arrangements specialist at the end of Year 9. The information is referred to the exam watchdog – the JCQ - and this organisation will decide if a particular pupil will be allowed access arrangements in internal and external exams.
If they are granted access arrangements the school will them support them with readers and scribes in all exams.
Pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 at KS3 may also be given special consideration for any end of year exams/assessments.
How do I know how my child is doing?
Information about progress is given to parents/carers as part of the school’s Progress Report system. This tells parents/carers how much progress their child has made, about their attendance and how they behave in class.
The annual Review Meeting (see above) is also a way of letting parents/carers know what progress has been made.
There is regular contact between SEN staff and parents/carers so that we can work together.
Do any other agencies come work with school?
The Ethnic Diversity Service carries out some one-to-one teaching and some small group work. They also provide bilingual teaching assistants if necessary.
The Behaviour Support Service provides some additional support for some pupils with particular difficulties.
Individual teaching and Support for Children who are Looked After is provided by the Virtual School and sometimes by individual teaching.
How are risk assessments carried out?
Risk assessments are carried out regularly and reviewed every year at least. All assessments are carried out by someone who knows about the activity that is being looked at. For example, the health and safety assessments for the building are carried out by the Site Manager who has had the correct training and has the right qualifications. A risk assessment for a trip will be carried out by the person who is organising that trip. Again, that person will have had the correct training.
What support is there for behaviour and attendance?
Pupils are organised into Tutor Groups and Learning Groups. Tutor Groups are made up of boys and girls from a single Year group and is the group where they are registered each morning between 8.35 am -8.55 am. Each year group has a Head of Year and an Assistant Head of Year to support the pastoral needs of pupils.
Learning Groups are either made up of pupils of the same ability, or they may be mixed ability. The pupils are taught subject lessons in Learning Groups.
How accessible is the site?
Reddish Vale High School has some toilet facilities adapted for wheelchair users in two buildings and in the sports hall. Temporary ramps can be put on parts of the ground floor. Unfortunately Reddish Vale is not a designated school for wheelchair users.
What Careers Guidance is given and how is my child prepared for the next stage if his/her education or training?
Reddish Vale High School has a qualified Careers Adviser to give impartial advice and guidance to students in years 8 -11. The Careers Adviser is available in school 4 days a week, with ‘drop in’ facilities before school, at break, during lunch time and after school. A Careers Newsletter is issued each term and the Careers Adviser attends Parents Evening and Options Evenings. Pupils have access to a range of resources to help them make decisions about their future. These include; a well stocked Careers Library with up to date books, college/university prospectuses, careers software packages are available via ‘Vale on Line’ together with a list of useful contacts – e.g. the national careers service and local colleges/training providers.
Pupils in years 9 can ask for a one to one interview to talk about the Options Process. Parents/carers are welcome to come to this interview. In year 11 pupils can again ask for a one to one interview as they think about what to do when they leave school. Pupils with additional needs are identified at an early stage to make sure they have the right help in year 9 and year 11.
During Year 10 every pupil takes part in some group work run by the Careers Advisor. They also fill in a “Next Step” survey. This help us decide who should be interviewed first and answer any questions they may have. It also tells us who is thinking of going to college and who is thinking of applying for an apprenticeship. This means we can make sure they get the right information. Staff from our partner colleges and training providers also give presentations to the Year 10 about the many options available. College Taster Days are offered to pupils towards the end of Year 10.
Reddish Vale High School has excellent working relationships with our partner colleges and training providers, who visit the school on a regular basis to take assemblies and have lunch time workshops. They also come to the annual Careers Evening and take part in our mock interviews.
Pupils interested in the apprenticeship route have workshops to help them register on the National Apprentice Website. Training providers are invited in to school to advise on local employment opportunities. We help the pupils to fill out the application forms and to write their personal statements.
We are currently building on our employer network to encourage local companies to visit Reddish Vale to advise students on the skills and qualities required in the work of work.
Together with our partner colleges/training providers we have track the destination of our school leavers to identify any pupil who is not employment or training and may need additional advice and guidance.
How are is my child prepared for adult life?
Both Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) prepare pupils for adult life in a variety of different ways at KS3 and KS4.
At KS3, pupils are taught about managing money effectively, this is part of the new National curriculum in Citizenship and it is taught in Year 7. In this scheme of work pupils are taught about savings and current accounts, borrowing money, pay day lenders, budgeting and clever consumerism. This helps pupils to have a clear understanding of how to manage their money. In Year 8 pupils learn about parliament, how voting works and the criminal justice system. This work helps the pupils understand how decisions are made. In Year 9 Citizenship lessons cover the options process within school and provides early careers and subject guidance through lessons and talks with the careers advisor.
The curriculum covers information to raise awareness of homophobia, cyber bullying, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, body image and healthy eating.
At KS4 pupils have to complete two campaign projects about issues in their local area. This allows them to complete some thorough research about their local area and to aim to make a difference. This is part of the Year 10 controlled assessment work. In year 11 pupils continue to build upon key skills developed at KS3 including communication and action and research.
Within the PSHE curriculum pupils focus on the theme of relationships, looking at issues such as sexual exploitation, sexual health, positive relationships and sexual bullying.
The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award is offered as part of the Citizenship curriculum. This award scheme prepares pupils for adult life by allowing them to take part in a voluntary, physical and skill based activity for 6 months. They then complete a 2 day expedition.
What happens if my child is ill or needs medication?
Parents/carers fill in a consent form, which means that medication can be brought to school. It is kept in a secure place in the First Aid Room. Some pupils, however, are allowed to keep their medication with them, inhalers for asthma for example. Sometimes a parent will send in a letter if the pupil just needs medication for that day, like pain killers. If pain relief is required during the day (for example a headache) we will ring parents/carers to ask permission.
Pupils with long term conditions such asthma or diabetes will have a care plan, which staff refer to.