Author / Owner
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS INFORMATION REPORT
This Report needs to be read in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs Policy
Winchelsea School’s Aims
- To create a safe, welcoming and successful school where pupils, staff, families and visitors participate effectively and are valued equally.
- To promote open and honest communication throughout the school and the wider community.
- To set high standards and expectations for every child according to their individual needs and abilities.
- To provide a rich and varied curriculum that supports the academic, social, emotional and personal development of every child.
- To promote responsibility, independence and self-awareness in every child through the development of speech, language and communication.
- To celebrate diversity by promoting the awareness of our rights and the rights of other people regardless of race, gender, age or ability.
- To continually develop a professional and approachable staff team who inspire confidence through a supportive and understanding relationship with children and their families.
- To foster positive, collaborative and effective relationships with other organisations and institutions.
Legislation and Guidance
This Information Report is based upon the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice and the following legislation:
Current Ofsted Grading
Good – June 2022
Winchelsea School is a community school. The school’s home Local Authority (LA) is Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council (BCP). It is a special school for pupils aged 4 – 19 and designated for pupils with complex needs. All pupils have an EHCP. The school is increasingly taking pupils with more complex profiles.
The majority of pupils come from within the Bournemouth and Poole area with a small number come from Dorset. Most are transported to school via minibuses. Approximately 10% are brought to school by parents / carers. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage and speak English as their first language.
Winchelsea School provision is in place for children with an EHCP from 5 years old to 18 years old. Our Post 16 provision caters for those children with Moderate Learning Difficulties. As such, the majority of our pupils extend their stay beyond Year 11 but a small number require mainstream or specific specialist provision in other settings.
We also offer satellite classroom provision at Old Town Infant School, Canford Heath Junior School and Magna Academy. This currently provides for up to 68 additional places.
Standard Admissions Number
201 places. The school is currently oversubscribed and provides for 219 pupils.
Admissions across the school may be made at any time during the school year but the majority take place in September. All admissions are made in accordance with the current national legislation relating to pupils with special needs, and must conform to the school’s admission policy, as agreed with the LA.
The school is funded to provide a specific number of places by the LA. There are no prescribed place numbers relating to the category of learning difficulty or Key Stage (KS) although an appropriate balance will always be sought. The school may, in certain circumstances agree to admit pupils beyond this number if it is confident that, in so doing, the needs of the pupils in the group are not compromised, it is appropriate for the needs of the pupils being admitted and appropriate agreement is reached concerning funding for additional place provision. The discretion to admit beyond the formula number remains with the Governors through the office of the Headteacher. Governors seek to allocate places on the basis of vacancies within groups rather than overall vacancies within the school.
All admissions are administered by the LA. Occasionally admissions may be agreed for children from neighbouring authorities. The following is taken directly from the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council Special School Admissions Criteria:
- Have general learning difficulties which affect progress in most curriculum areas and / or will benefit from a placement at a special school committed and resourced to reversing patterns of failure associated with school and learning. These patterns of failure may manifest themselves in combinations of learning, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties; however, in the case of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, these will not be so severe in nature that they would warrant placement in a SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) special school.
- Are predicted to achieve between Levels 1 and 3 in most subjects at Key Stage 4.
In addition, some pupils:
- May have a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, social communication disorder or semantic pragmatic language disorder).
- May have diagnosis of dyspraxia / Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or additional needs in the form of dyslexia or dyscalculia.
- May experience a combination of low self-esteem and a significant degree of social and emotional immaturity.
- May experience a degree of language delay / disorder.
- May present with some challenging behaviours (but not severe in nature) in association with learning difficulties. These behaviours may include oppositional behaviour that is significantly greater than that shown by peers in the same setting.
The School’s Approach for Teaching Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
We offer a differentiated and personalised approach to learning. Pupils access the curriculum at a level appropriate to meet their needs. Pupils are grouped according to age, stage and general ability. This means that classes may have children with different ages but similar learning needs. This results in classes ranging for six to twelve pupils. We teach using a primary based model i.e. the class teacher will teach everything except Physical Education (PE), art, music and food technology.
In addition, we plan for and deliver intervention programmes in a variety of areas - speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, sensory integration, pastoral and emotional intervention, behaviour support and additional literacy. Aims of intervention programmes are to:
- Raise standards.
- Further improve achievement.
- Actively seek to address and overcome barriers to learning.
- To narrow any attainment gaps.
- Develop the full potential of every pupil.
- Work in partnership with parents / carers.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting of Pupil Progress
Please also refer to our Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy.
Statement of Assessment Principles
Recording assessments accurately enables a more personalised approach to pupil’s learning by identifying areas requiring further support and intervention. Effective reporting is vital in ensuring that students, parents and teachers are well informed of individual progress, expectations and strategies to ensure improved outcomes.
This enables us to:
- recognise achievements and identify strengths and weaknesses in particular environments and situations, in order that appropriate help and support can be provided;
- ensure continuity and appropriate progression for each pupil;
- help in monitoring the effectiveness of teaching;
- fulfil current legal requirements both for the National Curriculum and the school curriculum;
- further inform school improvement.
Assessment involves measuring performance against certain criteria. To ensure consistent standards (moderation), all staff will need to know and understand the precise meaning of these criteria.
Assessment and Recording Systems
- Winchelsea Ladders are used to measure academic progress from KS1 to KS5.
- Early Learning Goals in Early Years Foundation Stage. In addition, EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) have a bespoke method for target setting based on prior attainment and expected rates of progress.
- Target setting for Year 1 – Year 14. These are scrutinised termly through pupil progress scrutiny meetings.
- Specific assessment of phonics - termly
- EHCP Outcomes reviewed – termly.
- Evidence of current levels through work scrutiny – half termly.
- Book band review – termly.
As part of the assessment process additional reports are used to understand the whole picture:
- Behaviour through Positive Behaviour Management Plans and incident forms.
- Progress made in individual therapy programmes.
- Curriculum support data
Reporting to Parents / Carers
- Annual Reviews.
- End of year reports (to include all achieved academic levels).
- Parents’ / Carers consultation evenings.
- Home – school communication.
- Telephone calls.
- Home visits.
Curriculum Offer / Extended Provision
Winchelsea offers a broad, balanced and highly differentiated curriculum relevant to the needs of its pupils. Whilst the pupils receive their entitlement to the subjects of the National Curriculum a strong emphasis is also placed upon ensuring that the curriculum covers aspects of spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) education and promotes fundamental British Values. PHSE and life skills are integral to the curriculum offer and this is enhanced by the Coates Centre (life skills flat). We also offer specialist additional provision / intervention including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, sensory integration, pastoral and emotional intervention, behaviour support and additional curriculum support in specific subject areas.
There is a strong emphasis on learning outside the classroom including specific opportunities such as – horse riding, swimming, Forest Schools, residential trips, Duke of Edinburgh and numerous PE activities.
The school offers a variety of opportunities to take part in STEAM on Wednesday afternoons (for 1 hour) whereby pupils engage with a range of activities, for example, construction, science experiments, creative activities with a focus on enquiry and investigation. A number of lunchtime clubs also run, which include sporting activities.
The school has previously run a comprehensive after school provision four nights a week (1.5 hrs per night). However, these additional activities were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The school is looking to put this provision back in place during this academic year.
Furthermore the school leases its building to a small number of external providers, who run activities / clubs in the evenings and school holidays for pupils and young people with special educational needs.
Support Available for Improving the Emotional and Social Development of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
This aspect of learning is as important as cognitive development. The school employs a full time Behaviour Leader (who is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead) and Pupil Participation Assistants to support pupils’ emotional and social development. These staff run a number of individual and group sessions based around anger management, positive behaviour management, emotional literacy, self-esteem and social skills. In addition, the school employs Speech and Language Therapists, who also undertake individual and group work around improving social and communication skills and access occupational therapy support from an external provider. The school also works in close partnership with the Learning Disabilities Team and Child and Adolescent mental Health Services (CAMHS) making referrals where necessary, and regularly liaising for general advice and guidance.
Facilities and Equipment for Pupils with SEND
- Mobile ICT equipment – Laptops / iPads
- The Coates Centre - Life Skills Flat
- Food Technology Room
- Art / Design Technology Room
- Sensory Integration / Occupational Therapy Room
- Soft Play Room
- Speech and Language Suite
- Outdoor learning areas
- Sports field
- Four minibuses
Working in Partnership with Parents / Carers
At Winchelsea we believe that we can best meet the needs of individual children by working closely with parents/carers. We believe that good communication between the school and the home is essential. We aim to develop an effective and sustainable long-term partnership. We believe that an informed and supportive parent body will help raise standards and help children achieve their full potential.
We aim to develop partnerships between parents/carers and staff which are based on mutual trust and respect and which promote the sharing of information and knowledge for the benefit of the children in our care. We aim to work together collaboratively, with a shared agenda and common sense of purpose in order to improve outcomes for all children.
Effective communications enable us to share our aims and values through keeping parents/carers well informed about school life. This reinforces the crucial role that parents/carers play in supporting the school in educating their children.
We communicate through a range of different strategies. Some of our communications are a result of a statutory requirement, others reflect what we believe is important to our school.
Before starting at Winchelsea, we will:
- Ensure that there is a clear and effective system of communication between school and parents/carers when arranging a visit to the school.
- Arrange a meeting with parents/carers before their child’s admission to discuss and finalise transition arrangements, and to inform them about policies and procedures.
- Make every effort to ensure that information for parents/carers is made accessible to them e.g. Welcome Pack, Policies, website etc.
- Ensure that any consent forms/agreements are completed.
- Ensure that the required contact information is kept up to date.
- Establish, where appropriate, the name of a child’s legal guardian.
- Keep an up-to-date record of any particular requirements/ needs of children. These records must be kept securely.
- Ensure that arrangements for the children’s arrival and collection are clear and understood by all staff and parents/carers.
- Establish a system in which only authorised adults can collect children and create a plan that can be used in an emergency when the recognised adult cannot collect a child.
- Ensure that information about children is treated as confidential, is held securely and is only shared with parents/carers and relevant personnel.
- We encourage parents/carers to contact the school if any issues arise regarding their child’s progress or well-being.
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand that information held on children and their families is confidential.
Sharing Information Home-School Agreement
We ask parents/carers to sign the agreement when their child starts in our school. It explains the school’s aims and values, the school’s responsibility towards the children, the responsibilities of the parents/carers, and what the school expects of the children.
Parents/carers can access information through the school website.
Each year, in the summer term, we provide a written report to parents/carers on each child’s progress in the various areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum. This report also identifies areas of strength and areas for further development. We ask parents/carers to make comments regarding their child’s progress as part of this report.
Parents/Carers have the opportunity to meet with class teachers each term to discuss progress, celebrate successes, and to identify how parents/carers can support their child at home. Parents are able to look at their child’s work during these meetings.
This is a meeting to determine whether or not the EHCP should be maintained and remains appropriate. The pupil’s progress against educational targets and outcomes is the principal criterion and provides the basis for discussion about the provision required to meet the individual’s needs.
These are provided via the Schoolzine App half-termly and keep parents/carers informed of news and events about the school.
Individual staff members will send letters from time to time to inform parents/carers of planned visits/outings etc.
The school utilises a mobile app to communicate with the wider school community on a regular basis. The school website is also updated regularly.
Day to Day Contact
We encourage parents/carers to first discuss any concerns or issues about their children with the class teacher. The class teacher must discuss any issues that cannot be resolved with the Phase Leader or Senior Leadership Team. Parents can make contact via Class E-mail or by telephone before and after school, or through the school app and website.
Weekly Class E-mail
This is sent home on a weekly basis. These emails are designed to help ensure meaningful two-way communication about the day’s events, behaviours and home learning etc. Comments should be positive as far as possible and the class teachers determine the frequency of completion. E-mails are sent after the children have ended their school day, in order to minimise disruption of learning.
We encourage parents to attend coffee mornings, open days, performances and festivals to celebrate the work of the children.
At Winchelsea we encourage parents to have a voice. This is achieved through:
- Parent representation on the Friends of Winchelsea Group.
- Parent representation on the Governing Body.
- Parent questionnaires.
- Home- School Liaison book.
- Parent Consultations.
- Steering Groups which have parent representation, e.g. Vision and Values group.
- Parent Coffee Mornings.
- New Parents Groups.
- Home visits as appropriate.
Comments regarding school improvement can be forwarded to the school office and these will be forwarded to the Senior Leadership Team for discussion.
Arrangements for Consulting Pupils and involving them in their Education
All children in our school are treated with dignity and respect. The school aims to personalise the curriculum for each pupil in order that they can access and experience success throughout their school life.
The School Council enables pupils to contribute and decide on aspects of school life relating to their needs. In addition, pupils take part in the selection process of all education staff by interviewing them and forming judgements.
The assessment and annual review process of an EHCP includes the choices and views of pupils. Where possible, pupils are encouraged to think of their own targets as part of this process.
School’s Accessibility Policy
Valuing diversity is central to achieving the overall aim of Winchelsea School and fully supports the spirit of our mission statement. At Winchelsea we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for disabled pupils, staff and all those receiving services from the school. We recognise and welcome the proactive nature of the duty to promote disability equality and aim to further develop our culture of inclusion and diversity in which people feel free to disclose their disability and to participate fully in school life. We are therefore committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure that the school environment is as accessible as possible. In addition, all pupils have an entitlement to access a curriculum that is appropriate and differentiated to meet their needs.
At Winchelsea we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here. We are a Rights Respecting School and currently hold a Silver Award.
Transitions In and Out of Winchelsea
The admission of pupils to Winchelsea usually follows discussion at an Admission Panel. Prior to the meeting the opportunity is given to become fully acquainted with all relevant documentation including that arising from the various stages completed in accordance with Code of Practice. A decision is then made as to whether Winchelsea is an appropriate provision to meet the needs of the child.
The school has created its own 6th Form provision for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties and as such is able to continue to support the further education of a significant proportion of its pupil base.
When a child leaves Winchelsea all his / her records are sent on to the next school. These records should be sent within two weeks of a request for records being received. If for any reason the school is not given the address of the receiving school, or no request is forthcoming, the Education Welfare Service are informed, so that the pupil’s whereabouts can be traced.
The school has strong links with both Bournemouth and Poole College, Brockenhurst College, Kingston Maurward College, Linwood School and Beaucroft School 6th Forms. Pupils, who transfer to these following the completion of their school career at Winchelsea, have the opportunity to visit and become involved in a link course or transition course. As part of their preparation close contact and dialogue between the school and the college / 6th form is maintained on behalf of the pupil.
The school works very closely with our Careers Adviser to ensure that the pupils’ best interests are considered, and that they are, as far as possible, along with their parents, fully involved in the decision making process.
Careers Events / Information Events are organised in the Spring Term to help keep parents fully informed of all available options beyond Winchelsea Post 16.
Continuous Professional Development of Staff
The school is a learning environment for both staff and pupils. Staff are keen to continue to develop their range of skills within the field of special educational needs and teaching in general. The School Improvement Plan outlines areas for development and the training schedule relates directly to this. All teachers have an action plan linked to improving their own teaching and learning. In addition, senior and middle leaders have action plans that are associated with their additional areas of responsibility, which again link directly to the School Improvement Plan.
The training schedule is a balance of in-house and external support and is developed to meet the needs of all staff. Governors are invited to take an active part in all relevant staff training events.
How the Governing Body Involves Others - Including Health, Social Services, Local Authority Services and Voluntary Organisations in Meeting the Needs of Pupils and in Supporting Their Families
We have a wide range of staff working together within the school to support the children and their families. The majority are employed directly by the school:
Employed by the School
- Classroom staff - this includes teachers, teaching assistants higher level teaching assistants and midday supervisory assistants.
- Administration staff.
- Site management staff.
- Integrated Support Staff (non-class based) – Speech and Language Therapists, Communications Assistants, Therapy Assistants, Medical Team, Literacy Intervention Worker and the Behaviour and Safeguarding Leader.
Externally Employed Professionals
The following professionals work alongside Winchelsea staff to ensure pupils’ need are met:
- School nurse - health
- Occupational Therapists – bought in
- Physiotherapist – bought in
- Paediatricians – health
- Learning Disability Team – health
- CAMHS – health
- Educational Psychologists – LA
- Educational Welfare Officers – LA
- Social Services - LA
Transport to and from school is organised by the Local Authority. Transport staff are employed by the respective transport companies.
Future Plans for Continuing to Develop SEND Provision
- Continue links with outstanding special schools.
- Develop our outreach offer to better support pupils with SEND in other contexts.
- Continue to embed integrated services within everyday teaching.
- Continue to develop the school site to be able to accommodate an increased number of children.
- Continue to develop our satellite provision.
- Work with BCP to increase provision for children across the conurbation.
Arrangement for Considering Complaints from Parents / Carers
The school aims to provide a high quality education and service for all its pupils. Concerns and complaints and concerns regarding provision are treated seriously and are seen as a constructive part of school development. Parents should approach the class teacher in the first instance. If parents concerns cannot be satisfied the Headteacher is always prepared to investigate parents’/carers’ complaints. The Governing Body may be informed and asked to play a role, and ultimately the Local Authority may be advised of the complaint should parents feel that they have not received satisfactory responses or actions from the school. The school has a Complaints Policy available for further information.
Key Points of Contact
Address – Guernsey Road, Poole, Dorset, BH12 4LL
Telephone – 01202 746240
Website – www.winchelseaschool.co.uk
Headteacher – Mr Geoff Cherrill
Local Offer for SEND
BCP’s Local Offer for parents and carers of children with SEND aged 0-25 years can be found here:
Dorset’s Local Offer for parents and carers of children with SEND aged 0-25 years can be found here: