We believe that every child is an individual who brings something special to the school community. All students regardless of their ability, personality or background have a right to take part in and enjoy every aspect of school life and to have the opportunity to meet their full potential.
Our aim at the academy is to ensure that the barriers are removed and to offer all our students the opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, all of the many wonderful experiences that are available to them as a Samuel Ryder Academy student.
Within our Inclusion Faculty we provide specialist support and opportunity to help students feel valued and be better equipped to make positive choices, so that they can play an active role in the life of the school community.
At Samuel Ryder Academy, children are identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in a variety of ways, usually a combination, which may include some of the following:
- Liaison with previous school or pre-school setting
- Child performing below ‘age expected’ levels or equivalent
- Concerns raised by a parent
- Concerns raised by a teacher
- Liaison with external agencies e.g. for a physical/ sensory issue, speech and language
- Use of tools for standardised assessment such as, Lucid Assessment Test, Wide Ability Reading Test 4 and Cognitive Profiling test in the primary phase
- Children with an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) already have many of their needs clearly identified. Their placement at our school is a decision that is made by the Local Education Authority
Academy’s arrangement for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs
- We track and analyse the children’s progress against national expectations and age-related expectations three times a year and will send a report home to parents once a year.
- The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed.
- Pupil Progress Meetings are held in the primary phase between each class teacher, Key Stage Coordinator and Head of Learning Support. These meetings discuss children who are not making expected progress and possible actions and support strategies that could be implemented.
- On entry to the academy all children are assessed using Cognitive Assessment Test (CATs) and Lucid Assessment Test (LASS).
- Where specific needs are apparent, there are a range of assessment tools which can be used to explore a child’s strengths and difficulties in more depth, for example Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) and Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL 2).
- The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) reports regularly to the Governing Body regarding the progress of the children.
- There is a governor who is responsible for SEN
Academy's approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs
- The class teacher plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the needs of each child are met. They will oversee, plan and differentiate the material to support the SEND children to ensure that appropriate progress is made in every area.
- Lessons are differentiated, taking into account the primary needs of the learners, with tailored strategies implemented for specific students.
- Where necessary, the class teacher and the SENCo, will discuss a child’s needs and what support is appropriate.
- The SENCo oversees the progress of each child with SEND.
- In the secondary phase, some lessons will have a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) assigned to support groups of students.
- Children with SEND will have access to the appropriate resources needed in order to help them to make progress, such as support mats, coloured overlays and strategy cards.
- The SENCo reports to the Head teacher and Governors regularly to inform them about the progress of children with SEND and how resources are being used. All information is anonymised.
Additional support for learning for students with special educational needs
- Small group and one-to-one interventions are run throughout all phases of the academy. These focus on a specific identified need. For example, reading, spelling, handwriting and numeracy.
- Talking Partners: a targeted intervention to support students’ communication skills.
- Learning Zone: small group lessons focused on specific curriculum areas of need.
- Life Skills: small groups in Year 7 and 8 to support the development of social and emotional aspects of learning.
- Nurture Group: for small groups of primary age children to develop social skills.
- Additionally the department will support children to develop their:
- fine motor skills
- short-term working memory
- organisational skills
These are working documents that are completed on specific children to focus on supporting them in school. They ensure that the learning and support is child centred and enable all members of staff to acquire an in-depth understanding of strategies to support an individual child in their learning.
These are co-ordinated by a member of the Inclusion faculty. The portraits are shared with staff and parents/carers. This provides a platform for the child to be central to their learning and ensure that their views are heard and acted upon.
The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND
In the majority of cases the class teacher (primary) and form tutor (secondary) are the first point of contact for parents. Additionally, members of the Inclusion Faculty are available to meet and discuss a child’s progress, the support in place or any questions parents may have.
Furthermore, the faculty are in regular contact with parents as well as:
- An appointment with the SENCo to discuss support in more detail;
- Half termly coffee mornings. Each morning will have a focus and external agencies invited to some of these meetings;
- Termly meetings in the Life Skills and Nurture Group to discuss a child’s progress.
The involvement of external bodies in meeting the needs of students with special educational needs
The school will always look to seek advice and support from external agencies when this is deemed necessary. Some of the services the school uses are:
- Counselling service;
- Links Academy: outreach and in-reach support
- Educational Psychologist
- Family support workers
- Speech and Language Team (SaLT)
- Communication and Autism Team (CAT)
Parents and carers can access the Hertfordshire Local Offer here.
If further assistance is needed, the customer service centre can be contacted on 0300 123 4043 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical environment of the academy
We have, in consultation with the relevant expert bodies, aimed to make as much of the school accessible to those with mobility needs as possible. However, challenges due to the building designs and site layout do remain. Any parent wishing to know more about this and to discuss specific case needs is encouraged to contact the Head teacher, Mr M. Gauthier.
- All external areas of the school are accessible by wheelchair
- There are disabled parking bays available in the car park
- Accessible toilet facilities
- A lift enables access to the top floors of the primary classrooms, humanities, English and inclusion
- Handrails around the site
- Strips painted on the edge of the stairs
- A number of paths and stairs have been widened
- Safe heating around the corridors
Over time the school plans to further increase the accessibility of provision for all children, staff and visitors.
How the academy includes all students in activities outside of the classroom, including school trips
- Each child has access to all parts of the school curriculum, including school trips.
- We provide support to ensure access to school trips and when required will discuss this with parents.
- In exceptional circumstances a parent/carer will be asked to accompany a child on a school trip.
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure health & safety is adhered to and the suitability of the activity.
- There are a variety of extra-curricular activities provided at lunchtime and after school for all students.
- The inclusion department offers lunch time clubs five-days a week.
Expertise and training of staff with relation to children with SEND
- The Head of Learning Support & SENCo is currently completing the National SENCo Award.
- Within the school there is a culture of sharing good practice and expertise through an accredited CPD programme.
- The inclusion team is highly skilled and has allocated members of staff responsible for different educational needs.
The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with SEND in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living
Early Years Foundation transition
- All students allocated a place at Samuel Ryder Academy will be visited by member of staff.
- Students who need additional support have extra meetings with one of the members of the inclusion team and the parents/carers in order to put a plan of support in place prior to starting at the academy
- The identified students will join the Nurture Group in September
Year 6 into 7 transition
- All students allocated a place at Samuel Ryder Academy will be visited by member of staff during the summer term they are in Year 6.
- Students who require extra support will have the opportunity for additional visits to the academy during the summer term they are in Year 6.
- During these visits they will meet key staff, have a tour of the site and will be given extra materials to ease the transition.
- When necessary, students will attend the Life Skills group in September of Year 7.
- Additional support is provided by Links Academy for the identified students.
- Students who have an EHCP will work closely with Connexions and our careers advisor in planning their next phase in education or adulthood.
Who to contact if you have any questions
- In the first instance contact the class teacher or form tutor.
- Contact the SENCo.
- General information relating to SEND can be found on the Scholars’ Education Trust website here.
- Further information is available from the Head of Learning Support & SENCo: Mr T Savage.
- The school has a complaints policy, which is available on the Trust website.
- Further information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs can be found at the following: