The department consists of a very supportive and committed team comprising Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, a Teaching SENDCO, Inclusion Co-ordinator, 2 Higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) 10 Teaching assistants (TAs). Some of the TAs have specific additional responsibilities and may have specialist links with curriculum subject areas or outside agencies working alongside the school.
The Learning Support department’s primary statutory responsibility is towards those students who have Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), but a great deal of support is also provided for those with significant needs who may not meet the threshold for the statutory assessment process.
Most SEND support takes place inside curriculum lessons, but there are also a range of tailored interventions which may involve students being withdrawn from the mainstream classroom. These interventions include: individual reading programmes, shared reading, small group literacy withdrawal, speech language and communication groups, social behaviour for learning mentoring, emotional literacy groups and individual mentoring.
Occasionally, students are withdrawn from Modern Foreign Languages lessons to work on particular skills with the aim of maximising student access to the curriculum. A small number of students are also provided with laptops to support their learning.
At lunchtime, there are a range of supportive activities which students can access and these include a lunch club aimed at supporting vulnerable students who may have particular difficulties at unstructured times during the school day, this is hosted with ‘the Zen Den’ and fully supervised.
During Key Stage 4, some students are encouraged to take the ‘Supported Studies’ option in place of an additional GCSE course. This lesson aims to maximise student access to the GCSE curriculum in other areas by providing ‘booster’ lessons on topics covered in all other areas of the curriculum with a particular focus on English, Maths and Science.
There is a high level of liaison and consultation between the members of the Inclusion Department and curriculum and pastoral staff. A wide range of outside agencies work closely with the department to provide specialised support to students with more substantial barriers to learning. SEEaTS, Behaviour and Inclusion, Redbridge Educational Psychology Service (EPS), the Educational Welfare Service (EWS), Connexions are just a few to mention. There is also regular liaison with and referral to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Social Services and an external counselling service.
A regular cycle of meetings is held and staff are offered training and updated on new developments in the area of SEND and on the latest whole school initiatives. Continuing Professional Development training is encouraged and is offered to SEND staff through both in-service training and through attendance at externally run courses. Termly inclusion panels run for each year group, this is where discussion around identification of needs and implementation of support assigned for key students staff have concerns over.
The Inclusion department is situated in the Prendiville Provision. Inclusion is integrated into the main school, and there are teaching rooms across the school specifically dedicated to Inclusion. The department has a smaller classroom for individual or small group withdrawal, these have access to a teacher computer and screen to enhance the learning environment and progress of our children. We have a larger classroom, dedicated to supported studies, this classroom has a projector, a screen and 11 school networked computers which are all linked to the school internet server.