Special Educational Needs Information (School offer)
The Steiner Academy Hereford offers a broad based education to children aged 3–16. The school’s ethos and educational approach are inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s insights into child development and related pedagogical practice.
The Steiner Academy Hereford aims to ensure that all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs, have access to the Steiner Waldorf curriculum. It is committed to valuing all pupils, irrespective of academic ability, physical or emotional attributes, gender, culture, religious, ethnic or socio-economic background. It recognises that all children have individual needs and that at some point in his/her school career any pupil may need additional support. The school tries to meet these needs in a way appropriate to the child’s age, stage of development and personal circumstances.
The school employs whole -class, mixed ability teaching throughout, which means great emphasis is placed on the teacher’s input being imaginative, engaging and inclusive of all abilities and learning styles.
Tasks are differentiated as necessary from this shared input, and classroom assistants are on hand, aware of and briefed about assistance that may be needed in individual cases.
The Steiner Academy Hereford aims to provide a technology free environment for pupils from the ages of 3 – 12. In those years classrooms are not equipped with interactive whiteboards and pupils have no access to computers. ICT is introduced gradually from year 7 onwards and pupils with SEND may have access to assistive technology in the classroom from Year 9.
What kinds of SEND are provided for?
- Support for all 4 main areas of SEND can be provided. Some of the pupils currently have a Statement of SEN or EHC Plan.
- The site meets basic accessibility requirements.
How does the school know if a child needs extra help?
The School Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy Sept 2018 sets out in detail the arrangements for assessing needs.
The School has three Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) to cover the different age groups:
Melanie Nykamp – Early Years firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Gebert – Primary Age email@example.com
Vivien Rouse – Secondary Age firstname.lastname@example.org
The SENCos work closely with the Pastoral Lead Teacher, Carol Kirk, who takes responsibility for health, welfare and safeguarding issues, including EHA (Early Help Assessment), and works with pupils who have Social Emotional and/or Mental Health difficulties.
Pupils who are identified through teacher assessment, parental concerns or class screening, as likely to need additional support, are referred to the Learning Support Department for assessment. In the first instance, one of the SENCos will carry out an assessment and then, in conversation with the parent/carers and the Class Teacher or Guardian, decide on the next steps to take.
How are parents of pupils with SEND consulted?
Communication with parent/carers takes many forms (see SEND Policy). Of particular relevance to parents of children with SEND are:
· Annual Review Meeting for pupils with Statements or EHC Plans
· Home/school books
· Termly Parents’ Evenings
· Home Visits (by arrangement)
· Telephone communication as necessary
· Electronic communication – parents are encouraged to contact their child’s Class Teacher/Guardian by email if they have questions regarding their progress.
· Class Teacher’s Surgeries
· Meetings arranged by appointment with Class Teacher, SENCo and/or other relevant staff members.
How are pupils with SEND consulted?
· Pupils’ views are taken into account, in an age appropriate manner, when organising support for their needs.
· Pupils are encouraged to share any concerns with their Class Teacher/Guardian, the Learning Support Staff, their SENCo and/or the Pastoral Lead Teacher
· The majority of the pupils on the SEND Register work regularly with a learning support teacher, usually one of the SENCos, which gives them ample opportunity to discuss their needs and difficulties.
What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND?
Steiner Academy Hereford has a whole school approach to teaching pupils with SEND.
· Whole school policies are evaluated annually to ensure inclusion and progress of pupils with SEND.
· Staff undertake Continued Professional Development (CPD) in relation to SEND and are able to offer support and guidance to pupils.
· All staff have completed CPD in relation to meeting pupils’ needs within the classroom and there is an on-going programme to update these skills.
· All teachers model ‘Quality First Teaching’ to ensure appropriate support is offered from the outset to engage pupils in the learning process.
· All support staff are effectively deployed to ensure pupil progress, independence and value for money.
How is the teaching and learning environment adapted to meet the needs of pupils with SEND?
Adaptations to the teaching and learning environment vary according the specific needs of the individual child.
· Communication and Interaction:
- Planned seating arrangements are designed to support pupils’ communication and interaction with one another, for both social and learning purposes.
- In the classroom pupils are encouraged to work with desk partners, in small peer groups or as members of the whole class – supported as necessary by Class Teacher or TA. This ensures that communication and interaction takes place between pupils as well as with adults.
- Targeted intervention programmes are delivered to pupils to improve skills in a variety of areas.
- Occasionally timetables may be adapted to allow for a child’s specific needs.
· Cognition and Learning :
- Targeted intervention programme sare delivered to pupils to improve skills in a variety of areas.
- Where needs warrant it, pupils may be withdrawn from class for one or two lessons a week to work one-to-one or in a small group with a Learning Support Teacher. Except in the rare occasions where a pupil is dis-applied from a particular subject, this is done on a rolling rota so as to interfere as little as possible with the pupil’s work as part of their class.
· Social, Emotional and Mental Health:
- Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development is intrinsic to all teaching and learning within the school and as such the school ethos values all pupils and their diverse abilities.
- The school encourages peer friendships and aspires to ensure that no pupil feels isolated.
- The behaviour policy identifies reasonable adjustments to ensure the need for exclusion is minimised.
- Risk assessments effectively ensure that action is taken to increase the safety and inclusion of all pupils in all activities.
- Behaviour management systems in school are based upon encouraging pupils to make positive decisions about behavioural choices. A supervised quiet space for time out of lessons is available for pupils who need it.
- The school provides effective pastoral care for all its pupils and every endeavour is made to support individual needs.
- External support is sought and any advice implemented to support individual pupils’ needs.
- The Student Council encourages pupils to suggest changes to school practices and procedures and encourages a greater level of involvement.
- Small group targeted programmes, led by the Pastoral Lead Teacher, can be delivered to pupils to improve social skills and emotional resilience.
- The Steiner Curriculum provides many opportunities for outdoor learning, which supports pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs.
- A “quiet space”, staffed by parent volunteers, is available at lunch times for those pupils who prefer less vigorous activity.
- Occasionally timetables may be adapted to allow for a child’s specific needs.
· Sensory and/or Physical Needs:
- The school ensures that parents/carers work in partnership with it to support pupils.
- Advice and guidance is sought from the Local Authority Specialist Teachers and implemented to ensure that barriers to success are reduced or removed.
- Advice and guidance is sought and implemented to respond to pupils who have significant medical needs e.g. asthma, diabetes, life limiting conditions.
- Staff understand and implement the medicine administration policy.
- Staff receive training to ensure understanding of the impact of a sensory need upon teaching and learning e.g. Hearing Impairment Awareness.
- Additional adults are deployed to increase pupil success and independence where necessary. The SENCos and/or Pastoral Lead Teacher complete any necessary training in order to ensure their effectiveness in offering advice and guidance to staff regarding the needs of pupils.
- The school buildings are accessible to all.
How is pupils’ progress assessed and reviewed?
· Pupil progress is continually monitored by teachers.
· Pupils are screened annually for literacy and numeracy.
· Pupils receiving learning support interventions are continually monitored and are formally reviewed at least twice a year, by the Support Teacher with whom they work in consultation with the SENCo.
· In addition to the annual class screenings, from Year 4 onwards, pupils on the SEND Register, are assessed for progress in Reading, Spelling and Maths using WRAT 4 in the autumn and spring.
· For further information see the SEND Policy
How is the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEND evaluated?
· As part of the normal school self-development and self-review cycle, the data from screening test results and teacher assessment are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the provision for all pupils with SEND. (see SEND Policy for detail on screening tests).
· The SENCos, Pastoral Lead Teacher and Learning Support Teachers meet weekly to discuss, plan, review and evaluate the SEND provision within the school. This is shared with the Academy Leadership Team which is fully involved with this process.
· The Secondary Phase SENCo and the Pastoral Lead Teacher are both teacher governors and members of the Teaching and Learning Committee. They ensure that high quality SEND provision remains one the Governors’ priority objectives.
What expertise and training do staff have to support pupils with SEND?
· All staff are teachers of all SEND pupils and regular training on SEND strategies is provided.
· Jill Tate and Alison Gebert (SENCos) have specialist training in supporting pupils with SEND and undergo regular CPD to keep abreast of changes and developments.
· The school has a team of well qualified and effective teaching assistants who deliver desk-side support in class and may also work one-to-one or in small groups as directed by the teacher.
· The school also accesses the advice of two independent Educational Psychologists.
How does the school enable pupils with SEND to participate fully in the activities of the school community?
· It is anticipated that all pupils will be involved in all aspects of the work of their class, irrespective of SEND. This includes trips, seasonal festivals, plays, performances and assemblies, in addition to all lessons in arts, crafts and movement. Where pupils with SEND are unable to participate without assistance, a TA is deployed to help them.
· Break times are supervised by teachers who are aware of possible difficulties with inclusion and prepared to circumvent them, intervening if necessary.
· Behaviour and anti-bullying policies are evaluated regularly with a focus on the impact upon pupils with SEND.
· Access to teaching and learning for pupils with SEND is monitored through the school’s self-evaluation processes.
· Teaching resources are routinely evaluated to ensure they are accessible to pupils with SEND.
How is emotional and social development supported in the school?
· All teachers and support staff regard the emotional and social health of the pupils as their highest priority.
· Social and Emotional Intelligence is modelled by all staff and interwoven into the delivery of lessons, as it is integral to the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and teaching methods.
· The Secondary Phase SENCo and the Pastoral Lead Teacher are trained and act as EHA lead professionals.
· The Pastoral Lead Teacher is trained in working with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties and is available to any child who may need her support, irrespective of identified SEND.
· Where appropriate, pupils are referred to the Behaviour Support Team and/or a counsellor who regularly visits the school.
· Pupils with complex emotional and mental health needs are referred to CAMHS.
On which External Agencies can the school call for additional help for pupils with SEND?
· The Linden Centre (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – CAMHS)
· Herefordshire Psychology Services (Educational Psychologists)
· The Kite Centre (Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy) – Wye Valley NHS
· Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Service – Wye Valley NHS
· Behaviour Support Team
· The HI Team (Specialist Teachers for the Hearing Impaired)
· The Children’s Hearing Centre – Wye Valley NHS
· The VI Team (Specialist Teachers for the visually Impaired)
· The Child Development Centre – Wye Valley NHS
· Paediatricians and other Healthcare professionals
· SLCN Support Services (Speech Language and Communication Needs)
· Social Services
· A full list of services available can be found on the Herefordshire.gov.uk website:
How does the school support pupils with SEND in transition to post-16 education?
· The Secondary Phase SENCo liaises with the receiving provider, ensuring that information is passed on. This includes pastoral needs, assessment data and access arrangements for exams.
· The school organises visits to the Herefordshire colleges for all year 10 pupils in the summer term.
· Representatives from the above and other post-16 settings are invited to speak to pupils and parents at a “Colleges Evening” held in the autumn term of Year 11.
· Further group visits are arranged following this and individual visits for pupils with SEND are arranged as necessary.
· Independent individual post-16 and careers advice is provided for Year 10 and 11 pupils. Pupils with SEND are prioritized and their parents are also invited.
What are the arrangements for handling complaints from the parents of pupils with SEND?
· In the first instance parents are encouraged to bring their concerns to their child’s Class Teacher/Guardian and/or the relevant SENCo. A meeting may be arranged at which their issues will be discussed and, it is hoped, resolved.
· In the event that this is not successful the matter should be referred to the Principal email@example.com
· Further information about the school complaints procedure can be found on the school website
What support is available to parents in addition to that which is offered by the school?
Herefordshire SENDIAS provides an impartial and confidential support service for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Further information can be found on the Herefordshire.gov.uk website.
Is further information needed?
Herefordshire council have a website (Herefordshire.gov.uk) which provides a large amount on information on SEND and related matters.