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Alder Brook is a provision for pupils who are permanently excluded from their mainstream setting and also a social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) provision with 16 places for pupils with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
In school interventions come under three levels of support; WAVE 1, WAVE 2 and WAVE 3.
WAVE 1 – whole class. In Alder Brook this looks different to mainstream settings as our class sizes are kept small due to the high need of the pupils along with high adult ratios. This is our universal offer for all of our pupils.
WAVE 2 – smaller group with an adult for specific support and/or intervention. This may be daily or weekly targeting the specific areas for identified pupils.
WAVE 3 – 1:1 therapeutic sessions and/or counselling sessions. This level of intervention is put in place for pupils displaying a high need for emotional intervention and support. Pupils usually access this in blocks of half a term or a full term. Usually the pupils are selected based on tracking and assessment information with senior leadership and the SENco.
What additional support can be provided in the classroom?
At Alder Brook Primary Partnership Centre we have a number of support staff who work with the young people to assist and support the teacher. This is often a Teaching Assistant (TA) (who is an additional member of staff) who works under the direction of a teacher or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA). TAs work with small groups and on a 1:1 basis with pupils who need extra help with their learning and/ or behaviour. They try to do this by supporting their development of concepts and vocabulary and reinforcing the learning following a lesson. They will also provide opportunities to have additional practice in a particular subject area, or working through differentiated materials with them. TAs assist with developing pupils’ social skills giving them strategies to help control their behaviour, if this is an area of difficulty. We have a teaching assistant assigned to each form group, as well as therapeutic play and nurture run by two trained teaching assistants, to support them until they move on to mainstream or specialist provision.
At Alder Brook PPC class sizes are small in order to meet the needs of the pupils, this is to offer extra support and help them in class to make progress in lessons for their level.
What provision do you offer to facilitate access to the curriculum and to develop independent learning? (This may include support from external agencies and equipment/facilities)
All our teachers are required to plan lessons, using the National curriculum, so that all of the pupils can access the learning objectives successfully. When a young person starts at the PPC, they are expected to complete baseline assessments in English (which will include a spelling and reading test) and Maths. The SENCO or SpLD (Specific learning difficulties) lead may carry out additional assessments or tests to find out more about the pupil’s learning difficulties so that the curriculum and teaching can be further tailored to enable them to make progress.
If the SENCO thinks we need more advice about how to help your child learn, we will talk to you about this. We sometimes ask for advice from other specialists, such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists or specialist Advisory Teachers whose expertise could be in a more specialised area for example Asperger’s Syndrome or ADHD. The advice these professionals give is used to inform teaching and learning. We record the strategies we are using in a Provision Map which is an individual plan for your child to help them to make progress and improve their behaviour. This will be written by a team of teachers and support staff within school. This will also be shared with you and evaluated on a termly basis.
Some pupils need particular pieces of equipment to help them work and learn more independently. In our school we have dyslexia friendly classrooms to further support our certification as a dyslexia friendly school which use a range of aids to support independent learning. Some examples of features of a dyslexia friendly classroom are;
A range of different types of pens, pencils and grips to help with handwriting
Visual displays for rules and coping strategies
Alternative means of recording such as using a laptop or IPAD
We have sets of coloured overlays that help some pupils see text more clearly.
Staff specialisms/expertise around SEN or disability
All staff have undertaken ELKLAN training to support speech and language needs. All staff members are trained in level 1Team Teach which means they are able to use de-escalation techniques in difficult situations; this also means that they are trained in using physical techniques and interventions if necessary. Some key staff members have undertaken the next level of Team Teach training and take the leading role when physical positive handling is necessary. Key members of staff have completed and are on-going with training in 1:1 and group nurture and therapeutic play. The SENco has attended a number of training sessions including implementation of the new changes to SEN involving Education, Health and Care plans. Also receiving support and advice from an experienced SENco with the national award for Special Educational Needs from a mainstream primary school. Three members of staff are enrolled onto the Teaching Leaders Primary Programmes to commence on 30th August 2014 for one year with the possibility of being selected for the second phase with a further years training. Furthermore the SENco will undertake the National Award for SEN to commence September 2015.
What ongoing support and development is in place for staff regards supporting children and young people with SEN?
Staff development needs are identified through performance management and appraisals. New techniques are discussed as part of our staff meetings on a weekly basis and staff ethos is to share good practice with each other. In addition, Friday afternoons are set aside for in house or external agency training. Staff have undertaken in house training on dyslexia by our dyslexia lead and all staff have completed initial training on ELKLAN by Speech and Language therapist. The pupils have behaviour logs completed on a daily basis and debriefing is carried out after high level incidences with SLT and class staff working with the given pupil. In the meeting the child’s Positive handling documents are reviewed and edited and a new version shared once all staff are in agreement of actions moving forward. In addition, any pupils not making adequate progress in half a term, academically, will be discussed with the full staff team during pupil progress meetings. At these meetings we will look at alternative interventions we could use to remove the barriers of learning for a young person. This may be in one specific subject area or in a variety of subject areas.
What arrangements are made for reasonable adjustments and support to the child during tests and SATs?
Decisions and plans for SATs are made on an individual basis. Children have access to a reader, scribe and extra time where necessary. Furthermore, children who are anxious or struggle to concentrate in a group environment have the option to complete their SATs in another room with 1:1 staffing. All staff are aware of children’s needs and will support each child accordingly. Children who need additional support are paired up with staff chosen based on familiarity.
What arrangements are in place for review meetings for children with Statements or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans?
Children with statements (transferring to EHCP) will be reviewed annually or where needed possibly before transition from Alder Brook PPC. Parents are invited to the review meetings where all agencies involved meet together to ensure the plans in place for the child are appropriate and changes needed are made. Parents/ carers and professionals involved with the child are sent a letter/email inviting them to the annual review meeting and possibly a report about the child. Parental views are very important and steps are taken to support a parent to get to the school for the annual review meeting or home visits to complete a parental report and views. Additional help is available to parents/ carers with a child with Special educational needs from the partner partnership team as well as Alder Brook’s family liaison officer, Gail.Carey (0161 921 2650).
What arrangements are in place for children with other SEN support needs?
Individual written reports are sent home towards the end of an academic year with the option of a follow up discussion if needed. Termly parents are invited into school to be in their child’s class for the morning where they can see their child’s work and speak with the staff working with their child. Parents are contacted via the telephone at the end of each day to report on the child’s day and any academic successes will be verbally shared. Pupils with SEN have individual plans based on education and behaviour, these are SMART targets reviewed with the child termly or half termly where necessary. Pupils with SEN who need further support and families will be supported by the SENco and family liaison officer who, with the parents/carers, will look at what further additional intervention is needed for the child such as 1:1 therapeutic sessions or assessments for possible learning barriers.
How and when will a risk assessment be done? Who will carry out the risk assessment? What handover arrangements will be made at the start and end of the school day? Do you have parking areas for pick up and drop off?
Risk assessments are completed from the mainstream school where necessary; we also complete a risk assessment of all of our pupils when we have enough information about them (within their first month). This is updated on a termly basis as well as an assessment on the pupil’s personal / social /emotional and behavioural development. This enables the staff in school to take this into account when working with your child. These assessments are carried out by the pupil’s class teacher and other staff where appropriate. This information is shared with parents in the regular meetings we have with them.
At Alder Brook PPC we have daily phone calls with parents/carers after the school day to discuss the pupil’s day and call during the day where necessary. Their daily points and behaviour is discussed with parents and if there has been an issue or concern this is shared during daily telephone conversion with parents.
All pupils are transported into and from the PPC unless parents/carers choose to transport.
Bespoke arrangements can be made for individuals as well as the normal arrangements if it is deemed necessary and is part of their plan. For example if they need to have a reduced timetable where they come into school at a different time.
What arrangements will be made to supervise a child during breaks and lunchtimes?
The pupils at Alder Brook PPC are supervised at breaks and lunchtimes by the teaching staff, there are opportunities to use ICT or play indoor games within the classroom or sports hall. These activities can be accessed by all pupils providing they are behaving in an appropriate manner. When dry, there is also a range of outdoor sports equipment available such as footballs, cricket equipment and skipping ropes. These activities are all supervised onsite.
How do you ensure my child stays safe outside the classroom? (e.g. during PE lessons and school trips)
Off site activities such as trips and PE lessons are a well structured and important parts of our curriculum. There is always at least 2 staff on a trip with a group of pupils (no more than 8). This is a guide and depends on the needs and risk assessment of the pupils, sometimes the staffing ratio is one to one if necessary. If a pupil is a high risk when offsite then they may not be appropriate for this to happen, in which case they will be educated in school during this time.
What is the school’s policy on administering medication?
Medication is discussed as part of induction, where forms are completed. This is done on an individualized basis depending on need. Letters are given out during induction to inform parents /carers that is their responsibility to let us know if the medication is to change. Medication is kept in a locked drawer and is only accessible by the administrator and the member of staff allocated to administer and record the dosage given.
How do you work with the family to draw up a care plan and ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the plan?
When a care plan is required this is discussed between health professionals and parents are informed of this where appropriate.
The school nurse who is involved. She is available on the phone if any advice is needed re health concerns and issues may they arise. There are 2 trained first aid members of staff. Any pupils needing specialist care for an existing medical condition would be assessed on an individualised basis and staff would seek training where required.
What would the school do in the case of a medical emergency?
If there was a need for a pupil to have a care plan with regard to Emergency care and procedures, this would be carried out on an individualised basis and all staff would be made aware of this where appropriate.
If an unexpected medical emergency arose, all staff and pupils are aware of who the first aiders are. Due to high staff to pupil ratio the other pupils would be removed from the scene ensuring the safety of staff and pupils where possible.
How do you ensure that staff are trained/qualified to deal with a child’s particular needs?
All staff are trained to deal with pupils with SEN and behavioural difficulties. Should there be a pupil with a medical condition attending the centre; appropriate training would be provided prior to their start date if required.
Which health or therapy services can children access on school premises?
Health and therapy services are offered through the Salford Health Referral team and are not accessed on site.
Do you have home/school contracts?
Alder Brook will share with new parents/carers the home/school agreement. This document lists the aims Alder Brook have for helping all children reach their true potential. The agreement asks parents/carers to encourage their child to be responsible, play an active role and to be supportive of the school such as coming to collect their child should the child be involved in a serious incident and to have their child ready by 8am for the school bus in appropriate clothing. Within the home/school induction pack there is information on Team teach using positive handling in high level circumstances for parents to sign that they have been informed. Furthermore the agreement is for the child to sign agreeing to the school rules, keeping themselves safe, following instructions on the school transport, following e-safety rules and any assaults on staff or damage to property may lead to parents and even police being called.
What opportunities do you offer for children to have their say? e.g. school council
We run a student council meeting, which meets every half term and has a representative from each form group present. Pupils have the opportunity to discuss any concerns or suggestions they may have on the school e-forum, edmodo.com, using their personal login details.
What opportunities are there for parents to have their say about their child’s education?
Parent view is very important within Alder Brook. The curriculum is tailored to the individual needs of the pupil. All pupils have access to the core National curriculum however this can be supported by some alternative provision if it is deemed to be beneficial to them.
What opportunities are there for parents to get involved in the life of the school or become school governors?
Alder Brook have recently formed a Management Committee, the PPC equivalent of a Governing body. Parents were invited and we have a parent member now in role. Also parents are invited to be a member of the Alder Brook parent group which have regular coffee mornings held at Alder Brook.
What support does the school offer around transition? (e.g. visits to the high school, buddying)
Alder Brook strive for successful transition to mainstream/ special provision and high school. All transitions are planned specific to the child’s needs and their best interest in mind. Generally, a transition will begin with us working with the child’s new or current education setting on transition timetables where the child will dip in and then increase their time at the new setting finally attending full time. Our staff will support children 1:1 for a period of settling in time where appropriate. If a child has an EHCP and it is recommended support is needed then the new setting will employ a member of staff and then this person will be invited to support the child in Alder Brook and the new setting during a time of transition.
Our funding is determined by formula, based on a variety of factors including individual needs.
Describe your school’s governance arrangements for SEN funding allocation
We are in the process of establishing a fully functioning Management Committee, which is the PPC equivalent of a Governing Body. One member of the committee will be designated as the SEN Representative who will monitor the arrangements for the SEN funding allocation.