Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Academic and social inclusion runs at the heart of our vision for students at Haybridge. We are unapologetically ambitions for all of our students, regardless of need or starting point. As part of this commitment to equality our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) team, which includes all of our teaching staff, work hard to ensure any barriers to learning individual students have are overcome. We strongly believe that the best place for any student is in the classroom in front of their teachers, therefore much of our student support can be found in their usual classes.

The Local Offer

Our provision for students in school, like all schools in Worcestershire, is based on the suggestions made in the Worcestershire Local Offer, which can be found here. Our interpretation of this offer can be found in our School SEND Policy and School Information Report. These reports are updated annually, so it is important to note that these may change over time.

Key Contacts

If you have any questions about your child, be that a student already on the SEND register, or with concerns that they need additional support to be put in place, please contact SEND@haybridge.worcs.sch.uk. These messages will be forwarded to one of our SEND team below, or the relevant Curriculum Leader where there appears to be a subject specific concern.

Mr Jonny Martin

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)

Mrs Emma Allen

SEND Admin Assistant

Mrs Debora Charley

Achievement Assistant

Mrs Hazel Oakes

Achievement Assistant

Mrs Lynne Potter

Achievement Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that the questions below can provide you with some insight to the diagnosis and support of students with SEND at Haybridge. They cannot cover everything we do, so if you have any further queries please contact us at SEND@haybridge.worcs.sch.uk.

The Worcestershire Local Offer dictates that and child or young person is said to have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) if they:

  1. Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
  2. Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream school of mainstream post-16 institutions.

The reasons behind the difficulties in learning and disabilities mentioned above are incredibly varied from student to student, but are classed into one of four categories of need. Many students’ needs fit clearly into one of these categories, whilst others’ span across two or more.

Communication and Interaction
- Students have difficulty with verbal or non-verbal communication; struggle with interactions with adults and/or their peers; needs such as these may reflect an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). Students may also demonstrate difficulty in the production of speech; finding the correct language to use; understanding language. This is classed as Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN).
Cognition and Learning
– Students have difficulty with literacy and numeracy, or have levels of attainment significantly below age-related expectations. Some students have specific learning difficulties (SpLD), such as Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Where difficulties are more general, known as global, conditions are classified as: Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) – students require support outside of the national curriculum. Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) - students often require substantial support in all areas of a highly tailored curriculum. Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD) – students likely have several disabilities, with significant impacts on learning and independence.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health
– Students may show signs of withdrawal and wanting to be alone, or signs of hyperactivity and inattention. Conditions here include Anxiety and ADHD.
Sensory and Physical
- Students with difficulties in hearing, vision or movement who require modifications to the school environment.

The Local Offer is a reference point for all Worcestershire schools to work from, in terms of their provision and services for students with SEND. It sets out the “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” process, explained below, which is used to provide and adapt support for students.

Assess, Plan, Do, Review

Assess, Plan, Do, Review

The Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach is aimed at finding the appropriate support for students. If after one, or several cycles of support the students’ needs are not met then the support should be changed. This is known as the Graduated Response.

Graduated Response

Graduated Response

A student’s needs can be raised via school staff, parents, or external agencies. The referring party will communicate with the SENCo, Mr Martin, who will then liaise with other stakeholders to discuss the support needed by the student, to begin the APDR process.

This varies significantly based upon the specific needs of the student, which are likely dictated by any diagnoses they have. Support is tiered to find the appropriate level of support for the student.

Tier 1 – This support is available to all students in school but can be adapted with what are called “reasonable adjustments” where students need. Support at this level is termed “Quality First Teaching”, something we believe has huge power at Haybridge. Our teaching and learning model is very much based on strategies which are research-backed as accessible and beneficial to all students, especially those with additional learning needs.

Tier 2 – Where Tier 1 support does not overcome the barriers to learning a student is experiencing they may need some additional supports put in place. At Haybridge we do not believe that removal from the mainstream classroom is a solution to difficulties in learning. We therefore endeavour to provide supportive interventions (such as the Lexia and Thinking Reading literacy programmes) outside of lesson time as much as possible.

Tier 3 – Students may need further support from external agencies which school and parents can refer to. The suggestions from these agencies can then be put in place at in school and/or at home.

Quality First Teaching (QFT) is this suggestion of various strategies to be used in the classroom which are both good practice for all learners, but of particular support to students with additional needs. Below are some of the strands of QFT which make up the teaching and learning model at Haybridge.

Chunking – content is presented in small chunks, rather than large concepts, in order to reduce the load on working memory.

Scaffolding – this chunking of work enables students to gradually build towards the bigger picture. As such, rather than differentiating the work downwards, which would suggest a lack of ambition for some, we work to build everyone up to the end goal.

Modelling – before setting off on a task, students will often be shown what a correct attempt at the work looks like. This will come from the teacher or a fellow student.

Learning laps – whilst students are working, teachers will lap the room to assess and correct students’ work, to address any misconceptions before they become engrained, or to provide additional scaffolds to individuals.

Cold Calling – this opposes the traditional “hands up if you know the answer” approach to questioning a class. Questions will be posed to an entire class of students, with the answer then being requested from an individual. This aims to encourage all students to engage in thought around the question before they know who will answer.

Turn & Talk – before answering questions students will often be given the chance to discuss their thoughts on a question with peers before a student is selected to respond.

Instructions – where students need to work with a set of instructions, these will remain visible throughout tasks, in order to ease working memory load.

Cognitive load – staff have worked through training on Cognitive Load Theory in recent years. The principles of this theory work to ease the stress on the working memory when learning a new concept. Much of our behavioural expectations work to this theory too.

Reading habits – whenever students read as a class, they are encouraged to track the text with a ruler, line by line. New language and difficult pronunciations are discussed prior to reading the passage.

Key terms – All classrooms have key terms for the lesson sectioned out on the whiteboard at the front of the room. Students will access these reminders when aiming to engage with the new language their lesson reveals.

The presentation of dyslexia can vary significantly from person to person. In short, it is suggested by weaknesses in certain areas, often literacy and numeracy, alongside strengths in others. It is therefore often said that dyslexic students present with a “spikey” academic profile. Please follow the link here to see some typical presentations of secondary age dyslexic students.

Much of the recommended support for students with dyslexia, or traits of dyslexia, are covered by our normal classroom practices at Haybridge, and can be classed under the umbrella of “Quality First Teaching”.

On top of this, some dyslexic students benefit from varying the colour of work presented to them. As such, coloured overlays, exercise books and printouts are available to students who need them. In a similar regard, lessons are often presented on off-white backgrounds in order to ease visual stress.

Diagnosis of dyslexia necessitates the input of specialist staff. In order to accurately refer students for such assessments we will first seek the input of teaching staff and parents/carers. Should these raise an appropriate concern we will access a screening software, which can indicate the likelihood of dyslexia being present. Should this present a significant concern, we will raise the student to the Learning Support Team at Chadsgrove School for an investigative assessment.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) makes it difficult for children to sustain attention, sit still, follow directions, and to control impulses. As such students with ADHD find classroom-based learning difficult at times.

For more information on ADHD, please follow this link.

We work hard at Haybridge to ensure that our classrooms are as distraction free as possible, in order to support students with ADHD in maintaining their attention. Staff are also acutely aware of the need to draw students’ attention when it has wavered. They will do so during learning laps as students are working, but also on transitions between task types (from independent work to teacher talk for example) in order to ensure that students focussed on their learning. Students also often find it beneficial to select their seating location in the classroom which we are happy to accommodate.

ADHD is a medical diagnosis, and as such must process through the NHS. School do however have an important role to play in the diagnostic process, as difficulty must be present at home and at school for the diagnosis to proceed. School will happily collect feedback from staff to complete the relevant referral forms. These forms vary from borough to borough, which you can find below:

Worcestershire

Dudley

Autism cannot be identified as a singular presentation, and therefore is considered present on a spectrum from low to highly significant. Individuals with ASC find it very difficult to communicate and interact with the world. Some typical autistic difficulties include communication challenges; repetitive behaviours; oversensitivity; highly focussed hobbies; often associated with significant anxiety. For more information, please read on here.

We design our classrooms around consistency in presentation, expectation and experience at Haybridge. We find that this predictability goes a long way to ease the anxiety that new environments can bring on for individuals with ASC. These expectations also result in very low arousal classrooms as students are well used to the norms we teach them and are therefore rarely faced with unexpected experiences.

The diagnosis of ASC must be done by specially trained staff. In Worcestershire this falls under the remit of the Umbrella Pathway. School have a significant role to play in this referral process, the form for which can be found here.

Support for SLCN is provided through the local NHS services. Please contact us as SEND@haybridge.worcs.sch.uk and we will point you in the right direction.

Our Achievement Assistants are spread across Key Stages 3 and 4, and act as an additional (on top of the Form Tutor) point of contact for students and parents. The PAD (Progress and Achievement Department) is a quiet area in school within which the Achievement Assistants are based. Students most often access the PAD during free time before, during or after school, in order to access some one-to-one emotional support, a small social group activity such as Lego club, or simply to complete some homework with support.

Exam access arrangements are overseen by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) who set our rigorous guidelines for these. More often than not any provisions and adjustments made to examinations are at the behest of a diagnosing professional, and are therefore supported by a letter from them. To further support these recommendations, we have processes in place in school to confirm or counter the need for these arrangements, through the use of external assessors. It is important to remember that much of the ruling around exam access necessitates there to be evidence of any adjustments being the “normal way of working” for students, and therefore often cannot be administered last minute.

Some of the exam access provisions we have in place for students are:

  • Preferred seating in the exam rooms.
  • Coloured exam papers
  • Larger exam papers
  • Additional time to complete exam papers/non-examined assessment
  • Reading pens
  • Small group rooms (please note, medical referrals often refer to these as “separate rooms”. This is to be interpreted as “separate from most” not “separate from all”).

Of course! Please contact SEND@haybridge.worcs.sch.uk and we will arrange a call or meeting with you to discuss what provisions we have in place to support your child on transition.

We aim to be as inclusive as possible, and as such openly welcome applications from families with students with an EHCP. It is important to note though that the special provisions dictated in an EHCP can sometimes be more specialist than we can reasonably provide. As such, we would welcome communication with the SENCo before an application is made.