Ethos and Philosophy
As an inclusive school, the Academy strives to ensure that ALL students are able to succeed. We endeavour to support students to master basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as developing life skills by promoting self-help and self-responsibility at any given opportunity. All staff members will use their best endeavours to ensure students with SEND receive the support they need and engage in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND.
Our aim is to ensure high quality teaching is delivered which is differentiated and personalised, meeting the individual needs of the SEN cohort. Where individual needs cannot be met by quality first teaching, a graduated response of support is implemented with specialised wave 2 and 3 support through individualised specialist interventions, withdrawal groups and delivery of alternative curriculums. Through our values of care and share, we will ensure students are progressing in line with national averages through regular tracking of attainment data and by ensuring additional support is deployed effectively.
Our SENCo is a qualified teacher and has gained the National SENCo Award. He manages the SEN team. We also have SEN Ambassadors allocated in each department area who drive SEN standards.
The additional needs register is a comprehensive list of students and their needs which is available for all staff to access. It is checked and amended regularly, if necessary. The SEN team ensures all members of staff are updated with individual needs of SEN students through the SEN bulletin and pupil profiles which include personalised targets and strategies.
The Vice-Principal for student experience, Mary Ruggles, has overall responsibility for all aspects of SEND in the Academy and reports to Governors.
Simon Jones is the designated member of staff for CLA (Children Looked After).
Regular quality assurance of teaching and learning is conducted through our Total Quality Management to promote equity and high standards. Additional wave 2/3 interventions are reviewed in line with our data collection points to monitor impact of support.
The SEN notional budget is utilised in a number of ways. A proportion of this is used on staffing to support students with SEND. Additional resources are purchased through the SEN budget which includes specialised reading material and programmes.
We ensure students with a high level of Funding For Inclusion (FFI) receive additional support in the nurture/foundation learning groups, access to our Learning Support Unit, Speech and Language Therapist input or specialised withdrawals by our SEN team.
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
We offer a wide curriculum to allow our students the best opportunity to fulfil their potential. We prioritise embedding essential foundation skills with an emphasis on literacy across all subjects.
All teachers are expected to differentiate learning activities accordingly. At KS3 we offer additional literacy based programmes including Lexia, Read Write Inc and Accelerated Reader which are incorporated into English lessons. At KS4, students have the option of choosing subjects of interest in addition to core subjects which may also include the opportunity of being educated at college for a day. For our foundation learning cohort we also offer a range of alternative qualifications which may include functional skills, ASDAN and Prince’s Trust, to focus on the application of skills in the ‘real world’.
Furthermore, we offer a multitude of specialist additional interventions to enable our SEND students to make appropriate progress. These may be delivered as withdrawals in nurture groups, the Learning Support Unit, small groups or 1:1.
The Academy quality assurance system ensures high standards are maintained. These are conducted by subject leaders alongside the Senior Leadership Team to monitor standards of planning, delivery and marking.
To support transition for new year 7 students we offer an extensive programme including taster days, summer school and additional visits for our vulnerable students. These are conducted by our guild teams along with our SENCo and Nurture Co-ordinator.
Regular formative assessments are conducted by teachers throughout the year and results are reported in line with our data collection points.
We use a graduated response system which is underpinned by high quality teaching. As part of high quality teaching, teachers differentiate accordingly to meet the needs of students. Where students are underachieving, additional support is deployed and follows the cycle of assess, plan, do, review. Attainment data is shared with students and parents regularly.
Continued Professional Development
All classroom based staff take part in CPD training during INSET days and through additional twilight - learning plus sessions. Classroom based staff are also encouraged to participate in various CPD opportunities to develop expertise.
The SEN team works closely with professionals from the local authority including the Educational Psychologist and SEN Officer, and attends various training courses. The team also liaises with the speech and language therapist and the STARs team to provide specialist support for students on the Autistic spectrum.
Several members of the guild team are CAF trained and work closely with the inner-city cluster team. Through this they are able to identify and support families who require ‘early help’.
Partnership with Other Agencies
The Academy works collaboratively with the chain of Co-operative Academies to share good practice and expertise.
We engage with a number of external agencies to ensure our students’ needs are met including SENSAP, SENIT, CAMHS, STARs, SaLTs, DAHIT, social services, guidance and support cluster team, access arrangements assessors and Leeds SEND information advice support service.
If you think your child may have Special Education Needs or you require additional information please contact our SENCo, Kamran Ayub on 0113 380 7958 to arrange a meeting to discuss your views.