Welcome to the SEND department home page. Our SENCo is Mr Byrne who can be contacted on 020 8907 8828.
We firmly believe that all children have the ability to learn and should be equally valued whether they have special educational needs or disability or not. Inclusion is most likely to be achieved when their diversity is recognised and regarded positively. All staff at St Gregory’s have a responsibility for inclusion.
All children and their parents/carers are entitled to be treated with respect and have their views taken into account.
The aim of Inclusion at St Gregory’s is to consider the structure, teaching approaches, pupil grouping and use of support so that they respond to the needs of all pupils. Special educational provision at St Gregory’s is underpinned by Quality First teaching.
High quality teaching that is differentiated should meet the individual needs of the vast majority of children and young people and we are very proud of the outstanding learning experiences that our students with SEND receive. Where this is not possible, extra adult support and intervention is put in place. Building strong and trusting relationships with students that nurture and develop are also key to this.
St Gregory’s is dedicated to providing positive learning experiences for all students, regardless of their ability.
learning support assistants
The work of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) is very important as they support pupils in the classroom.
The LSA is responsible for supporting students in the classroom (predominantly those with an EHCP) and ensuring that they are able to access the work given and break down barriers to learning. The LSA may work with students on a 1:1 basis or small groups. As much as possible LSAs will circumnavigate the classroom and support a number of students so that SEND students do not feel singled out or embarrassed or disempowered by ‘velcro’ support. Our aim is to nurture and encourage independence for our learners with SEND in preparation for their future adult life.
All students on the school’s inclusion list take part in the Assess, Plan, Do Review meetings at the end of every term, whereby an LSA discusses school with the student and sets them targets. The progress of students is discussed regularly at SEND department meetings.
The relationship between the LSA and pupil is very different to the relationship between teacher and pupil. One of the most important roles of an LSA is to help pupils with SEND become successful learners; they are able to do this because they help pupils with SEND in all areas of school life. We hope that as time goes on the LSA and pupil build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect where the pupil feels they are able to confide in them and that their worries will be dealt with effectively.
Reading is a pupil’s passport to learning and therefore one of the most important roles of the SEND department is to ensure that all students can read to the best of their ability. At the beginning of year 7, every pupil’s reading age is assessed using a combination of ACCESS reading test results and Key Stage 2 SATS reading scores. If their reading age is below 10.7, they join a reading booster programme. Three times a week during form time, students in a small group read with a member of staff and their reading is assessed again at the end of the Autumn term. Generally, 90% of students improve their reading age and those who do not continue to attend the intervention.
Students who continue to struggle to read at age expected levels are considered for disapplication from languages to engage in a Literacy programme. Progress for some students can be slow, but a measured and incremental approach to supporting reading skills through the development of decoding, inference, comprehension, developing confidence in reading aloud and independent reading. Support is targeted through levelled reading books, alongside the expectation that students continue to read independently at home.
If any or all of the above do not resolve a pupil’s difficulties, they may be referred to the Educational Psychologist to explore whether the student’s difficulties are due to other underlying causes.
Spelling helps reading. Learning to spell helps to cement the connection between the letters and their sounds, and learning high-frequency “sight words” to mastery level improves both reading and writing. At the beginning of year 7, every pupil’s spelling age is assessed using the VERNON spelling test.
If a pupil’s spelling age raises concern then they will be invited to attend and spelling intervention called Spellzone, this takes place three mornings a week in form time. They will be given weekly spellings to learn and will be frequently assessed to measure progress.
Spelling intervention can continue all the way through from year 7 – 9, while progress may be evident it can take time to embed the necessary skills to support an improvement in this specific area.
If a pupil’s difficulties with spelling do not appear to be improving with this intervention, we explore other areas of their learning to identify if there are underlying causes resulting in this challenge.
At the beginning of year 7 pupils' Mathematics ability is assessed using their Key Stage 2 SATS scores but also the quantitative area of the CATS 4 test. Any pupil who scores in the bottom 10% in the quantitative area of CATs 4 tests or has not achieved the age related standard at Key Stage 2 is tested for dyscalculia, using Dynamo Maths. The Mathematics LSA works closely with the Head of Mathematics to monitor the pupil’s progress and to clarify in which particular area of maths the student is struggling.
The above pupils are invited to attend Maths Club, which is held three mornings a week during form time. The aim of Maths Club is for the maths LSA to better understand the nature of individual pupil’s difficulties, which enables the LSA to support the pupil more effectively in the classroom. The LSA works closely alongside the mathematics teacher who offer a more personal approach to supporting the pupils who are most at risk of underachieving in their Maths studies.
The transition from primary school to secondary school is a major event for all pupils and one area that some pupils find difficult is homework. The amount of homework given to pupils is carefully planned and overseen by Mr Knights, Assistant Head teacher. A homework timetable is constructed to ensure that the setting and collection of homework is fair and not overwhelming for the pupils. Nevertheless, for those who find it difficult to work independently, it can be a cause of worry.
Homework Club is held for forty-five minutes after school every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pupils are invited by letter to attend and if a pupil does not attend homework club, parents/carers are informed.
The purpose of homework club is to support pupils who would find it difficult to complete homework independently. Learning support assistants oversee homework club. They are aware of the homework that needs to be completed as they support these pupils in the classroom. This removes anxiety as the pupil leaves school confident that at least some homework has been completed and they have received individual support to help them complete the remainder with parents at home. Homework club is also an opportunity to nurture the relationship between students with additional learning needs and the Learning support team.
speech and language therapy (SALT)
The SEND department pay for the services of a speech and language therapist for one day a week. Before interventions are set up, the therapist completes a full assessment of the student to assess what their specific difficulties are and whether they are in the areas of receptive or expressive language (or both). Interventions are then set up on either a 1:1 or group basis. One of our specialist LSAs is ELKLAN trained and works closely with the Speech therapist to run triage groups.
In year 7 and 8 any student who has a diagnosis of ASD, ADHD or SEMH will be invited to take part in the social thinking course for one hour per week. The social thinking course is designed to allow students to explore their behaviour in different situations and allow them to understand what is expected of them. This gives them a chance to interact with other students they may not usually spend time with.
Students who participate in this course will learn and improve the following skills;
- Independent work
The purpose of an Access Arrangement is to ensure, where possible, that barriers to assessment are removed for a disabled candidate preventing him/her from being placed at a substantial disadvantage as a consequence of persistent and significant difficulties. The integrity of the assessment is maintained, whilst at the same time providing access to assessments for a disabled candidate.
Access Arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working. Access Arrangements fall into two distinct categories:
- Arrangements which are delegated to centre
- Arrangements which require prior JCQ awarding body approval
The Equality Act 2010 requires an Awarding Body to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate, who is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, would be at a substantial disadvantage in undertaking an assessment.
A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available Access Arrangements. How reasonable the adjustment is will depend on a number of factors including the needs of the disabled candidate/learner. An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves costs, timeframes or affects the security or integrity of the assessment.
Please see ‘Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments Policy’ for further detail.