1. What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
The key staff that you can contact if you think your daughter has Special Educational Needs are:
- Mrs S Zarar (Assistant Headteacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator):
Phone: 0161 861 9727 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms K Robertson (Assistant Head of Inclusion):
Phone: 0161 861 9727 | Email: email@example.com
- Mrs S Sumner (Senior Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant):
Phone: 0161 861 9727 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs P Barnes (Inclusion Faculty Administrator):
Phone: 0161 861 9727 | Email: email@example.com
In addition to this you may discuss any concerns about your daughter’s progress with her Head of House who will refer her to the Inclusion Team if necessary.
2. What do I need to know if my daughter already has special educational needs?
More information on Manchester’s local offer can be found at: www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer
The SEND Code of Practice (2014) focuses on outcomes for young people and engaging parents, families and carers. If your child’s special educational needs have been identified at primary school, this information will be passed on to our Inclusion team during the transition process. At the Annual Reviews (for students with an Education Health Care Plan) and through the SEN Parent Forums we will be actively seeking your views to contribute to improving outcomes for your daughter.
If your daughter does not have an Education Health Care Plan we will meet with you as and when necessary and you will be able to see us at any of the drop-in sessions on Parent/Carer Evenings.
Should you wish to discuss anything, please contact the SENCO.
3. How does the school know if students need extra help with learning?
Whalley Range 11-18 High School values all its students. The School firmly believes that each student should be given equality of opportunity to achieve her full potential – spiritually, academically and socially – by recognising the uniqueness of each individual, providing a rich and varied learning experience for all and focusing on achieving the best possible outcomes. Each student, regardless of her ability, is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum offer which is relevant to her educational needs. The curriculum offered should give all students a sense of achievement and thereby help them develop.
We aim to ensure that:
- We foster an atmosphere in which SEND students feel valued and can develop a sense of confidence, self-worth and achievement
- Students with learning difficulties are able to access their entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum as part of the whole school community
- Students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are educated, wherever possible, in an inclusive environment alongside their peers to enable each student to reach her full potential
- We match levels of additional support for learning to the wide variety of individual learning difficulties, while enhancing self-esteem
- We identify and assess students with SEND as early and as thoroughly as possible using the revised Code of Practice (2014)
- Parents/carers and students are fully involved in the identification and assessment of SEND, and that we work in close partnership with all agencies concerned, using a multi-agency approach
- We meet the needs of all students with SEND by offering appropriate and flexible forms of educational provision, by the most efficient use of all available resources
- We maintain up to date knowledge of current SEND good practice and methodology in order to offer support and training in these areas to all staff in the school
- We maintain links with other schools to share and develop our practice
The school’s provision for SEND is defined as support which is additional to or different from that which is available to all students.
At Whalley Range 11-18 High School, we recognise that students make progress at different rates .Therefore students are identified as having SEND in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Liaison with primary school/previous school
- The student performing significantly below expected levels for a sustained period of time
- Concerns raised by parent/carer
- Concerns raised by teacher through our Inclusion referral system
- Information from external agencies such as Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Children, Families and Social Care (CFSC) and Children Services (CS)
- If a student is identified as having SEND then their name will be added to the SEND register initially under the category ‘K’ so that teachers are aware and can support them but we recognize that students’ needs may change over time and provision must reflect this.
4. What are the categories for SEN?
There are four types of Special Educational Needs (SEN) as described in the SEND Code of Practice 2014:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, mental and emotional health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs
If a student has SEND, then their needs will fit into one or more of these categories.
5. How will school support my child?
All subject teachers are responsible for the outcomes of students in their lessons. They are responsible for making the curriculum accessible to all students and will receive ongoing training about additional learning requirements.
The SENCO will ensure that:
- All relevant information is distributed on students’ needs so that teachers have a good understanding
- The Inclusion Faculty provide high quality training so that teachers are equipped in meeting those needs
- Teachers and teaching assistants meet regularly to plan to meet a student’s needs
- The quality of teaching for students with SEND and provision across the school is efficiently managed
The Senior SEND Teaching Assistant will ensure that:
- There is high quality support in place in classrooms
- There are regular intervention sessions offered in the Inclusion Faculty Area at lunchtimes and break times
- Parents/Carers are kept informed of any changes to the provision that is in place for their daughter
The following types of additional support are available, all dependent on need:
- Additional adult support in the classroom – there are 11 dedicated Teaching Assistants in the SEND department who support teachers in helping the learning of whole classes. Students with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) will receive this support according to their needs
- Small group withdrawal sessions– when students comes out of some lessons for pre- arranged sessions with TAs or external agencies for example, handwriting, reading, numeracy skills organisation skills, social skills
- Alternative accreditation – a student can sometimes be offered alternative accreditation in some subjects to ensure that they achieve relevant outcomes
- Intervention from external agencies – Educational Psychology/ Speech and Language Therapy/ Specific Learning Difficulty Teacher / Sensory Support Service
6. Who will explain provision to me?
- Any additional provision that is in place for your daughter will be explained by the SENCO or Senior SEN Teaching Assistant
- In the case of individual/small group interventions/assessments by the Educational Psychologist or Specific Learning Difficulty (SPLD) teacher, the SENCO or Senior TA will write to parents/carers explaining the aims of the intervention. Letters, phone-calls or emails will be used to keep parents/carers updated on their child’s outcomes and discuss support in more detail, if required
- Provision is also discussed at the termly SEN parent forums
7. How the school governors are involved and what are their responsibilities?
A report will be sent to the governors annually to inform them about the outcomes of students with SEND; this report does not refer to individual students and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
There is an SEN Link Governor – Darren Micklewright who liaises with the Deputy Head teacher, Jackie Fahey.
8. How will the curriculum be matched to my daughter’s needs? What are the school’s approaches to differentiation and how will that help my child?
All subject teachers are responsible for planning lessons that are accessible to and differentiated for every student. In some curriculum areas (English, Maths and Science) students are grouped by levels of attainment, whilst other curriculum areas are taught in mixed attainment groups. Students are entitled to participate in all areas of the curriculum and it is the subject teacher’s role to differentiate resources and activities to ensure the student can access the learning.
At Key Stage 4, students choose from a range of courses, which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college, apprenticeships or work. Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.
The Learning Resource Centre is available to all students, every day (Monday-Friday until 5.30pm) where students can do their homework.
The Inclusion Faculty runs a homework club Tuesday to Friday after school in Room A124 for students with SEN. This is open until 3.45pm .This is run by Teaching Assistants who can offer more targeted help and staff can differentiate materials to support the student in accessing the curriculum. This club is open to any student who is facing difficulties. The Intervention Team also offers Literacy and Numeracy clubs for KS3 students after school. Please contact Ms. S Sumner or Mrs. H Bajwa for more details.
9. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s outcomes?
We offer an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome to make an appointment to meet their daughter’s Learning Coach or Head of House and discuss how she is progressing. Parents/carers can contact staff members by calling the school on: 0161 861 9727. To speak to a member of staff from the Inclusion Team please ask for extension 127.
Planned arrangements for communicating between school and home include:
- Every student has a school planner which they should bring into school every day so that so that comments from parents/carers and teachers or tutors can be shared and responded to as needed
- Each year group has an Academic tutorial where you can meet your daughter’s Learning Coach. Heads of House and Heads of Faculty are available to meet with parents/carers and discuss outcomes and learning
- Each student will receive a half term progress report. This will give you an indication of current levels of attainment.
- All Parents/Carers can log onto their daughter’s Doddle account to view specific achievements and areas for development in all subjects
- If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) then there are legal requirements for at least one formal meeting each year (the Annual Review) organised by the SENCO or Senior SEN Teaching Assistant attended by parents/carers, teachers and outside agencies involved in your daughter’s education
10. How does the school know how well my child is doing?
Teachers, as part of their professional standards, monitor and review all students’ outcomes throughout the year. The whole school system at Whalley Range 11-18 High School includes:
- Data collection each half term, from all teachers, showing the current level of attainment of all the students they teach. This means that teachers in each subject area can track the outcomes of students across the school year and intervene if students experience difficulties
- In-class additional support is reviewed half termly by the SEN Team. Adjustments to support are made if necessary. TAs and teachers work together on a day-to-day basis, planning and reviewing lessons
- Teachers are observed by senior leaders and line managers as part of the school’s Performance Management system. TAs are also observed through learning walks by the SENCO
- The deployment of additional adults in the classroom and the outcomes of students with additional learning requirements are part of the Teacher Standards, against which the quality of teaching is measured
- One of the Deputy Head Teachers is responsible for whole school data and tracking the school’s progress against national standards. This provides guidance for academic leaders when planning the curriculum and additional support for students
- At the start of Year 7 students take the Cognitive Abilities Tests. Students are also tested on their reading and spelling skills. This allows us to identify when students may need further support, intervention, or additional assessment to detect any underlying difficulties
11. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school?
Whalley Range High School operates a vertical tutoring system, which means that students are placed with students from every year group for their tutor group. This encourages community cohesion, communication across age groups and opportunities for mentoring and leadership. This system also means that students are able to share their experiences and provide support for students experiencing the same changes and transitions that they have already faced. Learning Coaches are the main point of contact for parents/carers about their child’s pastoral and social well-being.
We have an EP/SPLD teacher in school for a day a week. We also have two counsellors on site and we work closely with CAMHS. The SENCO liaises with other teams to arrange referrals to these agencies. Support is also available from the SEN Team for areas of emotional difficulties such as specified social skills; friendships and relationships; anger management; loss and change; self organization. Students who struggle with social situations are provided with a choice of quiet spaces to go during lunchtimes, break times and before school, where they are supported by TAs to manage unstructured social time.
If a student is unwell during the school day, then they will be sent to the Student Services room. If the student is too ill to stay at school, their parent/carer will be contacted and asked to make arrangements for collecting them as soon as possible.
In a medical emergency, appropriate emergency procedures will be followed. All students who have severe allergies or other significant health/medical needs are flagged-up to all staff throughout the school year. They are monitored by the School Health Advisor.
12. How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
Medicines for students are managed Student Services. If a student requires medicine during the school day, the following procedures must be followed:
- All medicines must be given in person to Student Services by a parent/carer
- The student’s name and date of birth are recorded alongside the date, time, name of medicine, and dosage
- Depending on how the medicine needs to be stored, it will be kept in either a locked cupboard or a fridge in the Student Services Room
- To take their medicine, the student must go the Student Services room, where the dose will be administered by the Student Welfare Officer
- Each time the medicine is administered, the time, date and dosage is recorded
- Some students will have and Individual Health Care Plan – you will be involved in this
13 What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
The SENCO is a qualified teacher and is on the Senior Leadership Team. She liaises with many specialist services and outside experts, to ensure provision for our students is appropriate and meets all needs. The school works closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual students’ needs, including:
- Health – School Health Advisor, Child Adolescent and Mental Health Service (CAMHS), pediatricians, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists
- Children, Families and Social Care – locality teams, social workers, family intervention teams
- One Education – Educational Psychology/SPLD
- Sensory Support Service – Hearing and visual impairments
- Specialist Partner Schools – Melland High School and Piper Hill School
14. What SEND training have the staff had or are currently having?
All staff have had training on the new SEND Code of Practice 2014. There is an on-going rolling programme of professional development for our staff, throughout the school year.
- The Senior SEN TA has a wide range of experience and regularly provides training for staff
- All new staff are trained each year on the needs of new students joining the school
- SEN training forms part of the continuing professional development of all teachers and TAs and is organised in accordance with the needs of the students
- The school works closely with other local schools and the Specialist Outreach Services to develop our own knowledge and expertise
- The EP and SPLD will be offering training sessions for groups of staff across the school
15. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All students are entitled to be included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. This may include specialist advice from the SENCO where relevant. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
16. How accessible is the school environment?
- The school is on one site. There are three buildings. The old buildings have two stories and the new building has three stories. All levels have lift access
- The site has recently been adapted so that all areas can be reached via permanent ramps, meaning that the ground floors of all buildings are accessible for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility
- The site has two disabled toilets. It also has a hygiene room on the ground floor of the G block
- There is one car park on site. The car park has parking bays for disabled badge holders, marked clearly in yellow paint
17. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
Our goal is to make sure our new students feel like they belong at Whalley Range High School before they officially arrive. Learning is most effective when students feel they belong and are comfortable in the school environment.
Key Stage 2-3 (Year 6 to Year 7):
- Through the school’s transition programme, careful transition is planned and arranged. The Senior TA and Transition Coordinator work closely with primary schools to organise activities, visits and experience of secondary life for those students who are especially vulnerable at transition
- All students in Year 6 who have accepted a place at Whalley Range High School for Year 7 are invited to two intake days in July. These days provide a taste of secondary school life, involve experience of lessons, information about how the school runs and provide an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates. Students with SEND are invited to have further transition days to ensure that they feel comfortable in their new environment
- Parents/carers are invited to an ‘New Intake Evening’ at the end of the two intake days, to learn about the activities their children have undertaken, to meet key members of the pastoral team and to receive information about the organisation of the school
- The Senior SEN TA and/or visits primary schools to meet students, gather information from Year 6 teachers and support staff and to offer informal ‘question and answer’ sessions for parents/carers
- School teachers are provided with information about all new students’ needs and given strategies to support them
- Students meet their Learning Coach and Head of House on the first day in Year 7. Staff from the Inclusion Team are also present
- Information from the primary school on any SEN is passed on to relevant staff as necessary
- During the first two weeks of the new school year, parents/carers of new Year 7 students receive a phone call from their daughter’s learning coach to introduce themselves, share information and establish contact with the school
Key Stage 3-4 (Year 10-11):
- For Key Stage 4, students choose from a range of courses, which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college, apprenticeships or work. Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions
- There are opportunities for some students to attend local colleges on a part time basis during Years 10 and 11, to follow a vocational course as part of their timetable
- Should your daughter have an EHC plan then a transition plan will be developed with Careers Advisor involved
KS4-5 (Year 11 to Year 12):
- The school publicises information on visits to open days and further education fairs for all students. Support with finding and applying for apprenticeships is also available
- Students are encouraged to consider attending university in the future and the school works with higher education establishments to provide experiences for students to inspire the ambition to pursue this route
- All students in Year 11 are provided with 1-1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education
- Students with an EHCP who are moving on to further education receive support from the Intensive Careers Adviser
- The Senior SEN TA liaises closely with local colleges about individual students with SEN. This liaison is arranged in accordance with the student’s needs, but typically can include: extra visits or tours; meetings with college support staff; or, guidance and advice on meeting the student’s needs for college staff
- All information relating to a student’s exam concessions and required differentiation is passed on to college or training provider during the summer term of Year 11, when college places have been confirmed
18 What happens if my daughter joins mid-year?
- All students admitted to the school after the start of the academic year are screened on entry, to identify any areas of need and to provide information to staff about the student’s learning. This is passed on to the SENCO. You will be able to meet the SENCO or Senior SEN TA on the admission day
- A student ‘buddy’ is chosen to support the new student for the first few days of being at Whalley Range High School. The buddy takes the new student to lessons, introduces them to other students, answers questions and informs pastoral staff how well the new student is settling in to school
- Contact is always made with the previous school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file
19. What happens if my daughter joins another school?
Contact is always made with the new school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file.
20. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s needs?
We ensure that all students with SEND have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability, within the funds available.
The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The students who have the most complex needs are given the most support.
21 How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Our provision is arranged to meet our students’ needs, within the resources available. This approach reflects the fact that different students require different levels of support in order to achieve age expected attainment. The SENCO and Senior SEN TA consult with staff and parents as well as with support staff, to discuss the student’s needs and what support would be appropriate.
There are always on-going discussions with parents/carers for any student who requires additional support for their learning.
22 Who can I contact for further information?
Please contact the main school number. Reception will put you in touch with the SENCO or the Senior SEN TA.
23. Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?
You can contact the school reception (0161 861 9727) who will put you in touch with Mrs. Connolly, Assistant Headteacher. If your daughter has a Special Educational need Mrs. Connolly will liaise with the Inclusion Faculty. You will be able to arrange to visit the school for a tour.
Alternatively you can email Mrs S Zarar, Assistant Headteacher & SENCO (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms. S Sumner, Senior Teaching Assistant (email@example.com)
All applications for a school place need to go through your Local Authority.