Staff at ESJ believe that all children should be provided with an equal opportunity to access a broad and balanced curriculum, and to be included in all activities at school that are open to students of their age group. The Success Department works alongside teaching staff to support those students who present a wide range of additional needs and to ensure that all students receive support through quality first teaching. We are always trying to develop and improve the support we offer to children and young people. To reach their academic, social and emotional potential, the team offer various support approaches. The ‘Hive’ is a small and calm learning and social space for our students to visit during social times, as well as a classroom base for our vulnerable students during times of particular need. Bespoke One-Plans are written in conjunction with students and their parents/carers to triangulate the strategies that classroom teachers can make use of to support progress across the curriculum. We have a small team of co-educators who carousel around lessons to support our SEND students and maximise their progress. A weekly briefing item focuses on an area of need to offer teaching staff a series of strategies to support the curricular and emotional progress and development of students as well as to empower them in terms of their own pedagogical approaches. We offer a range of literacy and numeracy Form Time Interventions to support students with any additional needs. We also offer support through a team of dedicated staff who offer mentoring, inclusion and guidance management to support students with their mental health and emotional needs and developments. This is further supported by external agencies such as our school’s counsellor, who visits weekly, a dedicated School Governor, as well as the support of BMAT’s resident Educational Psychologist and the local Educational Psychologist attached to our school. ESJ aims to secure equal opportunities for every child by promoting and supporting the development of an inclusive education within a secondary school setting, and by ensuring that, ultimately, every child is able to access mainstream education and receive appropriate, additional support in respect of any special educational needs they may have.
What kinds of Special Educational Needs do we provide for?
ESJ supports students with a wide range of needs including literacy and numeracy difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, speech, language and communication difficulties, as well as those who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
How do we identify students that have SEND and how do we assess their needs?
Students are assessed when they join us in terms of their baseline reading and spelling ages. They are monitored in class by their teachers and any difficulty is reported or referred to the Inclusion manager/SenCo who will arrange for more evidence to be collected to assess the needs a student may have and the nature of the difficulty. Some students may have ‘screening tests’ which help to inform us as to whether students need more specialist or focussed intervention. We have transition visits to all feeder primary schools to identify students transferring to Epping St. John’s and consideration is then given about what intervention will be offered. We commission BMAT’s resident Educational Psychologist as well as a local Educational Psychologist to work with us to undertake more comprehensive assessments. We also have trained counsellors on site to work with our students.
How do we assess and review how well students are doing in relation to the outcomes expected of them? How are parents and young people involved in this?
Each student who is receiving an intervention of any description is logged onto Edukey’s ‘Provision Map’ which documents all the support given to a child. Parents and carers will have access to this site to review and communicate with the Success Department about the suitability of strategies throughout the year. This is reviewed termly, and information is gathered from teachers about progress in class and from interventions. When a child has reached their expected level of progress they will be moved back into mainstream status, in dialogue with their parents/carers, but will continue to be assessed by class teachers and the key workers. The SENCO and Inclusion Manager will track all students’ progress on a termly basis and liaise with class teachers and any other relevant person to ensure that barriers to learning are addressed.
How is the transition of students into KS3, KS4 and KS5 facilitated?
Members of the Success Team begin their primary transition visits as soon as we have confirmation of places. (March-April) to work with students who have SEN Support and those who are vulnerable. We communicate with the Primary Schools prior to the visit requesting information about the level of need, strength, level of support and any other important information about each child, which will support effective transition. Following this, the Inclusion Manager/SenCo, Co-educators and Transition Co-ordinator visit the schools to discuss individual needs, transition support and offer a Question and Answer session with the students. Vulnerable students and those with SEND Support are invited into Epping St. John’ s before the end of Year 6 for transition days as well as to Summer School to view and orienteer the school, experience ‘secondary’ lessons and undertake some work to help prepare for the transition process. They take away a transition booklet for the summer holidays including a Reading Journey to encourage their reading in their ‘time off’.
During the KS4 GCSE options process, all students choose from a wide range of subjects and are guided to what may be the best choices for them in terms of their ability, aspirations and learning style without limiting their curriculum. Parents/carers are invited to attend an Options Evening where the process of selecting options for KS4 is explained and discussed as well as providing the opportunity to discuss subjects with specialist teachers to find out more about the curriculum on offer and the enrichment opportunities it may provide. For transition into college and KS5 studies at 16, key workers and the school’ s Careers Manager are available to support students by talking them through their options. With more vulnerable students, they may accompany them to visit a college/placement. At all times of transition, the hopes and dreams of the students are central to the plans that are made.
How are children with SEND taught?
Students with SEND are taught in mainstream classes for all aspects of the curriculum. Class teachers will differentiate work to meet the needs of SEND students- but always with a view to teaching to the top and raising expectations- there are no glass ceilings at ESJ! If a student is not able to keep up and requires more focussed support, they will be offered support relevant to their needs. This will be assessed through ‘one planning.’ 1-1 or small group intervention is generally only for a short period of time until students have made sufficient progress to enable them to cope independently in their mainstream classes.
How are the curriculum and learning environments adapted to support those with SEND?
We will seek to ensure that all lessons are differentiated as far as possible to meet the needs of students. We believe that students should be included in all the learning opportunities offered by teachers trained and qualified in their subject specialisms. Those who need further support will have their needs attended to by the strategies suggested in One Plans and the opportunity to work with specialist co -educators who will empower them to access their learning. In the lead up to the GCSE Options process, we will help students to select subjects that they will be successful in. Students who may require additional support in exams will undertake a series of tests by an external assessor to determine what type of support is required. Types of support will vary based on the needs identified in the tests taken and the results; this can range from 25% extra time to IT access to a reader and scribe. If your child is recognised as needing additional support at any time during their ESJ journey, you will be notified by the SenCo or Inclusion Officer.
How are those who work with SEND students trained?
All teaching staff and co-educators are offered on-site training either delivered by members of the SEND team or by specialist providers who come onto the site to deliver training. Alternatively, staff may go to other venues and schools to access specialist training in key areas. The Inclusion Team are also offered external training relevant to their role and training needs.
How is the quality of SEND provision evaluated?
All students will be tracked to monitor their progress and interventions will be evaluated in terms of the impact they have had on learners in terms of their progress. Staff and students will be involved in evaluating the provision from outside agencies on site. The Success Department will also quality assure lessons and provisions made for students and make necessary recommendations for development should they need to.
How will SEND students and non-SEND students be enabled to work and socialise together?
At ESJ all classrooms and lessons are inclusive. Teachers will use pair and group work as a strategy to promote inclusion and cohesion of classes. Mixed ability grouping will be a staple feature of this learning style. All students are in mixed ability form groups and one of our 4 houses (Adams, Barker, Hurley, Joyce, Sparks or Wright) and are encouraged to participate in inter-form and inter-house activities regularly, including the summer finale- Sports Day! Peer mentors also work with our students with SEND within the Success Department to support with the reading programmes we facilitate, or to offer social or emotional support to our more vulnerable students on our Coffee Mornings. Our Student Leaders work closely to support our SEND students and provide the positive role models they may need.
How will we support the emotional and social development of SEND students?
We have a large and committed pastoral team who work alongside students with emotional and social difficulties, whose names are provided to us by school staff who feel that they are struggling in some way. Parents and carers are always welcome to contact the school and talk to the SenCo, Inclusion Officer or child’s Form Tutor if they have any concerns about their child’s emotional wellbeing.