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Special educational needs and disabilities

A child or young person is considered to have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for additional provision ‘that is above and beyond what is offered to other pupils of a similar age’ (SEND Code of Practice 6.15).

Our SEND Department, Phoenix Department, is well staffed and well resourced, delivering a range of additional provision based on assessment of the needs of individual pupils.

The department provides:

  • Expertise in assessing pupils to make sure that the need for provision is based on good evidence.
  • Programmes of intervention and support that have evidence of being effective.
  • A team of staff who work across the school to support children's learning and to support the identification of children's needs.
  • Advice, strategies, and training to subject areas and teachers in supporting children with SEND in the classroom.
  • A dedicated facility that enables more intensive work with pupils who are struggling to manage mainstream classes for a variety of reasons.
  • Access to a full-time counsellor offering support and individualised inclusion programmes.

The support we offer  

Our team are trained in a wide range of specialisms as identified in the SEND information report (linked below). 

We provide individual programmes of support for pupils to help them overcome a number of issues, such as literacy difficulties, including dyslexia; numeracy difficulties; working memory; emotional and social difficulties; and communication and interaction difficulties.

We also offer support within subject teaching, with particular focus on core subjects.

Identifying special educational needs

A child or young person is considered to have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she: 

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions (Code of Practice 6.17).

At transition from primary school at Year 7, we will review a child's information and liaise with our feeder schools to identify those who are already indicated as having SEND. This will be reviewed against evidence in the child's file and against their attainment. We will also test incoming pupils using a range of assessments.

Identified Year 7 pupils will also be monitored by the Phoenix team and their classroom teachers. Staff will refer those that appear to be having difficulties for further assessment or investigation.

If a child had been identified as having SEND at their previous school it does not necessarily mean that this will continue. It will be dependent on the difficulties continuing and whether they require further intervention or support.

Where children transfer to the school at other times we will assess them through the school induction programme and where possible review records from their previous placement.

Assessments on entry are small part of the picture for any individual and are not in themselves sufficient to indicate SEND. Where concerns are evident we will monitor them and review the need for intervention or further assessment.

Whilst at the school children may also be identified as requiring SEND intervention. This may be a result of assessments, monitoring of progress measures or concerns raised by staff working with them.

Parents may also raise concerns at any stage during their child's time at the school. This may be at parents' evenings and through the year teams supporting their child, but they may also contact the SENCo or SEN Manager. It is recognised that parents are a vital part of the process and their insight and knowledge about their child is invaluable.

Pupils are actively encouraged to inform staff if they are having any difficulties in accessing learning and are then involved in any discussions and assessments when identifying possible issues.  Pupils are encouraged to attend review meetings and offer their views.

Assessment

A great deal of information about a child's learning and progress is collected regularly by teachers, curriculum leaders (those responsible for each subject area), and heads of year.
Teachers are also very aware of the needs of students in their classes and will raise concerns where they observe patterns of learning that suggest the student may be experiencing difficulty.

The Phoenix Department has all this assessment information available and will use tests administered to the whole cohort to help with screening for patterns of learning. This includes a range of progress tests that are administered at transition.

Further screening tests are available within the school administered by trained support staff. Advice and guidance can be provided to support parents in seeking full diagnostic assessments.

Where it is clear that the pupil requires further investigation, external advice or assessment, appropriate referrals will be discussed with parents. 

Pupils who may require additional support during their exams will be assessed at the beginning of KS4 and the necessary access arrangement applied for and implemented.

Being involved

Parents are the key partner in supporting any child with special needs and disabilities. You are encouraged to be in contact with the school and involved at all stages in your child's education. 
Please do not hesitate to get in contact with the school if you have any issues or concerns about your child.

Norfolk SEND Partnership are also able to offer parents independent information and advice about special educational needs and disabilities.

If you are considering Great Yarmouth Charter Academy and wish to discuss your child's needs please contact us and we will be pleased to meet both you and your child and to liaise with their current school. For more details, please contact Mrs Gregson-Rix, SEND coordinator, or Mrs Parsons, SEN Manager.

For more information please see our SEND information report, which you can download below, and our SEND policy.

Local offer

Details of the Norfolk local offer can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer