Special Needs Q&A

1) How does the school know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • All pupils have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health Care Plan for Learning Difficulties and associated needs.

  • The Annual Review’s objectives are discussed regularly to make sure a pupil’s needs are being met.

  • All teachers monitor the progress pupils make and we have regular meetings about this. If a child is struggling in certain areas, we look at how we can help further.

  • Parents are kept informed about the progress of their child at all times.

  • The tutor will contact you if there are any concerns.

2) How will school staff support my child?

  • All pupils have a Statement which tells us what needs your child has and what we should be doing to meet those needs.

  • The form tutor is the very first person to contact, either by phone or email. This person builds a relationship with you and your child and there is regular contact both ways.

  • Before coming into Year 7, the two tutors make home visits in the summer holidays so they have as much information as possible for the school to meet academic and pastoral needs.

  • Each child has a form tutor and he/she makes sure all the learning targets are shared with the family. These go home in the Home School Planner. Parents are involved in monitoring these targets and we discuss these at our Parents’ Evenings.

  • The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator works closely with all staff to make sure we are meeting your child’s needs.

3) How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • Pupils’ learning will match their needs in all subjects.

  • We put students into ability groups in English and Maths throughout the school.

  • Years 7-9, pupils are taught all areas of the National Curriculum except a Modern Foreign Language. All of your child’s learning is adapted to suit their needs in content and approach.

  • Years 10 & 11 follow options based on their interests and strength.

  • Years 10 & 11 year groups study for appropriate courses and exams.

  • Many pupils in Year 11 go on work experience.

  • We can create individual learning packages for each child if needed, to ensure they continue to learn and remain motivated.

  • We follow a structured reading programme four mornings a week and in some cases, we offer extra sessions to help pupils make as much progress as possible.

4) How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s/young person’s learning?

  • When your child starts the school we record what levels they come to us with and we also do our own tests in Reading, Spelling and Number. We then do these every six months, all the time your child is with us, and let you know the results at the Annual Review.

  • All pupils have individual targets and these are monitored all the time in lessons and reviewed each term. You can see these in the pupil’s planner and you can help with these also.

  • We hold Annual Reviews as well as two parents’ evenings and the Speech & Language Therapist makes sure she attends the latter.

  • You receive an end of year report and teachers always write what the pupil needs to do next to improve learning.

  • Some pupils go on a Report (this is a chart that monitors how you child behaves/works in all lessons) which is taken home for parents to see

  • We work closely with families to make sure the pupil is doing as well as she/he can.

5) What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

  • We have a daily staff briefing where we share updates about pupils.

  • Pupils are targeted for extra support by staff in the school or by the specialists we employ if we or you feel they are not making the progress we expect of them.

  • We have a very successful School Council and pupils are keen to put forward their views. They have decided to have school blazers as part of our uniform!

  • We have a trained ELSA (emotional, literacy support assistant) to support pupils with emotional difficulties. We buy in Jigsaw4U counselling service, Learning Space (to support pupils in different ways) and Drama Therapy.

  • We make sure the curriculum covers Being Safe and this can range from safety to road safety. All staff have annual training on Safeguarding.

  • We follow a Life Skills programme that helps pupils with road safety, buying items at shops and generally any skills that help them become more independent.

6) What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • If parents are concerned about their child, they can request further support and the school will do its best to link with other agencies as needed. Pupils can ask for help themselves and we will always support them by using people who come into the school.

  • As a special school we get the services of SALT (speech and language therapy), physiotherapy, Hearing Impaired, Vision Impaired and the educational psychologist.

  • We do communicate with other agencies such as CAMHS and REAMS (Race Equality & Minority Achievement Service).

  • Pathways (Careers & Guidance) attend annual reviews and support your child from Year 9.

7) What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

  • Most teachers will be primary teachers who have a real passion for teaching pupils with learning difficulties.

  • All staff have ongoing training that makes sure we can meet every pupil’s needs.

  • We encourage staff to develop their skills and attend courses that sometimes lead to further qualifications. These can be how to teach children with Autism, Speech and Language Difficulties and courses on how to improve learning in a particular area.

  • All staff regularly receive Safeguarding training.

  • All teaching assistants are first aid trained.

  • We sometimes have specialists come to the school to deliver training, such as epilepsy.

8) How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • All pupils are included in off site visits and we write a risk assessment before any visit to make sure all will be safe and individual needs are considered.

  • We have three minibuses and one of them is suitable for wheelchairs.

  • Pupils have the chance to go on residential trips and we have parent meetings to make sure everything is covered to make it go well.

  • All pupils can access school activities such as lunchtime clubs.

9) How accessible is the school environment?

  • Our school can be accessed by every learner. We always look to improve this as we have new pupils into the school.

  • Wheelchair accessible as much of the school is on a single level.

  • A lift where there is one set of stairs.

  • Touch pads for getting through double doors.

  • Two disabled toilets.

  • Disabled parking.

10) How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?

  • We have an annual Open Morning for families interested in finding out more about the school.

  • Before Year 7 start in September, we hold an Induction Day and tutors meet families in the summer holidays.

  • We attend Annual Reviews for more complex pupils due to come to the school.

  • In Year 9, we discuss plans for the next two years and that is supported by a Pathways Adviser.

  • We offer a range of courses at Key Stage 4 and identify the best way your pupils can achieve and remain motivated.

  • Pupils visit the local college with families before they start there for a half day a week in the latter part of Year 10.

  • We have a Moving On evening to share with families the next steps, either into Key Stage 4 or beyond and some colleges attend.

  • The majority of pupils will leave to go to their local college. We work with local colleges to support pupils in their applications.

  • For a minority of pupils whose needs cannot be met at the local college, they will be considered for post 16 education (based in a school setting).

11) How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

  • Class sizes of approximately ten with one teacher and one teaching assistant.

  • Some pupils receive extra support for academic and/or emotional well-being.

  • Equipment is purchased such as adapted chairs, IT, cutlery.

  • Pupils who receive free school meals or who are Looked After have extra funding targeted for them and this can be used in a variety of ways to support their learning.

  • There is the chance for a pupil to experience learning in a different setting, especially in Key Stage 4. This can include attending a specialist course at a local college that matches the pupil’s needs and interests.

  • Funding given to the school for disadvantaged pupils is spent on Drama Therapy and counselling, small group work or individual support for English or Maths, supporting pupils in taking a full part in school life (like school journeys and after school clubs).

12) How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

  • We encourage ongoing discussions about progress and support and do not need to wait for a Parents’ Evening or Annual Review to share concerns.

  • The Annual Review process is a really important process to discuss whether your child’s needs are being met here. This will also help decide whether additional support is needed over and above what the school can offer.

  • We look at the progress pupils make on a regular basis. If there is a risk that your child will not meet their targets in English, Maths and Science, we will target him/her for additional support.

13) How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?

  • We have parent governors.

  • All parents can join the Friends of Woodfield, an informal group that supports fund raising activities.

  • There are two parents’ evenings a year as well as the Annual Review.

  • Parents can be involved with other meetings with school staff and specialists.

  • We have an Open Morning where all parents are invited to see the school in action.

  • We can invite parents to workshops so they better understand an area of learning (e-safety, literacy or numeracy).

14) Who can I contact for further information?

  • The tutor is the first point of contact as this person will know your child well

  • You can phone the school and make a visit.

  • Sometimes we put you in touch with our Parent Governor who is happy to listen to any concerns you have, or simply tell you about their experiences as a parent with a child at the school.

  • Contact on 01737 642623 or email info@woodfield.surrey.sch.uk