Overview

SEND Team: 

  • SENCo: Mr J. Woodcock
  • ALG Link for SEND: Miss M. Relph 
  • Link Governor for SEND: Mrs S. Armstrong 
  • Please follow link here for the full Learning Support Team. 
SEND Provision at West Lakes Academy

Our academy is fully inclusive and students with additional needs are included in all aspects of life here. 

All staff, including the learning support department, work with those students who need additional support within school either academically, socially, emotionally or physically. 

This support is largely offered within mainstream classrooms to ensure that all students are able to access inclusive learning at an appropriate level. Tasks may be modified or differentiated for individual students. Students are also supported at social times if appropriate.

The students’ needs cover reading, writing, spelling, numeracy, understanding, communication, self esteem, self confidence, behaviour, hearing impairments, visual impairments, co-ordination, mobility,  learning difficulties, autism, physical and medical difficulties. 

Some students may have the protection of a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan – legal documents which the school has to honour. Others may be identified by the school or by their parents as requiring extra support.

Please refer to our full SEN Policy and SEN Information Report 2015-16 for more information. 

Key Stage 3

Most support is provided within mainstream classes by learning support assistants who work closely with the class teachers. The curriculum may be modified or differentiated for these students. Some 1 to 1 and small group work is also carried out when this is thought to be appropriate and is led by our senior LSAs. 

Some students are withdrawn from some classes to work on basic literacy skills in a small group. A variety of literacy interventions are available, such as the SRA Corrective Reading Programme, Catch-Up Literacy and Lexia, to develop decoding and comprehension skills. It is expected that all students will acquire independent learning and working skills which they will then carry on into the future.

Key Stage 4
Students may be supported in mainstream classes in some subjects or they may be taught in smaller groups where greater individual tuition can be given and courses can be tailored to their needs – such as entry level qualifications.

Within learning support, the option courses focus on developing personal, social, life and vocational skills. Students can gain qualifications through ASDAN such as the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE).

The academy’s CoPE qualification was recently featured in ASDAN’S national newsletter. Click image below to enlarge.

Dyslexia Support

At West Lakes Academy we provide tailored support for our dyslexic students. They receive small group intervention once a week and have access to an individual learning ‘app’ called IDL to work on their literacy skills. We also share student passports with staff which detail students’ strengths/interests, weaknesses and strategies to help. The students are involved in creating these passports and they also have a key worker to go to if they need any help or are worried about anything.

West Lakes Academy's SEN Offer
What kinds of SEN are provided for at West Lakes Academy? Students’ needs cover reading, writing, spelling, numeracy, understanding, communication, self-esteem, self-confidence, behaviour, hearing impairments, visual impairments, co-ordination, mobility, learning difficulties, autism, physical and medical difficulties.
What policies do we have for identifying students with SEN and how do we assess students’ needs? We gain information about students’ SEN before they arrive, through:

 

  • Shared communication between primary schools and West  Lakes Academy on the specific needs of individual pupils
  • Close liaison with parents and primary SENCos before a pupil joins us in Year 7 to ensure continuity of care, especially where diagnoses exist for a child or where a Statement/EHCP states certain types of provision.
  • In-school testing of all Year 7 pupils.

 

Further identification and assessment can be done through:

 

  • In class observations of all classes for the first weeks of term for Year 7 classes
  • Teacher feedback and continual progress monitoring to inform where a child may need extra support
  • Half Termly “Progress Panel” meetings between each Head of Year and the Inclusion team, including the SENCo and the Vice Principal in charge of Student Welfare.
  • Further specific screening tests can be carried out according to need, to recognise students with traits of dyslexia or dyscalculia, as well as tests that look at spelling accuracy and reading ability.
How do we engage and involve parents in the education of our SEN students? We encourage parental involvement in any support we provide. We believe that it is essential for us to understand your view, as well as the views of your child, in any difficulties they may experience with their learning.

 

You will be able to share your views over email, by phoning the Learning Support Department, or by arranging a meeting with one of the team. We will always endeavour to respond to your views, and where possible to act upon them.

 

If your child has a Statement of special educational need or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) you and your child will be able to share your views at the Annual Review.

 

All parents are also encouraged to have discussions with class teachers, to attend parents’ evenings, and to ensure that their child completes home learning to a high standard.

How do we engage and involve SEN students in their education? We will carry out Student Voice activities throughout the year to better understand the views of students with SEN.
What arrangements are in place for transitions between primary school and also beyond year 11? The academy has very strong links with its feeder primary schools.

 

During Year 6/7 transition members of the academy’s SEND team visit students in their primary schools and teachers meet with the academy’s SENCo or our Principal LSA to discuss students in order to ensure a smooth transition. Information from our feeder primaries is shared with teaching colleagues.

 

All students attend a taster day in the July before they come to the academy so that they can become familiar with the building and get to know their tutor and teachers. We also arrange additional visits for SEND students to visit the academy at different times through a transition programme to empower them to become confident with all aspects of academy life.

 

For our Year 11 students we work closely with our Sixth Form centre and other providers, apprenticeships and colleges to provide a smooth transition Post 16. Students visit different environments so that we can support them to decide what their next step will be. We work closely with Inspira to support students with this. Staff in the Learning Support department staff will support students with SEN with applications for school, college, apprenticeships or employment opportunities

At West Lakes Academy we take care to ensure that during transition points (between classes, each year and at the end of Key Stages) all staff are aware of individual pupils’ needs, learning progress and the best strategies to support their learning. This happens through effective use of data, our Learning Support Department communicating well with all teaching staff, and strong systems for reporting progress.

What approach is taken to teaching students with SEN? We offer a range of interventions to support pupils, as well as offering a range of training to support classroom teachers. The intervention provided to supporting learning is outlined below:

 

Universal – this is the teaching your child will receive from his/her class teacher and may include some very minor adaptations to match learning needs. It also includes ensuring that all teachers are aware of how to match these learning needs, through good communication and training systems.

 

Targeted – it may be appropriate to consider making additional short-term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning. This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of

 

1) assessing your child’s needs

2) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention

3) doing  this intervention and

4) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes.

 

Sometimes this intervention may take place outside the classroom, as a 1-to-1 or with a small group of students. These will be limited to a number of weeks to minimise disruption to the regular curriculum or may take place in 1-1 time, tutor time or after school. You will be kept informed of your child’s progress towards learning outcomes.

 

Whilst staff have access to students’ passports, staff who teach students with SEND read the appropriate EHCPs/Statements for those students.

What expertise and training do staff who support students with SEN receive and does this include specialist support? At West Lakes Academy we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality teaching delivered by her/his class teacher.

 

Regular professional development ensures that staff at West Lakes Academy are fully aware of how to cater for a range of Special Educational Needs. We are working on all of our staff completing EduCare training on the new SEND Code of Practice and staff have received whole staff training on autism. Specialist teachers from outside of the academy hold twilight sessions twice a term to liaise with teaching staff and the Learning Support department.

 

The Learning Support team are in regular communication with teaching staff to make sure that everyone is aware of what Special Educational Needs there are within the school, and how to help support those needs in the classroom.

 

Individual training can also be arranged when necessary.

What arrangements are in place for assessing and reviewing progress of SEN students and how does the academy evaluate the effectiveness of provision of students with SEN? Students’ progress is reported on every term and this allows us to monitor and intervene as necessary.

 

As part of this reviewing cycle, any interventions necessary because of personal circumstances, medical needs or short-term changes in a student’s situation may be discussed and agreed with parents/carers.

 

Some students will have targets to support their very specific needs, for example, spelling, reading accuracy and numeracy. These will be monitored and reviewed regularly.

How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school? West Lakes Academy is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.

 

School clubs, educational visits and residential trips are available to all children.

 

When necessary the academy will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities.

How does the academy involve other organsiations and specialist support in provision for SEND students? We may involve specialists at any time to provide advice and guidance following early identification of SEND.  Parents are fully involved in this process.

 

Services we have access to include those offered by Cumbria Council SEND team. These include:

 

SEND Teaching Support Team incorporating:

 

 

  • Physical and Medical Needs
  • Sensory: Hearing and Visual Impairment
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Communication and Interaction Needs (Autism spectrum)
  • Severe Learning Difficulties
  • Inclusion Support Officer (Behaviour) (not available to secondary schools but we liaise with them on transition)
  • Educational Psychologists
  • CAMHS
How do we make our academy accessible to all? The academy has a lift which allows all students to have equal access to high quality teaching across the curriculum.

 

In the unlikely event that the lift is not working we move teachers to the ground floor to allow access for students with a restricted mobility.

Additional Services

The Local Authority has produced The Local Offer where parents/carers and young people can find out about more specialist provision available. Please follow the link below to find out more information:

http://localoffer.cumbria.gov.uk/kb5/cumbria/fsd/home.page

Complaints Procedure

If you are unhappy with the way West Lakes Academy is managing your child’s learning needs you should:

1) Contact your child’s form tutor, subject teacher, or head of year with your concerns by telephoning the academy on 01946 820356 to talk about your concerns on the phone or to arrange a meeting at the academy.
2) If you still have concerns, please contact the academy’s SENCo who will try to help resolve the problem. Mr Woodcock can be contacted on 01946 820356 or via his email address: woodcockj@westlakesacademy.org.uk
3) If you are still unhappy then you should ask for a meeting with the assistant principal responsible for SEND, Miss Relph, to talk about the issue. Miss Relph can be contacted on 01946 820356 or via her email address: relphm@westlakesacademy.org.uk
4) If, after completing these steps you remain unhappy with the responses then you should ask for a meeting with the principal, Mr Johnson to discuss the issue.

If you feel the problem has still not been resolved by the academy, you may then contact the academy’s governing body by emailing the designated SEND governor, Mrs Sue Armstrong, via governors@westlakesacademy.org.uk