Crestwood College believes that all students, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities, should have high aspirations and hopes for their future. The Individual Learning Needs department works with students to overcome barriers that may exist, liaising with outside agencies when specialist support is required and maintaining regular contact with parents.
As a school we hold the same expectations of progress for all students yet at the same time understand that students need different levels of support in order to achieve their potential. The most effective way to ensure students make progress is for subject teachers in the mainstream classroom to plan for the needs of all learners, allowing alternative ways of recording information or demonstrating ability. For some students, additional adult time might be necessary to overcome barriers to learning or provide additional pastoral support. We aim to develop the independence of students and would expect their reliance upon additional adult time to reduce during their secondary school career.
The ILN Department offers literacy and numeracy interventions for those students with the most acute difficulties, following programmes designed to reduce the skills gap between those with learning needs and their peers. We also offer access to ICT equipment to help students access the curriculum.
“Disabled students and those with special educational needs make particularly good progress.” – Osfted
For those students with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, dedicated support staff with appropriate training are deployed to provide additional care. This may take the form of in-class support, small group intervention or 1:1 mentoring to ensure that students feel happy, safe and are able to achieve academic success.
Parents with concerns about the progress their child is making should, in the first instance, make contact with the individual teacher or your child’s learning mentor, who should be able to provide feedback on current performance towards their target, any barriers impinging success and possible next steps. If the issue is wider than a single subject area, your child’s tutor, year leader or the school Learning Needs Coordinator (currently Alex Murray) may be more appropriate.
Students with statements of SEN
Parents of children who have a statement of special needs will have a named member of the ILN Department who will monitor the provision stipulated within the statement. Although available for contact at any time, they will meet with parents regularly to review progress, hear concerns and suggest ways forwards.
Resourced Provision for Dyslexia
Crestwood is one of six secondary schools in Hampshire that has a dedicated provision for students with severe dyslexic difficulties. Applications for a place within the provision takes place directly with the county SEN team. Junior/Primary school SENCos will be able to advise on the process, which begins in Year 5. Students with provision placements spend the majority of their time with peers in mainstream classes but have access to additional specialist intervention.
Crestwood College works hard to ensure that students with learning difficulties enjoy their time at school and are able to achieve academic success. Key to these high expectations is working with parents to ensure that a full understanding exists of where a student is with their learning and the next steps required for them to make progress.
All teachers at the school are expected to plan their lessons so that the needs of individual learners are met and that all groups of students can be successful. Precise planning means that the majority of students, despite their difficulties, can be successful across the curriculum without additional adult support.
The majority of classroom support assistants (CSAs) are attached to specific subject areas so they can support student progress using informed and effective strategies. Developing student independence is crucial to their success and it is expected that students receive less CSA time as they move through the school.
Literacy / Numeracy Intervention
Screening Assessments carried out annually identify students who may benefit from basic skills support in the form of literacy or numeracy intervention. The majority of this is carried out during tutor time in six-week sessions. For students with significant difficulties, more ongoing intervention is put in place.
Access Arrangements for Exams
With Exam Weeks held for every year group, students who meet the criteria for exam support (such as access to a reader, a scribe, or extra time) will have a sticker in the front of their planner alerting them to this. Applications to the exam boards for support in formal examinations take place at the end of year 9.
Emotional Literacy Support
As well as the pastoral support services within the school, Crestwood has an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) on site who works with students who have social, emotional, or behavioural difficulties. The school ELSA is supported by the Educational Psychology Service to support students with a range of complex needs.
English as an Additional Language
The school monitors the learning and achievement of students who have English as an additional language. All class teachers are expected to support the language development of students through lesson planning. Where allowed, support will include access arrangements for exams such as dictionary use or extra time.
Resourced Provision for SpLD
The school has twenty funded places for students with significant dyslexic difficulties to receive specialist tuition and support. The majority of these students have transport to the school funded by the local authority. Admission into the resourced provision begins in the spring term of Year 5. Mid-year admissions are possible if a student’s literacy difficulties meet the criteria.
Parents with concerns about their child should, in the first instance, make contact with the individual teacher or tutor. Each year group has a member of the ILN team as a main point of contact to support parents with any concerns. Please speak to your child’s year leader.