Special Educational Needs
Great Western Academy is a truly inclusive school. Our goal is to ensure that students with Additional Needs flourish and are supported to make more progress than their peers over Years 7 to 11 and beyond.
Our experienced SENDCo has been at GWA since the opening of the school. We work closely with the SEN Assessment Team at Swindon Borough Council, external agencies, primary schools and parents/carers to ensure that all involved in supporting students with additional needs are working together to improve their learning, especially for students with EHCPs. We acknowledge the importance of transition arrangements for all students, but particularly for those who may need more time to adjust. GWA has quickly developed a reputation for caring and effective transition for all, one where GWA staff, Year 6 teachers, parents and other adults involved all contribute to a transition which has the learner at the heart of it. The aim is to ensure that all GWA teachers will be able to meet the need of each student from the first day that they teach them by having clear and useful information about the best way to address the need identified.
Once present at GWA students who have difficulty accessing the curriculum for any reason will have appropriate support. Our principle is that support is based on quality first teaching, with students staying in mainstream lessons unless there is an overwhelming reason not to. Teachers are expected to differentiate resources to maximise the learning of all, using the plentiful ICT as a resource where it is effective to do so. Our Learning Mentors are used judiciously and will encourage independence; one-to-one or small group support is arranged at appropriate times, such as the reading time each day, so that students fully engage with school life. In addition, interventions may be offered for more bespoke support where students attend a 6 week programme with a specific focus enabling their independence back with the school environment. Those that continue to need more support past Key Stage 3 may be offered the ASDAN pathway where we currently offer the Personal and Social Development course for some students who may benefit from this in place of an option at Key Stage 4.
A teacher or Learning Mentor is available after school during enrichment time for students who want to use that time to complete homework or practise a particular skill.
We operate a hub based system of support where students with additional needs are supported through separate hubs that lead on SEMH, Cognition and Learning or Communication and Interaction. The hub-based system enables us to direct the right support at the right time to the right students ensuring that teams are trained and experienced in their specialist area thus providing a clear, graduated response to need. Students therefore have knowledgeable staff to support them through Key Worker support, in class support and through targeted interventions enabling them to build independence and resilience in order to thrive at GWA. Each hub is led by an experienced hub leader in their specialism and who works with the appropriate agencies to develop interventions and support strategies to work with students.
It will undoubtedly be the case that some students who initially receive additional support will thrive and can, at a review point and with parents involved, have that level of support gradually reduced. Conversely it will become apparent that some students will need more support to make best progress, and this may be at any point during their time at the Academy. There will be a clear mechanism for staff to flag concerns to the SENDCo, who will ensure appropriate assessment is undertaken – again with parental involvement – so that specific support can be arranged where needed. We follow a clear, graduated response to need and this is regularly reviewed and discussed within the school frameworks.
The progress of students with Additional Needs remains a key focus when data is analysed so that appropriate individual or small-group interventions can be initiated or, of course, excellent progress celebrated.
If you have any concerns you wish to raise regarding SEN please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To view our SEND Information Report click here