At Buckswood School, we know that every child is special and has a talent but we also recognise that at times those talents can be hidden or be prevented from being shown to their full potential because of a personal learning need. The Government in the England identify students with specific learning needs and disabilities as students with ‘Special Educational Needs or Disabilities’ SEND. As a school, we take full account of the statutory documentation and embed with the fundamental principles contained in the ‘Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (July 2014) and the Equalities Act 2010’: But we do this the Buckswood way, with the Buckswood difference so our students get the best.

We believe that all children, staff and even animals in our school community are special, some may have additional needs and challenges personal to them and this is why we refer to ‘Special Educational Needs’ as ‘Personal Educational Needs’ (PEN). The needs of your child will be individual and this is how we will support them, whether it be an hour, a week supporting the organisation of prep or 10 hours a week of different types of structured support, enrichment, learning skills we will work together as a staff team to deliver that difference.

If you believe that your child may require any levels of additional support, short or longer term please let the admission team know. Equally, if your child is gifted or talented in any subject or discipline this is part of their personal educational need and we want to nurture it. Before arrival at Buckswood we gather any information provided by parents, previous schools, from teacher observations if your child has attended a taster day, video interviews or assessments and this information allows us to put in place strategies to help them reach their potential from day one. The Buckswood Educational Support Team can arrange meetings with parents, previous school and/or other professionals that have been supporting your child. We will always listen and keep you fully informed; as the parent, you know your child best and we strive to enable your child to feel their best version of themselves.

In line with the government guidance and because it is highly effective we follow the cycle of assess, plan, do, review. The diagram below shows the continuous cycle that is personalised and enables us to support students at whichever point they join our community.

buckswood-pen

 

Assess

On arrival at Buckswood all students are assessed within the first few weeks, we do this by using a robust and inclusive computerised programme; the cognitive abilities test (CAT). The information from this is analysed and reports are created for teachers, parents and students. If there are any areas of the score that indicate that your child requires extra support or is talented in any area, we will discuss this with you and plan any next steps.

Teachers working with your child in small groups will be making assessments that are subject specific within their first half term and if there are any areas that they feel students may require support with or are excelling in, they will contact the Senco who with work closely with the Head of Year (HOY) and Head of Department (HOD). Part of the Buckswood difference are the layers of support and international expertise; all aimed at facilitating the success of our students. The Senco can do observations, additional screenings for dyslexia, dyscalculia, literacy and speech and language and gather information from other staff that work with your child.

 

Plan

Every student is an individual and every plan will be individual. A plan may involve a level of monitoring support, checking on progress and an open door where a student can request support at a specific time, for example organisation of their exam revision. Some students may benefit from some additional teaching time, additional English speaking and writing lessons or 1:1 learning support. If a student has an identified learning need such as dyslexia, we will work closely with parents to ensure that they have access to the resources that they will need to be as independent as possible. We believe that if we teach children to use the many technologies and strategies available to help them, it will develop confidence in their abilities to be independent and ready to take on the exciting challenges of global careers.

If a student needs additional assessment, we can work with you to find or we can source the most suitable professional, such as an Educational psychologist (EP). These professionals will complete independent assessments and create an in depth report. The reports are used to set targets, create an Independent Educational Plan and give a variety of personalised strategies. EPs can also be commissioned and the reports used as evidence for students who may be granted extra time in some public examinations.

When making a plan we want to include the whole child we very much look at what else we have available to us within the unique Buckswood community. It may be that taking up horse riding, joining an academy or a learning an instrument; including the Bagpipes, would help with core strength, balance, confidence or motor skills. Taking drama, joining the debating club or becoming a prefect may develop confidence, speaking and listening skills or social skills. We look for sustainable and effective solutions and fully encourage students to be part of the decision-making at every step; their voice is key.

Strategically the Senco will also ensure that all staff working with your child is fully aware of how they are best able to support them, whether it be in the classroom, enrichment or break times. When a plan has been created then targets and educational strategies will be shared to ensure that the teaching strategies used are most effective for the individual student.

 

Do

Once a plan is made then action is needed. This may be setting SMART targets, accessing additional 1:1 lessons, attending access time, using a technology or resource to more independently to access or extend learning and outcomes.  Plans are created to be inclusive; it may be more appropriate for the student to remain in the classroom and be supported by the Senco to develop their own skills in context than to be withdrawn. Staff training is always ongoing at Buckswood. The Senco also supports in completing lesson observations, auditing provision and delivering targeted training aimed at best supporting personalised learning and teaching styles. This is adapted regularly depending on the needs of our students.

 

Review

Teachers will be regularly sharing information on progress with the HOY, HOD and Senco: The Senco will keep an overview and after an agreed period will work with other staff, the students and the parent to look at how effective the plan has been. If the plan has worked well. What can we do next? How can we make extended progress? Have we built confident and self-esteem? If there are areas on the plan that have not been as successful, we need to be self-reflective. What were the barriers to this working? How can we change things? What else can we try?

Being a cyclical model, we will also me measuring effectiveness with continued assessment. HODs and HOYs will continue to track progress regularly throughout the year. The Senco will arrange for additional screenings or rescreening to measure the effectiveness.

Most importantly, we listen. We listen to the voice of the parents and most importantly the student. Do they feel more confident in their own ability? Do they feel confident? Do they feel success?

SUPPORTING ALL PUPILS TO ACHIEVE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL

How does Buckswood School know if my child needs extra help? Students with every type of need are supported at Buckswood, and we make every effort to ensure that they make good progress, and are well prepared for the next stage in their education. As soon as we know that they are coming to Buckswood, we gather as much information as possible from all possible sources including, but not limited to: Parents, previous school, therapy services if applicable, etc. Once in school we identify needs by:

  • Listening to the students.
  • Acting on concerns raised by Teachers, Parents, Welfare and Boarding staff
  • Carrying out screening, assessments and reviewing results
  • Checking marking and feedback in different subjects
  • Reviewing targets and progress towards targets from the starting point of the student.
  • Applying the process of Assess- Plan –do- Review.
  • Contacting Specialist agencies where necessary.
What do I do If I think my child may have a Personal Learning Need, Special Educational Need, or Disability? Contact your child’s Form or Head of year in the first instance who will then discuss concerns with the SENCo to arrange a meeting to discuss concerns and plan a way forward.

Alternatively contact can be made directly with the SENCo vdavies@buckswood.co.uk

How will I know how Buckswood supports my child? We try and work closely with all our parents to ensure that all students make progress and are happy.

  • There are regular weekly reports for parents to access.
  • We have an open door policy so concerns and next steps can be discussed. Within the current Covid-19 guidance any face to face meetings are strictly by appointment only.
  • Termly assessment reports which outline attitude to learning, progress and attainment.
  • All students are encouraged to attend access time with subject specific teachers.
  • Some students may also have additional 1-1 lessons. These extra lessons incur an additional cost. Students on a PEN programme will be reviewed regularly.
  • Some students may use alternative methods of recording information; such as using a laptop or reader pen. Additional resourcing requirements will be discussed with parents and they may incur an additional cost. The school has an acceptable use of laptop policy.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? Teachers are responsible for the progress and development of all children in their classes, including those with personal learning challenges or disabilities.

  • Teachers will deliver high quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised so that individual needs are met.
  • Teachers will plan lessons to ensure there are no barriers to every pupil achieving
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support every child individually and in groups.
  • Teachers will use appropriate assessments to set outcomes which are challenging yet achievable.
  • Teachers will give students elements of choice and control.
  • If a student has an IEP this will be shared with teaching staff.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning? Parents will support their child at home in order to work in partnership with the school. Buckswood School can also offer the following:

  • Provide information about their child’s specific needs.
  • Share curriculum information via the school website.
  • Provide website links for specific conditions.
  • Individual support for parents if requested.
  • Ensure reports from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychologist, speech therapy etc. which contain suggestions for home working are shared with parents/carers.
  • Embedded ‘Teams’ online learning platform which enables continuation of learning with resources, communication with teaching staff and opportunities to embed and extend learning experiences outside the classroom or in periods that your child may be absent from school.
What opportunities are there to support my child’s physical, social and emotional development? At Buckswood we offer a significant number of enrichment opportunities a number of examples’ are listed: Some activities are at additional cost, please contact the school for further information:

  • Horse riding, promotes core strength, physical and emotional regulation.
  • Field trips, supporting positive social interactions, higher level questioning and independence skills.
  • Music lessons, performing in assemblies, concerts and competitions.
  • LAMDA – drama qualification
  • Charity, cultural and social events
  • Enrichment clubs, debating, fishing, chess etc
  • Duke of Edinburgh scheme
  • Prefect systems, school council and pupil voice.
  • Local, national and international school trips: At this current time these trips are subject to government guidance in relation to Covid-19.
What support is there for my child’s overall well-being? Students have access to the following:

  • Small class groups with teachers that know each individual student and have the time to support their individual needs.
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • The Hub- where advice can be sought about welfare issues and safeguarding.
  • Signposting to mental health and wellbeing services.
  • Health Centre
  • Pastoral staff – Heads of Year, Form Tutors, key stage leaders.
  • Head of Boarding, house staff.
  • PSHE curriculum
  • Equal opportunities for after school enrichment activities.
  • The school operates a robust Behaviour policy, with clear sanctions and rewards as well as close monitoring of students behaviour over time.
What Specialist Services are available in school, or can be accessed by the school Buckswood have regular professional staff development and training sessions that reflect the needs of the students at the time.

School staff are well qualified and experienced with a range of Additional needs including:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • ASC
  • Speech & Language
  • General Learning Difficulties
  • Able Gifted and Talented
  • EAL
  • Sensory processing needs

Additional layers of support, training or resources are also available and are used or can be accessed as necessary by staff when supporting your child:

  • School Nurse
  • Team Teach
  • De-escalation Strategies
  • Anger Management
  • Differentiation

If required there are a range of other professional services we can call on although these will be likely to incur an additional cost:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Specialist ASC Services
  • CAMHS
  • Visual & Hearing impairment services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Counselling
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom – including school trips
  • Activities and Trips are available to all.
  • Risk Assessments and procedures are in place to enable all children to participate in school activities and events.
  • If 1-1 support is required it may incur extra cost.
How will Buckswood School prepare and support my child on entry, on transfer to another school, or post 16 provision.
  • Before entry to our school we will gather as much information as possible to help them settle in quickly.
  • Open days are for Parents and students to find out about the school.
  • Students are also offered taster days to see how the school works, understand expectations, procedures, school routines and for them to see whether it suits them.
  • Some quick assessments may also take place on the taster days to help us to plan for entry to the school.
  • Once we know that a student has additional needs, we will make contact with the parents to decide on desired outcomes and working to develop a plan to support the student to achieve those aims. Staff who teach that student will also be made aware of the needs of that student.

Transfer to another school:

  • Whenever a Student moves to another school, we will pass on the records of the student. If the student has additional needs we will also:
  • Pass on SEND records to the new school.
  • Liaise with the SENCO/HEAD of new school where possible to clarify any information necessary.

Post 16 provision: As with any of our 6th formers, SEND pupils can access the services above. They are given extra help in the application process for university /vocational education.

How is the decision made about how much, or what support my child needs?
  • Following assessments, a clear picture of the student’s needs will be available.
  • The SENCo will plan with Staff teaching that student the provision that will be made.
  • Closely tracking progress of the targets set, will ensure that the provision matches the need.
  • Provision will be increased, decreased, withdrawn  as necessary.
  • Parents will remain involved and informed with any decisions.
  • Teachers will monitor students throughout assessments. A decision will be made if a student requires access arrangements; support in examinations dependent on the evidence and or reports from specialists.
How accessible is the school site? Buckswood has an Accessibility Plan in place. The physical environment varies and it is advised that parents should visit the site to check suitability for their child.