Brighton Hill Community School

Brighton Hill Community School SEN Information Report

Supporting Your Child & Learning Support Department

BHCS is a mainstream secondary school and we aim to provide our students with a curriculum which is differentiated and accessible to all, regardless of ability or educational needs. We recognise that many of our students will need a little extra help at some point in their school life and that some will require more specific help from our Student Support Department.
Approximately 15% of our students are recorded as having special educational needs and/or disability. We provide targeted support for students both individually and within specific intervention groups and are committed to providing the most appropriate level of support possible; as well as working alongside class teachers to ensure that Quality First Teaching is delivered in class to support the needs of all our learners.
The Student Support Department is managed by the Special Educational Needs & Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) Helen Heath and the Head of Student Support, Wendy Cornelius, and is located within the HUB.  The HUB is a resource centre which brings together all the different student support services available in and outside of the school, including the SEND services, making them front line with inclusion paramount. The HUB staff and Teaching Assistants (TAs) work closely and liaise with the SENDCo and Head of Student Support, which allows us to provide bespoke provision for individual and group work for a wide range of students.

Q: How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • The progress and attainment levels of students with special educational needs are analysed and regular reports are reviewed by Heads of Faculty, Heads of year and the Senior Leadership Team. These are also made available to the Board of Governors.
  • Parents are contacted by phone by either subject teachers, Head of Faculty, Head of year or a member of the Student support team if there is any cause for concern or any significant changes regarding their child’s support and by letter when a new programme of intervention is planned. However, they are not necessarily contacted for routine assessment of progress or less significant changes in support.
  • All relevant staff members are notified of changes in students’ needs via the SEND Register; regular email updates; electronically held information; the daily staff briefing or through direct meetings.

Q: What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress?

  • We offer an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either a subject teacher, Head of Faculty, tutor or Head of Year, to discuss how their child is progressing.  Parents/carers can contact staff members by various means: directly by email; through the Head Teacher’s Personal Assistant: headteacher@brightonhill.hants.sch.uk ; by writing a note in their child’s planner or by telephoning the school on 01256 350606

Q: What are the planned arrangements for communicating between school and home?

  • Every student has a school planner which travels between home and school every day so that comments from parents/carers and teachers or tutors can be shared and responded to as needed.
  • Each year group has at least one parents’ evening per academic year, when all subject teachers are available to meet with parents/carers and discuss progress and learning.
  • Each student will receive Three progress trackers over and academic year which informs parents/carers of the progress their child is making in all the subjects they take.
  • If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), then there are legal requirements for at least one formal meeting per year (the Annual Review) organised by the SENDCo and attended by parents/carers, teachers and outside agencies involved in the student’s education.

Q: How does the school know how well my child is doing?
Teachers, as part of their professional standards, monitor and review all students’ progress throughout the year.  The whole school system at BHCS includes:

  • Data collection at three points throughout the academic year, from all teachers, showing the current level of attainment of all the students they teach.  This means that teachers, Heads of Faculty and Heads of Year can track the progress of students across the school year and intervene if students experience difficulties.
  • In the case of intervention programmes, progress is reviewed either half termly or termly; this might include testing or screening.  These programmes are reviewed by the SENDCo and Head of Student Support, who uses the information to plan and design the next half term’s intervention programme.
  • Teachers are observed by senior leaders and line managers as part of the school Performance Management system; the deployment of additional adults in the classroom and the progress of students with additional learning requirements are part of the Teacher Standards, against which the quality of teaching is measured.
  • The school’s positive behaviour management system (stamps) provides parents/carers with information about how well a student is engaging with the learning opportunities on offer, and provides pastoral staff with evidence for how well a student is learning at school.

Q: What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school?

  • The school uses a positive behaviour management system.  Every lesson, every student will receive a stamp from the teacher for abiding by the five golden rules:

    1.    Uniform
    2.    Behaviour
    3.    On Time
    4.    Equipment
    5.    On Task

  • Stamps are monitored by tutors and are linked to rewards such as the Leavers’ Ball or the opportunity to go to a rewards day trip during a school day.  This enables the Heads of Year to identify students who are falling behind their peers, to investigate and to address the reasons for this.
  • BHCS currently operates a horizontal tutoring system, which means that students are placed with students from the same year group.
  • Tutors are the main point of contact for parents/carers about their child’s pastoral and social well-being.

Q: What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

  • We have two ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who have been trained by and receive regular supervisory support from Hampshire Educational Psychology Service.  Heads of Year can request this support for their students, when they consider it to be suitable.  The areas of emotional difficulties that ELSAs provide support for are:  specified social skills; friendships and relationships; anger management; loss and change; self-organisation as well as providing a full programme of social and emotional communication skills for students in Zone 7
  • Students who struggle with social situations are able to go to the HUB during lunchtimes, break times and before school, by agreement, and they are supported by the HUB team to manage unstructured social time.
  • If a student is unwell during the school day, then they will be sent to the Medical Room or HUB.  If the student is too ill to stay at school, their parent/carer will be contacted and asked to make arrangements for collecting them as soon as possible.  A HUB Team member will decide if the student is well enough to stay at school or not.
  • In a medical emergency, a HUB Team member will attend urgently, or may call for an ambulance if the student requires hospitalisation. 
  • All staff are trained annually on administering Epi-Pens for anaphylactic shock and students who have severe allergies or other significant health/medical needs are flagged-up to all staff throughout the school year.

Q: What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • The SENDCo (Helen Heath) has the SENDCo accreditation required of all SENDCos in all schools.
  • The Head of Student Support (Wendy Cornelius) is a specialist dyslexia teacher and is trained in assessing for Access Arrangements for students undertaking exams or controlled assessments. She also has received training from EMTAS with supporting EAL students and has had first aid training.
  • The schools Family Support Worker (Racheal Thomas) has over 20 years of experience of working with children and families and has received training in:
    • Two NVQ 4’s in child care and residential child care
    • Accredited Triple P and teen Triple P facilitator
    • First Aid
    • Support work in school Diploma
    • Trained ELSA
    • Deputy Designated Safeguard Lead
    • Mental Health First Aider
  • Our Student Support Worker (Marie Richards) supports students struggling with anxiety or stress through the use of ‘mindfulness techniques’ and has received training in:
    • Mental Health First Aider
    • First aid
  • The Learning Support team and the HUB team liaise with many specialist services and outside experts to ensure provision for our students is appropriate and meets all needs.  The school works closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual students’ needs, including:
  • Health – GPs, school nurse, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists (CAMHS), paediatricians, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists
  • Social services – locality teams, social workers, child protection teams, family intervention programmes
  • Hampshire Educational Psychology Service
  • Hampshire Inspectorate and Advisory Service : Specialist Teacher Advisors – hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical disabilities, communication and language, SEND team

Q: What SEND training have the staff had or are currently having?
SEND training is an on-going rolling programme of professional development for all of our staff throughout the school year.

  • We have two ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who have been trained by and receive regular supervision support from Hampshire Educational Psychology Service.
  • One senior TA (Teaching Assistant) who has extensive experience and training in planning, delivering and assessing intervention programmes and has completed a Level 3 qualification in Supporting Students with Specific learning Difficulties.
  • Other TAs have undertaken specialist training in supporting students with speech language & communication needs (SLCN), autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and supporting students with hearing or visual impairment.
  • All staff are trained each year on the needs of new students joining the school – this can include training from specialist agencies or consultants, as well as from the SENDCo, Head of Student Support or other staff with relevant expertise.
  • SEND training forms part of the continuing professional development of all teachers and TAs and is organised in accordance with the needs of the students and staff.
  • The school works closely with other local schools, especially our feeder primary schools, sharing training opportunities including INSET days and outside experts.  Opportunities to develop this aspect of local expertise are actively sought throughout the school year.
  • All staff at the school are trained in teaching and working with hearing impaired or visually impaired students, with updates at Induction and INSET days.
  • We regularly and rigorously review and develop the skills and attributes of our staff to ensure that they match the profiled needs of our students.

Q: How will my child be able to contribute their views?
Students’ views are highly valued at the school and their opinions are sought on many areas of school life, as well as their own learning.  We use a variety of methods for seeking student views:

  • The school has an active student council, where students represent their peers.  The student council is able to express student views to senior leaders throughout the school year.
  • Student panels regularly form a part of the school’s interview process for new members of staff.
  • Students can also express concerns to our Prefect team or our Anti- Bullying Ambassadors.
  • If your child has an EHCP , their views will be sought before any review meeting

Q: How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • All students are entitled to be included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
  • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised in the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school. 

Q: How accessible is the school environment?

  • Apart from 6 classrooms in the English Block, the school is all on ground level but some faculty blocks need to be accessed by steps or permanent ramps. However, as not all areas are easily accessible by wheelchair, students who are temporarily incapacitated by ill health and require either a wheelchair or crutches can generally be accommodated for within the HUB.
  • The site has one disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing; it is situated by the PE changing rooms.
  • The car park has parking bays for disabled badge holders, marked clearly in yellow paint.
  • We liaise with EMTAS (Ethnic Minority and Traveller Advisory Service) who assist us in supporting families with English as an additional language or with a Traveller background.
  • The school site has recently been updated to enable visually impaired students to move around the site with the assistance of yellow markings to clearly indicate steps and to highlight supporting structural posts in and around the school site.
  • Corridors have mats which contrast against the colour of the flooring to indicate where doors are to ensure students can navigate around the school with ease.
  • In addition to structural changes, the school has updated school maps so they are accessible in larger font or online for visually impaired students.

Q: How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

  • Our goal is to make sure our new students feel like they belong at BHCS before they officially arrive.  Learning is most effective when students feel they belong and are comfortable in the school environment.
  • This is achieved through close collaboration with Primary schools or through Parent and Student meetings if your child is joining us once the academic year has started.

Key Stage 2-3 (year 6 to year 7)
During your child’s final year at Primary School, Mr Du-Heaume (Head of Year 7/Transition Manager) and   Ms Heath (SENDCo) visits the school and meets all future students and talks to class teachers and the Head teacher.  This is an important part of your child's introduction to our school.  During this period our Head of Student Support, Mrs Cornelius, and our Family Support Worker, Ms Thomas, also liaise with your child’s Primary/Junior School to discuss the support requirements of those students with special needs or require extra support with transition. 
In the summer term, Year 6 pupils will visit the School perhaps on several occasions. This important step in Primary to Secondary transition helps to ensure that we get to know our future students and their needs as fully as possible before they join us in Year 7. This means that we can begin productive work immediately in September to maximise learning and that we can also ensure that students experience a smooth and happy transition from Primary school.

  • All students in Year 6 who have accepted a place at BHCS for Year 7 are invited to two Transition Days in July.  These days provide a taste of secondary school life, giving them the experience of lessons, providing information about how the school runs and allowing an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates.
  • All year 6 students are given a password to access our online transition page to help them navigate the school and to familiarise themselves with teachers and support staff at BHCS.
  • Parents/carers are invited to a ‘Year 6 Parents’ Evening’ at the end of the first Transition Day, to learn about the activities their children have undertaken, to meet their tutor and other key members of the Key Stage 3 team and to receive information about the organisation of the school.
  • The Head of Year 7/ SENCo, Head of Student Support and Family Support Worker visit feeder primary schools to meet students and gather information from Year 6 teachers and support staff. 
  • Before the end of year 6, BHCS tutors are provided with information about their new students’ needs, strengths and any other relevant background information.  
  • BHCS currently operates a horizontal tutoring system, which means that students in Year 7 are placed together in tutor groups. 
  • The Head of Year 7 allocates Y6 students to tutor groups taking into account advice from the primary school.
  • Every student’s school file is passed on to BHCS at the end of Year 6.
  • The school arranges extra transition visits for vulnerable Year 6 students so that they can get to know the school site, meet staff with whom they will work and learn about how the school is organised. 
  • Each year, a small number of Year 7 students arrive at BHCS who are not secondary ready, or who are below the National Standard in literacy and numeracy.  For these students, we have a specially designed Maths and English curriculum called Zone 7 which provides a small group setting (usually up to 18) with support from an experienced teacher and TA in all English and Maths lessons.

Key Stage 3-4 (Year 8 to Year 9)

  • At BHCS students are in KS3 for two years (Year 7 and Year 8 only) and spend their remaining three years with us in KS4 (Year 9 onwards).  This is so that our students have more time to spend on developing the skills and knowledge required for achieving qualifications at the end of Year 11.
  • For KS4, students choose from a range of GCSE courses which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college, apprenticeships or work.  Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.

KS4-5 (year 11 to year 12)

  • The school arranges visits to open days and further education fairs for all students.  Support with finding and applying for apprenticeships is also available.
  • Students are encouraged to consider attending university in the future and the school works with higher education establishments to provide experiences for students in order to inspire the ambition to pursue this route.
  • All students in Year 10 are provided with 1-1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education.
  • Students with an EHC Plan who are moving on to further education are supported by the Local Authority’s Youth Support Services.  A youth support worker will attend all Annual Reviews from Year 9 onwards to help plan and organise support for the move to college or vocational training.
  • All information relating to a student’s exam concessions and required differentiation is passed on to college or the training provider during the summer term of Year 11, after college places have been confirmed.

Q: How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s needs?

  • We ensure that all students with SEND have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability, within the funds available.
  • The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The students who have the most complex needs are given a higher proportion of this support/

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

  • Our provision is arranged to meet our students’ needs, within the resources available.  This approach reflects the fact that different students require different levels of support in order to achieve age expected attainment.
  • Students with special educational needs and/or disability are identified by BHCS staff, primary schools, parents, other professionals and screening tests. All new students have their reading and spelling skills assessed within the first week of joining BHCS to ensure that literacy difficulties are identified and intervention/ support can be implemented where necessary.
  • Our Zone 7 classroom is located within the HUB and the school works closely with Primary and Junior schools to identify students who would benefit from being in a smaller class initially, with main focus on literacy and numeracy, which this facility offers.
  • In Year 8, students who require additional support with English and Maths will take part in target intervention groups outside of their English and/ or Maths Lesson.
  • We provide a learning support service in line with our SEND Policy which has been ratified by the Board of Governors and we subscribe to an admissions policy that meets Hampshire County Council expectations.
  • The SENDCo consults with subject teachers, Heads of Faculty and Heads of Year, as well as with support staff, to discuss the students’ needs and what support would be appropriate.
  • There are always on-going discussions with parents/carers for any student who requires additional support for their learning and progress.

Examples of additional Intervention which can be delivered:

  • Reading comprehension, spelling and handwriting intervention are delivered in 12 week programmes.
  • Students participating in the accelerated reading accuracy programme attend daily 20 minute sessions.
  • Numeracy Catch Up sessions are delivered weekly in AM tutor time.
  •  1:1 support is delivered as a 6-12 week individualised programme.
  •  ELSA, Friendship and SLCN Groups run throughout the academic year.

Q: How do we know if it has had an impact?

  • We review evidence that the student is making progress academically against national/age expected measures and that the gap is narrowing – they are catching up to their peers or expected age levels
  • We also regularly track all interventions on the ‘provision map’ software toll which provides parents with a clear breakdown of the support they are achieving the progress they are making within each intervention.
  • The student is achieving or exceeding their expected levels of progress
  • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and student
  • Formal or informal observations of the student at school
  • Students may move off the SEND Register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.

Q: Who can I contact for further information at BHCS?

Q: Who can I contact for further information outside of BHCS?
Additionally, the school liaises with and can refer parents/carers to the following agencies for information and support:

Q: Where can I find Hampshire’s Local offer?
Every Local Authority has a duty to set out in one place the provision that it expects to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people from birth to 25 years of age who have special educational needs and/ or disabilities and also services outside of the area which they expect children and young people from their area to use. This is known as the ‘Local Offer’.
You can access Hampshire’s Local Offer using the link below:
Hampshire’s Local Offer: www.hantslocaloffer.info

Useful websites

Supporting Your Child & Learning Support Department

www.bdadyslexia.org.uk  - UK national organization, offering a wide range of information for parents, dyslexic adults and teachers. www.arkellcentre.org.uk – dyslexia charity that provides assessment, 1:1 tuition and a programme of courses for parents & children. www.afasicengland.o...

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