Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy
Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy is part of the Newman Catholic Collegiate and aims to include all pupils in all aspects of academy life.
At our Lady and St Benedict we recognise and respect the uniqueness of each and every individual in our family. We aim to provide a happy, safe and secure environment where our children can grow to reach their potential and develop their relationship with God.
Who to contact
Where to go
- Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy
Stoke on Trent
- ST2 8AU
- Local Offer Age Bands
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Academy accommodates all SEND pupils in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas of need as outlined in the 2015 SEND Code of Practice. These categories are;
Cognition & Learning
This includes children whose learning difficulty could result in them learning at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs and includes, for example, children who have Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) and children who have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) which encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. These children may need additional support in some areas of the curriculum.
Communication & Interaction
This may include children who have a Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN) where children have difficulty saying what they want to or understanding what is being said to them and children who do not understand or use social rules of communication. This includes some children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Social, Emotional & Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH)
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. They may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging behaviours along with children who may have disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder. We work with CAMHS and other appropriate agencies to support these children.
Sensory &/or Physical Needs
This includes children who require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided. This includes Visual Impairment (VI), Hearing Impairment (HI), Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI) and Physical Disability (PD). We work with specialist services to access appropriate support to enable these children to access their learning. As these needs can be often inter-related we understand that many children may have more than one of these needs.
- How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Concerns in relation to a special educational need can be raised by parents, carers and staff at school. Our Lady & St. Benedict Catholic Academy is committed to quality first teaching for all pupils. Class teachers monitor all pupils on an ongoing basis in order to identify pupils that are not making expected progress as early as possible.
Staff also have half termly pupil progress discussions with senior leaders to strengthen identification of a need. Concerns are raised by the teacher through observations and analysis of data. Staff will liaise with the school SENCo and yourself as parents/carers. If children show no/little evidence of progress then additional standardised tests and assessments may take place such as The Salford Reading and Comprehension, Spelling Test and the British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS). If you have any concerns about your child having special needs then this should be discussed with the class teacher who will then pass the information onto the schools’ SENCO.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
Through quality first teaching every teacher in every class plans for the children’s needs and differentiated work is set to meet their learning ability. However if your child requires specific support then this is targeted through an individual pupil passport, where the parent and teacher discuss ways in which best to support your child. Your child’s views and ideas will also contribute to the passport. This may be through making adjustments in class planning and resources, or through additional group work or support on a one to one basis with an adult. Additional intervention programs may be also used to support your child’s learning.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
At Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Academy we understand all children are unique and we aim to ensure we match the curriculum to the needs of your child.
Our curriculum is planned and personalised to meet the needs of our children. We aim to provide an inclusive, creative, child led curriculum that will equip all children to be successful in life. All teachers plan to meet the child’s individual needs through quality first teaching, detailed planning and differentiated activities, in a rich environment with adult support. Work is set at the level appropriate to the child as are their targets for improvement. Work for your child can be differentiated through a range of means, some including; adult support, expectation by outcome, a framework to scaffold understanding, a tailored learning intention.
Ongoing assessments and monitoring ensures that staff can provide a well differentiated curriculum for your child. Those pupils with greater needs are given additional support in line with their difficulties.
You and your children will also contribute towards your child’s individual pupil passport which will outline specific needs and will identify teaching strategies, different ways of presenting learning and use of relevant resources to help your child meet the curriculum.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
Our school has an open house policy so if you do have any concerns about your child please don’t hesitate to raise these at any point in the school year with your child’s class teacher. Additionally your child’s class teacher may share any concerns with you as a parent or carer. We always strive to work in partnership with parents/carers and welcome your involvement.
If your child has a special educational need then you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s class teacher at least three times per year to review and revise their Pupil Passport. At times the SENCo can also be involved in this meeting. Here you have the opportunity to discuss the progress, achievements and outcomes of your child’s targets and areas outlined on their pupil passport. You will review together the effectiveness of the provision put into place. Qualitative and quantitative data is regularly analysed to ensure the school knows the progress your child is making. Standardised assessments which take place twice a year should also show the progress your child is making. The class teacher will make you aware of the learning that has been planned for your child through the updated class provision and Pupil Passport. Regular homework will be set which links to specific targets and will be aimed at helping you to support your child at home.
Parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are also invited to attend an annual review meeting. All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you directly, or where this is not possible, in a report. Parents evening for all pupils in school also take place two times per year and Annual Reports are sent home in July to give an overview of your child’s attainment and achievements for the year.
Additionally at the start of the school year parents will be asked to sign a home school agreement. At various times of the year parent questionnaires are sent out where staff will gather parent’s views in order to strengthen the provision for your child, and parent partnership.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
As we are a Catholic school we have a strong Catholic ethos where children are given the social and moral support which they require through our caring environment. Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Primary Academy believes in developing the whole child and all pupils are supported through the PSHE and RE curriculum which offers a foundation for pupil’s spiritual, emotional, mental and social development. All staff support pupils within class to improve pupil’s wellbeing. We have two learning mentors who often works one-to-one and in small groups with children who need extra social, behavioural or nurturing support.
Those children who need extra medical support will have a Health and Social Care plan where your child’s needs are specifically identified. Our school works closely with the nurse who can support the needs of your child.
Our positive behaviour policy is effective in supporting children in making the right choices. We believe it is extremely important for our children to contribute their views and we support children in doing this through student council, peer mediators and pupil interviews 3 times a year.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
The school SENCo has designated time to strengthen relationships with other agencies which are of benefit to our pupils and families. At Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Academy we work closely with:
- The Safeguarding Board
- Health visitors - School Nurse
- Inclusive Learning Service (previously known as SEND Services)
- SENDIASS (Formally Parent Partnership)
- Educational Psychology team
- Social Care
- Speech and Language Therapy team
- Younger Minds
- Occupational Therapists
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
All members of staff have been trained on the SEND code of practice and are aware of their responsibilities in supporting children with SEND. Our SENCo receives regular training and also meets regularly with other SENCos from within the Newman Academy to share good practice and to moderate ongoing practice in each school. In addition he also attends training and termly forums with the Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority. When any training is undertaken by the SENCo or other members of staff this is shared with specific staff or all staff in school. At times an action plan to implement the training in school can be created so that impact of the new training is tracked to ensure children are receiving the best provision possible.
Recently staff have received training on:
- Language and EYFS
- Switch On - an intervention to support reading.
- Catch-up maths
- Mind up.
Currently our staff are receiving training to help support children with dyslexia in their writing and on Talk Boost - an intervention targeting children with delayed language development. All staff have recently undergone training to develop their skills when target setting for children with SEN and identifying children with SEN.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Under the Equality Act (2010) all children must have access to all of the activities and trips within school. Teachers are aware of children’s needs and select trips and activities to suit these needs. Whilst parents are welcome on trips it is advisable that children are given the opportunity to gain their own independence with friends and other adults. Staff will undertake a risk assessment to ensure all children can access the trip safely for their enjoyment. This risk may include needs to the physical environment or medical needs.
- How accessible is the environment?
Every child is unique and we aim to ensure that the needs of all children who have special educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We endeavour to make reasonable adjustments so that all children, staff and parents can access the curriculum, physical environment and information provided, in and out of school. This is secured on a daily basis and is addressed through staff undertaking an annual accessibility audit where priority areas are placed onto our accessibility plan which can be found on our school website.
Additionally if we receive any new pupils into school with a specific need which is not addressed on the Accessibility Plan the SENCo would support staff in making any adjustments needed.
If you require information in a different formats do not hesitate to ask our child’s class teacher or the school office for a suitable format.
Additionally the school directors receive information on how the SEND budget is allocated each financial year. The SEND budget is used to ensure accessibility for all our SEND pupils.
Quality first teaching embeds many strategies to support pupils accessing the curriculum however below is a range of specific interventions and strategies which are currently used to support your child to access the curriculum and close any the gaps within their learning ability.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
In preparation for starting school all children have access to our Benedict Bear induction sessions where they will meet other children and staff.
In September there will be numerous induction days for your child to get used to their new school. If your child is starting in Nursery or Reception then they will receive a home visit from their teacher. This is an opportunity for you and your child to get to know the new class teacher. For those children who require extra support in their transition into school then extra meetings can be arranged where required. Staff from school may also visit your child’s current nursery setting to gain further knowledge from staff there on how best to support your child’s transition to us.
Children moving on to high school will have the opportunity to meet the transition coordinator in their new school, and other key members of staff including the SENCo, Year 7 lead teacher and when know their new form tutor. All information is shared in advance with new settings including pupil passports. Where necessary extra transition sessions can be arranged to ensure your child is comfortable in their new school. For those children who are moving to a new year group within the school at the start of the year you will have the opportunity to meet with your new class teacher who will talk through class routines and the curriculum topics any other information you and your child may need for the year. Sometimes an individual transition plan will be developed between staff, pupil, parents and the new setting so that the transition can be as effective as possible for the pupil and they can begin learning in their new setting as soon as they begin. Again pupil passports are shared between staff. The number of transition sessions will be determined by the needs of the individual child and can vary from one additional session to a number of sessions where a child may need to visit the school each week and build this up to a full day visit.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The SEN budget is allocated each financial year and the money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs. The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year. If any concerns are raised on completion of assessments, the SENCO will investigate further support or advice from outside agencies if required.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
When the children join the school support is allocated on the information provided by the previous setting or from baseline assessments on entry. Usually, in consultation with the class teacher, the SENCO will allocate teaching assistants to individuals or small groups to support in class or in other focus groups tailored to the pupils’ needs.
During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well- being then other interventions will be arranged. Parents and pupil are also involved in the discussion of the provision that may be required through termly Pupil Passport Review meetings. Occasionally we may seek the advice of a specialist advisor or Educational Psychologist. This may result in an increase in the amount of support a child receives. If this support goes over 15 hours then then school may apply for an Education & Health Care Plan for your children. As a parent you would be very involved in this process and consulted at every stage.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
Teachers regularly give feedback to children about their work and the progress they are making and what they need to do next to make further progress or to address a misconception. This enables children to become reflective learners and helps them to close the gap between what they can do currently and what we would like them to do. Pupils with a Pupil Passport will also give their views termly inline with pupil passport reviews and more formally for children with an EHC during the annual review or assessment process. Where appropriate, children will be fully involved in the discussions with their class teacher and parent and contribute to the review process.
Pupil passports are developed with pupils and they are encouraged to take ownership of these where they can state specific strategies that are particularly helpful to them when learning. If children are withdrawn from class for intervention groups the staff running the group will explain what it is about and what the aims of the group are. Children will be asked to review at the end of each session and at the end of the intervention programme. At various times of the year pupils complete questionnaires about their learning where staff can gather information which can be used to strength support for our children.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
Our open house policy means that you can be involved in decisions through an ongoing dialogue during the year. You will also be invited formally to discuss and make decisions about your child’s SEND at least three times per year, where your views will contribute to next steps within the Pupil Passport Review cycle for your child. Additionally parents of children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan are also invited to attend an annual review meeting where you will contribute to the future outcomes for your child.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
As discussed above you will be involved in the Pupil Passport Review cycle of meetings with your child and class teacher. Additional to this there are opportunities throughout the year for parents to join their pupils in learning workshops or activities. Parents are further encouraged to volunteer within school to provide children with extra support. We draw on a range of parent’s talents to support different aspects of school life. Through volunteering you may have the opportunity to receive training to support you in your role. If you are interested in being involved in the wider aspects of school then feel free to come in for a chat about what you feel you could offer the school.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
If you are not happy about a decision or something that is happening in school, we always encourage parents and carers to speak to your child’s class teacher initially. If you require further assistance then please request to speak to the SENCo. If you are still not happy then you can speak to the Principal or the Academy Committee member for SEND, who will do their best to help you with your concerns. The process for all complaints is found within the Complaints Policy which can be found on the school website www.ourladyandstbenedict.co.uk.
Alternatively parents can request a written copy.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
Within school there are people to help, your first contact should be your child’s class teacher or the school office. Other people in school who are available to help include:
Principal – Mrs Sims
Acting Vice Principal - Mrs Taylor
SENCo – Mr Rathbone
Learning Mentors – Miss Franklin and Miss Ward
Below is a list of the contact services outside of school available to parents and carers of a pupil with a SEND need. Some of these services are accessed via the school so talk to your class teacher to help sign post you further.
The Safeguarding Board - 01782 235100
School Nurse - 03001240362
SEND Services - 01782 232538
SENMAS - 01782 231863
SENDIASS - 01782 234701
Social Care - 01782 235100
Your Health Visitor
IPSEA (Independent Parental Specialist Advice) www.ipsea.org.uk
NSAAA (North Staffordshire Asperger Autism Association) - 01782 627002