Ormiston Meridian Academy
A Warm Welcome From The Principal – Ormiston Meridian Academy
We believe in:
We strive to ensure that our students live happy, successful and exciting lives that are underpinned by an excellent education. Our curriculum is designed to shape the ‘whole’ child by developing; Strong characters, leadership traits, independent learners, interests and passions and successful citizens alongside the development of academic and practical knowledge and skills.
We are passionate about instilling a strong sense of self-belief, determination and aspiration in every student. Every child should have incredibly high expectations of themselves and believe that they can achieve anything they put their mind to, no matter how difficult.
We aim to connect learning to real-life contexts to ensure all our students are well-prepared for an ever-changing, demanding and modern world. We provide in-depth knowledge regarding the vast range of opportunities and experiences that are available to them as young adults; Further Education, University, Apprenticeships, and ultimately employment.
Who to contact
Where to go
Stoke on Trent
- ST3 7DF
- Local Offer Age Bands
- 11-16 years
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
Ormiston Meridian Academy provides support for pupils with a wide range of SEND. The areas of Special Education Needs and Disabilities fall within the following four broad areas of need and support:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Physical and sensory
Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas, some have needs that span two or more areas and for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset. It is therefore important to carry out a detailed individual assessment of each child or young person and their situation at the earliest opportunity to make an accurate assessment of their 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?
SEN support takes the form of a four-part cycle (assess, plan, do, review). Through this cycle, actions are reviewed and refined as understanding of a student’s needs and the support required to help them secure good outcomes increases. This is known as the graduated approach.
We identify SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) students using a variety of methods. These include:
- Data and information received from primary schools during the transition process, this includes SATs results.
- Carrying out assessments for Reading and Maths ages using STAR; an ICT based programme, British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS) for vocabulary, Dyslexia screening tests and a wide range of testing for behavioural, social and emotional needs i.e. Boxall.
- Lesson observations to identify issues in the classroom, and to monitor the students’ on-going academic and social achievements.
- SEND referral is actioned by teachers who may have a concern about the child. This is followed by an assessment from the SEND team.
Data is analysed 3 times a year during our assessment rounds (AR) to determine the progress made by individual students. The SENCO is responsible for ensuring effective provision is made for those students who are not making expected progress.
Referral process to SEND and to ‘The Arch’
- Any member of staff with concerns about a student’s learning and progress can refer them to the SENCO. This is done via the completion of an academy proforma. Referrals are discussed at SEND meetings and the SENCO will complete a learning walk to gather additional information. Referrals to The Arch may be passed on from the SENCO following the initial observations.
- All staff are aware of the support provided by The Arch and are encouraged to discuss concerns or compile referral forms for individuals when appropriate.
- Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the academy regarding any concerns they have surrounding their child’s learning and progress at any point throughout the academic year Formally, your child’s progress is shared with you via three reports and at a parents/carers evening.
If you have any concerns about your child you can contact the SENCO, SEND Lead Teacher, SENCO Admin, Pastoral Lead, form tutor or the child’s Learning Support Assistant. These can be contacted via telephone (01782 377100) or email General inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org. An individual meeting can also be arranged.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
There is a 3 tiered whole academy approach to supporting children with SEND in which teaching students with special educational needs is fully inclusive. All teachers are teachers of SEND and all SEND students are entitled to a high quality education within a broad and balanced curriculum wherever possible.
- Wave 1: Quality first teaching to support all students.
- Faculty provision mapping: All faculty provision maps identify how we provide high quality, inclusive and effective support for all students, including those with additional learning needs so that all students meet and exceed their potential in every subject.
- Wave 2: Targeted support
- Adaptations are made to the curriculum including the ‘Catch Up’ curriculum
- Adaptations to the learning environment
- Smaller class sizes
- Deployment of teaching assistant support where required
- A three tiered literacy response:
- All: Bedrock and extended form time reading.
- Some: Early Bird reading, Fresh Start (Year 7).
- Smart reading (Year 8/9).
- Few: Personalised curriculum with intense support for rapid development in English language and literacy such as Target 3.
- In addition the SEND and inclusion teams offer: specialist dyslexia support, use of electronic reader pens, use of laptops, coloured exercise books, and coloured overlays.
- Wave 3: Personalised intervention.
- English Language and literacy intense support.
- Mathematics and numeracy support.
- The Arch
- Therapy Dog
- Reducing anxiety management plans (RAMP).
An Achiever Plan will be generated following consultation with parents/carers, the young person and class teachers; this will detail the students’ areas of need (particularly focusing on literacy, attendance and numeracy strategies) and highlight individualised strategies best to support the student throughout their learning journey. The Achiever plans will then be shared with the class teachers to ensure the support given is tailored to your child’s individual needs. The Achiever Plan will be reviewed with parents/carers and the young person three times a year, to ensure we work together to gather a detailed picture to support your child’s needs.
If a SEN need is identified your child may be supported in-class by a teaching assistant, who will along with the class teacher ensure that the curriculum is differentiated so that your child can fully access it and achieve their full potential. Your child may be identified as requiring a specialist programme and for this we offer a range of interventions to support student areas of need.
All interventions are carefully monitored and evaluated to secure they are effective and that your child is progressing. If appropriate, we may refer your child to an outside agency for specialist support if we feel this is necessary. At every stage you as a parent/carer will be informed and consulted to ensure a close working relationship is maintained.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
We set high expectations among staff about quality first teaching and the application of a differentiated and personalised approach to teaching and learning. Teachers use a range of teaching strategies and differentiate their teaching to support students in their classes. This will ensure all students are able to access their work but that a suitable level of challenge is present for all. Teachers will also use a range of strategies to specifically support SEND students and will work with the SENCO and teaching assistants to develop these.
Faculty provision mapping
All faculty provision maps identify how we provide high quality, inclusive and effective support for all students, including those with additional learning needs so that all students meet and exceed their potential in every subject. The provision map focuses on the following areas to ensure that planning and implementation meets the needs of all students whilst having high expectations for all students:
- Curriculum planning
- High quality literacy
- Teaching, learning and assessment
- Links to pastoral support.
In addition to this, specialist equipment can be used in lessons to support individual’s areas of difficulty; including: whiteboards, appropriate font size resources, coloured overlays, literacy and numeracy mats, specialist handwriting pens and reader pens.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
In order to monitor and track the effective use of the Achiever Plans and SEND support, learning walks will take place each assessment round. Learning walks check that the students’ needs are being met, whilst also providing the chance to highlight any outstanding quality first teaching.
In addition to this, after each assessment round, a sample of student voice will be collated so that all students including our SEND students are given the opportunity to share their thoughts regarding the quality of education they are receiving. This allows us then to gain insight into ways we can continue to improve as an academy to provide students with the best possible experience during their time at our academy.
In order to work alongside parents/carers to support the young person’s learning, we believe that regular dialogue is central to our approach and we do this through:
- Annual Review of Education Health Care Plans
- SEND K Achiever Plans (3 times a year)
- RAMP Plans
- The Arch
- Bedrock vocabulary
- Formal assessments (3 times a year)
- Academy reports (3 times a year)
- Parents’ evenings (once a year)
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
There is a wide range of pastoral and emotional support available within the Academy. This is provided by form tutors, heads of year, pastoral mangers, support staff, the SENCO and Learning Support centre. The SENCO liaises with the pastoral team to make appropriate referrals to outside agencies for specialist support if required (e.g. counselling). Medical support is available from the first aiders. The school nurse runs a drop in session once a week and when necessary referrals are made from the school to the school HUB (Ourhealth 5-19)
The Arch is a friendly, non-judgmental department within the academy which is often used as a safe and nurturing environment for many students. The main aims of The Arch are to engage, encourage and inspire young people by using a range of inclusive programmes which meet the needs of the individual.
Below is a list of the programmes on offer at the Arch:
- Learning curve
- Breakfast club
- Emotional regulation
- Art Therapy
- Physical Impairment Support
- Mental Well-being Support
- Bereavement support
- Princes Trust Achieve programme
- Life Skills
- New admissions.
As well as this, we are extremely fortunate to have an onsite therapy dog who works with students once a week. The aims of the programme are to improve academic achievement, calm behaviour and to increase self-esteem, social skills and confidence.
Welfare concerns are referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Safeguarding Lead and pastoral team. Our TAs attend careers interviews alongside your child to support decision making process for options and POST16 provision.
Careers staff work alongside the SEND department to ensure smooth transition to college placements and help arrange visits prior to college interviews. The administration of medicines is monitored by a first aid team. We have strong links with school nurse practitioners who ensure care plans are in place. Team around the Child meetings take place fortnightly to discuss behaviour management, avoiding exclusions and increasing attendance. The Academy also has a dedicated attendance team and our TAs make initial first day absence calls to support attendance and to ensure we are aware of any factors which may be a barrier to your child coming to school. Any behaviour concerns are closely monitored by our pastoral managers.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
There are specialist staff that are highly skilled within their role. We have a broad range of experience within the SEND department, including individuals trained within specialist areas for example: SEMH, ASD, and Dyslexia. In addition, a member of the SEND team is fully qualified in accessing students for exam arrangements for special dispensation. This enables the Academy to make sure students receive extra time, reader, scribe and laptops to complete exams. Staff within the SEND department and the teachers, work together and strive to get the best help and support for all pupils who attend the Academy. We also work closely with a wide variety of outside agencies, including Educational Psychologist Services, Inclusive Learning Service (SEND), CAMHS and Younger Minds drawing from and utilizing their expertise to offer the best package of support possible for our students.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
The SEND department constantly update and refresh their training. All staff in the Academy are directed to attend specific professional development sessions lead by experts in their field to ensure we provide the highest quality of support possible both in and out of the classroom.
Our SENCO is fully qualified and members of the team are qualified to NVQ3 or degree level.
All staff are invited to participate in teaching and learning sessions, safeguarding, behaviour management and progress tracking training events. An assistant principal overseas the SEND department and has completed a course in First Aid – Mental Health
Other training specific to the SEND team has included CAMHS training, Fresh Start and Precision teaching. Our SEND team are also encouraged to visit other settings to look at best practice.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
All pupils will have full access to all the activities offered by the Academy. We have an extensive extracurricular programme which offers a variety of lunch time/after school clubs. Students are encouraged to participate in the extracurricular clubs in order to learn new skills, make new friends and gain lifelong interpersonal skills such as communication and team work.
The Academy carries out risk assessments before any trip takes place to ensure the health and safety of all pupils involved. Checks are carried out to make sure that it is a suitable, safe environment for any pupil that may wish to attend. Members of the SEND team also attend trips as and when needed to ensure our SEND pupils are fully supported and have access to all activities offered during the trip. We ensure that all parents are contacted via letter and permission slips completed prior to any trips taking place. All medical information must be up to date and all staff on the trip are given the information. No students are disadvantaged as a result of their need.
- How accessible is the environment?
The building is fully wheelchair accessible. There are two lifts that are situated at each end of the building. In all the toilet areas and changing rooms there are disabled toilets and changing areas. Also in the Academy there are Evac chairs in case of a fire, which designated staff have been trained to use. Sound boxes are available in classrooms for use with radio loops. The Academy has a three year rolling accessibility plan.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
Before your child/young person joins our setting the Academy arranges regular transition days to enable the children to familiarise themselves with the building, staff members, subjects and the general ethos of our Academy. With support from The Arch, we have regular tours of the Academy for school groups or individuals. We offer transition days for all primary schools, however if we feel that a pupil would benefit from a more enhanced transition we create an individual package which is supported and closely monitored. This will help to prepare your child to move on to the next stage of their education. This approach can also be requested if you feel it would be useful.
Clubs and activities take place on a regular basis throughout the year and students have the opportunity to attend nurture clubs at break and lunch times. Our Academy liaises with primary schools on a regular basis and staff and SENCO visit to speak to the children involved in transition. Parents are invited to attend an open evening to meet their child’s form teacher and ask any questions they may have. Information is provided to the Academy from primary schools which give us levels and data to help us group your child/young person where we think they will be best placed.
For our students making the transition into higher education and college support is given via taster days. These can be supported by your child Teacher Assistant, who can also help them with transport issues, practicing/planning journeys to their new location, etc. Tours of their new setting are arranged by college/career staff and this link is supported by careers staff based in our Academy.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The SEND department has a specific budget, allowing the department to purchase any specialist equipment needed. We ensure resources are personalised to meet your child/young person’s needs. This could be exercise books with specific coloured paper and overlays. Needs can be discussed with the SENCO at their regular passport meeting and annual review meetings.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Your child/young person’s needs will be discussed along with the SENCO, it will involve the parents/carers and your child, decision making will be aided by the rigorous academic testing carried out within the Academy as well as specific SEND testing aimed to identify additional needs.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
Here at Ormiston Meridian Academy student involvement in decision making processes is of the upmost importance. Students are supported and encouraged to make decisions about their learning and support. Achiever Plans are reviewed three times per year, ensuring their views are expressed and they are actively involved in making decisions regarding how they learn and which support strategies are most beneficial. Student Voice interviews also take place regularly to give your child the chance to express their views and voice any concerns they may have.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
In addition to the normal reporting arrangements and parents evenings, parents also have the chance to discuss their child’s/young person’s progress during Achiever Plan conversations which happen termly. Regular phone calls between the TA and home take place throughout the school year and parents are invited to contact the school and be part of the decision making process whenever necessary. Our Academy has an open door policy to discuss any aspect of your child’s education.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Parents are regularly informed about what is happening within the Academy via:
Parent’s evenings, Regular updates on the website/social media platforms, SEND Governor and Annual Review meetings and Achiever Plan conversations and when appropriate phone calls home to praise or pass on information.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
As an Academy, we believe that the Special Educational Needs of pupils are best met when there is effective collaboration and communication between the Academy, Parent/Guardians, Pupils and Outside Agencies. Procedures at the Academy:
- If a parent is not satisfied with the Special Educational Needs arrangements for their child, the problem should first be discussed with the SENCO.
- If a satisfactory outcome is not achieved then a meeting is arranged between the parent, teacher, Head of Year and the SENCO at a mutually convenient time.
- If a satisfactory outcome is not achieved then a meeting is arranged between the parent, the SENCO and Assistant principal who line manages SEND at a mutually convenient time.
- If a satisfactory outcome in not achieved then a meeting is arranged between the parent and the Vice Principal/Principal of the Academy.
- Parents are given the opportunity to speak to the SEND Governor
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
Support Services Links for parents:
Advice and Support Service (IASS)
Tel: 01782 234701/01782 234847
Education Psychologist – Dr Alison Smedley
Tel: 01782 234700
CAMHS Team - Children and Young People emotional well-being and mental health
Academy Counsellor - Robert Dawson will be in school every Monday 9am-3pm
Tel: 0300 123 0907 Option 4
Changes Young People - Emotional well-being and mental health support for 8 to 18 year olds in and around Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands.
Tel: 01782 41 33 55
Dove Service - Grief support charity in Stoke-on-Trent & North Staffordshire, providing services to people within the community from the age of 4+ who are experiencing issues relating to bereavement, loss or life-changing illness.
Tel: Head Office: 01782 683155 / 683153
Young Minds - Worried about a child or young person's behaviour or mental health?
Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)
Text: Urgent help text YM to 85258
Academy Nurse Hub – Nurse Sandra Carr is in school once a week - Our Health 5-19 Public Health Advisory Service/Targeted Intervention Service 5-19.
Tel: 0300 124 0362
In addition to the support we offer within the academy please see a number of links that can be used at home;