Hamilton Academy provides education for children aged 3 to 7 years. Our academy community reflects the rich cultural mix of the surrounding areas of Northwood, Birches Head and Hanley.
We have very high expectations of everyone in our school community. We are uncompromising in holding children at the centre of everything we do and it is our ambition to ensure ALL of our children reach their full potential.
We will encourage our children and staff to be MAGIC learners throughout their lives, being Motivated and Communicating well with others will inspire good Attitudes for learning and empower them to use their Gumption and understand how they learn best.
We will inspire children to learn through creative, exciting and challenging learning experiences which will broaden their horizons and inspire them to be whatever they want to be.
We understand that children arrive at our school with a range of needs and starting points and our curriculum is designed to enable all learners to learn alongside their peers as well as access additional support where needed. Through our chosen curriculum, we ensure that children connect and work together to achieve the highest possible standards, through their own learning journey. We aim to embed a love of learning in all children through stories, song and wider curriculum opportunities and supporting them in reaching their full potential.
We have approximately 240 pupils on roll which includes a 60 place nursery.
We formed a Multi Academy Trust with Northwood Broom Academy and Grove Academy in September and work closely together.
Our staffing structure consists of the Academy Principal, Deputy Principal, full-time teachers, Inclusion Lead, Safeguarding and Attendance Officer, learning support staff, office staff, lunchtime supervisors and site staff.
We have staggered arrival and dismissal time:
- Nursery: 8:40am - 2:40pm
- Reception: 8:40am - 2:45pm
- Key Stage 1: 8:45am - 2:50pm/2:55pm
We pride ourselves in having an open door policy and parents are encouraged to participate in all of our activities. The involvement of parents and community members is an important part in the development of both learning and in our cultural sharing.
Who to contact
Where to go
- Hamilton Academy
Stoke on Trent
- ST1 6NW
- Local Offer Age Bands
- Needs Level
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
All academies within our trust offer provision for children with a wide range of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, including Speech, Language and Communication, Physical disability, Visual or hearing impairment, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, Autism, ADHD and specific learning disorders. We have extensive knowledge of a range of needs and we are always keen to extend our knowledge, seeking training where appropriate, to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of all children that choose our provision.
- 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?
- Team meetings are completed prior to the children entering the academy and multi-agency meetings are held to identify and discuss any pre-existing needs, home visits are completed where deemed appropriate.
- If a child is transferring mid-year, conversations will be held with the previous school/academy and parents and pre-existing needs will be identified through these. For children who are already members of the academy, they are continually assessed and progress is discussed as a team. Assessment information, along with observations and specific assessments completed by the Inclusion Lead and agency partners are used to identify specific needs.
- If, as a parent, you feel that your child may have special educational needs you should discuss your concerns with the class teacher or academy Assistant Inclusion Lead / Inclusion Lead immediately so that we can work together to identify needs and potential provision opportunities to support your child in and out of the academy.
- If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially. If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the Inclusion Lead. The
- Inclusion/Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare (PDBW) Governor can also be contacted for support.
- At this point, your child may be identified as needing “School Support” (SS) as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014. With your permission, specialist support and advice from a professional outside of the academy will be sought e.g. The academy SEN/D Advisory Teacher, The Educational Psychologist, The ASD Outreach Team, Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need), Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, School Nurse/Health Visitor, Physiotherapist etc.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
Your child may be supported in different ways. Firstly, targets will be set and strategies will be identified, for example, additional reading sessions, phonics boosters, concentration aids, small group activity sessions or 1:1 specifically targeted interventions. The staff will then work as a team to ensure that your child has access to these strategies and support sessions and these will be evaluated and reviewed regularly with the child and parents to ensure that progress is being made.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
Class teacher/teaching assistant provision, via excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching, Wave 2 and Wave 2+ provision).
For your child this would mean:
- That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
- That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
- That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.
- That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the Inclusion Lead) are in place to support your child to learn.
- Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
- Your child will also access small group and/or individual targeted provision within the classroom and, sometimes, in a designated, quiet, distraction free area.
- Pupil Passports will be developed with parents and pupils to reflect all provision in place.
Specialist provision delivered by outside agencies, e.g. Speech and Language therapy programmes, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and outreach support from Special School practitioners etc.
Specified Individual support (as identified through the assessment process for EHCP).
- If your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong, they may need specified individual support.
- This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups. This specified support is usually provided within an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (previously known as a Statement of Special Educational Needs).
For your child this would mean:
- The academy (or you) can request that The Local Authority Services carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
- After the request has been made to the ‘panel of professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), are complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you, and all professionals involved with your child, to write a report outlining your child’s needs.
- After the reports have all been sent in, the panel of professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the academy to continue with SEN school support and also set up a meeting in academy to ensure that a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
- The EHC Plan will outline the level of funding that your child will receive from the LA, and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long- and short term outcome goals for your child, which will be used to develop an EHCP Outcome and Milestone planner.
- An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, individual programmes or small group provision/support including your child.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
- Your child’s progress will be continually monitored by his/her class teacher.
- His/her progress will be reviewed formally with Senior Leaders, including the Inclusion Lead, at every assessment point in reading, writing and maths. Other assessments will be used to inform progress discussions, e.g. Developmental Profiles (Locke and Beech), Renfrew, BPVS etc.
- Within the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) children within the academy will be assessed using the Nuffield Communication Screen. This informs the need for targeted intervention, both within the academy and through external agencies (Speech and Language Therapy)
- At the end of the Foundation Stage (Reception) all children are assessed using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. The academy reports this information to parents as a part of their child’s annual report.
- At the end of key stage one and key stage 2 (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6), all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools and academies to do and the results that are published nationally. Where judged appropriate, due to their additional needs, children will be subject to disapplication. Parents will be involved with this process.
- Where necessary, children will have targets set by outside agencies specific to their needs. Targets for all SEN/D children will be designed to accelerate learning and close the gap. Progress against these targets will be reviewed regularly, evidence for judgements assessed and a future plan made.
- The progress of children with EHC Plan will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education, health and care.
- The Inclusion Lead will also check that your child is making strong progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
- Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by members of the Leadership Team to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high.
- All children will receive an annual report and you will be invited to attend a parents’ consultation bi-annually.
- You will be invited to review and contribute to your child’s Pupil Passport at least termly. Forward planning in line with your child’s needs will also be integral to this meeting. You and your child are valuable and respected partners within this process.
- The Inclusion team will offer drop in sessions for parents and children to access as needed.
- Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher to discuss need and provision as and when needed/appropriate in line with our open door policy.
- Standardised testing, including BPVS, Renfrew, PIRA, PERA, PUMA and HAST will be completed and analysed for all children.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
- In our Multi Academy Trust the ethos is to be caring, understanding and inclusive; we welcome and celebrate diversity, and believe that high self-esteem is crucial to children’s well-being.
- As “nurturing academies”, our SEN/D pupils are known to staff. The academy entrances are staffed with adults who greet and welcome pupils and their families each morning.
- This ensures a smooth transition between home and the academy each day.
- The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social and emotional care of every child in their class, therefore this should be your first point of contact via the communication diary. Where required a meeting will be held with the class teacher and if further support is required the class teacher liaises with their year/Key Stage Leader and Assistant/Deputy Head Teacher where appropriate. The Inclusion and Safeguarding team can always be accessed for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Care Services.
- Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure that the wellbeing of your child is paramount
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Education, Health and Care Services will be accessed on identification of individual and personalised needs. Examples are given below:
- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Advisory teachers (SEND Team)
- Educational Psychology Services
- Occupational Therapy
- Outreach – Special schools
- Speech and Language Therapy
- School Nurse/Health Visitor.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
The trust provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEN/D. This includes whole academy training on SEN/D issues, such as Quality First Teaching, differentiation, specific needs, changes in policy etc. Staff also attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.
We have staff within the trust who are trained and/or experienced in:
- Speech and Language – Makaton, Spirals, Language Steps, Achieving Speech & Language Targets, Time to Talk,Articulation,
- Teaching Talking
- Communication in print, Selective Mutism, Chatter Kids, Stoke Speaks Out (Level 3), Nuffield, Cued
- Better Reading Programme
- Active Literacy
- Early Literacy Skills (ELS)
- Direct Phonics
- Precision Teaching
- British Sign Language
- Global Developmental Delay
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Nurture – Boxall and Curtis Scale Assessments
- Manual Handling
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Emotion Coaching
- Circle of Friends
- Social Stories
- Visual Impairments
- Brittle bones
- Severe medical peg feeding
- Supporting PE for children with disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
We aim for all children to have access to all trips and extra-curricular activities. We will ensure that necessary adaptations are made to provision where necessary to ensure that this can happen.
- How accessible is the environment?
Hamilton Academy is situated on two levels. All classrooms, including nursery, are at ground level. All entrances are accessible by walkways and ramps. Access to the lower ground floor is gained via an external pathway or an internal lift. Access to the nursery building is enabled by an assisted door. There are adult disabled toilet facilities on both levels and an electrically adjustable changing bed in the disabled toilet on the ground floor.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
Transition is important for all children. For children with SEN/D, specific, personalised induction/transition plans with additional transition arrangements, are implemented. These may include daily/weekly visits, transition books, Social Stories, talking points.
Staff arrange induction/transition meetings for academy-school and parents/carers as appropriate.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All children within our trust receive Quality First Teaching that accommodates the needs of ALL pupils. Pupils receiving Special Educational Needs School Support are also entitled to additional, personalised provision that meets their specific needs. Academy resources, human and material, are reviewed to reflect the needs of the Special Educational Needs register. Each academy has a team of support staff. Part of their roles and responsibilities is to deliver high quality intervention programmes designed to meet the needs of individuals or groups.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given the most support.
Different children will require different levels of support in order to help them make progress and achieve their potential. Provision mapping, including costings, will be reviewed termly, in collaboration with parents and all parties involved; and support will be adapted as appropriate.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
All of the children within our academy participate in half termly meetings with their class teachers. They are encouraged to talk about their achievements and to identify the next steps in their learning. Children are also encouraged to identify ways in which we, as staff can support them in making progress and achieving goals. Where children are subject to EHC applications, where possible, depending on the age of the child, we will seek their opinions prior to and during the assessment process.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
Parents are a vital part in the successful provision for children with additional needs and we ensure that Parents are involved in every step of a child’s journey. Parents will be invited to regular parent consultation meetings with their child’s class teacher to discuss their child’s achievements, progress and next steps. They will also be invited to regular meetings with the Inclusion team to discuss their child’s needs and provision. Where there are other agencies involved, for example SEND services, Educational Psychology, CAMHS, Speech and Language Therapy, there will be regular Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings, where all parties will be invited to attend or present reports to discuss achievements, progress, provision and next steps.
Where a child is subject to an EHC plan parents will be invited to attend a weekly review meeting with the 1:1 support staff and/or Assistant Inclusion Lead / Inclusion Lead where required.
Where a child is subject to an EHC plan parents will be invited to attend a weekly review meeting with the 1:1 support staff and/or SENCo where required.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
We have an open door policy across the trust. Parent consultations take place termly but parents are encouraged to make appointments (available daily at the end of the day) with the class teacher and/or Inclusion Lead as needs arise. Parent/child workshops/events take place regularly and celebration events take place weekly. Parents are also welcome to volunteer in the academy, for example listening to readers or to help with academy events.
You will also be invited to attend SEN/D drop ins regularly and SEN/D Reviews, where your child’s Pupil Passport will be reviewed in consultation with yourself, your child and the class teacher.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
Parents, initially are asked to discuss their concerns with the class teacher and progress through the stages of leadership within the academy. Parents who feel the need to make a complaint are advised to access the complaints policy, which is available from the academy office.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
Within each academy there is the Home School Link Worker, the Assistant Inclusion Lead and Inclusion lead, all of whom can be contacted via the academy office. Where further support is required an Early Help assessment and plan will be considered, which will enable parents to access support and guidance from a wide range of services.