14 Questions

1. How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • Oakwood has a specialist centre for students with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties/Disorders (SLCN)/ASD.  In house expertise is provided by ELKLAN trained staff.
  • Transition arrangements enable excellent liaison with Primary Schools and information is shared and necessary arrangements put in place.
  • A Code of Practice Register is written and shared with all teachers with regular termly updates.
  • All Key Stage 3 students are screened in Reading, Spelling and Mathematics at the start of each academic year.
  • Students who show standardised scores of less than 85 are referred to the Access to Learning Faculty (ALF) for further diagnostic assessment carried out by the in-house expertise of the Specialist Assessment and Additional Needs Manager.
  • As part of the Reporting Cycle, termly classroom assessment tracks progress and underperforming students are highlighted.
  • If a student continues to under achieve then a referral is made to the Access to Learning Faculty for further diagnostic assessment.
  • Once a student has been identified as needing extra support, then the Access to Learning Faculty request all staff to complete a ‘Round Robin’ to gather information from which a summary report is written to inform further planning.
  • If a student continues to underperform then advice is sought from External Agencies.
  • Should results from further observations, monitoring and assessments indicate there is a Special Educational Need then a request for the new Education, Health and Care Plan will be actioned.
  • Parents/carers/students are encouraged to speak to the class teacher/Tutor/Head of Year/SENCo should they have any concerns.

2. How will school staff support my child/young person?

  • All our teachers are aware of their responsibilities for supporting students according to Teacher’s Standards and are participating in a CPD programme to take cognizance of the new Code of Practice, to be introduced into schools – September 2014.
  • All interventions we put in place are planned from a range of specialist programmes focusing on Literacy (including EAL), Numeracy and Well-being.  They are evidence -based and are measured to monitor impact & attendance against expected rate of progress.
  • Our SENCo leads on this aspect and the head teacher shares this information with governors.
  • Our governors play an active role in monitoring the quality of our special educational needs provision by having a named SEN Governor who regularly meets with the SENCO, the Head teacher and senior leadership team.
  • The SENCo and SEN Managers use data to closely monitor progress which helps to determine the level and type of support required. 
  • Where we feel something is not working, we are quick to respond and find alternatives through dialogue with the learners, teachers and their families.
  • Having identified needs, staff seek to match provision to need, including setting differentiated work. (Wave 1 – Core provision)
  • Through the Referral System, students requiring ‘additional to’ (Wave 2) interventions will receive small group work in areas they are experiencing difficulties.
  • Through the Referral System, students requiring ‘different from’ (Wave 3) interventions will receive 1:1 support in the areas they are experiencing great difficulty.
  • Provision Maps will indicate provision at Wave 2 & 3, showing start and end data including who will provide each intervention.
  • Student Profile Plans (collaborated with student) are shared with all staff to inform of strategies for supporting students in class and around school.
  • Students’ well-being is supported through the School’s Pastoral systems such as Head of Year, Form Tutor, Student Services, ALF, Home/School Link Worker, Counsellor, School Nurse, External providers including local groups e.g. Heads Together as well as CAMHs.
  • Strategies from External Agencies will be shared with all staff through updated Student Profile Plans. 

3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

  • At KS3 all students follow the national curriculum and have opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities including participation with other schools, local community and overseas trips.
  • At KS4, GCSE/BTEC Options and Vocational curriculum provide a number of routes for all students based on interest, aspirations and ability.  We offer Extended Work Experience to students who follow the Yellow Route including East Surrey College.
  • All our teachers are clear on the expectations of core and differentiated provision (Wave 1) and this is monitored and championed regularly by the SENCo, SEN Managers, Head of Faculties, Head of Subjects and the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Oakwood has a specialist Communication and Interaction Centre (COIN) for students with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and students on the autistic spectrum (ASD) where they are able to access speech and language therapy support.  The head of centre ensures that the COIN centre students have personalised learning and liaises with all classroom staff on differentation and effective strategies.
  • Differentiation is an integral part of our curriculum and practice.  We have a tailored, personalised curriculum and extra-curricular activities are available for all students, including appropriate vocational courses delivered at partner institutions to cater for their diverse interests and needs. 
  • Assessment is used to ‘SET’ students in Year 8. 
  • Furthermore, there are times related to the Reporting Cycle during the year that ability is reviewed by the faculties, although there may be some instances where a change of ‘set’ takes place at any time of the year due to extra support / challenge that a students might need.
  • Students with particular needs have tailored timetables and support in ALF to enable them to access the curriculum on a phased programme.
  • Cafes’ (extra-curricular) are to be established to meet the aspirations and ambitions of all students with a particular focus on gifted and talented (e.g. ‘Geology Rocks’).
  • There is currently a working party that is exploring further ways to enhance the gifted and talented provision.
  • At Year 9 we intend to offer an award that is related to Preparation for College. 
  • We have been successful for the last 10 years in being presented with the Investors in Careers Award
  • We have the support of an impartial careers advisor 1 day each week which has been established for a number of years.  We also have a Construction Link course with East Surrey College.
  • Additionally, we have links with Royal Albert and Alexander School and Reigate College.  
  • Moreover, we have a Sport’s Advisor who works with our feeder primary schools.
  • The school seeks to be accredited with Dyslexia Friendly Status.

4. How will I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s/young person’s learning?

  • Each year there are Parent Evenings set aside for each Year Group to discuss strengths and areas for development.
  • In Year 11 there are further opportunities for parents to attend a Parent Evening through ‘Invite Only’ for students who require additional support to improve their grades.
  • Learner feedback is part of our established learning culture.  This includes informing families of next steps and what they can do to help/support their child’s learning. 
  • In our newsletter and on our website we regularly share information about the curriculum and we encourage parents/carers to support their child’s learning through additional activities outside the school.
  • We consistently share progress and feedback with all our learners and their families through usual school reports, marked and annotated work (e.g. What Went Well (www) / Even Better If (EBI) and I Need to (INT) including feedback from teachers/form tutors and year group leaders.  
  • In addition, we have a number of opportunities where parents/carers can meet with staff to discuss learner progress, such as telephone calls, requested individual/external agency meetings and emails. During these communications, we share strengths as well as concerns and advise on what can be done by families at home to support the learning at school.  
  • We host a number of curriculum evenings/learning events to help families understand what learning is expected and how they can best support their child/young person’s need.  Parents’ forum is held half-termly to gain parental feedback on different aspects of learning.
  • Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure this is put in place. Additionally, every Friday after school there is a parent drop-in session where any parent with any concern can speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

5. What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall well-being?

  • All our staff are regularly trained to provide a high standard of pastoral support and receive annual safeguarding training.  Staff are also trained to support medical needs.  
  • Staff use a consistent approach in the personal development of students through the tutor programme.
  • We have a Student Services department headed by our Student Welfare & Attendance Manager who has developed our anti-bullying policy. 
  • We have a medical register and policy in place as well as our Code of Practice Register which informs staff about any difficulties (social, medical or learning) students might have that could affect performance and advises where ‘reasonable adjustments’ should be made.  
  • Our Behaviour Policy; which includes guidance on expectations, rewards and sanctions is fully understood and is in place. 
  • We regularly monitor attendance and take the necessary actions to prevent prolonged unauthorised absence. Communication/liaison between Student Welfare & Attendance and our Special Needs department is a key factor in sharing information about any social or health concerns that may have impact on attendance, well-being or learning outcomes.
  • Student leadership and learner voice is central to our ethos and is encouraged in a variety of ways. The school council regularly meets to discuss a variety of topics.
  • Every learner has a named professional s/he can talk to, should the need arise. Staff are regularly reminded of our policies and these are updated by the governors. 
  • We take pride in having Peer Mentors to support our younger more vulnerable students.  We implement a training programme at the start of each academic year.
  • We also have a transition support system for new Year 7s, led by our home-school link worker, who works to support the needs and attendance of students in families that are hard to reach. She also works to support students in other year groups, and their families, to help overcome barriers to achievement.
  • The school have been currently fortunate to offer a ‘Breakfast Club’ sponsored by Learning Space.
  • Local Christian Youth Worker groups provide an additional resource (The Diary Room) to offer a listening ear for students requiring adult emotional support.  It is proposed that this work is expanded to work in the field of Social Justice.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • Many of our staff are trained to work in specialist areas of Special Educational Needs.  We have trained staff to provide support in ELKLAN and ELSA as well as SEALS. There is designated English as an Additional Language Co-ordinator (EAL) to address the needs of our diverse community. We encourage staff to continually update their skills and knowledge through Continual Professional Development (CPD) programmes.
  • All external partners we work with are vetted in terms of safe-guarding and when buying in additional services we monitor the impact of any intervention against cost, to ensure a value for money service.
  • Community Liaison Officers from the local Police occasionally visit the school to give talks to groups of students on specific topics.
  • We have a number of established relationships with Behaviour Support, Learning and Literacy Support, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapy, Physical & Sensory Support, Race and Ethnic Minority Achievement (REMA), as well as professionals in health and social care and other professional agencies such as School Counselling Service.  Also, Industrial Mentoring is available for some of our students 
  • Additionally our staff receive regular ongoing training and our teachers all hold qualified teacher status.

7. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

  • All staff are offered regular SEN training opportunities both in-house and external.
  • Training needs are linked to Performance Management
  • Online training of SEN (Inclusive Development Programme - IDP)
  • A CPD programme for teaching assistants is established on a fortnightly basis.
  • Whole school training on provision mapping has taken place and the first draft of our school provision map is now written.
  • Whole school literacy training has taken place to establish a consistent approach by all teaching staff.
  • Whole school use of literacy/vocabulary mats.
  • Whole school marking policy
  • Quality First Teaching – Wave 1 processes for SEND 14
  • Self-Harm development programme to be rolled out to Oakwood staff and across Surrey Schools
  • SENCo undertaken all of Surrey SENCo Training
  • SENCo undertaken Leadership Course for SENCos
  • Staff are undertaking ELKLAN training
  • ELSA training for Staff
  • Social Stories training for SEN staff.
  • All teachers, who are not already graded as outstanding for differentiation, are given a performance Management target related to differentiation and the appropriate support / guidance to achieve it.
  • We are also working closely with Behaviour Support to develop teacher and teaching assistant skills when working with students with SENDs in the classroom setting.
  • Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is a qualified teacher and has a post-graduate SEN qualification and wide experience in this field.  We regularly invest time and money in training our staff to improve Wave 1 provision delivery and develop enhanced skills & knowledge of Wave 2 and 3 interventions.  
  • In staff briefings, our staff are updated on matters pertaining to special educational needs and disability.

8. How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • Our Inclusion Policy promotes involvement of all our learners in all aspects of the curriculum including activities outside the classroom.  
  • Where possible we consult parents when planning any activities outside the classroom; particularly when this may affect the participation of their child.
  • Pupil premium can be used to help those students for whom it is intended to enable them to access some of the extra-curricular activities.
  • Where there are concerns of safety and access, further thought and consideration is put in place to ensure needs are met; where applicable parents/carers are consulted and involved in planning.
  • TA support is used for SEN students in all activities outside the classroom.
  • Risk assessments are routinely undertaken and medical specialist information regarding individual students are carefully recorded and monitored.

9. How accessible is the setting / school / college environment?

  • The school has an accessibility plan which was approved by Governors in November 2012 and is reviewed every 3 years. The plan is robust and ensures that all students have access to an inclusive curriculum. Most areas of the school are accessible, and every effort is made where possible to make reasonable adjustments as set down by the Equalities Act 2010.
  • We continually remind staff and learners about the Equality Act 2010.  We value and respect diversity in our setting and do our very best to meet the needs of all our learners. 
  • We monitor the languages spoken by families in our school and signs around the school are displayed in a number of the most common languages and in different formats.  Where possible, we also ensure any home-setting communications are available in the relevant languages and when required translators are asked to attend meetings.
  • We are vigilant about making reasonable adjustments; where possible.   Our policy and practice embrace The Equalities Act 2010.  
  • We have English as an Additional Language Coordinator who supports students’ transition into our community and provides strategies to help support their learning.

10. How will the school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, transfer to a new setting / college or the next stage of education and life?

  • We aim to make all our learners and their families feel welcome.
  • We are developing programmes of intervention within the primary sector in preparing people for transition to secondary curriculum.
  • During Activities Days (held in July) we will be offering a 3 Day Work Experience for Year 10.
  • Induction is important to us and we invest time in welcoming our learners in a way that makes them feel a part of our setting.  
  • We work collaboratively with partner schools and local colleges, sharing information that will help learners move on. 
  • We have excellent transition systems and communication with feeder schools.  These include regular meetings between staff at primary schools and our staff, as well as activities such as taster days.  
  • Our SENCo and Additional Needs Manager visit local primary schools to gather information and data about students who have additional needs, in order to tailor learning and transition support when they join our community. 
  • We also run a Summer School as part of transition.
  • We have a robust Induction programme in place for welcoming new learners to our setting.  
  • Our Provision Management system records what aspects of our environment help our students learn and this information is passed on in transition.  
  • We have effective relationships with feeder schools as well as the colleges our young people move onto.
  • We have a Work-Related Learning and Student Pathways Manager who provides a considerable amount of support to students who will shortly be moving on to their Post-16 education and training.
  • We also provide monitoring and support for KS4 students who attend college and work experience weekly, including risk assessments, because at all times safeguarding our students is of paramount importance.
  • We have Investors in careers and in Year 10 run induction days at both our feeder colleges (Reigate and East Surrey College). Also in Year 10 we have Teaching and Learning Mentors from ESC visit our school.
  • As part of Post 16 we offer U-Explore and Kick Start as well as taster days, Skills for Success.  Post 16 providers attend Options and Parent evenings so that they are available to discuss future opportunities.
  • We also maintain Destination Data.

11. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s special educational needs?

  • Our budget is allocated according to our Provision Management system which will have costings included in the near future.
  • We utilise resources to support the strategic aims of our school as well as individual learners’ needs.
  • The School Business Manager and Head teacher oversee all matters of finance and the Resources for Learning Governors’ Committee authorise the budgets that are submitted to County.  
  • Resources are calculated against strict criteria to ensure that all curriculum needs are met throughout the school, taking into consideration Provision Mapping and the School Improvement Plan. 
  • Our finances are monitored regularly and the school adheres to its Best Value Statement for value for money and impact at all levels.

12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

  • The SENCo decides, in consultation with staff, about what additional appropriate provision should be put in place. 
  • Working with the learner, their families and other staff, the SENCo / SEN Managers (including COIN centre Manager) consider a variety of options for suitable provision before deciding on a course of action.  
  • We have a referral system that all staff can use for raising concerns. Data, staff observations and pupil views are all considered when planning support and intervention.
  • All interventions are measured and monitored for impact and outcomes which are defined at the start of any programme.
  • Quality First inclusive Practice (Wave 1) is clearly defined in our setting and we expect all staff to deliver this.  
  • Should additional support be required, this is undertaken after consultation with the relevant staff, the learner and their families.    
  • The SENCo and SEN Managers oversee all additional support and regularly share updates with the SEN Governor, senior leadership team and staff.

13. How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?

  • We regularly involve parents and families in discussions about their child/young person’s learning and welcome feedback, for example through meetings, telephone and email/correspondence as well as via text and website.
  • We whole-heartedly believe in partnering parents in a two-way dialogue to support students’ learning, needs and aspirations.   We operate an open door policy and take every opportunity to strengthen this dialogue.  Parents are invited to contribute though a number of means:-
    • - Parents’ consultation evenings
    • - A parents’ forum held every half term 
    • - Parent information evenings to involve parents in pastoral/curriculum development
    • - We constantly seek parents’ views in developing our school improvement programme using “What Went Well/Even Better If”
    • - We hold parent tours weekly.
    • - We have an open evening every Friday after school (3:30 – 4:30pm)
    • - Our Governing Body includes Parent Governors/representatives.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

  • In the first instance, parents/carers are encouraged to talk to their child’s subject teacher, Form Tutor or Year Group Leader.
  • Further information and support regarding Special Educational Needs can be obtained by contacting our Access to Learning Faculty (SENCo or SEN Managers).
  • For medical or attendance concerns parents/carers can contact our Student Welfare & Attendance. Manager.
  • Parents can also contact Partnership for Parents if they feel they need support in specific areas of concern.

15. Is there any additional provision you have developed this year?

  • We have employed additional Higher Level Teaching Assistants in both English and Maths to develop our intervention programmes in literacy and numeracy, for pupil premium and catch-up students. 
  • Development of the way we deliver “additional to” and “different from” support at Wave 2 and 3, such as training more staff to deliver groups, with a focus on well-being, such as self-esteem and emotional literacy.
  • We are starting to work collaboratively with Warwick School and Reigate School to train staff and share resources to support all students in the school, including collaborative work between the SEN faculties. TAs in partner schools will also share a guest speaker specifically on SLCN issues.
  • Development of an Enhanced Learning Programme
  • Additional support for literacy and numeracy and Year 7 “top up” support for primary school leavers who reached SATs results below levels 4
  • New IT resources for Literacy interventions
Get DirectionsSee our location on a map