At St Dunstan’s, we aim to ensure that all students get the support they need to make good progress.
The SEN team is led by the SENCo, Mrs B Rowlinson-Baker. The team consists of two Learning Mentors and a small team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) led by two Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs). Student needs are assessed and support is provided as required, both in and out of lessons. (See SEN Policy below for more details on assessments and intervention).
Special Education Needs are catered for well in our School.
The school follows a 3-wave model of support and intervention. Wave 1 represents support in the classroom and focuses on the teacher being aware of the needs of all students in the class, using the information and support strategies available to offer a ‘quality first’ learning experience, suitably differentiated to include students with any additional needs. TAs support teaching staff and students in the classroom as a major aspect of effective Wave 1 intervention.
Depending on progress, some identified students may require additional support outside the classroom. Wave 2 represents students coming out of agreed lessons, to follow an intervention programme to support and develop specific literacy, numeracy, learning or social skills. This additional support is delivered by members of the TA or HLTA team and takes place in the school’s learning support and/or student support centre, or the new Mendip block.
For those few students who may require further intervention than school staff can provide, Wave 3 represents the involvement of external professionals, invited in to school to provide direct student input, or advice, guidance and support to school staff to help manage student needs and enable progress to take place. The school has regular liaison with a wide range of local authority and other support services.
Student support is a particular strength of our school. We are fully inclusive and ensure that all students receive the care, guidance and support needed to fulfil their academic potential. We encourage a close working relationship with local primary schools, with parents and carers, a wide range of external professionals and with the students themselves to ensure that individual needs are identified and supported in the best way possible. We place great emphasis on transition into the school and supporting students when they leave to go on to work or college.
Our house system works as an extended family where students are in tutor groups arranged vertically. This means that students of all ages work together and support each other. Our pastoral team works with the tutors to make sure that students are successful in school in terms of their learning, attendance and behaviour.
Our learning support centre delivers individual and small group intervention programmes, based on expertise of staff, identified needs and advice from external professionals. We promote learning in a structured, consistent and positive environment, where the focus is on praising and rewarding students for what they have achieved.
We encourage students to take responsibility in the school and support each other through a variety of student-centred initiatives: Restorative Justice, Peer Mentoring, Learning to Lead; and the School Council.
Following the new SEN Code of Practice and The Children and Families Act guidance, the school follows a graduated response in managing special educational needs and disability in school.
Students who are recognised as having a special educational need are placed at the code ‘SEN Support’ and their needs met following the 3-wave model as described above. In addition, an Individual Support Plan will be drawn up for each student and used to help identify needs and suggest support strategies, following an ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ approach. Parents are encouraged to be involved in this review process, via regular liaison and the provision of at least 3 opportunities for parents and key school staff to meet to discuss student progress during the school year.
Students’ whose presenting needs go beyond the scope of SEN Support, or who do not make expected progress, may be referred to the local authority for further assessment towards a possible Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
Local authorities (LA) are required to draw up and publish a local offer (LO) that covers provision in their own areas and provision they use outside their areas for children and young people with SEN and their families. The local offer extends to provision in schools. Schools are expected to include on their own websites more information about how they deliver the local offer including their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils/students with SEN.
The Mendip schools have worked together to elaborate on the local offer, stating what is available in individual schools. The cluster of schools have put together a list of identical questions, with the answers individualised for each school.
The information report and our local offer has information on how we support students at St Dunstan’s. Currently the school support students with the following DfE categories of SEN need:Specific Learning Difficulty, Moderate Learning Difficulty, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Autistic Spectrum Condition, Physical Disability and Medical Needs.
Somerset schools have put together a local offer which all schools follow. Here is the link: www.somersetchoices.org.uk/family/information-and-advice/somersets-local-offer/
We also have our own school ‘local offer’ or SEN Report which is specific to the support we offer here at St Dunstan’s. To access the St Dunstan’s SEN Report please click here.
The school's SEN Policy is aligned with other Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership policies and can be accessed here: https://www.midsomernortonschoolspartnership.com/documents.htm