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For more information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, please see the links at the bottom of the page.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information

Meet the Team

Head of SEN – Ryan Purdy

Leadership Coach SEND – Jade Hodgkinson

HLTA (Maths) – Marie Clarke

HLTA (English) – Andrew Bull

HLTA (Science) – Hannah Szabo

Support Worker Inclusion – Dawn Carter

Support Worker Inclusion – Julie Cusworth

LSA – Jayne Waite

LSA – Julie Roper

LSA – Tony Connolly

Including all pupils

As an inclusive school, we aim to fully include all pupils, regardless of any special educational need or disability, in all aspects of the curriculum, as well as extra-curricular activities. We actively promote and ensure there is ongoing communication between teachers, pupils and parents/carers, as we feel that for everyone to be well-informed and to work collaboratively is the best way to support our learners.

The SEN Faculty has a proud tradition of hosting the ‘Pirates and Pyjamas‘ evening. This is an invitation-only event for pupils with SEN who will be transitioning to Year 7. Both the staff and pupils attend in fancy dress.

Transition from Primary School

During the Summer Term of Year Six, children are invited to attend the school for two days a week for several weeks. They will have the opportunity to explore the school grounds, to meet their future teachers and peers and to experience lessons across a range of subjects. Bespoke and extended transition visits for pupils with SEN are offered and may include additional visits, parent/carer visits to the school and other reasonable adjustments.

For children with an EHCP/Statement in transition years the SENCO and Transition Manager will seek to attend annual reviews for the children at their feeder school to ensure that there is clear continuity in terms of support and information sharing.

Assessment of Special Educational Needs

Often, pupils with SEND have been identified during their time at Primary School. We have close links to our feeder primary schools and this information is therefore passed on to us as part of an extended transition. The school makes use of several ‘in house’ tools such as Lexia and LUCID software and the GRT and WRAT paper-based tests to gather further information about potential SENDs.

How pupils with SEND are supported in school

The school is wheelchair accessible, with access to all floors and classrooms by multiple elevators. There are height-adjustable desks and the equipment used by pupils is reviewed, with the input of an Occupational Therapist where necessary, to ensure that it is accessible to pupils with SEND.

The Hub

The Hub is the base of operations for the SEN Team and has an open door policy to all pupils. Breakfast Club is offered from The Hub and this is a time when pupils can informally come and discuss any concerns or worries they may have. In very specific circumstances, the school supports a limited number of pupils in alternative learning facilities such as The Bridge and Ethos and Engagement; referral is by arrangement with the relevant Head of Year or Inclusion Manager.

For certain pupils, when the traditional curriculum might not be suitable, a more personalised curriculum may be offered. We currently deliver courses which lead to the award of NCFE Vocational Certificates in Creative Craft and Cookery, for example.


SEN Support Staff

The staff at Astrea Dearne have a broad range of experience and qualifications to complement the needs of pupils. Teachers, Learning Support Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants undertake regular and frequent training to ensure that they are able to support and challenge students across the full range of the curriculum.

How parents/carers can support their child at home.

You can support your child by ensuring that you attend all meetings to discuss their progress, including Parents’ Evenings and SEN Review Meetings, and by contributing with your views about how they can be supported and challenged in every lesson in school.

“At Astrea Dearne , we recognise that working closely with parents and carers is essential to ensure that pupils are fully supported to achieve the best results that they can.”

You could also encourage your child to attend specific support and intervention sessions, which are run by the SEN Faculty outside of lesson time – before and after school.

Support for examinations

The school aims to prepare pupils for their exams and life after they leave education and will therefore not provide unnecessary support as this may prevent pupils from developing important skills. However, we routinely assess pupils to identify when support is required and will make applications to the relevant examination bodies to ensure that appropriate and timely arrangements are in place for eligible children.

Support for Transition to Post 16

From Year 9 onwards, we will discuss children’s hopes for the future and other aspects in preparing for adult life. If a child has an EHCP/Statement then a representative from the Targeted Intervention Advice and Guidance service will be invited to attend their Annual Review meeting to offer their expertise in careers and further education.

In Year 11, visitors are also invited from local colleges to get to know the pupils before they transfer to their settings. This enables all information to be shared and an appropriate support package to be put in place before they transition to Post 16.

Our Careers Advice Officer, Cathryn Carruthers, offers support to pupils in Year 11 and guidance interviews, upon request. Pupils are also given opportunities to attend open days, visits and career fairs with the careers team.