For more information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, please see the links at the bottom of the page.
Meet the Team
Head of SEN – Ryan Purdy
Leadership Coach SEND – Jade Hodgkinson
HLTA (English) – Andrew Bull
HLTA (Science) – Hannah Szabo
Support Worker Inclusion – Dawn Carter
Support Worker Inclusion – Julie Cusworth
LSA – Jayne Waite
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.
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.
Often, pupils with a SEND have been identified during their time at Primary School. We have close links to our Feeder Primaries and this information is therefore passed on to us as part of an extended transition (See Section 8).
There are other ways in which SENDs may be identified, including:
• Referral of concerns by a parent / carer
• Referral of concerns by a Teacher / Key Worker / Form Tutor / Head of Year
• Referral of concerns by the pupil themselves
• School progress and attainment reports show a pupil is making less progress than their peers
• MIDYIS computerised assessment of pupils’ strengths and areas for development
• Question Level Analysis (QLA) of Y6 assessments
• Other literacy / numeracy / in school tests indicate a potential SEND
• External tests or an external agency (an Educational Psychologist or medical professional for example) works in partnership with the school to explore a potential SEND
In each of these cases, parents / carers will be contacted by a member of the SEN Team or the SENCo to discuss the possibility of the pupil being added to the SEN Register and offered additional / alternative support or provision to suit their individual needs.
The school utilises a range of ‘in house’ tools such as IDL, Accelerated Reader and LUCID software as well as the GRT and WRAT paper-‐based tests in order to gather further information about potential SENDs.
We also work closely with external agencies such as:
• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHs)
• Barnsley Educational Psychology Services
• Barnsley Educational Specialist Support Team (BESST)
• The School Nursing service
• Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)
• Family Intervention Service (FIS)
• Occupational Therapist (OT)
• Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)
It is usual practice for referrals to external agencies to first be discussed with parents / carers, and only made if all parties are in agreement.
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.
The staff at The Dearne ALC 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. This includes SEND awareness, Safeguarding and effective classroom support strategies. Staff also undertake more specialist training to support pupils with complex needs.
Examples of some of the courses / qualifications / training undertaken by our Learning Support Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants include:
- Team Teach
- E-‐Vac Chair
- Safeguarding in Education
- E-‐Safety Awareness
- First Aid at Work
- People Moving
- Manual Handling
- Autism Awareness
- Mental Health Awareness
- ELKLAN (speech and language)
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Lego therapy
- Social, emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) and mentoring
This list should not be seen as exhaustive, as our staff are constantly being upskilled.
The recent addition of a Leadership Coach: SEN, who is also a Primary specialist, has greatly complemented the skills base of the SEN Faculty and opened up a wider range of training and development opportunities for our team.
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.
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 school aims to prepare pupils for their exams, and life after they leave education, and will therefore not provide un-‐ necessary 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. Testing for exam arrangements begins in Year 9 at the earliest.
Examples of exam access arrangements that are commonly granted include:
- 25% extra time
- Supervised rest breaks and/or a separate room to take examinations
- The use of a coloured overlay
- The support of an adult to read text, or name colours
- The support of an adult to scribe (write for the pupil)
- The support of an adult to prompt a pupil
- Permission to use a laptop to respond to exam questions
It is also possible to provide texts with an adjusted font, size or colour, when this is necessary.
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.