Frequently asked questions:
What should I do if I suspect that my child might have a special educational need?
If you have concerns regarding your child’s needs you can contact our SENCO (Keir Williams) or Assistant SENCO (Penny Cook) or any other staff by telephone or email at your convenience, and we will discuss this with you.
How does the school identify young people with special educational needs?
We work closely with feeder primary schools to ensure we receive all necessary information on levels, targets, and support requirements of each pupil. The Transition Managers then meet with feeder primary inclusion managers and / or teachers before the students start at Wrotham. We also run a transition group which allows us to get to know the students and identify any areas of concern at an early stage.
Students complete a number of standardised tests during their taster days prior to starting at Wrotham which give us a greater insight into their learning needs. These tests are cognitive ability tests, such as; reading and spelling tests and a numeracy test. The taster days along with summer school also provide an opportunity for observations of student behaviour to aid identification on needs.
Students are monitored throughout their school career by teachers and our support staff. Any concerns are flagged up and dealt with very quickly. In addition we use the following tools to identify young people with SEN:
- Annual whole school Hodder reading and comprehension tests
- Parental comments
- Students support / behavioural records
- Classroom observations
- Teacher assessment data to monitor progress
- Medical or other outside agency reports
- Well-being and involvement assessment using Leuven scales*
- Exam access testing in year 10
- Dyslexia screener
- Dyscalculia screener*
- Universal level of Mainstream Core Standards
*This is an area of development)
If we suspect that your child may have a Special Educational Need we will invite you to the school and we will work with you to make the best provision for your child.
How will School staff support the young person?
Each SEN Support student is on the SEN register and details of their needs as well as strategies to overcome their barriers to learning from SEN staff, teachers, parents and students is shared on this document. SEN students with more complex needs also have an IEP which includes more detailed, individualised and comprehensive teaching strategies from all stakeholders including classroom teachers. A provision management plan is used to highlight areas of support and track the outcomes of SEN provision. SEN students are supported by all staff, including the SEN team, Student Support Officers, Heads of House and Community Group Leaders as well as teaching staff throughout their time with us.
How will the curriculum be matched to the young person’s needs?
Students are grouped according to their areas of strength or development needs in some subjects (English and maths) upon starting at Wrotham and for particular students, rather than studying a second language, they receive an additional English and maths lesson each week. This allows us to tailor the learning experiences in key subjects to the particular needs of the students.
Students are supported by Specialist TAs who provide a tailored programme in literacy and numeracy and differentiate class work according to students’ needs. In some cases, students will have 1:1 or small group support sessions. For example, withdrawal from a subject such as modern foreign languages. At Key Stage 4 a small number of students follow a work related learning path in place of a subject.
How will parents know how their children are doing and how to support their child’s learning?
At Wrotham we enjoy very close links with parents and carers. There are a number of opportunities through the year for parents to talk to staff. In addition, reports in the form of data captures and more in-depth subject reports are sent home to parents. Parents and carers are welcome to phone or email staff at any time with any concerns. Advice can be sought at any time from individual subjects on how parents can support students at home.
What specialist services and expertise are available at the School?
The SEN department has worked hard to develop close working relationships with specialist support services available in the local community and through the LEA.
In addition, many of our SEN staff have areas of specific interest and expertise such as numeracy, literacy, autism, speech, language and communication needs.
The department also works closely with Wrotham’s internal Pastoral Support structure, especially our in-house Counsellor, Student Support Officers and the Heads of House.
What training do the support staff have?
All TAs have completed the schools induction training as well as more specific SEN training. We endeavour to employ staff with Level 3 or above qualifications including the NVQ in Learning Support. We actively encourage staff to attend courses throughout the year, which will enhance our provision.
Many of our staff frequently attend twilight training sessions in our extended community, such as sessions delivered by Specialist teachers and Educational Psychologists. In addition to the five days of in-school INSET training, TAs are also trained externally in areas requiring specialist knowledge including phonics, ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia etc.
All staff have received behaviour management training, child protection training and training in specific areas of SEN.
How will students be included in activities outside the classroom and on school trips?
All students are encouraged to join clubs and take part in activities at lunch, break and after school. SEN Support students are monitored and special attention is paid to their level of participation. As a department we try to ensure that all students can go on trips they would like to attend, by offering support and guidance, including help with costs where appropriate.
How accessible is the school?
The site team is vigilant in making sure the site is safe for all users including those with disabilities such as visual impairment. We have disabled toilets and a lift in the newer building. We routinely complete accessibility audits and adapt to the needs of the students on role.
How will Wrotham School support my child to transfer from Primary School and also on to further education?
We have close connections with our feeder primary schools. Students begin visiting Wrotham throughout their time at primary school, for a variety of activities such as sport, music and drama performances. In this way they become familiar with the school.
More specific work with primary schools begins in terms 5 and 6 of Year 6. Our Transition Managers gather information from primary schools at this time, then meet the primary inclusion managers to discuss students in more depth. This is then followed by a Year 6 presentation / information event with parents.
During term 6 we hold two transition days and where transition is of a particular concern, we invite students and parents around the school for a tour with a year 7 pupil. Although limited in availability, we also invite vulnerable students to spend some time at Summer school in order to develop friendship groups and get to know the site and those they will be working with more closely through games and activities.
In terms of Post 16 education and training, we have a dedicated TA who supports the move onto further education by organising visits to local colleges, supporting students and parents with applications and any queries they have. Currently, 100% of our Year 11 students on the SEN Register have a Post 16 college place or are involved in a development programme.
We also ensure that SEN students receive appropriate, independent Information Advice and Guidance. We also work closely with Kent choices 4 U and Connexions as well as other youth support agencies to support those for whom Post 16 transition is a daunting prospect.
Who can I contact for further information?
You can contact our SENCO (Keir Williams) or Assistant SENCO (Penny Cook) or any other staff by telephone or email at your convenience, and we will do our best to answer any further queries you may have directly. Contact details can be found on the main contact page of the school website.