Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Special Educational Needs

Our local offer is information for parents and carers of children who have, or may have, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). We hope that the information below will answer any questions you have about the type of support we provide at Oasis Academy Brightstowe.

1. How does the education setting know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

We identify students with special educational needs in a number of ways. 

  • A member of the Inclusion Team meets with key staff from all of our feeder primary schools to discuss how best to meet the needs of all students with additional needs starting with us in Year 7. 
  • We carry out reading tests with all students when they start at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. This information is used to identify whether your son or daughter may need additional interventions and the level of support they will require in class. 
  • We closely monitor the progress of all of our students. Anyone not making the expected progress is reviewed and the possibility of SEND is explored. 
  • We closely monitor behaviour of all students and anyone who appears to be experiencing social, emotional or communication difficulties is discussed with the Inclusion Team and the possibility of SEND explored. 

I​f you think your son or daughter may have special educational needs you should contact Martine Burns, Learning Provision Manager to discuss your concerns. 

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

If your son or daughter does have identified SEND needs, the SENCO, Rhian Iredale, will oversee the education programme for him/her. The programme will be run by the Learning Provision manager, Martine Burns who will allocate a key worker best suited to their needs. 

Martine Burns will contact you to introduce the key worker and discuss the programme we feel is best suited to your son or daughter’s needs and suggested SEN targets.  

The Key Worker will be the person who provides support for your son or daughter. The programme your son or daughter is allocated will depend on the way in which they have responded to intervention and their level of need. Intervention may be in the form of one-to-one sessions, in-class support or small group intervention. In some cases, the key worker may not need to work with your son or daughter directly but instead, refer them to an intervention group or perhaps provide resources to the class teacher to ensure your son or daughter is appropriately included. The key worker will be the person who monitors your son or daughter’s progress and reviews their individual targets. 

The key worker will contact you on a termly basis to update you on their progress. 

3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?

Students are allocated to teaching groups based on a number of factors but which include reading ages and SAT scores. This helps the teacher to set lessons at the appropriate level for the group. 

The SEN team communicates with all teachers about ways in which they need to differentiate to students with SEND. The information is available on our shared drive as well as in the staff room. This ensures that your son or daughter can expect a consistent approach from all teachers. 

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

Your son or daughter will be set individual targets. These are reviewed on a termly basis with you and your son or daughter and therefore provide information about progress and the appropriateness of their programme. 

All students' progress is ‘RAG rated’ which means that anyone who is not making the expected progress is flagged up as either red or amber whereas those on track are marked as green. Your son or daughter’s House Intervention Manager will be able to share this information with you. 

You will be contacted on a termly basis by the key worker to review your son or daughter’s progress. 

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

Pastoral support is provided to our students by their House in which there is a Head of House and House Intervention Manager (HIM). The HIM reviews the behaviour and attendance of all students and works closely with the Inclusion Team when reviewing students with SEND. 

Any student who receives two referrals from lessons within one week is reviewed by the HIM and the SENCO. As a part of this process the HIM completes one or more lesson observations of the student. The results are then reviewed with the class teacher and the student and an action plan is agreed. 
During unstructured times, identified students with SEND can access The Haven which is a lunch club run by the inclusion team. 

We provide a range of services depending on the nature of students needs but these include: social skills groups, anger management, listening service, counselling, and mentoring. 

The inclusion team work closely with the pastoral team to decide on the appropriate interventions that will support attendance and whilst there is a very clear Culture for Learning Policy every effort is made to support students to avoid fixed term exclusions. 

Certain staff members are trained to support and manage the administration of medicines; Parents/carers with any concerns should contact the HIM/HOH to discuss the most suitable way for this to happen. 

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

At Oasis Brightstowe we have access to a range of specialists who work with us and we choose specialist support on the basis of the needs of the student. We also have counsellors who are all accredited members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Our SENCO is in the process of gaining her National Award for SENCO this academic year. 

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

Staff supporting pupils with SEND have had training from an Educational Psychologist on: 

  • Dyslexia 
  • Attachment difficulties 
  • ADHD 
  • Autism 

The team have had specialist training from the learning improvement team on literacy interventions.

They have also received training from a speech and language therapist as a part of the ICAN communication awareness course completed by the department.

Many teaching staff also have specialist training with areas of SEN.

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

Your son or daughter will have access to the same trips and activities as their peers. If necessary staff will be asked to complete risk assessments and make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of your son or daughter. 

9. How accessible is the education setting?

The site is fully wheelchair accessible and has met the requirements for auditory and visual environment at the time of construction.  

There are accessible changing and toilet facilities, there is also a hygiene room available. 

We do our best to send translated letters home to parents/carers whose first language is not English.  

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

We visit the SENCO at the primary school and together identify students who are vulnerable or who have SEN. Information is gathered about the students’ needs and this is shared with relevant staff at Brightstowe to ensure they understand and are prepared for the student. We visit the primary school to observe the pupil in their natural setting and will then meet and introduce them to the transition programme. This involves a visit to Brightstowe to familiarise themselves with the building and to meet key people. A second visit will be arranged for the pupil, or sometimes a very small group of pupils with similar needs, to take photographs of the building and corridors, key staff, bathrooms etc. The student may choose to make a scrapbook with the names of the places/people for them to take away during the holidays. 

As students prepare to leave us in Year 11, any information relating to academic progress, learning styles, tried and tested strategies etc. is passed on to the relevant member of staff at college/post 16 centre.  If required, we support the student by introducing them to the college/post 16 centre and can arrange additional visits if needed. These visits can be individual or in small groups. If needed we talk to our students about practicalities of getting to their new placement, for example, how will they travel to and from the college/post 16 centre. We celebrate students’ successes at Brightstowe and help them move on to the next stage of their education. 

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

Resources are allocated based on budget availability and need. 

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

The inclusion team meet on a weekly basis to discuss the level of support being offered to our SEN students. The decision about how much support offered is considered on a case-by-case basis in which the following factors are considered:  

  • Recommendations from professionals 
  • Reading age 
  • Access to the curriculum 
  • Interactions with peers 
  • Progress 
  • Behaviour 
  • Mood 

​We judge whether the support has been effective by looking at the reason support was allocated in the first place. For example, if a student was allocated to a literacy intervention programme we would look at reading age before and after the intervention. All students who receive support also have individual targets. Progress is measured by reviewing these targets. 

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

Parents are contacted on a regular basis by text and phone. Regular communication is sent via the post. Where a decision needs to be made with regards to an incident, the parents/carers will be contacted by their Head of House or HIM to discuss the incident and the outcome. 

14. Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact Rhian Iredale via enquiries@oasisbrightstowe.org if you would like any further information.  Alternatively, if your son or daughter already has an allocated key worker at Brightstowe you can contact them direct.