Outstanding educational opportunities for all, regardless of prior ability, are at the heart of our mission. We take a personalised approach, with each pupil at the centre of a personal learning plan. This helps us to ensure that the needs of pupils with differing abilities and potential barriers are fully met. This focus on individual achievement drives our target setting and Academy improvement systems, the delivery of our curriculum and our approaches to behaviour, attendance and well-being.
We have a fully qualified Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and a Governor who takes lead responsibility for special educational needs on the Governing Body.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
It’s very important that pupils with special educational needs are properly identified, assessed and supported and that the support is tailored to each child’s particular needs. In deciding what those needs are and how we can support the pupil to overcome any ‘barriers to learning’ arising from those needs, we will work closely with the pupil and their family. This 3-way partnership underpins all our work and is a major contributory factor to our success; it is essential in making sure that all pupils make the best possible progress whilst at our Academy.
For a very small number of pupils with more complex and specialist needs, we may also call on the expertise and experience of specialists from outside the Academy. These may be people who work for the SEN specialist teams in the Local Authority or specialists in children’s issues in the Health Service. For pupils who need this extra and more specialist input, we work in close partnership with these external partners as part of an “Education, Health and Care Plan”. This provides a detailed and properly coordinated plan of action to provide additional support to the pupil to enable them to benefit fully from their time at our Academy. The plan is always drawn up in partnership with the pupil and parents and clearly identifies the contributions that each partner needs to make to help the pupil to progress in their learning. There are regular reviews of the progress that the pupil is making and the extent to which the Plan is working. Parents and pupils have an important role to play in helping us to review and, if needed, improve the Plan.
For the majority of children and for most of the time, we provide support in class, as part of normal day-to-day lessons. As an inclusive academy where every pupil is valued, we want all pupils to take a full part in all lessons and in every aspect of academy life alongside their peers. Our teachers plan and deliver quality lessons that are well differentiated, so the needs of all pupils are catered for and all pupils can benefit fully from them. Sometimes, however, a pupil’s personalised assessment shows that they would benefit from additional one-to-one tuition or to work as part of a small group. If this is needed, then it is carefully planned by skilled teachers, and delivered with support from teaching assistants and learning mentors.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
For pupils who are new to English, we provide a personalised pupil support plan that identifies their particular needs and details the additional support they will receive to help them improve their English and make progress in their studies. The plan is drawn up in partnership with the pupil and their parents. It highlights the key strategies that the Academy will use to help the pupil to learn, any additional activities (and programmes) the pupil should engage in at home and the way their progress will be monitored.
In drawing up plans for pupils with English as an additional language (EAL), we draw on the proven approaches we have used and refined over the years and on best practice from other academies and schools.
Our staff receive training on the best approaches to support pupils with EAL and incorporate this learning into their lessons. Some pupils with EAL benefit from one to one tuition or small group work to help them to make more rapid progress in their English language development. If this is needed, we consult with the pupil and parents to make sure it is well planned with clear objectives and timescales. The partnership with the pupil and parents is essential in helping pupils with EAL make the progress we want them to make so that, like all our pupils, they achieve their full potential.
Gifted and Talented Pupils
We have very high expectations of all our pupils, staff and parents. We set ambitious progress and attainment targets for all our pupils based on their ability and prior attainment. We ensure that Gifted and Talented pupils are challenged and supported to excel, with stretching personalised targets in the classroom and tailored enrichment activities. Our approach enables Gifted and Talented pupils to play a full and active part in the life in of the Academy, taking on leadership roles and experiencing special activities that will excite and challenge them. A member of the Senior Leadership Team takes specific responsibility for Gifted and Talented provision.
From time to time, pupils may need access to additional support because of specific short-term issues. For example, if a pupil has had to deal with the bereavement of a close family member or friend, then they will need special emotional support. In these circumstances, we will work closely with the family and other agencies to make sure that we provide the support the pupil needs to help them deal with their emotions and to enable them to continue to make progress in their studies.
For some pupils, issues in the home or other external matters can affect their attendance or behaviour at the Academy. In these circumstances, the Academy provides intensive support to make sure they get the help and support they need to improve in these areas and to continue to succeed in their learning.
The Academy’s mentoring programme provides specialised, individual guidance for any young person in need. Sometimes the pupil and family need access to more specialist help. In these cases, we work in partnership with other agencies (the Local Authority, Health Services, voluntary organisations) to plan and provide this specialist support.
- See our Policies and Publications page to access our Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs Policy
- The Academy’s SENCO is Zara Abbas
- Visit Birmingham’s Local Offer, an online resource that details services, support and guidance available to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0–25 and their families.