Individual Pupil Support (SEND)

At Bedminster Down our aim is for all learners to access a broad and balanced curriculum in a safe learning environment where there will be clarity of provision for them. All learners are valued, no matter what the differences are in their abilities or behaviours and every child matters.

Assistant Principal for Inclusion (SENDCo): Mrs K Luke

Assistant SENDCo: Miss S Adams

We also have a team of dedicated Learning Support Assistants who support students across the course of the day emotionally and with their learning.

The five areas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are:

· Cognition and Learning

· Social, emotional and Mental Health

· Communication and Interaction

· Sensory and Physical Impairments

· Medical conditions which may affect learning

Students have a Special Educational Need or Disability if they need support in or have difficulty in accessing the curriculum that is in addition to or different from other students of their age. This can be a temporary or long term issue. We support students in the context of their own individual needs and in liaison with parents, carers and other professional organisations.

What does inclusion look like at Bedminster Down School?

We pride ourselves on catering for a wide variety of needs by using effective differentiation in the classroom. In some cases, we support in class for our most vulnerable learners or if support is specified on an Educational Healthcare Plan (EHCP). Bedminster Down provides:

· Swift and effective interventions for students with additional needs

· High quality transition with the SENDCo of feeder Primary schools

· Support and counselling for students suffering with anxieties, social, emotional and mental health needs and a safe space (IPS) for those students to have the support they require throughout the day.

· Key Workers for students with Educational Health Care Plans

· Key workers for students who have a specific diagnosis that effects their learning

· Regular contact with parents and outside agencies to ensure the best outcomes for students

· Dyslexic friendly learning environments with teachers who know how to help students with dyslexia in their learning

· Support and training in SEND for all staff and a range of on-going CPD opportunities

· A focus on Integration not Exclusion for students with SEND.

· Small group/1:1 targeted interventions in Reading, Maths and English with students who are not at age related expectations that are tracked and reported back to parents and carers.

· We run Social skills interventions

· Regular support from the Bristol Autism Team

· After school clubs to support our students

· A safe place to come before school, break times and after school

· The Haven is a lunchtime provision for KS3 and KS4 students


How can I talk to the SENDCo about my son / daughter if I have concerns?

You can contact the Assistant Principal for Inclusion by contacting our school office at FAO of Mrs K Luke.

How will Bedminster Down support our child’s transition to and from school?

Bedminster Down liaises closely with the feeder primary schools. As soon as we know who is coming to us we ensure that every child is visited in their primary setting, provided they are living within reasonable distance. We speak to Year 6 teachers as well as the SENDCo to see what provision has already been put in place.

Should your child require extra support for transition, this can be arranged in collaboration with the primary school. We invite parents and students in over the summer break to visit the school whilst quiet and to write a pupil passport for the student discussing strategies that will help support the student in lessons.

How does Bedminster Down know if a student needs help?

There are various approaches that Bedminster Down uses to establish the needs of learners. In the majority of cases this is addressed by the class

teachers who will employ a variety of teaching techniques in order to meet each student’s individual needs. We establish the level of support required for our learners through the following:

· If a concern is raised by the teachers who then build evidence to demonstrate that a student requires intervention which is in addition to and different from other students of the same age group. This is known as the Graduated Approach

· Where student attainment and progress is significantly below expectations

· There is a significant or prolonged change in behaviour

· If a concern is raised by parents of a student that their child is struggling.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Each student is assessed individually and a personalised package of support is put in to place, dependent on need. Meetings are held between the Assistant Principal of Inclusion and parents when a need has been identified. These will then be implemented and teaching staff will be advised of a students’ need. This will also be reviewed regularly.

Additional assessments from outside agencies are used for students with complex needs. This will be done when a full and comprehensive range of support in school has been pursued.

How can I find out whether my child is dyslexic and how will they be supported?

Provided evidence has been submitted by your child’s subject teachers that suggest that s/he struggles with reading, writing and/or processing, we can carry out tests which indicate whether your child has dyslexic tendencies. However, we cannot provide a diagnosis of dyslexia. This can be organised by parents /carer though external organisations such as dyslexia action. Students who are dyslexic may receive targeted intervention work through small groups or access to a word processor. Coloured overlays are also available as well as coloured books if a student finds this helpful for reading and writing. Regular strategies are also discussed with staff to support students with dyslexia.

How do I know if my child requires special consideration for exams?

In exceptional circumstances, some students require access for exams such as extra time, a scribe or a word processor. Some students also require rest breaks.

In order for these access arrangements to be granted, evidence needs to be collected from subject teachers by the Individual Pupil Support (IPS) Team that proves that the nature of the special consideration is the student’s normal way of working. Bedminster Down School has to follow criteria set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). A learning need such as dyslexia does not automatically mean that a student is automatically entitled to access arrangements and in cases where a student does not use the arrangement provided, then it is rescinded. Further information can be found on the JCQ website.

What support will there be for my child’s wellbeing?

Your child’s House Office will be the first port of call for any issues that may arise and our tutors are well trained in offering high quality help and advice. We offer a comprehensive and supportive pastoral system with dedicated House teams who support young people through what can be a difficult time in their lives such as the transition from childhood to adulthood and the pressures that that will bring. Individual Pupil Support is positioned on the lower ground floor of the school where our Speech and Language therapist and Educational Psychologist also work. For students with complex emotional needs we have a Learning Support Mentor who offers high quality bespoke interventions depending on need.

What if my child has a medical condition?

You can contact our SENDCo who will liaise with the School Health Nurse to discuss any medical conditions or queries.

Students with a disability or who are taking regular medication during the school day will have a Health Care Plan that is overseen by our Safeguarding Lead

In the rare case of a child being too ill to attend school or recovering from an operation, we may refer to the Bristol Hospital Education Service (BHES)

What do I do if I have a concern or a complaint relating to the SEND support provided for my child?

Where a parent of a child with SEND has concerns about the provision or support for their child, we would hope to be able to answer and resolve any issues quickly to support the progress and welfare of the student. In the first instance, any concerns should be directed to our Assistant Principal of Inclusion & SENCo, Mrs K Luke. In the unfortunate and rare case that these concerns cannot be resolved and a parent remains dissatisfied with the outcome or support, they should follow the complaint procedure as outlined on the school website.