The Matthew Arnold School SEND Information Report

Next Review: October 2023

For information on Surrey's Local Offer for SEN please click on this link

How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • The progress of all pupils is monitored regularly by class teachers in class and testing each half term.  Pupil progress is recorded formally every half term using the assessments.  This is overseen within subject areas by the Heads of Department and overall, by the Heads of Year.  The SENDCo monitors the data for students across all year groups on the inclusion register. The SENDCo and Heads of Department meet each term, so that when a pupil is not making expected progress in a particular area of learning, the school can identify what additional support needs to be put in place.
  • If a member of staff believes that a student may have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) which have not been assessed, they will raise this with the SENDCo.  The SENDCo will manage the assessment, communicating with parents/carers and staff before, during and after
  • Once we have assessed the needs of individual pupils, we then work as a team and with parents/carers to plan how we are going to provide further support, carry out the planned support and then review the effectiveness of this provision, making changes where necessary.  This continues on a cycle of assess – plan – do – review as needed.
  • If parents/carers have concerns about the progress or attainment of their child, or is concerned that their child may have an SEND need, they should in the first instance make an appointment to speak to the Head of Year to discuss their concerns, or alternatively they can speak to the SENDCo.  Parents should contact the school office on 01784 457275 to make an appointment.
  • Please see the SEND policy on our school website for more information.

How will school staff support my child?

  • The Matthew Arnold School is a mainstream, inclusive school.  From September 2022 until at least August 2024, the school also has students accessing Special School provision – initially at the West Molesey Centre but to include, in time, another centre in Ripley.
  • All provision at the school fully complies with the requirements outlined in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014).  Staff have been trained, as appropriate, to be able to cater for learners who may have difficulties with:

- Cognition and Learning

- Communication and Interaction

- Social, Emotional and Mental Health

- Sensory and/or Physical

  • We make reasonable adjustments to our practices to comply with the Equality Act (2010).
  • All teachers adapt their lesson plans to meet the needs of the individuals in their class, this is known as Quality First Teaching (QFT).  Staff make reasonable adjustments to help include, and make learning accessible for all children, not just those with SEND. 
  • When the school identifies that a child is having difficulties, we respond and find alternatives through dialogue with the child and their families.  Where needed, different strategies will be put in place to support the progress of each child. 
  • A number of staff have areas of speciality.  These include dyslexia, Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs), and leads on Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • We work closely with a range of external professionals such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Behaviour Support specialist teachers, Surrey specialist schools outreach teams, Physical and Sensory Support and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • We aim to create a high-quality learning environment which meets the need of all children.
  • Differentiation is embedded into our curriculum in such a way that every child can access the learning taking place, this is known as Quality First Teaching. 
  • All teachers use their knowledge of each child’s ability, and good use of assessment data, to carefully plan next steps to ensure that their learning is moving forward.
  • As a school we create One Page Profiles, in consultation with parents/carers and their children, for specific children in the school, so that all teaching staff have a clear overview of the whole child. 
  • All teachers are provided with information on the needs of individual pupils so that they can plan the learning to ensure that progress is facilitated for all pupils.
  • We take pride in delivering a wide curriculum and have specialist teachers for Music, PE, Dance and languages
  • Through our Wellbeing lessons we ensure that personal, social, and health education is given a high priority in our school curriculum.

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

  • We have an open-door policy where we encourage regular communication between parents and school. 
  • We regularly share progress feedback and new targets with all our children and their families through Parents’ Evenings with their class teachers.  Meetings can also be arranged to speak to the SENDCo.
  • Any child with an EHCP will have regular meetings with their key worker.  Parents will also have regular contact with their child’s key worker to build a positive relationship to fully support the child.  Parents of a child with an EHCP will also have an annual review of the EHCP to discuss progress, targets and support moving forward.
  • Any home-learning will be linked to the work your child is currently doing in school, this should help you understand how to further support your child at home.
  • Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure that this is put in place.
  • We share any reports from external professionals and facilitate regular meetings with them to review and set outcomes.

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

  • Our staff care about all the children in our setting.  Our policies define our expectations regarding behaviour and attendance.
  • Relevant staff are trained to support medical needs and we have a large number of staff with first aid training.
  • All pupils are supported with their social and emotional development through the curriculum and at social times.
  • We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying in school, which addresses the causes of bullying, as well as dealing with negative behaviours.  All staff follow the school’s behaviour and anti-bullying policy.
  • In the first instance every child can talk to their tutor, their Head of Year or another familiar adult in order to share concerns.  All staff take the time to listen to all children in their care and we work hard to ensure children feel that they can trust all adults in the school.
  • We currently have two ELSAs.  The training is provided by Educational Psychologists and will enable the trained member of staff to effectively work with children who have social, emotional or mental health difficulties.
  • Our student welfare team consists of three paths - East to West counselling, Education Mental Health Practitioners and KICK London.  Referrals are made by Heads of Year and the SENDCo.  Communication with parents/carers will help confirm the most suitable pathway.
  • Children are monitored by familiar adults on duty during lunch times and social time, so that they feel comfortable approaching the adults around them.  A lunch time club is available for those students preferring to avoid the crowds run by consistent staff to create a safe and secure environment at this busy time of day.
  • We ensure support is provided during year 6 transition time, developing relationships initiated by our transition lead including separate site visits and small group visits prior to the Spelthorne transition days in July.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • We work with Surrey County Council to ensure our students have access to their services.  We welcome the Physical and Sensory team and the Speech, Language and Communication team on a termly basis according to the students' needs.
  • We work closely with our EAL Coordinator.
  • We are able to carry out dyslexia and dyscalculia screening in-house.
  • We aim to ensure that all staff working with learners who have SEND possess a working knowledge of the child’s/children’s key difficulties to help them in supporting access to the curriculum.
  • Where it is deemed that external support is necessary, we discuss any referrals with parents in the first instance and gain full consent before proceeding with a referral.  We invite parents/carers into school to complete any Assessment for Needs online referrals together to ensure a joint approach from both home and school.
  • As a school we have access to a range of external services and professionals such as: Speech & Language Therapy, Educational Psychologists, Learning and Language Support Specialist Teachers, Behaviour Support Specialist Teachers, CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services), Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, outreach from specialist schools such as Freemantles, and the school nurse.
  • The SENDCo meets weekly with the SEND team and Safeguarding team.  In this meeting whole school issues and needs of individuals are discussed.  Information is shared and students monitored to assess for the need for external support.  In any case where external support is deemed necessary, parents will be consulted and consent gained.

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

  • We carefully plan staff training around the needs of our staff and around the changing needs of our pupils.
  • Recent and upcoming training for staff has included an introduction to our year 7 cohort and their needs, an introduction/reminder of current students to our new cohort of staff, Quality First Teaching, strategies for ASD, ADHD and Dyslexia. 
  • External professionals provide school staff and parents/carers with reports outlining targets, next steps and supportive strategies; these are then implemented in school.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • Our inclusion policy promotes involvement of all our children in all aspects of the curriculum, including extra-curricular activities and those outside the classroom, including residential visits.
  • School trips will be planned that link with the learning taking place in class and that take the needs of the class into account – we aim to be fully inclusive. Where necessary, additional staff may accompany a school trip so that individuals with SEND can attend.
  • A thorough risk assessment is completed before any school trip or extra-curricular activity takes place to ensure the safety of all pupils.  This will include preparing for any specific medical needs and ensuring that at least one adult accompanying the trip is First Aid trained and carrying a First Aid kit.  Mental and physical disabilities are considered during the planning process and needs met by working with parents/carers to ensure a positive experience for all.
  • We run a wide range of extra-curricular clubs both before and after school and during school lunch breaks. The types of clubs running may change on a termly basis.

How accessible is the school environment?

  • We value and respect diversity in our setting and do the very best to meet the needs of all our children.  We are vigilant about making reasonable adjustments where possible.
  • The school building is wheelchair accessible and there is one disabled toilet on each floor.  The school is split over three levels with a lift providing access to all floors.
  • Where necessary any information for parents/carers is shared in person/verbally rather than just by correspondence.
  • Where families speak a different language, and an interpreter is needed, the local authority will be approached to enable communication.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?

  • We aim to make all our children and their families feel welcome.  We have good relationships with many feeder schools, as well as other settings children arrive from, and share information that will ensure continuing progress.
  • When we are given notice that a pupil with additional needs is due to start our school, transition is planned with the child, their family and their current school. We encourage primary schools to share all relevant information as early as possible.
  • We encourage new parents of children with additional needs to book an appointment with the SENDCo prior to their child starting, so that we can carefully plan the child’s transition.
  • When a new child joins the school, all relevant files are sought from the child’s previous educational setting.  Our SENDCo will liaise with the SENDCo from the child’s previous setting and attend the final annual reviews of the EHCP students wherever possible.
  • Where a child has additional needs, which may mean them finding this transition process particularly challenging, extra provision will be put in place to ease this process.  This may include the child spending some additional time getting to know the SENDCo and Head of Year to allay any anxieties that may arise during the summer break.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

  • The Inclusion budget (including SEND budget) is allocated appropriately to ensure that staffing is deployed effectively to meet the needs of the children, that appropriate resources are available to support access to the curriculum and to fund training of staff so that support provided is effectively targeted towards needs.
  • Through our training programme and as we aim towards Quality First Teaching, our staff will work towards a creative and inclusive scheme of work within their specialist areas to ensure progress is achieved by all.
  • We use termly data to look at the impact in-class teaching has had on the progress of each learner. Decisions are then made as to whether specific interventions are necessary, and therefore what the desired outcome would be and how it will be measured.

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

  • The SENDCo liaises with key staff in the school where there are concerns about emotional wellbeing, progress, attainment or engagement.  Following the sharing of information, decisions are made as to the most appropriate type of support to put in place for individual children. 
  • The support all children are offered is through Quality First Teaching. This is provided through teachers adapting their planning, the environment and the curriculum to meet the needs of all the individuals in their class.  
  • When a child requires a much higher level support, on a frequent and long-term basis they may require the support of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).   The SENDCo will meet with the parents/carers to discuss primary needs and to outline the application process.
  • As a school we create One Page Profiles, in consultation with parents/carers and their children, for specific children in the school so that all teaching staff have a clear overview of the whole child. 
  • Where appropriate advice is sought, external professionals are approached to reframe the support in place for specific children.
  • The SENDCo oversees all additional support and regularly shares updates with the SLT.

How are parents/care involved in the school? How can I be involved?

  • We have an open-door policy.  Parents are welcome to meet with members of staff at any time during the term, this can be arranged directly with the required member of staff.  Parents are also encouraged to attend parents’ evenings and to support their children with home-learning. 
  • All parents are invited to an information evening to assist with the options process as the children choose the subjects they wish to move forward with to GCSE.
  • All year 11 parents are invited to an information evening in the Autumn term to become familiar with the exam process and how school and home can work together to support the child.

Who can I contact for further information?

For a school prospectus please contact the main office on 01784 457275.

If you would like to arrange a visit to our school, to discuss your child’s needs and how we can support them, please contact:

Kirsteen Moore - SENDCo

Luke Scott - SLT lead Transition/Admissions

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