ELSS is a small school with limited staffing and resources compared with most mainstream schools. It is our aim to keep class sizes at 25 or below. Pupils are set using their English and Maths entrance test results in order to target intervention where it is needed. It is not our policy to offer 1-2-1 support unless a pupil’s statement specifically requires it. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to have the knowledge and skill to be able to teach all pupils. Regardless of ability and learning need. If a pupil is struggling in a specific subject, the class teacher first delivers intervention. This often takes the form of extra tasks of after school drop-ins when pupils test scores have been low. Since lessons are taught in half term blocks, we occasionally make the decision to change the timetable in order to provide classes who require more support with the subject lead teacher. It is the role of the SEND department to make classroom teachers aware of the needs of all of their pupils, provide access to pupil profiles / targets and deliver training on strategies with staff after termly reviews take place. Teachers are also made aware of new or revised strategies for dealing with the pupils.
Where specific school-wide intervention is necessary, it usually occurs during the timetabled afternoon ‘Prep’ sessions for which pupils are allocated 4 hours per week. The Maths and English Lead Teachers coordinate these interventions alongside the SEND department. The following intervention strategies are used at ELSS:
• Summer school for year 6 pupils coming to ELSS (including reading / phonics).
• Phonics – The Butterfly Book. Small group sessions for pupils with a reading age below 9.
• 1-2-1 / small group reading with undergraduate English volunteers from Queen Mary University.
• 1-2-1 / small group numeracy with undergraduate Maths / Science volunteers from Queen Mary University.
• English booster lessons with the English Lead Teacher.
• Mathematics booster lessons with the Maths lead Teacher.
• Supported Prep- Pupils complete their prep work in smaller groups. Teachers model answers and support pupils to complete their work.
• Handwriting – small group sessions.
• Anger management sessions with the behaviour support team.
The East London Science School endeavours to ensure that all pupils, including those identified with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) benefit from the broad and balanced curriculum on offer. The following questions have been addressed so that parents / guardians can clearly understand the East London Science school’s response to the 2015 SEND reforms:
1. Who do I talk to regarding my child’s difficulties with learning, specific SEN or disability?
The interim SENDCO is Paul Cornish (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as the Assistant SENCO: Catherine Ventham and SEND Academic Mentor: Victoria Jenkins. If you have a concern about your child’s progress, firstly contact your child’s form tutor who will then inform the Head Of Year and arrange a meeting if necessary.
2. What evidence is used to determine whether my child requires support for SEN or a disability?
Parents often provide us with an accurate indication of their child’s progress primary school reports and feedback are also useful, especially where early intervention is required. All pupils are tested at the start of year 7 and 8. The results provide reading ages and a comprehensive breakdown of ability. Every child at ELSS is tested in every subject each half term and ranked as a cohort. Pupil attainment and any change in ranking between half terms are monitored closely. The feedback from class teachers, book checks and pupil target review meetings also provide evidence to build an accurate picture such as educational psychologists to provide advice and organise assessments for specific cases.
3. How will transition from primary school be managed?
Before joining the school, all pupils sit at ELSS entrance tests in English and Maths and have an interview with a senior member of staff. These are not linked to the admissions process but provide us with worthwhile information from which we can plan intervention. ELSS also provide a summer school which is a two week long process which helps with the development of English and Maths intervention as well as delivering a wide variety of activities including days out in which helps pupils build vital relationships with peers. ELSS Summer school has proved to be a success and very beneficial to those who have taken part. Where pupils have been on the SEND register at primary school, visits and meetings are coordinated with primary school SENDCO where information and records are shared. Review meetings with parents begin after first half term tests in order for us to have a wealth evidence in order to set targets.
4. Will the ELSS curriculum be tailored to my child’s needs?
ELSS is an academic school. Our unique curriculum has been carefully designed to provide the best possible academic opportunities for our pupils. Providing them with a foundation to achieve well at GCSE and A Level. At ELSS we teach the same curriculum to all pupils. End of half-term tests contain the same questions. Regardless of a pupils ability, teacher or class. Access arrangements will be applied only to external examinations with applications received within two years of sitting the exam. An accredited professional must do the assessment.
5. What categories are used at ELSS for ‘SEND Support’?
At ELSS, we have applied the 2015 code of practice to our context and are using the following categories for ‘SEND Support’;
Wave 4: Pupils that currently have a statement / high needs funding and / or Educational Health Care Plan (2015 onwards).
Wave 3: Pupils that require specific intervention often requiring an external – agency.
Wave 2: Pupils who require whole-school input interventions to enable pupils to work at age-related expectations or above. Examples include prep intervention, numeracy and phonics programmes.
Wave 1: Pupils that require support from the class teacher (quality first teaching). At ELSS we teach the same curriculum to all pupils. End of half-term tests contain the same questions regardless of a pupils teacher or class. Individual subject teachers are therefore responsible for the learning of all pupils in their classroom. Wave 1 includes pupils who require monitoring and those who have underachieved in the tests.
6. How will my views and those of my child with regard to his/her difficulties be heard?
If a pupil is identified as requiring ‘SEND support’ both pupil and parent will be invited to an initial review meeting organized by the SENDCO. The pupil and parent(s) will therefore be able to contribute to and be a central part in the plan for provision. During the meeting a One Page Profile (replacing the old IEP) will be created in order to set targets and organize provision. This document will be reviewed and amended on an annual basis.
7. What is an Educational Health Care Plan and who can request one for my child?
An EHC plan is the document which replaces (from 2014) Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs. An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment jointly with ELSS and the local authority. This will involve the views of the pupil, parents, Educational Psychologists and teachers. At the end of that process, the local authority has to make a decision, either to issue an EHC Plan or not.
8. What other organisations do you partner with in order to offer provision for pupils with SEND?
- Educational Psychologists (From Hackney Learning Trust or Newham)
- Local Authority Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Child and Family Consultation Service (Newham/ Tower Hamlets)
- Speech and Language Therapy (Newham/ Tower Hamlets)
- Local Authority High Needs Funding (Newham/ Tower Hamlets)
- Local Authority behaviour support (Newham/ Tower Hamlets)
- School NHS Nurse (1 day a week)
- ASD specialists
9. How accessible is your school site for pupils with disabilities.
ELSS is currently in a temporary site which is a Grade 2 listed building that cannot be substantially altered. It is on four floors. We do not have good access for pupils with severe physical disabilities and access to the site requires a 20 metre walk over a cobbled road. We don’t have our own parking. Parking is at Tescos which is over 100m away from the entrance. We do have a medical room and a shower. Sports take place at a variety of venues including East London Rugby Club, Mile End Swimming Pool and Spotlight Gym.