Castle Manor Academy is a mainstream 11-19 secondary school which educates children and young people with a wide variety of learning needs. We strongly believe that through high quality classroom teaching all children can be supported and challenged to make the best possible progress. Our subject specialist staff recognise the differing needs of their students and understand many of the possible barriers to learning. Through tailoring and differentiation, we aim to make sure that the needs of all students within the classroom and wider school are met.
Our SENCO is Mrs J Beaton.
Coronavirus SEND Provision Update:
We have had to make some changes in the way that we support our students with special educational needs and disabilities during the corona virus outbreak. We are following the most recent government guidance on how to support students both in school and remotely during this time and working to ensure that all our students can access learning and wellbeing support remotely.
What learning provision is being offered to all students?
All students are asked to complete a feedback form at the end of the day. This is sent to their Achievement Leader, who checks the comments. If they are finding work tricky, or they are struggling to complete tasks, it is important that this is put on the feedback form so that our team knows there is a problem.
What happens if a student needs more support?
If a student continues to find accessing the learning challenging, then the SENDco might get involved to see if there are other strategies that can be used to adapt the task. Teachers, Achievement Leaders, parents and the students themselves can contact the SENDco Mrs J Beaton via the contact link on the school website.
What does remote support look like?
Support varies depending on the needs of the individual student, and mirrors the different levels of response that we have already in place in school:
- Quality First Remote Learning: In the first instance, the SENDco will work with the subject teacher to ensure that the instructions are clear, that links that support learning have been used and that the student knows what is expected of them in the time allocated. Subject teachers are working hard to ensure that there are activities that all students can complete in every session, but also that there are more challenging tasks for students if needed. This means that some students might not complete every activity in the lesson set. Every lesson has a clear time limit given of either 50 or 100 mins. Once a student has spent that time on that subject, they should stop and submit any work that has been requested to their teacher (if applicable).
- Wave 1 Monitoring with SENDco: The SEND Team will know which students need additional support, as they are used to working with them in the classroom. If a student has been finding remote learning challenging, and they need more support than the strategies used above, they may be allocated a remote teaching assistant. Our teaching assistants each have a small caseload of students. They look at the core subjects of English, Maths and Science and can provide advice and guidance via email on which activities to complete. Some students receiving this support email their remote teaching assistant only when they are stuck, or need clarification, and others need help understanding the task instructions or knowing what activities to focus on. They are providing advice and clarification at this stage and not working ‘live’ with students throughout the day.
Wave 2 Interventions: Some students need additional interventions to support their literacy and numeracy, their social skills or wellbeing. We are currently able to support students with:
- Lexia Literacy Programme
- Adapted Hegarty Maths and Maths Mastery
- Touch Typing skills
- ELSA wellbeing resources
- Spelling group
These will usually be students who were already identified prior to the general school closure and who are already working on the programs that we have in place. However, as the situation progresses, we may offer a student access to these interventions if they present with a changing need.
- Wave 3 External Agency Support: Some students have additional needs that are supported through Local Offer agencies or other providers. Where possible, we have been in contact with those providers to see what support they are able to offer during the school closure.
- Speech and Language Therapy Team
- County Inclusive Support Service (CISS)
- Emotional Wellbeing Hub
- Hearing Impairment Team
- Addenbrookes Brainbow Outreach
- Noise Solutions
- The Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative
- Ollie Coaches
- NHS Psychology Services
Whilst most of these providers are unable to continue 1:1 visits in person, they can offer advice and guidance to schools, students and their families. Please get in contact with the SENDco if you would like an agency followed up.
How are students with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP’s) being supported?
We have followed the government guidance on making appropriate provision for those students who have an EHCP, whether that is in school or at home. We have undertaken a risk assessment with the Local Authority to make sure that each student’s provision can be adapted, and where specific interventions or provisions cannot be made due to the school’s closure, that this will not have a significant impact on the student. All students with an EHCP are being monitored weekly by the SEND Support Team and Achievement Leaders, with any concerns being raised with the SENDco and the Senior Leadership Team.
Annual Reviews that were due during this period have initially been postponed until we receive further information from the Government. Where it is possible to undertake a remote Annual Review via telephone and email, we will discuss this option with the parent/carer. In some cases, it is not always possible to capture the student’s thoughts and wishes without meeting in person, and it is for this reason that an Annual Review may be postponed.
Schools and parents/carers are still able to request a Education Health Care Needs Assessment during this time. Please contact the SENDco to discuss and/or visit the Suffolk Local Offer website: https://infolink.suffolk.gov.uk/kb5/suffolk/infolink/localoffer.page?localofferchannelnew=1
How are students with social, emotional and mental health needs being supported?
Students with previously identified needs are being contacted regularly by phone and email for check ins and to see if any further support is needed. Referrals to outside agencies can continue as normal, as is the work of agencies such as the school nursing team, the diversion programme and mental health practitioners. Parents can contact the school to request wellbeing support if it is needed.
SENDIASS Special Educational Needs and Disability Information and Support Service. https://www.suffolksendiass.co.uk/
Explaining Corona Virus to younger children: https://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/
Keep Moving Suffolk: Local support for staying active. https://www.keepmovingsuffolk.com/
Suffolk Parent Carer Network: https://www.facebook.com/suffolkpcn/
Suffolk Local Offer: Suffolk’s local offer on Facebook, including tips and videos for supporting students with additional needs whilst learning at home. https://www.facebook.com/SuffolkLO
If a student is learning at a significantly slower rate than age-related expectations, or if they have a disability which acts as a barrier to their educational progress and attainment, then they are considered to have a Special Educational Need.
Students identified with SEND that need support over and above that which is normally available to students in the classroom through high quality teaching and differentiation are termed 'SEND Support'. Students with additional SEND needs that are effectively supported within the classroom and require no additional intervention will continue to be monitored on the Additional Needs register. Parents will be informed if their child or young person is being monitored for SEND.
Special Educational Needs are grouped into 4 main categories of need;
- Communication and interaction (e.g.: Autism, Aspergers or speech and language needs)
- Cognition and learning (e.g.: Moderate and Severe learning difficulties, Profound and Multiple learning difficulties, and specific needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia)
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (e.g.: Mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression, or ADD, ADHD or attachment disorder)
- Sensory and/or physical (e.g.: Disabilities that hinders or prevents them from using the facilities normally provided, for example: Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, a Multi-sensory impairment or specific physical disability)
SEND will be identified by reviewing report cards and school tracking data over a period of time, and where appropriate, supported by evidence from additional testing and through focussed classroom observation. Subject teachers and/or the tutor team will work with parents and the student in the first instance to address any concerns, referring to the SENDco if it is felt that they require more support than is provided in the classroom through high quality teaching and differentiation.
Some learners will need to access to additional support to help them make progress. Support can be provided in many different ways, and subject teachers and the SENDco will work with the student and parents to determine what is the best approach to take.
Support might be provided within classroom or in small groups led by a teacher, learning intervention officer or a learning assistant. It may be for a short or longer period of time and will be regularly monitored by the class teachers and SENCo through a cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' which typically lasts 6 weeks (a half term) in the first instance. Staff will work with parents and the child or young person to plan support and they will be informed about the interventions offered and how they are making progress.
At Castle Manor Academy, we follow The SEND Code of Practice which is the legal framework for supporting students with SEND. This states that we have to take a 'graduated approach' to providing support, making necessary adjustments to the way that we teach and support our students as far as is possible within our resources. We use the term 'waves' to show the level of support that a student might have.
Quality first teaching
Subject teachers plan for all students within their class, taking account of their targets and any additional needs. Teachers consider their seating carefully, the resources that are used, methods of communication with students, pace of lessons and home learning.
The class teacher, academic tutor or learning intervention officer will discuss progress with the child/ young person and their parents and plan to provide additional support within the classroom, to help secure progress and to close gaps in learning. Support will be closely monitored by the subject teacher following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. If no progress is made or further strategies are needed, they will discuss next steps with the SENDCo. Parents will be informed about any outcomes and next steps will be planned with the student's involvement.
The class teacher, academic tutor or learning intervention officer, with the SENDCo, may plan extra interventions to support learning if it is felt that a learner needs different or additional support than what is happening within the classroom. This support could be, for example, extra support from a learning support assistant or learning intervention officer. This provision will be discussed and planned with the child/ young person and their parents and progress will be monitored by the staff in conjunction with the SENDCo in the form of a Support and Success Plan. Support will be closely monitored by the subject teacher and SENDco following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. At this point, if the student requires support over and above that which is normally provided, they will be added to the school's 'SEND Support' register.
In a very small number of cases, it might be suggested that a student receives very specialist small-group intervention. This is usually considered for Key Stage Three students (years 7, 8 or 9) who continue to find it more difficult to access the curriculum alongside their peer group, or who find transition to the secondary phase more challenging than other children of the same age.
Students are considered for intensive intervention if more than one cycle of quality first teaching and/or Wave 1 and 2 interventions have not been successful, or if they have a specific diagnosis that has specialist recommendation for small-group provision. The group is staffed by a very experienced teacher of SEND, the SENDco and SEND Support Staff, and the curriculum is tailored to the specific needs of the students currently attending the intervention. Students tend to receive their English, Maths, Science and Humanities lessons within the support base and attend arts, technology-based subjects, PE and tutor groups with their peers. Transition back to a fully integrated timetable is a key part of the intensive intervention with social and emotional needs considered at every stage.
At Key Stage 4 (years 10-11) some students with SEND will have a tailored curriculum with a balanced course-load for GCSE. Extra Study sessions will be provided for those who need additional support over and above classroom differentiation and may be provided in the support base.
If a child or young person continues to make little or no progress over a sustained period of time, the SENDCo will seek advice from outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapists or the Educational Psychologist. In this case, the child or young person and their parents will be asked to discuss the next steps at a meeting and asked to give written consent for external agencies to work with their child. The external agencies and the school will then work together to plan the best ways to provide support. Support will be closely monitored by the SENDco following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. If the school feels that the student requires additional provision and external support over the long term (usually one or more Key Stages) then it might be appropriate to consider and Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). This is a legal document that outlines the needs of the student, and the provision and strategies that will be put in place by the wider team working with that child or young person.
The Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) puts parents, children, young people and families at the very centre of the assessment and planning process, to make sure that their views and wishes are not only heard but also understood and acted upon. It is a statutory recognition that a child or young person needs specific long-term support in their learning. The EHCP is for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities and where an assessment of education, health and social care needs has been agreed by a multi-agency group of professionals and passed by Suffolk County Council. Parents as well as the child or young person themselves are able to request that they are assessed for an EHCP as well as the school. Further independent advice should be sought from SENDIASS
The progress of students with SEND is monitored using the same assessment and reporting processes as the rest of the school, with additional opportunities to discuss and contribute to the student's Support and Success Plan on Academic Tutoring Days and throughout the term as required. As a school, we check that the provision for children with Special Educational Needs is closely monitored to check whether we are using strategies and resources that help these students to overcome their individual barriers to learning and make progress. We use learning walks, lesson observations, feedback from specialists and the close analysis of performance data as evidence of whether a student is making progress and if additional support it having a positive effect. Where progress does not happen as planned or if a student's needs change, we re-evaluate their support and adjust our provision.
If you have a concern about your child’s learning and progress the first person to speak to is their academic tutor, usually at Academic Tutoring Day or at any other time by appointment. They may consult with other members of staff who work with your child and the SENDco and then speak to you again to discuss the next steps.
At Castle Manor Academy, SEND support is tailored to the needs of individual students. Interventions are delivered for a specific period of time in order to close the gap in students' learning. Interventions will change and/or cease if progress has been made, the attainment gap has closed or if they are no longer effective and another intervention needs to be considered. Some of the interventions offered are:
• Guided reading and writing (a booster class for small groups)
• Letters and sounds (phonics catch up) • PiXL Code (Phonics for secondary students)
• Catch up Literacy (an intensive reading programme)
• Toe by toe (an intensive spelling and reading programme)
• Speech and Language therapy exercised (following targets set by the Speech and Language Therapist) • Specific exercises to develop fine motor skills (helping with handwriting and practical tasks)
• Talk Boost (to develop social skills and speech)
• Springboard Maths sessions
• Working memory classes
• Lego therapy
• Beyond Transition (social skills programme for Y7 and Y8 students)
Support is allocated by the SENDco in conjunction with curriculum team leaders, learning intervention officers, behaviour support officers and Achievement Leaders. When deciding what support is most appropriate for a student, we consider:
• The child’s progress over a period of time and attainment within age-related expectations;
• Current level of additional support staff within that students' class;
• Identified gaps within children’s knowledge, understanding or skills;
• Expertise of school staff and availability of staffing;
• Time available within the school day, enhancement time and within GCSE and other courses;
• Any professional advice given by other specialists.
At Castle Manor we are very experienced at welcoming new students, both into Year 7 as the first year of the secondary phase, and those students who join us mid-year. We have a clear programme of transition which is tailored to individual student needs. We are also experienced at supporting our students as they take their next steps after their time at Castle Manor, supported by Mr Course, the Pathways manager. Transition planning starts in Year 6 with our open evening, and additional visits to the school on a normal working day. Some students with additional needs might need further familiarisation lunches in the Summer Term prior to Transition Week which are organised by the SENDco and primaries with parents. Transition continues into the start of Year 7 with SEND Support Team being focused initially on settling in and establishing expectations and routines with SEND students. If you would like to book an appointment to speak to the SENDco about your child or young person's additional needs prior to starting at Castle Manor Academy, please call 01440 705501 or email:
The SENDco regularly works with staff on developing their knowledge of specific needs and strategies for providing quality first SEND teaching in the classroom and additional interventions. Staff may receive specific training from external agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy Service, Educational Psychology and County Inclusive Support Service (who focus on Autism, Asperger's and behavioural needs).
Speak to your child's form tutor -----> Speak to their Achievement Leader ------> Speak to the SENDco
At Castle Manor Academy the SENDCo is:
Mrs Jennifer Beaton
Castle Manor Academy
Tel 01440 705501
Suffolk County Council currently provides additional funding for children with SEND called 'higher tariff needs funding' (HTN). Schools must apply for this funding on a termly basis and it is for the small percetnage of students with more complex SEND. This is spent on providing high quality learning intervention officers, teaching staff specialising in SEND needs who work with students in the support base and in delivering specific interventions. Funding can also be used to provide Educational Psychology assessments and additional resources which are not usually provided in schools as part of routine assessments and provision.
The local offer is the range of services and support available throughout Suffolk. The local offer can be found here
If for any reason you have a concern about your child, the first point of call is always your child’s academic tutor or Achievement Leader. Depending upon the nature of your enquiry, they might refer you on to the SENDco. If they are unable to solve the issue for you, please make an appointment via the school office to speak with the Assistant Head of School: Intervention & Inclusion (Mrs Horne) or the Headteacher, Mrs Whitcombe.
Mrs J Beaton
Associate Assistant Head;SENDCO; Designated Safeguarding Deputy; Teacher of Humanities