At Warneford School we believe that all students are individuals. Some will find learning easy, others will find it hard. All students will have good and bad days. The following information explains how we try to help students with any problems they may have. It also explains how you can help too.
How can we help? We can support students in lots of ways. First of all, we try to make all lessons interesting and try to involve all the students as much as possible. As teachers it is our job to understand that children may have different learning preferences – visual, auditory and kinaesthetic – and try to vary our teaching approaches to match these various needs. If you were to watch a lesson it would probably be much more “active” than the lessons you had at school!
You would also notice that some lessons have two adults in the room. Children will soon get used to having the class teacher plus a teaching assistant present. This is one way that we can support students – by putting extra help in the classroom. The teaching assistant can work with the students in a variety of ways such as helping them to understand the work they are doing, or taking small groups/individuals out of the class to work on specific skills/concepts, scribing, paired reading, differentiating resources. Teaching Assistants are valued members of staff. They work effectively and closely with class teachers, planning and often delivering lessons. Higher Level Teaching Assistants are able to cover mainstream classes for teachers. We currently have two Teaching Assistants who have achieved the Higher Level Teaching Assistant qualification.
Some students find reading, writing and maths very hard. We have intervention packages that can be used either in the main class or sometimes in small groups or even on a 1:1 basis.
If you look around Warneford you will see a number of computer suites that the students can make good use of. Computers are now being widely used to support pupils in their day-to-day lessons. If children have access to a computer at home this will be a considerable help to their studies as they progress through the school.
Who do we help? Many of you may feel that it is unlikely that your child will ever need support from the SEND department and this may be the case, but you may be surprised to learn that statistically 5% of all students will at some stage or other require extra help at school. This may take the form of learning, emotional, medical or behavioural support. We do not know at this stage if our son or daughter may break their arm just before some crucial exams and need a scribe or the use of a laptop. We do not know how they might cope with a family bereavement or break up and may need the support of a mentor. This support may be short term or it may be long term but you can be assured that the support will suit the need and that you will be informed at all stages. Communication between home and school is vital.
How do we select students for extra help? We work closely with all the local Primary Schools to find out which students need extra help in Years 5 and 6 so we can continue this in Year 7 if necessary. Some parents of Primary aged students may also wish to visit Warneford with their children so that the transfer to secondary school is eased. Most students with special needs will be provided with a Provision Map. This is written by the Special Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator, using information from parents, primary school and outside agencies and given to all class teachers. It is a working document and it is viewed with considerable importance by all staff. It will provide information on the child’s problems, targets and guidelines for support. These Provision Maps are reviewed at least twice a year, usually at Parents’ Consultation Evenings/Days. Children with Statements of Special Educational Needs will be entitled to Annual Reviews, again co-ordinated by the SENDCO. From Year 9 onwards these reviews will consider post-16 options.
What else do we do? Every Teaching Assistant is linked to a department and works within it to adapt, amend and differentiate materials for the benefit of all students.
We provide resources and guidance to class teachers to help them meet the needs of all the students in their classes.
- I attend every parent-teacher consultation day/evening, offering a drop in facility for any parent to talk through any problems.
- We can offer 1:1 support to SEND students during registration.
- We can offer “mentors” to students with behavioural and/or emotional difficulties.
- We can offer small group withdrawal sessions for students with specific literacy and/or numeracy problems.
How can you help your child at home? We are often asked this question! One of the most important ways is to communicate with the school and encourage your child to take full part in the school’s extra curricular activities and to support the school’s rules and regulations.
Try to attend the consultation evenings/days and check through your child’s homework diary. Perhaps keep a copy of your child’s timetable and homework timetable.
If your child is finding any particular skill difficult, such as reading then the best way to improve is to practise. We have seen so many students improve a huge amount with their reading when their parents commit themselves to spending 15 minutes a day reading with their child. To help you do this we have a very well stocked library that your child is able to use. We can help them choose a book to make sure that it is not too easy or too hard. Alternatively, we can provide a borrowing service whereby your child can borrow a book from Room 14 (my office). Once you have the book, find a quiet place in your home to hear your child read (Away from the TV). Let them read to you; if they get stuck try to help them sound out the word and also use clues in any pictures or in the sentence that might help them work out what the word should be. A lot of praise for any success always helps too, and try not to tell them off if they get it wrong! We can give you a small notebook to write any comments in that you may want the teacher to know, and perhaps your child could make a note of the name of the book they have and which pages they have read.
If your child struggles with spelling: encourage them to pick out 6 mistakes from their writing and use the LOOK, COVER, WRITE, CHECK method to learn them and perhaps you could test them at the end of the week.
If your child struggles with maths, encourage them to learn their times tables. They should concentrate on one table at a time. They need to write them out clearly. Again, test them at the end of the week.
What now? Your child may never require any special attention from me or my department, but I hope that you can be reassured that if they do at any time we will be there for them whatever their need.
If you require any further information, please feel free to contact me (Mrs Hills, SENDCO) at Warneford School.