The SEND department at St Mary’s College strives to achieve the following:
- Create a secure learning environment where all students’ needs are met and where success and achievement are recognised and praised in ALL areas of the school.
- Provide staff with appropriate training and development opportunities to ensure quality first practice when working with students with SEND.
- Develop a curriculum which is consistent with all learners, whilst allowing students with SEND the needs, knowledge and cultural capital to become independent and resilient learners and to ultimately succeed in life.
The SEND department at St Mary’s College is inclusive, supportive, ambitious, innovative and outward looking. Our provision is firmly rooted in our belief that our school is a place where everyone is treated with dignity, with respect and is of equal worth. We continue to develop a highly effective learning community for students with SEND where all staff understand the responsibility they hold to meet the needs of students with SEND and where inclusivity is fundamental to the academic and social development of the students in our care.
The Catholic life of the school permeates all that we do and this is consistently evident in the actions of our most vulnerable students who embody our school ethos to treat others as you would like to be treated. Our vision is driven by our relentless encouragement of all students with SEND to recognise their unique value within our learning community and to understand how their individual talents enhance our school.
SEND curriculum implementation
- Within the SEND department we deliver a bespoke Core curriculum to our students with the most complex needs which accounts for 50% of their timetable in Year 7 and Year 8.
- The SMC Learning Cycle is embedded in the delivery of our Core curriculum.
- A knowledge rich curriculum is devised to include the development of disciplinary skills (which are fundamental for students with SEND and cannot be left to chance) and the development of core knowledge.
- The Year 7/8 Core Group curriculum Learning Journeys align with the mainstream Humanities curriculum in terms of topic sequencing with a heavy emphasis on literacy skills. The recent implementation of ‘Rodocodo’,(a programming/coding tool) is developing students’ independent learning and problem -solving skills.
- Content in Core Group lessons is reduced to ensure sequencing and alignment with mainstream lessons is achieved.
- In Year 9/10/11 bespoke pathways are offered to students with SEND to ensure they still access and engage with our curriculum with the support of ALP (intervention to assist with skill acquisition for English language GCSE), a Life skills qualification and the opportunity to work towards the DofE award.
- Assessments are adapted appropriately and completed in a timely and supportive manner to allow students with SEND the opportunity to demonstrate the recall of prior knowledge, current knowledge and the application of knowledge and skills.
- Within the wider school, there is consistency in terms of which year group Teaching Assistants are attached to and the departments where they provide support to ensure the appropriate skills and expertise are deployed to best support students with SEND in accessing a broad and balanced mainstream curriculum.
- Enrichment opportunities are plentiful and promote teamwork, communication and determination.
Whole school SEND support:
- Regular whole staff INSET takes place with a clear SEND focus to ensure staff are confident and consistent regarding their provision for students with SEND.
- Clear guidance is shared on a half-termly basis with all staff regarding where to access information on SEND students to ensure appropriate teacher-led support is given consistently via quality first teaching.
- Weekly updates on individual students are shared with their specific teachers via email to ensure a continued collaborative and flexible approach to ensuring support is consistent and relevant.
- Outcomes and key action points from Annual Review meetings are shared on a weekly basis via email with specific teachers of individual students to ensure needs are met in an up to date and appropriate manner.
- SEND is a standing agenda item for weekly departmental meetings and briefings – guidance is emailed each week to Heads of Department to ensure consistency in SEND agenda item discussed.
- TA support in lessons with students who have an EHCP ensures collaborative interaction between the SEND department and the wider curriculum which is further enhanced by lesson drop ins and observations, discussions with students with SEND and positive communication with Heads of Department and Key Stage Coordinators to ensure departmental planning is appropriately differentiated to ensure all can access and engage with our broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum.
- Fortnightly meetings with each Head of Year take place to assess and adjust the provision and support for key students with SEND in order to remove any barriers to learning and/or behaviour for learning.
- Close working relationship between SEND and Safeguarding teams to develop appropriate support packages for our students with SEMH needs.
- Post – 16 SEND support is personalised and includes email check ins, face to face check ins, Teaching Assistant support in lessons where required and regular updates and support strategies are communicate to teachers of students with SEND.
- We have a Student Support Hub based in the SM6 building specifically for 6th form students where SEND staff are based throughout the day for student drop ins.