Student Support and Development Department (SEND)
‘At Greatfields School we work hard to remove barriers to learning and our ethos aims to enable all children the opportunity to achieve their academic, emotional and social potential.’
At Greatfields School we pride ourselves in providing the highest quality of education for all our students. We understand that learning and progress is not exclusive to the classroom but instead encompasses all areas of school life to support the development of a well rounded individual, ready to face the challenges of the real world. We recognise that children are individuals that respond differently to learning and make progress at different rates and it’s our job to support their individual needs and help them realise their potential.
Therefore we have a team of staff who work very closely with subject leaders and teachers to ensure that the curriculum is suitably differentiated to allow students with SEN to access the learning in an inclusive environment. We endeavor to meet the individual needs of our students through the mainstream curriculum but where appropriate we provide additional support and intervention to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Definition of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND):
Students have special educational needs if they experience a barrier to their learning and progress in school. This may require for an additional educational provision to be implemented ensuring that all pupils have an equal opportunity to make progress.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions
Under the currents statutory guidelines SEND is divided into four broad areas of need and it is important to note that a pupil’s needs may cross one or more of the following:
Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Sensory and/or physical needs
How Will Greatfields School Support Your Child?
The school will give full regard to the guidelines set out in statute and the LEA’s Inclusion Policy. Our Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Policy details how the school the will do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any student who has special educational needs and that those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them.
As a mainstream school your child will experience an engaging, diverse and relevant curriculum in which they will develop the necessary skills to access the learning. The majority of students with SEND will follow an academic pathway at both KS3 and KS4 with additional support to ensure they have an equal opportunity to make progress.
For a small group of identified students with more complex needs, we have created a vocational pathway that allows pupils to develop skills that will help them into post-16 education at college, university or future employment.
‘All teachers at Greatfields School are teachers of SEND’
As an inclusive school we strongly endorse the view that students should be taught by subject experts within the classroom. All teachers take into account the individual needs of their pupils and respond accordingly by differentiating resources, providing additional support and discussing strategies with the learner.
Greatfields uses a ‘graduated response’ to SEND, this starts with classroom interventions and high quality first teaching. Additional support and expert advice may be taken to support your child, further details can be found in the school SEND Information Report.
At Greatfields School we understand that a school curriculum cannot be complete without opportunities to engage with new and meaningful experiences. We have organised numerous trips to the theatre to watch musicals: Wicked, Matilda and Christmas Carol; visits to museums, galleries, universities and sports events have allowed our students to understand and appreciate the world around them.
Additionally, we have developed numerous extra-curriculum activities and clubs that take place after school; these include: Art, Debating, STEM, Newspaper, Dance, Drama, Football, Rugby, Table Tennis, and Athletics, to name a few. All students are encouraged to join at least one club of their choice however the reality is that over 70% of SEND students attend one or more club every week. We have found this to have a huge impact in developing: confidence, resilience and self-esteem; resulting in a number of SEND students representing the school in Borough and National Sports competitions.
‘I have been on the student council for two years and at first I was very nervous but then I was encouraged to speak up…I am very proud that my peers and the school listened to my ideas about a lunch time games room’ (Alfie, Year 9 student)
We also have a vocal school council that listens to the student body and makes suggestions to improve school facilities. We are very proud of the numerous contributions made by our SEND students; their voices have been heard by their peers and SLT to support improvements around the school.
A collaborative relationship between the school, parents/carers and students
‘100% of parents reported: that they felt their child was taught well in this school and making good progress’ (Parent Survey 2019)
Greatfields School also recognises that parents and carers play a vital role in their child’s potential and progress in both school and later in life. Therefore the school will work closely with you to build a collaborative relationship where you will be actively involved in all transitional stages of your child’s learning. We will keep you informed about any specific developments in your child’s SEN and work together to ensure they feel safe, happy and valued at school. Your knowledge and experiences will enable us to create a shared vision to support your child throughout their school journey.
Our ultimate goal for all our students is to enable them to become independent individuals who feel able to have a voice in their wider community. Therefore students with SEND will be given ownership of their development and be encouraged to actively participate in all the decision-making processes, assessments and reviews.
‘I love coming to school and the lessons are really fun, we work hard and I have learnt lots of things…I also like that you can talk to teachers about anything and they always have time to listen to me.’ (Daniel, Year 7 student)