Information for Parents and Carers

At The Heights we understand how important it is to ensure that Parents and Carers can be provided with all the information they need to help our students with their learning and development. To help you stay up to date with the latest information from The Heights, please see below for a collection of the most commonly used links for Parents and Carers within our website:

Leading Parent Partnership Award – LPPA

LPPA-2017-20

What we had to do to achieve the award?

The LPPA is a nationally recognized award achievable by schools who work very closely with the families of their pupils.  The assessment is made by an external advisor.

The LPPA consists of ten evidence-based Objectives which schools must meet to get the award.

  1.   The school demonstrates a commitment to work towards the Leading Parent Partnership Award.
  2. The school makes and implements effective plans to achieve and maintain the Leading Parent Partnership Award.
  3.   The school is a welcoming and friendly place for parents.
  4. The school promotes an awareness of and participation in lifelong learning opportunities available in school and in the community to all groups of parents.
  5.   The school holds and actively promotes enrichment opportunities or events for joint parent/child participation.
  6.   The school provides good induction for all new parents.
  7.   The school provides parents with relevant and user-friendly guidance and information to help them support their children’s learning.
  8.   The school produces and implements parent friendly policies to establish effective home school-links and improve pupil/student attendance, punctuality, behaviour and progress and positive participation in school.
  9. The school provides good support for transition for parents when their children leave the school.
  10. The school evaluates performance against the Leading Parent Partnership Award.

LPPA Achieved

On Friday 20th October 2017 an assessor from The Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA) visited school.  

We are proud to announce we achieved this nationally recognised award which looks at how well we work with parents and carers, how welcoming the school is, and how we support parents in helping their child.  It was a very thorough but rewarding process. The assessor was impressed by how well we communicate and support our families, our induction and transition procedures, and by the fact that LPPA is embedded in the School Development Plan.

The Heights Free school is proud of its working relationships with parents and carers. We want families to feel comfortable, supported and happy to contact, visit and spend time in school working in partnership with our staff.

Thanks to the parents who gave up their time to speak with the assessor and to the students, who, as always, spoke with enthusiasm about their school.

Tina Hulme

Nurture Manager

SEN Information Report September 2017

This policy was agreed by Governors May 2017

Aims and Objectives: ‘Every teacher is a teacher of SEN’

Aims:

  • Provide every child with access to a broad and balanced education. This is in line with the SEN Code of Practice, Jan 2015, the Equality Act 2010 and Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
  • Promote independence, equality, consideration and respect for others.
  • Ensure that we celebrate a wide range of success.
  • Support all students by offering multiple pathways for progression.
  • Create an ‘open-door’ ethos for parents/carers.

Objectives:

  • To ensure that referral information is detailed and that the needs of students are identified as early as possible.
  • Monitor progress of all pupils to ensure full potential.
  • Make appropriate provision within school to overcome barriers to learning by embedding the principles in the National Curriculum Inclusion Statement – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum . This will be co-ordinated by Senco but monitored and delivered by all staff to ensure targets are met and progress made.
  • To use our best endeavours to secure special educational provision for whom this is required in the four broad areas of need, i.e.

a) Communication and Interaction,

b) Cognition and Learning,
c) Social and Emotional Health
d) Sensory /Physical.

  • Include parents and carers to gain the best understanding of the student, involve them in all aspects of their education and feedback regularly on progress made.
  • Work with, and in support of, outside agencies when extra help is needed such as Educational Psychology, ELCAS or Speech and Language services.
  • Encourage students by offering the opportunity to voice their own opinions
    and encourage positive relationships with peers and staff.

What are special educational needs (SEN) or a disability?

The SEND Code of Practice (2014) states

  • Special Educational Needs
    A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of the others of the same age.
    Provision is additional to, or different from, that made for others of the same age in mainstream education.
    The Equality Act 2010 states that
  • Disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a a long-term
    and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

What kinds of special educational needs do we make provision for in our school?

The Heights is an Alternative Provision Free School. We cater for young people at KS4 needing to be re-engaged with education by providing a predominantly practical and vocational range of courses underpinned by English, Maths, ICT and Functional Skills. We are committed to an inclusive education and aim to provide personalised learning to meet the needs of individuals and developing personal progress.

The Heights houses a Nurture Provision for KS2 and 3 pupils which provides a short term intervention strategy addressing barriers to learning arising from social, emotional and / or mental health issues.

How does our school know if your child needs extra help?

We liaise closely with our referring schools to find out as much background information as we can about your child before they begin. We aim to be aware of their individual needs and any issues, academic or personal, that they may have already experienced or are likely to experience.
The Senco is responsible for coordinating all support for pupils with SEND to ensure that all pupils have access to an appropriate curriculum.

We know when pupils need help if:

  • concerns are raised by subject staff, parent or pupil
  • limited progress is being made
  • behaviour patterns suggest that the pupil is struggling.

On arrival at school, a number of tests are carried out, including WRIT, WRAT 4, TOWRE, CTOPP and Digit Memory, all of which highlight potential strengths and discrepancies in the pupils’ learning and to help us plan appropriate strategies. Nurture provision undertake a Boxall Profile and a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.

Who can you speak to at our school if you think your child may have special educational needs?

If you have concerns about your child, you can come and discuss them at any time. You can talk to any of the following people:

  • Headteacher – Gary Holding
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator – Nicola Graves
  • Manager of Nurture Provision – Tina Hulme

The Senco will ensure that parents/carers are involved in your child’s learning, kept informed about the support your child is getting, included in reviews of progress and included in planning.

How do we know what progress your child is making and how will we keep you informed?

We are committed to giving your child every opportunity to achieve. Using the results from early testing, support will be put in place in the classroom and individually if necessary, to help your child make the best possible progress. Access to our dedicated Learning Support area is always available if extra support is needed on a short or longer term intervention. Access arrangements can be put in place for external exams if necessary.

How are decisions made about the type and how much support my child will receive?

  • Teaching is differentiated to match the needs of the pupil. Following the assessment process recommendations are made to the relevant teaching staff.
  • Class sizes are small to ensure that all our pupils are given maximum attention and support.
  • Targets are set and reviewed regularly.
  • Dedicated learning support is available and additional provision such as a Dyslexia specialist, Counsellor, Educational Psychologist may be necessary.

If, through discussion with yourself, the Senco and other staff in the school, it is agreed that the school cannot meet your child’s needs through existing resources, an application may be made to the Local Authority for an Education, Health and Care Plan. This process can be found on the local offer website.

How will our school help you to support your child’s learning?

We actively encourage you as a parent to be involved with your child’s learning. Staff are always available to discuss your child’s programmes of study and work is available for your child to undertake at home. For further details, contact the school.

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessible through our school?

We work closely with and have access to the following agencies to support your child’s needs:

  • Access to ISS and Educational Psychologist if appropriate
  • Careers advice
  • Specialist teacher of Dyslexia
  • Catch up programmes for Numeracy and Literacy
  • On site Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support
  • Access to School Nurse
  • Brook
  • Lifeline
  • Anger Management

How are staff in school supported to work with children with special educational needs and what training do they have?

We have an ongoing programme of training and development available in our school for all staff.

  • Senco, Nicola Graves, holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination qualification and is a specialist Dyslexia and Speech and Language teacher
  • All staff undertake ongoing training in relation to safeguarding, behaviour management and disability awareness.
  • All staff are trained in Team Teach for de-escalation.
  • Fully qualified on-site Counsellor available for drop-in sessions or a series of arranged appointments.
  • All staff are aware of issues surrounding SpLD such as Speech and Language, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, ASD.
  • Nurture provision houses both KS2 and KS3 and holds the prestigious Marjorie Boxall Award.

How will our school ensure that your child is included in activities outside the classroom, including physical activities and school trips?

Activities and school trips are available to all pupils in our school and may be connected to subject area, for example Outdoor Education and Drama, or as part of our Reward Trip scheme at the end of a term or half-term. A risk assessment will always be carried out and procedures put in place to ensure that no child will be unable to participate. Physical activities are included as part of the curriculum and cover a wide range of sports and exercise. Extra-curricular activities take place on selected days after school.

How will our school support your child’s overall wellbeing?

We have a very robust pastoral system beginning with transportation to and from school

  • form tutors who are responsive to any issues in the first instance
  • a strong PSHCE curriculum addressing the needs and questions of many of our young people
  • a full-time onsite Counsellor who is available for single or multiple sessions in a confidential environment
  • on site staff specialist social welfare staff
  • links with many external agencies including Brook, School Nurse and Engage.
  • Pupil Voice whereby all opinions can be shared and discussed
  • a rigid Anti-bullying policy
  • phone calls home.

How accessible is our school both indoors and outdoors for children with special needs?

Our school is fully accessible and compliant with the Equality Act of 2010, with disabled parking bays and ramp access to the school. Internally we have lifts and specialist changing rooms and toilet facilities. All signage is in Braille and we have interactive technology used throughout the building.

How will our school prepare and support your child when joining our school and when transferring to a new school?

  • Before your child joins our school in Year 10 or Year 11, parents and pupils are invited for an informal tour of the building and to discuss any concerns that you may have.
  • This is a good opportunity to meet staff and pupils and discuss subjects, timetables and any issues arising, such as any support the young person has received or may need while at school.
  • When pupils move on, a holistic and multi-agency approach is employed to ensure that the best decisions are made for the young person and their plans for the future, including parental input.
  • We have close contacts with colleges and knowledge of courses. We encourage and support our pupils to visit colleges to find out what is available and also support them through the interview process.
  • If the pupil is KS2 or KS3 and on a short term stay at the Nurture provision, a home visit will take place and discussion with the feeder school. Pupils returning to mainstream will undergo their own transition with a key worker from their mainstream school.

Report written by Nicola Graves BA(Hons), NASC, AMBDA. September 2017
To be reviewed September 2018

Local offer

If you have concerns relating to our school provision, please speak to the Headteacher or Senco. The formal complaints procedure can be accessed on our website.
Blackburn with Darwen’s local offer sets out a range of support and services available to you and your child and can be accessed at

www.bwd-localoffer.org.uk .