The Learning Support Department is led by the SENDCo, Isobel Carron who is supported by our SEND Manager, Heather Smith.
The Learning Support Department identify and work with students who have SEND, EAL or other barriers to learning. As a department we do not work in isolation and collaborate with the pastoral team and safeguarding team regularly to ensure we have a team working around the child.
Where to find us?
The Learning Support Department is based in D block bottom corridor; a location that is in the heart of the school. In line with our inclusive approach to Learning Support this area is only one aspect of our provision and the majority of our staff work across the school supporting students.
Identification of and provision for students with recognised Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities is overseen by Isobel Carron, who holds the National Award for SENd Coordination.
In addition to this we have a team of Learning Support Assistants that support students within lessons and deliver interventions; under the guidance of the SENDCo and SEND Manager. The team are also supported by our SEND administrator; Mrs Selvey.
This academic year we have improved the way in which we deliver and monitor provision to our students using the Waves of SEND support model. This model echoes a key message within the SEND Code of Practice, being that all teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils, including those who have additional needs. The Code of Practice makes it clear that the most effective provision in supporting students with additional needs is High Quality Teaching and therefore this must be the first and most important Wave of provision for all our students.
All students with an identified need should be receiving High Quality Teaching that is differentiated in delivery and/or outcomes.
A small percentage of our students will then require further intervention outside the classroom based on a specific need; an overview of what this may look like is below.
High quality teaching in the classroom, differentiated in delivery and/or outcomes
High quality teaching in the classroom plus large group targeted intervention which is assessed and tracked in line with the graduated response
Waves 1 and 2 plus small group or one to one support and possibly external support
EHCP - all three waves of support plus annual reviews with outcome based targets
Please be aware that waves indicate the provision needed to support your child and are not static. Whilst a child’s diagnosis or SEND will likely not change during their time at CHA, the provision they require to make progress and access school will be fluid and therefore they will move between waves.
We provide a number of interventions to support students who face barriers to their learning through a special educational need and these include interventions for literacy, numeracy, speech and language difficulties, nurture support, social skills programmes and mentoring.
All teachers are teachers of Special Educational Needs and we recognise the need for students to be supported through high quality teaching that is well differentiated and scaffolded as necessary to meet those needs. We provide teachers with training and information on all SEN needs throughout the year and support them through learning walks and student focused meetings where necessary.
Access arrangements for GCSE exams are tested for during Year 10 by a qualified assessor. Students are identified for these through staff referral and through staff referral and a normal way of working as evidenced in an ILP. It is very rare for students to be awarded exam access arrangements in year 11 if they have not been on the SEND register in lower school and has a documented history of need.
Chiltern Hills Academy has an EAL register which includes a three tier approach. Students at Tier 1 and 2 are able to progress with their English through Quality First Teaching strategies. Students at Tier 3 require more focused intervention sessions in small groups or 1:1 and also have an EAL passport.
If your child is EAL and you feel they need additional support with language acquisition please contact, Lead LSA for EAL, Carina Ghioni firstname.lastname@example.org and copy in your child’s Year Leader.
CHA is a fully accessible site which means we are able to offer places to students with a variety of physical disabilities and accessibility needs. If your child has a known physical disability and you would like to enquire about our accessibility or support please contact Lead LSA for Physical Disabilities, Mel Curtis email@example.com and copy in your child’s Year Leader.
Within the department we also have The Hub which is a safe space which provides a calm and safe environment for students requiring additional support to access education. The Hub is managed by Mrs Hare and supported by Mrs Phillips; who is a trained ELSA. Both members of the HUB team are also trained in delivering Nurture provision to our most vulnerable students. This is an essential part of our provision as an inclusive school and something we are extremely proud of.
The school is supported by a number of outside agencies which include educational psychology, specialist teachers, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, CAMHS outreach, family resilience and Aspire Pupil Referral Unit.