‘Special Educational Needs and Disabilities’ (SEND) at Woodrush High School works from an area of the school known as ‘Learning Support’. Learning Support is made up of a base of classrooms and offices where specialist staff are based and where and from which pupils access varying forms of support at all hours of the school day.

As a mainstream high school, the basic premise is that all pupils access all lessons. We offer many degrees of support though, and work in partnership with all school staff, as well as many stakeholders and outside agencies. At the forefront of this are the relationships we build with our pupils and their families and carers.

You can find the details of how we work in our ‘School SEN Information Report’ but here is a summary:

What we do

  • Coordinate support for pupils, proactively and reactively. We monitor pupils’ progress and wellbeing in many different ways. We are available to pupils and their parents and carers at all hours of the school day, and beyond where necessary. We also liaise with school staff, families and outside agencies to determine how best to support our pupils, disseminate information and strategies to teachers and support staff, and analyse progress data regularly to identify where and how we can better support our pupils.
  • We review statements of Special Educational Need and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and convert statements to EHCPs. We also meet parents to discuss the provision for and progress of pupils at the ‘SEN Support’ stage of the SEN register. This process includes target setting for the coming 12 months based on staff, parent/carer and pupil feedback, as well as identifying more immediate requirements and actions.
  • Transition between key stages is of enormous importance to pupils and our focus is on supporting them through transition with the least anxiety. Our involvement ranges from the Open Evening in the autumn of Year 6 and visits even prior to that, to supporting pupils’ applications to post Key Stage 5 providers and several stages in between.
  • Parents’ Evenings happen throughout the year and the school SENCo is available by appointment on these evenings as well as on a drop-in basis to talk through any concerns you may have. However, you are not limited to these times to make contact!
How we do it
  • Support for pupils can take many different forms. From initial identification of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, through to supporting those who have been identified as requiring additional support since their earliest years, we write a ‘pupil profile’ for each of our SEND learners to outline to staff what the barriers to learning may be, and how best to support them. We invite young people and their parents/carers to contribute to this process and also disseminate and carry out outside agency recommendations as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Fixed-term intervention lessons form a part of our provision too, the need for which are determined on a case by case basis according to the assess-plan-do-review cycle. We have an Intervention Coordinator and a Student Counsellor each trained in several aspects of learning where pupils tend to require additional support such as phonics and spelling as well as social, emotional and mental health support.
Who we are
  • The school’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), Mrs A. Stafford, is a qualified SENDCo (University of Birmingham, 2015) and also a French and Spanish teacher who started working at the school as a newly qualified teacher in 2004.
  • The school’s dedicated SEN Student Support (Key Worker) and Family Liaison officers are Miss M. Garratt and Mrs D. Gittins.
  • Our Intervention Coordinator is Mrs J. Andrews
  • Our Student Counsellor is Mrs S. Bromwich Lee
  • We have a team of Learning Support Assistants who have a range of qualifications, experience and interests. Between them they support our SEND learners in various capacities, ranging from a 1:1 basis for our highest needs pupils, to bespoke support packages including physiotherapy, literacy, numeracy and Autistic Spectrum Condition support sessions.
  • We work on a weekly basis with our Educational Psychologist and specialist teachers from the Learning Support Team, both of Babcock Prime (formerly the Worcestershire Local Authority Children’s Services department)
  • We also work closely with Heads of Year, Progress Leaders, the Exams Officers, Student Services/First Aid (Mrs J.Locke), the Personal Welfare Intervention Coordinator (Mrs J. Peters) and the Attendance Officer (Mrs J. Davies) within school
  • And last but not least, our pupils! Some of our pupils access Learning Support hourly, needing at times to check in with us on a lesson-by-lesson basis, others just at unstructured times of the school day, whilst some do so according to their timetable whilst others only on an occasional basis or when using the ‘time out’ facility.
The links we have
In addition to the stakeholders and colleagues motioned above we also regularly liaise with the following professionals;
  • Medical schools including the Worcestershire Medical Education Team, James Brindley school (Birmingham) and Triple Crown school (Solihull)
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and community paediatricians
  • The Umbrella Pathway (NHS)
  • Local Authority SEN teams- including The Worcestershire SEND team and Birmingham SENAR
  • NHS Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Forward Thinking Birmingham
  • The Worcestershire Autism team
  • Primary (feeder) schools
And periodically,
  • Speech and Language therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Outreach specialist teachers from Victoria and Chadsgrove schools
  • Oncologists
  • Education transport
  • Our SEN Governor, Mrs J. Dyer

Contact us
We would suggest that you should initially contact us by phone or email;
SENDCo, Mrs A. Stafford astafford@woodrushhigh.worcs.sch.uk
Student Support and Family Liaison,
   Mrs M McCarthy ext 7115 (Mon-Wed-Fri)
   Mrs D. Gittins ext 7117 (Tues-Wed-Thurs)

Click here to read the SEND Information report September 2016

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