SEND Information Report

What do we mean by Ash Trees Academy SEND Information Report?

  • This is a report that encompasses everything we offer for your son/daughter with regards to their special needs.

How can my son/daughter attend Ash Trees Academy?

Ash Trees caters for pupils (in Reception to Year 6) with identified learning difficulties who already have an Educational Health and Care Plan. Pupils attending Ash Trees Academy will be working significantly below expected levels of cognition and learning.

If you would like your child to attend Ash Trees Academy, you should discuss this with their current school who may instigate a review of their Education Health and Care Plan. At the review meeting, yourself and the professionals involved will discuss possible next steps. Alternately, you may contact the SEN department of your local authority. They will then advise you on what steps should be taken. The local authority will sign post parents/carers to schools that can meet the needs of their child. Local Authorities will then consult with suitable provisions that they feel are able to meet the needs of your child.

Parents/carers/carers are always welcome to visit Ash Trees (where circumstances permit) and this is especially important before making a decision about a placement. We also provide virtual tours through our social media page. After having gained as much information as possible, parents/carers/carers should inform their Local Authority of their first choice of school. Once the placement is agreed by the SEN panel and through consultation with the school, we will work with you to support your child during this transition period.

How will my son/daughter be supported and prepared before attending/leaving Ash Trees Academy?

All pupils are entitled to an educational provision that enables them to achieve their very best; become confident individuals, develop independence skills that prepares them for adulthood and live fulfilling lives.

Transition programme – IN

  • The Head Teacher receives the Education, Health and Care Plans, from the Local Authority, for the children whom they have identified may be suitable for the provision provided by Ash Trees Academy.  Once these consultations have been reviewed and accepted, the transition process begins in earnest.
  • The process of transition for Nursery age into Reception at Ash Trees Academy is carried out over the duration of the Summer term, and some of the Spring term.   Staff from Ash Trees Academy visit feeder schools and nurseries to meet and discuss each individual child.
  • During this time, detailed files are given to Ash Trees by feeder schools containing essential pupil information to be shared with staff so that any appropriate needs can be catered for in advance (dietary, care, medical etc).  Once relevant information has been gathered, pupils from feeder schools begin to make short visits to Ash Trees.
  • During the middle of the summer term, parents/carers/carers of pupils are invited into schools for a meeting with staff to complete the relevant consent forms, order school uniform and receive information packs about the school.  Parents/carers will also be offered the opportunity to arrange an addition visit with their child.
  • Occasionally transitions into Ash Trees will occur at times other than the start of Reception.  Where this is the case, the same process will apply where appropriate with necessary adaptations made to suit different time frames.
  • Contact will be maintained with parents/carers/carers to update on progress.

Transition programme – OUT

  • Work on the transition of your son/daughter on to their next provision begins as early as Year 5.  This introduction usually takes place during the Year 5 Annual Review when staff from the SEN department and where possible, the secondary school attend.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to make contact with the preferred secondary school to attend an open day or to plan a specific visit. (Where circumstances allow, contingency arrangements will be made with the chosen school if required.)
  • During the Year 6 Education, Health and Care Plan, Annual Review your son/daughter will be provided with a transition action plan, enabling us to provide the relevant information to the new setting.
  • Staff from Abbey Hill Academy/chosen key stage 3 provision will come into school to meet the children in Year 6 and to also discuss their progress with the class staff.
  • Transition activities will take place in the Summer term to allow your child to familiarise themselves with the new, key stage 3 provision.
  • If at any point in this process it is felt that other professional input would be beneficial, then they will be contacted.  This usually takes the form of a Multi Disciplinary Team meeting.  This enables all those who are/will be involved in your son/daughter’s future placement to meet together to discuss how best to make their transition as smooth as possible.

How will my son/daughter be transported to Ash Trees Academy?

  • Most pupils have transport between Ash Trees and home provided by the Local Authority, but this can be dependent upon the distance from home and whether a pupil is capable of travelling independently.
  • Decisions about home to school transport are made by the Local Authority and parents/carers/carers should liaise with the education transport department about any specific questions. You can find more information located at: https://www.stockton.gov.uk/school-transport
  • You should meet the transport providers before your child starts travelling with them and there will be opportunities for you to share important information about your child with them.

How will the curriculum be matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

  • Class teachers plan lessons to match the needs and abilities of each pupil within their group.  Pupils will be given appropriate support in order that they experience an appropriate level of challenge and success. Each pupil is treated as an individual and as such, their actual timetable is personalised to their specific needs and abilities.
  • Teachers use a range of creative teaching strategies to engage all learners in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Ash Trees benefits from extensive resources both within the academy building and within its grounds. We also have established partnerships with external providers which further enhance the curriculum offered to pupils.
  • Our pupils benefit from access to a range of therapists including physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapist.  We also currently buy in services from an Occupational therapist (Future Steps).  A number of our staff also have qualifications allowing them to deliver a range of specialist therapies including rebound therapy and multi-sensory therapy.

How will I know my son/daughter is making progress at Ash Trees Academy?

  • Class teachers review the progress that the pupils make on a daily basis and communicate information to parents/carers through a variety of means including;
  • Evidence for Learning, Home/school diary where EFL is not appropriate, telephone conversations, parents/carers evening consultations and school assemblies, Annual Review meetings and Multi Disciplinary Team meetings.
  • Teachers track the academic progress of pupils through the Ascent Trust Framework and assessments are logged on Evidence for Learning. This information is monitored by middle and senior leaders to ensure that pupils are on track to meet expected progress.
  • Teachers set focussed targets for the pupils after consultation with parents/carers, called Personalised Learning Goals (PLGs). These priority targets are incorporated into the delivery of lessons and progress reported to parents/carers in a variety of ways. These targets are identified as outcomes in your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan. These outcomes are updated by the class teacher throughout the year as they are met, thus our ‘PLGS’ provide more up to date outcomes that will be incorporated into the Annual Review.
  • If teachers have any concerns about the progress a pupil is making, they will develop a plan to identify any barriers to learning and develop strategies and interventions to support progress. As an academy we recognise the contribution that parents/carers/carers and families can make to the progress of our pupils and as a result of consultation, homework or activities to be completed at home, may be also implemented.
  • Staff at Ash Trees welcome opportunities to show the fantastic achievements of our pupils and parents/carers are very welcome to come into school to discuss progress at any point in the school calendar, where possible.

What specialist resources, services and expertise are available at or accessed by Ash Trees Academy?

  • Physiotherapy – There are a team of NHS physiotherapists who work in school with identified pupils.  Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.
  • Speech and Language Therapy – The NHS provides speech and language therapists who works in school with identified pupils.  Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.   Speech and Language reports accompany annual reviews.
  • Occupational Therapy – The NHS provides occupational therapist when required. However, the academy recognises its many benefits particularly for our more challenging pupils, therefore we employ our own part time occupational therapist (Future Steps).   Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.   Occupational Therapists reports accompany annual reviews.
  • Additional therapies:
  • Massage – this therapy is mainly used for our profound and multiple needs pupils.
  • MOVE therapy – this provides targeted physio positions for individuals who require more input and specific individual programmes.
  • Rebound therapy – over recent years staff have been trained in rebound therapy (trampoline therapy).   It is currently used widely with our pupils who have profound and multiple needs.
  • Educational Psychologist – Depending on the need and referral made, there is access to both the NHS psychologist as well as the Educational Psychologist that the Academy commissions.
  • Visual and hearing impairment team
  • The specialist services that have not been mentioned above but are accessible to the academy are:-
  • LD CAMHS -The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Health Nursing Team
  • Children and Young People Services
  • Family Support
  • Social Services
  • Parent Partnership
  • SEN Team
  • Specialist nurses
  • The above list is by no means exhaustive.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

  • All pupils have a personalised curriculum offer which gives them access to a broad and balanced curriculum together with access to specialists such as speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist. Together with access to a range of other professionals each of these professionals work closely with our staff team in order that the programmes they develop to meet the needs of your child can be supported by the class team between sessions with the therapist.
  • Ash Trees reviews staffing at least annually and staff groups according to the specific needs of the pupils within the group. As a rule of thumb, all groups have at least one teacher and two teaching assistants although some classes may have less or more teaching assistants. The specific needs of individual pupils are monitored on a daily basis by the class team and if these needs significantly change we will look to better meet these needs through further personalisation of the curriculum which may include more access to therapists, access to a different curriculum model and/or increased staffing.
  • Additional grant monies such as pupil premium are used to further support named pupils. This money allows us to have increased staffing ratios thus enabling increased personalisation and support to maximise progress. The detail of how this money is used can be found under pupil premium on our website.

What specialist teaching qualifications do staff have who support my son/daughter?

All our staff receive regular training to ensure that they can provide the very best education, care and therapeutic support to you child. Qualifications and training include:-

  • Makaton signing
  • Intensive Interaction
  • Moving and handling
  • Medical training including – gastrostromy feeds, epilepsy, diabetes
  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support (SCERTS)
  • Rebound therapy (trampoline)
  • Sensory room
  • First aiders
  • Autism qualifications
  • Safeguarding
  • Team Teach (positive handling)
  • TEACCH

What activities could my son/daughter be included in within and outside the school day/extra-curricular activities?

  • Extra curricular activities are incorporated throughout the school day to support the holistic development of our pupils. This may include access to sensory resources, the light room, soft play, yoga, sensory circuits, and others.
  • A Residential visit is organised (where possible) for our Year 6 pupils as part of their transition as a way of supporting the development of independence skills in readiness for life beyond the academy. Parents/carers/carers are asked to contribute to the cost of each of these activities.

How can I, as a parent/carer, be involved at Ash Trees Academy?

The partnership between parents/carers/carers and ourselves is considered crucial. You are the first educators and on entry we need you to make sure we have all relevant information in order that we can provide your child with a personalised curriculum that best meets their specific needs. Following admission there are many opportunities for us to continue working together, sharing information and of course answering any questions you may have. Pupils are usually with us from age 4 to 11 and as such things change so regular formal and informal contact is actively encouraged. In addition to home school diaries and phone calls these are some of the many ways in which you can be involved:

  • Joining us at our regular coffee mornings
  • Attending Annual Review meetings
  • Attend parents/carers evening to learn more about the progress of your child
  • Contribute to our blog during special events
  • Volunteering (you would not as a rule be working with your own child). If this is something you would like to do please contact the main office
  • Completing surveys and questionnaires as by gaining your views we can continue to improve our offer to your child
  • Attending parent courses and workshops – these may be virtual or face to face.
  • Attend and/or support the fundraising activities of The Parents/carers and Friends of Ash Trees Academy (PFA)

How can I support my son/daughter’s needs?

  • Responding to Evidence For Learning (EFL) updates.  At Ash Trees, communication with parents/carers/carers is held in the very highest regard. Every pupil has an EFL account and we urge parents/carers use it to keep us abreast of events at home or ask any questions you may have. Sharing experiences from home enables us to enhance our pupils’ learning in meaningful and enjoyable ways and helps with future planning.
  • Providing school with information about appointments or medical updates.  Your son or daughter’s attendance and welfare is very important to us so please let us know before they attend any appointments or if there are any changes with medication. This ensures that we can keep records up to date and care for your son or daughter in the best possible way.
  • Attending parent evenings and meetings with school staff.  Information and assistance you can give is of great benefit and ensures we can do everything to look after your child.  We have at least one parents/carers evening per year which is an excellent opportunity to discuss pupil progress and targets as well as sharing examples of their work and achievements. During these meetings you can raise any concerns you may have and help shape future curriculum decisions for your child. You can opt for a phone call if you cannot attend these meetings in person.
  • Attending parent courses/workshops.  At Ash Trees we strive to provide the best training for not only our young people and colleagues but also parents/carers. We offer a range of courses and workshops that will give you new skills and knowledge to help yourself or your child.
  • Use curriculum advice and activity ideas from the class teacher.  Throughout your child’s time at Ash Trees we expect that you will take an active role in supporting their learning. You will always be made aware of your child’s targets and we hope you will help develop them in their daily lives outside of the academy. From time to time, the teacher will send activities home or ask for certain information as part of topic-based work in school. We really appreciate your support in this matter.
  • Homework.  At Ash Trees we provide meaningful homework opportunities for our pupils. The aim of this is to give our pupils the maximum benefit of homework without causing unnecessary stress to anyone in the family. Your child’s teacher will send the levels that your son or daughter is currently working at along with some suggestions on how they can progress. If you want more homework, you only have to ask!

What support will there be at Ash Trees Academy for my son/daughter’s overall wellbeing?

  • All staff take the safeguarding of pupils very seriously and have the required level of safeguarding training as well as a designated team of staff who have more in depth training.  There are policy and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all.
  • There is a team of trained and dedicated First Aiders and staff trained in Managing Medication.
  • The breadth of the curriculum helps target and meet the pupil’s holistic, developmental and self-help needs.
  • Ash Trees place a great importance on Sex and Relationships Education which helps support the self-advocacy of all pupils.  To this end, our trained and dedicated staff have worked with the local authority to produce a customised curriculum which addresses this very important and vital skill to help promote wellbeing.
  • Ash Trees also recognise the importance of working with all parents/carers for the wellbeing of their son/daughter and it is with this in mind that Ash Trees offer courses to help support parents/carers with learning new skills e.g. Makaton training, Nurturing Programme.
  • The Academy has a ‘Pupil Council’ which is made up from elected pupils who have the opportunity to voice concerns and ideas on behalf of their peers.

Who can I contact for further information?

  • Reception office
  • SENCO/Deputy Head teacher – Lauren Banks
  • Head teacher – Graeme Musson

Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

  • Initial contact can be made with school by contacting the above.
  • Alternatively, Ash Trees Academy, part of Ascent Academies’ Trust have an Ascent Academies’ Complaint Policy.  This policy can be found in its entirety on Ash Trees Academy website.

Lauren Banks – Deputy Headteacher/SENDCo

March 2022