Students with Special Educational Needs

Testwood School is a mainstream secondary school for students aged 11-16 years. Our aim is to prepare every student for their future lives while they are at Testwood by providing them with the best curriculum choices and the most supportive pastoral care.

At Testwood School every child matters. We are committed to enabling all students to reach their full potential, regardless of ability. Our values are caring, inclusive and ambitious. To this end we employ a variety of teaching techniques and learning approaches in all curriculum areas.

How does the school know if a child/young person needs extra help and what will I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

At Testwood School, students needing support for learning are identified in a number of ways. These include:

• Liaison with staff from primary schools
• Information provided and concerns raised by parents/carers
• Review of latest specialist reports
• Previous assessment data
• Literacy testing in the Autumn term for all year groups
• Cognitive ability testing (CATs) in the Autumn term of Year 7
• Screening in Year 7 and Year 9 to identify literacy needs
• Concerns raised by your child’s class teachers
• On-going monitoring of your child’s progress across all subjects

If your child is joining the school at a later stage, similar assessments will be completed during your child’s first week at the school.

If you have concerns about your child’s learning, telephone the school reception and ask to speak to the SENCO. We can discuss your child’s needs and agree what our next steps will be.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s/young person’s learning?

The progress of all students is monitored using the school’s reporting systems:

• Progress Review reporting
• Progress evenings
• National performance data in comparison to Testwood progress data
• Monitoring students individually across all subjects
• Liaison with the SEN team including Annual Reviews for EHCP students

As a parent/carer of a child with special educational needs, you will regularly receive reports on your child’s progress across all subjects being studied. Additionally, your child will be assessed at the beginning and end of each intervention. This is done to measure the impact of individually targeted work on your child’s skills for learning.

The progress of students withdrawn from classes for specific skills tuition is reviewed by the SENCO. The reports and information listed earlier in this section are also used to inform future planning, to close learning gaps and meet learning needs. Your child’s specific needs will be met using targeted programmes and strategies taken from a broad range of identified interventions which support:

• Communication and interaction difficulties
• Cognition and learning difficulties
• Social, emotional and mental health needs
• Physical and sensory needs.

In addition, the SENCO frequently reviews the impact and effectiveness of in-class support through discussion, observation and monitoring.

How will the school staff support my child/young person?

Teachers will use the information provided to them about your child to appropriately match and differentiate their teaching and resources when planning their lessons. Careful consideration will be given to target setting to ensure that your child will make good progress and respond well to aspirational targets. The expectation is that class teachers across each subject area ensure that the programme of study delivered is accessible to all students, as set out in the national Teachers’ Standards document.

Strategies and skills taught during one-to-one and small group lessons (if that intervention is appropriate) will be supported within the whole class setting. This is to ensure that the impact of interventions result in generalised and improved outcomes for your child.

How is the decision made about what type of and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Your child’s need for support will be assessed through the screening process and the guidance set out in the Hampshire SEN Support guidance. Where this shows that your child needs support that is ‘additional to and different from’ the classroom curriculum, they may be withdrawn for specific intervention during Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9).

Support is accessed within the classroom and through a range of interventions:

• One-to-one teaching
• Paired or small group work
• Reading buddy schemes
• Use of a word processor
• Curriculum/homework support
• Working with professionals from outside agencies.

The school has a Learning Support team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) funded by the SEN and school budgets. The use of these resources is prioritised in that the students with the most complex needs receive the most support.

What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?

Pastoral Support:
Testwood School prides itself on being a caring community and has a highly experienced, competent and effective pastoral team.

The team, consisting of the 5 Year Leaders and their Tutors, works in conjunction with the school’s Pastoral Support Workers who provide one to one individual support for all issues that students may encounter during their time at the Testwood.

Pastoral care also includes access to:

• Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)
• Mentoring – Youth and Family Matters (YFM)
• Counselling services – Hampshire Youth Action (HYA)
• Mental Health Support – Mental Health Support Team (MHST)
• Learning Support homework club for support and small group social interaction
• Early Help Hub (Locality Team) to help families access support services
• A number of external providers that support the wellbeing needs of students

When behaviour becomes a barrier to learning, the pastoral team work with the teaching staff and the SENCO to explore the needs behind the behaviour. Together they develop successful strategies and a highly personalised, consistent approach to managing the student’s behaviour and supporting the underlying needs.

Attendance & Punctuality:
Your child’s attendance will be monitored; any lateness and absence will be recorded. Good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school and we will take action to support students who might be liable to prolonged absence.

Medical Care:
The First Aid Officer, Nikki Eadon, is responsible for giving basic first aid and contacting parents when more serious medical conditions exist. She will, if applicable, also oversee the administration of medicines that your child needs to take in school and, should it be needed, she will liaise with the Specialist Advisory Service to write a Care Plan which will be shared with all staff involved in the day-to-day care of your child.

Extra-Curricular Activities:
A vital part of your child’s education and wellbeing includes the provision and encouragement to partake in a varied and comprehensive range of Extra-Curricular Activities; these therefore form a large part of life at Testwood School.

Student Belonging:
Your child will also be invited to participate in a number of initiatives to encourage Student Belonging during their time at the school. All students are encouraged to participate in the house competitions and activities as well as enrichment activities.

What training is provided for staff supporting children and young people with SEND?

The SENCO is Mrs Alison Wheeler. The SENCO may be contacted email: or by telephone via the school’s reception: 02380 862146.

As all staff support the learning of students with special educational needs; it is expected that all teachers and Learning Support Assistants undertake professional development in this area.

The Learning Support team is made up of an Exam Access Arrangements Assessor, an SEN Admin Assistant, two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) and Learning Support Assistants. This team has received training to support a broad range of needs, including those linked to:

• Specific Learning difficulties (SpLD) e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, auditory processing disorder
• Language and communication difficulties including those linked to Autistic Spectrum disorder (ASD)

The Exam Access Arrangements Assessor has a Level 7 accreditation and will, therefore, be able to assess whether your child is likely to qualify for formal examination concessions at GCSE. The Learning Support team has also accessed a range of training to support specific interventions and difficulties.

Testwood School can access a range of external services including:

• Specialist Teacher Advisory Service
• Educational Psychology Service
• Child and adolescent Mental Health Service
• Social Care
• NHS Speech & Language Therapy
• School Nurse
• Occupational Therapy
• Career Advisory Service
• Information Technology Support Services

These services will be contacted when necessary and appropriate, according to your child’s needs.

How accessible is the school environment?

We are a growing secondary school, with an expanding roll and large campus, spread over a number of separate main buildings, two having either two or three floors. At present we do not have lift facilities.

How are parent/carers currently involved in your education setting? How can I get involved and who can I contact for further information?

Testwood School will encourage you as a parent/carer to take an active role in your child’s school life. As a parent/carer you will be welcome to meet with Learning Support staff to discuss your child’s SEN and progression across the curriculum.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, you will be routinely invited into school in order to contribute to a review of progress and plan for the next phase of learning.

What steps should I take if I have a concern about the school’s SEND provision?

If you have concerns about the provision available for your child which, after discussion with relevant staff (i.e. the SENCO and/or Year Leader for your child’s year group), are felt to have not fully been addressed, you are encouraged to forward your views to the Headteacher in line with the school’s Complaint Procedure policy. If the Headteacher is unable to resolve the difficulty, the parent/carer’s concerns should be put in writing to the Chair of Trustees. and

How will the school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, transfer to a new school, or transition to the next stage of life?

There are a number of additional ways that students with SEN can be supported to make a successful transition to Testwood School. If you or your child’s current school informs us about specific transition needs for your child/young person, an enhanced transition plan may be considered appropriate. This plan could include:

• Formal transition meetings between all home, school and other professionals
• Early copies of specialist reports
• Additional visits to become familiar with the new environment and key staff
• Additional visits with other students transitioning to the school
• Observation visits by staff from Testwood School
• Buddying with existing students.

Throughout Key Stage 4, the Learning Support and Pastoral teams will work with the school’s career service and with post-16 providers and advisers to ensure that transition is well planned and that your child’s/young person’s needs are understood.

Where can I get further information about services for my child/young person?

Since September 2014 every Local Authority has been required to publish information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and /or disabilities aged 0-25years. This is known as the ‘Local Offer’. This website puts all the information about education, health and care services, leisure activities and support groups in one place; making it easier for families to access and use a vast range of information and resources. The Local Offer seeks feedback from families on local provision and gaps in services to ensure that the commissioning of services is more responsive to local needs and aspirations.

Hampshire County Council’s Local Offer website has been co-produced with parents, professionals and young people. You will find up to date Information about Services and Support for Special Educational Needs and disability aged 0-25.

Hampshire SENDIASS has expertise and experience in Special Educational Needs and Disability relating to Education.

Every month Hampshire Parent Carer Network holds Get Togethers throughout the county. These are informal meetings where parent carers of children and young people with additional needs (any additional need) can drop in (no appointment or forewarning needed).