Contacting the school about SEND
If you need practical help about something your child has forgotten, or is confused about something, Student Services on 01727 799560 can often help.
If you have concerns, issues or information for the school, your first point of contact is always your child’s tutor If you email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Reception on 01727 799560 and give brief details of who you want to contact and why, and give your contact details, your message will be delivered swiftly and you will get a response as soon as possible.
Tutors will liaise with other teachers, the Director of Learning responsible for pastoral care of the year group, and the Learning Support team as needed. They will follow any issues through to resolution either directly or by referring you to others, keeping in touch with progress.
We look forward to working with you.
Director of Learning: Chris Bloomfield
(Starting secondary school:)
More about starting secondary school
We know that like many others, students with special educational needs or disabilities may find secondary school a big change. That’s why we try to prepare well by liaising with primary schools, and making sure we have the information and resources we need to support our SEND students right from the start of the year. Sometimes we make special preparations too – for instance by getting help from disability advisors or specialists, or by arranging extra visits and handovers for Year 6 students and their primary school helpers.
All Year 7s, get special treatment. They have their tutor group rooms in A Block, just behind Reception, and it’s reserved for them – no other year group has space there. Many Year 7 lessons are timetabled to take place there too. They go first into lunch for the first part of the term so that they can find their way around when it’s not busy. And we have a tried and tested induction programme designed to help students feel at home at Sandringham even if their friends have gone to a different school.
Most students with SEND will have had their needs identified and assessed at primary school. Like all Hertfordshire schools, we use standard terms for the level of support a student needs to make progress, and we record key data on our information systems:
- SEN: for interventions that are additional to or different from those for students who do not have SEND, and where external support services or specialists have been asked to meet and assess a student and advise subject and pastoral staff on support needs, targets or strategies
- Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans which applies to a few students (approx. 1.2%) where the help given through SEN may not have been sufficient to ensure progress
As well as getting information from primary schools we may also contact parents and carers in Year 6 or early in Year 7 to check information or ask for more details.
(Making things easy:)
More about making things easy
- Form tutors – your first point of contact for any concerns about your child, any questions and for when you need to alert us to anything. Tutors will liaise with colleagues and the Learning Support team as needed, so will usually be the only member of staff you need to talk to. They may hand you over to others if there is anything that needs following up, but they will always make sure they keep up to date with outcomes.
- The Learning Support team – the people who underpin Sandringham’s SEND provision. They manage records, handle whole-school and investigative assessments, look after exam access arrangements, provide support and expertise to teachers to help them define what’s needed to ensure SEND students make progress, and work directly with a small number of students with significant disabilities and formal Statements of Special Educational Needs/Education, Health Care Plans
- The library team – students have open access to the library at lunchtime, and it’s a haven of peace and industry. The library team will give special help to any student who needs it, and the Learning Support team will have briefed them about any student who needs particular help.
- Student Services – a dedicated ‘reception’ facility for students staffed by an experienced and knowledgeable team who handle all practical support and issues for students from lost property to information about all manner of issues, and advice on how to approach problems.
- Culture, rewards and consequences, planners – at Sandringham we have well-managed and consistent frameworks so everybody knows how things work and can rely on being treated fairly. Every student has his or her own school planner with space to record their timetable and home learning tasks, and the planner has lots of useful information for parents and students about the way the school works and how to be a happy and successful member of the school community.
- The school website and The Sandprint – you don’t need to worry about letters home going astray or about key dates or information because it’s all online. The Sandprint is our weekly newsletter for students and parents or carers. Together they help us make sure you have all the information you need to help your child make the most of their time at Sandringham.
(Pastoral system, learning support:)
More about our pastoral system and learning support
Tutors and heads of year travel up the school with their students, and work hard at learning about how to get the best from each of them, and building positive and constructive relationships. They are the first point of contact for parents and carers, and they help coordinate provision by briefing colleagues about any day-to-day issues, and working with our Learning Support team to make sure that SEND students’ profile data is up to date, their targets are met, and that any problems are addressed.
Sandringham’s SEND provision is managed by the Learning Support Faculty under Chris Bloomfield who is our Director of Learning for SEND, and also acts as the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
The Learning Support Team is made up of:
- Chris Bloomfield, who leads the Learning Support team and manages resources, interventions and projects
- Kelly Bulbeck, the specialist teacher who runs teaching interventions
- Vikki Borman, the specialist teacher who manages assessments and exam access arrangements for SEND students
- Our team of Teaching Assistants and senior Teaching Assistants, led by Tara Hawkins our Assistant Director of Learning Support
Teaching Assistants deliver one-to-one support to students who have a formal Statement of Special Educational Needs and which specify individual support. They also deliver interventions for a small number of individual students or groups of students on a tactical basis, working closely with Directors of Learning to define what needed. Their work may include preparing any special resources teachers want to use, and they may work as additional adults in classrooms or with small numbers of students working out of class on specific tasks.
Learning Support also covers whole-school activity by leading our SEND profile data collection activity, including liaison with primary schools, colleagues, parents and carers, specialists and exam boards, and by managing information and resources teachers need to ensure students make good progress.
Their work includes:
- Screening all students for reading comprehension or spelling difficulties in Year 7, and testing students’ spelling and reading ages every year through to Year 10.
- Monitoring, assessment and observation of students teachers are concerned about, and providing expertise around individual students’ needs and strategies for supporting them.
- Partnership work with consortium schools, our local special schools, other local secondary schools and with our primary feeder schools, including participating in Year 6 Statement reviews for students who will be going to Sandringham.
- Preparing SEND reports, care plans and pastoral support plans
- Managing any SEND referrals to outside agencies or specialists where we want expert input to analyse difficulties and make recommendations, and working in multi-disciplinary teams supporting any SEND students with complex needs, or who are vulnerable.
- Managing SEND budgets, based not only on standard funding but on successful bids for additional funding for exceptional needs.
(Partnership with parents, carers and students:)
More about partnership with parents, carers and students
We know that students make best progress and make the most of their time at school when they are working together with their teachers, helpers, parents and carers and aiming for targets that are challenging but achievable. We review progress together – both through standard reviews and, if needed, discussions with teachers, pastoral staff, Directors of Learning, and the SENCO.
Parents and carers of students with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan of Special Educational Needs are always asked to attend an annual review meeting and to input to the formal report we submit as part of the process.
Sandringham always values teamwork. We believe that effective working with students, parents and carers is the heart of our SEND provision and we look forward to working together.