Name: Head of SEN, Ian Whittaker
The Special Educational Needs Department
Inclusion is the key to success and we pride ourselves on ensuring that every pupil in the school, no matter what their learning barrier, is afforded the opportunity to succeed. We make it our mission to provide the appropriate support and know that with much hard work, it is possible for pupils to either reach or surpass their predicted potential.
Pupils sometimes have a diagnosis for a learning difficulty when they come to us and their support can be prescribed via a Statement of Special Educational Need. For other pupils, the department is alerted to a possible learning difficulty, which can lead to testing being carried out and appropriate support being put into place.
Support here at Willows High School, takes many different forms – here are a few examples:
- Coloured overlays for pupils with certain reading difficulties, like dyslexia.
- Bi-lingual dictionaries and/or additional, in-class or withdrawal support, where one of the most complex languages in the world: English, is an additional language for pupils.
- Particular writing equipment to aid grip or letter formation, as well as electronic devices for reading or writing.
- Escorts to accompany and help pupils get around the school (including the use of a lift if it is necessary), to attend their registration group at the beginning of the day; moving from one lesson to another; accessing breaks and lunch periods; as well as helping them to return to their parent/carer at the end of the day if this is necessary.
- A variety of tailored, one to one or small group withdrawal sessions with a Specialist Teacher, or a highly skilled Teaching Assistant, for support with an area of difficulty.
- Timetabled, personalised, in-class support, again by our highly skilled Teaching Assistants.
- Liaising with an array of agencies that can provide additional support for a specific learning difficulty.
- Advising staff about the difficulties faced by a student, so that they know how to fully support them through each topic covered.
The SEN Department also arrange and carry out testing throughout the year, including testing for examination concessions, where pupils who are to sit examinations, can (depending on how they usually complete their learning) be awarded, among other things:
Extra time to complete their exams.
A reader to read the exam questions to them.
Or even a scribe to write their examination responses for them.
We form a partnership with each family whose child receives support and by keeping in touch, the family, as well as the child, know what’s being achieved and with which area of learning, support might be needed. In this way, everyone involved with a pupil requiring learning support, is able to contribute to their learning plan, including the pupil themselves - this all helps to make possible, hard earned success.
If you would like to discuss any matters regarding your child’s learning difficulties and how we would meet their needs here at Willows High School, please contact me: Mrs Cooper – SENCo