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Walthamstow School for Girls Ofsted Outstanding Provider

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) 2022/2023

Walthamstow School for Girls is an inclusive, 11-16, mainstream community school which values each of the nine hundred students equally and recognises them as individuals. The school motto is “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” and at Walthamstow School for Girls the staff work very hard to provide opportunities for all the girls to succeed and maximise their potential. Through a combination of high expectations, inspirational teaching and learning experiences we aim to equip the girls with the skills to become confident and independent learners.  

Who is in the Language and Learning Team and the Inclusion Team? 

  • Assistant Headteacher i/c Inclusion, Ms S Wallis
  • Head of LLD Faculty 
  • SENDCo 
  • Deputy DSL 
  • DT for Looked After Children 
  • Deputy Head of LLD Faculty & EAL Co-ordinator, Ms Herescu 
  • Assistant SENDCo, Ms Smith 

The SEND Policy, accessibility policy and medical needs policy are available on our website. 

The London Borough of Waltham Forest Local Offer is a guide to all the services for children and young people in Waltham Forest with special educational needs and/or disabilities aged from birth to 25 years.

What types of SEND are provided for at WSfG?
 

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 sets out four broad areas of need and provision is made at the school for students who may have SEND in any of these areas.  These include: 

  • Communication and interaction 

  • Cognition and learning 

  • Social, mental and emotional health 

  • Sensory and/or physical needs 

A school’s provision for SEND is defined as support which is additional to or different from that which is available to all students of the same age. 

How do we identify SEND?
 

The decision to place a student on the SEND register is discussed with parents/carers.  Please see our SEND policy.  Students are identified as having SEND in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Liaison with primary or previous school 

  • Baseline assessment for numeracy and literacy; KS2 SATs results 

  • Communication with parents/carers 

  • The student is worried about accessing learning and raises concerns with a member of staff 

  • The student is performing significantly below expected levels 

  • Concerns raised by a teacher or another adult at the school 

  • Liaison with outside agencies 

  • Using a range of screening tools, such as EXACT (a screener used to identify students who may require Exam Access Arrangements), PhAB (a toolkit to identify students with phonological difficulties), YARC  (a screener used to identify a student’s reading strengths and areas for development). 

  • Referral to another professional, with parental consent 

What should I do if I think my child has SEN?
 

You can speak with your daughter’s Form Tutor, Student Progress Leader (SPL) or with a member of the LLD team.  Parents/carers often know their child best and play an important role in working closely with the school to ensure their child’s needs are identified and met. 

The link for the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) for children, young people, parents and carers within the Waltham Forest area:  

Waltham Forest : Home (walthamforestsendiass.org.uk) 

The Waltham Forest Local Offer can be found here: 

About the Local Offer | London Borough of Waltham Forest 

If you need to speak with other staff members, contact can be arranged through the school office.

Telephone: 0208 509 9446

Email: info@wsfg.waltham.sch.uk  

 

How will the school support my child?

Our school offers a broad and balanced curriculum for all, and we use resources tailored to the needs of pupils who require support to access the curriculum.  The curriculum offer is reviewed annually to make sure it meets the needs of all pupils.  

Subject teachers are responsible for the progress and development of students in their classes.  High quality, adaptive teaching is the first step to responding to students who may have SEND.  Subject teachers informally and formally assess throughout the term and follow the Graduated Approach.  Parents receive feedback on their child’s progress three times per year.  Students with SEND and their parents/carers have the opportunity to discuss progress or any concerns with the Key Worker or SENDCo throughout the year. 

The SENDCo is responsible for ensuring that: 

  • Subject teachers are aware of and understand the needs of individual students 

  • Guidance and advice for colleagues 

  • Training opportunities are provided for teachers and support staff 

  • SEND provision is efficiently co-ordinated 

  • Provision in the Local Offer is accessed where necessary 

The SENDCo will endeavour to resolve any parental concerns or complaints in the first instance.  Working in partnership with parents/carers is very important to us.  The school’s complaints policy is available on the website.  

Student voice is extremely important at WSfG and students are encouraged to take an active role in school life and in their own learning.  Student voice is gathered in a number of ways, including through termly student voice groups. 

Student Passports 

We create an Inclusive Teaching & Learning Passport with the student, parents/carers that details the student’s strengths and likes, what they find difficult, and how teachers should support them in the classroom.  This is reviewed regularly. 

Key Workers & Support 

This year, we have introduced Key Workers for our students on the SEND register.  The Key Worker provides the student with an adult they can go to if they have any worries or concerns, and it provides enhanced communication between home and school. 

Interventions & Support 

A fortnightly Interventions Group meeting takes place to discuss any concerns regarding student progress, communication skills, and welfare matters and to review the effectiveness of interventions and next steps.  The meeting involves the Assistant Headteacher i/c pastoral, Assistant Headteacher i/c inclusion, Safeguarding and Pastoral Manager, Learning Mentors, Student Progress Leaders.  The Graduated Approach is used to evaluate the effectiveness of provisions and interventions. 

  • Assistive technology, such as IPads/laptops, Reader pens, writing slopes, voice recognition software  

  • Additional adult support in the classroom 

  • Facilities to support students with SEND, such as disabled toilets, toilet passes, use of the lifts, ramps, leave the classroom early passes to ensure movement at quiet times, equipment as directed by Occupational or Physiotherapists.  We create Health Care Plans to support students who have medical needs. 

  • LLD team and Learning Mentors - We run a range of short-term interventions through the LLD team and Learning Mentors, such as transition support, developing friendships, literacy, speech and language (under the guidance from our Speech and Language Therapist), self-care, college/6th form-ready, organisation. 

  • Wellbeing Hub - This year, we have created a Wellbeing Hub in school to support our students with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.  Support for improving emotional and social development is a key part of our School Improvement Plan.  The Hub is supported by CAMHS Mental Health Support team, staffed by our Learning Mentors and overseen by our Pastoral Manager and Assistant Headteacher i/c inclusion.  It currently provides a range of support and interventions, which will evolve and develop over the next few months following feedback from students, parents/carers and staff.   

  • School Counsellor (3 days) – Ms Quddus is a fully qualified Integrative Therapist who specialises in working with children and young people.  Ms Quddus integrates play and creativity, where appropriate, as another form of communication to explore feelings that might be difficult to express in words. 

  • This year, Waltham Forest CAMHS Mental Health Support Team (Tier 1) provide weekly small group or 1-1 short-term courses in school on low mood, anxiety, healthy relationships and self-esteem, body image, exam stress, mental health and emotional regulation.  

  • School Nurse (Waltham Forest) – the nurse provides fortnightly drop-in sessions for our students and we can refer our students to the school nurse if we have any concerns. 

  • Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) – We buy into a SaLT service through Learning, Talking.  Alexandra Rennie is our Therapist; she has a wealth of experience in supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.  Alexandra is a specialist in the autism field and provides a holistic approach in supporting the child/young person.   

  • Educational Psychologist – Dr Carla Steytler works with students and their families to assess learning and/or emotional needs.   

  • Virtual School – Co-ordinate Personal Education Plans and support for Looked After Children and work closely with the student, social services, carers and the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children at WSfG, Ms Wallis. 

  • We have access to the SEND Success Outreach Team based at Whitefield Academy. 

  • Liaison with outside agencies, including CAMHS, Social Services, Early Help, Alternative Provision settings, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, WF SEN Team. 

  • Staff training – Many of the services listed above provide school staff with training and guidance.  Our continuous professional development programme for staff is impact-driven; our students are the focus, along with how our practice impacts on them.  This year, our offer includes sessions on high quality teaching and the benefits to students with SEND, as well as relationships, regulation and repair.  

Exam Access Arrangements (EAA) 

Students in KS3 are identified as needing EAA through primary transition notes or through the use of a screener called EXACT.  For assessments and exams, it could mean that a student requires: 

  • 25% extra time 

  • a reader  

  • a scribe  

  • rest breaks 

  • a prompter 

  • a quiet room 

  • a language modifier 

Primarily, any EAA formally applied for, must be the candidate’s ‘normal way of working’ in the school setting. Teachers are required to complete questionnaires for any student that they would like tested for EAA. They also must supply evidence of the difficulty that they are seeing in lessons. A student will then be tested, dependent on what teachers’ have identified as the main area of concern at the end of Year 9.  

How will WSfG support my child with school transitions?
 

Primary to secondary school 

We ask primary schools to identify students who may need additional support with the transition.  We provide these students with two additional visits in June to WSfG before the borough transition day in July.  This provides the students with the opportunity to meet key members of staff, explore the school and get to know other members of their new year group.   

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 

All students have Information and Guidance meetings with a qualified level 4 Careers Advisor in preparation for moving through to Key Stage 4.  This provides the students and parents/carers with the opportunity to discuss Options and future pathways. The pastoral curriculum provides additional support with this transition. 

WSfG to Post-16 Provisions 

All students receive Information and Guidance meetings in preparation for leaving us and moving onto post-16 provisions.  The pastoral curriculum provides additional support with this transition.  In addition to this, we have two Lead Learning Support Assistants and a Learning Mentor who can provide additional support to students with researching appropriate courses, the application process and guidance on future pathways.

How does the school manage the administration of medicine?

Medicines for students are managed by Student Services. If a student requires medicine during the school day, the following procedures must be followed:

  • All medicines must be given in person to Student Services. Parents/Carers must fill in a form giving consent for the medicine to be administered. This includes provision for Epi pens.
  • The student’s name and date of birth are recorded alongside the date, time, name of medicine, and dosage.
  • Depending on how the medicine needs to be stored, it will be kept in either a locked cupboard or a fridge
  • To take her medicine, the student must go the Student Services where the dose will be administered
  • Each time the medicine is administered, the time, date and dosage is recorded. This is also recorded in the student planner so that parents/carers know that the medicine has been administered.
  • Students who have asthma and require inhalers are encouraged to keep a spare inhaler at Student Services as well as one for personal use to be kept with them through the day.
  • For students who have medical conditions, Lead Student Services Personnel will liaise with any relevant outside agencies and internal school staff if a medical care plan is needed.

Glossary of abbreviations 

AHT

Assistant Headteacher

ASC

Autistic Spectrum Conditions

ASD

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

BLP

Building Learning Power

BSP

Behaviour Support Plan

BTEC

Business and Technology Education Council

CAMHs

Child Adolescence Mental Health Services

CATs

Cognitive Ability Tests

CFCS

Child Family Consultation Service

CiC

Children in Care

CoP

Code of Practice

CP

Child Protection

CPD

Continuing Professional Development

DES

Disability Enablement Service

DTLAS

Designated Teacher Looked After Student

EHCP

Education Health and Care Plan

FAP

Fair Access Panel

GB

Governing Body

GCSE

General Certificate in Secondary Education

GP

General Practitioner

HI

Hearing Impairment

IAG

Information Advice and Guidance

INSET

In-service Training

LA

Local Authority

LAC

Looked After Children

LAS

Looked After Student

LLD

Language and Learning Development

LMe

Learning Mentor

LT

Leadership Team

PBFL

Positive Behaviour for Learning

PEP

Personal Education Plan

PSHE

Personal Social Health Education

PSP

Pastoral Support Plan

SaLT

Speech and Language Therapist

SAM

School Attendance Manager

SEN

Special Educational Needs

SENCO

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SLCN

Speech Language and  Communication Needs

SLD

Severe Learning Difficulties

PMLD

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

SMEH

Social, Mental and Emotional Health

SPLD

Specific Learning Difficulties

VI

Visual Impairment

WSfG

Walthamstow School for Girls

Awards