Our School at a glance…

How does the school know that young people need extra help? What should I do if I think that my young person may have special needs?

Longdon Park School caters for children and young people aged 7-16 who have a range of complex behavioural, communication and social difficulties associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before joining our school and as a result of their specific learning needs many of our young people will have been unable to access an educational curriculum effectively. Longdon Park School is committed to raising achievement and enabling pupils to recognise their potential and supporting them through a personalised, engaging curriculum. Our priority is to develop the foundation knowledge and skills required to make a manageable and smooth transition to the next life stage. We will offer a supportive environment where our young people accept responsibility for their actions, make positive decisions and display pro-social behaviour.

All pupils who attend Longdon Park School have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which identifies the school as the most appropriate provision for the young person. The Education Health and Care Plan identify the young person’s primary and additional needs. These needs are reviewed annually through the Annual Review of the Education Health and Care Plan.

The academic progress together with the progress made against the pupils’ individual objectives written into the EHCP, is monitored regularly by internal TAC meetings involving Senior Leadership, Therapists, Class Teams and Behaviour Support. Where pupils are not making expected progress staff work together to design, implement and evaluate specific, personalised interventions to remedy the situation. The school will communicate with parents/carers and placing authorities about interventions, and will work alongside parents/carers to enable them to support learning at home. Longdon Park School is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education for children and young people with special educational needs. We believe that all our pupils, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and fully includes all aspects of school life. We believe that all our pupils should be equally valued in school and we strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all our pupils can flourish and feel safe.

At Longdon Park School we are committed to inclusion. We aim to improve and develop cultures, policies and practices that include all our pupils. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to pupils who may have experienced previous difficulties. This does not mean that we treat all pupils in the same way, but that we respond to pupils in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs.

We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all pupils, whatever their age, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of pupils:

  • Pupils from minority ethnic and faith groups, Travellers, asylum seekers and refugees
  • Pupils who need support to learn English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Pupils with special educational needs
  • Pupils with physical disabilities
  • Pupils who are looked after by the local authority

Pupils who have significant gaps in their education and learning experiences as a result of disrupted schooling:

  • Pupils who are young carers and those who are in families under stress
  • Pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion

We recognise that pupils learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity. We are particularly aware of the needs of a nurture group , for whom maturity is a crucial factor in terms of readiness to learn. We believe that many pupils, at some time in their school career, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, and we recognise that these may be long or short term.

At Longdon Park School we aim to address and meet the EHCP objectives and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every pupil to achieve their full potential.

How will school staff support my young person?

All pupils at Longdon Park School have  an Education Health and Care Plan. These documents outline the needs of each child and recommend the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs. The overall objectives of the Education Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Individual Education Plans are drawn up each term by the child’s Education Key Worker. Targets are set and the progress made is reviewed each term. All subject staff who teach your child are working on enabling your child to meet their IEP targets. In addition to these IEP targets each pupil has individual learning targets for literacy, numeracy and behaviour. These are regularly reviewed and all evidence is recorded. We use continual teacher assessment to identify how well pupils are making progress academically, socially and in terms of identified behavioural needs. We use this information to tailor learning to work on any areas that need to be developed.

At Longdon Park School we work closely with other professionals wherever possible to ensure that all of the needs that are outlined on the Education Health and Care Plan are met.

Pupils have daily contact with their Education Key Worker, this is the first point of contact for parents and carers through daily email or phone contact. The Options Autism Directors, led by the Education Executive, have responsibility to ensure that all procedures and school systems are robust, and that policies are in place, and are working effectively.

In order to make progress a pupil may only require differentiation of the plans for the whole class. The differentiation may involve modifying learning objectives, teaching styles and access strategies. Under these circumstances, a pupil’s needs will be provided for within the whole class planning frameworks and individual target setting. Differentiation will be recorded in the daily planning by the class teacher.

Monitoring of progress will be carried out by the class teacher and used to inform future differentiation within whole class planning. The pupil’s progress will be reviewed at the same intervals as for the rest of the class and a decision made about whether the child is making satisfactory progress at this level of intervention.

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?

All pupils at Longdon Park School have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. At the School we believe that the word ‘curriculum’ should be interpreted in its widest meaning. It is every planned learning experience the pupils have as a member of the school, both learnt formally within a lesson or informally outside the classroom throughout the whole School day. It is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. Teachers, support staff and instructors structure these experiences to ensure that they have the most positive effect on the attainment, progress and personal development of all pupils.

The overall aim of the curriculum is to enable all the young people at Longdon Park School to become Successful Learners,  Confident Individuals and Responsible Citizens. We aim to achieve this by supporting the following key principles:

Commitment to National Curriculum

While independent school regulations do not require National Curriculum coverage, Longdon Park School is committed to covering the New National Curriculum (incorporating recent statutory changes) wherever possible and its programmes of study. This commitment must however be consistent with any Education Health and Care Plan for any young person which may well prioritise particular subjects or key areas of learning.

Pupil entitlement

As a Special Needs School providing for the needs of boys and girls with social and communication difficulties and ASD, we are committed to the principle that all pupils, regardless of ability, race, cultural background or gender, have a right to the highest quality of education we can provide. This means that we seek to ensure; breadth and balance for all; appropriate levels of expectation and genuine challenge and relevance; continuity and progression in learning.

Addressing Special Educational Needs

As part of the admissions process and after a place has been confirmed a range of data and information is forwarded to education staff prior to the young person arriving. This information will include education, social and medical history, attendance, safeguarding issues and involvement of other agencies. The Education Health and Care Plan will provide further information relating to current attainment as a minimum in core subjects.

Personalised to meet Individual Needs

On admission to the school each young person will complete a full baseline assessment. Data from this assessment will be distributed to education staff and will reflect current cognitive ability. Where the Education Health and Care Plan indicates, or where the generic baseline assessment indicates, there will be further targeted screening, where necessary with specialist support. The baseline data is used to set realistic targets for progress across the curriculum and in relation to the key learning needs of the individual. The targets form a key part of individual plans including education plans, behaviour plans, positive handling plans and individual risk assessments. Pupils start to make choices about their learning in Key Stage 3 where we introduce an options programme to support learning in the core subject areas, this follows into Key Stage 4/5 to allow every opportunity for pupils to further personalise their learning and their timetable.

Learning opportunities will be absorbing, rewarding and effectively differentiated and the teaching styles will be diverse.

Staff will work in a way to avoid the isolation of pupils, and will encourage peer working and collaborative learning.

Differentiation takes a variety of forms within teacher planning. Learning intentions are always made explicit and then activities may be adapted, or planned separately as appropriate. Alternative methods of responding or recording are planned for where this is appropriate. For example in nurture group teaching, targets are observed, recorded on ‘post its’ and immediately placed in pupil folders as an aid memoir.

Pupils with sensory or mobility impairments or a specific learning difficulty will access the curriculum through specialist resources such as ICT where this is appropriate.

The school will ensure that the curriculum and extracurricular activities are barrier free and do not exclude any pupils.

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

All pupils at Longdon Park School have an Education Health and Care Plan. These documents outline the needs of your child and recommend the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs. The overall objectives of the  Education Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Individual Education Plans are drawn up each term by your child’s class teacher. Individual targets are set and the progress made is reviewed each term. All subject staff who teach your child are working on enabling your child to meet their IEP targets. In addition, each child at Longdon Park School works towards meeting 3 fully personalised learning targets for literacy, numeracy and behaviour. These are reviewed regularly and parents/ carers are regularly informed of any progress against these.

We also set and review subject targets each term that outline specific subject based targets for your child to work on. These targets are linked to National Curriculum areas of progress, vocational accreditation or GCSE grades to show your child exactly what they need to do next to improve and make progress. These targets are clearly displayed in our 3 full education reports (Christmas, Summer and Annual Review).

Annual Review meetings are held once a year and parents carers are invited to attend these. We also hold an end of year Celebration assembly, again there is a full invitation for all parents and carers to attend to help celebrate the wide range of success and achievements of our pupils

If you are at all worried about your child’s progress then please do contact her Class Teacher in the first instance or feel free to make an appointment to come and talk to the Headteacher.

What support will there be for my young person’s overall well-being?

We are committed to multi agency working to ensure that the needs of the young person are met. Our work with other agencies is frequent, sustained and responsive to pupil and family needs. Professionals from other agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Movement Therapy, Education Psychologist, CAMHS, Social Care, Connexions (or equivalent) and Health support the work of the school on a regular basis. These agencies work with us to support pupils, to devise strategies and other training and advice whenever necessary.

The multi-disciplinary Behaviour Support team, chaired by the Headteacher, meets regularly to discuss pastoral/behaviour issues across the school and this includes representation from the therapy team in school.

We offer access to a number of interventions that focus on reducing anxiety and promoting positive self-esteem and body image, these specialist sessions are planned and led by our therapy team. We also work closely with Derbyshire Police around issues of sexual exploitation, staying safe, appropriate use of the internet and anti bullying.

We encourage pupils to use their student voice to raise any concerns or issues that they have through the School Council which meets regularly and brings any issues to the fore. Pupils are also involved in planning for their individual targets through IEPs, Annual Reviews and in selecting their individual learning targets.

The primary aim of the curriculum that is offered at Longdon Park is to maximise the personal development and well being of each individual, to become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals and Responsible Citizens with a fundamental understanding of British values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The 2 areas of Education and Therapy work together in supporting the individual needs and well being of each pupil. Personal and social development is at the centre of a therapeutic community in all settings. In all that the school offers the key is to provide for the support and challenge that meet individual interests and aspirations. In terms of delivery, the key features of personal and social development are covered in the Key Stage 2 curriculum through Social Communication lessons. In the Key Stage 3 curriculum through both timetabled Citizenship and the Social Communication lessons and in the Key Stage 4 curriculum through the ASDAN Wider Key Skills programmes, timetabled Citizenship lessons and timetabled PSHE/Sex and Relationship Education lessons to reflect statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum with a clear focus on the development of Life Skills. The School strives to ensure that young people leave equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to cope with life in the wider world. In particular to establish positive relationships, meet the demands of employers and to be able to live safe and healthy lifestyles. Delivery of the Core 14 – 19 Curriculum provides for student personal development through, ASDAN Wider Key Skills, an accredited PSD programme (WJEC), Careers Education and Guidance and a Tutor support programme.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

All of our educational staff have undertaken specialist training and have access to a full professional development programme. All staff follow an in depth, tailored induction program when they join Longdon Park School .

Many of our teachers have, in addition to their teaching qualifications, further qualifications in SEN including Post Graduate Certificates in autism, speech language and communication needs, behaviour needs and Dyslexia. Other than teachers on site we also have instructors, teaching assistants, behaviour support workers, therapists and learning support workers.

We also work closely with other agencies to meet pupils’ needs:

  • Social Workers
  • Wider CAMHS professionals
  • Professionals from the Autism Support Services
  • Services for Children and Young People – Children’s Social Work
  • Education Welfare Service
  • Pupil’s GP
  • Speech Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Lego Therapy
  • Education Psychologist

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

All education staff receive a wide range of SEN specific training. As part of our on–going continued professional development program we have worked with and receive regular training from professionals on a wide range issues including anxiety and Autism; Autism, sensory needs and our environment; Autism, Safeguarding, ADHD, Attachment Disorders and other specific learning disorders.

The Deputy Headteacher with SENCO responsibilities holds regular meetings to update and revise developments in Special Needs Education and Inclusion. Meeting additional needs and Inclusion issues are targeted each year through the school’s long-term goals and the School Development Plan along with In-Service training and individual professional development.

All staff has access to professional development opportunities and can apply for SEN or Inclusion training where a need is identified. Support staff, such as TA’s are encouraged to extend their own professional development and the Senior Leadership Team will ensure training where this is appropriate.

We also have a daily staff de-brief meeting for all staff where we discuss best approaches and strategies for meeting the needs of the pupils. We invite professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists and Education Psychologists to attend these meetings to share advice.

Designated Senior Staff (Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher) receive regular, statutory training (Level 2) regarding safeguarding, and all school staff receive Safeguarding (Level 1) refresher training every two years.  All staff are first aid trained and receive MAPA training.  There are also mental health first aiders within school.

How will my young person be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Our off site visits are designed to enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for all of our pupils. Off site visits are also designed to create opportunities for developing independence, communication and self-management skills, and to promote positive self-esteem. We have a rigorous in-house health and safety screening for all of our o site education and work placements. This will involve working with each placement to make them aware of individual student needs and targets for the duration of the work placement and ensuring that those involved in teaching our pupils off site are also aware of specific SEN through observation of lessons. All visits and off site activities are risk assessed to ensure they are appropriate and can be managed to suit individual needs.

Planned, structured experiences for learners outside of the classroom and school environment add to each individual’s overall learning experience. Intrinsic to these opportunities will be a thoughtful focus on personal development and are considered to be a very important area of the whole school curriculum. Examples of these additional learning experiences include; Outdoor Educational trips and also Curriculum related visits and activities. These also feature as part of the educational experience through all learning phases and are supported by English, History, Science and Geography departments and also through the delivery of Life Skills and the vocational programme.

Outdoor Learning

It is our belief at Longdon Park School that, when learning outside the classroom, our pupils attain higher levels of knowledge and skills, improve their physical health and increase their motor abilities, socialise and interact in new and different ways with their peers and adults, show improved attention and enhanced self-concept, self-esteem and mental health and change their environmental behaviours and their values and attitudes. The outdoors can provide space and freedom for a type of learning that is difficult to replicate indoors. All pupils have the right to experience the unique and special nature of being outdoors. At Longdon Park School we feel it is important to enable children to use the outside environment as a context for learning.

How accessible is the school environment?

Longdon Park School is a single site school; the main school is built on three levels with stairs from ground floor to first and second floors. Entrance to the building is through the main lobby and there is a side entrance for pupil access, which if required, can both be fitted with a small ramp therefore suitable for wheelchair access. Classrooms are accessed by corridors; most ground floor classrooms can be modified for wheel chair access. There are currently clearly identified male and female toilets for pupils and adults.

We have made sure that there are good lighting and safety arrangements. Our classrooms provide good acoustic conditions so that the effects of hearing difficulties are minimised (carpeting, curtains, and quiet areas).

Reserved parking for visitors and disabled visitors has been made at the front of the school. We will incorporate all other issues into our repairs and maintenance programme.

Pupils requiring equipment due to impairment will be provided with equipment recommended from the SEN and will be continually assessed in order to gain any extra support that they require. A number of the classrooms and other learning areas are wheelchair accessible as they are situated on the ground floor of the main building. Outside learning and recreational areas outside are also wheelchair accessible including the top lawn and outside playing area. Disabled visitors would be able to access the building through the side entrance (main pupil entrance) and also through the main front door. We have disabled toilets and disabled parking available.

How will the school prepare and support my young person to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?

We work closely with your Local Authority to ensure that the child is offered provision that can meet their needs. As part of our admissions process prospective parents can meet the Headteacher and see the school in action. Parents and carers can express a preference for Longdon Park School and this is usually through close working partnership with Parent Partnership and placing officers working for the local authority. All places are decided at a LA panel comprising of Headteacher’s, Educational Psychologists and Local Authority Officers.

At the early stages of the admissions process we work closely with parents and carers, children and their current schools (if currently attending) throughout the transition stage to create bespoke transition packages that meet individual need. This will involve an initial school visit, a taster day then a planned transition usually starting with half days building to full days depending on individual need.

Careers Education and transition planning is an important part of the Annual Review process from Year 9 onwards. KS3 begin to develop ideas around specific interests tailoring their curriculum timetable around this.  KS4/5 students embark on work experience and college placements to begin the transition to further education or work.

Vocational and Careers Guidance

Longdon Park School endeavours to provide all pupils with a range of opportunities to participate in a vocational environment. A clear vocational philosophy exists at Key Stage 4 as careers and guidance is encouraged as part of a whole school approach. Emphasis on vocational opportunities is being developed in KS4 with the planned inclusion of horticulture, cycle maintenance, hospitality and catering. Enterprise is encouraged in all areas of the curriculum and is taught discretely as an option in Young Enterprise in Years 10/11. Enterprise is further encouraged through whole school charity events and charity activities planned and led by the Student Council. Careers education and guidance are taught through timetabled Community Development lesson and a ICT based careers information programme, Citizenship and Preparation for working life (AQA level 1 certificate). Personal and social development Entry Level 3 award will be obtained via completed units from Citizenship lessons.

In Key stage 4 and beyond the emphasis is placed on the world of work, opportunity awareness, college experience and work experience. All 14+ pupils are interviewed by Local Authority support services to give guidance and encourage participation in College programmes. This process also provides the specific information required to create individual transition plans. Pupils who are ready for work experience are supported with a suitable work placement as guided through appropriate outside agencies.

Personalised learning is supported by Individual Personal Profiles to encourage pupils to pursue areas of interest and gain experience. Teachers, instructors and learning support staff provide valuable support and guidance as they support the individual pupil needs. Further extensive careers support and guidance are available through: ‘Preparation for Work’ unit of PSD programme, planned visits and discussions and advice from Local Authority support services(school and personal), Outside Agencies and Parents/Carer involvement as opportunities are provided for pupils’ individual needs and future transitions.

It is the aim of the school that all pupils should leave the school with a suitable placement matching the individual’s ability and aspirations. The aim is for all Year 11 pupils to actively apply for college placements, training schemes or jobs whilst in their final year. The rationale for college placements is to provide extended learning opportunities and personal development, to encourage new relationships and friendships, to experience new learning environments, to gain appropriate learning for individual needs and to encourage lifelong learning. All KS4 pupils have further opportunities to develop personal interest through college placements according to personal maturity and individual chosen pathway. We work closely with a number of colleges across Staffordshire and neighbouring Local Authorities, regularly discussing courses on offer and respective entry requirements. Pupils in Year 10 and 11 have the opportunity to study vocational courses a local college each week, to familiarise themselves with a college setting. We work closely with other providers to ensure that the transition post 16 is as smooth as possible.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special educational needs?

The school is aware that a lively, purposeful and structured learning environment is essential in promoting high standards and good working practices. Displays of pupils’ work, stimulus materials and appropriate resources are very important in setting standards, raising expectations and also play a key role in effective behaviour management. All departments, class teachers and tutors are expected to manage their display areas effectively and to contribute to displays in public areas of the school. The structure and organisation of the classroom is also an important factor in developing effective working methods and a positive ethos. Whilst this is left to individual teachers and departments, it is expected that classrooms and learning areas are orderly environments where pupils can work effectively, comfortably and most importantly of all – safely. It is crucial that adequate resources are provided and are accessible, and that pupils treat classrooms, workshops and any other learning environments with respect.

At Longdon Park School we believe that the development of capability in the safe use of ICT is an essential requirement of the pupils’ education.  ICT at the School is guided by the following principles:

  • All pupils have an entitlement to the safe use of ICT throughout all Key Stages. They are expected to develop both understanding and practical expertise. Pupils develop their skills through specific teaching in ICT/Computing lessons, and as a result of the use of ICT in subject areas. All pupils will be taught how to use the internet safely and will be expected to follow the schools safety guidelines.
  • ICT resources are planned and deployed within the context of Longdon Park School as a therapeutic community. We seek to ensure that resources of the highest quality, and of an appropriate type are provided to meet the needs of all users.
  • staff are encouraged to make full use of opportunities for professional development in ICT. Practical workshops are to be held on a regular basis as part of the school-based INSET programme, and there are also opportunities to attend external courses.

All of our classes are provided with resources to ensure the delivery of a personalised curriculum. Where additional resources are required to enable a pupil to fully access the curriculum advice is provided by appropriate professionals including the therapy team, consultants and educational psychologists.

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

Your child’s Education Health and Care Plan identifies the level of support required to meet your child’s needs. This is agreed through discussion between the school and your Local Authority. We plan provision to achieve the objectives outlined in the Education Health and Care Plan for each individual pupil.

Where a period of differentiated curriculum support has not resulted in the pupil making adequate progress OR where the nature or level of a pupil’s needs are unlikely to be met by such an approach, targeted intervention may need to be made. This extra provision would be indicated where there is evidence usually through baseline assessment that:

  • There has been little or no progress made with existing interventions
  • Additional support is required to develop literacy or numeracy skills
  • Additional support is required for emotional, behavioural or social development
  • Additional support is required for sensory or physical impairments
  • Additional support is required for communication or interaction needs

There are likely to be two groups of children recorded as needing extra provision:

  1. Pupils, who have needs similar to other pupils but, with additional needs within the class, e.g. lack of phonic knowledge or phonological skills, spelling.
  2. Pupils whom we consider to have more severe or longer term needs that are likely to result in an application for further professional advice such as CAMHS.

Where needs are similar, it is appropriate to support these children within a group, focusing on the common needs. However, each pupil will retain individual targets. Both groups of children will have provision for their common needs in a small group as well as some individualised support for their more unique needs. Provision will run concurrently with differentiated curriculum support. The group may be taught by the class teacher and also supported by a TA.

The responsibility for planning for these pupils remains with the class teacher, in consultation with the Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for SENCO. Individual Education Plans will be reviewed termly, although some pupils may need more frequent reviews. The class tutor will take the lead in the review process. Parents/carers and wherever possible, the pupil, will be informed and will be consulted about any further action.

How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?

At Longdon Park School we believe in working in partnership with parents and carers to achieve the very best outcomes for pupils. We communicate regularly with parents, thorough daily phone calls/emails from each Class Team; face to face meetings and Annual Reviews. We also communicate with parents and carers via termly reports and newsletter.

It is our hope that parents/carers are actively involved at all stages of the education planning process. At Annual review meetings with parents/carers we aim to ensure that the pupil’s strengths as well as areas for development are discussed. Where we make suggestions as to how parents/carers can help at home, these are specific and achievable and that all parents/carers go away from the meeting clear about the action to be taken and the way in which outcomes will be monitored and reviewed.

Parents/carers are always invited to contribute their views to the review process. All IEPs and reviews will be copied and sent to parents/carers after meetings. Ideas and materials for supporting learning at home will be discussed with parents/carers and distributed on request.

As a school we welcome contact from parents and would encourage parents to contact us, via the school office, if there are any questions or concerns.

Who can I contact for further information?

School office
tel: 01283 733 195 or enquiries@longdonparkschool.co.uk

School website www.longdonparkschool.co.uk