Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Green Spring Academy Shoreditch is a truly inclusive academy. Inclusion is our highest priority. The achievement of students with Special Educational Needs is outstanding and the personalised support we put in place for students means they are able to flourish as independent and confident learners. The base for our Special Educational Needs provision is a dedicated and well equipped suite of rooms. This area is home to the Learning Support Unit and Pastoral Support Centre. One of the most important aspects of provision is the in-class support given by our highly skilled and committed team of Teaching Assistants working across all curriculum areas. We also have a team of Learning Mentors who support students both in and out of the classroom. We recognise that, for students to succeed, curriculum access to all subject areas is essential. This can only be achieved where students can confidently read, understand and respond to the material being studied. At our academy, we are committed to improving literacy skills for all students. Our highly experienced Literacy Team constantly promote the importance of reading for pleasure and specifically targets those students for whom additional support is required. This is done through a variety of interventions including one-to-one and small group literacy interventions. Our aim is to ensure that poor literacy is never a barrier to achievement and we strive to enable all of our students to have regular access to a wide range of high quality literature.

Read our Vision and Ethos here.

Gifted and talented students

Gifted and talented students are stretched and challenged during lessons to ensure they achieve their full potential. There is also a wide variety of extra-curricular activities such as university visits, business mentoring and debating clubs which are aimed at raising student aspirations and adding extra elements of academic challenge to the curriculum.

The SEND Information report is part of the Tower Hamlets local offer which seeks to comprehensively signpost and support parents and carers in finding the right provision for their child.

You can click the button above to view and download the report.

Your questions answered – for more information about the SEND report see below.

Our Ofsted Report

Green Spring Academy Shoreditch is immensely proud to be considered ‘Outstanding’ in all four Ofsted categories. The inspection report comments that ‘students’ achievement in Key Stage 3 and 4 is remarkable’. It further states that ‘the standards they reach overall at the end of Year 11 are higher than those of other students in the country even though the majority start at the academy with attainment that is below the national average’. We are proud that report recognises the achievements of our students with SEN and/or disabilities; ‘disabled students and those with SEN do extremely well’. Our Ofsted report places Green Spring Academy Shoreditch amongst the very best academies and schools in the country but, like our students, we are continually striving to improve all we do.

Furthermore, we are extremely proud of our recent accreditation the Inclusion Quality Mark for outstanding inclusive practice. The Mark judges a variety of areas and involves a two full day assessment process that involves a range of academy staff, student, professionals and parents/carer. The report writes ‘Passionate, articulate, hardworking, engaged, analytical, purposeful, creative, inspirational and visionary are all adjectives that can be attributed to GSAS’. Click to see the IQM report

Your questions answered

Click on the questions below to find out more about our SEND Information report.

Is our school building accessible?

Green Spring Academy Shoreditch is an outstanding school. We pride ourselves on setting a rigorous programme of self-evaluation and goal setting in order to ensure we never rest nor settle with second best. Our school has already undergone works to ensure we can accommodate a huge range of students who may have varying needs in relation to accessibility. The building design and layout of the academy is spacious, light and airy. The site has full disabled access and three lifts provide access to all teaching areas above ground floor level. There are four toilets that are accessible to wheelchair users. Changing rooms and showers are also accessible for wheel chair users.  The Inclusion Department has a dedicated suite of rooms located on one corridor on the ground floor; the area also has a disabled toilet.

What about if my child has a medical need?

If a student is deemed to have a short term or long term medical condition, the academy will ensure that arrangements are in place to support them. In doing so, we will ensure that the student can access and enjoy the same opportunities at school as any other student. The academy, health professionals, parents and carers and other support services will work together to ensure that a student with a medical condition receives a full education.

How do we decide if a student has special educational needs?

Despite high quality teaching some students find it hard to make expected progress which may be because of a special educational need. Most students who arrive at the academy in Year 7 have already had any SEN identified previously. This allows the academy to immediately begin to monitor and review these students.

However, at times students might have an unidentified need hence we have a variety of whole school structures that check how students are doing and whether there is any further support they need:

  1. All students take a Reading Age Test when they arrive at the academy whether prior to joining in Year 7 or before they make the transition from another school. This gives an initial indication as to whether they might have any needs in this area.
  2. Every term teaching staff enter student attainment results onto a school wide database. This is analysed to determine whether students are on target. The Inclusion and Pastoral Team use this information to check for any concerns.
  3. The SEN referral form allows staff to formally raise concerns about a student to the Inclusion department. This is followed up by observation and student-parent meetings where relevant.
  4. We use a handwriting screening tool to check for any concerns with motor control.
  5. Our Speech and Language Therapist uses the Reading Age Test data and a screening tool to check for difficulties with communication.
  6. Our Educational Psychologist is able to conduct specialist assessments to determine if a student has a particular difficulty with literacy, numeracy, memory, functioning skills or emotional needs.
  7. We might make a referral to a specialist such as the Occupational Therapy team, the ASDAS team, the CAMHS service, the SLS or any other relevant professional body.
  8. We talk and work with you. Our parents and carers hold the most powerful insight and key into their son/daughter hence we ensure you feel empowered to support us in identifying any needs or concerns that might be impacting on your child’s progress.

How do we use specialist intervention to support our students?

Green Spring Academy Shoreditch does not have a set list of specialists, our provision is driven by the needs of our students and the list of services is as exhaustive as the needs of our students. The list below should give you a flavour of some services and people we have worked with over the past year:

  • Speech and Language Therapist: an independent therapist who works with the staff team and students in improving provision and access to specialist input in this area. Interventions are particular to individuals/cohorts of students but include: language acquisition, social, study and active listening skills.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS).
  • Educational Psychology Service: a specialist service that assesses student needs and provides specialist guidance and recommendations for students, the school and their families.
  • The Tower Hamlets Support for Learning Service (SLS): a range of services who offer advice and guidance on a range of needs including specific learning difficulties, physical disabilities, communication needs and many more.
  • Counselling Service: independent professionals that offer sessions on emotional wellbeing and management including anger management.
  • GAP Mentoring: an external mentoring service for more intensive student support.
  • That Reading Thing: a personalised and kinaesthetic programme for students who struggle with literacy
  • The Phoenix Outreach Service: a service that provides specialist guidance on Autism.

How do we check that our students are making progress?

All students are regularly assessed in class and our Data Entry Points are the culmination of each terms data gathering. This is intensively monitored at all levels of the academy by teaching staff, Heads of Departments, the Senior Leadership Team and LAB Members to ensure all students are on track to make progress. The academy sets ambition targets for all learners and aim for all to make 4 levels of progress rather than the national expectation of 3 levels.

Where we have a concern we work on an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model in line with the Code of Practice that incorporates extra academy based and/or specialist intervention and parent liaison to get students back on track

For students with SEND, the Inclusion Team, in liaison with class teachers and subject Heads of Departments complete termly reviews linked to the interventions in place to assess impact and to plan next steps. These reviews monitor academic and behaviour for learning targets and are shared with students and parents/carers where necessary.

For our students with Statements of SEN or EHC Plans the Inclusion Team conduct termly and annual reviews in line with the principles of person centred planning. These meetings seek to involve all those who play a part in the students’ progress to discuss current progress and next steps.

How do we prepare our students for transition?

Ensuring learner progress begins prior to the Year 7 transition point. The academy has close links with the key feeder primary schools that ensures the Year 6 transition lead is able to begin to plan for the summer term transition programme. The transition visit incorporates three key strands: the collating of SATS and reading age data, the Shakespeare Day and meeting key staff members in tutor and lesson time. Meeting key staff, particularly Year 7 tutors, allows students to feel safe and included as they make the leap from primary to secondary school.

The Year 6 Getting to Know You meetings allow us to gather a holistic range of personalised data that helps flag a range of needs or interests such as medical needs, care issues, interests or worries.

Individualised transition programmes coordinated by the SENCO/Deputy SENCO further support the students with more complex needs. These students are supported by a lengthier process of visits to the primary, parent / carer meetings and 1:1 visits that target key needs often lead by their own opinions as to what they feel is useful or important to them. Parents/carers are also invited to a ‘meet the Inclusion Team’ evening much earlier in the year (June) to build secure links by the time September arrives. Each student leaves the evening with a transition booklet that they use to record useful information about themselves and questions they want to ask. This allows the Inclusion Team to create individual student profiles which are shared with staff at September INSET and are available electronically throughout the year to support differentiated learning for this key group.

A similar rigorous process is applied to our mid-phase admission students (MPA) who arrive mid-term and, in line with the rest of the academy, make rapid and outstanding progress.

How do we listen to our students?

Student Voice is vital and we pride ourselves on being a listening academy. Student Voice takes several formats and empowers students to play a crucial role in the decision making process at Green Spring Academy Shoreditch.

We have a Student Council made up of students from all seven year groups, they focus on making positive changes within the academy and leading on issues that may have a local, national or global concern. Members of the Student Council canvas student opinions at break times and are a powerful force in implementing positive change within the academy.

We have a team of subject representatives allocated to particular subject areas. These students have received formal lesson observation training from a Lead OFSTED inspector and play a key role in evaluation of learning and teaching at Green Spring Academy Shoreditch. One of their key aims is to ensure Student Voice is developed throughout all curriculum areas.

Sixth Form leaders support the Student Council and Subject Representatives; they act as role models and peer mentors to the rest of the academy and are great ambassadors for Green Spring Academy Shoreditch. They also lead on reading interventions trying to instil in younger peers a love of reading.

Special Educational Needs ambassadors are students who are champions of diversity and support the academy in one of our core values of celebrating difference.  They have worked intensively in organising whole-school events particularly during Celebrating Difference Week.

How do we listen to our parents?

Our aim is for parents / carers to be fully involved in academy life. Communication is crucial and we use a variety of accessible methods to keep parents / carers up to date about developments at Green Spring Academy Shoreditch. Communication may take the form of meetings with parents / carers, regular letters and text messages, termly academy newsletters and the academy website.

Parents / carers requested regular Parents’ Evenings to meet their son or daughter’s relevant class teachers and these now take place twice a year. Attendance is superb and we regularly ask for feedback from parents/carers on these events to ensure the written reports and events meet the parents/carers needs.

Parents / carers are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education and all have the opportunity to train and volunteer as ‘buddy readers’ for students whose age is significantly below their chronological reading age. Interactive sessions are offered for all parents / carers to develop the skills to effectively support the development of their son or daughter’s literacy development. Termly coffee mornings are held to consult parents / carers on changes to academy life. Parents / carers are also invited to more informal events such as the Winter Fair, drama, music and dance performances, celebration events and the termly Farmer’s Market

Our students and their families speak a wide variety of languages. The academy ensures the needs of all are met by always providing an interpreter for meetings if parents / carers do not speak English. Staff at the academy speak a wide variety of languages and therefore are able to build positive relationships with families.

What should I do if I need more information or support?

Your first point of contact should always be your son or daughter’s Form Tutor. If you remain concerned then you can speak with your child’s Head of Year.

The telephone number for the academy is 020 7920 7900.

If your child has SEN, you are worried that they might or you are considering the academy as provision for your son or daughter then please contact Aura Fabian, Director of Learning Support, afabian@gsacademyshoredtich.org.uk; to contact us directly, the telephone number is 020 7920 7954.

We have an open door policy at the academy with welcoming reception staff that will be happy to direct you to the right member of our team and coordinate an appointment or telephone call for you.

The London Borough Tower Hamlets local offer to support parents of children with special educational needs.

http://www.localoffertowerhamlets.co.uk/organisations?&search_organisation%5Bcategory_ids%5D%5B%5D=3356

Parents Advice Centre offers impartial advice and information to parents of children with special education needs:

Tel: 020 7364 6489 and

Email: pac@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Other links that you might find helpful:

Academy Behaviour Policy

British Dyslexia Association

Phoenix Outreach

What do we do if a student is struggling?

We offer a range of additional support structures in school that operate collaboratively between the Curriculum Team and the Pastoral and Inclusion Team. Each method of support is personalised to the individual student and situation. The academy recognises that there is no one approach and is continuously innovating and willing to try a variety of methods to foster success for all learners. Some of the strategies we use are below:

  • Individual target reports: students can be placed on a target report that provide both the student, home and school with lesson based feedback
  • Mentoring: we have a range of adults that work with students to support their social, emotional and academic progress. This can be through weekly meetings, in class observation and support or report tracking
  • Teaching Assistant support: our TA team closely monitor all of our students with Statements/EHC Plans. The support they provide is tailored to individual student needs and targets
  • Learning Support Unit:  a small group environment for curriculum support and intensive personalised mentoring for our Key Stage 3 students
  • Pastoral Support Centre KS3 and KS4:  To support, in a small nurturing environment, students whose negative behaviours are impacting on their academic progress. The student’s behaviour is their main barrier to learning. Students will engage in a programme that will run for a relevant period of time. This will include reviews and possible reintegration to the mainstream. Personalised targets will be set for students to support overcoming their relevant barriers to learning.
  • Reading Club: an intervention lead by the literacy team that seeks to foster a love of reading and improved comprehension and decoding skills using student-selected texts
  • Numeracy: weekly interventions that target particular areas for development with groups of students run alongside the Maths department
  • Handwriting: a weekly support for students who have an identified need in this area
  • Social Skills group: a small group intervention for students with ASD offering them the opportunity to enhance their social skills, self-awareness and emotional regulation
  • Emotional Awareness Group: weekly interventions that target Year 8 and Year 9 to develop their emotional regulation
  • Laptop access: a provision for students who benefit from using typing as a way of recording their learning in key subjects or across the curriculum

Our Team

The best people to contact this year are:

  • Assistant Vice Principal: Jemima Hills
  • SENCO: Aurica Fabian
  • Head of Year 7: Alexandra Earle
  • Head of Year 8: Jessica Taylor
  • Head of Year 9: Tamsin Miller
  • Head of Year 10: Gabriella McRill
  • Head of Year 11: Aaron Collingwoode-Williams
  • Director of Sixth Form: Karen McEwan