At Darwen Vale High School, we work hard to support pupils with additional needs which fall under the four areas listed in the SEND Code of Practice. These are: Social, Emotional and Mental Health; Cognition and Learning; Communication and Interaction and Sensory and/or physical needs. Pupils are given the tools to access the curriculum alongside their peers.
“We aim to provide an Inclusive environment where all pupils feel valued and able to achieve to their full potential, meeting and exceeding their personal pathways and raising aspirations, regardless of need or disability.
We aim to provide staff with the confidence, knowledge and skills to support all pupils to access a full and balanced curriculum.
Pupils should feel safe, not only physically and emotionally but also safe to make mistakes and to use these mistakes to make progress.”
SENCO: Sharron Pollitt
HLTA: Reading Recovery/Librarian: Rose Addicott
Level 3 TAs:
Tracy Warder: Guidance Counsellor and SPLD support
Helen Holmes: PD, VI and HI (Physical, Visual and Hearing Impairments)
Zoe Godby: Emotionally Based School Refuser Programme
Level 2 TAs:
Sophia Sidat: EAL (English as an Additional Language)
Nicola Morini: ASD/Sensory Needs Specialist
Mentors - Reflect - Endeavour:
Jennifer Keeler: Qualified teacher - Endeavour
Rebecca Loudonsack: Pastoral Mentor - Endeavour
Donna Gray: SEMH Specialist/Mentor - Reflect
Preparation for adulthood is at the centre of the SEND provision at Darwen Vale.
The SEND Department knows every pupil’s Special Education Needs in depth.
Personalised Provision Plans are co-produced by staff, pupils and parent/carers to meet these needs.
All interventions, including support by Assistant Teachers, have a direct impact on outcomes for pupils with SEND.
All provision is reviewed regularly to ensure a pupil is making progress and all identified needs are being met.
Reviews of statutory plans are robust.
The involvement of specialists is strategic and planned to ensure pupils’ SEN is identified across all four areas of need and staff receive support and advice from specialists which directly improves the quality of SEND provision.
Pupils with SEND report they are involved in shaping their provision, perceive the benefit of the provision and feel supported as they prepare for adulthood.
All staff feel they are confident in contributing to SEND provision which is good or better.
Transition arrangements – both KS2-3 and KS4-5- are strategically planned with a high-profile input from the SENCO and her/his team. Linking directly to robust Personalised Provision Planning.
Information exchange with feeder primary schools are robust.
All pupils with SEND participate in a broad and balanced curriculum. Personalised arrangements for access and engagement in enrichments days’/career forums/trips and visits etc. are planned in advance reflecting the needs of the pupils as recorded on their Personalised Provision Plans.
All departments collaborate in a joined-up approach to ensure SENs are identified, provision is well matched and linked to shared outcomes for pupils
Pupils with SEND make progress tracked by aspirational personal outcomes.
Parents/carers report they are very satisfied with the SEN provision at Darwen Vale.
Pupils feel safe and confident to attend school, knowing that they have the support they require in order to enjoy learning
Interventions - How they work:
Pre-tests are carried out to identify pupils for interventions. These could include screeners, 1:1 or group tests. Needs and gaps in learning are identified and discussed with teachers and parents before a personalised 6-week program is built and delivered. These are usually in 20 – 45-minute slots so that pupils do not spend too much time out of the classroom. Post-tests are carried out to check progress and next steps are planned for.
Where will they take place?
The Hub is based on the ground floor. This provides a comfortable space with specialists in Specific Learning Difficulties and Speech, Language and Communication Needs, to work on bridging gaps in learning, allowing pupils to fully access their broad curriculum.
Reading interventions are provided for all pupils with a reading age below 9 years old following GL Assessments. These are bespoke to the needs of the student and include: Catch up reading, IDL, Rainbow Reader and Read, Write, Inc. and Inference Training. All interventions are delivered by fully qualified and trained support staff.
The Hub also houses our school guidance counsellor and mental health support team, EAL support and a safe space for pupils on the Emotionally Based School Refuser programme.
Our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO) is a qualified Mental Health First Aider, and can also be accessed in The Hub.
Whilst we value some in-class support, we also take our duty to develop pupils into independent young adults very seriously and look to achieve this through Quality First Teaching. We use ICT to support where possible: this could include the use of a reading pen, laptop or voice recognition technology.
All of our classrooms are dyslexia-friendly, language rich environments and our staff are trained in SEMH strategies. The support we offer is based on a satellite model, keeping one to one support to a minimum. Where one to one support is absolutely necessary, pupils are supported in a non-invasive way, guiding learning so that the full curriculum can be accessed by all pupils.
Endeavour @ Vale: A School within a School
Pupils who find mainstream school challenging are supported by our team of Pastoral staff, mentors and trained teaching assistants. Following a stringent programme of assessment and intervention, a student may be invited to complete a six-week period in Endeavour. The aim is to re-engage the pupil, fostering a love of learning through alternative teaching methods. Parents and carers play a key role in this programme. Students are reintegrated, monitored and supported carefully as they return to mainstream lessons. The curriculum delivered in Endeavour ensures that pupils have not fallen behind.
Pupils with SENs needing a safe space, time out or support with social skills can access Reflect with our SEMH mentor. This is a nurturing space to work and learn together. It’s also a place to discuss aspirations, hopes and dreams. Some pupils find a full curriculum too much at times. When this is the case, we are able to offer bespoke timetables and alternative learning environments while pupils access the support they need to enable them to return to mainstream learning.
The Hub can be accessed from 8:15am in the morning for breakfast and Nurture. We offer this space to pupils on a personalised basis. Some pupils need to access us throughout the day, others just need a safe space with friends at break time and lunch time.
How can parents be involved?
Your input is incredibly valuable for the effective support of your child. If your child is placed on the SEND register, we will hold termly reviews which you will be invited to contribute to.
We welcome close links with parents and can be contacted by email or telephone.
Tel: 01254 223000
The formal complaints procedure can be accessed via the school website.
Blackburn with Darwen’s local offer sets out a range of support and services available to you and your child. This can be accessed at https://www.bwdlocaloffer.org.uk/kb5/blackburn/directory/localoffer.page