iClass is the learning support department at Darwen Vale High School. iClass stands for: Improving Careers, Learning and Social Skills and the area is open to support all pupils, especially those identified with one or more of the four areas of need 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.
“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
Librarian/HLTA: Rose Addicott
SENCA: Emma Moore
Level 3 (VI and HI): Helen Holmes
Level 3 (SPLD, SLCN and Screening): Tracy Warder
Level 3 (ASD and Attendance): Zoe Godby
Level 2 TAs:
Sophia Sidat (Maths specialist working with year 10 pupils)
Nicola Morini (ASD/Sensory needs specialist)
Tiffany Maksymow (Qualified Emotional Literacy Support - Nurture)
Donna Gray (SEMH Specialist/Mentor)
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.
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 right in the Heart of the school. 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.
Whilst we value in-class support, we also take our duty to develop pupils into independent young adults very seriously. We look to ICT to support where possible; this could include the use of a reading pen, laptop or voice recognition technology. Where 1:1 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. All of our classrooms are dyslexia-friendly.
Pupils needing a safe space, time out or support with social skills can access the Pod. 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 Pod can be accessed from 8:15am in the morning for breakfast and Nurture. Some pupils need to access us throughout the day, others just need a safe space with friends at break time and lunch time. We offer this space to pupils on a personalised basis.
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 attend.
We welcome close links with parents and can be contacted by email or telephone.
As we have fewer pupils in school, the following alternative arrangements are now in place:
All pupils on the SEND Register have a designated Teaching Assistant who will contact them at least weekly to support them with online learning. Support will be tailored to the pupil’s needs.
Pupils with EHCPs and IPRAs are invited to attend school full time for support. If your child has one of these plans and is not currently attending school, please contact Mrs Pollitt to discuss.
Pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs are contacted regularly by teaching assistants and by Pastoral staff. We continue to work closely with the Mental Health Support Team to provide assistance for pupils most in need.
Work with outside agencies including ELCAS and the Educational Psychology team is continuing as normal, working within their guidelines and restrictions.
Parents and carers are invited to contact the SENCO if they have any questions or concerns about their child’s learning difficulties.
Reading interventions will now move online. Pupils will be invited to online Teams sessions to work on comprehension and literacy. Those with a reading age below 6 years have been given log in details for IDL and we thank parents in supporting pupils to access this online.
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