Led by Mrs Deborah Jones the Access Centre has grown and continues to refine its expertise. The staff and school are able to help boys and girls with a wide range of learning difficulties and abilities, including dyslexia and dyspraxia.
“The atmosphere of support and shared pleasure in achievement is palpable.”
The school’s SEN policy is at the heart of strategic planning and development. The school believes in the principles of entitlement and inclusion and therefore wants all pupils to engage in a full curriculum. The Access Centre offers a wide variety of provision to pupils. Those with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia are offered individual or small group withdrawal from low priority subjects, for literacy, numeracy, occupational therapy and speech and language.
Other pupils are offered in-class support or a combination of both withdrawal and support in-class.
Staff and resources
The Access Centre, staff and its pupils are over-seen by Mrs Jones and her team of 4 SENCOs. Currently there are nine full time teachers and/or teaching assistants including SpLD qualified staff, and five part time teachers and/or teaching assistants including SpLD qualified staff.
All SEN pupils are identified on SEND register at SEN Support or Statement, soon to be transferred to Education, Health & Care Plans. These pupils have an Individual Pupil Passport which is written in partnership with the pupil and their parents/guardians. A support plan is written for all students receiving additional support with individual targets. Each of the pupils is monitored and progress checked.
As part of the school’s commitment to SEN, the SENCos and Mrs Jones provide regular inset training to all staff. All teaching staff are encouraged to undertake the BDA Level 3 Dyslexia course. Training takes place with staff on administration days at the start of each term, as well as at staff and department meetings.
There is a commitment by the school that all pupils are sympathetically taught by all subject staff and students are set according to understanding rather than literacy level.
It may be necessary for students to have access to assistive technology or a scribe to facilitate this.
Some KS3 pupils may be placed in a small, slower paced class and taught a differentiated National Curriculum English by a qualified teacher of specific learning difficulties, as well as being offered individual or small group additional tuition. These pupils may well follow a more vocational pathway at Key Stage 4.
At KS4 and sixth form, pupils are offered specialist learning support lessons which complement their subject course and also strikes a balance with furthering their literacy skills.