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South Dartmoor
Community College

F.A.Qs

How does your school know if my child needs extra help? 
  • If your child is transferring to SDCC and already has special educational need, your primary school will inform the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at SDCC. These children form the majority of SEND students at the school.
  • There is planning between the schools and with parents/carers in Year 6 to support the student’s move from primary to secondary school.
  • On entry to the school, all students are screened on key cognitive skills, language skills and certain core academic skills. This system can pick up potential difficulties at the earliest stage.
  • Some children do well at primary school but find the transition to secondary education more difficult. The teachers are highly alert so that such areas of need are spotted early and referred to the learning support team.
  • The school listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents are always welcome to contact the school to talk about concerns.
What should I do if I think that my child may have a Special Educational Need or disability?  Who can I contact for further information?
  • If your child is transferring to SDCC and already has special educational need, your primary school will inform the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at SDCC. These children form the majority of SEND students at the school.
  • There is planning between the schools and with parents/carers in Year 6 to support the student’s move from primary to secondary school.
  • On entry to the school, all students are screened on key cognitive skills, language skills and certain core academic skills. This system can pick up potential difficulties at the earliest stage.
  • Some children do well at primary school but find the transition to secondary education more difficult. The teachers are highly alert so that such areas of need are spotted early and referred to the learning support team.
  • The school listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents are always welcome to contact the school to talk about concerns.
What is an EHCP?

An EHCP is a legal document that identifies a child’s SEN needs and focusses on the support required to meet agreed outcomes. The key difference between a statement of SEN and EHCPs is that, as well as the educational elements covered in statements, EHCPs also outline the child’s health and social care needs, outcomes and support.

How will I know if your school is supporting my child?  How will I know how my child is doing?  How is progress monitored?

All students :

  • The school will always send you a letter to let you know if we are proposing to offer your child support that is additional to or different from what is already in place for all mainstream students.
  • Feedback fortnight gives parents the opportunity to engage in learning conversations with their children.
  • Parent consultation evenings are an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and needs and to find out about support options.  Meetings can also be requested with learning support staff.
  • Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Tutor or Performance Leader at any time to discuss particular concerns as they arise.

Students with Statements and EHCPs:

  • Your child will have identified needs and an education plan in place from the time they start at SDCC.
  • Any adaptations to individual timetables will be discussed with parents and outcomes of interventions will be reviewed regularly.
  • Through feedback fortnight parents will be able to review learning in the students exercise books.
  • Students will have an Annual Review of their progress and needs. This comes in the form of a full written school report in advance of a specially arranged face to face meeting between parents and staff. During this meeting, students, parents and staff have the chance to express their views about the progress being made and the provision they are receiving at school.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?  How are the school resources allocated to meet these needs? 
  • All staff are trained, (through a yearly programme of Continuing Professional Development seminars), in adapting lesson plans to increase the use of elements known to support students who need extra help. For some students with lighter needs, this is all that is required to help them make progress.
  • Teachers also have access to the profiles of students known to have specific needs and they can collaborate with the specialist staff to build adaptations to activities especially for those individual students.
  • Some lessons benefit from having a teaching assistant in the class who can spot difficulties and help to give instant support
  • You will have opportunities to discuss exam choices in Year 8 with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests.
How is progress monitored by the school?
  • All staff are trained, (through a yearly programme of Continuing Professional Development seminars), in adapting lesson plans to increase the use of elements known to support students who need extra help. For some students with lighter needs, this is all that is required to help them make progress.
  • Teachers also have access to the profiles of students known to have specific needs and they can collaborate with the specialist staff to build adaptations to activities especially for those individual students.
  • Some lessons benefit from having a teaching assistant in the class who can spot difficulties and help to give instant support.
  • You will have opportunities to discuss exam choices in Year 8 with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests.
What specialist services and expertise are available at the school?
  • Each of the SEND teams employ staff who have received additional formal training in their area of specialism learning/literacy, speech/language/social communication needs (SLCN), mentoring for social/emotional/mental health
  • All Teaching Assistants receive regular Continuing Professional Development training and coaching for specific issues / students, from the relevant specialists.
  • The school brings in additional expertise (assessment, staff training and intervention) from outside agencies, including:
  • Educational psychology
  • Occupational therapy
How will you help me in supporting my child’s learning at home?
  • The school provides parents with advice on how to support your child’s home learning. Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Tutor for more specific advice at any time.
  • All home learning will be displayed on Show My Homework, a web based provision.
  • Adaptations can be made to individual student home learning expectations based on extenuating circumstances or need.
  • Parents will be invited to attend other specific events during the year e.g. Options Evening which give further support to parents and students.
  • Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s support team for ongoing advice.
What support will there be for my child’s well-being?
  • It is vital that all students in our school feel valued, cared for, confident and supported.
  • Staff providing additional support to students with special educational needs automatically include: (this could be drop down?):
  • Ensuring that the student knows who they can talk to if they have any
    worries
  • Lessons about making and keeping friends, having successful
  • Conversations, independence in school
  • Screening for well-being
  • Students who have social, emotional and mental health issues or develop them later on are offered additional measures to help them cope read more on the social, emotional and mental health page.
How will the school help prepare my child for transfer to post 16 education or another school?
  • All students will have at least one meeting with a member of staff from the careers SW advisory service. During this meeting students will have the chance to talk about different Post 16 options.
  • All students will complete a work focus week at the end of Year 10. Some students will be able to complete work experience placements. This helps to give students a taste of a working environment and can help inform them about which course they would like to take, post-16.
  • Students may take part in programmes of work which help prepare them for life post-16 e.g. Life Skills
  • Students will receive support with completing college applications.
  • School staff will liaise with work experience placements to ensure that their staff are aware of student needs.