Supporting students with Special Educational and Additional Needs

Creating a level playing field!

At Moorside High School we believe it is important to bring out the best in all our students. The Learning Support Department works with all members of school staff to actively promote the development of students with Special Educational and additional needs. The department, under the leadership of the Assistant Head-Teacher and SEN co-ordinator (SENCO), aims to promote learning strategies and teaching approaches which allow these SEN and additional needs to be met. Support is given to teachers to enable them to provide appropriate challenges and opportunities for success for identified students. In addition, they help students to recognise and plan for their own progress.

Staff working within the Learning Support Department have specialist training in working with children who have specific learning difficulties. There are two specialist rooms equipped with computers and IPads, and a range of additional teaching resources. The Learning Support department works with all school staff to identify and assess students’ needs, plan for these needs and put into practice appropriate identified strategies. The school also works closely with outside agencies to ensure that students receive the appropriate intervention. We also endeavour to provide equality of opportunity and therefore assess carefully to ensure the most appropriate access arrangements are in place for all external examinations.

Available resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. A wide variety of support is put in place depending on the needs of the child.. This can range from individual and small group withdrawal sessions to support in class. Students with the greatest need are placed in classes with a smaller number of students and a higher teacher : student ratio. Quality first teaching ensures that progress is maintained and often exceeded. Other support includes: reduced and customised curriculum, alternative provision and a lunchtime homework club for students wanting extra help.

Provisions available:

  • Phonics
  • Active Literacy Kit
  • Toe by Toe
  • Better Reading
  • Talking Partners
  • Inference
  • Pre-Teaching vocabulary
  • Reading for Meaning
  • Dyslexia Support
  • Numeracy support
  • Study skills
  • Revision guides

Students can have special educational or additional needs throughout their schooling career or at specific points and the Learning Support department works with all staff to support these students. All Year 7 students take a reading test on entry into the school and students identified as needing additional literacy support participate in the reading intervention, whereby trained students coach the younger students. All Year 7 students involved in this scheme show excellent improvement in their reading ages.

We understand that the transition process to a new school can be a daunting experience for any parent and we try to make this process as smooth as possible by offering early transition days to all students regardless of the level of their need, attending all transition reviews in year 6 and offering a variety of exciting learning opportunities throughout years 5 and 6. If you have concerns about the support that will be available for your child once they move to Moorside, the Learning Support Department is always willing to talk through these worries with you. We work in close partnership with the SEN Support Service at Entrust and we have good working relationships with the SEN case officers to ensure that we all work together as a team to support your child.

We are extremely aware that the changes in legislation for SEN (September 2014) are a real concern for all students, parents and staff. The planned implementation of the ‘Local Offer’ and the introduction of the Education /Health Care Plans to replace the Statement of Special Needs are still not yet ratified but be assured parents and pupils will be at the centre of the provision that Moorside will strive to continue to offer.