What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
The Academy accommodates all SEND in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all 4 areas of need outlined in the 2014 SEND code of practice. This includes cognitive learning needs such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Moderate learning difficulties. Communication and interaction needs such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, speech and language. Social, emotional and mental health needs are also widely supported. The Academy has experience supporting physical needs such as Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, hearing and visual impairments and our new building is accessible for any students with mobility needs.
The SENCo at the Excel Academy is Mrs C Malhi.
How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
The Excel Academy recognises if a student needs extra support through the transition process from Primary to Secondary, SEN assessment data or via teacher/parent/student/professional referrals. If a parent/carer thinks his/her child has special educational needs, he/she would need to contact the academy and speak to their Head of Year or the SENCo.
How will the setting support my child/young person?
The Excel Academy has many highly qualified and experienced staff who are able to differentiate for various learning needs in the classroom. There is also a team of support staff who are deployed throughout the academy to support students with SEN either in lessons or through small intervention groups. We have specialist areas in literacy, numeracy, speech and language where interventions are rigorous and of high quality.
How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
The curriculum can be personalised for students with SEN if necessary. This can be done through an alternative provision package or by offering an LSU placement in school. Students who need a personalised curriculum will be part of the decision making process along with parents/carers, teachers and any other agencies that may be involved with supporting the student. Some students may study a reduced number of subjects if it is more appropriate.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
The SENCo is available at every Parent’s Evening to discuss your child’s progress. Your child will also have a student passport which will show their latest SEN data, progress made towards targets and how they can be supported at school and home. The academy operates and ‘open door’ policy so you are welcome to come in or contact anyone throughout the day.
What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
The Excel Academy has a robust pastoral system and an experienced welfare team to support your child. The welfare team offer families support such as Early Help (EH), which allows the school to involve suitable agencies/services that can support your child. The Academy also works closely with multi-agencies to ensure that students are supported effectively. The Academy’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural programme, which is incorporated into the PSHE curriculum, ensures all areas of support are covered for young people.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Agencies/services that Excel Academy works closely with include; SEND services, the educational psychology service, Younger Minds, STAR, Base 58, school nurse hub, Young Carers, CAMHS, Young people’s drug project, Dove, Educational Welfare Officer, integrated family support service, ARCH, REACH, Merit, Youth Offending Team and the Youth Service. The Academy is also a member of the safer schools partnership.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
The Excel Academy offers training to teachers and support staff on a regular basis through workshops delivered internally by the SENCo. The Academy also buys in additional training from SEND services to ensure Staff are confident and equipped to support SEN students effectively.
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Students with SEN are included in activities such as trips and outside activities. If students require extra support to access the activity, teaching assistants will be deployed appropriately.
How accessible is the environment?
The Excel Academy has a new building. There is wheelchair access to each level of the building and adapted speciality classrooms to ensure wheelchair users can participate in practical subjects such as food technology, science and art.
How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
The Excel Academy works very closely with the local Primary schools to ensure that students with SEN have a smooth transition. Students who are SEN/Vulnerable, are invited to attend the enhanced transition programme run by the SEN team. This involves students visiting the Academy several time during the summer term. The SENCo will also attend Y5 and Y6 reviews. Finally, the Excel Academy offers all Year 6 students the opportunity to attend the Summer School. This gives the students time to socialise with others and to build positive relationships with staff in preparation for the new academic year.
For post 16 transition, information sharing between the Academy and colleges takes place to ensure students receive the support they need for further education. Some students will also have taster days at college so they are familiar with their new educational setting.
How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
Resources are allocated appropriately to support students with SEN. Students with SEN are generally in a smaller/nurture classes and have the additional support from a teaching assistant. Resources are also used to deliver various evidence based programmes to small intervention groups. If a student has an Education and Health Care Plan, the Academy will provide what is required as stated on their plan.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The Excel Academy has a graduated response to students with SEN. It is based upon student data, rate of progress and general attitude/behaviour within the academy. If the student is not making enough progress through quality first teaching, they will require SEN Academy Support. If students require even more support, an assessment for an Education and Health Care Plan will be requested. Support is provided under guidelines and advice from the SEND Code of Practice and through specialist support from SEND services and the educational psychology service.
How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
The Academy puts the student at the heart of the support that is provided. Students are involved with the planning of their support and are encouraged to take ownership over the progress they make by choosing smart targets, which are agreed with their parents, teaching assistants and teachers. Each student identified on the SEND register has a student passport which is written in consultation with the student and their parents.
How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
The Excel Academy forms excellent communication links with parents and encourages parental involvement in all decisions about their child's learning. As parents, you will be reviewing your child's learning passport, progress and will contribute to the planning of future targets. In addition to parent's evenings, the Academy holds a 'Student Academy Support' event each year so that students and parents can speak with support staff and the SENCo about their provision.
How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Parents are encouraged to become involved with the Academy through becoming a member of the PTFA. There is also opportunities to support other parents who also have children with SEN. Parents can also get involved by supporting their child with their work by using the ‘Show my Homework’ app. Attendance to Parent’s Evening, celebration events and parent workshops are encouraged with the belief that the Academy is pivotal to all - students, staff, parents and the community.
What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
The complaints policy is published on the Excel Academy's website to get further advice.
What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
The Excel Academy will offer Early Help if parents or families need extra support. Other support for parents include the SEND Information, Advice Support Service (SENDIASS), Safeguarding board and access to the Stoke-On-Trent Local Offer where links to a range of supportive agencies can be found.