This page provides information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities support available for students attending the Rochester Grammar School.
Information about Medway’s Local offer can be found here https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200139/social_care_and_health/466/medway_s_local_offer/1 This includes information about all the support they offer for SEND children and families.
SENCO: Mrs L Wells
1) How does the school know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I if I think my child may have special educational needs?
On entry and other points of transition, the Rochester Grammar School (RGS) liaises very closely with primary schools and other providers to ensure that our information is up to date and relevant. Where necessary, highly individualised arrangements can be put in place for students who may be vulnerable over this period. Detailed plans and interventions will already be in place for young people whose needs are already identified on entry. If a teacher or parent/carer perceives that there may be a difficulty which has not been previously identified, they can speak to the SENCo by arrangement. The SENCo will then examine the most recent learning data, speak to all of the relevant staff and may undertake or commission additional assessments/ investigations. The views of parents and carers are important to us and vital to this process.
2) How will RGS staff support my child?
RGS staff will undertake to deliver quality first teaching, monitored by middle and senior leaders as part of the regular review and observation cycle. The SENCo is also responsible for ensuring that interventions impact positively in terms of outcomes for the student and represent best possible practice and value for money. Heads of Key Stage, Heads of Heads or the SENCo are available to meet parents/carers by appointment (very flexibly). We never assume that “one size will fit all” and will always aim to be as flexible as possible in ensuring bespoke provision where needs warrant.
3) How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Students are set according to ability in core subjects. There is appropriate academic and social provision for gifted and talented young people and those whose learning may need significant support to facilitate progress. In order to maximise attainment in external examinations, we liaise regularly with examination boards to implement appropriate access arrangements.
4) How will I know how my child is doing?
All students are provided with a student planner with capacity for shared communication between home and school. It contains key contact details, key dates in the school calendar. Student achievement data is gathered, collated and monitored every 6-8 weeks and outcomes are shared with parents/carers at appropriates times in the year. This data will also be used to identify concerns around progress and interventions implemented. The subsequent data will be used to measure the impact of intervention. Other measures are routinely used to gauge progress against other needs e.g, attendance data and other scales of emotional well-being and engagement. Parents will have regular opportunities to discuss progress with their teachers at scheduled consultation events or informally by appointment, telephone or e mail to individual teachers. In addition, written feedback is provided as per the calendar.
5) What Support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
The form tutor is generally the child’s most consistent and stable point of contact. However, currently the school is structured in to houses with their own dedicated head of house who support students and their families on a day to day basis and can respond to most routine concerns or enquiries. There is also excellent access to the following external professionals: School Health, Medway Youth Trust, behaviour support specialists, educational psychologist, Sensory Impaired team of specialist teachers and the Disability Team. Where necessary or by request, support can be co-ordinated via Early help assessment. Exclusion rates at the RGS are very low and only implemented as a very last resort. We always endeavour to implement alternative sanctions eg: time in isolation, Restorative justice, detentions etc. A risk assessment is always undertaken in respect of a child’s vulnerability/SEND prior to any exclusion.
6) What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed at or by the school?
See above. In addition, we have an excellent relationship with NELFT (CAMHS) and regularly seek advice and guidance from The Educational Psychology Team and Social Care. RGS holds the ISQM (Inclusive Schools Quality Mark) which validates what we believe to be excellent inclusive practice.
7) What Training have the staff supporting and young people had?
The SENCo holds the Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing with Access Arrangements and The National Award for SENCOs . ALL staff are trained regularly in all aspects of SEND/Inclusion either via the learning Support Department or other partners eg: Educational Psychologist, Trust Partners Planning for the progress and support of SEND students is also a focus of all staff induction and our NQT and teacher training programs. A folder with any safeguarding or SEND information is also available for any supply or short term staff who may be working with our students. Support, provision and outcomes for students with SEND is an explicit focus for all staff.
8) How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We welcome the support and involvement of parents in their children’s’ learning. Parent/carer liaison is routinely managed through the student planner/contact book. Parents/carers are encouraged to contact staff directly by telephone or by e mail. All staff are very happy to be very flexible in their liaison with parents to ensure that the appropriate support is in place for students both at home and in RGS.
9) How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
We aim to develop close and mutually supportive relationships with parent/carers from the point of transition. Where students have SEND, transition is usually extended, enhanced and bespoke and we aim to involve parents as a source of expertise around the needs of their child. There are regular opportunities to engage with subject and pastoral teams to review progress and set new targets. There will also be other opportunities to discuss your child’s learning during annual reviews, and IP reviews. Parents and carers are represented on the governing body.
10) How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
We actively seek to ensure that ALL students are included in all activities including trips. All activities outside the classroom are individually risk assessed and where necessary resourced and supported to maximise the engagement in and the impact of the activity on all the young people who are participating. Trips are regularly used to enhance social skills or subject knowledge and are seen as a valuable element of the curriculum.
11) How accessible is the RGS environment?
Within the main building of the school there is a lift for students to access the second floor. Where the second floor is not accessible via the lift curriculum delivery on the ground floor can be arranged. There are disabled toilets in key areas of RGS. Ramps are strategically sited across RGS. However, the site is large and access to some areas can be challenging. Historically, we have deployed support staff to facilitate mobility and access across the site. The site is very clearly sign posted and there are visual timetables for students who need them. Teachers are accustomed to utilising technology to enhance the visual and auditory environment and bespoke arrangements can be implemented where appropriate. In order to facilitate good communication with parents whose first language is not English, we are able to access interpreters through the Trust, wider community or local authority.
12) Who can I contact for further information?
Routinely, the first point of contact is the form tutor or subject teacher, further clarification or involvement is needed, the curriculum leader, the Head of House, The Head of Key Stage, or SENCo can always be available on request. We aim to be as accessible as possible.
13) How will RGS prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or to the next stage of education?
We aim to ensure that transitions are positive and will implement a bespoke package where needs warrant this. We involve all other appropriate agencies at other points of transition to ensure that the processes run smoothly and with good outcomes. We are always guided by the views of parents/carers and aim to ensure that the transition is a positive experience for them as well as the young person.
14) How does the school know if children need extra help? What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We routinely use information provided for us by parents/carers, primary or previous schools and professionals from other agencies to plan interventions. In addition, subject teachers, key stage heads and the Learning Support team regularly monitor attendance, learning data and other well-being indicators to ascertain the need for additional support. If you feel that your child has not received sufficient help, it is always possible to visit the school and share your concern which will always be thoroughly investigated.
15) How are RGS resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We regularly review and update RGS groups and individual provision maps which are costed and evaluated for impact and to ensure value for money and the efficient deployment of resources. We implement Medway’s banding system for SEND which is scrutinised by the local authority and which can be subject to external and independent moderation. We are flexible in this process and never attempt to ensure that “one size fits all”; our focus is to maximise engagement, achievement and enjoyment in learning for ALL of our students
16) How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
A decision about how much support is allocated is dependent on the level of need and impact of interventions. If a young person is statemented or the subject of an Education and Health Care Plan, we always ensure that statutory requirements are met ( as a minimum). We also seek and follow guidance from other professionals working with the child/ family and take on board the wishes and feelings of the young person and parents/carers. The student and his/her parents and carers are consulted and informed when planning interventions and are informed about the impact and outcomes of support and of next steps.