Newark Orchard School’s Local Offer
What kinds of special educational needs does the school/setting make provision for?
Newark Orchard School is a generic special school which delivers provision for a wide range of needs. We cater for pupils with Profound & Multiple learning needs, Severe learning needs, Moderate learning needs, Autism, ADHD and Social, Emotional Mental Health needs. We moved into our brand new premises in September 2020 which caters for pupils aged between 3-18 . We also have a specialist hub which caters for pupils with complex Autism.
How does the school/setting evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for pupils with special educational needs?
We continually evaluate our provision through a structured and rigorous monitoring programme. We consult with all stakeholders and pupils have a voice through a very proactive student council. We work closely with an Educational Psychologist and have strong partnerships with all the Newark Schools. Our professional development for staff means we access up to date educational thinking.
How will both the school/setting and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will the school/setting help me to support their learning?
All pupils have a baseline assessment on entry to the school and we have a clear, structured approach to ensure we know exactly where each pupil is working and where they need to be. We currently use a system which breaks down into small step targets in order for our pupils to see their success. We carry out formal assessments three times a year to ensure every pupil is making appropriate progress. We also value the non- academic progress that pupils make and also monitor life skills too. This progress is shared with parents/carers at Annual Review meetings, parents’ evenings and through our homework ideas sheets which are updated on a termly basis.
What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs?
Our school’s mission statement is ‘Individual Growth for Individual People’ and everyone at Orchard is totally committed to working within this ethos.
How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child/young person’s needs?
Pupils’ needs are assessed on an individual basis and the curriculum is tailored to the needs of each pupil. The curriculum is based on three pathways which meet the needs of learners at different stages. The Explorer’s curriculum is for those who require an experiential and play based approach to their learning and uses the Engagement Scale to develop a range of necessary skills. The Adventurer’s curriculum is for those who require a subject based approach and is a mixture of a more formal style with elements of play. The Trailblazer’s curriculum is for those who require a subject based formal style of learning and may go on to achieve Entry Level/Level 1 accreditation.
Targets are set for academic subjects alongside life skills and behaviour where appropriate.
How are decisions made about the type and amount of support my child/young person will receive?
The needs of each individual are taken into account on entry to the school. When the school first consults with the LA we will consider if we can meet the needs based on several aspects. When creating our classes we look at the level of staffing and specialist input each child will require. We receive our funding from the LA based on the needs of our pupils and this is moderated on an annual basis to ensure consistency across the county.
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
We very much embrace the opportunities that the local community can offer our pupils and ensure that there are lots of planned activities to access the community. Each activity is risk assessed to ensure its suitability for the pupils and we take time to plan activities which enable full participation for everyone. We plan residential trips alongside this for our pupils and also offer the opportunity for onsite overnight camps under canvas.
What support will there be for my child/young person’s overall well-being?
The wellbeing and happiness for our pupils is paramount and we ensure that we work closely with home and other agencies to ensure this. Our staff know the pupils well and spot very quickly if something needs addressing. Pupils know who they can go to if they need help. For those pupils who require further support, we also work closely with CAMHS, CASY counselling and The Children’s Bereavement & Loss Centre alongside our own Mental Health Champions in school.
What training have staff supporting special educational needs had and what is planned?
All staff receive annual training on Moving & Handling, Behaviour Management, Administering medication and regular First Aid. Our professional development is dictated by the needs of the pupils therefore we send individuals or small groups to a range of training including Autism, sensory curriculum, supporting emotional needs, counselling skills, creative curriculum, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Intensive Interaction, Sensory Integration and Mindfulness to name but a few. We always match the training to our school development plan which has our pupils at the heart of it.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the setting/school?
We work closely with a range of professionals such as Educational Psychologists, Speech & Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Specialist nurses, pediatricians and CAHMS.
How will equipment and facilities to support pupils with special educational needs secured? How accessible is the school/setting?
We ensure that specialist equipment is in place for our pupils and we work closely with our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists who advise us on this. The school is accessible to all pupils and adaptations are made when necessary.
What are the arrangements for consulting parents of pupils with special educational needs? How will be I involved in the education of my child/young person?
We have formal consultations at an annual review meeting, at parent’s evenings and in an end of year report. Less formally we have home/school diaries, telephone contact, school events and links to parent support groups. We are always happy to speak with parents/carers and can arrange for you to come in and have a chat at a mutually agreed time.
What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?
We have a very proactive school council who consult with the leadership team and the governing body on a regular basis. We carry out pupil questionnaires on an annual basis. Our staff also know the pupils well and they have good relationships with them so any concerns can be dealt with promptly.
What do I do if I have a concern or complaint about the SEN provision made by the school/setting?
We have a complaints policy on our website which outlines how to make a complaint. We would always welcome parents/carers to contact any member of the leadership team first to see if any concerns can be sorted out as quickly as possible.
How does the governing body involve other organisations and services (e.g. health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary organisations) in the meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and supporting the families of such pupils?
The governing body works with the leadership team to ensure that the school works closely with other agencies. The policies around procedures for working with complex needs are all read and approved by the governors.
How does the school/setting seek to signpost organisations, services etc who can provide additional support to parents/carers/young people?
The school works in partnership with all the Newark schools and therefore has access to extended school’s events across the locality. We will publish information from local support groups on our website alongside community events happening in the school holidays. The school also works in partnership with the Family SENCo and provides support to mainstream schools where appropriate.
How will the school/setting prepare my child/young person to:
- Join the school/setting?
- Transfer between phases of education (e.g. early years to primary, primary to secondary etc)?
- Prepare for adulthood and independent living?
On gaining a place at the school which is allocated by the LA there will be a careful transition planned for each individual. We have a core offer of 2 half day visits and one whole day but this can be adapted to suit the needs of your child if necessary. We will liaise closely with their current school and gather relevant information from them. All transitions within school are planned carefully whether it be to another class or a transition to our other site.
Life skills are taught throughout the school with particular emphasis on independent living in our 14-18 department. We work closely with parents/carers when it’s time to move on and seek relevant advice from other agencies when looking for suitable college placements.
Where can I access further information?
Further information can be found on our school website: www.newarkorchard.notts.sch.uk Visits to the school are welcomed by appointment so please feel free to telephone the school: 01636 682255
Reviewed February 2021