Quest Academy SEN Information
When seeking a new school we understand that parents and carers will have a wide range of questions and want to be provided with all of the relevant information they require when deciding which school is the most appropriate for their child. The information below is intended to provide them with answers to any questions or concerns that they may have; they can also view the school’s website for more precise information about what the school can offer their child. The school would, however, like to stress that it is more than happy to arrange an appointment on an individual basis for any parent, carer and their child who wishes to visit the school and take a look around for themselves. Alternatively, the school is also very willing to answer any questions by telephone or email and parents and carers should not hesitate to contact the school on 01788 593112 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Characteristics of the School
- A specialist special school for pupils aged 9-19 whose primary needs are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH). The school will offer sixth form provision from September 2019 and has also applied to extend its provision to include Years 3 and 4 from the same date, which is still subject to the outcome of a consultation process.
- Supports the local authority’s offer. Details can be found at:
- Each child is seen as a unique individual and the appropriate provision is made for meeting their specific educational, social, emotional, physical or sensory needs identified in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to best support them in maximising their potential.
- Lies at the heart of the community and in close working partnership with families, referring authorities and external agencies to ensure the coordination of the best possible education, care, guidance and support for its pupils.
- A belief that each child deserves a high quality holistic education that prepares them for life beyond school which means that an equal emphasis is placed on the four areas of our holistic curriculum. ( academic, skills for life, well-being and engagement)
- A passionate belief in a multi-disciplinary, ‘blended’ therapy approach to meeting each pupil’s needs, resulting in carefully managed groupings, including specialist intervention from a range of expert professionals to support the holistic curriculum including, for example, speech and language therapy (SALT), educational psychologists and autism specialists.
- A commitment to the recruitment of and continuing professional development of a multi- disciplinary team.
Taking the Right Steps to Ensure that the Needs of Pupils are Met
The Local Authority
- The Local Authority works closely with families in order to prevent any misunderstanding between them, special schools and the Special Educational Needs Disability Assessment and Review Service (SENDAR).
- All referrals are made through SENDAR; an assessment or a place at the special school cannot be offered without consultation with the SENDAR and approval from the Admissions Panel.
- SENDAR, in conjunction with the special school, will discuss the suitability of an assessment placement at an Admissions Panel.
- If an assessment placement is agreed between SENDAR and a special school, it must be understood that it is for assessment in the first instance and that this is for a time limited period of twelve weeks.
- At the end of the twelve weeks, information from the assessment placement will then be used to inform the next appropriate Admissions Panel meeting when further decisions over the placement may be made.
- The school will very carefully undertake a wide ranging assessment of all pupils during the assessment placement which will be used to help determine whether its own provision is suitable to meeting their particular needs.
- During the assessment period, as appropriate to individual pupils, the school may observe and assess how well pupils function in a range of settings as an alternative to the classroom which may include 1:1 support and off-site provision; external advice may be drawn upon to support this process.
- The school will use this assessment process to help establish whether pupils’ needs can be met by the school as indicated below in that they:
- Are aged 9-19, but it should be noted that the school is currently consulting to change its age range to become a 7-19 school.
- Have an EHCP indicating ASD, and/or SEMH and/or, in addition to these, other associated difficulties such as dyslexia, speech and language.
- Can access our modified National Curriculum offer in small group settings.
- Do not have a cognitive learning difficulty.
In addition to the above our very detailed assessment of their needs will also allow the school to determine whether:
- It has the necessary staffing expertise and resources which will allow it to meet the needs of any individual pupil.
- There is an appropriate place available for the pupil within a suitable cohort.
- Any of the potential challenges presented by a pupil will make the school an unsuitable placement for them due to the fragile and vulnerable nature of the pupils already on roll.
- Consideration needs to be given to the numbers in and the profile of the relevant year group.
Moving On from Quest
As a result of the school’s extremely rigorous assessment processes it may become apparent that it would be more suitable for a child’s further progress for them to be considered for placement in either a mainstream school or different alternative setting.
Placement in Mainstream Provision
This will apply when a detailed review of all the information about their progress indicates one or more of the following:
- The child’s needs are no longer a barrier to accessing the curriculum in a mainstream setting
- The child no longer requires specialist provision.
- There is evidence from professionals across all of the agencies involved that the child will benefit from a placement in a mainstream school.
- The child no longer requires an EHCP
Placement in a Different Alternative Provision
This will apply when a detailed review of all the information about their progress indicates one or more of the following:
- The child’s special educational needs have changed to the extent that the provision offered by the school is no longer able to meet their needs and they require different specialist facilities and resources which are beyond the school’s offer
- The child’s continued placement at the school is incompatible with their efficient education, that of other pupils and with the efficient use of resources.
- Consideration is always given to the compatibility of the provision for an individual pupil with the efficient education of other children and the effective use of resources available to the school in the widest sense; for this reason the school may take the decision that it is not able to provide them the most suitable or appropriate provision when the previous points above do not apply.
What is the school’s approach to the curriculum, learning and assessment?
- Our team of highly trained specialist teachers use the EHCP and baseline academic assessments for pupils to set very challenging and ambitious progress targets for each individual as well as for the school as a whole.
- A range of other assessments are also used for benchmarking pupils’ communication skills, their social and emotional understanding and any sensory and physical needs that they may have.
- We offer a holistic curriculum made up of four key areas: Academic, Wellbeing, Skills for Life and Engagement.
- The curriculum at Quest encompasses the delivery of blended therapies by the trans-disciplinary team (range of specialists) through the Wave Model 1, 2 and 3. Pupils may move up and down the levels according to their level of progress, change in need or within an agreed timescale. Additionally pupils may need wave 2 or wave 3 intervention, even if the majority of needs can be can be met at wave 1. For example, a pupil may be at Wave 1 for numeracy but Wave 3 for literacy.
- Pupils have access to relevant and achievable qualifications from Entry Level 1 to level 3 linked to our holistic curriculum.
- Pupils work towards achieving age related expected norms regardless of their starting point. Progress is calculated on % completion of the curriculum and level of Mastery. A pupil will have made expected progress if they have closed the gap from their starting point (baseline).
- During all levels of provision (lessons, interventions and trips) pupils work towards achieving specific “I can statements” linked to the areas they are studying. For example, I can solve problems with addition and subtraction, using mental and written methods.
- Pupils are set individual progress targets for each subject and area of the holistic curriculum based on their prior attainment. (Prior attainment will be based on any information the school acquires from a previous setting or through the baseline assessment process).
More than expected
Makes more progress than they have previously made before joining Quest
Makes the same level of progress as they achieved prior to attending Quest
Less than expected
Makes less progress than they previously achieved prior to attending Quest
- Every pupil has their own Personalised Development Plan (PDPs) which highlights five key targets (Literacy and Numeracy from the Academic Curriculum, one from the Skills for Life, Engagement and Well- being sections)
- Classes at the school are currently organised on the basis of lower (Years 5-7) and upper (Years 8-11) schools but flexibility can also be used here when necessary to help ensure that pupils are taught according to their individual needs, the stage they are at in their learning and not just simply because of their age.
- Classes typically have a maximum of eight pupils or less with at least one Teaching Assistant assigned to each of them. Higher Level Teaching Assistants are employed to provide further in-class support for identified pupils or 1:1 interventions as appropriate to the needs of individuals.
- The school has a dedicated team of compassionate coaches who provide behaviour management support for pupils both in the classroom and around the school as a whole; the school also has its own therapy team which provides individual 1:1 support for pupils and also advises teachers to help them develop strategies to support pupils in their learning. In addition they also provide in- class support.
- All aspects of the progress of each individual pupil are reviewed each term through our Quest Team Around the Child (QTAC) meetings involving the pupil, their family and all relevant professionals.
- Pupils feedback about their learning and progress towards the “I can statements” they are working towards at the end of each lesson and every half term through dialogue days. They are also involved in providing feedback about their learning and progress during the school’s termly assessment fortnights.
- Pupils can earn rewards for meeting the school’s high behaviour expectations, good levels of attendance, high standards of effort and achievement in their work or for making a positive contribution to the school community; rewards sessions may include museum visits, soft play, physical activities, film club or additional time to access computers points and points awarded weekly can be converted into vouchers to spend at various well known outlets.
- The rewards system was developed by pupils themselves through our School Council who have also contributed to the development of a number of other school initiatives.
- Our sense of communal pride in the achievements and successes of all pupils is shared at the end of each week in our celebration assembly.
- When a pupil is preparing to start at the school, staff will support them during the period prior to their start date and implement an appropriate transition plan for them; pupils making the transition into Key Stage 4 and the Sixth Form are provided with the appropriate support and guidance to help ensure that they are able to access the most appropriate suite of qualifications to help them to meet their aspirations and realise their future plans.
- Pupils are also prepared for internal transitions, that is, moving from one year group into another.
- All pupils have a careers Pathway and meet the external careers guidance Practitioner at least once a year. Pupils in Key Stage 4 and above meet termly where appropriate.
How does the school communicate with parents and carers?
- We place a great deal of significance on communicating effectively with all parents and carers and see this is as a critical factor in being able to meaningfully involve them in their child’s education and the wider life of the school.
- Regular phone calls ensure that parents and carers are kept up-to-date with how their child is progressing; meetings also ensure that any issues can be discussed and strategies to address these put in place which will usually be through our family footings or compassionate coach teams, the class tutor or a teaching assistant.
- We invite parents and carers into school for special assemblies and family celebration days at Christmas, Easter and the end of term. These occasions offer a great opportunity to ensure that everyone with a stake in a child’s learning is working together in the most effective way to support them.
- Family Forum meetings take place twice a term allowing families the opportunity to be involved in the life of the school as well as receive training to help them support their child with their learning and behaviour.
- We send out a fortnightly Newsletter celebrating pupils’ successes and providing them with information and strategies the school is using.
- We understand the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers and always welcome feedback, even if it is about something they think we could improve on; more formal feedback is also important to us and so we also ask them to complete a termly satisfaction survey as well as during QTAC meetings and EHCP reviews.
- In addition to the family events we hold a termly parents’ evening where teachers meet with parents and carers to discuss pupils’ progress and achievements; a full school report is sent home prior to a pupil’s annual review and termly reports on progress towards meeting targets are sent home at the end of each term.
- Parents and carers are welcome to visit school at any time to discuss any concerns they may have and are asked to contact the school office to make sure that an appointment can be arranged with the member of staff who is best placed to deal with the concern.
How does the school work with external stakeholders?
- The school works closely with a range of Stakeholders including the local authority, social services, RISE and THRIVE.
Principal – Nicola Wells
Deputy Principal- Gareth Plant
Business Manager – Jo Godding
Safeguarding Team- DSL Anna Stelfox, Nicola Wells, Gareth Plant, Jo Godding
SENCO and Teacher IC LAC –Ben Makins
Further Information can be found on our Website: http://www.thequestacademy.org/macintyreacademies