All teaching staff at OPGS work with the Mainstream Core Standards [MCS] for SEND, in line with the statutory Local Offer from Kent County Council. Each member of staff has a copy of the document and uses it within their lessons as appropriate. To view the MCS guide for parents, please click here.
The MCS detail clear strategies to support students within the four main categories of need as listed below:
Communication and Interaction Needs
Embracing our students with ASC and Autism with a PDA profile. Also supporting those students with a Speech and Language Difficulty. Two members of SDS hold a Level 2 qualification in Understanding Autism.
Cognition and Learning Needs
Embracing our students with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and/or processing difficulties.
Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs
Embracing our students with ADD/ADHD, OCD and other mental health difficulties.
Sensory and Physical Needs
Embracing our students who may struggle with noisy environments for example, or who have a physical difficulty.
Supporting Individual Student Needs
The Student Development and Support Team closely monitor all students in the school. When students arrive with us in Year 7, we have already had discussions with their primary schools and parents to make sure we are aware of any difficulties they may experience with their learning. Our EXACT screening upon entry may also play a part in understanding individual difficulties.
The information we gather is collated and shared with teachers, with appropriate strategies to support students’ needs. These may simply be the MCS strategies but may also be more personalised with additional guidance as appropriate.
Some students have Pupil Passports as they transition between year groups so that their new teachers are aware of their needs and how to support them. Other students have a personalised Learning Plan with more detailed guidance for staff, students and parents. We also regularly observe students in lesson and ask teachers for feedback, to ensure that the support we put in place is effective. Learning Plans are reviewed with staff, students and parents three times per year after monitoring analysis. Students with an EHCP are similarly reviewed and a formal Annual Review is held each year.
Supporting All Students
The MCS strategies are excellent support strategies for every child. To this end, we have re-formulated many of them into our own support document entitled the 6Cs which we ask all teachers to use in their lessons on a daily basis.
My Child is Struggling, what should I do?
If parents are concerned that their child may have an additional need, they can email their child’s Director of Study or the Student Development & Support Lead at any time. Please do this via the main office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents can also make an appointment with the SDS Lead at their appropriate parents evening to discuss concerns and/or support.
We actively encourage teachers to alert us to any student who begins to struggle as challenge increases, even if they have no previously known need. When this happens we investigate further and begin discussions with parents and the appropriate Director of Study. We are also happy to write and support referrals to external agencies where appropriate.