Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision
Here at Larkmead School we are committed to offering a fully inclusive curriculum, which embeds our values of one community, individual minds, creating futures. We are proud of our diverse student roll and we strive to ensure that each and every student achieves their full potential.
For students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), we work hard to build strong relationships with local schools and families to ensure smooth transitions at key curriculum points and a consistent, child centred approach to the support they receive.
Our Learning Support Base is a welcoming, safe space that provides students with SEND a comfortable place to use throughout the school day. The Learning Support Team consists of well-trained, conscientious and dedicated staff members who respond effectively to student needs, and are able to adapt to suit all learners. The provision from our team consists of in class support, individualised and small group interventions, whole school staff CPD and break time support. Alongside the robust whole school tracking system, we monitor the progress of students with SEND using baseline assessments and reviewing the impact of interventions.
We work closely with outside agencies such as Educational Psychologists, SENSS Communication and Interaction team, SENSS Hearing Impairment team, medical professionals and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). This ensures students’ needs are being met across all levels of support.
Please find the SEN policy, the annual catch-up funding report, the SEN information report and our Key Stage provision map on the website for more information.
Larkmead School is committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all pupils whatever their needs. To effectively meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) within the school, Larkmead has regard to statutory and non-statutory guidance including the Code of Practice and SEND reforms (2014), Equality Act 2010 and Supporting pupils with medical conditions 2014.
hearing resource base
Special Educational Needs Support Services (SENSS) vision:
“Working in partnership to secure good outcomes and a positive future
for children and young people with SEN and/or disability”
About the SENSS Hearing Resource Base (HRB) at Larkmead School
The SENSS Hearing Resource Base (HRB) at Larkmead School is part of a continuum of support offered within the Local Offer for children and young people with a hearing impairment living in Oxfordshire. The link to this site is as follows https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/special-educational-needs-and-disability-local-offer
A child seeking a resource base place must have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in which the local authority has named Larkmead School SENSS Hearing Resource Base as the appropriate placement to meet the child’s educational needs. Further detail is included in the Admission Indicators document (Appendix 1).
We aim to enable students to:
- have a well-supported and smooth transition from primary to secondary school
- fulfil their academic and social potential in an inclusive mainstream setting
- have the same educational opportunities and challenges as their normally hearing peers
- enjoy their time at school
- become effective communicators in their chosen mode(s) of communication
- become independent young people
- be involved in decisions regarding their own education and take increasing responsibility for their own learning
- benefit from the close co-operative working of parents, the school and other agencies
- be prepared for post-16 opportunities
- be prepared for life in the wider community
- become resilient young adults with positive self-image and good self-esteem.
Larkmead is a coeducational Academy for students aged 11-18 situated on Faringdon Road in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It became part of the Vale Academy Trust in January 2017. For sixth form, partnership with other secondary schools in Abingdon including St Helen’s and St. Katharine’s and Abingdon School, and with Abingdon and Witney College, ensures a range of course options are offered. Larkmead School holds a “Good” rating by Ofsted and was granted specialist school status as a Performing Arts College. The school has an attached Hearing Resource Base (HRB), which is staffed with specialist teachers from the centrally held Special Educational Needs Support Services (SENSS). The HRB has direct strategic links to the school Senior Management Team and there is an agreed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining the ways in which the school and the SENSS HRB work together to provide for the students within the resource base who are on school roll and first and foremost members of Larkmead School.
A purpose built suite of rooms was set up in 1998 on Larkmead School’s site as a resource base to provide students with hearing impairment, who need additional support, the benefits of on-site staffing and facilities. The HRB is well resourced with up-to-date audiological equipment, teaching resources and acoustically treated teaching rooms. These rooms are used for additional tutorial support, small group work, meetings and other student activities. Resources to support access and inclusion of the students with hearing impairment are also stored here. In addition, the HRB serves as an administrative base for the peripatetic team of Teachers of the Deaf who work for SENSS (HI) in the south of the county.
Students with HI at Larkmead use a range of audiological equipment. These are indicated in the student’s Education Health and Care Plan and include personal hearing aids, cochlear implants and wireless radio systems. In addition, sound field systems have been installed in key classrooms in the school. These deliver the teacher’s voice at the same volume to every part of the classroom and benefit all students in the class, not only those with hearing difficulties. The number and position of sound field systems is reviewed each year and adjustments are made to ensure that the listening needs of current students with HI at Larkmead are met as well as possible. PA systems and visual presentations are used for school assemblies. Technology is included as a focus in the MoU.
Teachers of the Deaf work in collaboration with the health authority to ensure personal equipment is working optimally. They also support Larkmead students and staff to use equipment to best effect and to monitor, evaluate and develop the use of technology to support HRB students within the school. INSET is offered at the beginning of the year and on-going support is given throughout the year as the curriculum and students’ learning needs change.
Hearing Resource Base staff
Qualified Teachers of the Deaf and Specialist Teaching Assistants have a broad range of subject specialism and experience of teaching and supporting across the curriculum at KS3, KS4 and KS5. Regular in-service training and guidance is given to mainstream staff so that the use of facilitative teaching strategies for students with HI is maximised in class and learning is enabled.