S.E.N.D - Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

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.

Learning Support

Identification of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 

The SEND of individual pupils are usually identified while the pupils are in their primary phase and the names of these students are then included on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support Register along with the identified category of need. (Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Sensory and or Physical Needs, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties). However students may be identified as having a SEN through the school procedures including the use of the Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance ‘Identifying and supporting Special Educational Needs in Oxfordshire schools and settings’ at any stage of their time at secondary school and if appropriate their names are added to the SEN Register and appropriate interventions and support are put in place to meet the pupil needs.

Provision Mapping

To address the demands made on SEN provision at Larkmead we use Provision Mapping to identify and map out a range of creative and innovative group and individual interventions. These are evidence based and time limited which are devised to appropriately and effectively address student needs. Group interventions are targeted towards those with similar needs whilst recognising that some students will need more support than others.

In addition to interventions SEN support may take the form of whole class shared support when a Teaching Assistant (TA) will support the class teacher in delivering the lesson in a way which maximizes curriculum access for the students with SEN.

Learning Support Ethos

Larkmead subscribes to the Government’s ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda. We aim for every child whatever their background or their circumstances to have the support they need to;

Be healthy
Stay safe
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well being

SEND is mainly managed within the Learning Support Centre in collaboration with Directors of Learning for each year group, Heads of Key Stage 3 and 4 and Head of Faculties/Departments.

The Learning Support Team

Head of Learning Support Faculty (Literacy lead)
Learning Support Manager/ ASD support lead (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
SEN ICT Coordinator/ Literacy Co-ordinator (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
Foundation Learning Coordinator (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
In class TA support  coordinator (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
SEN PE Program Lead  (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
TA with responsibility for coordinating programs for students with Physical Difficulties
Additional TAs take on various responsibilities including the roles of Key Workers for identified students with significant needs

SEND Student Profiles and Provision Mapping

SEND student profiles are generated for students on the SEND register who are identified as having SEN support and those students  with Statements/Health and Education Plans. These are reviewed and new targets/outcomes set taking account student and parental views ,subject teacher comments, TA observations and tutor input from mentoring sessions.

Provision Mapping is informed by the SEN Profiles. Provision Mapping may involve students coming out of lessons individually or in small groups to access interventions specific to their needs. These interventions may be advised by support services. The outcomes of such interventions are monitored and reviewed against set objectives at the end of each intervention and next steps identified.

Students who require Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for behaviour difficulties have Individual behaviour Plans (IBPs) which are agreed, monitored and reviewed by the Pastoral Support Unit with the student and if appropriate a behaviour intervention programme is implemented.


Group or individual interventions may be to support the following areas;

Specific Learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia
Language and Communication
Social communication, Interaction and emotional needs (E-motivate)
SEN ICT for curriculum access
A modified curriculum
Sports Plus, a course for students for whom the mainstream PE program is inappropriate
Foundation Learning a certified course including Key Steps and the Environmental Award  for Years 8.9.10 and 11

Working in partnership with parents/carers

At Larkmead School we aim to work closely young people with SEN and their parents to agree outcomes and how we will all work towards these, and then to review progress. We do this: by termly meetings, in line with parent evening meetings, scheduled phone calls, via email and through termly parent forums. 

Outside Agency Links- Support Services

Special Educational Needs Support Services (SENSS) which includes advice and support for pupils with Physical difficulties, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Communication and Interaction difficulties and Language and Communication difficulties
Therapy Services which includes Physiotherapy ,Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language therapy
Emotional Behaviour Support Services
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
School nurse
ICT for SEN curriculum access

Hearing Resource Base

The HRB at Larkmead is part of SEN Support Services. The Base was set up in 1998 to provide hearing impaired students, who need additional support, with the benefits of on-site staffing and facilities.

Qualified Teachers of the Deaf and specialist Teaching Assistants are based at Larkmead and support in a variety of ways, both in class and for individual and small group work in the Base.

The Base is well resourced with up-to-date audiological equipment, teaching resources and acoustically treated teaching rooms.


We aim to help students to:

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 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 options post-16
Be prepared for life in the wider community

Audiological Provision

Students with hearing impairment use a range of audiological equipment including personal hearing aids, cochlear implants and modern FM radio systems. In addition, fourteen SoundField systems have recently been installed in classrooms around 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. Teachers of the Deaf work in collaboration with the health authority to ensure personal equipment is working optimally.

Specialist Teaching and Support

Qualified Teachers of the Deaf and Teaching Assistants have a broad range of subject specialism and experience of teaching and supporting across the curriculum at KS3 and KS4. Regular in service training and guidance is given to mainstream staff so that the use of facilitative teaching strategies for hearing impaired students is maximised in class.

Support Models

Support models are flexible and respond to changing individual need.

In-class support can include: checking that instructions and material have been understood; assisting with individual, pair and group tasks when required; note-taking for use in lessons and homework; differentiating and modifying resources and summarising videos.

Individual and small group teaching takes place in the Base and can include: pre-and post-teaching aspects of the curriculum; further promoting the development of language and literacy and acting as live speaker for any work involving audio cassettes.

Much use is made of ICT in the Base for both teaching and communication.

Assessment and Monitoring

Students’ progress and provision is regularly monitored via procedures outlined in the SEN Code of Practice (including IEPs and Annual Reviews). In addition, specialist language assessments are used.

Social Inclusion

Like all Larkmead students, hearing impaired students have opportunities to be involved in all school activities both curricular and extra-curricular. To date hearing impaired students have been members of a range of school sports teams and have been involved in drama productions, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and residential school trips.

Social links with normally hearing and other hearing impaired students are facilitated. For example, deaf awareness sessions for hearing peers may be given and activity days providing opportunities for friendship links with a wider group of deaf young people within Oxfordshire are organised. There are also clubs available at break and lunchtimes which hearing impaired students have enjoyed attending.

Working in Partnership

We work in close partnership with the school and parents, together with any agencies involved with the students, such as Speech and Language Therapy and Connexions. Close liaison with Teachers of the Deaf at primary and post-16 and other professionals ensures a smooth transition from one key stage to another.


To date, all hearing impaired students have achieved high value added scores and exceeded their target grades. On leaving Larkmead, all students have gone onto Further Education courses at school or college (both for A-Level and vocational courses).