SEND Frequently Asked Questions
How does Hertswood Academy know if my child needs extra help and support because of a special educational need?
- If your child is transferring to Hertswood Academy and already has special educational need, the primary school will inform us of any special needs as part of the transition process.
- As part of the Y6 to Y7 transition there is thorough planning between the schools and in liaison with parents/carers in Year 6 to support the student’s move from primary to secondary school. This process offers several opportunities for any concerns to be raised to help ensure a smooth transition.
- Hertswood Academy and many of the local primary schools now work with a Continuum Co-coordinator whose role it is to liaise between the primary and secondary schools and identify students who will possibly need additional support.
- On entry to the school, all students are screened on key cognitive skills, language skills and certain core academic skills. This data, used alongside the KS2 data, can pick up potential difficulties at the earliest stage.
- Some children do well at primary school but find the transition to secondary education more difficult. The teachers are highly alert so that such areas of need are spotted early and referred to the pastoral team so that support can be coordinated promptly.
- Hertswood Academy listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents are always welcome to contact the school to talk about concerns.
How will Hertswood Academy support my child?
- Please see more information in the 'SEND Core Offer' document above.
How will I know how my child is doing?
- Parents of all of our students are invited to parent’s evenings throughout the year. This allows parents to meet and talk to all their child’s subject teachers. If your child has SEN and you would like to discuss their overall progress with the SENCO you can also do this at these evenings.
- Parents can monitor the academic progress of their child through their Go4Schools account. This allows parents to track their child’s progress and to break down their grades to identify specific areas that may need require improvement.
- Hertswood Academy prides itself on its strong home/school liaison. If you have concerns about your child’s progress or the support they are receiving as part of their SEN provision please do contact the school to discuss it further.
- In Y8, you will have opportunities to discuss, with the Head of Learning, GCSE choices for your child with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests. Depending on the complexities of your child’s needs, the SENCO may be present at these meetings.
- If your child has a statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan you will have the opportunity to meet with the SENCO three times a year to discuss your child’s progress towards their outcomes. The EHCP or Statement will be officially reviewed on an annual basis.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- “Community and individual well-being are at the heart of what the Academy stands for. We are committed that all members of our community aim high and achieve excellence in being the best that they can be.” Peter Gillet, Headteacher.
- Hertswood Academy has a dedicated pastoral team who ensure all students feel secure and happy to be able to thrive in a learning environment.
- Hertswood Academy had an Inclusion base which offers a safe and inclusive environment for students to come to throughout the school day. The base is always staffed by at least one member of staff who is experienced in offering support for any emotional and social difficulties.
- The Inclusion base ensures that your child can always find someone to talk to if they have any worries.
- Each Year group has a Head of Learning and an Assistant Head of Learning who works closely with the Inclusion team to ensure all students are supported and happy.
- If your child has more complex emotional or mental health issues the SENCO or CP officer will liaise with you about additional measures we can offer to help them overcome them (such as counselling or empowerment coaching).
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
- The SENCO and pastoral team work closely with many outside agencies to provide provision to support a wide range of needs. A list of these can be found on the School Offer. Many of these agencies work on an outreach basis and come into school however some are off site. As a parent you will be informed of any involvement your child has with any outside agency before it takes place.
How will Hertswood Academy help me to support my child’s learning at home?
- Parents will be invited to attend other specific events during the year e.g. Options Evening which give further support to parents and students. There will be opportunities to speak to the SENCO at these events to discuss things in light of your child’s SEN.
- If your child is selected for the TRACKS literacy scheme on account of their SEN then parents will be invited to a session to teach them how to support the TRACKS work from home.
- Hertswood Academy provides parents with advice on how to support your child’s learning at home and homework. Hertswood Academy also offers an afterschool homework club (studyzone) for students to attend if it is harder for them to complete work at home.
- Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s support team for ongoing advice.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
- If you are concerned about your child’s abilities, Hertswood Academy will always listen to your concerns, discuss them with you and agree on a plan to help your child move forward. The amount and type of support will depend on the complexity of need.
- If your child has a Statement of SEN or an EHCP then your views are a crucial step in the review process and you will liaise with the SENCO and KS co-ordinators to ensure you have the opportunity to have your say. The review process also offers opportunity for you to speak to a member of Hertfordshire SEN team to discuss planning the provision and support your child receives.
Who can I contact for further information about provision in school and in Hertfordshire?
- If you have any queries about the support your child is receiving in school please contact the SENCO, Ms Adamson or your child’s Head of Learning.
- To learn more about the services and provision Hertfordshire offer for children and young people with special educational needs and disability please look at Hertfordshire’s Local Offer which can be found here: hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/local-offer/the-hertfordshire-local-offer.aspx
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
- All students will have at least one meeting with a member of staff from the Connexions advisory service. During this meeting students will have the chance to talk about different Post 16 options.
- All students are given the opportunity to complete work experience at the end of Year 10. This helps to give students a taste of a working environment and can help inform them about which path they would like to take after Year 11.
- Students will receive support with completing university applications.
- School staff will liaise with work experience placements to ensure that their staff are aware of student needs. Students will be visited on their work experience by a Hertswood Academy member of staff to monitor the experience.