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Special educational needs (SEN) report


By law all schools have to provide details about how they will support a child with special needs. This is the school’s local offer and is detailed in this document our SEND Information Report.

Melland High School is a special school educating pupils with a wide range of severe and complex learning difficulties. All children attending the school must have a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’ or an Education Health Care Plan.

Our report will include details of the support we will provide for your child. We ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. This will similarly relate to the advice within the Education, Health Care Plan’ (EHCP)

All the pupils who come to Melland High School have a statement of special educational needs, which describes their individual areas of special needs. In line with recent code of practice these statements have been converted into an Education Health and Care plan (EHC). For all students on roll at Melland, their primary need will be a significant learning difficulty.

We carefully consider the learning needs of each student, building up an individual learning profile for all students, which identifies their learning style and needs.

For students newly arriving at the school, Melland High School runs a well-planned and structured transition programme. This will incorporate a range of observations and diagnostic baseline assessments, incorporating views from previous schools and parents. This involves Melland staff attending Year 5 or 6 Annual Reviews and the new students visiting Melland for taster lessons. Using this information and observations and assessments within the first half term, students are placed in classes, which allow the correct support to be placed with the student, incorporating staffing ratios and the correct classroom environment.

Arrangements for consulting parents/carers and pupils

At Melland we strongly believe that parents and carers are key stakeholders in our school community, and we try to involve them in all aspects of school life. Partnership with parents plays a key role in enabling children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential. The school recognises that parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents & carers of children with special educational needs will be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their children’s education.

Regular contact is made with parents via the student planner, as well as correspondence newsletters home, group call, website, twitter and email. The student planner is very important for communication between tutor group staff and parents and it may also be used to convey information about how a pupil may be progressing in school. Staff will also communicate regularly with parents through phone calls home, email and through other informal and formal meetings in school. Parents and carers are welcome in the school to discuss any queries / concerns with any member of staff, either at the end of the school day or at a pre-arranged time during the school day.

Parents / carers are invited to a formal review, which is held once a year to discuss their child’s progress and review their statement / EHC plan. Parents are updated on their child’s progress and any changes to their support package are discussed.

Links with parents and carers are strong, and there are multiple opportunities each year for parents to discuss and receive feedback on progress throughout the year.

Student voice is important at Melland; we value the opinions of all members of our community. Our pupils are encouraged to express their thoughts and views and challenge ideas. All students are supported to contribute their views at any point, to any member of staff. This is the key to the excellent relationships between staff and students. Melland has a very talented and committed group of student leaders who meet regularly to input into a number of areas of school life, including aspects of pupil safety and whole school improvement.

Approach to teaching students with SEND

The school’s approach to teaching our students with SEND can be exemplified by our school rules and values:

Show respect for all pupils and all adults by:

  • speaking to people in a polite way;
  • using peoples’ correct title;
  • respecting other peoples’ property;
  • helping others;
  • showing consideration for others;
  • always trying your best;
  • avoid physical hurt.

Show respect for the school environment by:

  • moving around school in a sensible way;
  • keeping classrooms tidy;
  • putting litter in the bins;
  • taking care of the buildings and the grounds.

Show respect for the whole school community by:

  • valuing our differences – age, gender, race, disability, sexuality and background;
  • making everyone feel supported and cared for;
  • making everyone feel included;
  • making everyone feel their contribution is valuable;
  • making everyone feel important.

Melland High School has three departments:

Key stage 3, Key stage 4 and 6th form

Within these departments, students are organised in mixed ability tutor groups, broadly according to age/key stage, providing an inclusive setting for registration, tutor periods and daily collective acts of worship and RE. Within these tutor groups, their teacher and teaching assistants will have a strong pastoral role. Opportunities for students to work on the development of spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of learning are provided as well as the promotion of British Values. In addition Key stage 3 tutor group sessions include ML and aspects of the humanities curriculum. In KS 4 and 6th form pupils engage in activities in preparation for work or college and future life.

Education Health and Care Plan outcomes where appropriate are worked on with pupils during tutor group lessons.Students are taught within ability groups. These groups provide a different curriculum appropriate to individual students’ needs. All students have key curriculum and personal targets. There is continual evaluation of these targets which informs all planning and monitoring of the effectiveness of teaching and learning and pupil progress. Education Health and Care Plan outcomes where appropriate are worked on with pupils during lessons.

Key Stage 3

All National Curriculum subjects are taught to all pupils aimed specifically at their individual levels of learning, where each pupil receives a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum. All learners follow the National Strategy and new secondary curriculum at Key Stage 3 in all core and foundation subjects.

Key Stage 4

As students make the transition from Year 9 to Year 10, the curriculum changes to allow more flexibility and choice within the subjects offered. This supports the social development of the students and helps them to become as independent as possible in preparation for adulthood.

The curriculum for Key Stage 4 students is also enriched through the continuing development of accreditation through OCR- Cambridge Progression in English, maths, ICT and PE, Arts Award and City and Guilds in Media technology.

6th Form

Students join the 6th form department at age 16, and may remain here for 3 years, leaving school at the age of 19. Some students may be more suited to a college placement at 18. At Melland we have five teaching groups currently in the 6th form. During the three years that students spend in the 6th form there is a strong emphasis on developing skills and understanding that will equip them for their adult life. Courses are delivered with flexibility, so that students’ learning needs are met, and each student can access all areas of the curriculum.

The curriculum for 6th form students is also enriched through the continuing development of accreditation through OCR- entry level in functional English, Maths & Life and Living Skills, Arts Award and City and Guilds in Media technology.

Activities in the 6thform reflect the age and changing needs of our post 16 students. Throughout 6th form the learning emphasis is placed on developing students’ thinking skills, independence, confidence and improving their ability to apply their knowledge to situations outside school. Within the curriculum there are a wide range of opportunities for students including internal and external work experiences, partnerships with local community organisations and educational visits. In the final year there is a focus on transition so that students move with confidence to an appropriate post school placement, supported internships or employment.

Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment

Throughout each day students are taught their lessons within ability groups. These groups each provide a different curriculum appropriate to individual students’ needs. Each group covers all appropriate National Curriculum subjects but the balance of the curriculum will vary from group to group. One page profile and additional pupil assessment information ensures that they learn in an environment suitable to meet their individual needs and reach maximum potential.

PMLD – Experiential Learners

These students will be taught in smaller groups with consistent staffing. Students in these groups are likely to require a high level of staff input to access the curriculum, and access to multi -sensory teaching. We have a range of specialist teaching environments to support learning for this group, including specially designed sensory room and a hydro therapy pool.

Students are also likely to require a high level of physiotherapy and / or medical input. They have access to all areas of the National Curriculum.

Supported Learners & Complex needs

These pupils may have additional complex needs including communication, social interaction and sensory integration difficulties; they may require a distraction free learning environment, which takes account of their need for support, structure and clarity. Students work in small groups with consistent staffing.

Where appropriate, some students will follow an individual timetable, using structured teaching. Students work in small groups and their weekly timetable offers many opportunities for physical activity. Through the provision of a balanced curriculum within a secure, structured learning environment we seek to provide students with the social, communication and sensory support to maximise their learning.

Independent Learners

Independent learners follow the programmes of study outlined in the new national secondary curriculum at KS3 & KS4. 6th Form independent learners follow a fully accredited appropriate curriculum. All subjects are taught to pupils aimed specifically at their individual needs; each pupil receives a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum. Students in these groups are likely to work in larger groups, with lower levels of staff support. The student groupings within each lesson are carefully planned to ensure access to appropriate resources and levels of challenge. Their timetable is similar to any high school timetable but in a more secure and supportive environment.

Individual Timetables

Very occasionally a student may follow an individual programme, bespoke to their needs, working with a member of staff and joining groups as appropriate. These learners are those students whose needs demand additional resources in terms of staffing, physical space or curriculum. Frequently their needs arise from a variety of reasons, which may include very complex learning needs, communication or social and emotional difficulties and may result in challenging behaviour.

These students follow a curriculum which is highly personalised to meet their individual needs, with may have an emphasis on the social and emotional aspects of learning. They may benefit from access to off-site activities, to effective reward systems and to opportunities for practical, hands on activities on site. We strive to maintain and develop our creativity and flexibility so that these individual learners have a rich, stimulating and enjoyable experience in school, through which they are able to realise their potential.

Melland High School provides carefully planned learning environments, to meet the needs of our pupils. It includes the following facilities:

A number of specialist subject areas – computer suite, humanities studio, design technology workshop, English and maths rooms, interactive science studio, specially designed 6th form department, multimedia studio, hall, theatre and sports hall.

There a number of additional specialist spaces including: hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy and medical areas, sensory room, rebound room, calm spaces, time out room and chill out room.

Outdoor areas include multi-use games area, safe courtyard spaces, astro football pitch, sports field, poly-tunnel and sensory garden.

All these facilities have been purpose built, in order to ensure that they are as accessible as possible by the student population at Melland. Similarly individual teaching bases are carefully adapted to meet the individual needs of the students working within them, as appropriate, i.e. low distraction environments, over-head tracking / hoists, break out spaces etc.

Expertise and training of staff

We recognise the need to engage a highly skilled and expert staff at Melland, in order to ensure an offer of an outstanding educational provision. We have very clear routes for staff development and specialist qualifications / experiences are encouraged. Similarly we have an established staff induction programme to ensure that all new staff are up-skilled to perform their role fully within school.

We have a regular programme of staff training / CPD, both in-house and external, to ensure that we have a highly skilled and reflective work-force, who work collaboratively to share good practice. Examples of this very comprehensive staff training are:

Safeguarding level 1, 2 & 3, Autism Awareness, sensory integration training, attachment, attention, signing, social stories, writing intervention, Outstanding Teacher Programme, manual handling, resuscitation, MIDAS, Team Teach, staff resilience and de-escalation training, risk assessment, fire awareness and health & safety training, externally accredited leadership training – NPQML, NPQSL & NPQH and a wide range of ICT and media training.

Alongside our staff we have regular input from a wider multi-disciplinary team and the BFET TaSS Team. We also engage specialist peripatetic teachers including a teacher for the hearing impaired and teachers for visual and multi-sensory impairments as well as specialist staff from the Music Service. We make excellent use of a wide range of creative practitioners including filmmakers and interactive music specialists We employ our own Speech and Language Therapist.

Evaluating Effectiveness of provision

The assessment, monitoring and review of each pupil’s progress takes place throughout the school year; parents/carers and pupils are included in these monitoring and assessment processes as much as possible:

Annual Educational Reviews and parents’ focus groups take place during the year, offering an ideal opportunity for parents/carers to meet with teachers to discuss progress and attainment of their child.

Assessment of pupil progress and attainment is monitored by teachers throughout the year, and this information is shared with parents through the end of year report. ‘P Scales’ and National Curriculum levels are currently used to assess the progress of pupils. Teachers and the Senior Leadership Team regularly analyse progress data to ensure all students are progressing at their optimum levels and in line with national expectations for students working at these levels.

As a school, we are constantly reviewing the impact of our provision, primarily through students’ progress as above and also through less tangible impact measures of student well-being, behaviour for learning, independence and life-skills. The school has a well-developed and strong Pastoral system to ensure the students’ overall wellbeing is maintained. A highly skilled and experienced behaviour team support pupils throughout this process.

Alongside their academic progress we also pay close attention to developing each student’s spiritual, moral, social, cultural and emotional needs.

How children are enabled to participate in activities

Every child is a valued member of our school community and we provide a highly flexible provision; in order to meet the very wide and diverse spectrum of special needs that we cater for. Classes are determined by pupils’ age, ability and learning priorities. We have small classes with high staff to pupil ratios to ensure both the learning, personal care, medical and social needs of each child are appropriately catered for and met. Students are taught in groups that reflect the level of support needed for them to access their adapted curriculum.

Classroom environments are structured to meet the needs of individual groups in various ways. Melland very much personalises and adapts the curriculum and provision to suit its intake. All classes experience specialist teaching in small groups, with various levels of additional support.

How the school involves health, social care and other bodies in meeting pupils’ needs

We adopt a very much multi-agency approach, the school often being at the centre of a multi-agency network. We work closely with a wide range of agencies to ensure a holistic approach is taken in order to meet every child’s needs. We have onsite speech & language therapists, NHS physiotherapists, and full time NHS nursing staff. We work very closely with social care, the community paediatrician, educational psychologists and the visual and hearing impairment teams to ensure the best outcomes for all our students.

Arrangements for supporting students with SEN who are also LAC

For each student who is a Looked After Child ( LAC ), a Personal Education Plan ( PEP ) is drawn up, to which is associated to an individual LAC funding stream. The Safeguarding Team then work closely with social care, parents & carers and the individual student, where appropriate, to devise how best to use the funding to support and enhance learning.

Pupil Premium

We use Pupil Premium additional funding to enable us to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between those in receipt of Pupil Premium and their peers.

The funding is allocated specifically for pupils from low-income families who eligible for free school meals (FSM), looked after children (LAC) and those from families with parents in the Armed Forces.

Accessibility of this information

This information is available to all parents/carers through the school’s website. This will also include essential policies that underpin this report.

The schools contribution to the LA local offer and where this can be found

Melland High School is a specialist support school within the Bright Futures Educational Trust. The Trust is committed to meeting the needs of every individual at Melland with SEND and it is at the very heart of the ethos of both the Trust and the Academy. This report serves to further clarify the school’s offer in respect of the above categories.

Equally every local authority must identify education, health and social care services in their local area provided for children, young people and families who have SEND and include them in an information directory which is their the Local Offer including information about services provided outside your local area that local people are likely to use.

For further information about the wider Manchester LA ‘local offer’ for children with Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND) please follow the link below:

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
Melland High School
Gorton Education Village
50 Wembley Road, Gorton, Manchester, M18 7DT
Ofsted CEOP