Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Oasis Academy Silvertown is committed to helping all students to flourish regardless of their specific needs. We believe that every person matters and it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that every student realises their potential. If your child has specific needs that you would like to discuss in further detail please contact the Academy.
We believe in a culture of "same expectations, same aspirations". Therefore, our SEND students receive quality first teaching that is focused on improving their academic performance.
Aims of the SEND Department
The SEND department operates a ‘Policy for Including Students with Special Educational Needs’ as agreed with the whole staff of Oasis Academy Silvertown. This policy is concerned with students with special educational needs as defined by the Education Act of 1981:
“A child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. He or she has learning difficulty if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty than the majority of children of his or her age or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities generally provided in schools within the area”
The SEND department recognises that around 20% of children will have special needs at some point in their school career, but not all these needs are permanent and some may change. Included in this 20% are students with statements of special educational needs (approximately 2%) or Educational Health Care Plan and the majority of students with special needs who do not have a statement of SEN. The difficulties experienced may be in learning, literacy or numeracy, they may be emotional or behavioural, some are in communication and others relate to physical impairment.
Through the process of producing a whole school policy for ‘Including students with Special Educational Needs’, the staff of Oasis Silvertown are committed to facilitating partial or full inclusion of children with a physical disability or learning or behaviour difficulties whenever the school is able to meet their needs. The process of inclusion relies on the involvements of Specialist School staff, as well as Learning Support Assistants together with the SEN teaching team, to be effective.
Students with special needs are assessed and identified by the SEN Teaching Team. Their names are recorded on the SEN register with a code for the nature of difficulty and a stage in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice (October 2000) as appropriate.
“The goals are the same for all children, but the help they receive in attaining these goals will be different”.
(Klaus Wedell – “The Implications of the National Curriculum” June 1989).
The teaching of students with SEN happens throughout the school and across the curriculum. However there is 1 designated SEN room.
Literacy Learning and Language Skills
Within the mainstream classroom literacy and language are developed through (among other strategies) the use of:
Differentiated resources, Directed Reading Activities, Writing frames, Simplified texts with visual stimuli, Active Learning and activities to develop speaking and listening skills
In SEN taught courses literacy skills are taught through project work as well as explicitly, for example:
Skimming, Scanning, Reading for Information, Detailed Reading and Organising and Structuring Writing
In Small Group Work the literacy needs of the group are met through work using:
Games, Discussion and Drama to develop Speaking and Listening Skills; Teacher designed work packs based on fiction, non-fiction and media texts, Literacy Progress Units. Lit Programme an alternative acceleration curriculum for literacy and English designed to improve thinking, spoken English, grammar, reading and writing skills of struggling Year 7 students.
For work with Individual Key Students specifically designed programmes are tailored to individual need based on detailed assessment.
Literacy, Language and Learning are also developed through Extra-Curricular Activities such as Homework club.
Social Skills Groups for SEN students are run on a weekly basis. The students are referred by the SENCo because of difficulties with peer or teacher relationships affecting their learning.
The students follow a structured programme of activities including discussion work, role-play and home learning tasks. The focus is on building self-esteem through active practice of strategies and rehearsing these behaviours in a small, safe setting. The group itself becomes a support structure for the pupils outside the sessions, in some cases monitoring and prompting each other, in different settings.
Physical Intervention Programme – It is a training programme designed to improve co-ordination and movement skills in students. Evidence shows an improvement in these physical skills helps the development of specific movement, control and co-ordination that are vital in such activities as writing and drawing. Other benefits include coping better with everyday situations, general learning, focus and achievement, factors that contribute to greater individual confidence and self-esteem.
Once students are assessed they follow a programme of bespoke activities to develop these and learn new skills in a safe and supportive environment.
There are 3 different options run by the SEN Department at KS4 for SEN students.
Learning Skills is focused on numeracy skills, literacy and ICT using the Excel ALAN assessment framework at Entry Level and Level1. It is designed for students with learning difficulties who need extra support with literacy and numeracy skills. The course is devised in such a way that all pupils feel they are achieving their targets and learning skills that are transferable across the curriculum.
Certificate of Personal Effectiveness an ASDAN accredited course. The course is devised for students who need additional support with self-esteem and confidence building.
Key Skills is an additional Entry Level ASDAN Bronze/Silver Award course. Students following this third option are likely to have a statement of SEN and an entitlement to additional, learning support assistant. The course is focused on life skills which will equip for functioning capably when they leave school. Areas covered include ‘personal hygiene’ and ‘opening a bank account’ for example.
The SEN Department organises support for students taking public and school examinations at KS4, to ensure that students with SEN do their best in tests and do not experience a sense of failure. Students who have received help to follow the curriculum are assessed to check if they are eligible for support such as Extra Time or the use of a Reader or Scribe.
Support for Families
Families of students with disabilities or a serious illness can apply for financial support through the Family Fund here
Parents of children with SEND who have a complaint about the support provided by the academy should contact Romala Gill, SENCO in the fist instance so any issues can be resolved swiftly. If the issue is not resolved, parents should follow the complaints procedure here.