Please see below answers for some possible questions you may have about
Park Community Academy
You can also contact us on 01253 764130 should you need to ask about anything in relation to our SEND Information Report
1. How does Park Community Academy know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has additional needs?
All children at Park Community Academy have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) which describes each child’s individual areas of special needs and informs his/her individual education plan.
A formal review meeting is held once a year to discuss your child’s progress, their current areas of special needs and to agree and set new targets. Any additional needs are discussed as part of the review meeting.
As all classes have high staffing ratios each teacher is able to quickly identify any requirements for additional support on an ongoing basis throughout the year. These will be discussed with the SENCO, senior managers and parents. The class teacher is the first point of contact for parents who think their child has developed additional needs and so may require alternative support.
2. How will Park Community Academy staff support my child?
Each class has on average, one teacher and one Additional Needs Teaching Assistant (ANTA) to 12 children although this can vary slightly according to need and pupil numbers. The class teacher plans for all the children in his/her class and is responsible for the overall assessment of their progress. Children are taught either as a whole class, in small groups or 1:1 by both the class teacher and the special support assistants.
The school governors are ultimately responsible for the progress and attainment of all the children although they delegate this responsibility to the Headteacher. They receive data about the progress of groups of children and hold the head to account for how good this is, in comparison to nationally similar groups of children.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and includes all the mainstream subject areas but it has been adapted by teachers to enable all pupils to access each subject in a meaningful and purposeful way.
4. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
The school holds formal meetings three times a year. These are the parents evenings and review meetings; however, meetings can be arranged at any time if additional support is required.
Many of our children also have home/school diaries which are used according to the children’s age or ability.
Assessments of your child’s progress are made regularly so the teacher always knows what each child in his/her class has achieved and what needs to be further developed.
Children do have varying levels of homework as they progress through the school which parents are asked to support.
Each class also has its own blog that can be accessed on the school website
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
Park Community Academy believes that children’s well being and emotional health is as important as their academic progress. Class teachers plan for the holistic development of each child in his/her class, using their detailed knowledge of each individual to promote their confidence and self-esteem.
Individual behaviour plans and expectations are also used should there be additional needs. If a child’s behaviour becomes challenging, teachers are supported by the school behaviour manager and senior leaders in understanding the behaviour and agreeing with parents as to how best to manage it in a positive and proactive way.
All teachers and ANTA’s are trained to support individual medical needs and the emergency administration of medicine. All personal care needs are met by class teachers and ANTA’s.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Park Community Academy?
Senior leaders, teachers and support staff are highly skilled in meeting the individual learning, behavioural and social needs of children with a wide range of learning difficulties.
The school accesses a range of specialist services including clinical psychology, social care and health service professionals. The School Psychology Service also provides ongoing advice and support.
Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physiotherapy (PT) colleagues and the school nursing team, work with the school and outline individual programmes for each child that can be delivered by the school, home or during clinic sessions.
This allocation of therapy support falls under criteria set down by the NHS and is very much needs led.
7. What training have the staff at Park Community Academy had or are having?
All staff, both teachers and support staff receive comprehensive and ongoing training to enable them to meet the needs of children with a range of special needs including complex learning difficulties.
A detailed induction programme is followed by a mentoring programme during which teachers observe and review lessons taught within Park Community Academy to further develop their own skills.
In addition to more specialist curriculum training depending upon the area of interest/expertise, all staff receive mandatory Safeguarding, Manual Handling and Fire/Risk assessment training.
Most staff have also been trained in speech and language, sign language, BSL, MAKATON, First Aid, Epilepsy, Asthma, Behavioural Management, Food Hygiene, Off-site and adventurous activities and MIDAS training.
The school benefits from having its own trainers in Team Teach and sign language, (SSE).
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
As a fully inclusive school, all children participate in whole school, curriculum and off-site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between children and across time but we differentiate the activities and expectations to enable all children to take part.
Parents are asked to give generic permission for their child to participate in activities in support of the curriculum. All off-site activities will be risk assessed.
Park Community Academy also provides a wide variety of lunchtime clubs and after school clubs for the children. All children have the opportunity to take part in clubs that are of interest to them.
9. How accessible is the school environment?
Park Community Academy is fully accessible. The classrooms are large and the site is both safe and secure. All specific areas have risk assessments such as the playgrounds, sensory room, technology room and soft playroom.
The school also works closely with the advisory team for children with physical difficulties and adaptions are made according to the advice given for individual children when required.
10. How will Park Community Academy prepare and support my child to join the school?
Once a place at Park Community Academy has been confirmed, parents will be invited to meet the class teacher. Your child will be invited to spend some time within a class at Park Community Academy. The number of times your child will visit varies but generally we have found a shorter transition to be most successful.
11. How will Park Community Academy prepare and support my child leaving school?
From Year 9 (approximately 14 years of age) children receive a Transition Review which concentrates on learning and holistic outcomes as well as focusing upon transition planning. The aim of the school is that both our children and families are fully satisfied with the Post-16 placement for our children either in an independent college or special school post provision.
We support parents throughout this process and visits to the new college/school are set up for all children. Clearly much transitional work needs to take place in terms of health and therapy support as well and all such work is undertaken by the Local Authority in conjunction with the school and families.
11. How are Park’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Each child receives support matched to their own level of Special Educational Need.
This will vary across each day and throughout their time in school, as the level of support is directly
related to their needs and circumstances.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
On a daily basis, the class teacher determines the level of support for individual children.
When children whose SEN circumstances, health requirements or complex learning needs indicate that additional support may be required, discussions are held by the senior management team to determine what this might be. Usually, this support can be targeted at specific times, such as break times. If even higher levels of support are required, this is agreed by the senior management team as the resource is provided from within the school. Due to the high levels of staffing in each class, this is not required very often and only in very extreme situations, would additional support be requested from the Local Authority.
13. Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact for anything relating to your child’s education is the class teacher. We encourage parents not to wait for the next formal opportunity to meet but to contact the school when required. Staff are always available to talk outside of teaching hours or an appointment can be made for a mutually convenient time. Please either telephone or write in the Home School Diary.
14. What should you do if you feel that the Local Offer is not being delivered or is not meeting your child’s needs?
Parents who believe their child’s needs are not being met within school are asked to meet with the Headteacher to talk through their concerns. Where appropriate an early annual review can be arranged, with representation from the SEND team to formally review your child’s progress, current special needs and provision.
15. How is our local offer reviewed?
Our local offer was developed in consultation with the LEA, staff, Governors and parents in June 2014 and will be reviewed by Governors on an annual basis, as from September 2014.
Finally, should you want to know more about our school please look at our website