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Special educational needs information

We believe that every child is an individual who brings something special to the school community. All students, regardless of their ability, personality or background have a right to take part in, and enjoy, every aspect of school life and to have the opportunity to meet their full potential.

Our aim at the academy is to ensure that all barriers to learning, whatever they may be, are removed and to offer all our students the opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, all of the many wonderful experiences that are available to them as a Samuel Ryder Academy student.

Within our Inclusion department, we provide specialist support and opportunity to help students feel valued and be better equipped to make positive choices, so that they can play an active role in the life of the school community.

At Samuel Ryder Academy, children are identified as having SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) through a variety of ways, usually a combination, which may include some of the following:

  • Liaison with previous school or pre-school setting
  • Child performing below ‘age expected’ levels or equivalent
  • Concerns raised by a parent
  • Concerns raised by a teacher
  • Liaison with external agencies e.g. for a physical/ sensory issue, speech and language
  • Use of tools for standardised assessment such as, Lucid Assessment Test, Wide Ability Reading Test 4 and Cognitive Profiling test in the primary phase
  • Children with a Statement / EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) already have many of their needs clearly identified. Their placement at our school is a decision that is made by the Local Education Authority

Academy’s arrangement for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs

  • As a school we track and analyse the children’s progress against national expectations and age related expectations 4 times a year and will send a report  home to parents
  • The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed
  • Pupil Progress Meetings are held each half term in the primary phase between each class teacher, Key Stage Coordinator and the Deputy Headteacher. In these meetings, a discussion takes place concerning children who are not making expected progress and possible actions and support strategies are discussed
  • At Samuel Ryder Academy, all students on entry to the academy are assessed using Cognitive Assessment Test and Lucid Assessment test
  • Where specific needs are apparent, the school has a range of assessment tools which can be used to explore a child’s strengths and difficulties in more depth, for example CTOPP(Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing) and TOMAL 2 (Test of Memory and Learning)
  • The SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)  reports regularly to the Governing Body regarding the progress of the students.
  • There is a governor who is responsible for SEN

Academy's approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs

  • The class teacher will oversee, plan and differentiate the material to support the need of children with SEND in their class and to ensure that appropriate progress is made in every area
  • All lessons are differentiated, taking into account the primary needs of the learners. Teachers implement specific strategies that have been identified for specific students
  • The SENCo, who is also an Assistant Headteacher, oversees the progress of any child identified as having SEND
  • Every class in the primary phase has a Teaching Assistant who works collaboratively with the classroom teacher.
  • In the secondary phase, some lessons will have a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) assigned to the students
  • All learning activities within the classroom are planned and differentiated, so that all children are able to access learning according to their specific needs.
  • The class teacher, alongside the SENCo will discuss a child’s needs and what support will be appropriate
  • Children with SEND will have access to the appropriate resources needed, in order to help them to make progress, such as support mats, coloured overlays and strategy cards
  • The SENCo reports to the Head teacher and Governors regularly, to inform them about the progress of children with SEND and how resources are being used. Information provided will never name individual children, in order to maintain confidentiality at all times

Additional support for learning for students with special educational needs

Literacy Interventions

  • Talking Partners - a targeted intervention to support the communication skills of the students
  • One to One reading / spelling / handwriting / numeracy intervention
  • Small group lessons in the Learning Zone

Behaviour for Learning

  • Like Skills group in Year 7and 8, to support the Pupil Premium students with their social and emotional aspects of their learning
  • Nurture Group in Primary, to support the social skills
  • Seal (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) and Resilience Groups in Year 7 and 8 to support emotional literacy

Mastering Memory and Fine Motor Skills

  • Students who have difficulties with their short term working memory or their fine motor skills are supported using one to one specialised programmes

Learning Portraits

  • Through setting up the Learning Portraits (to ensure that the learning and support is child centred) all members of staff acquire an in- depth understanding of the students and strategies to support them in their learning. An experienced member of the faculty is responsible for gathering the views of the child and the parents. The portraits are shared with all staff and parents/carers. This provides a  platform for the student voice to be heard and acted upon
  • Following this, Student Strategy Cards are also set up, with the child at the centre of the process. It informs teachers of how the students would like the teacher to support them in lessons

The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs

  • The class teacher, members of the Inclusion Faculty are available to meet and discuss children’s progress, the support in place and any questions the parents may have
  • An appointment can be made with the SENCo to discuss support in more detail
  • Learning Portraits are shared with parents
  • Parents are invited to half termly coffee mornings. Each morning will have a focus and external experts are invited to some of these meeting
  • The SENCo and members of the Inclusion faculty are present during Parents’ Consultation evenings 
  • Parents and carers are invited to termly meetings in the Life Skills and Nurture Group to discuss the progress of their children

The involvement of external bodies in meeting the needs of students with special educational needs

  • Some students are supported through the counselling service, to help them work through issues which impact on their readiness and capacity for learning
  • Partnership with Links academy to provide outreach support
  • Support from Educational Psychologist
  • Close liaison with family support workers
  • Speech and Language, to assess and offer support strategies
  • Autistic Advisory Team
  • Low incidence Team
  • The Hertfordshire Local Offer can be accessed through Hertfordshire Directory at the following address: (
  • If parents/carers would like to use the Local Offer, but they cannot access the internet, they can contact their local library, or Children’s Centre
  • If further assistance is needed, the customer service centre can be contacted on 0300 123 4043  

Physical environment of the academy

We have, in consultation with the relevant expert bodies, aimed to make as much of the school accessible to those with mobility needs as possible. However, challenges due to the building design and site layout do remain. Any parent wishing to know more about this and to discuss specific case needs is encouraged to contact the Head teacher, Mr M. Gauthier.

At present:

  • All areas of the school are accessible by wheelchair 
  • There is a  disabled parking bay available in the staff car park
  • Accessible toilet facilities are available
  • There is a lift that allows access to the top floors of the primary classrooms, Humanities, English and the Inclusion area
  • There are new handrails around the site
  • Strips are painted on the edge of the stairs
  • A number of  paths and stairs have been widened
  • Better parking arrangements on site
  • Safe heating around the corridors

The school plans, over time, to further increase the accessibility of provision for all students, staff and visitors to the school. The main priorities in the school’s plan will be in the following areas:

  • Increasing the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school curriculum
  • Improving the physical environment of the school,to increase the extent to which disabled students can take advantage of education and associated services
  • Improving the delivery of information to disabled students, staff, parents and visitors

How the academy includes all students in activities outside of the classroom, including school trips

  • All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and the aim is for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful and when required will discuss this with parents in advance. It might be appropriate for a parent/carer to accompany a child on a school trip, depending upon the child’s individual needs
  • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised and ensure suitability of the activity
  • There are a variety of after school clubs  provided during lunchtimes and after school, for all students
  • The Inclusion department offers a lunch time club, five days a week

Expertise and training of staff with relation to children with special educational needs

  • The SENCo has  SEN accreditation from the University of Cambridge. She is also a member of the British Psychological Society, having accreditation for writing educational reports and exam access arrangements
  • Within the school, we have a culture of sharing good practice and expertise, through an accredited CPD programme
  • Two members of staff are trained to deliver Fischer Family Trust intervention in the primary phase
  • Amongst the highly skilled members of the Inclusion team, we have 2 primary trained teachers and one mathematics teacher 
  • All LSAs have had training to deliver Jazzy Phonics and Talking Partners
  • One member of the faculty is trained to deliver Philosophy 4 Children 
  • As a school, we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to supporting individual children’s needs within our school, including: Primary Behaviour Services, Health services, including: GPs, school nurse, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), clinical psychologist, paediatricians, speech and language therapists, occupational and physiotherapists; Children’s Services, social workers; educational psychologists and specialist advisory teachers

The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

Early Years Foundation transition

  • All students who are allocated a place at Samuel Ryder Academy will receive a visit from a member of staff
  • Those students, who need extra support, have extra meetings with one of the members of the Inclusion team and the parents/carers to put in a place a plan of support, prior to attending the academy
  • The identified students will join the Nurture Group in September  

Year 6 into 7 transition

  • All students who transfer to Samuel Ryder Academy in Year 7 will receive a visit from a member of the Inclusion team in the summer term
  • Those students, who require extra support, will have additional visits to the academy, during the summer term. During these visits, they will meet key staff, have a tour of the site and will be given extra materials to ease the transition
  • The identified students will attend the Life Skills group, as soon as they start in September
  • Links Academy also offers additional support for the identified students

Other phases

  • Students who have an EHCP will work closely with Connexions and our careers advisor, in planning their next phase in education or adulthood

Who to contact if there are any questions

  • Speak/ email the class teacher/form tutor in the first instance
  • Contact any member of the Inclusion Faculty
  • General information relating to SEND can be found within the SEND policy. This can be found on the policy page of the school website
  • Further information is available from the SENCo/Assistant Headteacher (Ms L Shirazi), Assistant Head of Inclusion (Mr Andrew Battersbee, Mrs Louise Fenner)
  • The school has a complaints policy, which is available on the policy page of the school website



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