SEND Information Report

What do we mean by Ash Trees Academy SEND Information Report?

  • This is a report that encompasses everything we offer for your son/daughter with regards to their special needs.

How can my son/daughter attend Ash Trees Academy?

Ash Trees caters for pupils (in Reception to Year 6) with identified learning difficulties who already have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health and Care Plan.

If you would like your child to attend Ash Trees Academy, you should discuss this with their current school who may instigate a review of their Statement or Education Health and Care Plan. At the review meeting, yourself and the professionals involved will discuss possible next steps. Alternately, you may contact the SEND department of your local authority. They will then advise you on what steps should be taken. The local authority will sign post parents to schools that can meet the needs of their child.

Parents/carers are always welcome to visit Ash Trees and this is especially important before making a decision about a placement. After having gained as much information as possible parents should inform their Local Authority of their first choice of school. Once the placement is agreed, we will work with you to support your child in this transition period.

How will my son/daughter be supported and prepared before attending/leaving Ash Trees Academy?

All students are entitled to an education that enables them to achieve their best; become confident individuals living fulfilling lives and making a successful transition to the next step of their lives.

Transition programme – IN

  • The process of transition for Nursery age into Reception at Ash Trees Academy is carried out over the duration of an academic year.  Staff from Ash Trees Academy visit feeder schools and nurseries to meet and discuss each individual child.
  • As the process progresses, the Head Teacher receives a copy of Statement of Special Educational Needs, soon to be replaced by the Educational Health and Care Plan, from the Local Authority for the children who have been identified for Ash Trees. Once these placements have been accepted, the transition process begins in earnest.
  • During this time, detailed files are given to Ash Trees by feeder schools containing essential pupil information to be shared with staff so that any appropriate needs can be catered for in advance (dietary, care, medical etc). Once relevant information has been gathered, pupils from feeder schools begin to make short visits to Ash Trees.
  • During the middle of the summer term, parents/carers of pupils are invited into schools for a meeting with staff to complete the relevant consent forms, order school uniform and receive information packs about the school. Parents will also be offered the opportunity to arrange an addition visit with their child.
  • Occasionally transitions into Ash Trees will occur at times other than the start of Reception. Where this is the case, the same process will apply where appropriate with necessary adaptations made to suit different time frames.

Transition programme – OUT

  • Work on the transition of your son/daughter on to their next provision begins as early as Year 5. This introduction usually takes place during the Year 5 Annual Review when staff from the SEN department and secondary school attend.
  • Parents are encouraged to make contact with the preferred secondary school to attend an open day or to plan a specific visit.
  • During the Year 6 Education, Health and Care Plan/Annual Review your son/daughter will be provided with a transition action plan, enabling us to provide the relevant information to the new setting.
  • Staff from Abbey Hill Academy will come into school to meet the children in Year 6 and to also discuss their progress with the class staff.
  • A transition week occurs at the end of the Summer term to provide a full week of activities at the secondary school for all Year 6 pupils.
  • If at any point in this process it is felt that other professionals may enhance this process, then they will be contacted. This usually takes the form of a Multi-disciplinary meeting.  This enables all those who are/will be involved in your son/daughter’s future placement to meet together to discuss how best to make their transition as smooth as possible.

How will my son/daughter be transported to Ash Trees Academy?

  • Most pupils have transport between Ash Trees and home provided by the Local Authority, but this can be dependent upon the distance from home and whether a pupil is capable of travelling independently.
  • Decisions about home to school transport are made by the Local Authority and parents/carers should liaise with the education transport department about any specific questions.
  • You should meet the transport providers before your child starts travelling with them and there will be opportunities for you to share important information about your child with them.

How will the curriculum be matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

  • Class teachers plan lessons to match the needs and abilities of each student within their group. Students will be given appropriate support in order that they experience success. Each student is treated as an individual and as such their actual timetable is personalised to their specific needs and abilities.
  • Teachers use a range of creative teaching strategies to engage all learners in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Ash Trees benefits from extensive resources both within the academy building and within its grounds. We also have established partnerships with external providers which further enhance the curriculum offered to students.
  • Our students benefit from access to a range of therapists including physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapist. We also currently buy in services from an Occupational therapist (Future Steps).  A number of our staff also have qualifications allowing them to deliver a range of specialist therapies including rebound therapy, water therapy and multi-sensory therapy.

How will I know my son/daughter is making progress at Ash Trees Academy?

  • Class teachers review the progress that the students make on a daily basis and communicate information to parents through a variety of means including;
    • Home/school diary, telephone conversations, parents evenings and school assemblies, annual educational review meetings/education health and care plan review meetings.
  • Teachers track the academic progress of students through PIVATS and the National Curriculum. This information is monitored on a termly basis by senior leaders to ensure that students are on track to meet expected progress.
  • Teachers set focussed targets for the students after consultation with parents, Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs). These priority targets are incorporated into the delivery of lessons and progress reported to parents in a variety of ways.
  • If teachers have any concerns about the progress a student is making they will develop a plan to identify the main barriers to learning and develop strategies to increase the progress made. As an academy we recognise the contribution that parents and families can make to improve the progress of the students and as a result of consultation, homework or activities to be completed at home, may be also implemented.
  • At the end of the academic year an education report details progress made in particular subject areas which match the student’s individual timetables.
  • Staff at Ash Trees welcome opportunities to show the fantastic achievements of our students and parents are very welcome to come into school to discuss progress at any point in the school calendar.

What specialist resources, services and expertise are available at or accessed by Ash Trees Academy?

  • Physiotherapy – There are a team of NHS physiotherapists who work in school with identified students. Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.
  • Speech and Language Therapy – The NHS provides speech and language therapists who works in school with identified students. Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.   Speech and Language reports accompany annual reviews.
  • Occupational Therapy – The NHS provides occupational therapist when required. However, the academy recognises its many benefits particularly for our more challenging students, therefore we employ our own part time occupational therapist (Future Steps).  Programmes are written, carried out and shared with class staff.   Occupational Therapists reports accompany annual reviews.
  • Additional therapies:
    • Massage – this therapy is mainly used for our profound and multiple needs students.
    • MOVE therapy – this provides targetted physio positions for individuals who require more input and specific individual programmes.
    • Rebound therapy – over recent years staff have been trained in rebound therapy (trampoline therapy). It is currently used widely with our students who have profound and multiple needs.
  • The NHS provides a Health Care Assistant (HCS) throughout the school day, they have their own office on site.
  • Educational Psychologist – Depending on the need and referral made, there is access to both the NHS psychologist as well as the Educational Psychologist that the Academy commissions.
  • Visual and hearing impairment team
  • The specialist services that have not been mentioned above but are accessible to the academy are:-
    • LD CAMHS -The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
    • Health Nursing Team
    • Children and Young People Services
    • Family Support
    • Social Services
    • Parent Partnership
    • SEND Team
    • Specialist nurses
  • The above list is by no means exhaustive.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

  • All students have a personalised curriculum offer which gives them access to a broad and balanced curriculum together with access to specialists such as speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist. Together with access to a range of other professionals each of these professionals work closely with our staff team in order that the programmes they develop to meet the needs of your child can be supported by the class team between sessions with the therapist.
  • Ash Trees reviews staffing at least annually and staff groups according to the specific needs of the students within the group. As a rule of thumb all groups have at least one teacher and two teaching assistants although some classes may have three or four teaching assistants. The specific needs of individual students are monitored on a daily basis by the class team and if these needs significantly change we will look to better meet these needs through further personalisation of the curriculum which may include more access to therapists, access to a different curriculum model and/or increased staffing.
  • Additional grant monies such as pupil premium are used to further support named students. This money allows us to have increased staffing ratios thus enabling increased personalisation and support to maximise progress. The detail of how this money is used can be found under pupil premium on our website.

What specialist teaching qualifications do staff have who support my son/daughter?

All our staff receive regular training to ensure that they can provide the very best education, care and therapeutic support to you child. Qualifications and training include:-

  • Makaton signing
  • Intensive Interaction
  • Moving and handling
  • Medical training including – gastrostromy feeds, epilepsy, diabetes
  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support (SCERTS)
  • Rebound therapy (trampoline)
  • Sensory room
  • First aiders
  • Autism qualifications
  • Safeguarding
  • Team Teach (positive handling)

What activities could my son/daughter be included in within and outside the school day/extra-curricular activities?

  • After school club is offered to all students on Tuesday evenings. Places within the club have to be limited for health and safety reasons and as you can imagine demand for places are high. Letters are sent home at the beginning of the year so that you can request a place at the club and we endeavour to meet as many requests as possible. We do charge for after school club and parents/carers are required to collect their child from the academy at the stated time.
  • A Residential visit is organised for our Year 6 students as part of their transition as a way of supporting the development of independence skills in readiness for life beyond the academy. Parents/carers are asked to contribute to the cost of each of these activities.

How can I, as a parent/carer, be involved at Ash Trees Academy?

The partnership between parents/carers and ourselves is considered crucial. You are the first educators and on entry we need you to make sure we have all relevant information in order that we can provide your child with a personalised curriculum that best meets their specific needs. Following admission there are many opportunities for us to continue working together, sharing information and of course answering any questions you may have. Students are usually with us from age 4 to 11 and as such things change so regular formal and informal contact is actively encouraged. In addition to home school diaries and phone calls these are some of the many ways in which you can be involved:

  • Joining us at our regular coffee mornings
  • Attending annual review meetings
  • Attend parents evening to learn more about the progress of your child
  • Contribute to our blog during special events
  • Volunteering (you would not as a rule be working with your own child). If this is something you would like to do please contact the main office
  • Completing surveys and questionnaires as by gaining your views we can continue to improve our offer to your child
  • Attending parent courses and workshops
  • Attend and/or support the fundraising activities of The Parents and Friends of Ash Trees Academy (PFA)

How can I support my son/daughter’s needs?

  • Writing in the home school diary about news and activities at home. At Ash Trees, communication with parents is held in the very highest regard. Every student has a home/school diary and we urge parents use it to keep us abreast of events at home or ask any questions you may have. Sharing experiences from home enables us to enhance our students’ learning in meaningful and enjoyable ways and helps with future planning.
  • Providing school with information about appointments or medical updates. Your son or daughter’s attendance and welfare is very important to us so please let us know before they attend any appointments or if there are any changes with medication. This ensures that we can keep records up to date and care for your son or daughter in the best possible way.
  • Attending parent evenings and meetings with school staff. Information and assistance you can give is of great benefit and ensures we can do everything to look after your child.  We have at least one parents evening per year which is an excellent opportunity to discuss pupil progress and targets as well as sharing examples of their work and achievements. During these meetings you can raise any concerns you may have and help shape future curriculum decisions for your child.
  • Attending parent courses/workshops. At Ash Trees we strive to provide the best training for not only our young people and colleagues but also parents. We offer a range of courses and workshops that will give you new skills and knowledge to help yourself or your child.
  • Use curriculum advice and activity ideas from the class teacher. Throughout your child’s time at Ash Trees we expect that you will take an active role in supporting their learning. You will always be made aware of your child’s targets and we hope you will help develop them in their daily lives outside of the academy. From time to time, the teacher will send activities home or ask for certain information as part of topic-based work in school. We really appreciate your support in this matter.
  • At Ash Trees we provide meaningful homework opportunities for our students. The aim of this is to give our students the maximum benefit of homework without causing unnecessary stress to anyone in the family. Your child’s teacher will send the levels that your son or daughter is currently working at along with some suggestions on how they can progress. If you want more homework, you only have to ask!

What support will there be at Ash Trees Academy for my son/daughter’s overall wellbeing?

  • The academy trust ethos ‘To value, to respect and to promote optimum learning’ is the kingpin in promoting wellbeing.
  • All staff take the safeguarding of students very seriously and have the required level of safeguarding training as well as a designated team of staff who have more in depth training. There are policy and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all.
  • There is a Health Care Assistant (HCA) available as well as a team of trained and dedicated First Aiders
  • The breadth of the curriculum helps target and meet the student’s behaviour and self-help needs.
  • Ash Trees place a great importance on Sex and Relationships Education which helps support the self-advocacy of all students. To this end, our trained and dedicated staff have worked with the local authority to produce a customised curriculum which addresses this very important and vital skill to help promote wellbeing.
  • Ash Trees also recognise the importance of working with all parents for the wellbeing of their son/daughter and it is with this in mind that Ash Trees offer courses to help support parents with learning new skills e.g. Makaton training, Nurturing Programme.
  • The Academy has a ‘Student Council’ which is made up from elected students who have the opportunity to voice concerns and ideas on behalf of their peers.

Who can I contact for further information?

  • Our office team can help you with any further questions you might have, just contact them on 0333 999 1451

Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

  • Initial contact can be made with school by contacting Head of Academy, Wendy Coates or Graeme Musson, Assistant Head of Academy and SENCO.
  • Alternatively, Ash Trees Academy, part of Ascent Academies’ Trust have an Ascent Academies’ Complaint Policy. This policy can be found in its entirety on the Trust website through this link

Click here to view  Ash Trees School Local Offer

Click here to view Stockton Borough Council Local Offer