Special Education Needs & Disabilities
At John O Gaunt School, we value all our students equally as individuals who have a wide range of ability and learning needs. We aim to remove barriers that may hinder students learning in order to provide them with the best opportunities to develop their interests and strengths and to meet their full potential, regardless of need.
The Study and Support Department aims to assist and promote the learning of all SEND students. We are a department committed to supporting the integration of students with a variety of special educational needs and disabilities into mainstream classes. We also offer a safe space in which SEND students can learn peacefully as and when they need to.
Students are identified as having additional needs in each area of SEND as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice. Programmes of intervention are put into place to address the identified needs. These may be delivered on a 1:1 basis or in a small group and students’ progress is carefully monitored and evaluated. In addition, a team of Teaching Assistants work with students in lessons to support them in accessing the learning.
Examples of support packages delivered by staff in the department include:
- Multi-sensory programmes to develop phonological awareness
- Reading programmes
- Speech and language programmes
- Social skills
- Self esteem
- Maths catch up programmes
- Literacy skills
- Key board skills
The above packages are designed to boost the confidence and raise the self-esteem of students as well as addressing their needs and improving their skills.
We also offer a thriving Homework Club where students with SEND are supported by teaching assistants to complete the homework they have been set in class.
Working with Parents
We believe that a strong working relationship with parents is vital to the success of students at school. We maintain regular communication with parents and make sure they are kept informed about their child’s school experience. We invite the parents of those with EHC plans to annual reviews and ensure they are fully involved in setting next steps. Both the SENDCo and the SEN manager are available by phone or email to answer questions and offer support to parents and carers of our SEND students.
Working with Outside Agencies
At John O Gaunt we are lucky to be supported by the outside agencies available to West Berkshire schools. They provide us with help and support to ensure we are providing the best learning experience for individual students. The agencies we liaise with include:
- Educational Psychologist
- Educational Welfare Officer
- Local Authority SEN Department
- Local Authority SEN Support Team
- ASD Advisory Teacher
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Mental Health Support Team
- Emotional Health Triage
- Ethnic Minorities Team
We are lucky to have a very experienced team of teaching assistants who support students with their learning, helping them to overcome any barriers they may have. We pride ourselves on the high standard of support offered to our students and the professional way we conduct our work. Much of our success has been achieved because we believe in personalising the learning of our students. Teaching Assistants also attend regular training and refresher sessions.
Further, more detailed information is available on the West Berkshire Local Offer website.