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Mill Chase Academy

SEN Information Report

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Mill Chase Academy is at the heart of the local community, recruiting from all local primary schools and some outside our immediate catchment area.  We welcome all students, regardless of background or ability, and our aim is to bring the best out of everyone we teach.  

Mill Chase Academy is a fully inclusive mainstream secondary school with additional funding received from the Local Authority for Nine Resource Provision students with Moderate Learning Difficulties. 

In our Academy community we believe in being positive, creative and innovative alongside having high expectations for all.  Our school motto “Ambition, Courage, Excellence” recognises what we want for all our young people. 

Our Academy believes that all people have equal worth and value and respect is given to the range of cultures represented in the school community.  This means we are sensitive to the different traditions, values, needs, abilities and beliefs of others.  We believe that all children should be valued as individuals and that our broad curriculum prepares them for their future choices in both educational and work life.  High expectations and aspirations apply to all students, regardless of their ability or individual needs.  In order to support our students to achieve their best, our curriculum is differentiated and, where appropriate, personalised in order to provide for individual and/or specific special needs.  

Our monitoring and progress tracking process supports our understanding of each student’s educational needs and the potential need for intervention.   We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.

Accessibility

Mill Chase Academy is almost fully accessible to all students and members of staff with physical difficulties.  Blocks are accessed via ramps, there is a toilet for the disabled and a portable lift to enable access to rooms on the first floor.  In addition to this, there is a disabled bathroom to cater for the needs of physically disabled students.  Please refer to the school’s accessibility plan for further information.   

Special Educational Needs Summary

Our aim is to ensure that provision is made to enable access to a full and relevant curriculum for all students with Special Educational Needs.  All students are equally valued, regardless of their abilities, emotional or behavioural needs.  We recognise that all students are entitled to have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which is differentiated to meet individual needs.

Statement of Education/Education Health Care Plan

Some of our students have a Statement identifying specific educational needs.  From September 2014 there will be a transition phase so that gradually all students currently with a Statement will transfer to an Education Health Care Plan.

At Mill Chase Academy, we ensure that students with a Statement are supported as appropriate and that intervention is provided as indicated by their Statement documents.  

Resource Provision

Through consultation with the Local Authority we have places for nine students with Moderate Learning Difficulties.  These are students who have Statements of Education Needs or Education Health Care Plans and require additional funding in order for us to provide for their more significant educational and learning needs. 

All Resource Provision students’ needs are carefully considered, with external support agencies being consulted as necessary.  A personalised curriculum is put in place in order to support mainstream curriculum requirements and intervention needs.  We strive to provide a balanced curriculum ensuring that students are taught alongside their peers whilst also providing one-to-one and small group intervention as appropriate.

N.b. not all students with a Statement of Educational Need (or Education Health Care Plan) have Resource Provision funding attached to them.  The need for this additional funding is determined by the Local Authority.

Special Educational Needs Provision

Students without a Statement or Education Health Care Plan might still require Special Educational Needs Support.  The Local Authority Guidance criteria is used to supports us in identifying these students and their area of need.

How will we know if your child needs extra help?

When your child first comes to us we use information from
  • Primary school teachers and SENCOS
  • End of Key Stage 2 levels 
  • Cognitive Ability Tests, Spelling and Reading age tests in September of Year 7, parents/carers application form information
  • Subject teachers, particularly English and Maths, base line testing
  • Specialist colleagues, external agencies 
As your child gets older we use information or referrals from
  • Termly assessments and interim data
  • Subject teachers and tutors
  • Parental concerns
  • External agencies 
If your child needs to be assessed we would
  • Use a range of assessments depending on the area of need
  • Refer for outside agency support or assessment where necessary and as appropriate. 
If it is thought a family needs support we
  • Have good working relationships with outside agencies and a referral can be made to them.

How will I know how well my child is making progress?

The Academy will send home four academic progress reports each year (October, December, March and June) which will show current levels, target levels and report on attitude to learning.  Subject teachers and leaders will monitor and review your child’s levels and pick up on any subjects where your child is not making the right amount of progress.  Subject departments may decide that it is necessary to put in place an after school intervention session.  

Through subject teacher referral or the Head of Learning Support’s monitoring of English and Maths progress, some students will be more closely monitored.  This may result in further assessment and identification of learning need.  If necessary, we will then put  intervention in place as part of the Learning Support Department provision.  At the end of the intervention phase or the next reporting time, we will check whether appropriate progress has been made.  

You will be contacted should we have a concern about your child’s progress (including attendance). 

Subject teachers may choose to put in after school subject intervention support for your child.  In addition to this, the SENCO may have identified your child as potentially in need of learning support.  The SENCO will inform you if there should be the need to assess your child for potential SEN intervention support.  You will be invited to be part of this decision making process.

Parental involvement

You will be informed and invited to come and discuss your child’s needs should they be identified as potentially being in need of additional learning support.  Your input to decide and support any Learning Support intervention is greatly valued.

We welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up-to-date and involved with your child’s progress.

We do this through
  • Parents evenings
  • Attainment and progress reports
  • Academic review evenings
  • Notes in planners 
  • Email
  • Telephone calls 
  • Appointments made with individual teachers and/or the Head of Learning Support (SENCO)
  • Annual Reviews (for those with Statement or an Education Health Care Plan)
The Academy provides information for parents through
  • Mill Chase Academy newsletter 
  • Information on our website and VLE
  • Open evenings
  • Letters home
  • Information evenings (year 6 through to year 11)

How will we support your child?

All teachers will be told about your child’s individual needs and will adapt and differentiate their lessons to meet these. Teachers have experience of or are trained in doing this.  This means your child can access all lessons fully.

Within our Academy, there are a variety of staff roles to help us fully support your child.  E.g. pastoral support staff, teaching assistants, mentors.

Most of our students follow a traditional curriculum.  However a small number of learners have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs, interests and abilities.

Where it is felt it is the right thing to do, a student may be offered additional help and support, in which case you would be informed.

There are a range of interventions and additional subject support which are available and should your child need this, it would be discussed with you.

When your child is approaching the start of Key Stage 4 we will assess and apply for exam access arrangements according to the Joint Council for Qualifications exam regulations, if we think it is needed.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?

All children in the school are encouraged to take part in extra activities at lunchtime and after school.  An extra curriculum timetable is sent to all parents so that you know what is available each term.  Day and residential trips are open to all children and your child’s specific needs can be discussed if they wish to join such a trip. 

How will you support my child’s well being?

At Mill Chase Academy we support students’ well being in a number of ways.  The pastoral side of your child’s education is very important to us and we provide a large pastoral team to support this. 

We consider our Academy to be a community and we strive to ensure that our students feel part of our Mill Chase family.  All students will be placed in a mentor group and will belong to one of our House groups.  Our mentor groups are organised across the age range, with a number of students from each academic year in each.  We are proud of this vertical tutoring system as it encourages our students to support each other and to be aware of the needs of others.  

Students would stay in the same tutor group each year, with the same tutor teacher.  The mentor will get to know your child academically and will be a key person in ensuring that your child’s well being is supported.   A supportive and approachable working relationship between parents/carers, students and Academy staff is encouraged.

In addition to your child’s mentor, there are additional people who are able to provide pastoral and emotional well being support
  • Heads of House
  • Pastoral Assistants (non-teaching staff) who are available to mentor and counsel students
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistant who is available to support students with a range of emotional needs
  • Our Bridge Support programme (for students with emotional, well being and behaviour concerns who find being part of some, or all, of the mainstream difficult)
  • Child Protection Liaison Officer
  • Outside agencies who visit weekly to provide support e.g. bereavement, health

We also refer to outside agencies including: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Children's Services, the Police and the Youth Service.

Pastoral support is also available at break and lunchtimes should your child need to talk to someone in F block.  

Mill Chase Academy understands that sometimes students feel vulnerable at break and lunch times or do not like being out where groups of students may be socialising.   In order to support these students we offer quiet rooms which are monitored by Pastoral staff or Teaching Assistants.  Students are welcome to spend breaks and lunchtimes either in the Hub (our Learning Support base) or in the KS3 Bridge room. 

Who is your Special Educational Needs Coordinator?

The SEN coordinator is Mrs. V. Forbes and she can be contacted via the school office on (01420) 472 132 or emailed at v.forbes@millchase.hants.sch.uk

What SEN training have your staff had?

We have a Learning Support Department which is made up of the SENCO, a Special Needs Teacher and a number of other Teaching Assistants (TAs).  Within this team we have staff who have a range of experience and training covering various special educational needs.  In addition to the Learning support Department, our Bridge Programme is managed and delivered by two Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) who have been trained to support the educational needs of those who struggle academically.  Our Pastoral Support team has also received training as part of their counselling and mentoring role.

Newly qualified teachers follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEN.  Training is provided to all staff, including teachers and TAs, as the need arises and there is ongoing training for all staff as well as opportunities to further develop skills.

As an academy we are supported by specialist organisations from within the Local Authority, health and social care services.

How else can I be involved?

We need you to support us by encouraging your child to fully engage with their learning and any interventions offered by
  • Helping them to be organised for their day (including bringing the right equipment and books)
  • Supporting the importance of full attendance and good punctuality
  • Supporting and ensuring that homework is completed
  • Checking and signing their planner each week
  • Attending parents evenings 
  • Attending any meetings specifically arranged to discuss your child’s intervention progress and next steps

How can my child contribute?

Students are encouraged to
  • Take part in pupil voice activities e.g. School Council
  • Attend Annual Statement Reviews and intervention review meetings
  • Contribute to target setting, reviewing of subject achievements and next step decisions

What should I do if I have concerns?

You are welcome to contact us with any concerns you may have.  You can either do this by telephoning, emailing or writing a letter.

Your child’s mentor is often the first point of contact should you have any concerns.  They will be able to advise you and, if necessary, will refer your concern to the appropriate member of staff.  All parental concerns are shared with the necessary subject staff and Academic and Pastoral Leaders are made aware too.  On occasions, a member of the Senior Leadership Team may be informed too.  

If you have a concern which is linked to a particular subject, you are invited to contact that member of staff or the Head of department directly.

The Head of Learning Support (SENCO) should be contacted should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning needs and if you believe there to be a learning issue or barrier preventing achievement or progress.

The Academy has a formal complaints policy which can be found on the website.

What other services are available through the school?

As a school we can access a range of services including
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Teacher advisory service for specific learning difficulties e.g. Speech, communication and language 
  • Social Care
  • Bereavement Counselling
  • Young Carers Support 
  • School Nurse
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Career Advisory Service
  • Family Support Worker
  • Ethnic, Minority and Traveller Achievement Service

These services are contacted when necessary and appropriate, according to your child’s needs.  You are welcome to discuss requesting this support with your child’s Academic and Pastoral Leaders and the SENCO.

How will you help my child’s transition into secondary school and beyond?

Year 6 in to 7

We liaise closely with Primary and Junior schools at the end of year 6.  The Academic and Pastoral Leaders visit the Primary and Junior schools to meet with the class teacher and students.  Information is gathered during the Summer Term of Year 6 so that staff can begin to get to know your child.  All students attend a New Intake Evening and a full school day visit as part of their transition in July.  Our SENCO also meets with the Primary and Junior school SENCO to discuss those on the Special Needs register and any other students as necessary. Some students require additional transition support.  Extra visits are arranged and some are invited to attend Summer School.  At the end of Year 6, all students’ records are transferred to us. 

Preparation for Post - 16 Provision

All students receive advice on careers and are encouraged to visit colleges to explore post-16 courses.  Students can have a careers meeting at any time but this normally begins from year 10 onwards.  Local colleges are invited in to inform students about what is available in post 16 education.  Advice is also available about apprenticeships.  If additional transition support is needed this will be arranged through consultation with the Post 16 SEN Transition Service.  From Year 9 onwards, all Annual Reviews for students with a Statement or Education Health Care Plan, include a Transition Plan.  The Post 16 SEN Transition worker attends to offer advice and support, liaising on behalf of parents and students as necessary.

Where can I get further information?
  • Contact the school on (01420) 472 132
  • Look at the Academy’s policy on SEN which can be found on the school website
  • Look at the Local Authorities Local Offer - click on the icon below for details