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The Gateway Learning Community

The Gateway Learning Community

All Different: All Equal
Together, Improving Upon Our Best

FAQ - Frequent questions asked re. SEND

Asked by Young People

How does the Gateway Academy know if I need extra help or support?

When you first join The Gateway Academy, your primary school or previous school will pass over any information that you need to know or any support that you have had before. This may be in your learning, social or emotional needs or any physical difficulties. 

You will also attend transition days at The Gateway Academy so that we can get to know you and find out what you like, how you like to be taught and what doesn’t work for you. Throughout your whole time at The Gateway Academy, we will review with you what works for your learning and what you might want to change, or what you are finding successful.

What should I do if I think I need extra help?

The first thing you should do is tell someone. You can speak to your classroom teacher, form tutor, Progress Lead or Lead Coach. If you are nervous about telling us you can tell your parent or guardian and ask them to let us know. There are a lot of things that we can do to help if you let us know.

How will my lessons and work be organised to meet my individual needs?

Most students who have additional needs are able to do well in class with support from the teacher. Your information will be shared with your class teachers so that they can plan for you in lessons around what you might find difficult and how to help you. Your class teacher will help to support you in class, and you may have another adult in the lesson to support. Support can look many ways: differentiated work, PowerPoint print-outs, or additional explanations from the teacher – whatever you need to succeed! All students have a laptop, so you will be able to access the work on the computer in front of you if you need to, and you will be able to type your work where appropriate. Your teacher will also make sure you are in a good seat in the classroom to help you and that you are working with work partners that are appropriate to you.

What if I need help in my exams?

All students in the school will be screened for some of the difficulties that you may face, and your reading and writing ability will be constantly reviewed. This will help us to identify who might need support in exams. This might include a reader pen, reader, laptop, extra time, alternative venue – but we have to make sure that it is the right provision for you. You will see our exams assessor to make sure that the support is right if you are identified as somebody that might need some extra support in exams. We can then apply to the exam boards if you meet the requirements.

There are very strict rules about the tests you have to do and the scores required to qualify for support in exams, so it is only a small number who will have them.

If you have any concerns about this speak to the SEND department.

How will I be involved in planning for my needs and who will explain it to me?

You will be the main person in planning for your needs. All students on the SEND register have a provision map which is filled in with you and shared with your teachers and parents/guardians. The most important part of this is you meeting with a member of the SEND team to give us information about what is important to you, what helps you learn and what doesn’t help you.

If you have an EHC plan, you and your parents/guardians will be invited to a review throughout the year look at the support that you need and your progress. Your view is very important to us. At every stage, we will explain to you the support we can offer and the decision will be made together.  You can also speak to any of the staff in school. We are all here to support you and will offer you the help that they can.

Who will tell me what I can do to help myself and be more independent?

Our LSAs have spent a lot of time in training to encourage you to be more independent. They will help you to organise yourself and encourage you to be independent whenever it is appropriate. We want you to be prepared for adulthood and life after school and think that this will help you to be ready for whatever the future may hold. 

Your classroom teachers and form tutors will also help you to develop your independence. 

What should I do if I am worried about something?

If you are worried about anything, we ask that you tell someone in school. This could be your form tutor, Progress Lead, LSA, Lead Coach or any other member of staff. It is really important that we work together to resolve any worries you might have. There is always something that we can do to help.

Asked by Parents/ Carers

How does the Gateway Academy know if children need extra help?

When your child first joins The Gateway Academy their primary school or previous school will have already provided us with information about their strengths and difficulties and strategies that they have used to support them. These needs may be learning, social or emotional or any physical needs.

Students are also screened throughout the years to check to see if there are any additional needs which might need support.

The Gateway Academy works closely with parents. If you have any concerns surrounding your child you can contact the SEND team before your child joins the school in year 7 at one of the transition events that are held alongside the uniform shop evenings, or if your child is joining during another year, directly at the school.

Subject teachers also liaise carefully with the heads of years and SEND department to ensure that any concerns are raised promptly.

 What should I do if I think my child may have special needs?

If you suspect that your child has additional needs and you think they have not been identified please contact the SEND team to make an appointment to come in and discuss your concerns or arrange a phone conversation if that is more convenient for you. We can then discuss options and a way forward depending on the type of need that you are exploring. We are not a diagnostic unit, but we can help to discuss your child’s progress, needs and a path moving forward.

How will The Gateway Academy support my child?

Support from The Gateway Academy takes into account the individual needs of the child.  There are a number of ways that we may support your child if deemed appropriate. The majority of support takes place in the classroom with teachers planning appropriately adapted and supportive lessons to ensure your child is able to make progress. There is some in-class support across the school and interventions that take place outside the classroom. These interventions may include but are not exclusively limited to: 

  • Reading intervention
  • Mentoring
  • Social skills support
  • Anger management
  • Group mentoring
  • Speech and Language intervention

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Within Key Stage 3, pupils are placed into ability groups for the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. This is determined using data from KS2 assessments and information gathered through assessments at The Gateway Academy. In other subjects, pupils are taught in mixed ability groups and work is differentiated by the classroom teacher where needed. 

In addition, we also run structured and targeted interventions for reading, speech and language and life skills within the curriculum to develop interpersonal and communication skills as well as academic. This will aid progress and build confidence in conjunction with our mainstream curriculum being appropriate for the child to give every them the best path to success.

At Key Stage four, pupils select their own option choices from the curriculum pathways with guidance from staff and parents. There are supported pathway options with a vocational and GCSE options to suit all needs.

How will I know how my child is doing and will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Parents are informed of their child’s progress throughout the year through parent’s evenings and report cycles. If a form tutor, Progress Lead or subject teacher has a concern about a child, they will contact the parents / guardians to arrange a meeting or have a discussion.

If a child has an EHCP, parents will be invited to a review throughout the year. Progress will be discussed and parents and students have the opportunity to contribute to the review. The SEND team are also available to discuss students’ progress and wellbeing outside the official reviews.

Homework is recorded on Google Classroom and Edulink, and both staff and parents / guardians have access to this to enable you to support your child with their organisation and homework.

The school hold parent’s evenings during the year when you can discuss issues with subject teachers directly. You will receive reports throughout the year to show you the progress your child has made.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

For pupils with an EHCP, their plan will identify the specific level of support your child requires and this will be discussed at each review to ensure your child’s needs are being met and that they are receiving all the support that they require.

Within the Gateway Academy, support is matched to individual need. This is determined through discussions with parents, Progress Leads, subject teachers and pupils.