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Garth Hill College

SEND Report 2023-24

Garth Hill College believe in an inclusive education where all young people are able to learn to their full potential. It is a College priority to provide appropriate support and differentiation to remove the barriers SEND pupils face when accessing mainstream education. We believe that an inclusive education leads to improved social development and academic outcomes for all children, including mainstream peer groups. It encourages compassion and empathy for all of the College community. It allows for an environment in which pupils can learn that people are not all the same, that all people should be welcomed and have the right to have their individual needs met appropriately.

Schools have a duty to report to parents and governors on the provision for SEND and implementation of their disability equality scheme. Children with special educational needs have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most pupils of the same age. These pupils may need extra or different help from that given to other pupils of the same age.   We are committed to providing an environment that enables full curriculum access that values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs. We are committed to taking positive action in the spirit of the Equality Act 2010 with regard to disability and to developing a culture of inclusion, support and awareness within the College. Further information on how we have adapted our environment in order to meet the needs of learners with a disability can be seen within our Accessibility Plan on the College website.

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice lies at the heart of the school’s SEND policy and sets out the processes and procedures that all organisations should follow to meet the needs of children. The Code describes a graduated approach which recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds of SEND. At Garth Hill College, appropriate additional support is provided to help overcome the difficulties that a child may have as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice 2014. You can view Garth Hill College’s SEND and Inclusion Policy below.

SEND Policy

The school of supported learning provides support to pupils in both mainstream and Rise@GHC, our specialist Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) resource for pupils with EHCPs. Pupils hoping to access Rise@GHC must apply to the resource separately to the mainstream College through the EHCP phase transfer process. The LA SEND team can advise on this process as needed

1. What types of SEND does the school provide for?

A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which requires special educational provisions to be made for them.

The SEND code of Practice identifies four main categories of need:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

We support SEND pupils across all four categories of need. We support a range of SEND at Garth Hill College, including:

  • Autistic Spectrum Condition
  • Dyslexia and other associated literacy difficulties
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD
  • Tourettes
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Poor motor skills
  • Numeracy difficulties
  • Congenital disorders
  • Hearing impairments
  • Speech and language needs
  • Oppositional Defiance disorder

Some of our pupils have needs in more than one area and these needs vary over time.

In line with the Code of Practice, students with SEND will be included on our SEND and inclusion register under the following codes:

  • I Code: Pupils with an SEND diagnosis or recognised need that can be supported through wave one, quality first teaching will be on our inclusion register. This allows their specific needs and support requirements to be shared with teaching staff who will work to meet their needs in the classroom.
  • K Code: Pupils without an EHCP who require significant additional or different support to their mainstream peers are on our SEND register. This support could involve a targeted intervention through the Learning Support Team, a different curriculum, outside agency support or pastoral support.
  • E code: Pupils with an EHCP (Education, Health Care Plan) will be on our SEND register. Support for these pupils is determined by their EHCPs and reviewed by all stakeholders.

An EHCP is an Education, Health and Care Plan. This indicates a pupil has a high level of need that requires support and funding above the level that can be provided from within the school’s main resource. Pupils’ receiving SEND support have a diagnosed special educational need or disability and therefore reasonable adjustments are made for them within the school’s resource.

All pupils on the SEND and Inclusion register are supported with pupil passports outlining their specific needs and support requirements.

Numbers of pupils currently on our SEND and Inclusion Register:

Mainstream: 

Year

No. of Inclusion/SEND support (I and K)

No. with an EHCP (E)

Total on SEND and inclusion register:

7

47

10

57

8

45

9

54

9

56

3

59

10

66

9

75

11

86

7

93

12

15

1

16

13

7

0

7

Total

322

39

361

In total, 24% of pupils in mainstream at Garth Hill College are on our SEND and inclusion register with 2.6% receiving a high level of additional support from an EHCP.

Rise@GHC

Year

Number on roll (all have an EHCP)

7

9

8

12

9

7

10

10

11

11

12

1

13

0

Total

50

All pupils at Rise@GHC also access learning or extracurricular activities in the mainstream on a bespoke basis, but Rise has a separate admissions process.

2. Which staff will support my child and how are they trained?

All teachers are teachers of SEND and all staff working with your child will support them with their needs. The first contact for all pupils and parents is the form tutor or subject teacher depending on your enquiry. These staff members will work under the advice and direction of SEND leaders when relevant.

We have a large team of staff within the College who oversee the support of learners with SEND. These leaders train and support teaching and pastoral staff to meet the needs of all learners.

Chani Morris – Assistant Principal of the School of Supported Learning

Mrs Chani Morris (c-morris@garthhillcollege.com) has 9 years experience as a senior leader. She is a qualified SENDCo and teacher. She also holds a Level 7 qualification in Specific Language Difficulties. Mrs Morris oversees the provision of all SEND learners across all of the College’s schools.

Phil Mortimer- Head of RISE@GHC (specialist ASC resource)

Mr Phil Mortimer (p-mortimer@garthhillcollege.com) has led Rise@GHC for 2 years. He has previously worked in a special school and as a mainstream SENCo. He has achieved the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination.

Rise@GHC has a large team of dedicated leaders, teaching and support staff for pupils at Rise@GHC with a high level of experience and training in Autism Spectrum Conditions.

Vicky Sprott – SENCo (mainstream)

Mrs Vicky Sprott (v-sprott@garthhillcollege.com) has 9 years of experience in this role and is a qualified English teacher.  She has achieved the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination.

The Learning Support Centre is led by Mrs Sprott and includes a team of a Deputy SENCo, four Higher Level Teaching Assistants and a team of Teaching Assistants. This team are supported with regular training in teaching and learning and special educational needs.

Gina Brown – Behaviour Support Lead

Mrs Gina Brown (g-brown@garthhillcollege.com) has 7 years experience leading behaviour support across the College. She leads the Behaviour Support Centre which includes a team of learning mentors who support pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Steven Brosnan- Inclusion Manager

Mr Steven Brosnan (s-brosnan@garthhillcollege.com) Mr Brosnan leads our hub provision which provides alternative pathways for a small number of pupils with high levels of social, emotional and mental health needs in KS4. He is supported by a deputy inclusion manager, teacher and teaching assistant.

3. What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

If you are concerned your child may have an SEND, please contact their form tutor in the first instance. They will seek advice from the SEND team on how to investigate the specific concerns you have and work with you to create a plan of support. The SENCo themselves may not be directly involved with your child but they will provide support and advice to ensure staff are able to meet their needs.

4. How does the College identify pupils with SEND and how is progress measured?

Pupils with SEND are identified in a number of ways at Garth Hill College. We liaise closely with our primary feeder schools before pupils join us in order to access prior SEND information.  All staff are trained in how to identify special educational needs and will alert the SENCo to any concerns that they have with a pupil’s progress academically, socially and behaviourally. We use academic and behavioural data to review all pupil progress and identify those who may be struggling due to SEND.

 

A Graduated Response is adopted for pupils identified as having SEND. Provision is identified by the SEND leadership team but will be planned, delivered and reviewed by teaching and support staff.  We also welcome contact from parents who feel their child may have SEND.

 

Graduated response:

Assess

The class teachers and tutor, working with the SENCO and the Learning Support team, should carry out a clear analysis of the student’s needs. This will include drawing on the teachers’ and tutor’s assessment and experience of the student, their previous progress and attainment, as well as the impact of interventions and strategies already used by the curriculum areas and teachers.

 Assessment outcomes are discussed at regular team meetings. The following decisions are possible:

  • No SEND – refer to relevant middle leader / teachers
  • SEND – Wave 1: Upon identification, advice is offered to assist in quality first teaching of all students and ways to accommodate to the needs of the SEND student. This is school based and it is expected that the majority of students with SEND will fall within this stage. Students’ needs are addressed in the context of mainstream classrooms, through high quality planning, teaching and assessments –
  • SEND – Wave 2: Where Wave 1 is not having the desired impact and the student is not progressing in line with expectations, students will receive support from the Learning Support departmental in one of the following ways:
    • In-class curriculum / behaviour support;
    • Small-group support;
    • One-to-one intervention;
    • Work with outside agencies;

Plan

The teachers or curriculum/pastoral leaders (with the advice of SENDCo) will agree in consultation with the parent and the student the adjustments, interventions and/or support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, along with a clear date for review. Staff may decide to seek advice from external agencies in agreement with the parent.

Do

The class teachers and Learning Support department are responsible for overseeing the implementation of what has been agreed at the planning stage. They will work closely with any specialist or identified staff to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions.

Review

The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the student’s progress will be reviewed in line with the agreed date. The impact and quality of the support and interventions will be evaluated, along with the views of the student and their parents. If adequate progress has not been made, revisions will be made to the plan and this ‘plan, do, review’ cycle will continue.

Where a student is seen to have made sufficient and sustained progress and it is felt that they are able to maintain this with quality first teaching, they may be removed from the SEND register.

5. How will I be involved in the decisions made about my child’s education?

We will provide termly reports on your child's progress in their academic subjects through the College’s reporting schedule. Those pupil’s undertaking targeted interventions will also have target plans which are reviewed at least once each term and send home to parents/carers. No interventions are put in place without parental consent.

We know that you are the expert when it comes to your child’s needs and aspirations and will invite you to be part of planning and reviewing any provision put in place.  After any discussion we will make a record of any outcomes, actions and support that has been agreed. This record will be shared with all relevant staff, and you will be given a copy. 

If you have concerns that arise between these meetings, please contact your child’s tutor.

6. How will my child be involved in decisions made about their education?

The level of involvement will depend on your child but we will work with them to create a package of educational support that they value.

We may seek your child’s views by asking them to:

  • Attend meetings to discuss their progress and outcomes
  • Prepare a presentation, written statement, video, drawing, etc.
  • Discuss their views with a member of staff who can act as a representative during the meeting
  • Complete a survey

7. How will the College adjust teaching for my child?

All pupils on our SEND and Inclusion register have pupil passports which are shared with their teaching staff. These passports outline their strengths, needs and recommended strategies to use when supporting them. All teachers will adapt their practice in line with these pupil passports to support your child to learn.

Some pupils will need their curriculum to be adapted further to meet their needs and may be supported with alternative curriculum pathways. This may include access to courses such as the Princes Trust, ASDAN or work experience in place of a GCSE.

The School of supported learning offer a range of support to our SEND pupils alongside the broad and balanced curriculum offer we provide for all pupils. This support is put in place for those with EHCPS, or when teacher led intervention has failed to have impact.

Types of support offered include:

  • Speech and Language therapy
  • Small group literacy interventions
  • 1.1 literacy and numeracy interventions
  • Social Skills groups
  • Circle of friends
  • Study support in place of one GCSE option
  • Mentoring
  • Home learning club
  • TA support in class
  • Reading intervention schemes
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health related workshops
  • ELSA support
  • The Princes Trust qualification
  • ASDAN qualifications
  • Canine therapy
  • The use of assistive technology for pupils with disabilities
  • Bespoke behaviour support strategies
  • Access to alternative provisions
  • Work experience placements
  • Sensory and physical interventions

Pupils at Rise@GHC also have specialist access to:

  • A higher staff ratio
  • Personalised curriculums
  • Access to advice from Occupational Therapy & SALT professionals
  • A bespoke Sensory room
  • Sensory resources
  • Life skills curriculum
  • Emotional literacy program
  • Forest School intervention (KS3 only)

We also access support from the following external agencies where appropriate:

  • Child and Adolescent mental health service (CAMHS)
  • Educational Welfare Service (EWS)
  • Support for Learning (SfL)
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Occupational therapy (OT)
  • Autism Support Service
  • Behaviour Support Team (BST)
  • Youth Justice Team
  • Educational Psychology
  • Elevate
  • Early Help Team

We liaise regularly with the Local Authority’s Early Help team to access appropriate specialist provision for example, Targeted Youth Support, Youth Justice Team support and Make Safe support to support pupils who may be vulnerable to exploitation.

8. How will the College secure specialist resources for my child?

The majority of pupils with SEND will have their needs met with reasonable adjustments to the College’s existing resource. On some occasions, it may be that your child’s needs mean we need to secure:

  • Extra equipment or facilities
  • More teaching assistant hours
  • Further training for our staff
  • External specialist expertise
  • Funding for alternative or offsite provisions

In these cases, we will consult with external agencies to get recommendations on what will best help your child access their learning.

The school will cover up to £6,000 of any necessary costs. If funding is needed beyond this, we will seek it from our local authority through the SEND intervention Fund or an Education Health Care Plan request.

9. How will the College make sure my child is included in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND?

The large majority of pupils, regardless of SEND, are included in our full, broad and balanced curriculum. In rare occasions we may withdraw pupils from one or two subjects in line with professional advice to best meet their needs. All pupils access mainstream learning with their mainstream peers.

All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before and after-school clubs.

All pupils are encouraged to go on our school trips.

No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability and we will make whatever reasonable adjustments are needed to make sure that they can be included.

10. How does the College policy make sure the admissions process is fair for pupils with SEND?

All admissions to Garth Hill College mainstream for years 7 to 11 are co-ordinated by the Bracknell Forest School Admissions team. For further information visit www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/applyforsecondary

Pupils with EHCPs have their plans sent to the College for review by the local authority. The College then respond with our professional opinion regarding whether we can deliver the plan and meet their needs. The LA will consider this response and make a decision on whether to name our setting in the child’s plan.

Pupils applying to Rise@GHC must have an EHCP with a primary need of ASD. The LA work with staff at Rise@GHC to determine admissions each year.

11. How does the College support pupils with disabilities?

Garth Hill College is an accessible site with lift access to each floor. We have hearing loops and good access to technology to support pupil’s needs. More information can be found in our accessibility plan.

12. How will the College support my child’s mental health and emotional and social development?

All pupils follow College’s PSHE and Personal Development Curriculum which provides pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to support the mental, emotional and social health of themselves and others. Central to this is regular PSHE lessons. To ensure that the PSHE Curriculum is accessible for all pupils, teaching is differentiated, and content is adapted to meet the needs of SEND students.

We have a large team of pastoral and safeguarding staff who work to support mental health and emotional and social development. Tutors check in with pupil’s daily and signpost and intervene when concerns are raised. Each pastoral house has a House Mentor who is able to support pupils with their wellbeing and we provide Emotional Literacy Support and social skills sessions in school. We also work with the following external agencies when more specialist support is needed:

  • Youthline counselling
  • Mental Health Support Team (MHST)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Kooth
  • Educational psychologist

All pupils have access to a ‘Wellbeing Support’ page in their College planner which outlines the avenues of support in the College for those who need it.

13. What support will be available for my child as they transition between classes or settings or in preparing for adulthood?

Transition between classes

We can provide support for pupils between classes as needed. Garth Hill College benefits from four coloured blocks with uniform classroom layouts which helps pupils who find change difficult; there is little variation in the school environment. We regularly support pupils with visual timetables to help pupils know which block to go to next (each block has its own colour). Pupils can also be supported with settling activities when they reach each lesson to help them settle into the new environment and all classes have a seating plan with designated seating to help pupils know where to sit on arrival. We have universal routines and rules across the College for consistency which helps pupils to feel safe and secure.

Some pupils are also supported with early exit cards to allow them to move before the rest of the student body. We can also support with sensory breaks between lessons in our Learning Support Centre. Some of our pupils with EHCPs are also supported between classes by Teaching Assistants or named peers.

Transition between phases

Pupils with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and those with Speech and Language difficulties may be provided with an advance copy of their timetable to help prepare them for the transition and so they can become familiar with the new members of staff. If needed they can be introduced to the teacher and classroom before the commencement of the new timetable. Photographs and visual timetables can also be provided to support at home.

Year 9 Option evenings is an opportunity to find out from key subject staff about subjects at Key Stage 4 to help in choosing their next steps. The SENDCo is available to support SEND pupils and parents when making these decisions.

In Year 11 pupils can undergo an induction in preparation for their sixth form courses. All subjects set preparation work for the summer to prepare pupils for their A level courses. Bespoke plans for transition are supported by the SEND faculty. All year 11 pupils are also supported with advice from the College’s careers advisor.

Within subject areas a range of transitional strategies are used to support pupils when moving sets or year groups. These may include:

  • Identification of a buddy – peer in the class to assist him with the transition to a new class.
  • Providing clear scaffolding of learning outcomes to indicate what should be done to progress to next level/grade
  • Teaching Assistant support within the classroom.

Pupils with EHCPs will work towards preparing for adulthood plans within the annual review process. These plans will support the transition between key stages and different provisions.

14. What support is in place for looked-after and previously looked after children with SEND?

Our safeguarding team will work with our SENCO, to make sure that all teachers understand how a looked-after or previously looked-after pupil’s circumstances and their SEND might interact, and what the implications are for teaching and learning.

Children who are looked-after or previously looked-after will be supported much in the same way as any other child who has SEND. However, looked-after pupils will also have a personal education plan (PEP). We will make sure that the PEP and any SEN support plans or EHC plans are consistent and complement one another.

15. What should I do if I have a complaint about my child’s SEND support?

The College’s complaint procedure is outlined in our complaints policy (below).

Complaints Policy

Complaints about SEN provision in our school should be made to the headteacher in the first instance. They will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy.

If you are not satisfied with the school’s response, you can escalate the complaint. In some circumstances, this right also applies to the pupil themselves.

To see a full explanation of suitable avenues for complaint, see pages 246 and 247 of the SEN Code of Practice

If you feel that our school discriminated against your child because of their SEND, you have the right to make a discrimination claim to the first-tier SEND tribunal. To find out how to make such a claim, you should visit: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-school/disability-discrimination

You can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Admission
  • Exclusion
  • Provision of education and associated services
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services

Before going to a SEND tribunal, you can go through processes called disagreement resolution or mediation, where you try to resolve your disagreement before it reaches the tribunal.

Bracknell SEND Information and Advice Service can support you in this process  and can be contacted here: https://bracknellforestiass.co.uk

16. What support is available for me and my family?

The College is committed to support both pupils and their families as much as possible. If you have questions about SEND or are struggling to cope, please get in touch. You can reach out to your child’s tutor, the Head of house, the SENCO or any other member of staff you feel comfortable speaking to.

To see what is available locally, please see Bracknell Forest Council’s local offer here: SEND Local Offer | Bracknell Forest Council (bracknell-forest.gov.uk)

We also recommend the following services and charities: