All pupils who attend Elemore Hall have been referred to the school following assessment and creation of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If the school has space in the appropriate year group and if it is thought that the referral is appropriate and all parties agree, then the school will offer a place.
The speciality of the school is Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, however pupils sometimes have additional SEND needs that the school needs to meet. Sometimes these needs have been identified at the time or referral, however at other times the school might identify (or confirm) them. In identifying and assessing additional SEND the school will use it’s own expertise plus advice from our attached Educational Psychologist.
Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.
This means that we will:
- Assess a child’s special educational needs regularly. This includes both academic and Personal & Social assessments. We assess and report on a pupil’s performance in all areas at least three times a year.
- Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes, this includes both academic and Personal & Social skills
- Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes – academic is usually met through our normal classroom curriculum set-up which allows for differentiation and some individuality whilst remaining within the scope of the lesson, plus some individual withdrawal for rapid catch up activities. Personal and social skills are met throughout the school day but are particularly supported during activity time.
- Review the support and progress takes place at least termly. A report on progress made in lessons and activities is written and distributed to parents/carers at the end of each term, there is a social record that is updated at termly Progress and Achievement Meetings. The EHCP is reviewed at least annually. Parents/carers are invited to attend the termly Progress and Achievement Meetings and the Annual Review of the EHCP. Parents/carers also receive regular telephone calls from their child’s personal tutor, during these calls progress can be discussed if appropriate.
For more detailed information see the Local Offer
Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN
All pupils arrive at Elemore Hall with an EHCP and as such they will have been assessed by previous schools and by the Educational Psychologist. We conduct our own baseline assessments on entry to the school so that we have a good idea of their learning and behaviour skills.
Individual subjects conduct their own ongoing assessments to ascertain the progress that a pupil is making. Progress is based on assessment against our own STEPs system. If our assessments indicate that the pupil has a SEND beyond SEMH then we may take advice from the Educational Psychology Service, the Learning and Cognition Team, the Movement Difficulties Team or different services within Health as appropriate.
Our contact with parents/carers is excellent and concerns can be discussed and acted on speedily.
Through careful assessment, small groups and carefully constructed curriculum that allows for differentiation; skilled and experienced staff in each subject area are well placed to provide appropriate high quality teaching and intervention for each child.
Teachers have developed clear pathways through their subjects. Pupils are assessed and suitable work then follows to support progress, this is then reviewed termly and details fed back to parents. We have developed predicted flightpaths for pupil progress based on baseline assessments and we make progress judgements against these.
Parents/carers are invited in to school to annual reviews and also to termly Progress and Achievement Meetings, their involvement is essential in ensuring the best possible outcomes for their child.
There is a clear Curriculum Policy that clearly outlines what the school offers in terms of curriculum, additionally there is a comprehensive Teaching and Learning Policy that explains how the school goes about providing an education to all pupils. The curriculum on offer is reviewed annually to ensure that it is appropriate to meet the needs of the pupil group – this includes examination courses.
Importantly at Elemore Hall we have a comprehensive social programme including the facility for up to 25 pupils to be resident. Every pupil has a Personal and Social Skills Profile, this is monitored by the pupil and their personal tutor and targets are set in personal tutorials and PAMs meetings to improve the different skills. Over time pupils are supported and scaffolded to move from needing a high level of support to them being independent.
Within the classroom environment we usually have groups of eight pupils to a class with a teacher and LSA. Where necessary additional support might be put into the classroom or a pupil may be withdrawn for a specific reason. Additional support exists within school to help meet the social and emotional difficulties that pupils experience.
All teachers keep comprehensive records of what they have taught and the lesson by lesson progress and engagement that pupils make. This allows teachers to make accurate judgements about individual pupils. Knowing each pupil well allows teachers to differentiate more accurately and direct support where appropriately. Over time progress is measured using the STEPs system that we use along with a number of the other special schools in Durham.
We have a comprehensive behaviour policy – ‘Positive Management of Behaviour Policy’. This explains how we will work with pupils and how we see all as individuals.
We are committed to removing as many barriers as possible to a pupil successfully accessing learning at Elemore Hall. Due to our building, the school site does present a challenge for some people who have mobility difficulties (including visually impaired). Some areas are accessible by lift and have wide, level corridors, unfortunately the main building is not as accessible with many stairs, narrow corridors and changes of level. There is an Accessibility Plan outlining our practice and intended developments in this area.
Within school we have different types of Risk Assessment. Every pupil has an individual Risk Assessment that relates to their behaviour. There are risk assessments for different areas of the building and grounds, for different lessons and activities and for off-site visits. Risk assessments are reviewed regularly.
We are ambitious for our pupils. We recognise that many of the pupils who are referred to Elemore Hall have had difficult or negative experiences of education before joining us and we aim to turn that feeling around so that they feel positive about education and re-engage. Ultimately we are working towards all pupils successfully moving on to a positive destination of their choice when they leave Elemore at 16. We try to prepare pupils for life after Elemore by providing a range of accreditation that gives a broad, balanced base for a range of post16 options, we also try to give pupils a range of experiences to develop their personal and social skills and their engagement with and understanding of the world around them.
For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.