SEND, SEN, Additional Needs, SENCo, TAs – what’s it all about?
A SENCo – Let’s start there. A Special Needs Co-ordinator is someone in school who makes sure students who need extra help, get that extra help. Often, these students have been assessed as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or simply put, Additional Needs. The SENCo at the Academy is Mrs Anne Forrester.
Mrs Forrester directs the TAs (Teaching Assistants) to work with students who need extra help in all subject areas – this might mean that some students have extra supported in class; they might work in a small group outside of the class or they might work one-to-one with a TA. The TAs at the Academy are great – Ms Cooper supports English, Mr Noutel is a Science guru, Miss Conroy supports Vocational subjects and PE and Miss Ives works with the Maths department.
Where to find extra help
Mrs Forrester’s room is on the top floor of the old building – up the stairs to the left. It’s a quiet classroom with lots of resources: laptops and computers, books and an iPad – plenty of desk space to spread out and learn. Parents and students are welcome to talk to Mrs Forrester at any time – through discussion and assessment, the right support can be provided to students on an individual basis.
Access Arrangements and Functional Skills
The SEN department supports students during exam time. Some students will qualify for Access Arrangements – this might mean that they will be allowed extra time or help with reading during their GCSEs for example. Some students find that Functional Skills are more suited to them – this is a formal programme which helps students grasp the basics of Maths and English.