Proud to be an FMAT Academy

Letter from SEND Trust Lead

May 2023

Dear parents/carers,

The summer term is fully with us now, and this means lots of opportunities for students and plenty more hard work for the SEND team to support them. We all enjoy our work, and feel thoroughly privileged to support teachers, students, and their families in every way we can. This ranges from helping staff plan lessons, to delivering small group sessions, running clubs and trips, and working closely with nearby schools, the Local Authority, doctors, and other agencies. Please do read on to find out more of the recent highlights linked to the work of our team who support students with special educational needs.

Our recent Ofsted inspection looked closely at the work of all teachers and other staff. All inspectors want to know that schools are providing the right support at the right time for students with SEND, and they are very careful and precise with this. It is testament to the hard work of all the staff that the recent Ofsted inspection was positive about the support students receive at Erdington. We are very proud of our inclusive approach, and it is great to know that our visitors recognised this.  Do look out for the full inspection report as it will be published shortly.

The summer term is of course exam time. Students are working incredibly hard to achieve the best they can, and our dedicated team of teaching assistants are supporting this every day. Sometimes this is as simple as a reassuring word, but can require more intensive guidance through extra teaching, acting as a reader or scribe, and providing emotional support. Mental Health Awareness Week brought some of these needs to the fore last week. If you are concerned about your child, please do let someone at school know. For more information and guidance about helping your child through difficult and stressful times, I recommend resources from Young Minds, the Charlie Waller Trust, and Mind. Links to these can be found below;

This time of year in schools also leads us to think about the next stage of education. All of our Year 11 pupils on the SEND register have an offer for suitable education or training for September, including A Levels, Apprenticeships, and other college courses. Year 10 have work experience coming up, so please encourage them to think carefully about their ambitions and remember that we are here to help them realise these. Mrs Jeffers’ recent letter to families has more information about this. At the other end of the Erdington Academy journey are Year 6 students and we are really excited to meet them in person soon. Some children need more time and support to get used to their new surroundings, so the SEND team are orgnanising extra transition for some pupils before they arrive with their peers. Mrs Cambridge is also doing a fantastic job visiting many local primary schools to meet children and find out from teachers what works with them so we are well placed to meet their needs as soon as they arrive.

There have been lots of exciting events beyond the classroom recently, and students with SEND are benefitting hugely from these. The Penathlon challenge is a multi-sport event that includes boccia, a form of bowling, target practice and other activities. The students went to the Doug Ellis Sports Centre and competed against many other schools from across Birmingham. A great result; Erdington Academy came second with 37 points, with each student winning a silver medal and the team being presented with a trophy. We also have an exciting table cricket competition coming up at the start of June, where an Erdington team will compete again against a range of other local schools; we are hoping to go one better with this one and come away with the gold medal! This month we also visited Girton College at Cambridge University with students. They visited the University library, took part in a quiz, and had a tour of the grounds. Our students are ambitious, and we do everything we can to support them with these – for some students with SEND Cambridge University may just be the start – who knows what further success they will achieve!

As ever, please do contact school if you have any questions or concerns about your child. There are many events coming up in the summer term so please look out for more details as they arise, and we look forward to seeing you in school.

Kind Regards,

Simon Lynch

Trust SEND Lead

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