It has been a busy start to 2023 and the work of the SEND team continues to provide excellent support and care for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Please read on to learn about recent events and developments. These include welcoming new members of the team, lots of work getting children ready for exams and the next steps in their education, and plenty of examples of enriching children’s lives through sport and culture.
Our most recent coffee morning was really well attended. It was a huge pleasure to welcome more than 30 families in to school to meet with colleagues from the SEND team on Thursday 2nd February. The connection between families and key workers is vital in making sure school does everything in its power to meet the needs of all pupils. We will be hosting another event in the Summer term so do look out for information about this nearer the time.
Our new SENCO Mr Chris Hanks-Sedman was at the coffee morning and he thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the families who attended. He started at school just after Christmas and has made an instant impact as our new SENCO. Chris comes to us with a wide experience of working with children who have special educational needs and disabilities. He worked as teacher of English in a number of special schools, giving him a wealth of experience in supporting children with a variety of additional needs. His other experiences have included running his own animal charity and serving in the armed forces. Chris has built strong relationships with all the pupils he has met, and many of you will have already communicated with him. Should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s special educational needs and the support in school please contact Chris at school (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Spring term brings an increasingly intense focus on preparing for exams and supporting children to get ready for the next stage of their education. Please remember that mock exams for Year 11 will be held in the week of 27th February (the first week after the half term break) and in the week of 13th March. All assessments and exams in school are important as they give students an opportunity to show what they know and can do. It is essential that students give their best so that teachers find out what they need to help students improve. Please continue to support your child in preparing for exams and assessments. It is important that children have time and space to study at home, and that families talk with children about what they are learning and how they remember important information. If you would like more information about individual subjects please contact your child’s teachers. Teaching Assistants will be working more closely with Year 11 pupils in the coming weeks to support them with revision, both in class and in registration times or after school.
Miss Jeffers is working very closely with Year 11 pupils to support them in securing suitable education, employment or training for September. There is a visit planned for Tuesday 14th February to the BMet college group; including James Watt, Sutton College and the Erdington Skills Centre. Students will have the opportunity to view the campuses and talk to the staff about their courses of interest. Year 9 students and their families also have a lot to think about as they consider preferences for GCSE courses. The process is now well underway and Teaching Assistants are working closely with children and families to make sure the preferences are suitable and ambitious.
Many children have taken opportunities to be involved in some really exciting events recently. Students with SEND from across the school recently took place in a local athletics competition in which they came an impressive second place. They will now move on to the next stages in which they will face teams from across the county. Also, our Boccia team has also progressed to the finals of a city-wide competition. Boccia is a ball sport similar to bowls but is adapted so that it is inclusive to all people regardless of their physical needs. We wish both our team’s good luck in their upcoming tournaments.
As we do every term, before Easter arrives in April we will be reviewing the progress of every child with special educational needs. Please expect a call from your child’s key worker, or a meeting to talk about your child. All the teachers will also be working hard to provide information to the SEND team on your child’s progress. All of this will allow us to decide who needs what support next term, and we look forward to being in touch with you shortly.
As ever the SEND team appreciate good communication with families, and this helps to make sure the right support is in place at the right time. Do get in touch should you have any questions or queries, and your child’s key worker will continue to keep you informed about things at school. This close collaboration has been important in keeping excellent attendance for children with SEND this year, and will continue to make a difference in future.
Trust SEND Lead