Special Educational Needs
At Bonner, we strongly believe that every child matters and we work very hard to help all children achieve their full potential, irrespective of their starting points. We aim to identify and provide support for need as early as possible; as a result, many potential educational difficulties are resolved in the early years, and children with genuine special need have appropriate support in place from the very beginning. No child leaves Bonner having ‘slipped through the net’.
Our capable teachers and TAs meet many of the needs of specific children or groups in class. As well as our own highly organised systems (eg Read Write Inc groups for children who need to make rapid progress in Literacy), we make good use of outside agencies such as Occupational Therapists, and we buy in additional Speech and Language therapy on a weekly basis. We are keen to improve our own understanding and focus on a particular area for training each year. Recent years have seen staff trained in delivering Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy programmes, behaviour management systems and Autistic Spectrum Differences. We also have staff trained in specific skills, including Braille, Signalong and the assessment and teaching of specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia.
Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and are helped to develop high self-esteem and motivation for learning. We involve the children (and parents) in every step of their own learning. For example, children help to construct their Target Plans (used for children who require a unique curriculum in some way) and draw pictures to remind them of their targets. Our Annual Reviews, for all children with statements or Education Health Care PLans, are child friendly, where children attend most of the meeting and show videos or present Powerpoints of themselves at work and play. They include Visual Reviews, where children with statements of SEN can see the notes from their annual meetings illustrated in pictures or clear comments rather than reams of boring paperwork – useful for adults as well as children!
We are currently in the process of converting statements to Education Health Care Plans. If your child is in Year 2 or Year 6 you will be asked to complete some paperwork to assist with this process.
Target Plans are created for every child who has any kind of individual work additional to the usual curriculum. The child and adult agree 3 small, measureable targets and the child draws or takes pictures to represent each one. Target Plans are planned, reviewed and renewed termly. The deadlines are: Autumn Term (4th week), Spring term (2nd week) and Summer Term (2nd week), with a final review at the end of each school year. Several copies are made and a) put up in each room the child works in; b) given to parents; c) included in the red SEN file for that year group and d) given to the SENCo for filing.
What Ofsted said about SEN at Bonner
Ofsted, Jan 2007: “Pupils’ progress is kept under constant review, and they are often taught basic skills systematically when grouped according to ability, in small numbers. Pupils at risk of not meeting their potential are identified extremely quickly and appropriate support put in place. As a result, very few pupils are listed as having learning difficulties. All groups of pupils do exceedingly well, including those whose first language is not English. The headteacher analyses their progress in great detail, presenting class teachers with regular reports, which complement their own assessments. The school is always among the top five per cent of schools nationally for the value it adds to pupils’ learning.”
The care, guidance and support of pupils are outstanding. The staff are totally committed to the pupils, and are determined to do all they can for them both pastorally and academically. Pupils have a tremendous sense of achievement in being helped to overcome something they were finding difficult. A pupil said, ‘I’ve really improved and I understand lots of things now.’ Excellent procedures are in place to meet the needs of pupils with learning difficulties.These pupils draw pictures to illustrate the targets from their individual education plans and then display the pictures, to help remind them what they are aiming for. Parents are extremely supportive and appreciative of the school.”
At Bonner we use the ‘Golden Rules’. If a child breaks a Golden Rule they are given a ‘red slip’, which equals five minutes’ loss of Golden Time (chosen activities on a Friday afternoon). Red slips come with a ‘contract’, which helps the child to earn them back. Contracts are connected to the broken rule; for example, if the rule ‘Do be gentle’ is broken, the child needs to prove they can act in a gentle manner for the next x days. We try to make ‘Golden Time’ an exciting, varied and high quality activity time, both as a reward for the children who behave well and so the children care deeply about missing time. If a child becomes disruptive or consistently misbehaves in class, Bonner teachers follow this route:
• verbal warning
• name on board
• red slip/s
• sent to partner class for short time
• sent to Key Stage deputy head
• sent to headteacher
Bonner children are expected to be polite, helpful and considerate and, in the main, they are. We promote good manners and calm behaviours in all areas of the school, and expect the children to have high levels of respect for their teachers and for each other. Rewarding, praising and expecting good manners often hugely reduces poor behaviour.