SEND

Head of Faculty: Mrs B Rowlinson-Baker

Information about the School’s most recent Special Educational Needs report can be found
here.

Information about the School’s most recent Special Educational Needs Policy can be found
here.

About the SEND Department

St Mark’s School is a holistic and inclusive school that prepares all of its learners for the world of work and independent living. All learners fulfil their individual potential. This vision is accomplished through high quality teaching, where all teachers implement strategies for removing barriers to success alongside a range of evidence-based interventions to meet the needs of learners.

All of our learners are set high expectations so that they are able to access a rich and varied curriculum which is adapted and personalised, to suit the individual. All aspects of the curriculum promote participation and achievement for all. 

We aim to ensure that all learners feel valued in a school community that celebrates diversity and difference. Partnerships with parents and carers are developed through regular structured conversation and learners are able to share opinions and viewpoints through regular student-voice activities. Learners are developing skills of self –responsibility and independence, preparing them to live successfully as autonomous individuals in the wider world.

The ethos of St Mark’s School is based on Christian values. We are committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education with an inclusive curriculum to ensure that all students in our community achieve their potential. 

Special Educational Needs encompasses a broad range of barriers including cognitive, social, emotional, physical and mental health. In some cases, the need may be of a relatively short term nature, in others long term, and in some, permanent. The emphasis at St Mark’s School is on defining the child’s Special Educational Needs, stating the most appropriate provision and working in collaboration to put provision into place and to monitor progress.

Purpose

  • To create a well ordered, positive and supportive environment where all learners have the opportunity to flourish and succeed whatever their talents or abilities.
  • To identify students with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure that their needs are met within all aspects of the school day.
  • To ensure that the needs of students are known to all who are likely to teach them and that all staff are able to identify and provide for those pupils who have Special Educational needs.
  • To ensure the school pays due regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out its duties with students with special educational needs.
  • To work in partnership with parents, ensuring that they are informed of their daughter or son’s special needs and that there is effective communication between school and parents.
  • To ensure that our students have the opportunity to express their views and are fully involved in the decisions which may affect their education.
  • To promote effective partnership and involve outside agencies when appropriate.

ASD

At St Mark’s we have a thriving ASD community that is well supported by staff in the Learning Support Team. Within the team we have a Communication Innovations Lead who works with the Deputy Headteacher (Inclusion) to ensure that the needs of our autistic students are met within the normal structure of the school and to provide support, advice and guidance for students and staff. 

We are very proud of our current ASD provision which includes a Sensory room which facilitates a transition into school in the mornings via the Sensory Tutor Group and our mentoring programme delivered by our Communications Innovations lead.

Our aim is to fully personalise the provision of all of our ASD students so that we ensure that they continue to thrive, develop their key skills and achieve success in all that they do in an environment in which they are able to feel safe and comfortable. Our journey toward meeting this aim has begun in earnest and we are very excited about what the future holds for our developing team and department.

Level of Teaching: KS3, KS4

Our excellent record of achievement with students with special educational needs is testimony to the importance we place on ensuring that the educational provision at our school is flexible and considerate to individual strengths. Students with a wide variety of SEN are supported across the curriculum (with an emphasis on English, Maths and Science) at KS3 and KS4. Support is tailored to the needs of the individual and can be one to one or in a supportive group environment, both in and out of the classroom. 

Learning Support

The department staff provide learning support to students across the curriculum in:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Behaviour for Learning
  • Social Skills
  • Organisation
  • Emotional Support
  • Study skills
  • Writing and planning
  • Support for Access Arrangements

Enriched Learning

The team provide additional learning support to students through:

  • Spelling workshops at least once a week (according to their year group) during tutor time
  • A reading intervention programme is run three times a week in one hour sessions for students in the lower school who need to boost their reading skills
  • Extra reading practice
  • Accompanying students with SEND on school excursions and extra-curricular activities
  • Mentoring sessions are provided by Jerry Parr, the School Chaplain, and other professionals for those students who need support, emotionally, socially or to improve behaviour
  • Specialist speech and language support from an external professional
  • Specialist literacy support from an external professional
  • 1:1 support for ASD students in KS3 and KS4
  • 1:1 support for students who have speech and language difficulties as recommended by a specialist.