SEND & Transition
Transition Year 6 to Year 7 (Primary to Secondary)
Where it has been determined that the barrier to a student’s learning is as a result of a special educational need or disability, support will be led by our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Our SENCO will work alongside primary schools and parents/carers to co-ordinate within-class support and intervention for those students with additional learning needs, within our mainstream setting, and also with those families accessing our HeartSpace provision, a brilliant new addition to our school.
The HeartSpace was introduced in September 2019 to ensure that even those students with the most complex of needs were able to benefit from all that Penistone Grammar School has to offer.
Regardless of need, together with a team of Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Learning Support Assistants, our leaders for Special Educational Needs will ensure that highly effective, tailored support is in place to overcome any obstacles that may act as a barrier to learning, ensuring every young person has every opportunity to meet their potential.
The support provided will be framed within a four-part process: Assess-Plan-Do-Review. This ongoing cycle will enable the provision to be refined and revised as our understanding of each student’s needs grow. Through this process, we will be able to identify those interventions which are the most effective in supporting students to secure good progress and outcomes, both within their learning and beyond.
If a child has lifelong or significant difficulties, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process which is usually requested by the school but can be requested by a parent / carer. This will occur where the complexity of need, or a lack of clarity around the needs of the child are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, to planning provision and identifying resources, is required. The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) will be taken at a progress review and will combine information from a variety of sources.
Usually, students will arrive at Penistone Grammar School having already been identified by their primary or previous school as requiring SEND support and, if appropriate, with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) in place. In this circumstance, the SENCO will work with the teachers, student and their family to learn as much about the student prior to them joining us. This will allow us to ensure that an adequate and appropriate level of support is in place from the first day. This may include inviting the student to additional visits to give them opportunity to get to know about the workings of the school individually or in a smaller group prior to the main transition days.
On occasion, within a few weeks of a student joining us, we may identify a possible SEND need that has not previously been raised. Where this is the case, the student’s subject teachers will take steps to provide differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the student’s academic progression and enable the teacher to better understand the provision and teaching style that needs to be applied.
Our specialised transition team start work in January to ensure all our students, including those with special education needs have a smooth transition journey to Penistone Grammar School. Our SENCO will communicate with primary staff around the needs of each individual student, visiting school, observing students in their educational setting and meetings with parents. Students also undertake additional transition events to ensure they feel confident about the important next steps in their learning journey.
Transition Year 9 to Year 10 (Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4)
Transition not only happens in Year 6; our Year 9 students transition from KS3 to KS4. This is when our students start to make decisions about their future and which subjects will help them to realise their future goals. This is a challenging time for some of our students and lots of support is put in place for the whole year group to ensure that the decisions made by each student are the right ones for them as an individual. Our SEND students have an extra layer of support from the SEND department, their Achievement Leader, and the Student Support Officer as well as our Senior Leadership Team.
Extra meetings are offered before and during the process, to ensure that all avenues have been explored and that both students and parents / carers have all the information they require to make an informed decision about the subject that will be studied at KS4. Once this process is completed, all SEND students will have a one-to-one meeting with our SENCo, to discuss the option choices and their Post 16 pathway, to ensure everything is in place for the student to achieve their aspirations.
For students with an EHCP, we will invite a representative from Targeted Intervention Advice and Guidance (TIAG) to attend the Year 9 annual review. TIAG will then attend all subsequent reviews to support the student and parents / carers with any information and advice required around future careers and post 16 opportunities.
Transition Year 11 and Beyond (Secondary to Post-16)
Making the decision around Post 16 education is yet another transition and possibly a transition to a different educational provider. Making a decision about what to study next can be confusing and daunting. As a SEND department, we understand the challenges to both our students and their families for this next step. Moving to college or post 16 centre and understanding the different levels of qualification, the entry requirements, the different methods of study and the different methods of assessment can all seem rather confusing. We are always happy to support.
Some students need the support of an adult in their careers interview, some will require time to sit with someone who knows them as a learner to discuss all the opportunities open to them at post 16. Whatever the query, we are always available to help. While we may not have the answer to all your questions, we will certainly find someone who has.
As a department we are all keen to make sure that our students have the best knowledge and understanding of the opportunities available to them for their next chapter in life. Where needed, we will work with the next educational provider, to make sure that they fully understand the needs of our students and what each one will need to ensure continued success in learning.
TIAG will continue to support our EHCP students through the application process for their next learning environment, whether that be the PGS Post 16 centre or a local college. This ensures that all needs continue to be met and that the next chapter in their education is a positive experience.