Frequently Asked Questions about SEN

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Why is my child on the SEN Register? How will my child with SEN transition from primary school to secondary school? How does the school know my child needs extra support? What do I do if I think my child needs extra support? How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs? My child is autistic, is TOA the right place for him/her? My child has dyslexia, is TOA the right place for him/her?  What interventions does the school provide? How do I find out about my Child's progress? What is an EHCP? What other support is available for my child ? (OCC Local Offer)

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Why is my child on the SEN Register?

If your child was on the SEN Register in primary school, initially they will automatically be placed onto the SEN Register in secondary school. There are several different reasons why your child may be on the Register. They could need some extra support with their learning, they may be having troubles with interacting or communicating with others, or they might need some emotional support while at school. If your child has a physical or sensory disability, they will also be on the Register. After their first term at TOA, we will evaluate whether or not you child should remain on the register.

If you would like to find out why your child is on the register and which specific needs he or she has, please contact the SENCo or Assistant SENCo, as they will be happy to speak to you more in depth.

How will my child with SEN transition from primary school to secondary school?

Transitioning from primary school to secondary school already starts before the end of year 6. Once it is clear that your child will be attending The Oxford Academy, our SENCo visits with the SENCo of your child's primary school as well as with you, the parents. Furthermore, TOA organises so-called "taster days", on which year 6 students come in and experience a full day at TOA. If you believe your child would benefit from multiple taster days, we are happy to arrange this if possible.

As soon as your son or daughter starts year 7, our specialist teacher runs a full range of assessments so we are aware of any academic struggles your child may face. Based on a short list of questions and on the file which is passed on to us from the primary school, a student passport is made up to hand out to all your child's teachers.

If your child is on an EHCP in primary school, the final annual review before leaving primary school will be attended by our SENCo or Assistant SENCo.   

How does the school know my child needs extra support?

There are a number of ways that the school can pick up when a student is struggling. Here at TOA we track the academic progress of students using individual flightpaths which have been set up based on Key Stage 2 grades. The flight path predicts the minimum rate of progress a student should achieve by Year 11. Along the way, the school uses check point data to check if students are above track, on track, behind track or if there is a cause for concern. The Inclusion Department responds to these concerns based on regular checkpoint data. Read more about the flight path system here.   

Another way the school can pick up on potential issues is via communication between members of staff. If teachers feel that one of their pupils is struggling to keep up in lessons or struggling in any other way, concerns are communicated to the Inclusion Department internally. Once concerns have been brought to light, the specialist teacher will do the necessary assessments to corroborate the concerns.

Finally, you as a parent can voice your own concerns to the school.

What do I do if I think my child needs extra support? 

If you believe your child is struggling academically or in any other way, you can raise these concerns with the school yourself. You can speak to your child's tutor or other teachers at parent's evening, or you can contact the Inclusion Department directly using the Questions/Concerns Form on the SEN Contact page. 

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

At The Oxford Academy we aim to implement schemes of work with appropriate differentiation of tasks. This means that a student will be supplied with different avenues to learning suitable to their academic level. Teachers work hard to provide teaching materials, content and assessment methods appropriate for each student's individual needs. To help achieve this more efficiently, students are grouped into small sets (or classes) depending on their academic abilities in a particular subject.

If further support is required, students are sometimes taken out of agreed upon lessons to attend interventions. Interventions are run in small groups or in some cases on a 1:1 basis, most commonly for English and/or Maths support. Students that are at risk of falling behind in lessons are given in-class support from Inclusion Managers and Teaching and Learning Assistants wherever possible.  

My child is autistic. What can TOA provide?

Students with autism are assigned a keyworker to work with them 1:1 on a regular basis. Together with the student, the keyworker sets goals and develops targets based on the student's needs. The targets are broken up into manageable steps for the student to achieve. Keyworkers also regularly observe their student in class, they act as a point of contact for parents or guardians and help them to build social skills and self advocacy. Your child's keyworker can help with anything ranging from anger management and frustration to building organisation skills

Our Specialist Teacher oversees all keyworkers and ensures that regular observations and 1:1 sessions are being held, that targets are being set and that incremental steps are made towards reaching these goals. 

My child has dyslexia. What can TOA provide?

Students that have been diagnosed with dyslexia are provided with differentiated learning materials and Exam Access Arrangements.

 The inclusion department also provides coloured  overlays and reading rulers for Pupils with Irlens Syndrome, and laptops for those whose handwriting causes them to fall behind in lessons.

Students are tested for Exam Access Arrangements to ensure that dyslexia is not a cause for point loss in exams. Most commonly these arrangements consist of receiving extra time, a reader, a scribe or the use of a word processor

What interventions does the school provide?

The school provides a wide range of interventions in several subjects from year 7 through to year 11. In the lower years, the focus for interventions lies mainly on Literacy (English) and Numeracy (Maths). Aside from in-class support from Inclusion Managers and Teaching and Learning Assistants, the school offers "Fresh Start" interventions to increase phonic awareness and reading age for those who need it. Students that are in Fresh Start in Year 7 are withdrawn from mainstream English lessons to do so. Fresh Start is also offered in Year 8, however here, students have Fresh Start Intervention alongside their mainstream English lessons as well as after school. Fresh start is taught by SEN Teachers and Intervention Managers. Supplementary to Fresh Start, we offer "Rapid Reading" to further advance the reading and comprehension levels of pupils. To increase numeracy abilities, TOA offers the "Rapid Maths" programme in small groups, as well as specialist 1:1 support for specific mathematical difficulties. Rapid Maths is offered in addition to mainstream maths lessons. 

In year 10 and 11 interventions are put into place depending on the areas of need of the students. In Year 9 Fresh Start is still on offer, as well as our Literacy and Language Programme taught by SEN Teaching staff and Inclusion Managers. In Year 11, 1:1 support is offered for IGCSE Coursework.

How do I find out about my child's progress?

The easiest way to find out about your child's progress is to speak to their tutor, subject teachers or someone from the Inclusion Department. You can get in touch by phoning the school. To contact someone from the Inclusion department directly, simply submit the Questions/Concerns Form on our contact page, after which someone will be in touch with you shortly.  

What is an EHCP?

An EHCP (Education, Health & Care Plan) is a legal document which sets out a description of your child's needs (what he or she can and cannot do) and what needs to be done to meet those needs by education, health and social care.

Generally, only a very small number of children with especially complex and severe needs -  which require very high levels of support - are issued with an EHCP. 

For more information, watch The EHC Plan video from Oxfordshire County CouncilMore in depth information on the contents of an EHC Plan can be downloaded here.

If you have more questions about EHC Plans, don't hesitate to contact our Assistant SENCo. If you need help with filling in the All About Me paperwork for your child's EHCP or EHCP Review Meeting, simply download the guide.  

What other support is available for my child?

OCC Local offer is available here

My question isn't here...

If you have a question but cannot find it here, you can fill in the Questions/Concerns form on the SEN Contact page. Someone will be in touch with you shortly to answer your inquiery.