We aim to have every child in our school ‘accessing education’ as soon as it is possible. Therefore we make a commitment that every child will leave Serenity School with a minimum of five good qualifications including numeracy and literacy.
Contact to discuss child needs
The School aims to meet the special educational needs (SEN) of all our pupils as defined in our SEN policy. We do this by applying the principles of our Socio-Education Model to each individual pupil who is individual, different yet the same to us at Serenity School.
If you are concerned about your child’s learning or progress in a particular subject, you can contact in the first instance their subject teacher, tutor or the relevant Head of Year. If the concerns are in regard to learning need please contact the Deputy Head/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) directly.
We conduct baseline testing in literacy and numeracy for all new students in order to identify any additional learning needs that may require support. We test to set a standardised score in numeracy and literacy. We aim to ensure all pupils are at least in the average range of 85 – 112. Those pupils either side will be provided with additional support and resources to catch up or excel further.
Teachers regularly monitor and assess student progress, using the information to respond to individual needs.
Teachers regularly monitor rates of progress and identify pupils not making progress. There is an extensive range of support strategies on offer to ensure all pupils are striving to achieve in year and at the end of key stages.
Each term all students are reviewed by termly assessments and an action planning meeting.
Informing parents and carers
Tutors have a weekly dialogue with parents and will talk to parents about behaviour, achievement, progress and attendance. Parents and carers are welcome to contact the school with any concerns and advice can be sought from individual subject teachers on how to support your child at home.
Updates on progress
There are a number of opportunities through the academic year for parents to talk with staff. In addition, reports are sent each term to coincide with Academic Review Days.
If a child is not making progress
Additional SEN support will be provided after discussions with key staff, parents/carers, pupil and where relevant, external agencies; for example Educational Psychology Service. This additional support will be documented by an individual Education Plan / Provision Map. We seek external support for children continuing to experience significant difficulty which may involve wider muti agency support and services.
The average class size is five (KS3) and five (KS4).
A broad and balanced curriculum is taught across all year groups in age specific groups. This curriculum includes GCSEs, vocational qualifications and other specialist and personalised programmes.
Students are placed within ability sets as appropriate based upon the results of baseline data and ongoing progress.
Adapting for child needs
Teachers use a varied range of strategies; e.g. visual timetables to ensure all lessons are personalised and differentiated to support all students in making good progress. Experiences to develop social skills and team building to enhance student success and progress including a range of trips, residential experiences, after school clubs and whole school events are a key component of our curriculum.
Teacher flexibility on child needs
Teachers are trained in special educational needs through their initial teacher training which is consolidated through in-house and external training run by the SEN and assessment team, Education Psychology Service, Speech and Language team plus other relevant teams and are therefore skilled at adapting the curriculum according to individual need.
Additional support e.g. differentiated tasks may be used to help groups of students to develop their independent working skills.
We offer a Can Do Room where pupils can attend for agreed sessions, lessons, or longer periods to avail of further enhanced support with learning and behaviour.
All Teachers and support staff are provided with SEN Profiles of students giving them the information they require in regards to the individual child’s needs and classroom strategies. A tailored programme of information gathering is undertaken with the student’s previous schools to support the successful transition into the school.
A range of literacy, numeracy and emotional literacy interventions are mapped and provided for students including whole class, small group or individual led by both internal and external staff.
Some students have extra support in the classroom from their own dedicated progress partner. This support is flexible and may involve the progress partner being a reader or scribe for the students; the progress partner may differentiate the learning tasks further so that the students can complete the work independently.
Meeting child needs
At Serenity School, we embrace close links with parents and carers.
Tutors have a weekly dialogue with parents and will talk to parents about behaviour, achievement, progress and attendance.
Parents and carers are welcome to contact the school with any concerns and advice can be sought from individual subject teachers on how to support your child at home.
Access to exams
Access arrangements are concessions given to allow fair access to tests, exams and assessments. In order to be eligible for access arrangements there needs to be a clear history of need which can be evidenced by specialist testing and the students’ usual way of working in the class room. Access arrangements can be a reader, scribe, extra time or modified exam papers.
Access arrangements are used on entry in KS4, where baseline assessments or initial teaching indicate a need, so support is in place as early as possible.
If your child is eligible for access arrangements you will be informed by letter.
Comfort, safety and socialising
Serenity School has a strong ethos of pastoral care which we feel is highlighted through our tutor group system and pastoral department.
The Family Outreach Worker will liaise with the family and student and offer a wide range of mentoring, support either as part of a group or as a personalised programme.
In addition we offer systemic programmes through our therapy team and outreach staff offer support and advice to families who are under stress for a variety of reasons, such as relationship issues, communication between family members, or more practical things such as housing or money problems.
The Outreach staff will listen and make an assessment of the situation, then work with the family to agree goals together, the overall aim being to build on families’ strengths, to keep children safe and to develop their potential. Many of the support packages are through family group support sessions. The outreach team can also signpost to other services and liaise with Social Services if necessary.
Serenity School has some assistive technology which allows us to make reasonable adjustments to enable students to access the curriculum.
Who we work with
The school works with a number of agencies from the education, health, social and community sectors in the London Borough of Croydon and other neighbouring boroughs including:
- Educational Psychology Service
- Learning Support Service
- Sensory Impairment Service Speech Language Communication Service
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Service
- Occupational Therapy School Nurse
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Youth Offending Service
- Special Educational Needs Team
- Social Care
- Police – Safer Neighbourhood Teams and School Liaison Officers
- Social Services
- Post 16 Raising Participation Co-ordinator
We involve a range of external agencies to offer additional support and intervention (Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language teachers and therapists).
We offer a range of internal support services: Family Outreach Workers liaise with the family and student and offer a wide range of mentoring, support either as part of a group or as a personalised programme.
Our Family outreach workers and a Clinical Psychologist (May 2018) offer professional advice and support to students and their families in times of need.
Informing parents and carers
Parents and carers will be kept informed and consent is sought in most cases before a referral is made to an external service.
Helping your child settle with confidence
We have close links with our Primary, Secondary and Specialist schools Parents/carers and student are invited in for an admission interview and these are closely followed by appointments for assessments.
Students are allocated a Tutor who oversees the transition arrangements. Transition from KS3 to KS4 is arranged by a hand over meeting between Tutors and GCSE taster options are arranged in the Summer Term We have a dedicated member of staff who facilitates the transition arrangements to post 16 provision.
Students can be supported at College interviews and completion of applications.
Taster days can be arranged and Staff from Post 16 come in to talk at tutor events Where appropriate, parents will be informed of any concern a school may have and the parent and school will work closely together to address concerns.
As appropriate, referrals will be discussed with parents and they will be kept informed and the views of the parent and students will be sought and presented within the referral. We support students into new school placements. A dedicated member of staff may attend school interviews or taster days and support them in the transition phase. We support students in the summer holiday and autumn term post 16 to ensure they transfer to their college, apprenticeship or work placement. We follow up all students who ‘Move On’ from Serenity School in the autumn, spring and summer term. We are fully compliant with CEIAG Gatsby quality assurance bench mark.