Introduction and SEND Report

At Hexham Middle School, we aim to uphold the right of all pupils to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Here, every child is equal and unique and we aim to provide a safe and supportive environment where pupils can flourish.
There are a number of reasons why pupils may be identified as having special educational needs or a disability (SEND) and we support pupils of all ages across the ability range; some of the reasons are outlined below:

  • They have a specific difficulty need such as dyslexia or dyscalculia
  • They have a sensory impairment, for example a hearing or visual impairment
  • They have difficulties communicating or with social interaction
  • They have mental health or emotional difficulties that are affecting their learning
  • They are struggling to make progress with their learning despite appropriate in class differentiation

We are very proud of all we do to support pupils who attend Hexham Middle School with SEND. Pupils have access to a full range of educational and pastoral support to ensure they make maximum progress and feel happy, fulfilled and supported at school.

We are very ambitious for what our SEND pupils can achieve and we are resolute in ensuring they receive the support they need to maximise their potential.

This information is intended to give you general information regarding the ways in which we ensure we support all of our pupils with SEND, in order that they can realise their potential. It may not list every skill, resource and technique we use to achieve this as these are continually developed and we try to modify our provision to meet the needs of individual pupils.

Children with SEND at Hexham Middle School make good and in some cases outstanding progress. 

If you would like further information about what we offer here at Hexham Middle School for students with SEND, then please do not hesitate to contact our SENCo, Mrs A Frankish (01434 602533), or our Assistant SENDCo, Mrs F Adams (01434 611776).

Our SEND information was last reviewed in September 2018.

We have a number of dedicated Learning Support Assistants who support pupils with SEND at Hexham Middle School both in and out of class.

We also have a dedicated intervention teacher who teaches smaller intervention groups.

Teaching and Support Staff at Hexham Middle School are committed to our school being inclusive and ensuring that each child receives the support to allow them to be happy, successful learners. 

Here at Hexham Middle School we:

  • Work closely with parents or carers to agree on the best actions to take to help pupils make progress and feel happy at school.
  • Make sure lesson content is differentiated to take into account different learning needs and to make sure pupils can access the content of the lessons.
  • Monitor the progress of the pupils to ensure they are making progress
  • Create Pupil Profiles for our high need pupils which are formulated and overseen by the SENCo/ Assistant SENCo
  • Support our families of children with SEN, formally through review meetings and informally as our SENCo/ Assistant SENDCo is available to speak either on the phone or in person.
  • Seek advice from outside agencies to ensure each child’s needs are fully identified and understood and to learn from specialists how best to support our children with SEN.
  • Regularly evaluate our teaching resources to ensure they are accessible to all children with SEN.
  • Ensure our school activities and trips, as far as is possible, are accessible to all our children with SEN.
  • Provide on-going SEND training and information for teachers, teaching assistants and other staff in the school.
  • Liaise closely with first schools to ensure SEND pupil information is clearly communicated and to help pupils with SEND feel at ease when making the transition to middle school.
  • Place support staff where needed throughout the school to ensure pupils’ progress, independence and value for money.
  • Access arrangements are applied for where we feel pupils with SEND would benefit from additional provision in test situations.

Amongst other things, pupils classified as having communication and interaction needs may be on the autism spectrum or may have speech difficulties. Support we can provide for pupils with communication and interaction needs is as follows:

  • Teachers will differentiate the curriculum and resources appropriately, reflecting on the needs of the individual pupil.
  • Visual timetables can be provided.
  • The Learning Support Base is a peaceful area and pupils can use this as a ‘calm area’ if it is agreed this would be an appropriate strategy.
  • The Learning Support Base is available to pupils at lunch times as we know that unstructured time can be challenging and stressful for some pupils.
  • We offer an assertive mentoring programme to support pupils to make maximum progress.
  • Targeted intervention in Maths and English can be considered to improve skills in numeracy and literacy.
  • Support and advice is sought from outside agencies to ensure any barriers to success are fully identified and responded to; any programmes implemented are fully supported and communicated to staff.
  • One of our teachers has attended Level 3 autism awareness training at Thomas Bewick School and he has provided training and advice for all staff.

Amongst other things, pupils classified as having cognition and learning needs may have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or moderate learning difficulties where there may be more general issues around literacy and numeracy. The learning needs may also be more severe and students may require appropriate intervention so they can access the curriculum. Support we can provide for pupils with cognition and learning needs is as follows:

  • Teachers will differentiate the curriculum and resources appropriately, reflecting on the needs of the pupil and taking advice from the SENCo regarding appropriate resources.
  • Strategies are provided to promote and develop literacy and numeracy, including one to one intervention to improve skills in a range of areas.
  • ICT is used to reduce barriers to learning where possible.
  • We provide resources to support children with specific needs- e.g. coloured overlays and reading rulers to help with reading for our dyslexic children.

Amongst other things, pupils classified as having social, emotional and mental health needs may need support with anxiety or their emotional health may be affecting their progress; they may require help to manage their behaviour in the classroom. Support we can provide for pupils with communication and interaction needs is as follows:

  • The school provides fantastic pastoral care for all pupils. The form tutor is very important as the first point of contact for pupils. Tutors are supported by a Head of Key Stage who monitors behaviour, progress and the emotional wellbeing of pupils. The Heads of Key Stage work closely with the Deputy Head, pastoral to ensure every child receives the support they need to be happy and successful at our school.
  • We run one to one and small group sessions where required to focus on emotional understanding and social skills.
  • We have a Learning Support Base where pupils can go if they feel they need some quiet time; time out cards can be arranged.
  • We run intervention programmes for pupils who are struggling with literacy and numeracy skills or have access to academic mentoring for pupils who have fallen behind in a subject.
  • We use behaviour reports to help pupils manage and take ownership of their behaviour so all members of the school remain safe.
  • We seek the expert advice and support of outside agencies, including LIST, the School Health Advisor and the Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)
  • Where a student has SEND and is also a looked after child, we have a designated teacher in school to ensure students are supported.
  • Individual mentoring is available to support pupils.

There are clubs run through the Learning Support Base at lunch times to support vulnerable pupils. Support is available at break times if required.

Amongst other things, pupils classified as having sensory and physical needs may need support with a visual or hearing impairment. They may have medical needs that affect their progress and ability to learn. Support we can provide for pupils with communication and interaction needs is as follows:

  • We provide support and practical aids where appropriate to ensure pupils can access the curriculum.
  • We seek advice and guidance from school health for pupils with significant medical needs.
  • When it is appropriate we use ICT to enhance pupils’ access to the curriculum.
  • When required staff receive training in understanding the impact of a physical or sensory need on the teaching or learning of the child.
  • All the entrances to school have ramps fitted to allow wheelchair access
  • Our school has disabled toilets.
  • Care can be arranged during breaks and lunchtimes.
  • Where required, staff receive training to ensure they understand the impact of a sensory need upon teaching and learning where there is a need;
  • Access to strategies/programmes to support Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy.

Admission arrangements for pupils with SEN or disabilities

What happens if my child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs?

When a school is named on a child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan, a place must be given to this child before any other places are allocated. However, this can only happen if it is known before the allocation process begins. However, if your child has a Statement or EHCP and you are unsuccessful in gaining a place at your preferred school, you may appeal to the SEN Tribunal. Parents of children with a Statement or EHCP cannot appeal to the Admissions Appeal Panel.

Please find below a link to the Local Authority admissions guidance: