King Ecgbert School is committed to ensuring all students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum whatever their gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, needs or abilities. All King Ecgbert teachers are teachers of SEND and have responsibility for planning the curriculum to ensure it is accessible to all. The varying needs of students will be addressed through personalised learning and through appropriate differentiation wherever possible.
Additional provision is provided to ensure students have the necessary skills to access the curriculum independently wherever possible. Our school ethos and curriculum guide commit to making our school, its facilities and its curriculum, inclusive and accessible for all.
SENCO - Mrs H Sellars
- For more information refer to the SEND Information below
- For more information on the LA Sheffield's Local Offer please click here
Where do I go if I am always on my own at break or dinner?
We would love to see you in A14! We have a room that is staffed at break and dinner and students who would prefer a safe environment to socialise come here. It’s not always quiet but students love our little family feel and play board games, computer games or do their homework with support if needed. Students can eat their snacks and dinner in there (no hot food unfortunately) and new friendships are often formed in here across the year groups Access to A14 is by invite only and this is identified by your Primary School and the SEN dept.
I’m worried about getting school dinners
The dining hall can seem like a large scary place but it’s really ok once you get the hang of using it! Mrs Sellars and Mrs Smyth go into dinner with students who need additional support and sit with them whilst they eat and have a chat. They will help you get your cutlery and tray and help you through the till. They really enjoy sitting with students and listening to all the things they have been doing during the day. The ladies in the kitchen are very friendly and will help you with your food choices if you would like them to. There are also senior members of staff on duty in the dining room if you need to ask them any questions. Chicken boxes and cornflakes buns are always very popular!
I’m worried about getting lost and being in trouble for being late
For the first few weeks all new students (and teachers!) worry about getting lost round school. This is not something to worry about and within the first couple of weeks you will know where to go for every lesson. Teachers understand that students get lost when they first start, so you will not get into trouble. If you are running late please don’t worry, someone will support you in getting to your lesson.
I’m worried how hard the learning will be
Lots of students move up to secondary school and worry that the work will be really hard. The nice thing about secondary school is that you have so many different lessons a week that even if you find one hard, you will find the subjects that you are really good at. Everyone finds some lessons more difficult than others and that is where the teachers make sure that all students can do the work. If extra support might need to be put in place, then a Curriculum Intervention Assistant (CIA) or a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) might support in the lesson for a period of time until everyone understands the work. Mrs Sellars favourite subjects were PE and English, but she found Maths really difficult. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and that is OK!
I am worried about completing homework and not being able to ask a teacher for help
Homework can be a big worry for students and parents, but we have a good system in school to help support you. Firstly, you don’t have to write down your homework – at King Ecgbert we use Edulink where all your teachers type up the homework and attach any documents you may need to do it. You can access Edulink on a computer, but there is also an app that you and your parents can download and log into. If we think you might benefit from a bit more support (and focus) for your homework, we also run a homework club, and we will send a letter to your parents inviting you.
How do you support a child with dyslexia?
Dyslexia equates to approximately 20% of students in each year group here at King Ecgbert therefore, all teaching staff are aware and well-equipped to support students. Please find our generic dyslexia strategies here and strategies around dyslexia and literacy here.
However, we do tailor individual students needs and document in more detail for teachers to view via MINT Class, our SEN resource of communicating information.
Our SEND department do have access to laptops, iPads and C-Pen Exam Reader to support students who would benefit from them. We have an extremely proactive Special Educational Needs Department who liaise with students, teachers and parents to provide appropriate support where necessary.
Visual stress can also go hand in hand with dyslexia therefore we can screen students to establish whether using coloured paper or an overlay can assist with their work.
Exam concession testing will be carried out in Year 10 with students who are at risk of dyslexia to establish whether they qualify for additional time in tests/GCSE examinations.
N.B. the school does not have the facility to provide a formal diagnosis of ‘dyslexia’. However, we can carry out a ‘screening test’ which suggests the ‘risk’ level of a student being dyslexic.
How do you support a child with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
In every class of 30 children it is likely that there will be between one and two pupils with ADD/ADHD.
It can affect concentration and impulsivity. Specific strategies for individuals:
- Seat the student with ADHD away from windows and away from the door to avoid distractions
- Give instructions one at a time and repeat as necessary.
- If possible, work on the most difficult material early in the lesson/ day.
- Use visuals: charts, pictures, colour coding.
- Create outlines for note-taking that organise the information as you deliver it.
- Create a quiet area free of distractions for test-taking and quiet study.
- Create worksheets and tests with fewer items; give frequent short quizzes rather than long tests.
- Divide long-term projects into segments and assign a completion goal for each segment.
- Let the student do as much work as possible on computer
- Make sure the student has a system for writing down assignments and important dates /deadlines
- List the activities of the lesson on the board • Establish eye contact
- Keep instructions simple and structured.
- Vary the pace of lesson and include different kinds of activities.
- Many do well with competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
- Use props, charts, and other visual aids.
- Allow frequent breaks.
- Let the student use a fiddle toy or tap something that doesn’t make noise as a physical outlet and to increase levels of concentration
How do you support a child with anxiety?
Many students experience short but significant periods of high anxiety, stress, distress or anger that affect their education.
This can include:
Forming and maintaining relationships
Attitudes to attainment
Life outside school
The first thing students or parents can do is let school know so we can work with the family to look for the right support. Very often worries can be alleviated by talking through things with a member of staff such as the Year Manager or trusted teacher. Students are often relieved if they know their teachers understand their situation, and they don’t have to explain why they haven’t done some work for example
KOOTH is a web-based counselling service and online chat forum which supports young people with anxiety and depression. Golddigger is a Sheffield based counselling service which specialises in a wide variety of student issues including anxiety. Students/parents can approach Golddigger themselves or school can make a referral. ‘Mole Hill Mountain’ is a popular app used by students with anxiety here at King Ecgbert School.
We provide peer mentoring, and we also have a Wellbeing Café, (supported by CAMHS) in school. Miss Machin and the SEN team will continue to support.
How do you support children with a Speech, Language and Communication Need?
Although each child with SLCN will have specific needs, there are some generic considerations to be made in the classroom in order to create an inclusive environment:
Effective visual support
Many children with SLCN have good visual skills which can be used to support learning and promote confidence. Capitalise on this by using:
- Visual timetables - pictures, symbols or photographs. For younger children, a visual timeline can be effective
- Labels for equipment and places for specific activities - pictures, symbols, photographs or written labels
- Visual displays of topics or current activities (but avoid a ‘too-busy’ effect - for some children vast displays on the wall can cause overload)
Consideration of noise levels
If the environment is too noisy, it can be difficult for pupils to listen effectively or focus on tasks in hand: this can be a particular issue in open-plan areas.
Children with SLCD have to concentrate very hard to learn and achieve, so help them to focus by minimising distractions in class (screen savers can be very distracting)
Opportunities for familiarisation
Children may need extra support to get to know their way around the school, the names of staff or where particular lessons or activities are taking place. This is particularly important where a child will come into contact with many members of staff or the school site is large: a suitably differentiated map or guide may be useful.
Consideration of the amount and style of ‘adult talk’
Be aware of the vocabulary you use in explanations and check the child’s understanding at frequent intervals. Keep instructions clear, sequential and brief.
Allow sufficient time for cognitive processing
Give children time to process and understand information is crucial, as is time for them to formulate their responses.
How do you support a child with Autism in mainstream school?
We are very aware that every person with Autism is different. However, staff have a range of strategies that can support the different needs of all students:
- Be clear in verbal communication. Say exactly what you mean.
- Keep Language direct – no double meanings
- Allow processing time for take up of verbal instructions.
- Use visual aids and cues at every opportunity
- Write down classroom procedures and expectations
- Use lists and time frames to help structure activities in the lesson and throughout the day
- Don’t insist on eye contact
- Ensure a planned exit strategy from the classroom or a quiet place within the classroom to withdraw to if stress levels get too high.
- Prepare students well in advance for changes in seating plans, classroom or teacher
- Use a calm, neutral tone of voice any many ASD students are highly sensitive to loud sounds. Equally prepare students for the possibility of strong lights or smells in the classroom, e.g. Science
- Allow students to work in groups where there is empathy, allow students to observe effective group work, or role play situations to practice skills.
- Use a buddy system in class to develop confidence and to provide a listening ear when the teacher may not be immediately available
- Help reduce anxiety but allowing the use of a noiseless “worry toy”
- We often use Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversation to teach social understanding. A Comic Strip Conversation can be used to clarify a misunderstanding – it can show what was said and thought by the student and can also show the thoughts of others
- Be prepared to get to know the student with ASD as an individual, as the abilities and challenges of their disability will be unique to them
Can my child use technology in class to aid speed of recording?
We are very lucky at King Ecgbert School to have laptops in the SEN department that allow students to record long pieces of work or to do assessments on. These students are identified by the SEN department and subject teachers as being a more effective and efficient way of working.
Sometimes students would like to work on a laptop, but the teachers believe writing is quicker. We always find a way to suit the demands of the lesson and the student's preferred recording style.
In addition to this, subject teachers can trial students using a laptop with department machines to see if this is a better way of working for them.
What interventions do you have in place to support students?
We run many targeted interventions that take place over a period of time and some that run when the need arises.
The purpose of Lego Therapy is to help students to develop their social and interaction skills through a highly structured small group activity. This involves working together as a team and taking on different roles to construct Lego models following clear diagrams. The students will be using communication and fine motor skills and will be encouraged to practice turn taking, sharing and joint problem-solving.
This is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and promotes positive mental health. Students are identified by school and specialists.
Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation aims to teach students to self regulate their emotions and impulses in order to meet the demands of the environment. It provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, manage their sensory needs, and improve their ability to problem-solve conflicts, therefore allowing them to be successful academically and socially
Speech and Language
This is a narrative skills programme for selected students. The aim of this programme is to create an environment where students can practise verbal narrative (story telling) skills, by using modelling and visual support. Some of the areas the programme sets out to target are; improve listening and turn-taking skills, to improve expressive narrative skills, to improve understanding and use of vocabulary, to improve understanding and use of emotional vocabulary.
Comic Strip Conversations
These strategies are used to teach social understanding. A Comic Strip Conversation can be used to clarify a misunderstanding – it can show what was said and thought by the student and can also show the thoughts of others
This will be a short-term, small group intervention with a Higher Learning Teaching Assistant to work on specific identified weaknesses
What does a Curriculum Intervention Assistant (CIA)/ Learning Support Assistant (LSA) do to support in class?
- They must not be ‘velcro’ support. Where they are in a lesson their role with the whole class is planned and agreed in advance.
- The class teacher is responsible for the progress of all the students in the class and should deploy the CIA/LSA to support that, which could be working with a group, individual or large group.
- It is not up to the CIA/LSA to define their role or say who they will or won’t work with, even where a child has an EHCP the job of the team of staff is to meet the learner’s needs in a holistic sense as a team of adults managing the lesson.
- The CIA/LSA’s role could change during the lesson. They must be mobile; coming in offering some support to an individual then moving away to let the student work unsupported and develop resilience.
- They need to be able to ask expert questions that drive students on not just give answers to aid completion of task.
- They would work in partnership with the class teacher to help the teacher carry out the aims of their lesson plan which would be shared and co-owned by the team in the classroom.
- They might be delivering a planned programme of intervention with a group, perhaps in the region of 10 students, who are withdrawn from the lesson for a fixed period of time to secure better resilience and independence, so they can return to mainstream lessons and make better progress under quality first teaching.
- These would be recognised programme agreed with the SEND department and the subject leader.
- The CIA/LSA would be trained to deliver such programmes.
- THE PRIORITY SHOULD BE THE CHILD WITH SEND SHOULD BE SEEING MORE OF THE CLASS TEACHER’S ATTENTION AND THE CIA/LSA ENABLING THAT TO HAPPEN- NOT TO REPLACE THE TEACHER.
I’m concerned that my child has been moved from SEN Support (K) to Monitoring (M) on the SEN register
Many students are moved from K (SEN support) to M (Monitoring) on the SEN register due to the fantastic progress they make. Due to being an M on the register your child will still be flagged up to staff as having an additional need and staff are made aware of this. We want to reassure you that although they may come off the formal list, they will still have access to support offered such as extra time in assessments. Students are also formally tested in Year 10 for exam concessions. If at any point we all feel that your child is not continuing to make progress, we can put them back on the register.
We also let her teachers know what difficulties students have through Mint Class whether they are a K or M on the register.
What specialist services and expertise are available at school?
All Learning Support Assistants and Curriculum Intervention Assistants receive regular Continuing Professional Development training and coaching for specific SEND areas.
The school brings in additional expertise from outside agencies, including:
- Autism Team
- Educational Psychology
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Hearing Impairment Team
- Visual Impairment Team
- Specialist Nurse in ADHD
- Acquired Brain Injury Specialists
- Epilepsy Support
- Wellbeing Practitioner from CAMHS