Below are the services that are available within the local area to support children with special educational needs and their families.
Information about the Blackburn with Darwen Local Offer
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the school/setting?
- Mainstream School Access
- MAKATON Signing
- Specialist Dyslexia Teacher
- Specialist Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead
- First Aid Qualified Staff
- Person Centred Planning and collaborative Education Health Care Plans
- School nurse
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Orthotic and Wheelchair services
- Occupational Therapy
- Advisory Teachers for Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Behavioural, Social and Emotional Needs
- Educational Psychology Service
- Social care professionals
- Play Therapist
- Paediatric Learning Disability Nursing Service
- Equine therapy
- Sensory provisions
What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?
All of our staff undertake Continuous Professional Development to ensure that they meet the needs of our students. There is a rolling programme of initial, and refresher training, to ensure that we maintain up to date and high standards of education.
Child Protection and Safeguarding are an essential priority at Crosshill, all staff undertake regular training and 2 members of staff have undertaken Senior Designated Person training.
Our staff also receive First Aid training regularly and Asthma/Epilepsy/Anaphylaxis training annually, and many hold a variety of other qualifications such as:
- Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination
- All staff are Team Teach trained
- Mental health first aid
- School achieved ‘Asthma Friendly School’ status
How do you know if my child needs extra help?
All young people who attend Crosshill, require specialist support to access learning. We work with parents and carers to identify what type of support will best meet the needs of the young person, and allow them make progress in all areas.
Our class sizes are small, ensuring that each individual has the right type and amount of support, differentiated access to learning and appropriate opportunities to work as independently as possible, in order for them to be confident learners.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If your child already attends a school or other provision, you should speak to their Headteacher or the SENCo who will be able to support you in determining whether your child has additional needs and what steps need to be taken to support your child and your family. If you wish to speak to a member of staff at Crosshill, or would like to visit or have a look around, then you are most welcome to contact us directly in school.
How will staff support my child?
Teaching staff support all students by ensuring work is differentiated to meet their needs whilst challenging them to ensure they make good progress. Support staff work in each class to support individual students or small groups of students.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We take a personalised approach to meeting the needs of each individual student by providing a highly differentiated package of curriculum offers and programmes of study. Our students are grouped by stage not age, and we currently offer three levels of curriculum within each Key Stage:
- Informal Curriculum Offer (connecting and responding)
- Semi-Formal Curriculum Offer (a life-skills based curriculum)
- Formal Curriculum Offer (an adapted National Curriculum which emphasises life need)
At the end of Key Stage 3 students are placed onto personalised qualification pathways to ensure that they achieve the highest accreditation possible from their starting point.
At Post-16 learners follow a curriculum with the aim of preparing them for adulthood and employment.
Individual interventions are undertaken where required for speech and language, motor skills, dyslexia, social skills and sensory difficulties.
How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child?
All staff are highly trained and use a range of general strategies and specific strategies for individual students to support all students in their learning. Much of teaching is based on a multi-sensory approach.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing?
Teaching staff are in regular contact with parents and carers through the following methods:
- Parent/carer consultation evenings
- Coffee mornings and other informal events
- Phone Contact
- Annual Review of Education Health Care Plans
- Interim and end of year reports
Targets are reviewed on a termly basis and this is communicated through the annual review, parent and carer consultation evenings in the Autumn and Summer terms, interim reports in the Autumn and Spring terms and an end of year report.
We formally measure and track student progress through our internal skills ladders within Key Stage 3 and accreditation assessment criteria within Key Stage 4 and Post-16. We have a robust assessment cycle which we follow throughout the academic year which involves a range of quality assurance methods. We are also part of a special school’s moderation and assessment group to assist in making comparisons with other special schools.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We are always happy to offer advice to parents and carers on how they can best support their child’s learning at home. We have a range of types of homework to suit children of differing abilities and needs. Each student has the opportunity to read daily in school and parents are encouraged to support reading activities at home. Coffee mornings are held each term where parents and carers can come into school and chat informally to staff.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
The wellbeing of our students is paramount to what we do. We have a specialist mental health and wellbeing lead who works across the school. We work closely with social care teams and health staff, to ensure that all of our students have access to the right support when they need it. This is done through:
- Education Health Care Plans
- Specialist diets (provided by our on-site catering team) and allergy considerations
- Referral to Play Therapist
What activities will be available for my child?
At Key Stage 3 the students have a varied curriculum containing English, Maths, Science, Computing, RE, PE, PSHE, Humanities (History, Geography, MFL), Music and Technology. They will also spend some of their curriculum time ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’.
At Key Stage 4 the students study qualifications in English, Maths, Science and Computing at a level appropriate to them which could be Entry Level or pre-entry. Alongside this the students have lessons in Art, Food, PE, PSHE/RE and Life skills. There is also an opportunity for students to take part in work experience, Duke of Edinburgh, and Duke of York awards.
At Post-16 the students study Open Award qualifications based around communication for life and work, independent living skills, independent travel and being part of the local community. They also access work placements and community activities.
Educational visits play a key role in learning throughout the school. In addition, we also have careers and enterprise weeks that expose our students to the world of work.
- Lunchtime activities e.g. yoga, crafts, and eco club
- Residential visits
- Family activities such as pantomime and Let’s Get Cooking
- Representing the school in various activities e.g. boccia, dance, swimming, football
- Youth Zone once a week
How will you prepare and support my child during transitions?
In Year 6 a representative from Crosshill will attend the Annual Review to begin planning for transition. Following this they will observe the child in the primary school setting and speak to key people such as the child’s support assistant. The child will then be invited to attend transition days when they will meet our staff and take part in activities with Crosshill students. Further visits can be arranged depending on individual needs.
Transition planning for between key stages and moving to post-16 takes place during Education, Health and Care Plan meetings annually, so that any changes are well planned. This allows the young person, as well as you and their wider family to feel well-supported through transition and confident about them being successful.
How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child’s needs?
Working collaboratively with families and colleagues across health and social care enables us to identify what resources and equipment a child or young person may need, or benefit from. Where necessary we will refer children to external specialists for assessment and recommendations. These will then be implemented in school and, in collaboration with parents, at home if necessary.
How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Decisions are made with full discussions with students and their parents and carers. We work with parents and carers and other professionals to ensure that any additional support required at home is in place.
Who do I contact if I have any specific questions regarding this Local Offer?
Our school SENCo Rachel Hadfield can be contacted via her assistant Paula Thornton on 01254 667713 or by email PThornton576@crosshill.blackburn.sch.uk