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SEND Information Report

The Heights currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia,
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy
  • Moderate/severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties

Identifying pupils with SEND and assessing their needs

We liaise closely with our referring schools to find out as much background information as we can about each pupil before they begin, getting information from annual review paperwork, schools and parental and pupil input. We aim to be aware of their individual needs and any issues, academic or personal, that they may have already experienced or are likely to experience.

All learners are accessed during their induction phase at The Heights to identify baselines and discrepancies including phonemic decoding, comprehension, maths skills, verbal and non- verbal reasoning and working memory. The tests highlight any areas of need and feed into classroom planning and the access arrangements policy.

Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and identify those whose progress:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs. Referrals are made by Curriculum areas to the SENDCO for further monitoring and/or assessment to take place.

When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.

Consulting and involving pupils and parents

At The Heights, we are fully committed to working in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that we meet the needs of all our learners. Through these partnerships we will ensure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty
  • We take into account the parents’ concerns
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are

Information sought from these discussions will feed into Learning Plans for all SEND learners. Learning Plans are available to parents on request.

Assessing and reviewing pupils’ progress towards outcomes

The Heights follows the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.

The class or subject teacher will work with the SENDCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on:

  • The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
  • Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour
  • Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
  • The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
  • The views and experience of parents
  • The pupil’s own views
  • Advice from external support services, if relevant

If we decide that a pupil needs SEND support, parents and carers will be notified. Learning Plans will be put in place for the learner outlining their areas of strength and difficulty and a range of strategies to support their learning. All Learning Plans are shared with staff and are available to parents and carers on request. Additional interventions will be identified, recorded and implemented where it is deemed appropriate.
High quality teaching will take place in classroom taking account of the needs of all learners. Further interventions will take place in The Link and/or referrals will be made to external agencies where necessary.

We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress. This will be recorded though Provision Map.

Supporting pupils moving between phases and preparing for adulthood

Pupils along with their parents or carers are invited for an informal tour of the school prior to the child joining the school. This provides an opportunity to meet staff and pupils, discuss courses, timetables and any issues arising, such as any support the young person has received or may need at school.

When pupils move on, a holistic and multi-agency approach is employed to ensure that the best decisions are made for the young person and their plans for the future, incorporating parental input.

We have excellent partnerships with colleagues and sixth form providers within the local area and our careers advisor works closely with all pupils to ensure they are fully supported through the application and transition process.

For KS2 or KS3 pupils on a short-term placement in our Nurture provision, a home visit will take place in addition to discussions with the feeder school. Pupils returning to mainstream will undergo their own transition with a key worker from their mainstream school.

Our approach to teaching pupils with SEN

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class. All teaching staff at The Heights have the highest possible expectations for all pupils in their class.

High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEND. This will be differentiated for individual pupils. All pupils on the SEND register have a Learning Plan to inform all subject teachers of their specific learning challenges so that they can differentiate their work accordingly.

We will also provide the following interventions:

  • Teachers use a variety of teaching methods and cater for different learning styles
  • Teaching Assistant offer targeted support in the classroom
  • Strategies which may be suggested by the SENDCO or other professionals working with your child are in place to support your child to learn.

Targeted support:
Pupils are identified through data and referrals from Departments for additional support. This could be for reading, reading comprehension, spelling, numeracy or social, emotional or behavioural support. These interventions will generally take place in The Link or the pastoral area.

Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment
We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:

  • Class sizes are small with a teaching assistant to support each class
  • Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
  • Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
  • Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.

Additional support for learning

We have four teaching assistants who are trained to deliver interventions such as BKSB, IDL, Scholastic, Lego therapy, Anger Management etc. We work closely with external agencies to provide support for pupils with SEND including:

  • ISS and Educational Psychologist
  • Specialist teacher of Dyslexia
  • Speech and Language therapist

Expertise and training of staff

The quality of teaching and learning is reviewed regularly to ensure the highest possible standards are achieved. There is an ongoing professional development programme throughout the academic year which ensures that teachers are fully abreast with all areas of SEND including:

  • Identification and Intervention
  • Quality First Teaching
  • Four broad areas of need
  • Behaviour management
  • Mental Health and wellbeing

We use the following external agencies for staff training:

  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Associated wellbeing
  • MHFA England

Securing equipment and facilities

The headteacher decides on the budget allocation for SEND in consultation with the governors, on account of the needs within The Heights. The headteacher, business manager and SENDCO discuss relevant information relating to SEND provision including the number of pupils identified for extra support and the number of being currently being monitored.

All resources, training and support are regularly reviewed and adapted where necessary.

Pupils are removed from the SEND register if and when targets and outcomes are achieved.

Evaluating the effectiveness of SEND provision

The Heights evaluates the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEND by:

  • Reviewing pupils’ individual progress towards their goals each term
  • Reviewing the impact of interventions half-termly or termly, depending on the intervention put in place
  • Using pupil questionnaires
  • Using parental questionnaires
  • Monitoring by the SENDCO
  • Using provision maps to measure progress
  • Holding annual reviews for pupils with EHC plans or IPRAs

Enabling pupils with SEND to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEND

All pupils have the opportunity to partake in Outdoor Education once a week at The Heights, which involves activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and climbing. Pupils are also able to take part in a number of school visits both within and outside the local area to support and enhance the curriculum. A risk assessment will always be carried out and procedures are put in place to ensure that no child will be unable to participate. Physical activities are included as part of the curriculum and cover a wide range of sports and exercise. Extra-curricular activities take place on selected days after school.

For further information please see the school’s Accessibility Plan on the school website.

Support for improving emotional and social development

At The Heights, we pride ourselves on the pastoral support few offer pupils to improve their emotional and social development. We have a non-teaching pastoral team who are MHFA trained who provide support to pupils both in and outside the classroom.

During social times some of our pupils access The Link, which offers a warm, calm space for pupils to enjoy their break and lunch. Pupils are able to play games, read books and talk to members of staff. There are activities taking place in the canteen, hall and sports hall for pupils to get involved in also.

We have a number of interventions to support SEMH within school including anger management, anxiety management, raising self-esteem and mentoring. We can also refer pupils directly to our school nurse.

Working with other agencies

We liaise with a number of external agencies in order to support our pupils including:

  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Educational Psychologist
  • New Directions
  • Police
  • YOS

Complaints about SEND provision

Complaints about SEND provision at The Heights Free School can be directed initially to the SENDCO (Louise Lowe – Should the complaint be directed towards the SENDCO, then complaints to be made to the Headteacher and then the Governing body.

The parents of pupils with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Exclusions
  • Provision of education and associated services
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services


Louise Lowe – Deputy Headteacher / SENDCo (

Antonia Roscow – Deputy SENDCo  (

Gill Lucas – Assistant SENDCo (

The local authority local offer

Further information is available through the SEND policy available on the school website and the local offer which can be accessed through Blackburn with Darwen’s website

“The culture and ethos of the school encourages a caring and supportive environment in which learning and good behaviour can flourish.”


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