Special Educational Needs

Alde Valley Academy is committed to meeting the varying needs of all our students and the diagram below demonstrates how we support children with special educational needs (SEN) by working closely with external services and partners. To view the Council’s Local Offer for children with SEN and Disabilities you can visit the council’s website: council’s local offer.


How Alde Valley Academy supports the progress of students with Special Educational Needs

Welcome to Alde Valley Academy

We are committed to supporting all the young people in the Academy including those with additional needs. We believe it is important to motivate and challenge all our students. It is our responsibility to enable students to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their academy life and we work closely with parents/carers to ensure the success of our students. Where necessary we seek advice and support from external specialist agencies.

All students have equal access to the buildings, curriculum and life of the academy wherever this can be reasonably achieved.

Students with additional needs are fully included in all aspects of academy life. Our vision is to see them flourish into adulthood and we therefore aim to increase the level and quality of inclusion within the mainstream classroom whilst protecting and enhancing more specialist support for those who need it.

Our SEND Team

Mr N Ketteringham

Progress and Engagement Guides
Mrs J Keeble – with responsibilities for cognition and learning
Mrs C Klingsick – with responsibilities for sensory and physical
Mrs S Jones and Mrs T Lapwood – with responsibilities for communication and interaction
Miss C Hinchliffe – with responsibilities for social, emotional and mental health                                             Miss J Park – all specialisms

Our SEND Provision

Students with additional needs are fully included in all aspects of academy life. Our vision is to see them flourish into adulthood and we therefore aim to increase the level and quality of inclusion within the mainstream classroom whilst protecting and enhancing more specialist support for those who need it.

The OASIS (Outreach and support in school) is the base from which we assist students who have barriers to learning, whether they are academic, physical, sensory, communication, emotional or social barriers.

Literacy intervention is a priority, designed to promote independent learning and to help students to access the curriculum more easily as well as developing this vital skill for their future.

Subject-based intervention is in the main provided by subject specialist staff taking place in one to one, small group or whole class settings.

Classroom-based support is available through a team of experienced Progress & Engagement Guides

Updates are made available to staff, by the SENDCo and Progress & Engagement Guides through the use of an OASIS Passport which is reviewed with students to map their progress, via staff briefings, email or face to face meetings. External training is available to support the staff.

How we will know if your child has SEN

On entry to the academy, students already identified with special needs will be placed on the Special Needs Register.

We attend SEND reviews in primary schools enabling us to plan for the arrival of our new Year 7 students, especially those with SEND.

Students with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP or formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs) and their parents/carers will meet with the academy SENCO at the Year 6 annual review. We have excellent links with our local primary schools and especially in Year 6 we meet with Primary SENCos where SEND information is shared.

During the transition to Year 7, all students are assessed using standardised reading tests and Cognitive Ability Tests as well as spelling assessments to help us understand their needs and the results show us if further assessments or support is necessary.

In Alde Valley Academy there are Key Assessments each term. These assessments show student progress and allow us to identify those who may need extra support.

Our teachers inform the SEND team of any concerns they may have throughout the year.

For students who join us later in their educational career, we request information from their previous school and if necessary, we contact the SENDCo. In addition, we carry out our own assessments to evaluate their ability in order to inform teachers and to provide any necessary support.

How the academy develops its overall teaching and adapts its curriculum

We expect all our students to make excellent progress.

To make this happen, our teachers are made aware of the needs of all our students through a register of their needs and an individual student profile (OASIS Passport). These are completed in discussions with both students, Progress & Engagement Guides and staff to inform teachers about specific needs and strategies that can help individuals within the classroom. These help the teachers plan for successful learning experiences for all students. Students feel challenged and supported to make progress.

Lessons are planned with clear learning objectives and challenging but achievable outcomes, designed to meet individual learning needs.

In our marking and assessment of their work, students are encouraged to understand how to improve and develop their own skills.

At all times, parents and carers are encouraged to make contact with teachers and the SEND team, with any concerns they may have.

How we know if your child is making progress towards targets

Every student is set targets when they arrive in the academy based on both their attainment in their previous school and on the assessments we carry out.

These targets are used to:

  • Check that each student’s rate of progress is similar to that of their peers
  • Show if there has been improvement from their last assessment
  • Ensure they are catching up with their peers and not falling behind

These targets are reviewed termly and are discussed with students. New targets and ways to help achieve these are shared with all staff involved with each student’s learning.

In Year 7, before the autumn half term, parents are invited into the academy to discuss the way their child has settled into the academy and the progress they are making.

The Academy sends updated OASIS Passports biannually to parents showing the progress towards end of year targets, parents are invited to meet the team and discuss this information in the OASIS Centre.

The SENDCo tracks student progress through data from termly assessments. Intervention and support are provided for students where required. Parents are invited to the Form Tutor Parents’ Evening to discuss their child’s progress.

In addition, students with SEN and their parents/carers will be invited to discuss progress with a member of the SEN team. Any concerns about a student’s progress can be raised at any time by the student, parents or academy staff.

Some students will have targets to support their very specific needs, for example, spelling, reading accuracy and numeracy. These will be monitored and reviewed regularly.

How we ensure your child makes a successful transition

Year 6/7 Transition

During the summer term before your child moves to Alde Valley Academy, we use our links with local primary schools to ensure a smooth transition.

The Head of Year 7 and the SEND team meet with primary SENDCos and Year 6 teachers to discuss prospective students. They share the information necessary to support a smooth transition. This information is shared with teachers, so that they are aware of each child’s needs.

Every student is invited to attend a transition day where they meet their new tutors and teachers and have an experience of some lessons. They are given a tour of the building so they can familiarise themselves with the academy.

Additional visits are arranged for students who may be vulnerable or lack confidence and can be arranged through the primary school or any agency involved with the child. This is an opportunity for new students to get to know the academy and the support staff.

At any time during a child’s primary school life, parents may contact the academy to arrange a tour and to meet with the SENCO.

Transition from other provisions and non-routine admissions for SEND students

Students and their families are invited into the academy to have a tour and to meet with the SEND team to discuss their child’s needs and any provision necessary to meet those needs. Information will be requested from the child’s previous school. In addition, we carry out our own assessments to evaluate ability in order to inform teachers and to provide any necessary support.

All relevant information will be shared with the academy staff.


If a student transfers to another school or academy at any point in Key Stage 3 or 4 the SEN team will provide information regarding their individual needs.

Additional Services and expertise

We may involve specialists at any time to advise us on early identification of SEND and to provide support. To access this support, we obtain parental permission to involve these services, then submit a referral request.

Services we have access to include those offered by Suffolk County SEND team. These include:

SATS (Specialist Advisory Teaching Services) incorporating:

  • Physical and Medical Needs
  • Sensory: Hearing and Visual Impairment
  • Speech and Language service
  • Social Communication Needs (Autism Spectrum)
  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Inclusion Support Officer (Behaviour)

Additionally we can request help and advice from:

  • Educational Psychologists
  • Physiotherapy
  • Counsellors
  • Parent Partnership
  • SALT (Speech and Language Therapy)
  • Children with Disabilities Team
  • Social Care

NB: The Local Authority have produced The Local Offer where parents/carers and young people can find out about more specialist provision available, including health and care provision.

How parents/carers can contact additional services

You can contact the following services at Riverside, Lowestoft.

  • SEND Team
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Children with Disabilities Team
  • Children’s Social Care
  • Parent Partnership
  • School Nurse – Melanie Moulton
  • Your GP for issues regarding health and emotional well-being

How we know our provision is effective

Students at Alde Valley Academy are happy, safe and secure and they are well supported by experienced staff.

All students have equal access to the curriculum and the opportunity to study a broad and balanced range of subjects. Some students with specific literacy needs receive additional support which may mean they are withdrawn from other subjects for a short period of time; good literacy skills are vital for students to cope with the increasing demands of the secondary curriculum.

Effective monitoring and tracking of progress through assessment data allows us to ensure our provision is effective.

Parents/carers are invited to Parents’ Evenings with subject teachers. In addition, students with SEN and their parents/carers will be invited to discuss progress with a member of the SEN team.

Some students will have targets to support their very specific needs, for example, spelling, reading accuracy and numeracy. These will be monitored and reviewed regularly. This is an opportunity to discuss progress, share concerns, agree aspirations, celebrate success and review targets and provision.

Following review meetings, the SEND Team will, if necessary, adjust intervention, support and teaching strategies to enable the student to achieve their new targets. If needed, more support and advice may be sought from inside or outside of the academy.

Our students are placed in form groups where they are with someone they know. Year 7 forms may have a Teaching Assistant attached to offer additional support for a short period of time to enable students to settle in and establish fruitful relationships with new students and teachers. Form tutors are an important part of the pastoral team and they will get to know students and their needs as they spend time with them on a daily basis. Heads of Year work closely with the SEN team to ensure any concerns from staff, parents or the students are addressed and any appropriate action is taken.

Students are encouraged to talk about any views or worries they have and are also given the opportunity to participate in surveys, student voice forums and the year/academy council. Bullying is not tolerated and any concerns regarding bullying are dealt with as quickly as possible, normally by the Head of Year.

All students with special needs who are looked after by the local authority have regular meetings to discuss their Personal Education Plans and key staff will attend any reviews with carers or any meetings with Children’s Services. We take our corporate responsibility seriously and will actively look at how we can support the educational needs of individual students who are looked after.

How we make our facilities available to all

All students have equal access to the buildings, curriculum and life of the academy wherever this can be reasonably achieved.

Lift access is arranged for students who need to use it, even on a temporary basis.

Our Additional Staff Expertise

Our team of experienced Teaching Assistants have trained in many areas of SEND, including:

  • Literacy support
  • Numeracy support
  • Dyslexia
  • Autistic Spectrum conditions
  • Manual handling
  • Behaviour support
  • First Aid

The teaching staff has on-going professional development in quality teaching and learning and differentiation.

Recent INSET has included:

  • Understanding Autistic Spectrum Conditions
  • Differentiation
  • Solution focused
  • Dyslexia
  • The new Code of Practice
  • The effective use of Teaching Assistants

All staff are encouraged to access relevant training to support the needs of the students and to enhance their own professional development.

Extra-Curricular Activities

All students including those with additional needs can participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities with their peers. Opportunities to participate in trips, visits, enrichment activities, social and sporting events are offered to all students, and the SEN team support students as appropriate to access these valuable experiences.

A break and lunch club for our more vulnerable SEND students is provided daily in the OASIS Centre. Here the students can complete homework, read, socialise or play games with each other.

Higher Tier Needs Funding

HTNF Review and Impact Report.

The following interventions have taken place during the academic year 2016-17 using the funding generated by HTN applications:

Pre-school learning (8:30-9:00) – daily numeracy and literacy sessions.  The literacy sessions have focussed focussing on reading and comprehension skills.  Students have taken part in paired reading, Lexia, high frequency words and reading comprehension tasks.  The numeracy lessons have focussed on basic number skills, functions and problem solving.  Students assessed at start and end of intervention to assess impact.

Initial Assessment


Final Assessment


Student 1 77/77/76 80/89/82
Student 2 85/75/83 88/91/86
Student 3 75/70/80 77/95/80
Student 4 77/75/78 81/78/81
Student 5 70/65/69 77/82/77
Student 6 93/79/90 97/84/99
Student 7 110/107/125 145/110/132
Student 8 83/87/87 92/94/90
Student 9 85/81/81 92/88/85
Student 10 90/79/81 97/92/91
Student 11 77/75/80 88/81/85
Student 12 89/82/80 93/91/95
Student 13 82/81/67 88/84/74
Student 14 60/55/59 70/73/68


Pre-school learning (8:30-9:00) – social skills groups ran twice a week.  The focus for the group was to develop communication skills, interactions with other students and building self-esteem.  Students ranged from various year groups, with the majority of the students presenting with ASD.  We have seen huge progress and development with this group during the academic year.  Students have carried their progress into an academic setting as chronologies show positive interactions and engagement in lessons.


Appointment of an additional Progress and Engagement Guide to work across all areas of need.  This is an appointment for the new academic year.  The expected impact with be a greater capacity to support students and teaching staff in ensuring progress is being made in lessons and the SEND team will be able to provide a greater variety of interventions when intensive support is required.


If you want to make a complaint

If you are unhappy with the way Alde Valley Academy is managing your child’s learning needs you should:

First, discuss your concerns with your child’s form tutor, subject teacher, or Learning Support Manager either by telephoning the academy on 01728 830570 or by requesting a meeting.

If you still have concerns, please contact our SENDCo, Mr N Ketteringham, who will try to help resolve the problem.

If, after this, you are still unhappy, then you should ask for a meeting with the Assistant Principal . A decision will then be made on how to make the best use of the academy’s resources to help your child.

If the Assistant Principal and the SENDCo are unable to resolve the issue then you can contact the Principal and ask for a meeting.

Finally, if you are unhappy with the academy’s response, you have the right to appeal to the SEND Officer for Suffolk County Council, who will follow the guidelines outlined in in the 1996 Education Act, and can be contacted either by telephone on 01502 674780 or in writing to Children’s Services, Special Needs Officer Team, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ.