Head of Department - Mrs L Williams
The school is fully committed to supporting students who have special educational needs. We aim for them to learn and achieve to their full potential. We work following the Code of Practice and the graduated approach.
The Learning Support Department is run by The Head of Department, two Literacy Tutors, an Academic Mentor and a strong team of dedicated Learning Assistants. The assistants are motivated in supporting students academically, socially and emotionally. There is a continued professional development programme in place to maintain high standards of work.
Literacy Tutors run specialised literacy programmes to improve students reading and spelling ages. The Academic Mentor enables students to have study support as and when identified by key members of staff. Learning Assistants tend to specialise either within a subject, supporting many students across most year groups or focusing upon supporting students in a specific year group, moving up with them through the school.
Teaching and Learning
Once students have been identified as having a special need, their individual needs are addressed through one or more of the interventions offered in school. Students are added to the Inclusion List and strategies are available to all members of staff in the school.
Support may include:
- In-class support – To enable students with identified needs to have access to the curriculum and to increase their progress.
- Specific interventions – these target differing areas of need such as literacy, numeracy and social skills to name but a few.
- Key worker and Co Tutor support – Point of contact for individual students.
- Targeted support – specific issues like anger management, self-esteem and anxiety.
The department has two classrooms which offer a calm and organised learning environment where students can receive additional support and teaching. There are computers for students to use as well as a small suite of Alpha Smart & Netbook computers for students to sign out and take to lessons to use.
In the classroom there are also drawers where some students can store their books and PE kit and receive help for organisation skills.
The diagram below summarises the variety of support and activities that take place in the department.
The Outreach Room
This room is used for mentoring and social skills work with students. It is also the area where outside agencies come to work with students.
Department staff liaise closely with outside agencies, in order to maximise support for students with specific learning difficulties. The Outreach Room is an area where students can meet with therapists, usually only if specified on statements of SEN or EHCPs such as:
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Educational Psychologist
- Communication and Interaction team
- Cognition and Learning team
- Specialist Teaching Service
- Bucks County SEND Team
Partnership with parents is a vital aspect of our work in the Learning Support Department.
The Learning Support Department welcomes visits from prospective parents. Please contact the Learning Support Manager, Mrs Linda Williams, to make an appointment.
Telephone: (01844) 345496 option 3.
FAX: (01844) 346147
Head of Department - Mrs M Hussey
What is meant by the term 'Autism Spectrum Disorder'? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder which affects social interaction, language and communication. Students with ASD may have difficulties in the following areas:
- Interacting with others appropriately, and understanding the perspective of other people.
- Using both non-verbal (body language and gesture) and verbal communication.
- Generalising what they have been taught to other situations.
- Thinking imaginatively
- Sensory processing
- Emotional understanding
The Communications Base is part of Princes Risborough School. The purpose of the Base is to provide classroom support, differentiated teaching where appropriate and targeted provisions, such as SALT and social communication skills development, to students who have been identified as being on the Autism Spectrum. All students attached to the Base are included in the academic and social life of Princes Risborough School and there is close liaison between mainstream and Communications Base staff to ensure this works successfully.
The Base is located in a purpose-built suite on the main school campus. It offers a calm and structured environment from which students go out to join their peers in the classroom and other settings during the school day. The Base is there to ensure that students attached to the Base have full access to the National Curriculum, receiving their education wherever possible together with their peers in the mainstream classroom.
On the rare occasion where integration into the regular classroom is not deemed appropriate for an individual or small group, the lesson takes place within the Base. Our aim, however is to integrate the students wherever possible, providing the level of support appropriate to their needs.
Staffing and Provision
Support in the classroom, and occasionally subject teaching within the Base if appropriate, is provided by a committed team of a specialist teacher and learning support assistants. A Speech and Language Therapist is part of the team working with students for whom this provision is specified in the Statement of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plan. She also devises, monitors and evaluates the Social Communication Skills development. The therapist works closely with Communications Base staff, setting appropriate targets which are then worked on with the students by Base staff as well as the Therapist.
Students' academic and social progress, and the provisions in place to meet their needs, are monitored by Communications Base staff and provision is adjusted accordingly where necessary. This is overseen by the Head of the Base.
Working With Parents
Partnership with parents is a vital aspect of our work in the Communications Base. Sharing information and perceptions will enhance our understanding of the students and subsequently our ability to support and further their development. Frequent contact is maintained through the use of a home/school book, email or telephone.
Visits to the School
The Communications Base welcomes visits from prospective parents. Please contact the Teacher-in-charge, Mrs Morag Hussey, to make an appointment.
Head of Department - Mrs S Hine
The Pastoral Team, whilst serving the emotional needs of the students, in the main, do not work in isolation, but are a part of the larger umbrella team of `SENtralised’, which incorporates those involved in any way with SEND or those involved in the ARP.
The Pastoral Team are located in `The House’, [the on-site house, previously the caretaker’s house, adapted to be a separate unit and function as an independent structure]. The team consists of the Pastoral Manager, a qualified counsellor, Parent Support Officer, and a number of Pastoral officers who have delegated pastoral responsibilities, whilst having key roles in working with Heads of House and the Leadership Team in a Pastoral capacity.
The main focus for the team is to deal with emotionally challenging issues, which range from the relational situations that befall teenagers, to the very difficult emotional trauma surrounding the loss of a parent or abuse of any kind, and of course anywhere in-between. The team frequently manage the unforeseen situations that occur, which require thorough investigation and often lead to some form of resolution process. Good communication with parents, staff and other stake holders is time consuming and yet skilfully managed.
In addition to these key functions, the Pastoral team also aim to run tailored intervention activities for small groups or individuals, counselling to those who need this type of support, mentoring as appropriate, academic support in some situations, wise words and guidance as necessary.
All those working in The House are aware of the importance in helping and supporting those students who are emotionally fragile, and that such a burden has the potential of hindering academic progress. Therefore, the aim of the team is always to support the student in the best way possible to give the most likely chance of academic success. Despite the strong team, complex and extreme situations require additional professional support. Therefore, a key role of the Pastoral team is also to work with External Agencies, ensuring that the appropriate teams are working with the individuals or families.
The ethos of The House is one of openness and inclusivity. At break and lunch time, any student can self-refer if they want to talk to someone. All adults on site are able to contact the Pastoral team to raise awareness that they might have relating to any student in school. No problem is too small, indeed, the team are very aware that a small problem shared may be the tip of an ice-berg waiting to be revealed.
In addition to the management of emotional situations, social behaviours are an important part of the work undertaken by the Pastoral team. It is often the case that the behaviour of an individual means that social and emotional factors need to be considered. A challenging behaviour may present, which requires a clear message being given to the individual student which may result in a student spending some time in isolation. Whilst in this purpose built area (based away from The House) students are given the opportunity to meet with a member of the Pastoral team to reflect on their behaviour to avoid repetition. Heads of House and Leadership Team members are the only people able to trigger time in the Isolation Room and all requests need to go via the manager of this space. Time in isolation may be used as an alternative to a Fixed term External Exclusion.