Special educational needs and disabilities
SENDCO - Mrs E Somers
We aim to include students with a variety of needs in all areas of school activity and maximise their achievements.
Through the Learning Hub students with additional needs receive intervention and support to ensure they are able to achieve to the highest of their ability. This support can take several forms: either within normal lessons, form time, individual tuition or withdrawal in small groups. Progress is regularly assessed, monitored, and reported to parents through pupil passports and SIMS reports. We are moving towards a system where each student on the SEN register will have an individual passport that will be regularly reviewed with parents and shared with all staff to ensure awareness of needs and successful strategies for supporting learning and independence.
The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) has the responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the SEND policy and also operates in accordance with the national code of practice.
We value the presence of every child, irrespective of need. We are sensitive and proactive about devising ways in which a child with any disability can undertake virtually all, if not all, of the same activities and curriculum as other children. Improvements to the school site and buildings have incorporated provision for disability in adults and children. A copy of Diss High School’s accessibility plan is available on request.
Here at Diss High School we use a range of methods to identify and support students who are able and talented, including specialised education provision in the classroom through differentiated materials and methods of teaching and the development of individual learning styles. Students are encouraged to attend specialist clubs and activities to further develop their potential.
Aims and philosophy
It is now established in law that "all children should receive a broad and balanced curriculum, relevant to their individual needs". The legal arrangements for special needs apply to all students with an education and health care plan (EHCP). Other students are helped in accordance with the guidance in the national code of practice. Students with exceptional abilities are not covered by these arrangements but there is a policy with various strategies to help talented students. However, any student in the school may need extra help at some time to assist with specific difficulties in handwriting, spelling, mathematical difficulties, behavioural, emotional or mental health issues.
When students enter the school in Year 7 we have full information from the primary schools about their abilities and difficulties as well as their end of Key Stage 2 results. If students enter the school from a different area we make strenuous efforts to obtain information from their previous schools. All students complete a general reading and spelling test in Year 7, and those with reading or spelling difficulties are given regular tests during their time at Diss High School.
Most students’ needs are met by the teacher in the lesson through Quality First Teaching. All staff have received some training in special needs provision and many have attended courses related to teaching their own subject to special needs students. In addition some staff are trained to administer diagnostic tests and reading, spelling and handwriting programmes.
For most lessons, students with learning difficulties are in smaller classes and often have in-class support. This support is not usually targeted at one student only, but enables extra help to be given to all students in the class by the class teacher as well as the teaching assistant. Students are encouraged and helped to access as much of the normal curriculum as possible and to become increasingly independent in their learning. Some students will be withdrawn from lessons on a regular basis for 1:1 or small group sessions. Many students have made excellent progress through Paired Reading and IDL tuition. Other computerised learning programmes are also available such as Bedrock Learning and Mathswatch.
Our Nurture Group was conceived after witnessing a growing need to develop resilience in some of our students. As a result, we now offer those students an extended transition period to bolster the underlying skills needed to be successful at Diss High School. The aspiration is that all our students, different as they are, can leave the Hive and fly!
Click here to read more about the Hive.
Click below to read our SEND policy and see our school information report below for more detailed information regarding SEN provision at Diss High School.
Details of the Norfolk local offer can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer