What is the Age Range of pupils at Castle Mead11 to 16 years
Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)Miss M Rueben
Academy Councillor with responsibility for SENDMs Avtar Gill
Contact InformationEmail (admin) [email protected]

Email (SENCo) [email protected]

Local Offer Webpage Link


Castle Mead Academy is proud to be an inclusive school, valuing the individuality of all young people. We are committed to giving all of our scholars every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. We do this by taking account of scholars’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations of all our children. The achievements, attitudes and well being of all our pupils matter and are celebrated. This section shares the policies and practices that we have in place to ensure these aspirations become apparent.

What is SEND?

The Code of Practice 2014 states that:

‘A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.’

The Four broad areas of need identified within the SEN Code of Practice 2014 are:

  • Communication and Interaction (e.g. speech articulation, stammering, speech and language delay, autism etc)
  • Cognition and Learning (e.g. global learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyscalculia etc)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (e.g. anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive, compulsive disorder (OCD) etc)
  • Sensory and Physical Needs (Visual impairment, hearing impairment, sensory needs (e.g. autism, dyspraxia, toileting issues, physical disability etc)
Communication and Interaction (e.g. speech articulation, stammering, speech and language delay, autism etc)Outside AgenciesIn school intervention
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others.


This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication.


The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.


Children and young people with ASD are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.

They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.

Members of the inclusion faculty and full staff team have training in ASD and SLCN.

The Speech and Language Therapists work with individual scholars from their caseload.


Advice is provided and shared with staff.


The CLCI ASD link teachers work with individuals and provide specific advice for school.


The Educational Psychologist provides advice and strategies for individual scholars.


Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are identified and arrangements put in place as scholars move from KS2.


Training for whole school staff.



High quality teaching is in place in all areas of the curriculum.


Individual Scholar passports with strategies shared from outside professionals.


An allocated Key worker to deliver interventions, adapt passport, communicate with parents and input as directed by specialists.


Bespoke individual support is available if professionals advise this is necessary.


Personalised support and guidance where necessary.


Lunchtime nurture groups for both year groups to provide routines and support for social interaction.


Lego therapy sessions in place to support social skills.


Use of appropriate ICT to reinforce skills


Scholar’s baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with their progress.



Cognition and Learning  (e.g. global learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyscalculia etc)Outside AgenciesIn school intervention

A young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.


Support for learning difficulties may be required

for children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) or specific learning difficulties (SpLD).


On entry, the school assesses scholars’ cognition and learning through MIDYIS tests, literacy tests are conducted and previous attainment levels at KS2 are reviewed.   If any concerns are raised then further assessments and advice is sought.


These assessments might identify moderate learning difficulties (MLD) or specific learning difficulties (SpLD), which affects one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.


Complex Learning, Communication and

Interaction Support Team (CLCI) provide advice and guidance with assessments, suggesting and implementing programmes to meet individual needs.


Educational Psychologists support with assessments, suggest and implement appropriate programmes.


Primary school links take place during transition and throughout the academic year when necessary.


Support in transition plans to post 16 provision where appropriate.


LCI team referrals where appropriate.


College representatives attend transition meeting when appropriate.


Where appropriate, agencies submit reports for reviews and attend them.


High quality teaching is in place in all areas of the curriculum.


Individual Scholar passports with strategies shared from outside professionals.


An allocated Key worker to deliver interventions, adapt passport, communicate with parents and input as directed by specialists.


The following programmes are implemented when baseline assessments indicate a need:


•       Variety of reading interventions targeted to particular aspects of literacy and reading including: Inference, Spelling, Handwriting interventions and Writing development

•       Targeted Maths interventions

Small group and individual work where appropriate


The following assessments are used in conjunction with observation to identify specific needs:

•       MIDYIS

•       Spelling and reading age assessments

•       Dyslexia checklist with online literacy assessments.


Individual/small group programmes reinforced by appropriate ICT for language, literacy and numeracy skills.


Pre-teaching and reinforcing curriculum learning.


Alternative provision is sought where necessary including bespoke programmes.


Lunchtime and afterschool study clubs to support learning.


Scholar’s baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with their progress.


Social, mental and emotional health SEMH (e.g. anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive, compulsive disorder (OCD) etc.Outside AgenciesIn school intervention
Young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.


These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.


The school assesses scholars’ emotional and behavioural needs to ensure appropriate interventions are initiated and opportunities to address any issues identified.


We have good links with feeder primary schools, and the year 6 profiles are shared before transition and enhanced induction days and personalised transition arrangements for KS2-3.


Safeguarding, anti-bullying and behaviour policies and procedures all support scholars with SEMH needs.

The following agencies may be requested to contribute to further assessments and programmes of support:


School Counsellor

School Nurse/GP

Educational Psychology Service

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

ADHD solutions

Secondary Behaviour Support

services and teams

Youth Offending Team

Trust SEMH specialist- Sophie Tales


For those children who are unwell and not able to attend mainstream school, the Children’s Hospital School may be involved and they may be educated offsite.


Transition at each Key Stage will involve past or future educators and Careers input when appropriate.




High quality teaching is in place in all areas of the curriculum.


Individual Scholar passports with strategies shared from outside professionals.


An allocated Key worker to deliver interventions, adapt passport, communicate with parents and input as directed by specialists.


The following resources are used to support those children who have been identified with issues relating to SEMH difficulties:


Key workers are available to provide support, guidance, modelling and practice of skills if appropriate.


Close networking of the pastoral care team and inclusion team allow for SEMH interventions to be delivered.


Individual support provided from the trust SEMH primary intervention lead Sophie Tales.


Where necessary safe spaces are available for scholars in crisis.


Where necessary Scholars are referred for counselling to support which issues that may be affecting their SEMH.


Planned tutor time curriculum allows for tutors to provide one to one intervention where necessary.


PSHE curriculum includes a focus on positive relationships, anti-bullying, safety, identity and other areas essential to all scholars development.


Scholars have access to prep time each week with their tutor where tutoring and check in’s take place.


Bereavement support is offered and referrals to the Laura Centre if appropriate.


Scholar’s baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with their progress.




Sensory/ Physical (Visual impairment, hearing impairment, sensory needs (e.g. autism, dyspraxia, toileting issues, physical disability etc)Outside AgenciesIn school intervention
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability, which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided.


These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support.

Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.


Young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.


A range of teaching and learning resources are used to take into account different learning styles and to compensate for reduced sensory or physical abilities.


Clear planning for the production of modified resources, with support from outside agencies where appropriate.


Provision of differentiated and assistive resources and materials when planning delivery of lessons.


Consideration of timetabling and location of rooms, which are suitably furnished.


DDA compliant building, including where appropriate adaptations to the environment.


The young person is aware of their own impairment and its limitations and implications for their own learning.





Specialist staff from the Hearing Support Team and Vision Support Team provides assessment and support where appropriate.


Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are fully involved when a child’s need merits this.


Links with disability sports provide help with inclusive practices.

Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are identified and arrangements put in place as scholars move from KS2.


Other agencies are involved if appropriate.



High quality teaching is in place in all areas of the curriculum.


Individual Scholar passports with strategies shared from outside professionals.


An allocated Key worker to deliver interventions, adapt passport, communicate with parents and input as directed by specialists.


All environmental aspects of the school building have been considered with reference to special individual needs, and where appropriate, modifications are provided after support and guidance from appropriate agencies.


Consideration of timetabling and location of rooms for those with sensory needs.


The following are available to scholars with these needs:

·         Disabled toilets

·         Fire evacuation

·         Adapted resources for ICT


Scholar’s baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with their progress.


Where can I find the schools Accessibility Policy?

Our Accessibility Policy is available on the the policies section of our website, here.

What are the admission arrangements for pupils with SEND at Castle Mead?

Access arrangements are considered, assessed and implemented by our Inclusion Team. Access arrangements for assessments can include, for example, readers, scribes and Braille question papers.

What are the arrangements for supporting pupils with SEN who are looked after by the local authority?

Our designated teacher for Looked After Children in Miss Rueben. Our ‘Guidance for the Education of Looked After Children Policy’ is available on the policies section of our website, here.

What is the overarching approach to teaching of SEND scholars at Castle Mead?

At CMA we then empower teachers with the responsibility of supporting these scholars in lessons to learn well. We promote independence of our SEND scholars, rather than allowing them to develop dependency on Teaching Assistants for their learning in lessons. The graduated Approach will be used to Assess, Plan, Do and review throughout the academic year with the school at the centre of this approach.

The primary intention where possible will be for SEND scholars to access the full curriculum, in mainstream lessons. This is our ambition; as we aim for all scholars to enjoy the riches of our of our curriculum and build their character. They will experience quality first teaching with learning scaffolded appropriately as necessary


What expertise and training of staff do Castle Mead provide to support scholars with SEN?

Staff training is carefully planned based on the needs of our cohort and feedback from our Culture of Critique activities. Visiting professionals train our staff, as part of our Professional Growth. We actively invest in the development of our Inclusion Team, and promote their expertise as part of our ‘Everyone a Leader’ driver.

What facilities are provided to assist access to the academy?

It will be appropriate on occasion for identified scholars to be withdrawn from lessons, particularly for reading interventions. We identify scholars who are in need of this intervention through our extensive Transition processes (where we liaise with the SENDCos of our Primary feeder schools), through our robust assessment procedures and through referrals from our staff. This purpose of these interventions is to accelerate progress in e.g. reading, so as to allow access to the whole curriculum. Interventions are carefully crafted collaboratively with Curriculum leaders and the Inclusion Team to consider all scholars as individuals.

What equipment and facilities do we have to support pupils with SEND?

When we move into our new building in August 2021, we will have a designated Inclusion wing of the school where intervention and specific support can take place. This will include access to a separate sensory garden.

What support services are available?

The school aims to work in partnership with other agencies in order to provide an integrated support based on the needs of the scholar. The main external support agencies used by Castle Mead include (this is not an exhaustive list):
  • The Educational Psychologist
  • The Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) support
  • Learning, Communication and Interaction Team (LCI)
  • Children’s Hospital School
  • The School Nurse
  • The Educational Welfare Officer
  • Speech and Language Service
  • Occupational Therapy
  • School counsellor

How does Castle Mead adapt the curriculum and the learning environment of pupils with SEND?

Castle Mead has a highly effective centrally planned curriculum that is adapted to suit each teaching group by the classroom teacher. Our teaching and learning framework ensures all scholars are equipped and empowered.

All departments outline the way they will develop and adapt the curriculum so it is coherently sequenced for all SEND scholars’ needs, starting points but still offers the same entitlement to powerful knowledge. All curriculum areas ensure that the Pupil Passports are enacted in lessons and this is supported by the inclusion team who observe and offer feedback for the scholars they key work with.

How does Castle Mead ensure that pupils with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with pupils in the academy who do not have SEN?

Scholars with SEND access all areas of the curriculum with the same entitlement. Their interventions are delivered on a flexible timetable set by their key worker to ensure no one area of the curriculum offer is negatively impacted.

What steps are taken to prevent pupils with SEND from being treated less favourably than other pupils?

At Castle Mead we believe everyone if capable of excellence, we develop the whole self, we make no excuses so a diagnosed or undiagnosed need does not entitle scholars to be treated differently, we see feedback a gift. Our coaching model allows staff to continuously develop and reflect on their practice to become to best practitioners for all scholars.

How will Castle Mead evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for pupils with SEN?

The progress of scholars is accessed ongoing through interventions and at the end of each cycle, Data meetings are attended by the principal, curriculum leader and SENDCO to scrutinise progress and actively adapt provision if necessary. Line management meetings allow curriculum leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of provision ongoing through challenging conversations and a sequenced culture of critique.

How does Castle Mead assess and review pupil’s progress towards outcomes?

Whole school assessments allow us to identify if scholars are positively progressing. In addition to this interventions include assessment processes to identify where scholars are positively progressing towards individual outcomes.

How does Castle Mead consult parents of children with SEND and involve them in their child’s education?

Castle Mead academy allocates each scholar on the SEND register with a key worker. The Key worker is the first point of call for the parent to communicate they do this using emails, text messages and telephone calls to continuously update and involve parents in their child’s provision. The Parent and child are very much at the heart of all decisions and we share scholar passports at the end of each cycle. Feedback is seen as a gift so we ask parents/carers to contact the school if they have any concerns and invite them to provide feedback using survey to allow us to continually develop our approach.

How does Castle Mead consult pupils with SEND and involve them in their education?

Scholars have access to their passports to allow them to understand the strategies we ask teachers to use. Scholar voice is heard through conversations with key workers, surveys and at points of assessment.

What support for improving emotional and social development does Castle Mead offer?

Castle Mead works closely with outside agencies and has in school approaches to support and improve emotional and social development. The school counsellor works with scholars following referrals from the pastoral care team. The Inclusion team deliver interventions focused on social outcomes such as social stories, Lego therapy and draw and talk.

How does Castle Mead involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting pupil’s SEN and supporting their families?

Castle Mead works effectively to make referrals for health and social care involvement. Referrals are made as necessary following referrals. The behaviour and safeguarding lead in school ensures referrals are followed up, families have a key worker to attend meetings with outside professionals an key information is shared with the school community to support improvements academically, with regards to attendance or personal outcomes.

How does Castle Mead support pupils with SEND in the transfer between phases of education/the preparation for adulthood and independent living?

Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are identified and arrangements put in place as scholars move from KS2. This includes conversation with Primary SENDCOs, TA’s, classroom teachers and other staff as necessary. Conversations with the family to identify the support that is needed. Early creation of scholar passports using primary information. Extra visits to the school site to allow scholars with SEND to identify key areas in the school and feel they have a preview of what is to come. Sharing of data and files to ensure we have all the necessary information. Invites to annual reviews to ensure we have begun working with the scholar and family before they attend.

What are the arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at Castle Mead?

We would like to think that the relationship we aim to establish with parents means that queries and concerns could be responded to informally by our SENDCO in the first instance. However, our Complaints Procedure is available to parents on the policies section of our website here.

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