St. Julian’s is an inclusive school. We believe that all students can achieve their full potential with the right support, and we hold high expectations of the young people in our care. We embrace the experience of student struggle, since it is in the space between struggle and success where deep learning happens. Finding the right balance between support and challenge to develop student independence is a key aspect of our work.
We support students with a variety of learning differences and work together to ensure that every individual is challenged and supported in their learning.
Inclusion practices at St. Julian’s are research-informed, grounded in evidence, and known to have a meaningful impact on student outcomes. We adhere to a classroom-based model of support wherever possible and only withdraw students from lessons when this has a strong evidence base. Where withdrawal is necessary, this is for a fixed time period with fixed aims and expected outcomes.
Learning support is an integrated aspect of our whole-school approach to teaching and learning and lessons are planned inclusively with all learners’ needs in mind. Our inclusive approach enriches the entire school community and we are proud to be an inclusive school.
The first step to supporting students with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) is to ensure that every student receives high quality inclusive teaching in every lesson.
At St. Julian’s, we ensure that high quality teacher-student relationships are developed through training, coaching, observation and feedback. The Head of Learning Support regularly visits classrooms to observe students’ progress and to support teachers with SEND provision.
Teaching staff receive training in specific educational needs and all staff members have access to information about individual students’ needs and support strategies.
In the classroom, teachers support students through differentiation and scaffolding. This personalised approach varies from lesson to lesson. Still, it may include teaching a concept in multiple ways to ensure understanding, providing additional support; or allocating a member of the Learning Support team to work with a student or group of students.
Depending on need, students may also have access to specialised equipment (e.g. word processing software, writing slopes, supportive cushions, reading rulers or overlays etc.). Sometimes students also may require additional intervention support or an individualised learning plan. This may involve 1:1 support or support in a small group.
All support is put in place in response to need and so is constantly evolving as students’ needs change. Support is regularly reviewed and any changes are agreed in consultation with parents/carers.
A student with special educational needs and/or a disability, may be entitled to access arrangements. Access arrangements are adjustments made by examination bodies to ensure that students with special educational needs or disabilities (or temporary injuries) can access examinations without being at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who does not have special educational needs or a disability.
Some examples of the most common access arrangements include:
- Additional time to complete an examination (usually up to 25%)
- Access to word-processing software
- Access to a reader, who can read the examination paper to the student
- Access to an amanuensis, or scribe, who can write answers as dictated
- Supervised rest breaks
For external examinations, such as iGCSE exams or the IB, schools must apply for access arrangements on a case-by-case basis to the qualification awarding body. Schools are required to provide evidence that access arrangements are necessary in order to ensure that a student will not be at a significant disadvantage when compared to their peers. Typically an application for access arrangements requires specialist assessments and/or a report from an educational psychologist or medical professional. It is important to note that a diagnosis of a disability or special educational need does not confer automatic entitlement to access arrangements.
For students on our Learning Support register, the school will already be exploring some of the potential access arrangements which might benefit them when they come to take external examinations. This will involve trialling different types of access arrangements so that we can determine whether special arrangements should be made to support our students with external examinations and which ones best suit a student’s way of working. This information may also provide useful supporting evidence for a later application to the qualification body if required.
Please note: that teachers use multiple forms of assessment, including informal assessment (e.g. class tests or quizzes) and formal assessment methods. Access arrangements are intended for formal, summative examinations only and will not be in place for more informal assessment within lessons.