At Smithills School we believe that all children, regardless of ability, are entitled to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. We are committed to the individual needs of all our pupils and to valuing what each and every pupil brings to the curriculum.
The school believes all children should have access to a mainstream education. To achieve this we:
1. Provide the same broad educational goals for all pupils, while recognising that speed and methods of progression towards them will necessarily differ.
2. Identify a pupil’s individual needs, at an early stage, and make provision for this.
3. Ensure the joint planning of programmes of study between the SENCo, class teachers and external agencies.
4. Provide flexible use of human, physical and material resources for in-class support throughout the curriculum.
5. Value the efforts of every pupil at all times.
6. Ensure that parents are involved in their child’s educational journey and foster close links with the local community in order to contribute to our pupils’ education.
The Learning Services Department adopts a philosophy of integrating SEN pupils into mainstream classes, which enables children with special needs to participate fully with their peers within our school setting. However, we recognise each pupil is an individual, therefore in some instances a separate provision may be appropriate. When this occurs, our staff provide support in the classroom and through individual and group learning programmes within a caring and supportive environment.
Interventions available include:
Literacy and Numeracy Groups
Speech, Language and Communication Therapy
The Hub Dyslexia Group
Break, Lunch and Homework Clubs
The Hub Literacy Group
Literacy is a skill for life! It is essential for learning and has an effect on our ability to successfully contribute to society. At Smithills we strive to improve the literacy skills of all our pupils. The Hub Literacy Group provides independent learning opportunities for pupils to further develop their reading and spelling skills. We aim to create academic excellence through providing rich and varied opportunities to develop.
The Hub Dyslexia Group
The Hub Dyslexia group supports pupils who have dyslexic tendencies.They have access to a number of resources and computer programs to help them develop transferable strategies and skills which will help them further develop independence and resilience.
Reading Intervention during Session Zero
Reading Intervention during Session Zero offers bespoke support and provides pupils with access to a range of resources to help them develop their reading skills. They will focus on inference and deduction, writer’s use of language, purpose and viewpoint and retrieval of information. Successful completion of the scheme results in higher reading ages which ultimately allow pupils greater access to the curriculum.
Speech, Language and Communication
Our teaching assistants are Elklan trained; they are able to recognise the impairments that can happen within the communication chain and supply children with strategies and techniques to develop their ability to understand and memorise information. Furthermore, we also deliver a programme called ‘Talking Partners at Secondary’ which addresses speech, language and communication difficulties by using a range of interactive activities such as examining what different facial expressions may mean, learning to sequence information and exploring homophones and their various meanings.
The KS3 Nurture Group provides a comfortable learning environment for pupils who need space in which to develop their self-esteem and social and emotional skills. The nurture room is welcoming and calm and offers two intertwined sections: education and relaxation. Nurture helps pupils to become confident members of our school community.
Social Skills (Talkabout Teenagers)
The Talkabout series offers a successful approach to teaching social and relationship skills to small groups of teenagers. The programme is divided into five modules: self-awareness and self-esteem; body language; conversational skills; friendship skills; assertiveness skills.
We offer exam/preparation and mentoring, for year 11 pupils, during Session Zero. These sessions promote self-esteem and confidence within a nurturing environment, providing pupils with the opportunity for personal enrichment.
Homework, Lunch and Break Clubs
These clubs are run every day and provide a pleasant environment in which pupils can socialise with their friends, read, play games or use a computer to complete homework – with or without support from our staff!
Feedback from pupils:
‘The staff are lovely and so supportive’
‘Learning Services is a great way to socialise with others and wind down from everyday dramas’
‘Learning Services is good because it is relaxing and you can with your friends. It is peaceful and calming too’
‘What I like about the Break and Lunch Clubs are sitting, chatting with friends and having just chilling’
‘It is my escape’
‘You can meet new people and make friends with them that you wouldn’t normally do out in the school’s lessons’
‘It is a great opportunity to sit down and have a good time with peers’