Learning Support – Frequently Asked Questions

How does Droylsden Academy know if my child needs extra help?

If your child is transferring to Droylsden and already has special educational need, your primary school will inform the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at Droylsden Academy. These children form the majority of SEND students at the school.

There is planning between the schools and with parents/carers in Year 6 to support the student’s move from primary to secondary school.

On entry to the school, all students are screened on key cognitive skills, language skills and certain core academic skills. This system can pick up potential difficulties at the earliest stage.

Some children do well at primary school but find the transition to secondary education more difficult. The teachers are highly alert so that such areas of need are spotted early and referred to the Pastoral or Learning Support team so that supported can be coordinated promptly.

The school listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents are always welcome to contact the school to talk about concerns.

What should I do if I think my child may have a special educational need or disability? Who can I contact for further information?

If you are concerned about your child’s abilities, the school will listen to your concerns, discuss them with you and agree on a plan that might only need light monitoring or might require assessment by specialist staff or external agencies.

You can contact the school by phone, letter, or e-mail (please see contact details on the homepage of the school website).
It will be OK to contact the school through a family friend or professional translator if you feel more comfortable using a language other than English

If your child is still at primary school, talk to your child’s teacher there who can help you look at any issues and make links with Droylsden Academy to help prepare for the next year.

How will I know if your school is supporting my child? How will I know how my child is doing? How is student progress monitored?

All students:

The school will always contact you to let you know if we are proposing to offer your child support that is additional to or different from what is already in place for all mainstream students.

Parent consultation evenings are opportunities to discuss your child’s progress and needs and to find out about support options.
Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Form Tutor at any time to discuss particular concerns as they arise.

Students with Statements and EHCPs:

Your child will have identified needs and an education plan in place from the time they start at Droylsden Academy. Their support will be individualised according to the level of need.

In addition to Parents evening, Wave 3/EHCP students will be invited to an Annual Review of their progress and needs. This comes in the form of a specially arranged face to face meeting between parents and staff. During this meeting, students, parents and staff have the chance to express their views about the progress being made and the provision they are receiving at school.

What is an EHCP?

An EHCP is a legal document that identifies a child’s SEN needs and focusses on the support required to meet agreed outcomes. The key difference between a statement of SEN and EHCPs is that, as well as the educational elements covered in statements, EHCPs also outline the child’s health and social care needs, outcomes and support

Will my child be able to access the school environment?

Please see link to ‘Sensory and/or Physical Needs’ and the school’s ‘Accessibility Plan Policy‘.

How is progress monitored by the school?

  • All staff are trained, (through a yearly programme of Continuing Professional Development), in adapting lesson plans to increase the use of elements known to support students who need extra help. For some students with lighter needs, this is all that is required to help them make progress.
  • Teachers also have access to the Learning Support Plans of students known to have specific needs and they can collaborate with the specialist staff to build adaptations to activities especially for those individual students.
  • Many lessons benefit from having a teaching assistant in the class who can spot difficulties and help to give instant support.
  • You will have opportunities to discuss exam choices in Year 8 with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests.
  • If your child is specifically funded through their statement or EHCP, meetings with the SENCO will include discussion and agreement about how that funding is used and monitored.

What specialist services and expertise are available at the school?

  • Droylsden Academy employ staff who have received additional formal training in their area of specialism
  • All Teaching Assistants receive regular Continuing Professional Development training and coaching for specific issues/students, from the relevant specialists.
  • The school brings in additional expertise (assessment, staff training and intervention) from outside agencies, including:
    • Educational Psychology
    • Occupational Therapy

How will you help me in supporting my child’s learning at home?

  • The school provides parents with advice on how to support your child’s homework Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Form Tutor for more specific advice at any time.
  • Parents will be invited to attend other specific events during the year e.g. Options Evening which give further support to parents and students.
  • Your child’s recent reports will include a section on targets for improvement, many of which can be worked on at home as well as school. If you are not sure how you can apply them, contact the author of the report for further information.
  • Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s support team for ongoing advice

What support will there be for my child’s well-being?

It is vital that all students in our school feel valued, cared for, confident and supported.
Staff providing additional support to students with special educational needs automatically include:

  • Ensuring that the student knows who they can talk to if they have any worries
  • Support around making and keeping friends, having successful friendships
  • Conversations, independence in school
  • Screening for well-being
  • Students who have social, emotional and mental health issues or develop them later on are offered additional measures to help them cope.

How will the school help prepare my child for transfer to post-16 education or to another school?

  • All students will have at least one meeting with a member of staff from the Positive Steps advisory service. During this meeting students will have the chance to talk about different Post 16 options.
  • Students may take part in programmes of work during tutorials which help prepare them for life post-16
  • Students will receive support with completing college applications.
  • School staff will liaise with College placements upon application to share knowledge to ensure that their staff are aware of student needs.