A PARENT’S GUIDE TO OUR SCHOOL
Our School at a glance…
- Ofsted Good Co-educational
- Day School 11-18 Years
- 173 Preston Road, Chorley PR6 7AX
- 01257 230 894
How does the school know when a young person needs extra help?
Waterloo Lodge School is an Acorn Education and Care’s Independent day special school for students between the ages of 11-18 years. The staff at Waterloo Lodge School have a proven track record of successfully meeting a wide range of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. We are experienced in recognising and working with a wide range of additional challenges students face, including Autism, Asperger’s, speech language and communication difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, and SpLD. The school prides itself on being able to offer an appropriate curriculum for students ranging in ability from those with Moderate Learning difficulties to those who are gifted and talented.
All students that attend Waterloo Lodge have an Education, Health and Care Plan, which identifies the school as the most appropriate provision for the young person. The Plan identifies the young person’s primary and additional needs. These needs are reviewed annually through the Annual Review of the Plan.
A young person would need extra help if they were not making progress within a specific area of learning or if their attitude and capacity to learn was hampered by additional needs.
The progress of all young people is monitored regularly, formally and informally through formative and summative assessments. Observation and discussion/feedback with young people about their learning are a part of day to day teaching and learning.
Standardised assessments are used to support class teacher assessments, these are then moderated across the year groups, school and with other local schools. There are national expectations for progress and achievement which can form the basis of a generalised indication of progress however the most effective measure is the judgment and observation of the class teacher of the young person’s performance across time in a range of situations.
All pupils are tested in Literacy and Numeracy within the first half term of them entering school.
Pupils are then rigorously tracked in all subjects and if there are concerns about progress or if any young person needs extra support then staff work together to design, implement and evaluate interventions to remedy the situation. This may mean small group intervention but normally involves individual support. These may occur two or three times a week and will vary from ten minutes to approximately forty minutes, depending on the intervention and the level of support required by the individual. Teachers monitor the success of these intercessions, judging their effectiveness by the impact on pupil’s progress. Class conferences are carried out involving the deputy headteacher, class teachers, the school SENCo and the pupil’s learning support assistants. This offers an opportunity for all the professionals involved with the young person a forum to discuss any concerns and together devise and implement strategies that will help a young person to move forward academically, socially and emotionally.
When a young person joins the school we carry out baselines in English, Science and Mathematics; utilising any information from previous schools to ensure that the right level of support is provided.
Information about progress is shared regularly with parents formally through annual reviews and informally through discussion when this is needed.
How will the school staff support my young person?
All young people at Waterloo Lodge School have an Education, Health and Care Plan, which outlines their needs and recommends provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement. The Education, Health and Care Plan is broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). These plans are drawn up by the school SENCo who works closely with all subject teachers, instructors, learning support assistants and curriculum leaders to ensure that the young person’s needs are met and targets in their Individual Learning Plan are addressed and reviewed. The frequency of the support received will depend on their level of need. School staff will measure the impact of the support given to the young person and the progress they are making.
All students benefit from a trained learning support worker, who is assigned to them individually, supporting them in each of their different lessons.
Waterloo Lodge work closely with other professionals wherever possible to ensure that all of the needs that are outlined on the Education, Health and Care Plan are met and progress is demonstrated.
Students at Waterloo Lodge make excellent progress over time, in line with national standards, and the majority of students leave school with a range of GCSEs.
How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?
At Waterloo Lodge School young people access a broad and balanced curriculum with the majority of pupils working towards a range of GCSEs at the end of Year 11.
In Key Stage 3, pupils study English, Maths, ICT and Science as core subjects, with literacy and numeracy underpinning the whole curriculum. They also study Art, Geography, History, Physical Education, Religious Education, Personal Health and Social Education and Citizenship. Performing Arts is also on offer at an off-site provision.
In Key Stage 4, all pupils are offered the opportunity to take part in courses of study which lead to examination entry at a range of levels. All pupils have access to studying GCSEs (or relevant level of accreditation) in English, Maths, ICT and Science. There are also additional GCSE subjects that can be chosen, including Art, PE and RE.
Coverage of the curriculum content is planned for the year and then broken down into half termly units. Planning is then written weekly and adaptations made daily, responding to the needs of the young people.
The school recognises that young people are at different levels in their education and learn in different ways. To support this, our school delivers the curriculum in different ways. Class sizes range from 4-9 and are supported by learning support assistants. As part of our practice we offer opportunities for young people to learn in small group situations and also in a one-to-one situation if and when needed. We understand that young people learn at their own pace so we closely monitor progress using their Individual Learning Plans. Work is differentiated to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners. There is an expectation for young people to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired in a range of contexts and this drives our approach to learning with an emphasis upon modeling, practising and applying. We run interventions to enable students to make progress with their literacy and numeracy skills.
We emphasise life skills throughout our curriculum. In Year 10 we offer college placements where pupils gain vocational experiences in a college environment.
Whilst all pupils will have the opportunity to follow a course in vocational education studies, including careers and work experience, there is the option for some pupils to take part in a more vocationally based course offering a wider range of experiences in this area. Vocational courses which are currently offered:
- Animal Care Level 1 & 2 courses
- Hair and Beauty Level 1 & 2 courses
- NVQ Multi-skilled Hospitality and Catering Level 1: Young Apprentice Programme
- Sport Science: BTEC First Certificate
- Construction: Foundation Certificate in Building Craft Occupations
- Motor Vehicle Studies: Certificate in Motor Vehicle Studies
- PSD (Foundation Learning) Level 1 Certificate: Personal & Social Development Qualification
How will both you and I know how my young person is doing and how will you help me to support my young person’s learning?
All students at Waterloo Lodge have an Education, Health and Care Plan. This document outlines the needs of your child and recommends the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs.
Again ILPs, annual/subject review documents and class conferences are tools used to break down the objectives into smaller targets to ensure progress is made. This information is discussed and shared with you during annual review meetings. Each pupil is provided with a personalised target which are clearly displayed in each classroom and known by pupils.
As well as these provisions, pupils are also seen as part of the Excel group whereby pupils identified as being either on red or amber literacy/numeracy traffic lights (see SENCo input) are seen individually by the SENCo and their individual progress charted accordingly. Parents are invited to communicate with and visit school whenever they deem it necessary and are invited to attend annual reviews. During annual review meetings progress and attainment is discussed and specific targets are set and reviewed. During year 9 and 11, working with other agencies such as YPS, transition plans are devised to support pupil and parents/carers in their move to college, apprenticeship or work.
Pupil progress is charted half-termly in all subjects and compared to predicted teacher-based targets to assess progress and any need for extra support; this ensures steady attainment and progression. Through such rigorous assessment, we pride ourselves on the premise that no pupil slips ‘through the net’ and that each individual is monitored and encouraged across the curriculum by all staff in every area. Pupil progress reports are provided during annual reviews. Regular parent/carer contact is maintained to report both successes and any areas of concern to ensure a fluid process in relation to learning and attainment.
What support will there be for my young person’s overall well-being?
The school will keep in close contact with you about a young person’s overall wellbeing. Any work with multi- agencies is frequent, sustained and responsive to a person and family needs.
Professionals from other agencies such as Barnardos, Speech and Language Therapy; Occupational Therapy, CAMHS, Social Care and Health support the work of the school on a regular basis. These agencies work with us to support students, to devise strategies and offer training and advice whenever necessary.
To support the development of positive behaviours and social development every pupil is placed into a school house group and each week can gain points for meeting whole school values. The winners of these challenges accrue points towards end of term trips.
A social, emotional and behavioural aspect of learning is taught in every class each and every day and highlights issues such as bullying, friendships, changes and self- worth.
The school council has an information board for suggestions to improve resources and help ensure all pupils are safe and happy. The school council runs every half term and encourages pupils to use their voice to raise concerns or issues that they may have.
Young people will not learn unless they are in an environment in which they feel valued and secure. Teaching and support staff are aware of the range of influences upon a child’s learning and strive to overcome any barriers they may present. Some young people have specific medical needs and staff have been trained to support them. We have named staff who are trained to administer any medicines a pupil may need and have assigned key stage heads if pupils need to talk to someone other than their class teacher or learning support assistant.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
All staff at Waterloo Lodge receive regular training and development opportunities to advance their skills and knowledge in relation to overcoming the barriers to children’s learning. The school can access specialist support for young people with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, people with Learning Difficulties and young people with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The school has access to an Educational Psychologist, ensuring identified pupils gain appropriate access arrangements for exams and formal diagnosis of conditions that are sometimes suspected on arrival at the school but not at that point formally identified. This can lead to the appropriate support and intervention being put in place to ensure each pupil achieves their optimum potential. The Psychologist can also provide anger management therapy where appropriate. A Speech and Language Therapist is also employed by the school and assesses each pupil identified by the SENCO as needing extra support and intervention; detailed reports serve to inform IEPs and further SLT/SENCO input where necessary.
The school employs a full time SENCO who plans and implements ILPs (for pupils whose reading age falls below an agreed level) and associated individual reading programmes, and supports the teachers with differentiation in the classroom. Upon arriving at the school each pupil is assessed by the SENCO for reading, writing, speaking and listening and numeracy. Pupils are levelled and placed on a traffic light system. Pupils assessed as red or amber indicate the need for additional support and become part of the Excel group – a literacy, numeracy and communication programme run by the school and tailored to each individual’s needs. Differentiation underpins the curriculum delivery in the classroom, with all teaching staff preparing specific materials and intervention where appropriate. The SENCO also takes a lead role in the literacy and numeracy intervention programme, where a number of staff withdraws pupils from class to offer extra support using a range of intervention strategies including phonics work and multi-sensory learning.
The school has a dedicated Home Liaison and Wellbeing Officer. Her responsibilities include supporting our pupils and their families in maintaining attendance levels, working in partnership with health promotion organisation and liaising with external agencies in multi-disciplinary issues. She is also the school’s Safeguarding Officer and the Designated Person for Children in Care, attending regular statutory reviews etc.
The school also benefits from a dedicated school nurse. We can also make referrals, with your consent, to many specialist services including CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and SLT (Speech and Language Therapy Service), Social Care and Occupational Health. We are mindful of the advice offered and have found guidance and support from these professional partnerships invaluable.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
The SENCO attends Local Authority briefings to keep up to date with any legislative changes in SEN. All staff in the school receive training to meet the needs of all the young people attending the school at any point in time. This can include Dyslexia training, ASD awareness training, Team Teach Restraint training, First Aid, Self-harm training and advice regarding pupils with ADHD. Staff meetings provide opportunities to enhance and develop teachers’ understanding of planning, assessment, differentiation and the monitoring of progress.
Relevant staff receive regular and high quality training regarding safeguarding and all school staff receive safeguarding refresher training every year.
How will my young person be included in the activities outside the classroom including school trips?
To ensure safety and that all necessary procedures are followed, Waterloo Lodge employs a trained Educational Visits Coordinator. Where possible, provision will be made for all pupils to access all areas of the curriculum including extra-curricular activities. We will always contact parents and guardians before a planned activity if we think your child may require additional support to meet required health and safety standards. This may involve a specific risk assessment to identify any additional support needs your child may have to ensure full participation.
Trips and visits outside the school are planned meticulously with special attention being paid to the appropriate nature of the trip for that particular group of young people. All trips and activities are planned with the intention of all people being included. Reasonable adjustments will be made to the nature and specifics of trips and activities to allow everyone to participate.
At Waterloo Lodge School we offer young people the opportunity to take part in residential activities throughout their time with us.
How accessible is the school environment?
Unfortunately as the majority of the classrooms at Waterloo Lodge are on the upper two floors of the main building the school isn’t accessible to wheelchairs.
Where parents/carers do not have English as their first language appropriate support will be sought from the LA.
How will the school prepare and support my young person to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?
At Waterloo Lodge we work closely with your Local Authority to ensure that young people are offered provisions to meet their needs. You will be invited to look around the school and meet senior staff. Your child will also be invited to visit and stay for a short session(s) before starting school.
We will contact previous schools the young person has attended to gather information about their needs. We will contact any specialist services that support your child and ask you to invite them to a Team Around the Child meeting at school to ensure that we are working in partnership to achieve the best outcomes for your child.
We support pupils moving to new settings and key stages by making opportunities available to them to attend the new setting for discreet activities.
We develop a transition plan in partnership with you, the young person, the new setting and specialist staff supporting your child to ensure that they enjoy a smooth transition.
We welcome a series of transition days for Year 6 students in the summer term and work closely with parents and carers to create bespoke transition packages that also meet individual requirements.
Careers guidance and transition planning is an important part of the annual review process from Year 9 onwards. Young people, parents and carers meet with their Careers Advisor regularly to discuss ideas and plan for college training or employment. The emphasis on individualised learning and development ensures that all needs and interests can be catered for through our 14-19 provision. Pupils are encouraged to attend taster days specific to their interests and to explore their strengths in a variety of settings prior to choosing a particular pathway at the start of Year 10. Pupils follow college placements alongside their academic study at a pace relevant to their ability and potential. All pupils are actively encouraged to fulfil their capacity for learning in a safe, nurturing environment. Current courses that are accessed by pupils were highlighted in section 3 and more provisions continue to be added to suit pupil requirements as and when appropriate. The school prides itself on an 87% average post-16 college or work destination rate over the last three year period. The school’s 14-19 advisor continues to work closely with our young people after they have made the school transition to college or other post-compulsory routes to support and advise as long as support is needed.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special educational needs?
The progress and attainment of all young people is tracked and resources are allocated according to need. Pupil Premium funding is allocated to some pupils and spent on intervention programmes that aim to raise the levels of literacy and numeracy.
All classes are equipped with ample resources to ensure the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum. Our school SENCO coordinates literacy and numeracy intervention programmes, within the school, ensuring all pupils are assessed and receive any additional support required in the classroom as well as one-one support.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
A young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan identifies the level of support required to meet individual needs. This is agreed through discussion between a school and the LA. We also invite specialist agencies into school to talk to you about how they can support you and your child.
The nature and extent of the support provided for young people will be dependent upon the nature of their needs and the impact of different levels and types of support. Decisions about support are made in consultation with a child’s parents and in response to recommendations made by professionals involved with the child. We aim to match the support to individual pupils and for the support to demonstrate fitness for purpose. The impact and effectiveness of support offered is regularly reviewed and monitored.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
At Waterloo Lodge School parents are encouraged to take an active part in their child’s education and their input is valued and respected. We believe in working in partnership with parents and carers to achieve the best outcomes for a young person. We communicate regularly with parents through telephone calls, texts, emails and face-to-face meetings. We also communicate with parents and carers via reports and annual reviews.
We are happy to offer individual appointments to discuss specific issues with you about your child’s progress and have an open door policy.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please contact Helen Rigby, HeadTeacher:
Waterloo Lodge School 173 Preston Road Chorley
T: 01257 230 894