'The term “normal” is like marmite. We rely on it because it gives us standards, but we detest it, because it puts unnecessary pressure on us to be something we're not. We’re somewhat scared to be deemed ‘abnormal,’ but how often do we actually ask, “What does that mean?”
I have. A lot, actually. I mean, I don’t walk the same way that that person does, and I like red more than yellow - am I normal? Society says I’m not, but I’ve decided that ‘normal’ is subjective, so I get to choose what it means for me.
I choose that it’s a thief. A thief of confidence, of acceptance and of friendship. I’m not typical. I’m not average. But I am confused: if everybody’s normal is different, then different should be the new normal, surely?'
Year 11, May 2021
SEN and Learning Support Department Curriculum intent
We seek to support students in recognising, accepting and overcoming their barriers to learning, empowering independent SEND students who are able to thrive and flourish.
- We support students when their emotions are overwhelming, teaching them how and why they may have become overwhelmed.
- We are proactive in helping students to help themselves.
- We promote a positive attitude to learning, searching for ways that barriers can be overcome for the individuals that need our help.
- We strive to keep students attending lessons because we recognise that this is where the most effective learning will take place.
- We respect the students we help by listening to them, acknowledging their feelings and by acting with the best interests of the students in mind.
Who are SEND students?
Since 2001, The Code of Practice has defined students with a learning difficulty if they:
“Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age: or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local educational authority”
Students with SEND can be categorised as having a primary need in one or more of the following areas: Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Social, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing, Sensory and/or Physical.
Our identification and subsequent support and intervention is delivered through a process called The Graduated Response.
Wave 1Quality First Teaching that differentiates for every learner in the classroom.
Wave 2Intervention for some learners that enables them to keep up with age related expectations. This stage is called SEN Support.
Wave 3Personalised and intensive intervention for a few. This means a student has an Education Health and Care Plan.
In practice this means:
All teachers are expected to deliver carefully planned lessons that differentiate and scaffold for all learners. In most cases, minor adaptations are required for Wave 1 students which can be delivered through the choice of activities, the language being used in the class and reassurance from staff.
We use the Kent and Medway Mainstream Core Standards to guide the adaptions we make in the classroom for learners with SEND. Their guidance (link below) outlines ‘some of the practices and adaptations that are part and parcel of Quality First Teaching (QFT): the inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching. The provision and strategies outlined…may be required for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities but will undoubtedly be of benefit to many of the learners in the school.’
School guide to the Mainstream Core standards:
Parent Guide to the Mainstream Core Standards:
A minority of learners are identified as needing 1:1 and small group intervention to support core skills such as literacy and numeracy. Strengthening these skills allows students to access the whole curriculum. Students are identified by testing and through lesson observations. Intervention can take the form of a 1:1 session, small group program or video course. These are led by teaching assistants (TAs). TAs also provide some in class support. Wave 2 learners are identified on the SEND register as ‘SEN support’.
Page 8 of the Parent’s Guide to the Mainstream Core Standards explains more about SEN Support:
Further guidance can be found on the Kelsi website here:
Students with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) are provided with a personalised program which may involve collaborating with various professionals and agencies to formulate the appropriate support. They each have a provision plan which is reviewed termly and a review of their EHCP is carried out annually.
Please see the Kelsi website for more advice on the process of requesting assessment for EHCPs:
Help for parents
Supporting Mental Health
Click here for our advice to young people and parents/carers wishing to support good mental health.
The Local Offer
The Local Offer is a central directory for all information and services available to children with special educational needs within the county.
The Kent Local Offer can be found here:
Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19). They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. They can be contacted on:
Helpline: 03000 41 3000. Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
Address: Shepway Centre, Oxford Road, Maidstone, ME15 8AW
Telephone: 03000 412 412
Facebook: IASK on Facebook