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At DePS, we believe passionately in the importance of inclusion of all our children and strive to make sure these values are at the heart of our inclusion practices and integrated values. We are an inclusive school that caters for all the needs of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

We promote an inclusive ethos that aims to support all children by removing barriers to their inclusion whether for individuals or groups of children and respond to a spectrum of diverse needs by setting suitable challenges that are best placed to bring out the full potential from our children.

We welcome children with a variety of academic backgrounds, abilities, behavioural, socio-emotional and additional needs. The school strives to provide a safe, stimulating, supportive, happy and secure environment for children with mild to moderate special educational needs. We support our teachers as they enable students of determination to access all areas of the curriculum within the mainstream school environment and the community. We support our children to enable them to achieve their potential academically, socially and emotionally by recognising their individual differences, needs, strengths, experiences and interests. We support our parents as partners in the education of their child.

Aims of SEND provision at DePS

DePS is committed to providing the most effective provision to meet the needs of all students of determination with the opportunity to achieve their best by:

  • Providing equitable opportunities and high achievement for all students of determination.
  • Identify a child at risk as quickly as possible and take early action to meet these needs.
  • Enable and ensure that all students of determination realise their potential.
  • Plan strategically to improve accessibility of the school’s premises and curriculum for all students.
  • Monitor progress and review goals regularly.
  • Work in partnership with students, parents and external agencies (where applicable) to reach targets and goals.
  • Use a multi-disciplinary approach to provide support at school and through outside agencies to meet the needs and develop skills of students with special needs.
  • Prepare students of determination for successful transition to secondary school.

Key Staff involved in SEND provision

  • Principal
  • Head of Inclusion / SENDCO
  • Assistant Principal
  • School Nurse
  • Learning Support Assistants (LSA)

One of the most important principles of inclusive education is that no two learners are alike. At DePS, we are committed to meeting the needs of all our learners through our inclusive setting. DePS has a strong commitment to the inclusion and pastoral support of all our families and students; this includes students who are identified with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, English as a Second Language, English Language Learners, High Achievers and Gifted and Talented Students.

Support for students begins at admission, with a thorough identification process to ensure that appropriate support is available; and continues with ongoing identification and support through the academic and student support networks.

Parents are encouraged to share any details of any special educational needs, individual education plans (IEPs) and any Educational Psychologist, Pediatric, or other specialist reports (e.g., Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy) if completed. Sharing educational history prior to a place being offered is essential so that staff can ensure an appropriate assessment of educational need. Admission is not conditional and students are not refused admission based only on their experience of a special education need or disability (SEND) and we give sibling priority for admission to students who experience SEND.

At DePS Schools, we offer inclusive provision with additional support, intervention, differentiation and personalisation, where appropriate. The whole school community is encouraged to ensure inclusion and the best possible social, emotional, behavioural and academic progress for all of our students. This is provided through innovative learning and teaching, dissemination of information, training and access to SEND specialists at all levels.

Inclusion is important to us at DePS. All our students need to feel they belong and their happiness and progress in learning is vital to our system.

Our Provision for Students of determination

Students of determination have a learning need that requires special educational provision to be made for them which is additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum provision made for students in the classroom.

Students who start their education in DePs with formal documentation of a specific diagnosis will be supported by an Individual Education Plan, produced by the SENDCO, within the first month of their arrival in the school.

Where appropriate, students will be encouraged to participate in their own IEP process.

DePS recognises the importance of early identification and intervention. DePS undertakes a Graduated Approach to the identification, assessment and support of students of determination. The approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and that, where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties that a child may experience.

Wave 1: Quality First Teaching

The educational needs of the majority of students will be met in the classroom. The teacher tailors instruction to meet the student’s individual needs while maintaining high aspirations for expected attainment. The teacher plans activities to support the students to enable progress to be achieved.

The teacher may differentiate the content, the process, the products or the learning environment and/or may use on-going assessment and flexible grouping.

Children identified at Wave 1 are monitored closely to ensure that progress is being made and any obstacles to learning are overcome.

Wave 2: Additional Support

This stage is not exclusively for students with SEN and may include intervention methods such as Learning Support Plans (LSPs) and Behavioural Intervention Plans (BIP) An Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be formulated for students requiring a higher level of differentiation or accommodation for academic, behavioural or social/emotional concerns.

The IEP will include the student’s area(s) of difficulty, the student’s strengths and areas of need and any accommodations that are in place to assist the student’s learning.

There will also be a set of specific targets, each one accompanied by the teaching strategies that will be employed to support them.

The IEP will be shared and approved by the parents

The IEP will be reviewed every six weeks, by the teacher, in consultation with the SENCO and the parent

Wave 3: Individualised Provision / External Agency Support

Where the student does not, after an appropriate period of time, reach expected levels academically or in behaviour, or where the school believes that the student has an undiagnosed special educational need, the parents will be advised to seek external agencies for the diagnosis and support of additional needs. The resulting diagnosis will be supported by an IEP, written by the SENCO in consultation with the parents, the student’s teachers and, where appropriate, the student.

Gifted and Talented Students and an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)

Gifted and talented students may be significantly ahead of the majority of their peers in one or more of the following areas:

  • Those pupils who possess a general academic learning ability which is significantly greater than those of their peers. The school uses standardised assessment data to help identify Gifted Students e.g. those who achieve a mean score of Stanine 8 or 9 in the CAT4 tests.
  • Those who show an exceptional ability. This might be in areas such as music, art or sport, or a less easily acknowledged talent such as leadership, creative imagination or social maturity.

It is recognised that some children may have dual exceptionality.

‘All rounders’ are children who are both gifted and talented.

In DePS, students who have been identified as gifted and talented will be educated with differentiated learning tasks to apply what they have learnt and extend the level of challenge, working in more depth in a range of different contexts. They will be provided with appropriate advanced learning opportunities and experiences to develop their potential and to satisfy their learning needs through the development of an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP).