How did we use the money in 2016-17?
We used the money, as predicted, in a flexible way to ensure we could meet the needs of all of the pupils appropriately. All of the pupils have had experiences and opportunities to develop their skills in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if it we didn’t have the additional funding.
School Improvement Services Service Level Agreement
The school works very closely with our school improvement partner from the authority. This mean we regularly receive updates and reviews on how to improve our practice, policies and procedures. Our SIP was also involved in our external review of teaching and learning. There was a whole school impact of this and as a result we have ensured the school, its leaders and the outcomes for the pupils remain of a high standard.
Educational Psychologist Service Level Agreement
The input from the educational psychologist has been crucial in ensuring pupils have appropriate desired outcomes on their ECHs, meaning that all staff, parents and MDT are aware of the needs of the child and have a single idea of what the best outcomes are. The EP also offers support and guidance to parents and staff when needed and can be vital to support pupils to moves to more appropriate placements.
This year the EP has also delivered Attachment Training within school to our staff which has helped them when working with some of our most vulnerable pupils.
Development of resource (Beacon Manor/ Marden Bungalow) for older students to help them develop life skills.
These spaces are invaluable for pupils to continue to develop their independent living skills and practice these in a safe and secure environment. Activities like writing a shopping list, cooking, cleaning and hygiene can be taught as individual skills or pupils can use these spaces to gain independence when completing them. The impact of this is pupils are much more prepared for adulthood and independent living once they leave us.
Students practice their cooking and cleaning skills
Work to support Person Centred Plans which ensure that pupils progress is celebrated and that they are fully included in discussions about their future.
We have been able to staff a weekly session with all year 9 students to prepare them for their EHC meetings. They have also been able to discuss their goals and aspirations which have on occasions been outside of what parents and professionals had planned. It gives them the opportunity to reflect on the year and to think about what they could do better which empowers them to make changes.
In 6th form staff are able to sit with pupils before their meetings to be able fully understand what they want to celebrate, as well as any concerns they may have.
“The impact for the students have been massive as they have been confident to give answers in the meeting rather than sitting quiet.”
1:1 work with identified children / parents, carers through Toileting Programme. Promoting positive behaviour in ASC classes.
We continue to develop our whole school toileting programme, which provides a comprehensive plan for parents, staff and other professionals on how to develop continence and the habits of toilet training, ensuring everyone is on the same page and most importantly using a consistent approach. The impact of this has been pupils across school from nursery to Sixth Form developing their continence.
“.. is following a toileting programme here, in conjunction with staff and parents. Currently dry until 10.30 and has used the loo once!”
There continues to be a positive behaviour approach across school, this is embedded in very robust policies and procedures. Time was allowed for ASC specialists to work with staff and pupils from different classes, who were displaying behaviour that was challenging and was becoming a big barrier to learning or causing disruption for the rest of the class. The impact of this is an increased understanding of positive behaviour management across the school and increased sharing of ideas and team work continue to generate ideas for improvement. This was recognised by NAS during their recent inspection visit and helped towards the consolidation of Accredited status, we are now in a position to think about accreditation for the whole school.
ICT Personalised Support
The school appreciates how ICT can enhance learning and open up opportunities for pupils which may have not been there otherwise. The need for specialist support has been necessary to allow time for ideas to be implemented or to support individual pupils, to ensure this new technology is understood and used as effectively as possible. Some examples have been; the use of purple mash, which is available in every classroom, as well as the support needed in classes with pupils from the eye gaze project. The use of additional staff to support the eye gaze project has been particularly effective and this has been a great success with the pupils involved. One student has been able to join our school orchestra through the use of the eye gaze technology.
One of our pupils using the eye gaze technology
Residential Support. Funding to ensure all pupils can access residential opportunities whatever their family circumstances.
Residential visits are highly valued within the school by all staff. There are regular opportunities for pupils in KS3, KS4 and KS5 to access residential visits across the year. The impact of these visits are great opportunities to access environments and situations they might not have accessed otherwise, as well as opportunities to generalise some skills and knowledge to new settings and situations and gain confidence in their own abilities.
Some KS5 pupils on a residential visit to Calvert Trust
Independent Travel – to improve quality of life & outcomes post school
This money was used to allow additional staff support to develop independent travel skills for pupils in KS4 and KS5. This has been very successful and has allowed the pupils to develop their skills in a safe way. The impact of this will allow these pupils to access more activities independently and improve their quality of life.
“some students are now travelling independently to and from College. Others can travel independently in small groups to and from Newcastle on the bus or metro. One can go over to South Shields on the ferry and back independently”
“money enabled us to buy phones so recent PSHE targets included learning to use phones out in the local community”
After School Club activities to improve skills and self esteem e.g. Bike Club
Some clubs have run after school; such as bike club and cookery club, however we also appreciate the need for flexibility with timings. With this in mind we were able to orchestrate some clubs in the Primary department such as an enterprise club, an art club and a rebound club which have ran at lunchtime or during the day. There is also a lunchtime glee club for secondary and the impact of this is pupils are able to access their preferred activities and develop their preferences.
Pupils work together during the primary art club to create a Picasso inspired piece
Work Experience. Opportunities for young people to practise their skills in real world situations and improve their post school outcomes.
The opportunity for appropriate and effective work experience is crucial as the pupils get older. It helps them understand the responsibilities of a job as well as expose them to opportunities they might not have considered otherwise and develop aspirations to what they can achieve as they get older. This money allowed for staff time to organise appropriate work experience for pupils in KS4 and KS5. The impact of this was individual work experience opportunities as well as whole group visits to places such as Nissan. Some of the KS5 students have accessed experience in museums, cafes and hotels. For our PMLD pupils an aromatherapist was brought in so they could experience the smells.
“…. attended Nissan and really enjoyed the opportunity to try new activities as well as work with a new set of peers.”
Student Council. Opportunities for young people to learn how to make decisions and have some funds to act on those decisions.
The student council meets regularly to discuss their feelings on school and improvements that can be made, it is important that they know their voice needs to be heard.
The decisions have been made to have healthier snack in the tuck shop at 6th form as well as different activities to complete during their enrichment activities. The impact of seeing these changes occur means that pupils are aware that their opinion is valuable and listened to.
Connexions. Opportunity for 1-1 confidential discussions with external advisor to promote confidence and choice making skills.
The school has a designated connexions adviser who attends KS4 and KS5 EHCs and attends parents’ evenings. Students and parents are encouraged to make appointments to speak with her as needed. The impact of this has been pupils and parents have a better understanding of options available to them and she is able to offer advice and support for upcoming transitions.
Specialist equipment. Purchase of individual equipment seating, communication aids etc to ensure all pupils can fully access the curriculum.
Lots of the pupils require specific equipment in order to allow them to access learning effectively. This year seating has been purchased to allow some children to sit comfortably and securely while they learn as well as lots of other specific pieces, without which the quality of the school day for these pupils would be very poor.
” one young man has benefited from sensory equipment such as a bear hug and a gym ball.”
A pupil works with the physiotherapists and his specialist walking frame
Funding identified to each TLR to ensure they focus on the work of disadvantaged pupils in their plans and developments.
The staff with areas with TLRs decided to pool their money together, in order to ensure the best possible outcome for all pupils. The result of this was an additional amount of money to contribute towards some whole school events or activities which benefited pupils by giving them opportunities they may not have had otherwise. Some of the favoured ones over the year included a storyteller, a pantomime and use of ICT software. These also provide opportunities for generalisation of communication skills and to increase vocabulary, as well as generalisation of maths skills and problem solving.
Primary pupils enjoy the adapted bikes and a session with the storyteller
We will review the way we have spent the money this year before we set our spending for next year. Our disadvantaged pupils have continued to make as much progress as their non-disadvantaged peers, where any small issues have arisen there has been quick and robust plans in place to ensure no gaps get bigger. Our philosophy of how we spend the money will continue next year, with us using it to ensure pupils across school get ample opportunities to develop and have a variety of experiences.