Frequently asked questions…
How does the school know when a young person needs extra help?
The Grange Therapeutic School is an independent day and residential school for pupils with SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health). The school caters for children from the ages of 8 – 18. Many of our students have secondary diagnoses such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and ADHD. Some students have speech, language and communication needs and others would be emotionally vulnerable in a mainstream environment.
The academic, social, and therapeutic progress, together with the progress made against the students’ individual education plan objectives, is monitored regularly by staff. Where students are not making expected progress staff work together to design, implement and evaluate interventions to remedy the situation. Members of staff from the teaching, pastoral, care and therapy teams communicate with parents about interventions, and work alongside parents to enable them to support learning at home.
On entry, the school establishes a baseline assessment of academic and social skills. Academic strengths are identified through the assessment of National Curriculum levels and the Wider Ranging Achievement Test (WRAT). Psychometric testing may include The Boxall Pro le, Conner’s 3 and Beck’s Youth Inventory. Initial assessment allows the school to demonstrate sustained progress at Annual Reviews, Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings and in termly reporting to parents.
How will the school staff support my child?
The Education, Health and Care Plan outlines the needs of your child and recommends the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs. The overall objectives of the Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Individual Education Plans are drawn up each term by your child’s form tutor. Targets are set and the progress made is reviewed each term. All subject staff who teach your child work hard to ensure your child meets his IEP targets. We use continual teacher assessment to identify how well students are making progress academically and in terms of identified needs. We use this information to focus on any areas that need to be developed.
Students who board with us in our residential provision will also be able to work on areas identified in their Plan as part of our 24 hour curriculum. We address needs in Personal Support Worker interviews and in regular team meetings.
Students have daily contact with their form tutor. The form tutor is the first point of contact for parents through regular emails, phone conversations or meetings.
Acorn Education has responsibility to ensure that all procedures and school systems are robust and that policies are in place and are working effectively.
Students at The Grange Therapeutic School make very good progress over time and students leave school with a range of GCSEs, vocational qualifications and experience of college or the world of work.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All students at The Grange Therapeutic School have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We are informed by the National Curriculum and the majority of students take GCSEs or Functional Skills qualifications during Key Stage 4.
Our curriculum is modified in terms of breadth of subjects offered; we offer a smaller range of subjects and more time devoted to English, Maths and Science lessons. Class sizes are classes of 6 and are usually supported by a Teaching Assistant. As part of our standard practice we differentiate activities and tasks in lessons, ensuring that students are working on developing skills and knowledge to make good progress.
In some lessons there may be elements of small group teaching or 1:1 withdrawal. We are able to support students to learn by helping them to manage their own behaviours. We run interventions to enable students to make progress with their literacy and numeracy skills.
All students have bespoke subject targets linked to National Curriculum levels or GCSE grades which are reviewed termly. We emphasise life skills throughout our curriculum. During Key Stage 4 we are able to offer, where applicable, a college placement, where students experience vocational learning in a college environment. We can also offer opportunities for work experience in Years 10 and 11, and on-going opportunities for some students in our local community.
As part of the curriculum we run speech and languages courses for classes in KS2 and KS3. As part of our tutor time we run activities that develop interaction and social skills including buddy reading and peer mentoring. Our Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme offers further opportunities to students within our extended day provision.
Our residential students have access to a range of sporting and cultural activities which develop cooperative and socialisation skills. Many of these activities make use of the outstanding range of opportunities for Outdoor Education which Rutland Water and the surrounding area provides.
How will I be kept informed of my child’s progress? What support will be offered to them?
All students at The Grange Therapeutic School have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). These documents outline the needs of your child and recommend the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet those needs. The overall objectives of the EHCP are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). IEPs are drawn up each term by your child’s form tutor. Targets are set and the progress made is reviewed each term. All subject staff who teach your child work to enable your child to meet their IEP targets.
We also set and review subject targets each term that outline specific subject based targets for your child to work on. These targets are linked to National Curriculum levels or GCSE grades which show your child exactly what they need to do next to improve and make progress.
We report on progress to parents at the end of each term via a short progress report.
Annual Review meetings held once a year for all pupils, which are attended by parents, Educational Psychologists and other officers of the Authority.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We are committed to multi agency working to ensure that the needs of our young people are met. Our work with other agencies is frequent, sustained and responsive to student and family needs.
Professionals from other agencies such as speech and language therapy; occupational therapy, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (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.
We offer access to a number of interventions including inclusion groups that focus on reducing anxiety and promoting positive self-esteem and body image. We also work closely with the NSPCC around issues of sexual exploitation and staying safe. For students with very high levels of anxiety we teach coping strategies and breathing techniques to help them remain calm. For identified students we also provide opportunities for them to develop empathy and an awareness of the needs of others.
We encourage students to use the Student Voice group to raise any concerns or issues that they have. The School Council meets regularly and brings any issues to the fore. Students are also involved in planning for their care and targets through IEPs, Annual Reviews and in the residential provision through their interviews with their designated personal support worker. Our student advocate service, provided by an ex member of staff provides an opportunity for students to meet and discuss issues with an independent, trusted adult.
What specialist services and expertise are available?
Residential and educational staff have undertaken specialist training and development. All staff follow a tailored induction program when they join the school.
Many of our teachers have, in addition to their teaching qualifications, further qualifications in SEN including Post Graduate Certificates in Autism, speech language and communication needs, behaviour needs and Dyslexia.
In school we have a dedicated therapy team which includes:
- Speech and Language
- Consultant Educational Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist
We also work closely with other agencies to meet students’ needs:
- Social Workers
- CAMHS professionals
What specialist training have staff had?
All staff have received training in Safety Intervention de-escalation techniques.
As part of our on-going continued professional development program we have worked with professionals on a wide range of issues including anxiety and Autism; Resilience Training; ADHD and attachment disorders.
Relevant staff receive regular and high quality training regarding safeguarding and all school staff receive safeguarding refresher training every two years.
On induction all staff receive core training including Ask, Accept and Develop training anf Trauma Informed Prcative training.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Our off-site visits are designed to enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for all of our students. Off-site visits are also designed to create opportunities for developing independence, communication and self-management skills and to promote positive self- esteem.
We have a rigorous in-house health and safety screening for all of our off-site education and work placements. This will involve working with each placement to make them aware of individual student needs and targets for the duration of the work placement, ensuring that those involved in teaching our students off-site are also aware of specific special educational needs, through detailed pen portraits and observation of lessons.
We also offer students the opportunity to take part in a range of residential activities throughout their time at the school.
All visits and off-site activities are risk assessed to ensure they are appropriate and can be managed to suit individual needs.
How accessible is the school environment?
The majority of the classrooms are wheelchair accessible, although some provisions can only be accessed via a flight of stairs. We are not, unfortunately able to meet the needs of pupils with wheelchairs in the longer term.
Disabled visitors would be able to access the building through the side entrance.
Where parents/carers do not have English as their first language, appropriate support will be sought from the Local Authority.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?
We work closely with Local Authorities to ensure that each child is offered provision that can meet his needs. We run a series of transition events for new students. We work closely with parents/carers, children and their school or provision throughout the transition stage to create bespoke transition packages that meet individual need.
Careers guidance and transition planning is an important part of the Annual Review process from Year 9 onwards. Parents/carers and students meet with their Careers Advisor from Year 9 to discuss ideas about college, training or employment. Students also attend college open evenings and careers fairs held by their local colleges.
The students are encouraged and supported to be fully involved in decisions about their own future.
We work closely with colleges and training providers in the local area and in each pupil’s Local Authority, discussing courses and respective entry requirements. Students in Years 10 and 11 have the opportunity to study vocational courses at a local college, to familiarise themselves with a college setting.
We work closely with other providers to ensure that the transition post-16 is as smooth as possible.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to my child’s Special Educational Needs?
The majority of the school’s resources are used to provide small class sizes with appropriate levels of staffing.
All of our classes are provided with resources to ensure the delivery of a personalised curriculum.
How is the decision made about the support my child will receive?
Your child’s EHCP identifies the level of support they will receive. We plan provisions to achieve the objectives outlined to meet your child’s needs. This is agreed in the EHCP for each individual pupil, through discussion between the school and your Local Authority.
How are parents and carers involved in the school?
At The Grange Therapeutic School we believe in working in partnership with parents/carers to achieve the very best outcomes for students. We communicate regularly with parents through telephone calls and emails from form tutors; home visits, face to face meetings and Annual Reviews. We also communicate with parents and carers via termly reports and updates to the news section on the school website.
As a school we welcome contact from parents/carers and would encourage them to contact us (via the form tutor) if there are any questions or concerns.
Who can I contact for further information?
The Principal – Jonathan Sleath
The Grange Therapeutic School
15-17 Somerby Road, Knossington, Leicestershire, LE15 8LY
T: 01664 454 264