Our Local Offer
This school has specialist provision for learners aged 3-19 with special educational needs in Cognition and Learning who have an Education Health and Care plan (EHCP) or are in the Early Years stage and being assessed for an EHC plan. Our school fits around our learners’ needs, not the other way around.
Our approach is based on caring and respect for all. We understand the individual needs of learners and we will be flexible in our approach to meeting them. We supply a safe and happy learning environment in which we ensure ‘Learning and Achievement for All’. We ensure equal opportunities, and every learner is fully involved in school life. We aim for every learner to make the best progress they can.
Our work with you and learners
We are a homely, friendly and approachable school. We communicate closely with parents and carers as we know this is best for learners. We will make sure that before your child starts at the school, we find out all the information we will need to know from you, and work with you to ensure a successful and happy start to school for your child and for you.
We will work in partnership with you-
- always listening to you
- supplying the opportunity to chat face to face or on the phone if and when you need to
- regular use of the home-school diary
- class assemblies, social events, joining lessons
- using Tapestry as a record of your child’s days, weeks and years in school to share with you
More formally through:
- review of your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan
- termly learning journals through tapestry.
- Annual teacher summary report.
- parents’ evenings
- parents’ workshops
- surveys of parents’ views
- learning link advisors
- careers leader/ next steps advisor
We aim to run monthly coffee mornings for anyone involved with a young person with added needs to provide support and as a social network.
We always listen to young people because we want them to be safe, happy and thriving. We will collaborate with them on their level and understand and accept everything about them. We get to know each individual very well and support them positively and constructively to move forwards. This is backed up with more structured procedures for gathering learners’ views:
- student council
- key workers
- the Annual Review
- individual observations
- careers support
In order to offer short breaks to families, we supply a range of after-school and holiday clubs for learners.
Our staff expertise
Our staff are employed here because they are skilled, caring and positive people who love this school and are passionate about teaching and helping the learners. We have small classes (average size 10) and a high staff ratio (1:2 or 3) and staff remain consistent and get to know learners really well. Pastoral care is especially important to us.
We put in place a range of programmes to meet learners’ needs, linked together into a ‘One Plan’ including
- individual learning programmes
- care plans
- medical plans
- manual handling plans
- a positive management and support plan/ STEPS
- a sensory integration programmes
The school is split into distinctive phases, each led by a Deputy Headteacher or Assistant Headteacher who oversees specific key stages and takes overall responsibility for learners’ progress and wellbeing as well as ensuring work between the phases is coordinated. Each phase has a Strand Leader who organises the day-to-day running of the strand and coordinates medium- and short-term planning. Each strand caters for a specific area of need, Sunshine Strand for our learners with severe learning difficulties (SLD), Pier Strand for our learners with physical multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and Beach Strand for learners with autism.
The Senior Leadership team responsible for Key Stages are:
Gemma Fowler-Deputy Headteachers- EYFS & KS1
Alison Beasley- Deputy Headteacher- KS4 & KS5
Ryan Bruce- Assistant Headteacher- KS1, KS2 & KS3
The Strand Leaders are Pamela Clarke (Sunshine Strand), Emma Norfolk (Pier Strand) and Hannah Mitchell (Beach Strand). The school’s named SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is the Head Teacher, Jennifer Grotier. However, all teaching staff are dedicated to ensuring the best progress of all their pupils.
Staff are trained in a range of areas relevant to supporting learners with additional needs, such as in curriculum approaches, communication, physical skills, behaviour management, and sensory needs. Staff are skilled in meeting the needs of learners on the autistic spectrum through Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), intensive interaction, communication aids, visual systems and sensory integration training.
All staff are trained regularly on safeguarding and the school has specific staff responsible for this. The schools Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Deputy Headteacher, Gemma Fowler. The Deputy Designated Leads are Jennifer Grotier, Debbie Hamilton, Alison Beasley and Ryan Bruce.
The school works closely with other professional partners who are based at the school or regularly visit us. Our full-time school nurse is Debbie Hamilton. Speech and language therapists from East Suffolk and North Essex Hospital visit a range of pupils across the school, about their communication needs and any pupil with dysphagia (eating and drinking difficulties). The physiotherapist, Owen Scott and Krishna from East Suffolk and North Essex Hospital service visits regularly. The occupational therapist, Ciara Williams also visits weekly. Music therapy, Thrive, Theraplay, dietary services, ophthalmic services, and paediatric clinical services are also in place at the school. We have an onsite thrive practitioner and Mental Health Lead, Leah Smith, employed by the school and a Communication Lead Sarah Williams.
We strive to develop close multi-agency teams around the child, based in our school but collaborating with you. As well as our health partnerships, we also collaborate with professionals from other areas including wheelchair and mobility aids, social care, educational psychology and therapeutic services. Our governing board plays an active role in strategic planning and has responsibility for overseeing the practice in the school and ensuring that it meets the needs of learners and families.
Our Policies & Provision
The school delivers the requirements of the Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS) and National Curriculum adapted to meet individual needs. We focus on teaching learners the skills they need for lifelong learning and independence in order to be able to cope with the future.
All learners are targeted to achieve good or outstanding progress based on national expectations for learners with special educational needs and are set according to individual abilities. Older learners extend their learning into life, community and workplace skills, supported by our community partners, and work towards accredited qualifications at a range of levels. We support learners as they move to different phases of education and life and ultimately as they prepare to leave school through close working with other social, educational and care partners. Our building and facilities are fully accessible and safe for all learners. A range of our school policies are available on the school website www.shorefields.essex.sch.uk or we can supply copies on request.