Our Approach to Special Educational Needs at Brill
At Brill School we believe that the best support we can provide for all children, including those with additional needs, is to prepare them for life beyond Brill C of E School. All children face challenges of varying kinds whether they be as a direct result of learning needs, processing difficulties, emotional needs or other high incidence SEN needs that may have a 'label' or a diagnosis. Our approach is a holistic one where we aim to help the children to understand any particular barriers they may have and then focus on strategies to support them with these additional difficulties.
We believe that there is a fine balance between supporting our children with identified needs and ensuring that children receive the important message that they can achieve their best whatever their needs. We aim to recognise what are genuine difficulties for our children but we also have the intent to enable our children to feel positive about themselves. We believe that no one is defined by their 'need'. Everyone is an individual. As far as is possible, support is discrete and aims to boost confidence and promote a positive mindset. Our greatest successes have been when children have grown in confidence about themselves and have developed (with support) their own strategies to cope with particular difficulties they encounter as a result of their additional needs. We also recognise that may areas of 'additional need' also result in other particular areas of strength for those children. We celebrate our differences and recognise all of our children are individuals and at Brill are treated as such.
Support this Christmas
Whilst the Christmas holidays can be incredibly exciting and fun for many children, some young people and families can find the change to routine, together with the sensory overload of certain Christmas traditions, overwhelming and challenging. Please do contact the team for support, and use the resources below to help you and your child cope and enjoy the next few weeks.
Who to contact?
Please do get in touch with the team if you are worried about the Christmas break, or if your child is struggling with the transition.
SENCO - email@example.com
Pastoral Lead - I.firstname.lastname@example.org
Headteacher - email@example.com
The Local Offer
The Buckinghamshire SEND Local Offer is a network of services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The SEND Local Offer provides clear, detailed and accessible information about the services and support available, and works to ensure that young people with SEND and their parents and carers are listened to when local services are developed and reviewed. Use the link below to explore the Local Offer in more detail.
Specific information can be found here:
- Education and SEND
- Education, health and care plans (EHCP)
- SEND education options and admissions
- Preparing for adulthood
- Forms, templates and service statements
A helpful video guide to the Local Offer can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a98NH_ZIWEM
When the needs of a child in Buckinghamshire meet the threshold for being able to get an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), Specialist Teachers from Buckinghamshire Council come in to work with the staff and children. They provide individualised support and we have some amazing people from the team who come and work with us. The frequency of their visits is dependent upon the need of the child. To find out more, click on the Buckinghamshire Council's logo below.
Quite a difficult message for anyone with additional needs? Or quite a difficult message for all?
At Brill School, we believe that every difficulty we encounter is an opportunity to learn a new skill or face a new challenge. Each opportunity to face challenges has the potential to make us stronger and increase our skills and abilities in many ways.
This message is as true for our children who have SEN or are 'wired differently' as it is for any of our neurotypical children who may not have needs as clearly identified. With the right balance of adult or peer support, we encourage independence wherever possible and when appropriate, depending on the needs of the child.
Many of our children with identified SEN and those who are neurodiverse grow a stronger Growth Mindset as they move through school. They 'have a go' at things, and this often proves to be one of their greatest strengths and a real life skill!
Learned Helplessness is what we want to avoid for ALL our children, including those who are neurodiverse or who have an identified special educational need.
What is it? In it's simplest form, it would be demonstrated in a child feeling that there is no way to positively affect something they are finding difficult. They might begin to believe they are unable to affect any level of change in their situations. This is a dangerous mindset and is something we are keen to address in school. It is also in total contrast to our Growth Mindset philosophy in school.
If a child with any level of need is working consistently with an adult to ensure they access any level of learning, they begin to truly believe that they are incapable of achieving or attempting anything without support from that adult. Once this approach has been in place for a significant amount of time, that child then refuses to even attempt anything without that adult support. If we were to promote this, we would be putting in place more barriers to learning for that child. A bigger danger is we would not be preparing that child for life beyond Brill School.
Instead, we strategically support all our children, including those with additional needs, making sure there is always an opportunity to try some tasks independently in each lesson. Appropriately pitched praise is then used for effort; the effort being far more important than the attainment level.
We have noticed the morale of our pupils has increased and their self-esteem has grown as a result of this approach. The large majority have been more keen to try tasks and activities by themselves, knowing they feel more proud of themselves when they do that.
We combine that with the fact we are keen for the message to all to be:
Stories and activities for your children
Social stories can be a useful way to explore Christmas traditions, routines and potential 'trigger points' of stress or anxiety with your children. Do use this collection of social stories below to help. There are some fun sensory activities to try too.
|Christmas Chocolate Sensory Playdough Recipe.pdf||Download|
|Christmas Mark Making Pattern Cards.pdf||Download|
|Christmas Sensory Bin And Resource Pack.pdf||Download|
|Christmas Tree Activity.pdf||Download|
|Christmas Tree Sensory Bag.pdf||Download|
|Rudolph Handprint Activity.pdf||Download|
|Santa Christmas Card Sensory Activity-.pdf||Download|
SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy
Buckinghamshire Council is in the process of forming a SEND Sufficiency 5-year Strategy to be published in Autumn 2021. The aim is to ensure there are enough education places for children with SEND to meet the demand over the next 5 years. This may involve some reconfiguration or expansion of some schools so that there are enough places that can meet every child's needs.
For more information: https://yourvoicebucks.citizenspace.com/childrens-services/b7ef9087
The draft SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy is included below. This summarises the current and future requirements for school places. This document will be updated following consultation, to include a final plan for how Buckinghamshire Council will reconfigure/increase school places for children with SEND, taking into account feedback received.
An Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document which describes a child or young person's special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.
There are certain criteria that would mean it was more or less likely to be successful in securing an EHCP. For advice about this please click on this link. There is a video on the page that will provide additional information.
What is it? Can I find out more? Yes!
Superheroes! So many people in history have seen the world through a different lens to others. Several people who have made great discoveries and have excelled in specific areas have been identified as having additional needs in some form or another. There may be some areas of significant difficulty but these areas must not over-shadow the very real strengths many have too. It might not seem obvious in all lessons of the curriculum, but there will be something every person in our school can develop and feel they have a strength in. Look at the examples we have here!
Please do explore the links below for more ideas and resources to use during the Christmas period.
Mental health support
Activities & ideas
Mrs R Oliver
Year 6 Teacher and SEN Coordinator