Special Educational Needs
Inclusion has been high on the agenda at Buile Hill Academy for many years and our initiatives have been praised by Ofsted and Government visitors on many occasions.
The Educational Psychologists that visit the school tell us that our Inclusion Department is the best they have visited and the support we offer to students at Buile Hill is much more than is offered at other schools.
Our Educational Welfare Officer also tells us we do more for our school phobic students than most schools because we manage to get many of them to return to school via the Nurture room; this means students who could have left school without any qualifications can still achieve 5 A – G at GCSE level (some students gain an even higher number).
Within the Inclusion Department we have:
- A Nurture room
- An LSU
- A Phonics room
- A Catch up Literacy room
- An Exclusion Unit
The Nurture Room caters for students who are vulnerable and cannot attend mainstream lessons all the time or as in a very small number of cases any of the time. Students work one to one or in very small groups completing the work their peers are doing in the mainstream classroom. Students in the Nurture room tend to complete the set tasks more quickly than they would in the classroom because of the support they have and because they settle to work immediately and remain on task. Some time is therefore spent working on social skills, anger management, building up confidence, and working on speech and language skills.
The LSU caters mainly for students who struggle to behave as is expected in a busy high school environment. Many of these students have severe difficulties outside of school which affects their ability to learn when they are here. Without the support of the experienced, dedicated staff, who work in the LSU, many of these students would be at real risk of permanent exclusion and leaving school without any qualifications. Again, students work in small groups or one to one completing classwork/coursework with support. The vast majority of students who work in the LSU, (either part-time or full time), leave school with at least 5 A-G grades at GCSE.
Each year the whole school is tested for reading and spelling which allows us to monitor literacy levels and put interventions in place to support students who need this. At Buile Hill we offer a comprehensive support programme for all those whose literacy levels fall below those deemed by the government as being below functional levels for everyday life.
- Catch up Literacy is offered to all students whose reading comprehension age is 9 years 6 months or below; these students attend Catch up Literacy sessions either 1 or 2 x 60 minutes (according to the severity of need) per week
- Phonics sessions (1 x 60 minutes per week) are offered to all students whose phonological awareness is below Phonics Stage 5
Progress of students receiving intervention is monitored closely and typically 85 per cent, or above, of the students on the programme improve their reading and spelling scores significantly.
Students who have a statement of special educational needs receive support from Local Authority funded Teaching Assistants, in addition, to support offered by the school. The Local Authority Teaching Assistants mainly support students within the classroom but when necessary they support them outside of the classroom.
The school also has an Exclusion Unit where students are sent if they have committed serious breaches of discipline. This allows them to be dealt with appropriately while still remaining at school instead of being excluded from the site as would have happened in the past.