A PARENTS GUIDE TO OUR SCHOOL
Our School at a glance…
- Day School
- 5-19 Years
- 24 Bar Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 4AD
- 01924 366 242
How does the school know when a young person needs extra help?
Meadowcroft School is an Independent Special School for boys and girls aged from 5 – 19. The school caters for students with a wide range of needs, predominately with a diagnosis of Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
Our students all have an Education, Health and Care Plan which identifies the school as the most appropriate provision for the young person. The Education, Health and Care Plan identifies the young person’s primary and additional needs. Their needs are reviewed annually through an Annual Review of the Education, Health and Care Plan.
All new students start with four to six weeks induction, where they are placed in a nurture group to be assessed by our consultant Educational Psychologist and specialist teaching staff. At the end of this induction, a full Individual Education Plan is produced. The plan is made up of assessments and reports provided to the school before
arrival and the assessments and observations completed during the induction period. This ensures the student is placed in the most appropriate group, to access the fullest and most relevant curriculum according to their individual needs. Individualised interventions are put in place. A meeting is held with parents/carers and professionals to ensure everyone is clear and supports the plan.
The student’s individual objectives and academic progress, written into the Plan, is monitored regularly by the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher, the Head of Behaviour and Pastoral Care and key staff involved with the pupil. If students do not progress as expected, staff work collectively to evaluate, design and implement new interventions to provide a remedy. The school communicates with parents and carers about interventions and will work alongside parents, carers and other agencies involved to enable them to support learning at home.
How will the school staff support my young person?
All students at Meadowcroft School have an Education, Health and Care Plan. These outline the needs of the student and recommend the provision, approaches, resources and multi-agency involvement required to meet their individual needs. The overall objectives of the Education, Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
IEPs are completed for each student after the induction period and are reviewed each term by the form tutor. All staff will work to help and enable each student to meet their IEP targets and each term, targets are set and progress is reviewed.
We measure academic progress through continual teacher assessment. We tailor learning to any areas that need to be developed. At Meadowcroft School we work closely with other professionals, when possible, to ensure that everything outlined on the Plan is met.
Our pupils have a strong voice through our school council, focus groups and through regular questionnaires and assemblies. Students have daily contact with their form tutor and teaching assistant. The form tutor is the rst point of contact for parents through daily texts, weekly emails, phone conversations or meetings.
The Chair of Governors and the Governing Body have responsibility to ensure that all procedures and school systems are robust and that policies are in place and working effectively.
How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?
All students at Meadowcroft School have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We follow the National Curriculum and the majority of students take GCSEs at the end of Year 11 and continue on to further study in the Sixth Form. Our curriculum is broad and pupils have access to a range of experiences to help them make informed decisions about what they want to study in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. We have a strong Personal, Social and Health Education Team to ensure that pupils’ emotional well-being is catered for in all lessons. We also have a commitment to ensuring that the promotion of pupil literacy is part of every aspect of school life.
Class sizes range between six and eight pupils and each class is supported by one or two teaching assistants. As part of our 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 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 encourage and promote the development of pupil independence appropriate to age and needs throughout their school life.
In Key Stage 4 we offer vocational learning and opportunities for work experience. There are on-going opportunities for some students in our local community. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme offers further opportunities to students.
How will both you and I know how my young person’s doing and how will you help me to support my young person’s needs?
All students at Meadowcroft School have an Education, Health and Care Plan. These documents outline their needs and recommend the provision, resources, approaches and multi-agency involvement required to meet their individual needs.
The overall objectives of the Education, Health and Care Plan are broken down into smaller targets on the young person’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), which are drawn up each term by their form tutor. All teaching staff who work with your child are committed to enabling your child to meet their IEP targets. Targets are set and the progress made is reviewed each term.
We also set and review subject targets each term that outline specific subject-based targets. The targets are linked to National Curriculum levels or GCSE grades and show our pupils exactly what they need to do to improve. These targets are clearly displayed inside pupils’ books or les.
At the end of Year 11 students receive their GCSE results.
At the start of each term we publish curriculum overviews to parents so they know the topics being covered in each subject area. We also recommend activities and websites to use with your child to assist with their learning at home. Each term we run Parent Workshops and events to further support a child’s learning at home.
We report on progress to parents at the end of each term via a short progress report.
Annual Review meetings and Parent Consultation evenings are held once a year.
We also hold a Year 11 Transition Evening to aid the move to 16+ placements.
If you are at all worried about your child’s progress then please do contact their form tutor in the rst instance.
What support will there be for my young person’s overall well-being?
We are committed to multi agency working to ensure that the needs of each young person are met. Our work with other agencies is frequent, sustained and responsive to student and family needs.
Professionals from other agencies include Speech and Language Therapy; Occupational Therapy; CAMHS, Social Care and Health who support the work of the school on a regular basis, working with us to devise additional strategies to support students.
The multi-disciplinary Pastoral Panel, chaired by the Head of Behaviour and Pastoral Care, meets fortnightly to discuss pastoral issues across the school. The Head of Behaviour and Pastoral Care provides termly reports to the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher to ensure that school issues are monitored and addressed as part of school development planning.
All staff meet at the start and at the end of every working day to share information about our pupils and ensure that a consistent and fair approach is taken at all times. Important information about our pupils is circulated to the appropriate staff in a timely and professional manner to ensure that when any member of staff is interacting with your child they will be doing so from a sound knowledge and understanding of your child.
Every member of staff has been employed, not simply because of their subject specialism but because they are committed to making a difference to the life of the young person.
Staff receive regular specialist training. We encourage staff to become specialists in areas such as bullying, self-harm, and substance misuse. It means we have specialists onsite and able to advise immediately.
Through our PSHE core and our BESD assessment tool we encourage your child to understand themselves and how to make themselves happy in a constructive and socially acceptable manner that will ensure they become more self-sufficient adults.
We have a talk therapist and an art therapist both of whom provide individual support for pupils in blocks of programmes that are specific to the pupil’s needs.
We encourage students to raise any concerns or issues they may have. The school council meets weekly and brings issues to the fore. Students are also involved in planning for their IEPs and Annual Reviews.
Pupils are encouraged to utilise Children’s Rights Representatives as an opportunity for students to meet and discuss issues with an independent, trusted adult.
We are also becoming a Rights Respecting School in conjunction with Unicef.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Many of our teachers have, in addition to their teaching qualifications, further qualifications and or expertise in SEN including Post Graduate/ Certifcates in autism, speech, language and communication needs, behaviour needs and Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.
All of our staff, including those traditionally considered ‘non-contact’ such as administrative and kitchen staff have undertaken specialist training and development. They follow a tailored induction programme when they join Meadowcroft School.
On site we employ:
- Full Time School counsellor/Learning Mentor • Full Time Family Support Worker
- Full Time Nurture/Induction Teacher
In school we have dedicated time from the following professionals:
- Educational Psychologists
- Art Therapist
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Play Therapist
- School Nurse
We work closely with:
- Social Workers
- CAMHS professionals
- Family Support Team
- Youth Offenders Service
- Multi-Systemic Therapy Teams
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
All staff at Meadowcroft School have received Team Teach training. We also have our own team of Team Teach Trainers.
As part of the on–going CPD programme we work with a wide range of professionals including SEBD, Anxiety; ADHD and ASD; Assertive Behaviour Management; Attachment Disorder; Sexually Harmful Behaviour; Self Harm; and Positive Teaching and Learning for Teenagers.
We also have a weekly staff training meeting to discuss best approaches and strategies for students and invite relevant professionals to attend.
How accessible is the school environment?
The classrooms and communal areas are on the ground poor and are wheelchair accessible.
Some classrooms are accessed via a flight of stairs and are not wheelchair accessible.
Relevant staff receive regular and high quality training regarding safeguarding and all school staff receive safeguarding refresher training every two years.
Our staff have the benefit of being part of a wider group of experts in our field through belonging to Acorn Education and Care. Headteachers currently meet at least termly to discuss issues regarding SEN education and share best practice. We are currently setting up a number of other groups including subject specialists, behaviour experts and school improvement groups.
Access for Disabled visitors is through a side entrance of the school.
How will my young person be included in the activities outside the classroom including school trips?
We have an inclusive approach to every aspect of school life including school visits.
Our o -site visits are designed to enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for all students. They are 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 on-site education and work placements. This involves working with each placement to make them aware of individual student needs and targets for the duration of the work placement and ensuring that those involved in teaching our students on-site are also aware of special SEN, 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 Meadowcroft School.
All visits and off-site activities are risk assessed to ensure they are appropriate and can be managed to suit individual needs.
How will the school prepare and support my young person to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?
We work closely with each Local Authority to ensure that each pupil will be offered an education which meets their individual needs.
STARTING AT MEADOWCROFT:
We offer prospective parents the opportunity to meet the Headteacher and see the school on a working day before deciding whether they want their child to attend. Parents and carers may express a preference for Meadowcroft at their child’s Annual Plan Review or when their Plan is initially written.
Places are then decided by the local authority placing offcer.
Our current pupils are working on a pupil guide to Meadowcroft for prospective pupils to ‘see’ the school before a visit. We are also aiming to ensure that the rst meeting with us takes places at home or at the current school, which means new pupils will have already met at least one member of our star team when they visit Meadowcroft for the first time.
All new students are placed in a four to six weeks induction and nurture group where they will be assessed by our consultant Educational Psychologist and specialist teaching star. At the end of this induction period a full Individual Education Plan is produced, using the assessments and reports provided to the school before arrival and the assessments and observations completed during the induction period, which will ensure that they are placed in the correct group, any individualised interventions are in place and that the pupil can access the fullest and most relevant curriculum for them. A meeting will be held with parents/carers and any professionals involved at this point to ensure everyone is clear and supportive of the plan.
For the past 3 years, 100% of Meadowcroft students have made the transition to further education, training or employment successfully.
Careers Education and transition planning is an important part of the Annual Review process from Year 9 onwards.
Parents, carers and students meet their Pathways Advisor regularly from Year 9 to discuss ideas about college, training or employment. Moving On plans are completed
for students going to college by a member of the Pathways Team in Year 11.
We hold transition evenings for parents in Key Stage 4 so that parents and students are equally involved and prepared for transition.
Our Post 16 provision is very popular and successful. Meadowcroft School has an enviable record that every Year 11 student has gone on to join our Post 16 cohort.
Meadowcroft School’s Post 16 provision:
- Is led by a specialist in Further Education who has expertise in designing bespoke and often vocational, programmes which give our pupils an excellent chance of employment when they leave aged 19.
- Delivers courses in independent living.
- Supports our pupils in every aspect of moving into independent adulthood.
- Offers additional opportunities each year.
- Works closely with numerous colleges and education providers to discuss courses and entry requirements. This also ensures that if a student has a pathway that is not directly facilitated onsite, we can locate a local provider and ensure no opportunity is missed.
- Students in Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to study vocational courses, to familiarise themselves with different areas of work.
- All students will have the opportunity of work experience in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.
- We work closely with other providers to ensure that any transition for our pupils is as smooth as possible.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special educational needs?
We allocate sufficient resources to ensure small class sizes with appropriate levels of staff.
Pupil Premium funding is received for some students; these funds are allocated to intervention programmes to raise the levels of literacy and numeracy for students in receipt of the Pupil Premium, or those students for whom literacy and numeracy are additional areas of need.
Our interventions programme is delivered by the Interventions Teaching Assistant and the programme is devised by the Head of Behaviour and Pastoral Care and the Literacy Co-ordinator.
All of our classes are provided with resources to ensure the delivery of a personalised curriculum.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan identifies the level of support required to meet your child’s needs. This is agreed through discussions between the school and your Local Authority.
We plan provision to achieve the objectives outlined in the Education, Health and Care Plan for each individual pupil.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
At Meadowcroft School we believe in working in partnership with parents and carers to achieve the very best outcomes for students. We communicate regularly with parents, through daily texts and weekly emails from each form tutor, Parent Consultation Evenings; face to face meetings and Annual Reviews. We also communicate with parents and carers via termly reports and curriculum overviews and monthly newsletters. Parents, carers and other family members are invited to join our Parents’ Group, which is a social and supportive forum for the school and our parents and carers.
As a school we welcome contact from parents and would encourage parents to contact us, via the form tutor, if there are any questions or concerns.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please contact our Principal, Darren Singh at:
Meadowcroft School 24 Bar Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 4AD
T: 01924 366 242