At the heart of Boston Spa School’s values is the belief that every child has the right to make good academic progress and achieve their potential. We believe that all students are entitled to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. Students are valued equally and regardless of ability; we are committed to supporting them through their learning. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all students are important to us and we aim to ensure students’ needs are met and their potential barriers to learning overcome.
If you are new to our school and would like more information or a tour please contact Mrs Viglianisi, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, on 01937 846636.
Higher Level Teaching Assistant
Frequently Asked Questions
At the heart of Boston Spa Academy’s values is the belief that every child has the right to make good academic progress and achieve their potential. We believe that all students are entitled to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. Students are valued equally and regardless of ability; we are committed to supporting them through their learning. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all students are important to us and we aim to ensure students’ needs are met and their potential barriers to learning overcome. If you are new to our school and would like more information or a tour please contact Mrs Viglianisi, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, on 01937 846636.
We are committed to a personalised approach to support students’ individual needs. We can use some screening testing to assess the areas of difficulty your child may be experiencing, we may also consult their teachers to get an overall picture, or we may refer to an outside agency that can offer specific assessment and support. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator plans and oversees the implementation of any additional support for individual students. Some students need short-term extra intervention to support their learning in key areas; others will need a more sustained programme of support. This support may be delivered using teaching staff, our Higher Level Teaching Assistant or our Teaching Assistant. Parents are always informed of the support their child is accessing, and will be updated regularly. Our intervention programmes are outcome based and specifically designed to support individuals’ needs. For students whose needs are acute or complex, we may write a Pathway (Individualised Education Plan). This outlines your child’s difficulties, the targets or areas of development they are current working towards and outlines strategies for effective support, teaching and learning. This may be in addition to short or longer term intervention. All Pathways and short-term plans are written in consultation with parents and are reviewed regularly. Some students receive additional support in the classroom.
We offer inclusive teaching; teachers differentiate their lessons to match learner needs. From year 7, students are set by ability, academic performance is monitored carefully to ensure groupings are efficient and enable students to make the best academic progress they can. We have flexible Pathways, which allow for a personalised curriculum, which some of our SEND students benefit from.
There are regular Parents’ Evenings for each year group, additionally; parents are welcome to contact subject teachers for an update on their child’s progress. We also publish progress data throughout the year to keep you informed of your child’s progress and how well they are working. At each data assessment point, the SENCO, Learning Team Leaders, along with the Senior Leadership Team, analyse the data of students with D+SEN to ensure that they are making progress in line with their peers. If they are not, appropriate intervention is considered. The Student Planner provides parents/carers with regular contact with teachers, as does SIMS. We communicate with parents in a number of ways; via the home – school planner, telephone, email and we celebrate with postcards home and telephone calls.
We are proud of our pastoral care support; for all students this is primarily given by their Form Tutor and Head of Year. Attendance is monitored by the Heads of Year and also through our attendance team. We have a dedicated Child Protection Officer and a team of First Aiders, led by our SENCo.
Following consultation, we access the Educational Psychology Service, Speech and Language Therapy, the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team, the Visually Impaired Team, STARS, Local Authority Complex Needs Team and TAMHS.
Many staff in school have specific training and have worked alongside professionals to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise. Our in-house and trust wide training programme is tailored to reflect the needs of our students.
If assistance is needed for a student to participate in an activity outside the classroom, we make every effort to facilitate this. If there are specific medical or physical needs that may affect participation, the trip leader will consider this in their planning, and parents are invited to contribute to this if relevant.
The ground floors of all buildings are accessible by wheelchair and we have ramps in place. We have disabled toilets on the ground floor and a series of lifts across the school site to allow access to upper floors. For parents/carers whose first language is not English, we will try to provide translators/assistance at Parents’ Evenings. Any parents/carers who think that they may require such assistance should contact their child’s Head of Year. If specialist equipment is required for hearing or visually impaired students, we work closely with the relevant teams to ensure students’ needs are met. Equally, we have some equipment for visitor use, should this be required.
Transition to Secondary from Primary The member of staff responsible for transition and the SENCO liaise with primary schools regarding students who will require support when they start at Boston Spa School. Parents are invited to speak to the SENCO during Open Evening at the beginning of Year 6 and again in Year 7. Transition from Secondary SEND students may have a mentor in school who can help prepare them for transition. This may be at a practical level, such as application form completion, or on a wider basis, supporting preliminary visits and meetings. Students are encouraged to attend their own review meetings to help plan for future transition. Students with a Statement or EHC plan can receive support from Complex Needs to ensure their transition is smooth.
We carefully consider the type and extent of support needed by students to make academic progress. The type, extent and duration of support will be discussed with parents on an individualised basis, following meetings with key staff (SENCO, Head of Year, HLTA). Interventions are tracked and monitored, and their efficacy analysed. The impact of support for D+SEN students can vary but generally we judge success by teacher assessment, reading age data, spelling age data, stamps and negative comments in the planner, feedback from teachers and other staff in school.
Parents/carers are kept informed about teaching and other events through the planner, email, our website, parents’ evenings and our twitter account. Parents/carers are invited into the school for information sessions, celebration assemblies and various performances and concerts throughout the year. For more detailed information please see our Information for Parents booklet on the Parents tab on our website.
If you have a concern related to Special Educational Needs or Disability, contact Mrs Viglianisi (SENDCo) on 01937 846636. If you have a more general query relating to admissions, pastoral support, welfare, your first point of contact is the your child’s Head of Year: Mrs Potter (Year 7), Mr Billington (Year 8), Mr Boulton (Year 9), Mr Dodds (Year 10) or Mrs Warner (Year 11). Parent Partnership can provide information and advice, and can be contacted at: www.leedsparentpartnership.co.uk. Leeds City Council’s local offer can be found at: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Leeds-Local-Offer.aspx