Inclusion and Wellbeing
Orchardside is the Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for Enfield. All students who are referred to Orchardside have been Permanently Excluded or Managed Moved and are not in a position to access a mainstream secondary provision without some form of assessment and intervention. In some cases, our learners make progress without significant support and can be referred to Enfield’s Fair Access Panel for consideration back to a mainstream setting.
However, a number of our learners arrive needing significant support. These are usually learners who have unidentified special educational needs and/or a disabilities (SEND). Their journey at Orchardside takes on a different pathway and in some cases culminates in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This gives our learners with SEND access to a more specialist school placement and provision.
Orchardside’s core vision for our learners with SEND is their right to have their abilities and needs identified and understood in order to enable our school, and/or their next educational setting, to support their achievements through an inclusive and equal opportunities approach to teaching, learning and the curriculum. We also strive to provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for our students with SEND who we want to leave our community having developed and improved behaviourally, academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.
At Orchardside, we believe that any student can experience success. To do this, we aim to ensure teaching, learning and the curriculum is appropriate to need and differentiated to enable access to learning so that our young people with SEND can begin experiencing progress. Integral to this is an in-depth understanding of our learners’ needs.
Priority is given to an early identification of special educational needs. Within the first week of induction each student is assessed by highly skilled, knowledgeable and trained members of the Inclusion Team using a raft of accredited assessments. Led by our SENCO, the Inclusion Team work in conjunction with our Speech and Language Therapist to triangulate and analyse the results of each assessment once a week. The outcomes are shared with all members of staff to enhance their planning and support for each learner both in and out of lessons. These assessments may also give the Inclusion Team a starting point to co-ordinating specific interventions that should address some of the needs that may have been identified in the initial assessments. This means that from the outset, learners with SEND at Orchardside are not only identified quickly but are also given a space within the curriculum to begin accessing learning.
All students referred to Orchardside are likely to have needs in one or more of the following four broad categories of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as defined in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice:
- Communication and Interaction Needs - including speech, language and social communication needs
- Cognition and Learning Needs - including specific literacy needs
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs
These needs may have been apparent in their previous school setting, however, they may not have been formally identified or received the appropriate professional intervention in their previous setting. Unidentified needs have a profound impact on SEND learners’ educational outcomes, social outcomes, employability and mental health. This is the reason that early identification of need is one of our main SEND priorities at Orchardside School.
Orchardside works jointly and in co-production with a number of external agencies and professional clinicians. Our Inclusion Team is fortunate to have regular access to Educational Psychologists, a Speech and Language Therapist, colleagues in Enfield’s Social Care Teams and colleagues working in Enfield’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services. We are therefore able to have a truly holistic and joint approach when working for our learners with SEND. Most importantly, we believe that good communication and relationships with the Parents/Guardians of our SEND learners is vital. We endeavour to involve our families throughout the educational journey of our young people with SEND.
Lessons are differentiated and adapted to the needs of each student. Students are made to feel they can achieve and emphasis is placed on praising and rewarding each student’s successes, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may appear. Targeted members of the Inclusion Team are currently Elklan practitioners enabling the school to be more effective in their support of children with SEND during lessons. Elklan is an organisation that provides training to parents, teachers and anyone who is working with children and young people who have speech, language and communication difficulties. Members of our Inclusion Team delivering interventions, use Elklan to differentiate through precision teaching. This personalises learners’ experiences of our targeted interventions. We will train all our support staff in Elkan this academic year. All our staff will continue to receive training and attend refresher courses in a number of areas of SEND. This will provide them with the tools and confidence to deliver a high standard of teaching and support to our SEND students.
Whilst Orchardside strives to equip each student with the skills, maturity and resilience to return to mainstream school, it also accepts that not all students will thrive in a mainstream school and often a specialist setting and/or mainstream school with an additionally resourced provision, may be more appropriate for our learners with SEND. In this case, agencies who are involved with the student will assist the Inclusion Team to co-produce and submit an application for a needs assessment to Enfield’s SEND Service at the Local Authority. If the outcome of the assessment demonstrates a significant SEND need, the young person may be offered an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This legally recognised document ensures the student receives specialist support, specialist services and a specialist school placement if deemed appropriate.