Guidance for Students
Identification of Need
How does the Academy know if I need extra help?
During your final year at primary school we conduct several visits to your school to find out all about you and your class mates. During these visits, your teachers help us build a profile about your learning needs, and inform us of any struggles you may have had with learning. When you start at Freebrough Academy, all Year 7 students complete a series of baseline assessments in literacy, numeracy and cognitive ability. We then use the results from these tests along with the information from your primary school to help identify whether you have an additional learning need.
Sometimes, learning needs may not become a problem for you until you are already in secondary education. When this happens, students will often tell a teacher that they are struggling, or in some cases the teachers notice you are finding things tricky. When this happens, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) may organise for someone to work with you to help find out why you may be struggling. This could be someone in school, or perhaps a specialist such as the Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teaching Service.
What should I do if I think I need extra help?
If you think you need additional help with your learning, you should talk to a teacher or your tutor. They can then arrange for you to meet the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) to discuss your needs. Alternatively, you can ask to speak to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) yourself.
How will my school/college work be organised to meet my individual needs?
The most important support for your learning must start in the classroom. We will try our best to make the teaching and learning in your lessons right for you. If you do have individual learning needs, we will provide your teachers with a list of strategies to help plan for your individual needs. For most students, having a teacher that understands and plans for your needs is all that is needed to help you get back on track and continue to make progress. In some cases, further support may be needed. This could be in the form of a smaller class with access to a Learning Support Assistant (LSA), some small group work focused on reading or some time in our provision called Breakthrough.
How will I be involved in planning for my needs?
There will be three scheduled opportunities where you get to discuss your learning needs with a teacher or mentor. This will then feed into your teacher strategy sheet so that your teachers continue to learn about you and how you feel about learning. However, if you feel that you would like to discuss your learning needs at any time, please ask your tutor to arrange a meeting for you with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) to discuss your needs. Alternatively, you can ask to speak to the Special Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) yourself.
Who will tell me what I can do to help myself and be more independent?
During your three review meetings, you will work with your mentor to set targets for your learning. These targets will involve putting you in control of your learning and will give you ideas on how you can help support yourself too.
How will I know if I am doing as well as I should be?
At four key assessment points (AP) in the academic year, you will receive a report from your teachers. Here you will be able to track your progress against your targets and see whether you are achieving in line with your flight path.
What should I do if I am worried about my school/college work?
If you are worried about your school work, you should speak to your tutor first. You tutor may then refer you to work with your small school Progress Leader, pastoral leader or perhaps refer you to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo).
How can I get help if I am worried about things other than my school/college work?
If you are worried about things other than your school work, you should speak to your tutor or your Pastoral Leader. Your Pastoral Leader may refer you for additional support from other people such as the Attendance Officer, School Nurse or a Counsellor.
Involvement in Activities Outside of the Classroom
How will I know who can help me?
Your tutor will be able to guide you on extra-curricular activities taking place outside the classroom. Alternatively, you can speak to Mrs Heather Blackburn, the Director of Learning responsible for extra-curricular activities.
Who can I talk to about getting involved in student activities if I need extra help?
If you feel that you need additional help to access activities outside of the classroom, you should talk to your tutor who will be able to look into this and see how we can support you. If you feel that you have a learning or physical need that may make it difficult for you to access activities, you should ask your tutor to speak to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) or you can go and ask to speak to the SENDCo yourself.
If I have a disability or additional need how can I join in school/college activities?
We do not want to restrict any student from accessing an extra-curricular activity. We would welcome any opportunity to work with you and your family to make sure you are included and that any activity you take part in is safe.
What help is there to get ready to start college/school?
You will be invited to attend assemblies and open evenings to help prepare you for leaving Freebrough Academy. If you have a learning need or disability you will be prioritised for a meeting with the careers advisors too.
A careers team of staff will also meet together to discuss supporting you with these next steps. This team involves careers advisors, a career mentor, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator and the Assistant Principal responsible for transition. During these meetings, your case will be discussed and additional support may be put in place, such as visits to colleges or additional mentoring.
How will I be prepared to move onto the next stage of my school life including employment and life skills?
Freebrough Academy holds a Business and Enterprise specialism. The aim of the Business and Enterprise specialism is to allow you to develop skills, attributes and talents that will ensure you succeed in your working and adult lives whether it be in employment, apprenticeships, self- employment, further training or higher education. You will have the opportunity to develop these skills in your lessons and as part of your tutorial programme from Year 7 onwards.