SEND Information Report

 

What do we mean by The New Bridge Academy SEND Information Report?

This is a report that encompasses everything we offer for your child with regards to their special needs.

How Can My child Attend The New Bridge Academy?

The New Bridge Academy caters for up to 128 students (in years 7 to 13) who already have an Education, Health and Care Plan relating to Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues (SEMH).

If you would like your child to attend The New Bridge Academy, you should discuss this with their current academy who may instigate a review of their Education, Health and Care Plan. At the review meeting, yourself and the professionals involved will discuss possible next steps. Alternatively, you may contact the SEND department of your local authority. They will then advise you on what steps should be taken. The Local Authority will sign post parents to academies that can meet the needs of their child.

Parents/carers are always welcome to visit The New Bridge Academy and this is especially important before making a decision about a placement. After having gained as much information as possible parents should inform their Local Authority of their first choice of academy. Once the placement is agreed, we will work with you to support your child in this transition period.

How will my child be supported and prepared before/after attending/leaving The New Bridge Academy?

Transition Programme – In

The main entry point into The New Bridge Academy (hereafter the academy) is September of each year. The first section of these guidance notes will deal with this entry for both Year 7s and any other September starters. However, to allow for fluctuating need within students in Sunderland there has always been a need for separate transitional arrangement for late starters. These starters will be dealt with in a separate section. The aim of both sections is to answer the question:

How will my child be supported and prepared for life at the academy?

SECTION 1 – Year 7 Starting in September – Before

All parents / carers wishing to send their child to the academy, will be invited (along with their child) to have a tour of the academy with a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This provides you with an opportunity to raise any concerns, query any aspect of our offer and generally reassure yourself as to whether the academy is right for your child. This can happen anytime up to a Year before your child is due to join us.

All rising Year 6s (our New Year 7s for the following September) will be visited at their present academy by our Year 7 lead. The Year 7 lead will spend time with your child in their class and in consultation with their current teachers. This in conjunction with their records will be used to prepare a pen portrait of your child for staff at The New Bridge Academy. This will be shared with all staff prior to your child starting. This normally happens after Easter in Year 6.

Next, all rising Year 6s will be brought on a trip to the academy. This is to further reassure them and to refresh their memories of the academy before the long six weeks. This will normally happen in July.

Year 7 Starting in September – Beginning

The first two days of every year at the academy are given over to inducting our new Year 7s. Day one is team building and confidence building. Day 2 is part getting to know our new starters and part testing (to see where we are academically). All year 7s undertake the MidYis tests. This gives us a baseline assessment and an end of Key Stage target for English, Maths and Science (Key Stage 3).The emphasis, however, is on fun and confidence building.

Year 7 Starting in September – Normal Academy day

All year 7s are taught in a thematic way in the morning. That is a book / film is chosen and all English, Geography, History and P4C are delivered using the themes from the chosen book / film. It also means that every day your child is with the same teacher for the entire morning (similar to a primary academy). This allows for a consistent approach to be taken and this teacher (Year 7 Lead) will know your child well, having already spent some considerable time with them during the transition process.

In the afternoon, all year 7s follow a more traditional secondary academy model, having one class for one subject with one teacher and then moving classroom and teacher for their next lesson in a different subject. In the afternoon, year 7s do Science, Design Technology, PE, PE+ (coast walking, kayaking, climbing, bike rides and orienteering) and music.

Year 7 Starting in September – On-going support

For the first 6 weeks or so, your first point of contact for any concerns should be your child’s Year 7 teacher (Year 7 Lead). They will spend 60% of the day with your child and will be in the best place to support them and you with any problems that might occur. After approximately 6 weeks, each year 7 is given a personal tutor. This person then becomes the first point of contact in the academy should any problems arise. It can be as simple as your child having an appointment or something more complex such as a family crisis. This person will be there to help you and your child. They are selected based in part on student choice (words or actions) and in part of what we believe as a staff they need from a personal tutor.

Moving On

At the end of Year 7 your child will transition to year 8 and will follow a more traditional secondary academy timetable, having one class for one subject with one teacher and then moving classroom and teacher for their next lesson in a different subject.

Students Starting in September

All parents / carers wishing to send their child to the academy, will be invited (along with their child) to have a tour of the academy with a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This provides you with an opportunity to raise any concerns, query any aspect of our offer and generally reassure yourselves as to whether the academy is right for your child. This can happen any time before a student joins us.

A member of staff will review your child’s statement and where possible communicate with their current placement to learn about your child. This in conjunction with their records will be used to prepare for staff a pen portrait of your child. This will be shared with all staff prior to your child starting.

Starting in September – Beginning

The first two days of every year at the academy are given over to inducting our new students. Day one is team building and confidence building. Day 2 is part getting to know our new starters and part testing (to see where we are academically). They undertake the MidYis tests. This gives us a baseline assessment and an end of Key Stage target for English, Maths and Science. The emphasis, however, is on fun and confidence building. This time is used to get to know your child and to decide into which group they would best fit. We would take all manner of issues into account in order to ensure the best fit for your child.

Starting in September – Normal Academy day

All students not in year 7 follow a traditional style secondary academy timetable. Having one class for one subject with one teacher and then moving classroom and teacher for their next lesson in a different subject. They will study English, Maths, Science, Humanities (Geography, history and RE), Music, PSHE, PE, IT and PE +. If they are joining us in years 10 or 11, they will additionally have the option of studying a range of GCSEs including the above plus art, IT and PE. Other course options will be available including Motor mechanics, construction and Animal Care/ASDAN.

Starting in September – On-going support

After approximately 6 weeks, all new starters are given a personal tutor. This person becomes you and your child’s first point of contact in case any problem arises. It can be as simple as your child having an appointment to something more complex such as a family crisis. This person will be there to help you and your child. They are selected based in part on student choice (words or actions) and in part on what we believe as a staff they need from a personal tutor.

Moving On

If your child is a year 8, 9 or 10 when they start they will move on up through the academy in the normal way. If they start in Year 11, there will be transitional arrangements in place for their move on from the academy e.g. college, apprenticeship or work.

At the end of year 9 all students undertake the Insight Tests and Optional SATS, in addition to teacher assessments. The Insight tests gives us predicted grades for your child’s GCSEs. The results are further used by the Fisher Family Trust to further focus our efforts on the areas your child’s education requires help. To help us help them!

SECTION 2 – Starting After September

We know that all changes can’t be planned to run alongside the normal academy year. So we are very flexible. If your child needs to move academy in the middle of an academy year, we will do all we can to assist them.

All parents / carers wishing to send their child to the academy, will be invited (along with their child) to have a tour of the academy with a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This provides you with an opportunity to raise any concerns, query any aspect of our offer and generally reassure yourselves as to whether the academy is right for your child. This can happen any time before a student joins us.

A member of staff will review your child’s statement and where possible communicate with their current placement to learn about your child. This in conjunction with their records will be used to prepare for staff a pen portrait of your child. This will be shared with all staff prior to your child starting. It allows us to place them in the appropriate learning group from the outset.

As soon as is practicable, we will assess your child educationally, to ensure that all their needs are being met. They take the MidYis tests. These give us targets to work towards in English, Maths and Science.

Normal Academy day

All students not in year 7 follow a traditional style secondary academy timetable. Having one class for one subject with one teacher and then moving classroom and teacher for their next lesson in a different subject. They will study English, Maths, Science, Humanities (Geography, history and RE), Music, PSHE, PE, IT and PE +. If they are joining us in years 10 or 11, they will additionally have the option of studying a range of GCSEs including the above plus art, IT and PE. Other course options will be available including Motor mechanics, construction and Animal Care/ASDAN.

On-going support

After approximately 6 weeks, all new starters are given a personal tutor. This person becomes you and your child’s first point of contact in case any problem arises. It can be as simple as your child having an appointment to something more complex such as a family crisis. This person will be there to help you and your child. They are selected based in part on student choice (words or actions) and in part on what we believe as a staff they need from a personal tutor.

Moving On

If your child is a year 8, 9 or 10 when they start they will move on up through the academy in the normal way. If they start in Year 11, there will be transitional arrangements in place for their move on from the academy e.g. college, apprenticeship or work.

At the end of year 9 all students undertake the Insight Tests and Optional SATS, in addition to teacher assessments. The Insight tests gives us predicted grades for your child’s GCSEs. The results are further used by the Fisher Family Trust to further focus our efforts on the areas your child’s education requires help. To help us help them!

Transition programme – OUT

  • Work on the transition of your child from The New Bridge Academy starts as early as Year 9. Initially they will be introduced to the academy’s Connexions Advisor, who will inform the students on the background and role of Connexions. They will also be given information on their transition and how they can be helped through this process. This is designed to allow the students to start to think about their plans for the future.
  • In Year 10 they will continue to be monitored by Connexions and they will be offered Independent Information Advice and Guidance ( IIAG).  In addition, students will have chosen, and already started their Year 10 vocational options. These options will carry on into Year 11, and as a result should have some bearing on their decisions and course of action when accessing Post 16 provision at the end of Year 11. Also at this stage students that have been identified as being of concern, through lack of attendance for example, will be closely monitored by means of home visits.
  • At the start of Year 11 students will become more involved with Connexions.  At this time the Education Health & Care Plan will be completed.  A number of students will also be identified to participate in a Work Experience Placement.
  • Running parallel with this, Year 11 students will be monitored by the academy’s Post 16 Co-Ordinator with the intention of identifying possible Post 16 routes into further education or training.  There are a number of different transition routes which are generally educational or vocational based such as:
    1. Local colleges:  City of Sunderland College, primarily Hylton Campus and Bede Centre, depending on their choice of course.
    2. For students living outside of the local area or looking for specialised courses not offered elsewhere, there is East Durham College, New College Durham and Gateshead College.
    3. Training Providers, Springboard, Learning Curve and Plumb Skills.
  • The Transition process involves Year 11 students identifying potential courses either through college (Castlegreen Link Programme) or Training Providers.  This will progress  by means of initial visits to Providers and eventually the students will be involved in taster sessions in their chosen programme of work.  This is designed to try to eliminate any concerns or anxieties that they might have when leaving The New Bridge Academy.  It also allows them to familiarise themselves with their potential new environment and be introduced to their future staff.
  • During this process, close contact is maintained with parents and carers through the academy’s Post 16 Co-ordinator and Personal Tutors, and where appropriate they are invited into academy for meetings that involve their child ‘s transition.
  • At this stage pastoral support plans and risk assessment sheets will be prepared in readiness for their future tutors and mentors.
  • Any student that has not identified a Post 16 route will be monitored by the academy’s Connexions Advisor throughout the summer holidays, with the intention of not allowing them to become (NEET), Not In Employment, Education or Training.
  • Following their Post 16 progression, students and parents/carers are normally invited back into academy during October/November to participate in a parents evening.  This evening is designed to celebrate their success through record of achievements and individual certificates awarded by various subject leaders in the academy.  It also allows the academy’s Connexions Advisor and Post 16 Co-ordinator to monitor, and hopefully deal with any issues where students have been struggling with their transition routes.

How will my child be transported to The New Bridge Academy?

  • A number of pupils have transport between The New Bridge Academy and home provided by the Local Authority, but this can be dependent upon the distance from home and whether a pupil is capable of travelling independently.
  • Decisions about home to academy transport are made by the Local Authority and parents/carers should liaise with the education transport department about any specific questions.
  • You should meet the transport providers before your child starts travelling with them and there will be opportunities for you to share important information about your child with them.
  • Pupils who may be able to become independent travellers, may be provided with lessons during the academy time to support them to develop this skill.
  • If you would like your child to learn to travel independently, please contact the academy.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • Class teachers plan lessons to match the needs and abilities of each student within their group.  Students will be given appropriate support in order that they experience success. Each student is treated as an individual and as such their actual timetable is personalised to their specific needs and abilities.
  • Teachers use a range of creative teaching strategies to engage all learners in all areas of the curriculum.
  • The New Bridge benefits from extensive resources both within the academy building and within its grounds. We also have established partnerships with external providers which further enhance the curriculum offered to students.
  • In Key Stage 4 students follow a range of externally accredited vocational courses  which match to need, interests of the student and anticipated post 16 pathways.  These courses will give our students a real opportunity to gain placements either at City of Sunderland College or with training providers in their chosen fields.

How will I know my child is making progress at The New Bridge Academy?

  • Class teachers review the progress that the students make on a lesson by lesson basis and communicate information to parents through a variety of means including;
  • Home/academy links; telephone conversations, parents evening, and external certificates, annual educational review meetings/ education health and care plan review meetings.
  • Teachers track the academic progress of students against their personal targets / predictors. This information is monitored on a half termly basis by senior leaders to ensure that students are on track to meet expected progress.
  • Teachers set individual targets for the students after consultation with subject staff. These priority targets are incorporated into the delivery of lessons and progress reported to parents in a variety of ways.
  • If teachers have any concerns about the progress a student is making they will develop a plan to identify and address the main barriers to learning and develop strategies to increase the progress made. As an academy we recognise the contribution that parents and families can make to improve the progress of the students and as a result of consultation, homework (where appropriate), may be also implemented.
  • Students at The New Bridge are encouraged to follow programmes that enable them to achieve external accreditation for the work that they are able to produce.
  • At the end of the academic year an education report details progress made in particular subject areas which match the student’s individual timetables.
  • Staff at The New Bridge welcome opportunities to show the fantastic achievements of our students, and parents are very welcome to come into the academy to discuss progress at any point in the year.

What specialist resources, services and expertise are available at or accessed by The New Bridge Academy?

The specialist services that are accessible to the academy are:-

  • CAMHS -The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Health Nursing Team
  • Children and Young People Services
  • Connexions
  • Family Support
  • Independent Advocacy Services
  • Social Services
  • Parent Partnership
  • SEND Team
  • Clinical psychologist

The above list is by no means exhaustive.

How are the academy’s resources allocated and matched to my child’s needs?

  •  All students have a personalised curriculum offer which gives them access to a broad and balanced curriculum together with access to additional classroom staff to support their learning needs.  Students also have access to specialist professionals to support with their literacy and to help them develop their musical abilities.
  • The New Bridge reviews staffing at least annually. Where practicable each department within the academy has at least one teacher and one teaching assistant with a good all-round knowledge of the subject matter within that department. The specific needs of individual students are monitored on a daily basis by the staff team. If these needs significantly change we plan interventions to better support the learning of these students.
  • Additional grant monies such as pupil premium and year 7 catch up are used to further support named students. This money allows us to increase personalisation and support to maximise progress. The detail of how this money is used can be found under pupil premium on our website.

What specialist teaching qualifications do staff have who support my child?

All our staff receive regular training to ensure that they can provide the very best education, care and therapeutic support to your child. Qualifications and training include:-

  • First aiders
  • Safeguarding
  • Team Teach (positive handling)
  • Midas training for mini bus drivers
  • TEEP
  • Behaviour Management
  • Awareness and understanding of ASD
  • Attachment Theory
  • Supporting Struggling Readers
  • CEOPS
  • Bushcraft
  • Forest School
  • Staff hold a range of qualifications in Outdoor Activities e.g. kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, surfing, climbing and coast walking.

What activities could my child be included in within and outside the school day/extra-curricular activities?

  •  We offer our students a range of activities during break and lunchtimes carefully matched to needs and interests of individual students. Activities include sporting activities, use of I.C.T. Suite, access to pool tables and bingo sessions. Students can move freely between the activities and are able to mix with their friends to support their social skills as well as enjoying and achieving in these activities.
  • Each and every morning The New Bridge staff organise a breakfast club, in the recreation area of academy, with an offer being extended to all students.  Breakfast club runs from 8:15 to 8:45 am.  Students can have cereal, toast, tea or coffee and on occasion other food is available.  During breakfast club students can have access to all of the facilities within the recreation area.
  • It is our aim to have each and every student participate in a residential experience during their time at The New Bridge Academy.  We currently facilitate the following residential experiences: –
    • Year 7 camp;
    • Year 10 summer camp;
    • Coast to Coast bike ride;
    • Trip to France to visit war graves and lay memorials.

Other residential experiences may be organised as and when deemed appropriate.

How can I as a parent be involved at The New Bridge Academy?

The partnership between parents/carers and ourselves is considered crucial. You are the first educators and on entry we need you to make sure we have all relevant information in order that we can provide your child with a personalised curriculum that best meets their specific needs. Following admission there are many opportunities for us to continue working together, sharing information and of course answering any questions you may have. Students are usually with us from age 11 to 16 and as such things change so regular formal and informal contact is actively encouraged. In addition to home visits and phone calls these are some of the many ways in which you can be involved:

  • Attending annual review meetings/PEP meetings/structured conversations as appropriate.
  • Attend parents evening to learn more about the progress of your child.
  • Attend special activities such as our Search for a Special Star.
  • Volunteering (you would not as a rule be working with your own child). If this is something you would like to do please contact the academy.
  • Completing surveys and questionnaires, as by gaining your views we can continue to improve our offer to your child.
  • Attending parent courses and workshops such as CEOPS so you can further support your child at home.
  • Become a parent governor (we will send letters as and when vacancies arise).
  • Attend and/or support fundraising activities as and when appropriate.

How can I support my child’s needs?

Providing academy with information re appointments or medical updates.

Your child’s attendance and welfare is very important to us so please let us know before they attend any appointments or if there are any changes with medication. This ensures that we can keep records up to date and care for your child in the best possible way.

Attending parent evenings and meetings with academy staff.

We have at least one parents evening per year which is an excellent opportunity to discuss pupil progress and targets as well as sharing examples of their work and achievements.

As parents/carers you may be invited to attend a range of meetings on behalf of your child such as an annual review of the Education, Health and Care Plan, PEP meeting, LAC Reviews or structured conversations. Your attendance at such meetings is always greatly appreciated and during these meetings you can raise any concerns you may have and help shape future curriculum decisions for your child.

Use curriculum advice and activity ideas from the class teacher.

Throughout your child’s time at The New Bridge we expect that you will take an active role in supporting their learning. You will always be made aware of your child’s targets and we hope you will help develop them in their daily lives outside of the academy. From time to time, the teacher may send activities home or ask for certain information as part of topic-based work in academy. We really appreciate your support in this matter.

Homework

At The New Bridge homework is not set to a rigid timetable across subjects but rather, as with all aspects of academy life, is set according to individual need.  However, it is acknowledged that homework is an integral part of the whole process of providing a meaningful educational experience for all.  It is accepted that incorporating homework into the whole learning experience is a desirable aim and subject leaders will foster the development of a culture where homework being issued is acceptable to both students and their parents/carers.  It is important that homework does not become an added burden to students and their parents/carers.  Sanctions will not be imposed for non-completion of homework but students are able to earn points which are added to the Merits System and therefore enable them to achieve a greater number of merits in a shorter space of time.

What support will there be at The New Bridge Academy for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • The academy mission statement is: ‘All members of The New Bridge Academy are treated with respect and as individuals in order to enable them to make full use of their lives and maximise their potential.’ This is the kingpin in promoting wellbeing.
  • All staff take the safeguarding of students very seriously and have the required level of safeguarding training as well as a designated team of staff who have more in depth training.  There are policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all.
  • There is an academy nurse available as well as a team of trained and dedicated First Aiders.
  • The breadth of the curriculum helps target and meet the student’s behaviour and self-help needs.
  • The New Bridge Academy places a great importance on Sex and Relationships Education which helps support the self-advocacy of all students.  To this end, our trained and dedicated staff have worked with the local authority to produce a customised curriculum which addresses this very important and vital skill to help promote wellbeing.
  • Your child will be allocated a Personal Tutor within academy whose responsibility it is to act as advocate on behalf of your child with regard to both their education and pastoral care.  The Personal Tutor will be your contact in academy for all matters relating to your child.
  • The New Bridge Academy also recognises the importance of working with all parents for the wellbeing of their child.  It is for this very reason that Personal Tutors will carry  out Home Visits each half-term, or more frequently if necessary, to advise of the progress your child is making within the Academy.
  • The Academy has a ‘Student Council’ which is made up from elected students who have the opportunity to discuss with the Academy’s senior leaders concerns and ideas on behalf of their peers.

Who can I contact for further information?

  • Reception office
  • SENDCO
  • Designated person for Looked After Children
  • Your child’s Personal Tutor
  • Deputy Head/Headteacher

Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

  • Initial contact can be made with school by contacting the above.
  • Alternatively, The New Bridge Academy, part of Ascent Academies’ Trust  has an Ascent Academies’ Complaint Policy.  This policy can be found in its entirety on The New Bridge Academy website

SEND Local Offer

Please click on the link to view Sunderland City Councils Local Offer