Special Educational Needs & Disability Information

The Dales School SEND Information Report 2024

This SEND Information Report is be updated annually to reflect changes and plans within the school. This report reflects current provision at The Dales School

What are the kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at The Dales School?

This is a Local Authority maintained day specialist school for cognition and learning. We support pupils aged 2 – 19 with a wide range of special educational needs which are severe and profound in the area of cognition and learning (severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties) as described in the SEND Code of Practice. Some pupils may have special educational needs in the areas of autistic spectrum condition/ severe communication difficulties, physical and/or sensory needs. Other pupils may have moderate learning needs, with a range of associated needs resulting in complex learning difficulties.

Admissions to the school are allocated by the Local Authority. For further information, the admission policy is available on this website.

Please refer to our Curriculum Statements for detailed information regarding our educational provision.

What are the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils/students attending the school?

All pupils who attend the school will have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Further information on the admissions processes to our school can be found on this website.

What is the provision for pupils at The Dales School and how is it evaluated?

The staff and governors of the school have agreed our Aims and Ethos Statement, which is a set of principles that creates and leads our vision for the school. Our Aims and Ethos Statement represents a commitment to our pupils to support them to achieve best outcomes on a holistic basis in preparation towards the next stage in their lives.

Our vision is to provide an excellent educational environment that enriches and enhances every child’s learning and quality of life experiences, by breaking down barriers to learning and participation. This vision is underpinned by our aims and values – these define what we aim to achieve, and how we seek to achieve these aims.

Our Aims

Please see our Ethos Statement for information about our aims and values.

Evaluating the effectiveness of our provision

The school has a robust system of reviewing provision each term. The full governing body receives regular reports on pupil progress, behaviour and welfare, safeguarding, leadership and management and the quality of education. The Deputy Headteacher is the whole school lead for Quality of Education, and she works closely with all bases to ensure that pupil progress is planned for, assessed and recorded appropriately via agreed summative and formative means throughout the academic year, which is detailed in the school calendar. Additional funding such as the Pupil Premium, PE and Sport Grant etc, are identified and planned into the curriculum offer each year to ensure the attainment gap is addressed and that the impact is appropriate and effective. We have a School Development Plan which is reviewed, evaluated and updated, and shared with the governing body on an ongoing basis. The school was last inspected by Ofsted in April 2019 and was judged to be good.

The Curriculum offer

Our EYFS curriculum is based upon the early learning areas both prime and specific:

  • Physical
    • Communication and Language
    • Personal Social Development
    • Understanding the World
    • Maths
    • Literacy
    • Expressive Arts and Design

Our pupils have personalised learning intentions for communication/language, personal social development, physical and understanding the world/maths. Characteristics of effective learning ensures that we focus on the way in which our pupils learn and what motivates them so we can develop the essential behaviours that support learning. Play provision runs throughout the curriculum as it is how children discover themselves, others and the world around them. Each term has a distinct and engaging theme which forms the basis for the terms learning activities, this incorporates the children’s interests and all those ‘suitcase for life’ experiences that childhood should contain.

Our curriculum in the Primary phase of school [KS1-2] is a pre-formal and semi-formal model. This model focusses on learning for pupils who are yet to work within a traditional subject led curriculum i.e. history, geography, PSHCE, design technology. The pre-formal curriculum learning areas are: my communication; my cognition; my physical; and my care and independence. This curriculum is for pupils whose learning is in the very early and sensory/motor stages of development. The semi-formal model encompasses the four areas above plus my world and my creativity. This enhanced curriculum model supports pupils whose learning is moving towards symbolic conceptual understanding and formal subject areas. Each curriculum area has a long-term plan and is phase specific, the curriculum model offers a three-year rolling plan and termly themes to support cross-curricular links. Pupils have MAPP [Mapping and Assessing Personal Progress] individual learning intentions which underpin all their learning areas. Learning behaviours are supported and developed through the Engagement Model, and this further enables the provision to meet personalised need. Our ‘suitcase for life’ offers curriculum enrichment activities to support age-appropriate childhood experiences and are linked to termly curriculum areas/themes or seasonal events.

Our curriculum in the Secondary phase of school [KS3-4] is a pre-formal and semi-formal model. This model focusses on learning for students who are yet to work within a traditional subject led curriculum i.e. history, geography, PSHCE, design technology. As pupils enter the secondary phase, they begin to access the John Muir Award as a pre-cursor to and in preparation for the Duke of Edinburgh Award during sixth form. The pre-formal curriculum learning areas are my communication; my cognition; my physical; and my care and independence. This curriculum is for students whose learning is in the very early and sensory/motor stages of development. The semi-formal model encompasses the four areas above plus my world and my creativity. This enhanced curriculum model supports students whose learning is moving towards symbolic conceptual understanding. Each curriculum area has a long-term plan and is phase specific, the curriculum model offers a three-year rolling plan and termly themes to support cross-curricular links. Students have MAPP [Mapping and Assessing Personal Progress] individual learning intentions which underpin all their learning areas. Learning behaviours are supported and developed through the Engagement Model, and this further enables the provision to meet personalised need. Students also access the ASDAN My Independence Programme that supports and develops the four strands in preparation for adulthood. This incorporates the young people’s interests and all those ‘suitcase for life’ experiences that childhood should contain.

The sixth form prepares our young people for adulthood, the curriculum model reflects the areas of learning that support this important transitionary process. The areas of focus are based upon a vocational programme; accreditation; transitions and careers advice; independence and life skills; physical; functional skills; and cultural/creative. Students have MAPP [Mapping and Assessing Personal Progress] individual learning intentions which underpin all their learning areas. The sixth form accreditation pathways are ASDAN, NCFE and Duke of Edinburgh Award. We follow a theme each term that we build our activities upon and which support students’ interests and develop leisure skills to take forward into adulthood.

At The Dales School we ensure that the emphasis on Communication and Literacy across the Curriculum is informed and effective. We promote the use of Total Communication to support and develop engagement, understanding and expression. Students at The Dales School are supported to access a range of communication strategies including but not limited to the use of Makaton signing, objects of reference, CommunicateInPrint3 (Widgit) symbols and TaSSeLs (Tactile Signing for Sensory Learners). The Dales School are committed to developing our use and understanding of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to include electronic communication systems eg. Eye Gaze and accessible apps to support our pupils’ communicative intent up to and beyond cause and effect. There is an ongoing emphasis on developing social communication and emotional literacy skills. School implements the Little Wandle Phonics programme as a toolkit for supporting emergent readers. The school benefits from close liaison with and training opportunities offered through the Speech and Language Therapy Service (NHS).

For further details of all areas of our school curriculum and assessment processes, please contact the school on 01609 772932.

Support for well-being

The Dales School has a robust safeguarding policy and protocol in place. Pupils’ health and well-being is paramount, and we work closely with medical and health practitioners on behalf of all pupils in order to keep them safe, well and able to access learning. Personal care is conducted discreetly and with dignity, whilst fostering independence as much as possible. Pupils have personal care support plans. We routinely follow healthcare plans with staff trained to administer prescribed medication. We also work closely with the Disabled Children’s Service, and other professionals and service providers to ensure that we contribute fully to strong collaboration which supports best holistic outcomes.
Staffing levels allow for pupils to be taught in appropriately grouped bases with a teacher and an appropriate range and number of additional teaching assistants to meet the needs of the class group.

What training do staff have in relation to the needs of pupils/students at The Dales School?

All staff have clear job descriptions which detail the required qualifications and competences for each post in school. All staff have an extensive Continuous Professional Development programme related to the demands of their role and the needs of the pupils whom they are allocated to support.

Teachers and teaching assistants have undertaken ongoing specialist CPD in a wide range of areas. Training is strategically planned in collaboration with health care professionals to ensure that it aligns with the needs of our pupils and the School Development Plan. It also aligns with statutory guidance. There is a shared awareness of, and commitment to ensuring that staff skills and competences remain up to date.

Other staff continue to gain a range of certificates to mark their commitment to courses such as Higher-Level Teaching Assistant, Paediatric First Aid. The school Lead for CPD is the Deputy Headteacher, Sharon Kettleborough, and staff are proactively encouraged to discuss their own CPD needs and opportunities as a vital aspect of their performance management.

We commit to maintaining our school competences in key aspects of the curriculum provision, having qualified staff within school for courses such as MOVE, Moving and Handling, and a developing range of PE and Sport provision such as Rebound and Jabadao, Forest School, MATP and swimming.

Training in eating and drinking skills is offered for all school staff through the Speech and Language Therapy Sevice (NHS). There is a multi-disciplinary approach to the identification and review of eating and drinking needs, this team consists of school staff and health colleagues (Speech and Language Therapy, Special School Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Dietician. Students who are identified as having and eating and drinking need are assessed and provided with an Eating and Drinking Plan which is reviewed regularly.

We deliver regular Safeguarding training to all staff which complies with statutory requirements.

How accessible is The Dales School?

Our school is largely accessible, on one level, with ramps and hoists as required. We have changing facilities for children who require personal and intimate care support. The school has invested in a wide range of accessible equipment, particularly regarding IT, curriculum resources and equipment, and a hydrotherapy pool. We continue to review and enhance curriculum resources in response to the new curriculum developments across the key stages as and when the changes are implemented and to ensure that we remain robust in our ability to meet the specific needs of all pupils.
Our SEND policy details the wide range of provision for our children including the range of equipment and facilities for children in order to meet the full range and breadth of needs. This policy can be found on this website and is reviewed annually.

Family Involvement with the school

We hope to meet new parents at the stage when they are deciding which school is their preferred choice for their child, when they are warmly welcomed to a visit to the school. Ongoing communication with parents and families is key to supporting each new pupil to settle in well and to support our initial assessment and identification of Personalised Learning Intentions.

Parents are highly valued as key contributors to their child’s holistic development and as such are invited to the school or to participate virtually in the target setting and assessment process which includes their child’s Annual Review meeting, which is a person-centred process, following the Helen Sanderson and Associates methodology. Families receive regular communication through home school planners and by telephone. Parents also have access and contribute to the school’s online portal, Tapestry, which enables them to access home learning resources and to have up to date information about their child / young person’s learning and progress. Parents also receive termly updates on their child’s MAPP progress and new targets, and an Annual Report each July.

For further information this website is regularly updated with upcoming events, the school has a Facebook page, and we produce termly class newsletters at the beginning of each term, and the Daleslink celebrates pupils’ engagement, learning and achievements at the end of each term. For any further information please contact the school office.

How we consult with and involve young people about their education at The Dales School.

All children and young people in our school are treated with dignity and respect. There is full personalisation for the curriculum for each pupil in order that they can access appropriate learning and experience success throughout their school life and their voice is captured in our daily provision via their engagement in learning opportunities, choice making and other aspects of provision.

The School Council are a democratically elected body of pupils who represent and advocate on behalf of their peers regarding a number of aspects of school and community life.

In addition, the assessment and annual review process of Education Health and Care Plans captures the choices and views of pupils/students.

What are the arrangements made by the governing body for dealing with complaints from parents/carers of pupils/students in relation to the provision made at The Dales School?

The complaints procedure is available on this website.

How does the governing body involve others – including health, social services, local authority services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils/students at The Dales School and in supporting their families?

The governing body are aware of the wide range of staff working together within the school to support the children, young people and their families. The governing body consists of professionals with a range of appropriate skills and knowledge, and they provide a consistent monitoring of practice to ensure that children and families’ voices are captured, and all pupils’ needs are met.

The process of reporting to the governing body ensures that they are informed of the relationships with other stakeholders and the effective collaborations in place at school.

Classroom staff are employed directly by the school. This includes teachers, teaching assistants and pupil support assistants. When required, agency staff are recruited on a short-term cover basis, and we work closely with approved agencies to ensure that agency staff have the prerequisite skills and competences to support the class team. Administrative staff are also employed by the school.

Other professionals work for a range of agencies – some work from within the school for an allocated amount of time during the school week, others have office bases elsewhere and work in liaison with school, attending meetings and sessions in school when necessary.

Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists are employees of Harrogate and District Health Trust. All these professionals regularly visit school, training and advising staff and working with children and young people who are on their case load and in close collaboration with school staff to support best holistic outcomes. Home to School Transport is organised by the Local Authority.

There are social workers for children/young people with disabilities who are employed by the Local Authority.

All contact numbers for the above support services, are available from school. If families have a query relating to these areas it is best to contact the professionals directly. This ensures that any communication from families is dealt with in the most efficient way.

What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils/students in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood?

All transitions are well planned for throughout school as children and students move from class to class and phase to phase. Parents always have the opportunity to meet the new teacher and class staff as a key aspect of the transition process towards the end of each academic year and in preparation for the next year.

Students are increasingly supported in planning for their transition from school to adult life. Our Specialist Careers Adviser and the Social Care Service work with pupils in school to get to know them and to advise both pupils and parents/ carers regarding provision after leaving The Dales School.

Where is the information on the North Yorkshire local offer published?