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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Local Offer

Fordwater is an all age (2-19 years) special school for children with complex learning difficulties. These include children with autism, profound and multiple learning difficulties, epilepsy, complex medical needs, visual and hearing impairments, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy. Fordwater School provides an inclusive, challenging and caring environment for pupils with complex needs. The school has a palpable atmosphere of positive enthusiasm and warmth. Success is celebrated at every small step and pupils, staff and parents are valued, listened to and engaged with. A dedicated and specialist staff team work hard to create an environment where every child feels valued and supported. “The relationships between staff and children are very positive and supportive. The environment is both caring and stimulating and there is an atmosphere and a tangible ethos of striving for everyone to do their best.” (Inclusion Quality Mark) All children who attend Fordwater will have an Education, Health and Care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs and are placed by the Local Authority (LA). Children who live over 3 miles from the school will be transported to school by the LA. The catchment area covered by Fordwater includes Chichester, Bognor Regis including Felpham & Middleton on Sea, Arundel and north to Fernhurst and Liphook.

Our Aim

To provide a safe, exciting and challenging learning environment where everyone can flourish.

We believe that all pupils are entitled to:-

  • high quality teaching and learning experiences
  • a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum differentiated to their needs
  • a learning environment which respects the individual, is sympathetic to their needs as learners and is secure, happy and stimulating

We are committed to and will endeavour to:-

  • provide high quality education in an appropriate secure, happy and stimulating environment, which is broad, balanced and relevant to their needs
  • value and develop pupils’ strengths and skills
  • raise pupils’ self esteem and personal autonomy in order that they may become valued members of their current and future communities
  • promote inclusivity by developing positive community relationships
  • develop and maintain partnership with parents
  • develop, fulfil and monitor individual potential

Our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN&D) Offer

We believe every pupil is unique and special and deserves the best educational opportunities. We facilitate this by providing a safe, exciting and challenging learning environment created by a specialist, hardworking and dedicated staff team. The Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan outlines the particular needs of your child and recommends the resources, teaching programmes and multi-agency involvement related to meeting these needs. We focus on removing barriers to learning both seen and unseen through:

Staff training

We have an ongoing in-house and external programme of staff training which includes statutory training. This broadens and develops professional skills so that the learning environment can be constantly enhanced. Training includes:

  • Masters qualifications in Autism, Learning Difficulties and PMLD, Post Graduate Diplomas in Learning Difficulties and Challenging Behaviour
  • Team Teach training for all staff
  • First Aid training for all staff
  • Moving & Handling for all staff
  • Supporting Pupils’ Medical Needs
  • TEACCH – providing a structured environment and individual pupil assessment and programmes to maximise learning
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. These include the use of switches, symbols and signing to name a few.
  • In-Service & external training in: Rebound Therapy; Down Syndrome; Autism; Hearing Impairments and Visual Impairments; Multi sensory impairment

Working together

We believe that it is vital that we work with parents and carers to ensure the best possible education for their children. We work closely together through:

  • Review meetings and all other meetings involving their children, when parents/ carers can discuss their child’s progress with key staff
  • All pupils have a Home-School book which ensures daily communication with parents/ carers
  • We hold an annual Open Evening to which all are invited and an annual parent/carer questionnaire
  • We have a Parent Teacher Association and parent representation on the Governing Body; we also have regular parent/ carer coffee mornings
  • Family and friends are regularly invited to attend performances and other social functions
  • Family Learning courses are run regularly eg Autism and Makaton
  • If at any point you wish to discuss a pupil’s progress an appointment can be made to meet with the class teacher or a member of the Senior Leadership team.
  • Pupil voice is important ; we have a School Council which represents pupil views; regular pupil questionnaires; pupil involvement in setting curriculum targets where appropriate
  • Our Governing body meets regularly and members are closely involved in monitoring effectiveness of provision, observing classes and attending training

Multi agency working

To get the best from their education, our pupils need to be secure, comfortable and happy. Much of our work is to make sure that underlying issues such as communication, posture, seating, mobility and confidence are addressed. Our team includes:

  • a full time School Nurse who ensures all a pupil’s medical needs are addressed
  • a team of Physiotherapists who work with the pupil, the family and the class team to put the right programmes in place
  • Speech and Language therapists who support all the pupil’s communication needs and a regional Makaton tutor
  • an Occupational Therapist who supports the school with the correct resources such as slings and helps address sensory issues
  • Wheelchair Services and Orthotics clinics
  • Advisory teachers for the Hearing and Visually impaired
  • Educational and Clinical Psychologists to support behaviour management and address underlying issues
  • regular Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings for many pupils
  • Schools Career Service to support the pupil’s transition to the next phase of learning
  • Moving & Handling trainers

Appropriate and relevant curriculum

We aim to provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which is challenging, appropriate and differentiated for individual needs.

  • The Early Years department follows the EYFS curriculum, focussing on early learning goals
  • KS1/KS2/KS3 classes follow a curriculum based on the National curriculum adapted as appropriate
  • KS4 is a transition stage when the curriculum is both class based and functional
  • In KS5 the focus is on developing the life skills they will need when they leave school. Our curriculum in KS5 includes attendance at local FE colleges, work experience and specialist providers in the adult community.
  • All our teachers are curriculum co-ordinators for different subject areas and they work collaboratively to update the Schemes of Work and to keep abreast of DfE changes to the curriculum
  • Our off-site visits are designed to enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for all our pupils and provide a wider range of experiences as well as promoting the independence of our pupils as learners
  • We run after school clubs which include sports activities and swimming; we also have an annual Camping Week when all our older pupils camp overnight in the school grounds, supported by staff
  • All visits and activities are risk assessed to ensure they are appropriate for individual pupils

Assessment and Evaluation of effectiveness of provision

  • Every child has a class teacher who oversees the implementation of the EHCP or Statement. The class teacher, in consultation with parents at the Annual Review meeting will set targets for your child and these will be outlined in the Individual Education Plan which is shared with all the staff who are working with your child and with you as the parent/carer as well as with the child, where appropriate.
  • Individual Education Plans are evaluated termly to assess the effectiveness and impact of the planned provision
  • The use of additional money through pupil premium, Primary Sports funding etc. is targeted at specific groups and the impact of this on pupil achievement is reported.
  • Teachers assess pupils at the end of each term and progress is tracked to ensure effectiveness of provision with interventions being introduced if appropriate.

Specialist Learning Environment

In any group of pupils, you will find a range of physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills and abilities. No two pupils have the same strengths and challenges. Classrooms in an inclusive school may have pupils with a wider range of skills and abilities than in traditional classrooms, but staff and pupils respect, support and build on those diverse needs and strengths. In order to meet this wide range of needs we provide:

  • access; all areas of the school including toilet and changing facilities, are fully wheelchair accessible
  • space including withdrawal rooms
  • sensory awareness; some of the pupils need calm, clear environments, others need lots of sensory stimulation
  • specialist rooms, light and dark rooms, soft play and play barn
  • hydrotherapy pool
  • overhead hoists and tracking
  • a safe and secure environment

New admissions and Transition

We recognise that these are times when parents/ carers need information and support and we try to make these big stages as stress-free as possible:-

  • Admissions to the school are determined by the local authority and it is their responsibility to ensure that the provision meets the needs of your child as identified in the Statement or ECHP. Parents are very welcome to visit the school as part of this process.
  • We have close links with the Portage service so that parents/ carers of young children can visit and discuss their needs
  • Home visits are made by Early Years staff to young children before they start so the family have some idea of what to expect when they start in their new class.
  • Transition planning is a vital part of the annual review process from year 9 onwards. Parents and pupils meet their Careers advisor regularly and all students have the opportunity throughout KS5 to benefit from college links and specialist adult providers in order that pupils can familiarise themselves with the settings

Specialist Teaching

Pupils with complex learning difficulties need to have teaching adjusted to meet their individual needs. Personalised learning demands that schools transform their response to the pupils from the largely standardised to the profoundly personalised. If pupils are to engage in deeper learning, they need new forms of enriched support and we provide this through:

  • small groups with high staff ratios
  • personalised programmes
  • use of minimal speech
  • Objects of Reference
  • Visual Timetables
  • Makaton/Tassels
  • Intensive Interaction
  • Extension groups in the Further Education Department for the most able
  • many other specialist approaches
  • where appropriate we provide 1:1 support so that individual pupils can flourish

Fordwater’s Local Offer was co-produced by a group of parents, staff and governors.