Castle Manor Academy is a mainstream 11-19 secondary school which educates children and young people with a wide variety of learning needs. We strongly believe that through high quality classroom teaching all children can be supported and challenged to make the best possible progress. Our subject specialist staff recognise the differing needs of their students and understand many of the possible barriers to learning. Through tailoring and differentiation, we aim to make sure that the needs of all students within the classroom and wider school are met. 

Our SENCO is Mrs J Beaton.

If a student is learning at a significantly slower rate than age-related expectations, or if they have a disability which acts as a barrier to their educational progress and attainment, then they are considered to have a Special Educational Need.

Students identified with SEND that need support over and above that which is normally available to students in the classroom through high quality teaching and differentiation are termed 'SEND Support'. Students with additional SEND needs that are effectively supported within the classroom and require no additional intervention will continue to be monitored on the Additional Needs register. Parents will be informed if their child or young person is being monitored for SEND.

Special Educational Needs are grouped into 4 main categories of need;

  • Communication and interaction (e.g.: Autism, Aspergers or speech and language needs)
  • Cognition and learning (e.g.: Moderate and Severe learning difficulties, Profound and Multiple learning difficulties, and specific needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia)
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (e.g.: Mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression, or ADD, ADHD or attachment disorder)
  • Sensory and/or physical (e.g.: Disabilities that hinders or prevents them from using the facilities normally provided, for example: Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, a Multi-sensory impairment or specific physical disability)

SEND will be identified by reviewing report cards and school tracking data over a period of time, and where appropriate, supported by evidence from additional testing and through focussed classroom observation. Subject teachers and/or the tutor team will work with parents and the student in the first instance to address any concerns, referring to the SENDco if it is felt that they require more support than is provided in the classroom through high quality teaching and differentiation. 

Some learners will need to access to additional support to help them make progress. Support can be provided in many different ways, and subject teachers and the SENDco will work with the student and parents to determine what is the best approach to take.

Support might be provided within classroom or in small groups led by a teacher, learning intervention officer or a learning assistant. It may be for a short or longer period of time and will be regularly monitored by the class teachers and SENCo through a cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' which typically lasts 6 weeks (a half term) in the first instance. Staff will work with parents and the child or young person to plan support and they will be informed about the interventions offered and how they are making progress.

At Castle Manor Academy, we follow The SEND Code of Practice which is the legal framework for supporting students with SEND. This states that we have to take a 'graduated approach' to providing support, making necessary adjustments to the way that we teach and support our students as far as is possible within our resources.  We use the term 'waves' to show the level of support that a student might have. 

Quality first teaching

Subject teachers plan for all students within their class, taking account of their targets and any additional needs. Teachers consider their seating carefully, the resources that are used, methods of communication with students, pace of lessons and home learning.

Wave 1

The class teacher, academic tutor or learning intervention officer will discuss progress with the child/ young person and their parents and plan to provide additional support within the classroom, to help secure progress and to close gaps in learning. Support will be closely monitored by the subject teacher following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. If no progress is made or further strategies are needed, they will discuss next steps with the SENDCo. Parents will be informed about any outcomes and next steps will be planned with the student's involvement.

Wave 2

The class teacher, academic tutor or learning intervention officer, with the SENDCo, may plan extra interventions to support learning if it is felt that a learner needs different or additional support than what is happening within the classroom. This support could be, for example, extra support from a learning support assistant or learning intervention officer. This provision will be discussed and planned with the child/ young person and their parents and progress will be monitored by the staff in conjunction with the SENDCo in the form of a Support and Success Plan. Support will be closely monitored by the subject teacher and SENDco following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. At this point, if the student requires support over and above that which is normally provided, they will be added to the school's 'SEND Support' register. 

In a very small number of cases, it might be suggested that a student receives very specialist small-group intervention. This is usually considered for Key Stage Three students (years 7, 8 or 9) who continue to find it more difficult to access the curriculum alongside their peer group, or who find transition to the secondary phase more challenging than other children of the same age.

Students are considered for intensive intervention if more than one cycle of quality first teaching and/or Wave 1 and 2 interventions have not been successful, or if they have a specific diagnosis that has specialist recommendation for small-group provision. The group is staffed by a very experienced teacher of SEND, the SENDco and SEND Support Staff, and the curriculum is tailored to the specific needs of the students currently attending the intervention. Students tend to receive their English, Maths, Science and Humanities lessons within the support base and attend arts, technology-based subjects, PE and tutor groups with their peers. Transition back to a fully integrated timetable is a key part of the intensive intervention with social and emotional needs considered at every stage.

At Key Stage 4 (years 10-11) some students with SEND will have a tailored curriculum with a balanced course-load for GCSE. Extra Study sessions will be provided for those who need additional support over and above classroom differentiation and may be provided in the support base.

Wave 3

If a child or young person continues to make little or no progress over a sustained period of time, the SENDCo will seek advice from outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapists or the Educational Psychologist. In this case, the child or young person and their parents will be asked to discuss the next steps at a meeting and asked to give written consent for external agencies to work with their child. The external agencies and the school will then work together to plan the best ways to provide support. Support will be closely monitored by the SENDco following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle. If the school feels that the student requires additional provision and external support over the long term (usually one or more Key Stages) then it might be appropriate to consider and Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). This is a legal document that outlines the needs of the student, and the provision and strategies that will be put in place by the wider team working with that child or young person. 

The Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) puts parents, children, young people and families at the very centre of the assessment and planning process, to make sure that their views and wishes are not only heard but also understood and acted upon. It is a statutory recognition that a child or young person needs specific long-term support in their learning. The EHCP is for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities and where an assessment of education, health and social care needs has been agreed by a multi-agency group of professionals and passed by Suffolk County Council. Parents as well as the child or young person themselves are able to request that they are assessed for an EHCP as well as the school. 

Further independent advice should be sought from SENDIASS:


  • Mrs J Beaton

    SENCO; Designated Safeguarding Deputy