St. Bartholomew's School (Academy)
Last updated: 06/10/2021
St Bartholomew's School is an inclusive school of 1917 students, which includes 585 in the open access Sixth Form. The school, which has purpose-built, state-of-the-art accommodation, is situated in the heart of Newbury and has Academy status. The school values every individual equally and aims for them to fulfil their potential now and in later life.
The strong House system enables the school to be inclusive, with a flexible curriculum, differentiated approaches to learning and the acquisition of skills with an ethos which values difference and thrives on respect as a principle value.
St Bartholomew's has strong links with Primary schools, Secondary partners and post 16 providers. A strength of the school is the well established and strong links with a wide range of other agencies.
Who to contact
Where to go
- St Bartholomew's School
- RG14 6JP
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Daily, Monday to Friday in term time
- Time of day
- Local Offer Age Bands
12 to 14
15 to 16
16 to 18
- 1.1: How does the school identify children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?
All students are screened on their arrival at the school to identify any special educational needs and disabilities. There may be further testing of specific needs as required.
Those students previously identified with special educational needs at Primary School will have this highlighted as part of the transition process.
Staff constantly monitor students in their Tutor group and teaching classes to ensure that there are no barriers to learning and progress.
- 1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?
Parents with concerns for their child should contact the Tutor, SENDCO, Deputy SENDCO or Deputy Headteacher, Student Progress, Inclusion and Teaching & Learning, to discuss their concerns further.
A partnership approach is central to the school ethos.
1. Identification of SEND
- 2.1: If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?
Students identified as having SEND, will often have a key worker, who will work closely with the student and parents / carers. This is likely to be the Form Tutor, member of the House team, or a Teaching Assistant.
The key worker will be overseen by the SENDCO or Deputy SENDCO. They may also at times, take on the role of Key Worker, and will be a point of contact for all families, seeking further support.
- 2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?
Parents / carers will be informed in writing of additional support put in place for their child. Where this is a structured programme or intervention put in place to support a specific area of weakness / concern; information will be sent home at the start and end, in order to share the progress made.
Where referrals are made to agencies working with the school, parents / carers will usually be fully involved with the process.
Some available support will commence with a meeting with parents / carers. This may be at school or in the family home.
- 2.3: How will the school balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?
All students are supported to develop growing independence as they progress their learning journey through school. The differentiated curriculum means that each student can progress at a rate appropriate to their individual needs.
Independent behaviours for students with SEND will be modelled and supported by staff who know each student well. Careful monitoring and additional input will also be used.
- 2.4: How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child's needs?
St Bartholomew's has a flexible and creative approach to learning, building on the strengths and interests of individuals throughout the school, years 7 - 13 inclusive.
The curriculum includes courses which are accredited at various levels offering individual challenge across a wide range of subjects. The opportunity for students to gain wider skills and experiences through non-accredited courses is also part of the curriculum and includes the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), available to students in years 7 - 13.
- 2.5: What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?
The modern accommodation of the school means that we are able to support learning with technology that is at the forefront of educational thinking.
Those students with mobility difficulties are catered for by elevators giving access to all areas of the school, whilst teaching spaces are fully equipped to support those using a wheelchair or other aid.
Sensory difficulties are also well supported within the well thought out intent and implementation of the curriculum.
The inclusive delivery of learning within this structure means that Teachers, Tutors and all those in the school community who support learning are fully trained to plan work in order to suit individual needs and enable all students to meet their potential.
- 2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?
The school supports a range of additional posts in order to ensure the continuation of high quality learning for all students at St Bartholomew's. Significant resources are invested in the House system and in the Personalised Learning Faculty.
Fully trained Teaching Assistants
A fully qualified and supervised School Counsellor.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA's)
Qualified higher level Teaching Assistants in specialist areas of Literacy, Numeracy and ASD.
Behaviour and Inclusion Officer
Staff trained in Mental health First Aid
Staff trained to fully assess and support all aspects of learning difficulties.
- 2.7: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / Title Intervention Type Literacy support - Spelling, reading, comprehension. Numeracy support. Phonic development Handwriting improvement Social skills for specific areas of need - ASD / ADHD etc Emotional Literacy support Counselling Self esteem Diagnostic testing Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties support Anxiety screening Careers guidance Health support Educational Psychology One to one Literacy support Numeracy support. Handwriting improvement Social skills groups Self esteem groups Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties support Anxiety support Careers guidance Health support Small group
- 2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?
The school provides a wide range of resources and equipment required by students in order to be fully inclusive.
- Technological Hardware: laptops, netbooks, iPads, tablets, Alphasmarts, Smart pens
- Programs: Claro Read and Communicate in Print, text to speech and predictive text software. Dragon, speech to text software.
- Flexible off-site learning: Work Experience, skills acquisition, therapeutic input.
- Wider Agency Support: The school works effectively in strong partnerships with families and a range of other agencies.
- Provision of on-line learning where appropriate.
- 2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?
The school works with students who require a modified experience of formal examinations in order to give of their best.
Two fully qualified staff are able to assess and implement a range of strategies appropriate to the individual needs of the student, in accordance with National Guidelines. This may range from extra time, ICT, rest breaks, a prompt, an amanuensis, a scribe and / or the provision of a smaller room in which to sit an examination.
2. Support for children with special educational needs
- 3.1: How will the school monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?
The progress of all students is tracked on three occasions during the academic year, and the results shared with parents / carers. This will take the form of reports from subject teachers and the Form Tutor.
Form Tutors are the first point of contact for further discussion.
In addition, parents evenings are scheduled in the annual school calendar, with a subject hotline being available for conversations with subject teachers.
- 3.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?
Aspirational targets are agreed with students as they reach examination years. These are recorded and monitored on each report. The rate of progress made by each student, measured against clearly defined expectations are also part of the colour-coded reporting system.
- 3.3: ln addition to the school's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child's progress with school staff?
Annual Parents Evenings and a subject hotline available throughout the year enable conversations to be held with subject teachers as required.
Where parents have a concern of a more general nature the Form Tutor and House Office would be the first points of contact.
- 3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?
Annual Parents Evenings
Information events in Years 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
Informal opportunities at one of the many social events on the school calendar.
At any point when the need arises contact between home and school may be initiated by either home or school.
- 3.5: How can I help support my child's learning?
The school is keen to work in partnership with parents in order to ensure effective learning for students.
Attendance at school events such as Information Evenings, Parents Evenings
Being fully informed and involved in your child's education by looking at exercise books, talking through the school day, joining the Parents Association (PA) and attending informal events in the school calendar.
Encouraging your child to involve themselves in the wealth of extra curricular opportunities in order to increase skills and engagement in learning would also be an advantage.
Discussing the reports with your child would also be encouraged.
- 3.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child's learning, eg. training or learning events?
The school is able to provide supportive information to any parents / carers as it is required.
In addition there are a number of events scheduled in the annual school calendar, which aim to support parental engagement in support of student learning
Information evenings - specific to year groups and at key points of transition in the educational journey.
Specific meetings in preparation for educational visits and exchanges will also enable parents / carers to increase the learning of each opportunity.
Opportunities to work with your child and to engage in learning together are also offered during term time after school.
- 3.7: How will my child's views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?
The 'student voice' is an important part of the school ethos and is sought in both individuals and groups.
Tutors and Learning Mentors will discuss support and progress with a student, make changes and set targets. In class support and progress is reviewed with the class teacher in order to set targets specific to a subject.
Tutors will engage the student in self reflection and will support the development of strategies to further improve progress and to address any areas where further improvement is required. This may involve further discussions with House staff , the SENCO and other Senior Staff.
Team around the Child meetings are also a frequent feature of school support, where an advocate may be used to support the Student input.
- 3.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?
The school offers a diverse range of courses appropriate to support and challenge each student.
Accredited courses include GCSE, BTEC's including levels 1 - 3, Vocational qualifications, Functional Skills courses, Entry level qualifications and those which are subject specific including foreign languages, food hygiene and those linked to skills gained in the Combined Cadet Force.
The school also hosts Berkshire Maestros, and as such the acquistion of music qualifications have easy access to students at St Bartholomew's.
The Duke Of Edinburghs Award Scheme is also available to all students.
- 3.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?
Every Faculty area in the school is overseen and regularly reviewed by a member of the Leadership Team. The external support of experts is also sought in this process.
A self evaluation document is constructed by each Head of Faculty. This is also regularly reviewed through discussion with staff and line managers.
Focus groups are formed from students in House / Year groups who are then invited to respond to key questions. This valuable feedback is then used as part of the evaluation and improvement process.
3. My child's progress
- 4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?
Emotional Literacy and support for anxious students are key aspects of the support provided for students throughout the school. Guidance from and interactive work with other agencies strengthens all programmes.
Specific support from the Cognition and Learning Team, the West Berks SEND team, Educational Psychology and Specialist Advisory Teachers are all called upon at times to support and assist the school to meet student needs.
- 4.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?
Support for the specific needs of children, including those with behavioural difficulties is approached in an individual way. Close working with families and a clear behaviour policy, including access to rewards for 'getting it right' are a strong feature of the school.
Extensive assessments to identify barriers to learning, emotional support and close working with a range of agencies seek to address any underlying issues which may be triggering poor behaviour.
The involvement of families working in conjunction with the school to share targets and agree rewards through close and effective partnership working is a strength of the school.
Pastoral Support Programmes are often used to structure clear support for the student.
- 4.3: What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?
First aid and emotional support is located in the four House offices. Medicines are also stored here in strict accordance with the stated policy of the school.
The school Nurse and Educational Psychologist are frequent visitors to the school and provide support with Personal Care Plans
Staff receive training in medical support as student need demands.
- 4.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
Medicines are stored in the House offices in temperatures as required by the medicines. Controlled medicines are stored securely in the School Medical Room.
Those which are required by a student during the school day on a regular / needs basis are stored appropriately. The required dosage is noted in writing by the parent / carer and signed off by the student when the dose is issued by House staff.
The House office also holds a spare epi-pen for each student who may suffer from anaphalactic shock. All staff receive annual training in the use of epi- pens.
Crash boxes for diabetics are also held by the student's House office.
- 4.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc?
Teaching Assistants receive appropriate training as required to support the needs of students.
Support with eating is provided through modelling by staff who eat with students in the school dining hall.
Alternative eating arrangements are made where necessary.
4. Support for my childs overall well being
- 5.1: What SEN support services does the school use, eg. specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?
The school has an excellent working relationship with support services, including Specialist Advisory Teachers, The Educational Psychology Team, sensory support workers, ASD Advisory teachers, Childrens Services, CAMH's, School Nurses, The Education Welfare Service and many others.
- 5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?
When parents feel that support is needed from an agency external to the school, they should contact the SENDCO or Deputy Headteacher, Student Progress, Inclusion and Teaching & Learning
- 5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?
A number of staff are qualified in providing support for students with needs in speech, language and communication.
In addition support needed in this area is also provided by the Disabled Children's Team within West Berkshire Council.
- 5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?
Referrals are made by the SENDCO for speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy where the student has a statement or Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC). in all other cases, parents who believe that such a referral would be useful to their child should contact their GP.
- 5.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children's Social Care services?
Liaison with Children's Services is undertaken by the Assistant Headteacher, Learning and Achievement at KS3.
Any parent wishing to discuss this further should contact the Assistant Headteacher, Learning and Achievement at KS3
- 6.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?
Teaching staff are fully trained and receive regular updates in providing differentiated access to the curriculum. Some staff also have specific qualifications related to areas of SEND.
- 6.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?
Teaching Assistants receive regular training and updates in SEND.
Many have taken additional qualifications in speech and language, ASD, dyslexia and literacy / numeracy support.
- 6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?
Teachers working within Personalised Learning hold specific and high level qualifications in SEND.
Regular training and attendance at professional Conferences ensure that knowledge and the membership of professional groups are maintained. Many of these qualifications are critical to the validity of testing for diagnostic screening and the allocation of access arrangements to qualifying students.
- 6.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?
All teaching Assistants are trained and receive regular updates in a range of areas covered by SEND.
Many hold a level 3 qualification in Speech, Language and Communication. Some hold a qualification as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
Three Teaching Assistants are fully qualified Teachers.
The specialist ASD Teaching Assistant holds a Diploma in Working to Support students with ASD.
The School Counsellor is fully qualified.
The Deputy SENDCO has APC Approved Practising Certificate Level 7, Teaching and Assessing students with SPLD, and Counselling Skills Diploma.
The SENDCO has completed a Masters qualification in the area of SEND.
- 7.1: How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?
The inclusion of students in activities and on a school trip is always based on a risk assessment. Where strategies can be employed to reduce any risk, through adaptations and / or increased staffing; these will be employed in order to ensure that the trip is as inclusive as possible.
Where there are particular difficulties, including those of a medical and / or physical nature and those where emotional well-being is critical; the parents / carers are always invited to plan with the school in order to ensure success for the student.
- 7.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?
From the point at which a student expresses a wish to attend a school visit or trip - where this is optional; the parent / carer is fully involved in planning a solution to the problems encountered.
Often, where difficulties are encountered the parent / carer is able to provide a key piece of support in ensuring that the trip / visit is fully inclusive.
- 8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
The school is fully accessible for students with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users.
The purpose built accommodation includes wide halls and doorways and three elevators. This excellent provision is extended to toilet, changing and shower facilities.
- 8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?
Auditory provision is excellent with hearing loops built into key areas of the school.
The visual environment is supportive with clear use of colour and simple signing to ensure that staff and students are able to navigate through the school with ease and independence.
Where parents / carers have disabilities, staff use appropriate methods to communicate with them, often using technology to remove barriers.
- 8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?
All changing and toilet facilities are fully accessible.
- 8.4: How do you ensure that all the school's facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?
The commitment to a school which is fully inclusive and accessible to all students, including those with SEND; began with the first stroke of the Architects pencil in designing St Bartholomew's School.
Consultation with specialists across all areas of SEND, ensured that the building is fully compliant and adaptable to all needs presented by students, staff and the local community.
These high standards are kept under regular review in order to ensure that these high standards are maintained.
- 8.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?
The school understands the disabilities of parents / carers and removes the barriers as appropriate.
Examples include telephone calls / voicemail for those with visual disabilities.
Text messaging for those with auditory disabilities.
Wheelchair spaces for attendance at performances / presentations in the hall are provided in advance, with reserved seating for those attending with the disabled person.
- 8.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?
Where a language other than English is required, written translations are provided for reports, letters etc.
Where speech is required we try our best to provide linguistic support from our own resources or an interpreter as required.
- 9.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?
An excellent transition programme is provided for students joining the school. This includes St Bartholomew's Staff visiting the student at their current school, welcome visits by House group for the whole family and individually for the student, as well as additional SEND Y6 transition visits being implemented where there is a need to do so.
A Summer School Scheme is also available each year in order to ensure positive integration at the start of each year.
- 9.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?
At all transition points a very thorough process of information and guidance is provided to students and parents / carers. Much is provided to groups of parents, with the school supporting and encouraging additional questioning in order to address individual needs.
Sixth Form students have an induction day to support integration and to provide greater understanding of course requirements to ensure that they made the right choices.
Throughout their time at St Bartholomew's, students are working towards independence and the next stage of their education. Every student has access to an excellent careers programme. This may include online assessment opportunities to guide career planning and / or 1:1 / small group discussions with an advisor.
- 9.3: How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school?
Close liaison with Adviza and parents ensures that 'next steps' are planned with careful consideration to outcomes and intended pathways.
Where a student moves on to another school, further education, and / or employment with training there is close liaison and a sharing of records.
References are always available to support students, often being issued many years after they have left the school.
- 9.4: How will you support a new school to prepare for my child?
By thorough sharing of educational records, being available to answer specific questions and to talk through the softer aspects that would be helpful in supporting a student to have a successful transition to a new school.
The emotional support for a student leaving a close friendship group is also shared sensitively and as required by the individual concerned.
- 9.5: What information will be provided to my child's new school?
Electronic files will be shared as required by the School Admissions protocol.
Student files will also be sent on to a named person at the new school.
Any information relating to safeguarding will also be shared between Designated Safeguarding Officers.
- 9.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?
Students are prepared for the transition to further education by supporting each student's journey as an independent learner with sound research and study skills.
The transition to employment with training would also require skills of independence and those of a team worker. The school provides all students with opportunities to develop and progress these skills.
In all cases transition is supported by broad based guidance and information from a wide range of sources, appropriate to the needs of the student, and monitored by school staff working closely with individual students.
- 10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?
If a parent has a concern about their child, please contact:
- Mrs J Hale, SENDCO.
- Mrs J Wheeler, Deputy SENDCO
- Dr D Fitter, Deputy Headteacher, Student Progress, Inclusion and Teaching & Learning
- 10.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)
Further support is available through the House Progress and Achievement Managers. There are also trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, a School Counsellor and a Behaviour and Inclusion Officer.
- 10.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?
Sign posting to other agencies is made via the Deputy Headteacher, Student Progress, Inclusion and Teaching & Learning
This would include CAMHs, Childrens Services, Family Intervention Team, Educational Psychology and voluntary agencies including Mencap, PALs and many others relating to specific areas of SEND.
- 10.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?
Compliments are always warmly welcomed and can be sent to the school in writing, or by email to the general school address, or to the Sixth Form Office or to a specific teacher / House member.
Voicemails may also be left for specific staff.
Communication with home is at least weekly for 'key' students
Feedback is routinely requested by using a questionnaire / online survey issued to all parents / carers online / in hard copy as appropriate to each family.
A formal complaints policy is available to all parents / carers via the school website.
5. Specialist services available / accessed by the school
6. Training of school staff in SEND
7. Activities outside the classroom including school trips
8. Accessibility of the school environment
9. Preparing my child to join a new school / next stage of education
10. Who can I contact to discuss my child?
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