special educational needs & disability (send)

Welcome to Darrick Wood School. We are the largest single trust academy in the London Borough of Bromley. We also currently hold the largest cohort of EHCPs, nearing 80 in total. We manage this large cohort with patience, care and empathy.

At Darrick Wood School, we are grateful to have a skilled workforce that has specialisms in a variety of areas of SEND.

Staff

Mrs V Hodgson – Assistant Head Teacher and SENCo

Mrs Hodgson holds a BA Hons in Social Anthropology, The University of Kent, as well as PGCE and NASENCO qualifications, from the Institute of Education, University of London. She has worked with children with SEND throughout her whole teaching career, based in both Inner- and Outer-London schools, over the past thirteen years. Her area of specialism is children with social communication barriers. Mrs Hodgson has been at Darrick Wood School for almost four years and has made significant changes on how to School develops children who have a SEND need, introducing The Learning Hubs, tailoring interventions and training LSAs on how to deliver quality assistance using MITA methodology (Institute of Education, Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants | MITA (maximisingtas.co.uk)). Mrs Hodgson has also had the responsibility of training ECTs across the borough and has produced a pedological framework for this cohort on the area of autism. Previously, she held an secondment with the London Borough of Bromley’s Behavioural Outreach Team, assisting with advice, guidance and mentoring to secondary schools in the local area.

Mr J Johnson – Deputy SENCo

Mr Johnson studied English Literature and Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, before gaining his PGCE in English Literature and Language at Goldsmiths, University of London. Now in his sixth year of working in education, Mr Johnson has previously taught mainstream English, led a speech and language impairment unit, and set-up the English provision for children with SEND at an Inner-London school. He joined Darrick Wood School in 2021 as the SEND Teacher and is now the Deputy SENCo.

Mrs A Guest – Deputy SENCo

Mrs Guest studied History, Art History and Classics at the
University of Manchester, before gaining a PGCE in History teaching from the
Institute of Education, University of London. She started her teaching career
at Darrick Wood School in 2011 as a History Teacher. She has since held the
positions of Second in Charge of History and Head of the History Department.
Her passion for teaching SEND students at Darrick Wood has led to her joining
the SEND Department as Deputy SENCO in 2023.

SEND Provisions

Academic SEND Provisions

We have a large provision to offer to all students who attend Darrick Wood School, as part of our universal, targeted and specialist support.

Cognition and Learning Provision

With almost two hundred children on our SEND register having this need, we employ a variety of targeted interventions to support children. We have an SpLD tutor who works with children with low reading and spellings standardised scores. There are reading and phonic programs that are run within our SEND department for two full days a week. Morning interventions are also run by Champion LSAs to support children who have a reading or writing need.

Communication and Language / Sensory Provision

We commission a Speech and Language Therapist for two days a week, and Speech and Language LSA who assists in the running a variety of interventions across speech development, receptive and expressive identification and therapeutic work, and literacy and language interventions. In addition, some of our Hub Leaders, HLTAs and LSA Champions have had training and development in this area as well. This means we are able to provide social stories and scenarios to all our children with a social communication need. The SaLT provision works closely with the SEND team and Hubs to provide training for the wider school community on how to use strategies in the classroom on meeting sensory and language needs.

Social, Emotional, Mental Health / Sensory Provision

Darrick Wood School is delighted to have well trained, passionate and dedicated staff, suited to meeting your child’s emotional and social needs. The KS3 and KS4 Learning Hubs are nurture rooms that provide a space for reflection, intervention and positivity to enable your child to learn in school in the most successful way possible. The two rooms have different functions to reflect the needs in different key stages. Both have a sensory area, where children can have space to process their thoughts and emotions, in peace. The Hubs are staffed with ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who provide transitional group work and follow up 1:1 sessional work with children who need guidance on stress triggering elements in school, such as friendships, emotional wellbeing and managing anxiety. The Hubs also offer a place for social times: breakfast club from 8am, break and lunch time, and homework club on Tuesday and Thursday after school.

Access to The Hubs is only also given via SLT, the SENCo and Achievement Coordinators. There is a robust tier system that assess if your child needs intervention in this area and a staggered approach in offer the right support at the right time. Parents are unable to make direct requests for access to the Hubs.

Outside of the Hubs, we also have dedicated CLA mentor, who works closely with the Year 7 team as part of the extended transition that our most vulnerable children need to settle into school.

We also meet termly as a multi-disciplinary team, to discuss highlighted children and offer open discussions with the staff about needs and how to manage them effectively. This includes the pastoral, behaviour, counselling, safeguarding and SEND teams. These meetings help coordinate the level of support given to each year group across the school.

Medical / Sensory Provision

We are fortunate to work very closely with Pupil Reception and the Pupil Services Assistant (medical needs and first aid) to ensure all medical needs of our SEND and vulnerable children are met. We have excellent working relationships with our external providers to work on aspect such as sensory diets, care plans and safety plans.

The SEND team and Safeguarding Team work in close conjunction to ensure that the welfare of all students is paramount.

Sixth Form Provision

Due to the increase of EHCPs accessing the Sixth Form provision, we have Mrs Anderton who coordinates the Sixth Form provision, and a Post HLTA. Together, they work closely to provide a different level of support for students who enter our further education provision. Tutorials is one method we use to provide academic and emotional support for our students.

Exams

We have a dedicated Access Coordinator in the School, who works closely with Teaching Staff, pastoral leaders and students to provide the best quality care with Exam Arrangements. Students are assessed for this internally, following JCQ guidelines.

Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration – JCQ Joint Council for Qualifications

Transition

Darrick Wood School provides a careful but flexible transition program for all children attending in Year 7. Transition starts in Year 5 for SEND students, with tours of the school available for those with an EHCP or CLA (children looked after). In Year 6, we meet with the feeder primary schools and visit our new cohort. We also hold extensive discussion with the primary schools to ensure we have a picture of each child who will be attending the school.

We are aware that transition for our vulnerable and SEND children can take a long time. Each new tutor team has daily access to the expertise of the SEND team and SLT members, so they feel fully supported in providing the best quality care and provision for each year group that comes in. Each year group has different sets of needs, so a bespoke understanding and approach is needed each year.

We have included some transition resources that could help you frame how to assist your child when coming into Darrick Wood School, which we hope will be in the near future. 

 

 

Useful SEND Information

EHCP

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) look at all your child’s needs and brings together education, health and care services to achieve agreed outcomes. The focus is very much on what is important for your child to be successful in and out of school – now and in the future.

EHCPs are given from birth to 25 years of age. Children undergo a variety of in-depth assessments from a variety of educational, health and social care professionals to assess what is the need, and then look at how your child can be equal opportunities going forward. The EHCP is a legal document that both school and the Local Borough must commit to. A yearly annual review is held in school, to ensure the type of support being offered to enough ensure it meets the outcomes for your child. The aim is to provide more equity to the child in the classroom and beyond.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND): Extra help – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

K – SEN Support

SEN Support is the system by which schools can assess the needs your child, and then provide the appropriate support. They are known as ‘K’ code on our school SEND register, and we use a graduated approach to look at the ‘cycle’ of support that a child might need: Assess, Plan, Do, Review.

All identified children on the SEND Register have a Pupil Profile, to alert staff to their need. This also provides strategies and insights into how the child should be taught in the classroom. Interventions will be provided that are appropriate to the child’s needs.

Further information is in the SEND Information Report: SENInformationReport.pdf (darrickwood.bromley.sch.uk)

 

Useful documentation for SEND

Visual timetables – these is a very useful tool to help your child look at what they must do during the day, giving them a reassuring routine. See below for one that you could follow, the link has a variety of learning strategies (https://widgitonline.com).

Daily Tips

Routines are very important for children. Get them up and dressed! Structure is good for you and your child; it is beneficial in maintaining good mental health. Darrick Wood has high expectations for the correct uniform and equipment needed for each day. A visual checklist at home can be very helpful to manage the day to day (ask the SEND team for assistance with this).

Timings are very important. A school lesson is sixty minutes. A child with an identified or diagnosed need may struggle at times within this period. We follow specific strategies related to your child’s identified need in order to make reasonable adjustments. This information is given to teaching staff via a Pupil Profile, so they have an understanding of how to support your child in the classroom and reasonable adjustments can enacted. School has a strict attendance policy, including punctuality to school, and late detentions are issued if anyone is late to school without a valid reason.

Recognition is important for children when effort has been made. We do this in school via points in Bromcom. Children really enjoying seeing the positive points from teaching staff. Pastoral staff highlight these in weekly assembles and a variety of awards are given to students throughout the year to celebrate achievements.

We also have two Assemblies per week. One assembly is held by the Achievement or Assistant Achievement Coordinator. The other is with two-year groups on a weekly focus for the school. Assemblies help communicate information but also to create a sense of belonging to the school community.

Home Learning

All Home Learning (homework) is logged by staff onto Teams. Your child can access this from their school Microsoft Office 365 account. Home Learning should be handed in via the Assignments on Teams. Sometimes, the teacher may ask for the Home Learning to be handed in during a lesson or sent via email.

Below are some useful tips to manage home learning:

  • Use this checklist to create a daily timetable for your child. Have the weekly timetable to help the child visualise how the week is set out
  • Read the task with your child. Read the task again with your child
  • Check in to see if they need help to start the task. For example, start the sentence for them or give them a clue to help them understand the task
  • Use a mindmap to help frame any key points or to scaffold the work
  • Use a timer, set a task up for around 5-7 minutes, allow them a ‘rest break’ for at least 3-5 minutes
  • Praise them if they have ticked anything off and encourage them when they start work again
  • Do this for 20/30 minutes.
  • Ask your child if this is a thoughtful, quality piece of work. Praise them if they / you think they have done well. If you think they need to do more, set a small target to make it even better. Even if it appears that only a small amount of work has been produced, lots of learning skills will have been developed in that time!

Useful things for children to have when studying:

  • A fiddle tool – something that aids focus and does not distract
  • A cushion to sit on. A Pilates ball is even better!
  • Reading text can be difficult if it is long or complex. Try to chunk text into small sections. Read it with your child. Take it in turns to read a couple of lines each. Cover the text with a paper of paper so they only focus on the section needed

SEND run a Home Learning (homework) club on Tuesday and Thursday from the KS3 Hub. This is for an hour after school (3:05pm – 4:05pm).

Here are some useful websites to extend your child’s home learning:

As a parent or carer, if you choose to set work outside what a teacher has set, please do not expect that work to be marked or feedback given from DWS staff.

Wellbeing

Parents and Carers, it is important that you all stay emotionally well. On this link are some top tips on how to take care of you and your family.

If your child has autism, social stories can be really helpful either verbally or written down. Try to do stories with your child each day. We have a Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations Guide for you to use to help with this.

If your child has become anxious or withdrawn and is causing concern, try to encourage them to find a way to communicate their feelings. This may be in the form of a diary, scrapbook or artwork. Your child may also be exhibiting more challenging behaviours, which is a way of communicating their anxieties, worries or fears. Kooth is also a very helpful online app to help communication of issues in a non-judgemental space. Please click here for further information.

If your child has a cognitive issue i.e. dyslexia or visual stress and needs to change the background of their computer, please find a PDF here on how to modify the colour, to suit your child’s needs. Where possible, ask your child to make flashcards to help them learn new words that they are being introduced to. Use this printable Word Aware chart to help think about making new words memorable and in context.

Darrick Wood School would like to thank the London Borough of Bromley for collaborating with schools in the area to help compile the website lists (N.B. these sites are not endorsed by LBB nor Darrick Wood School). We are always looking to develop our offering. If we have missed or overlooked something, please get in touch and let us know.

Please contact us on the following email senco@darrickwood.bromley.sch.uk if you would like any further information from the team.

CONTACT US

Darrick Wood School
Lovibonds Avenue,
Orpington,
Kent, BR6 8ER

01689 850271

office@darrickwood.bromley.sch.uk