Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre

Academy Secondary and Sixth Form

A resource for Statemented pupils with Visual difficulties within a Secondary School.

Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre has published their Local Offer providing information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)



Who to contact

Contact Name
Rachel Cave
Contact Position
(0118) 901 5800 (0118) 901 5800
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Where to go

Highdown School
Surley Row
Emmer Green
Directions to RG4 8LR


Age Ranges
Wheelchair access

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair access
Special Needs provision
Special Needs Experience
Visual impairment
Visual Impairment
Provision for special dietary needs
Can make special cultural provisions

Childcare Information


Immediate vacancies

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 8:40 3:10
Tuesday 8:40 3:10
Wednesday 8:40 3:10
Thursday 8:40 3:10
Friday 8:40 3:10

School Pickups

Offers school pickups

Ofsted Information

Ofsted Report:
See the Latest Ofsted Inspection Report

Local Offer

Contact Name
Joanna Arnold
Contact Telephone
(0118) 901 5800
Contact Email
Highdown School & Sixth Form SEND Policies Accessibility Plan
Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11-16 years)
Transitions to Adulthood (16+)
SEN Provision Type
Local Offer Updated
Download more Local Offer details for SEN Information Report - Local Offer Document 2021-22

Schools Extended Local Offer Response


School Name: Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre Address: Surley Row, Emmer Green, Reading, RG4 8LR Telephone: 01189015800 Email: office@highdown.reading.sch.uk Website: www.highdown.reading.sch.uk Ofsted link: http://www.highdown.reading.sch.uk/page/?title=Ofsted+Report&pid=583 Head teacher: Ms Rachel Cave SENCo: Name: Mrs Joanna Arnold Contact: senco@highdown.reading.sch.uk Date of latest Accessibility Plan: November 2019 Date completed: 21/05/2021 By whom: Name: Mrs Joanna Arnold Role:SENDCo Government Legislation requires all schools to publish the SEN Information Report / Local Offer (clause 65 of the Children’s Act). This report is coproduced by the Headteacher, Governor’s and parents. It is a lengthy document and its aim is to outline the provision that the school provides for children with SEND. *School to provide a general statement about what the school provides in box below

General Statement – At Highdown, all students are valued equally, regardless of where their abilities lie, with the Academy being committed to developing ‘the best in everyone’. All students are entitled to have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, which is differentiated to meet individual needs. Within its aims, Highdown is committed to equal opportunities, with students being encouraged to achieve their full potential, whatever their academic or physical ability, through the provision of a balanced and challenging curriculum in both content and styles of learning. Students of all ages and all abilities will:  Be treated as individuals where their individual needs, interests and aptitudes are recognised.  Be entitled to have an emerging or evident special educational need identified and assessed.  Be provided with opportunities for continued growth and development so that they can increase their self-esteem and become confident.  Receive a balanced curriculum in both content and style of delivery which allow them to make informed choices as they progress beyond the Academy.  Be encouraged to achieve their full potential, whatever their abilities.  Be encouraged to learn through a range of enjoyable and stimulating experiences in an atmosphere where students feel valued, encouraged and safe.  Learn to take an increasing responsibility for their own learning and actions so that they will be equipped to deal with life after school.  Be encouraged to see education as a life-long process to the benefit of all aspects of their life

1: The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
1.1: Do you have children with SEND in your school?

Students are identified as having SEND when they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of students the same age or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of education facilities of a kind generally provided for students of the same age in schools within the area of the Local Authority (SEND Regulations 2014). Students at Highdown have a range of difficulties including Communication and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties and Sensory or Physical difficulties.

2: Information related to mainstream schools about the school's policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with SEND
2.1: How do you know if a pupil has SEN?

When your child first joins Highdown, we use information from a range of sources to help identify SEND and other needs. These include information from parents/carers; primary school teachers; end of key stage 2 levels; base line testing; MidYis (Middle Years Information System); literacy and numeracy tests; application form information; subject teachers; specialist colleagues and external agencies. Our class teachers, Heads of Curriculum and Heads of Achievement closely monitor the progress and attainment of all students, including those who have or may have SEND. The continuous monitoring of students during their time at Highdown will further identify students with a special educational need. This identification may come from mentors, subject teachers, support colleagues, Heads of Achievements, outside agencies, parents/carers or the students themselves. If your child needs to be assessed we would use a range of assessments depending on the area of need. If it is thought a family needs support, we have good working relationships with outside agencies and a referral can be made to them. We follow a staged and graduated approach to identifying and assessing needs, using the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model. The triggers for intervention could be the teacher’s, support colleague’s or others concern, underpinned by evidence, about a students who, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities, does make expected progress. All students with SEND are on the SEND or Additional Needs registers which are accessible to all staff. Staff use this information to inform their lesson planning, teaching and student learning activities. Targeted interventions are planned and delivered where appropriate. This may include small group or individual work across a broad range of activities.

Parents should contact the SENCo if they have any worries about their child’s needs. • SENCo has regular scheduled meetings with parents and additional meetings when needed • We have an established transition program for new students. Additional support is put in place for identified students • staff work with the SENCo to identify if a students has a need in a certain area. • Regular inclusion meetings to monitor progress of students. • CDP (Continuous Professional Development) for all staff • We do baseline testing using midYis and NGRT at the start of year 7, and the ART will be used each year if needed.

3: Information about the school's policies for making provision for pupils with SEND whether or not pupils have EHC plans
3.1: Where can I find information about the school SEN Policy?

Having identified needs, we seek to match provision to need. We define expected outcomes of interventions and then monitor the impact through regular meetings and tracking of pupil progress. Our SENCo leads on this aspect and the head teacher shares this information with governors/trustees

Provision is tailored to the needs of the individual. • A wide range of testing can be done to identify the correct support and/ or intervention. • We have links with a range of different services, such as Speech and Language, Hearing Impairment, Educational Psychologist. • Students are monitored by classroom teachers, support staff and the SENco

3a: How the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such schools
3a.1: How do you make sure that the SEN provision is helping pupils make better progress?

All students, including those with SEND, are assessed on a regular basis, in accordance with the Academy’s Assessment Policy. Teachers formally assess and review progress and attainment 5 times a year which is communicated to parents/carers by a report that is sent home. Additionally, parents evenings are held once a year when there is an opportunity to discuss progress, attainment and next steps. All students with a Statement or Education, Health & Care Plan have an Annual Review. SEND students who are on the SEND register will also have a termly review. The school has a Quality Assurance process that assesses the effectiveness of Teaching and Learning for all students, including those with SEND and the outcomes of these evaluations are used to create and implement development plans for all aspects of school life. These are regularly reviewed through regular evaluation. Additionally progress and attainment data for students is analysed for effectiveness and value for money.

3b: The school's arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs
3b.1: How do you check and review the progress made by pupils with SEN?

The school will send home 3 reports each year which will show your child’s current and target levels as well as reporting on their effort, behaviour, homework and independent learning. Heads of Curriculums, Heads of Achievements and Inclusion staff will monitor and review your child’s levels and pick up on any subjects where your child is not making the right amount of progress. We will then put an intervention in place. At the next reporting time we will check whether the right progress has been made. We give reports to the governors who check and review the work of all departments, including Inclusion. We welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress. We do this through parents evenings; notes in planners; email; telephone calls; appointments made with individual teachers; Annual Reviews/termly reviews (for those on the SEND register). The school provides information for parents through newsletters; information on the website; Open/Information days; Parents Evenings and letters home.

A well established, comprehensive reporting system, sent home throughout the school year to parents. • Dialogue established with home via marking in books and student planner. • Parents evenings • Parent/mentor evenings (year 7

3c: The school's approach to teaching pupils with SEND
3c.1: How do your teachers help pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities to learn?

Our teachers have high expectations of all students, including those with SEND. All teachers will be told about your child’s individual needs and will adapt their lessons to meet these requirements. Teachers have experience and/or are trained in doing this. This may involve using different strategies, more practical/adaptation of resources and activities. This means your child can access the lessons fully. Within school there are a variety of staff roles to help us fully support your child. Where it is felt it is the right thing to do a student may be offered additional help and support, in which case you would be informed. There are a range of interventions and additional subject support which are available and should your child need this, it would be discusses with you. When your child is approaching the start of Key Stage 4, if we think it is needed, we will assess and apply for exam Access Arrangements according to the Joint Council for Qualifications exam regulations.

Curriculum areas differentiate with in their areas

3d: How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND
3d.1: How have you made the school buildings and site safe and welcoming for pupils with SEN or disabilities?

Most of our students follow a traditional curriculum, however a small number of learners have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs, interests and abilities. This may include option choices; additional literacy; intervention groups and number of qualifications studied. Our school is a safe and accessible building and we do our best to make it welcoming to the whole community. All safeguarding procedures and risk assessments are in place and adhered to by all staff. We have a range of different facilities to help SEND students throughout our school including disabled toilets; ramps and equipment to help with reading and writing. An Accessibility Plan is in place and available from our school website.

Alternative and vocational provision is offered at KS4 • Class teachers can work with the SENCo and inclusion team to personalise work at an individual level. • Access ramps • Disabled toilets • Translators available to help in meetings • Yellow markers around the school to help the VI students

3e: Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEND
3e.1: Is there additional support available to help pupils with SEND with their learning?

We have a wide range of staff to support pupils and address additional needs they may have, including pupils with SEND. This includes Primary school teachers; Learning Support Assistant’s; Pastoral Support; SENCo; Educational Phycologist and School Counsellor. Resources are allocated based on evidence of need and effectiveness. Students with a Statement/EHCP have resources allocated as outlined in their statement or plan. Teaching Assistants are allocated, where resources allow, to support students in lessons. Staff liaise closely with them to ensure maximum effectiveness. They have a huge range of skills to offer in supporting students directly and indirectly, assisting staff and helping parents/carers. Students with Statements/EHCP’s will have targets and strategies set by the SENCo. Annual reviews involving the student, parents/carers, subject staff and other professionals evaluate those targets and strategies. The decision is based on evidence of need and impact.

3f: Activities that are available for pupils with SEND in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum
3f.1: What social and extra-curricular activities are available for students with SEND?

A large range of academic and hobby/interest clubs are available at Highdown School. There are open to all students, including students with SEND. Additionally we run a range of activities to support SEND students including Homework Club, Lunch and Break Time Social Club etc. We also run coursework/revision sessions for older students as and when required. The Extra-Curricular timetable is available on the schools website. All children in the school are encouraged to take part in extra activities at break time, lunchtime and after school. Day and residential trips are open to all children and your child’s specific needs can be discussed if they wish to join such a trip.

Individual risk assessments for physical needs • All students are included in school trips and activities • Reasonable adjustments are made where necessary e.g. When required, staff will accompany students on trips to help with access. • After school sports clubs • Homework club • All SEN students can access all activities. Arrangements will be made if needed to help students access an activity.

3g: Support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEND
3g.1: What support will there be for my child's overall well-being?

At Highdown School we take our pastoral responsibilities seriously. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of student support and guidance. One way we support our students is by assigning them to a Mentor who will (in most cases) remain with them as they progress up the school. This provides continuity and builds a strong relationship between mentor and students. There are additional members of staff who are able to provide pastoral support, these include: Star Centre Team; School Counsellor; Learning Assistant; Learning Managers; Child Protection Officer. We also have excellent relationships with a number of external agencies for example CAMHS, CAT etc

PSHCE programme across the year. (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education) • Daily contact with mentor • Student Voice • Attendance and Behaviour monitoring. • Star Centre (inclusion team)

4: In relation to mainstream schools, the name and contact details of the SEN Co-ordinator
4.1: Who should I contact if I want to find out more about how the school supports students with SEND?

The SENCo is Mrs J Arnold Contact details: Email SENCO@highdown.reading.sch.uk or telephone 0118 901 5800. Speak to your child’s Mentor or teachers in the first instance.

5: Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with SEND and how specialist expertise will be secured
5.1: What training have the teachers and other staff who support children and young people with SEND had?

We have a Learning Support department which is made up of the SENCo, Learning Support Assistants. Within this team we have staff who have a range of experience and training covering various SEN needs including the National Senco Qualification; CCET (Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing); Supporting students with ASD; Supporting students with ADHD; Attachment Issues and CAF training, QTVI. Training is provided to all staff, including teachers and LSA’s, as the need arises and there is ongoing training for all staff as well as opportunities to further develop skills. Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEN. As a school we can call on support from specialist organisations from within the Local Authority as well as Health and Social Care Services

SENCO has completed the National Senco Qualification • Teaching staff have skills updated through Continuous Personal Development (JPL) • We have a good relationship with external professionals • e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language therapy, hearing impairment service. • We have our own VI (visually impaired) Unit. • SEN Specific training for staff • VI staff are fully trained including staff with the National Braille

6: Information about how equipment and facilities to support children with SEND will be secured
6.1: What happens if my child needs specialist equipment or other facilities?

As a school we can access a range of services including Visual and Hearing Impaired Team and Disability Team. We have the VI base for Reading so we have a vast knowledge in this area. These services are contacted when necessary and appropriate, according to your child’s needs. If you believe your child needs specialist equipment or other facilities please contact the SENCo or discuss the issue at the next review/parents evening.

Budgets are aligned with our school improvement plan. • Reviews take place around provision and resources.

7: The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child
7.1: How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's education?

We need you to support us and your child by encouraging them to fully engage with their learning and any interventions offered by: • Helping them to be organised for their day (including bringing the right equipment and books) • Full attendance and good punctuality • Completion of homework using SMHW • Checking and signing planner Attending parents meetings Attending any meetings specifically arranged for your child We will support you by having regular communication, through the HOA’s, Mentor’s and SENCo when needed.

Parent governors Home school agreement Contact with tutor, HOA (Head of Achievement) and SENCo • Parents’ evenings Contact with class/subject teachers • We plan to have a SEN parenting group.

8: The arrangements for consulting young people with SEN about, and involving them in their education
8.1: How will my child be involved in his/her own learning and decisions made about his/her education?

Students are encouraged to take part in Pupil Voice activities; regularly evaluate their work in lessons; attend review meetings; contribute to target setting and reviewing and reflect on their learning and achievements.

9: Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND concerning the provision made at the school
9.1: Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact the SENCo for further information. In the first instance contact the subject teacher or your child’s mentor who may refer your concerns to a more senior member of staff if needed. Alternatively please contact our SLT. The schools complaints procedure is available on the school’s website

10: How the governing body involves other bodies including health and social care, LA support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils
10.1: Who else provides services in school for children with SEN or disabilities?

As a school we can access a range of services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS); Social Care; School Nurse Service; Educational Psychology Service; Connexions; Speech and Language Service; and Occupational Therapy Service. These services are contacted when necessary and appropriate, according to your child’s needs. The school works closely with Reading Bough Council and use the ECAF process when appropriate to do so. If you believe your child needs support from a specialist please contact the SENCo or discuss at the next review/parents evening.

11: The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with SEND including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32
11.1: Who should I contact to find out about other support for parents and families of children with SEN or disabilities?

Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND http://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/service.page?id=VqahHpI A19A 

Reading Bough Council Special Educational Needs: http://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/r eading/directory/service.page?id=djWCTbP Q3EE

Reading Service Guide http://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/r eading/directory/home.page

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS): http://www.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/S erviceCatInfo.asp?id=46

12: The school's arrangements for supporting pupils with SEND in transferring between phases of education
12.1: How will you help my child make a successful move into the next class or secondary school or other move or transition?

We liaise closely with primary schools and provide additional transition support both before your child starts and afterwards, if it is needed. We also host a Summer School for Year 6 students. All children receive advice on careers and are encouraged to visit colleges to explore post-16 courses. If additional support is needed this will be put in place. We work closely with Adviza to ensure relevant paperwork is completed for students with Statements/EHCP’s.

Our transition plan is set up to support all students when transferring to the secondary setting. • Individual transition plans can be used for vulnerable students. • A robust system is in place to support students on to further education or the work place. • Careers advisors available on site.

13: Information on where the LA's SEN Information Report / Local Offer is published ORDINARILY AVAILABLE statement - Provision the local authority expects to be made available by schools, early years and post-16 providers)
13.1: Where can I find out about other services that might be available for our family and my child?

Reading Service Guide

Reading Directory

14: Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people's progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review
14.1: What opportunities will we as parents and our child have to review our child's progress towards the agreed outcomes?

Parents can arrange a meeting with their child’s mentor/HOA at any time to review progress and support. If a student is on SEN Support contact will be made if support is to change and parents and students are welcomed to give feedback this can be done via the phone, email or a meeting. If a student has an EHCP then we will following the guidelines, but meetings can be called at any point in the year.

Meeting and contact will happen when needed. School, parents or students can request a meeting.

15: Who can I contact for further information?

In the first instance, parents/carers are encouraged to talk to their child’s class teacher/tutor. Further information and support can be obtained from the school’s SENCo.

16: What is the complaints procedure?

This is outlined in our which can be found on our Complaints Policy, on our school website.

17: Our external partners are

Educational Psychologist Classification: OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE 13 SEN Information Report / Local Offer Submission 2021/2022 (schools) Speech & Language Therapist Social Care HI VI OT

18: Is there any additional provision you have developed during the year?

We have trained our LSA team so they can deliver Sensory Circuits. • All staff have had the opportunity to gain a vast knowledge of SEND in our JPD staff training sessions. • A selection of staff have had hoist, moving and positioning training. • A whole school approach to Therapeutic Thinking is being implemented this coming yea

19: Link to the schools websites SEND information or policy page.
Please add the links We will do this when this document is confirmed by Reading SEN.


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This information has been collected from third party providers therefore the Reading Services Guide, Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of this information and recommends that parents, carers, young people, residents and professionals check with providers regarding DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) and OFSTED registrations and CQC registrations. Information collected by Reading Service Guide; is used solely to implement and supply the Family Information Service (FIS), Special Educational Needs & Disabilities - Reading's Local Offer, Adults & Carers Support Group and Reading Youth.


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Last Updated

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Contact the Team

Family Information Service

fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer

localoffer@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support

CSAAdvice.Signposting@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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