The Special Educational Needs (SEN) department is committed to breaking down any barriers that might prevent a student fully accessing their education at Oldbury Academy. We are focused on high quality outcomes for all learners, and achievement and inclusion are the cornerstones of our practice. The department is led by Ms Rashford (SENCo). The SEN Governor is Mrs S Harvey.
The SEN department work with other teams of professionals within school to support students with learning, behavioural and physical needs in order to enable those students to access the curriculum and progress with both their academic and social development.
Literacy & Numeracy Programmes
The department offers a range of programmes to improve pupil’s literacy skills and narrow the gap between them and their peers. Specialist numeracy support to give pupils intensive tuition on mathematical skills identified as lacking through a range of Maths test. Tuition can be 1:1 or in small groups of up to 14 students. The most utilised programmes we run currently are:
Lexia – This is a small group computerised phonics programme that will help to improve a pupil’s reading skills. This is normally done 2-3 times a week during form time. Parents and carers can sign up and login from home to check on progress and download support worksheets.
Fresh Start – This is a literacy programme which is delivered to small groups of year 7 and 8 students receiving additional Literacy lessons. It is a phonics programme with age-appropriate texts that students work though with the support of a Learning Support Practitioner working under the direction of a teacher. The students work in groups of no more than 7 and work through the programme twice a week.
Prince’s Trust– This is a holistic programme aimed at students who are not expected to receive the standard 9-4 grades at GCSE in English and Maths. Through the trust, students can develop a number of life skills; from money management to community inclusion. Currently, this programme is delivered to targeted classes in year 9 and 11. After one year of study, students can earn a Level 1 equivalent certificate from the Trust.
Handwriting Development – This is physical intervention designed to develop students’ fine motor skills. Students work over 10-12 weeks in groups of four on activities like blind writing and coordination awareness training. This is a fun intervention that shows great results.
Touch Typing – This is a small group computerised programme that develops students speed and accuracy when typing. This is an after school intervention, currently targeted at older students who may be using a laptop in their exams.
Speech and Language Interventions
The SEN department has been trained by a member of the Local Authority’s Speech and Language Therapists and delivers the following:
Lego Therapy – This intervention is used to promote social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders and other communication difficulties through group LEGO building. LSA staff help students from ‘LEGO Helper’ to ‘LEGO Genius’ over 6-10 weeks.
Behavioural Programmes in place to support Social, Emotional and Mental Heath Needs
The department works closely with the Learning Support Centre. The LSC provides the following areas of support:
Making Choices – This is a programme to encourage pupils recognising that they have choices in how they react to situations. It encourages pupils to make better behaviour choices in the future.
Anger Management – This is a programme to encourage pupils to look at their feelings and how they cope with them. It encourages them to understand their anger triggers and find ways to avoid or control them more effectively.
Building Friendships – This is a programme to help pupils approach their peers in a positive way to make and maintain suitable friendships. It looks at making conversation, sharing and being assertive.
Pupils are identified for these programmes through observation and testing and progress is closely monitored.