SEND Newsletter – Local Offer

Contributing to the Norfolk Local Offer for Learners with SEN


Welcome to our SEN Information Report, which is part of the Norfolk Local Offer for learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN). All governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of academy schools have a legal duty to publish information about the implementation of the governing body’s or the proprietor’s policy for pupils with SEN. The information published must be updated annually. The required information is set out in the SEN and Disability Code of Practice 0 to 25 years, which can be found at Reference: DFE-00205-2013

At Old Buckenham High School, we are committed to working together with all members of our school community. The SEN Information Report, will be reviewed and updated in conjunction with pupils, parents/carers, governors, and members of staff. We would welcome your feedback and future involvement with the review of our report, so please do contact us. The best people to contact this year are:

Jo Evans (SENCO) -

Emily Severn (SEN Governor) -

Diane Green (Assistant SENCO) -
Lucy Kershaw (EAL link) -
Andrew Fell (Head Teacher) -
Jen Clark (School Council Link) -

Click here to view our SEND Information Report for Old Buckenham High School 2020-2021

Our approach to teaching learners with SEN

At Old Buckenham High School, we aim to create a learning environment which is flexible enough to meet the needs of all members of our school community. We monitor progress of all learners, and staff continually assess, ensuring that learning is taking place. OBHS provides support for pupils across the 4 areas of need as laid out in the SEN code of practice.

Our aim is:

  • To provide access for all students to a broad and balanced curriculum, through the development of a whole school approach to teaching and learning styles.
  • To raise awareness of SEN, ensuring that all teachers know which students have identified SEN, what their individual needs are, and how to meet them.
  • To support staff in identifying and seeking support for students who may have additional educational needs.
  • To maintain high expectations of learning for all students with SEN, providing them with support through effective partnerships with parents/carers, staff and outside agencies.
  • To analyse the impact of provision on learning outcomes for students with SEN, amending support where necessary.
  • To ensure students and parents/carers are fully involved and consulted in the identification, provision and monitoring of support provided to meet the student’s needs.
  • To ensure that Cluster SEN funding is appropriately directed to meet the needs of those pupils identified through Support for Learning Applications.


How do we identify SEN?


At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice states:
“A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her”

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

A disabled person is someone who has “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect in his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” Not all students with a disability will have special educational needs, and not all students with special education needs will have a disability.

Students who do not currently meet age-related learning expectations, may not necessarily have a special educational need. (Lamb Enquiry 2009).

At Old Buckenham High School, we aim to identify issues as early as possible in order to provide the correct support for students, enabling them to achieve their full potential.

The main source of information will be the feeder primary schools on transfer. In addition, liaison will also include:

  • SENCO/Assistant SENCO attending Year 5 and 6 EHCP reviews.
  • Additional meetings between SENCO/Assistant SENCO and Primary Schools to obtain information on SEN and vulnerable pupils.
  • Additional transition visits for SEN and other vulnerable pupils.


Assessing SEN

On transfer, information is obtained through:

  • Baseline testing
  • SATS scores
  • Depending on need, a range of screening and diagnostic tests can be used “in-house” to ensure learning needs are identified and supported.

Throughout the year, information is obtained through:

  • Data analysis
  • Parent/Carer concerns
  • Teacher concerns
  • Pupil tracking
  • Lesson observation/Learning walks

This information will be used to ensure pupils who are experiencing difficulties are supported and their progress monitored.

In addition to this the all new Year 7’s are screened through a series of tests of cognitive ability (NFER and Cognitive Ability Tests) administered during the first few weeks in school. Year 9 pupils are also screened with the NFER group Reading Assessment and Cognitive Ability tests .Additionally, recommendations by individual subject teachers, Leaders of Learning and Curriculum Leaders, in addition to Heads of House and instances of parental concern are also considered as a trigger for action.

At the end of year 9 pupils are screened to ensure that the correct Exam Access Arrangements are put into place for Key Stage 4.


In term transfer

Students who transfer to Old Buckenham mid-term will be tested as required to identify any additional learning needs. Students will initially be placed on the SEN register, with the description of needs from their previous school; however this will be reviewed termly.


Students not previously identified with SEN

If a student has not previously been identified with SEN, but is experiencing or exhibiting difficulties. The SENCO will meet with relevant parties, review data and ask for appropriate testing to take place, in order to assess need and the relevant support required.

Difficulties may include any of the following:

  • Little or no progress, even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a student’s identified area of weakness
  • Shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematical skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas
  • Presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not ameliorated by the school’s usual behavioural management techniques
  • Has English as an Additional Language
  • Has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little progress despite the provision of specialist equipment
  • Has communication and/or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum. SEN Code of Practice (2001)

(At this stage an application may be made to Cluster SEN Funding to access financial support). We also have a range of assessment tools available, which we share with our cluster schools. A list is available on the Old Buckenham Cluster SEND Policy 2016-17 (this will be updated with the new Cluster host for the Old Buckenham Cluster).

For some learners we may want to seek advice from specialist teams. In our school and cluster, we have access to various specialist services, including:

  • An educational psychologist
  • An advisory support teacher
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Counselling

We have access to services universally provided by Norfolk County Council, which are described on the Local Offer website which can be found at


What do we do to support learners with SEN?

Provision of support is determined on a needs basis; remembering that students within the same category of SEN differ in the extent of their individual difficulties and the subsequent provision required.

Each learner identified as having SEN, is entitled to support that is “additional to or different from” a normal differentiated curriculum. The type of support is dependent on the individual learning needs, and is intended to enable access to learning and overcome the barrier to learning identified. This support is described on a provision map, which describes the interventions and support we undertake at Old Buckenham. We modify the provision map regularly, reflecting the needs of our learners. Click here to view the Provision Map 2016

Arrangements for assessment and reviewing pupils’ progress towards outcomes, including opportunities available to work with parents and pupils as part of this assessment and review. These arrangements include:

  • Graduated approach Assess Plan Do Review
  • Data tracking for pupil progress
  • Personal profiles and EHCP reviews
  • Observations and follow up
  • Parents meetings


Allocation of Learning Assistant Support

Our priority is to ensure that students are able to access a broad and balanced curriculum in an inclusive environment. We therefore aim to support students as much as possible within the classroom so that they can participate fully in all aspects of school life and have the same opportunities as others when making future options and career choices.

Students will not normally be disapplied from subjects unless this is stated in their statement of special educational need or is agreed by the school, parents/carers, students and other professionals; following a thorough evaluation of progress.

Old Buckenham recognises its responsibility to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to ensure equality of opportunity, remembering that in some cases equality can only be ensured by positive discrimination in favour of students with SEN. It also recognises the need to personalise the curriculum where possible to the needs of the student, especially where more intensive forms of support are required.


The Learning Support Department consists of

  • Mrs Jo Evans – SENDCO
  • Mrs Diane Green – SEN Administrator
  • 6 Learning Support Assistants trained to deliver Catch-up Literacy and Fresh Start, TITAN – travel independence training, Self Esteem and anger management.

The aim of the Learning Support Department is to meet and support the additional needs of students with special educational needs (SEN) and their families.



The Learning Support is based in the Garden Room along the veranda. This is a specially adapted classroom, available for students to take part in intervention programmes and non-examinable courses at GCSE level. The Learning Support Department also runs a Games Club at lunchtime, for vulnerable pupils.

The centre provides in class support and withdrawal provision for pupils with learning difficulties.

The centre is responsible for the maintenance of the SEN register, the monitoring of these pupils and the associated administration, including Personal Profiles and SEN Provision mapping and tracking.

The Learning Support Centre is available for pupils with physical and emotional difficulties. Pupils can access this resource if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • They are being integrated into the school via an outside agency who still maintains some responsibility for them e.g. Short Stay School/Dual Placement. Or they are being integrated into the school as part of a managed move.
  • As a part of a behaviour plan for pupils whose emotional needs and attention seeking type behaviour responds well to positive interaction with adults.
  • For pupils who have a temporary physical disability which prohibits access to some lessons.
  • As a sanctuary for vulnerable pupils particularly at break and lunchtimes


How do we evaluate the effectiveness of support?

Monitoring progress is an integral part of teaching.

Effectiveness is measured by:

  • The progress made by individual pupils
  • The confidence felt by pupils in the way they integrate and cope with the demands of National Curriculum subjects within the school
  • Increased pupil motivation to learn
  • Increased pupil self-esteem
  • The degree of confidence felt by the staff in respect of managing pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Feedback from parents and the pupils themselves

In addition to this, success will be evaluated objectively by:

  • Improvement in test scores (e.g. reading test results)
  • Positive changes in pupil behaviour
  • GCSE entry statistics and results
  • Provision Mapping tools and tracking of pupils
  • An Education Health Care Plan review ( replacing the Statement of Special Need)


Other opportunities for learning

All learners should have the same opportunity to access extra-curricular activities. The timetable for extra-curricular activities can be found on the school’s newsletters and weekly bulletin (see link on homepage).

The Equality Act 2010 places specific duties on schools, settings and providers including the duty to not discriminate, harass or victimise a child or adult linked to a protected characteristic defined in the Equality Act and to make “reasonable adjustments”.

The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is:

“A person has a disability for the purpose of the Act if (s)he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities” Section 1(1) Disability Discrimination Act 1995

This definition includes children with long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and cancer.


Social, Mental and Emotional Health

At OBHS there is a school commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing. Activities that focus on mental health include a wellbeing day, tutor time activities and school nurse drop-ins. Our Pastoral Support Mentors, Mrs Theresa Picksley and Gayle Prince, work with pupils in school and call upon outside agencies and the local education authority to support their work.



Transition is a part of life for all learners. Old Buckenham is committed to working in partnership with children, families and other providers to ensure positive transitions occur. Please refer to the Old Buckenham Cluster SEND Policy 2016-17 (this will be updated with the new Cluster Host for the Old Buckenham Cluster) on transition.


Have your say

This SEND Report states Old Buckenham’s annual offer to learners with SEN, we need your views to ensure it is effective.

Please contact the school office if you would like to be involved in assessing and reviewing our SEN Information report.


Useful links:

If you think your child may have, or has been diagnosed with, Dyslexia – or has reading difficulties – here is a website that can give you help, advice and support


Be the best we can be