The Local Offer – Learning Support

The Local Offer

John Ruskin School is committed to meeting the needs of all students including those with special educational needs. We believe that all students, regardless of their specific needs, should be offered inclusive teaching which will enable them to make the best possible progress in school and feel that they are a valued member of the wider school community.

John Ruskin School is an inclusive school and may offer the following range of provision to support children with communication and interaction, cognition and learning difficulties, social, mental and emotional health problems or sensory or physical needs.

The range of support deployed will be tailored to individual need following thorough assessment by internal or external agencies. It is designed to promote students working towards becoming independent and resilient learners and should not be seen in isolation.

Information and Guidance

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Mrs Caitrín Pursell


She is responsible for:

  • Applying the school’s SEN policy.
  • Coordinating provision for children with SEN and developing the school’s SEN policy
  • Providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.
  • The day to day management of the provisions made for students with SEN.

Ensuring that parents are:

  • Involved in supporting their child’s learning and access
  • Kept informed about the range and level of support offered to their child
  • Included in reviewing how their child is doing

Learning Support Manager

Mrs Dawn Colagiovanni


She is responsible for:

  • Devising personalised learning plans to prioritise and focus on the next steps required for your child to improve their learning.
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and organising the delivery of any additional support.
  • Transition, planning successful movement to/from a new school
  • Liaison with a range of external agencies who can offer advice and support to help students overcome any difficulties

Pastoral Support Leader

Miss Julie Flanagan


She is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the implementation of the Behaviour Policy
  • Overseeing the implementation of the Child Protection Policy
  • Managing and co-ordinating the work of the school counsellor
  • Overseeing the support required to ensure all students make progress
  • Liaison with a range of external agencies who can offer advice and support to help students overcome difficulties.

SEN Governor

Mr John Murray


He is responsible for:

Supporting school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for students with SEN across the school.

Assessment, Planning and Review

On-going monitoring takes place by students’ teachers to identify students who are not making progress or who have behaviour needs which are affecting their ability to engage in learning activities.After discussions with key staff and parents, additional support will be put into place to provide enhanced resources and/or targeted small group and/or individual support to help overcome any difficulties. The views of the student about their support will be given consideration at this stage.This additional support is documented in an Individual Education Plan or IEP or Behaviour Support Plan. In consultation with the SENCO and parents, short term targets are agreed which prioritise key areas of learning or behaviour to address and by which progress can be measured. Where external agencies are involved, their advice and recommendations are included in these support plans. Actions agreed take into account each student’s strengths as well as their difficulties.The Senior Leader in charge of data, monitoring progress and achievement, will collect data half-termly and this will be used to identify concerns about progress.In some cases Teaching Assistant support may be allocated. This support is deployed to ensure your child can engage in lessons and wider school activities and to facilitate independent learning to support transition to adulthood.

Formal review meetings are held as required. Parents, relevant external agencies and students are invited to these reviews and their contribution is valued. The impact of support offered is considered along with the progress towards targets set. Support arrangements will be updated and revised accordingly. If not involved already, this might include referral to external agencies. The outcomes of these meetings will be formally recorded.

If your child is continuing to have significant difficulties, further external expertise may be requested.

For some students additional arrangements and adjustments can be made to enable them to fully access a range of tests. This might include additional time, rest breaks or the use of a reader, scribe or word processor.

The School Exams Access Co-ordinator (Mrs Sarah Hodgson) will inform you about eligibility and applications for these arrangements. Only tests and assessors authorised by the school and recognised by JCQ can be accepted for access arrangements for public examinations.

Curriculum and Teaching Methods (including groupings and intervention)

Teachers are skilled at adapting teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class. Daily planning takes into account individual students’ needs and requirements. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all students can experience success and challenge in their learning.Grouping arrangements are organised flexibly with opportunities for both ability and mixed setting to maximise learning opportunities for all.Additional adults are used flexibly to help groups and individual students with a long term goal of developing independent learning skills. Monitoring takes place to avoid students becoming over reliant and dependent on this adult support.

Access to learning support staff:

  • In core subject
  • In practical subjects
  • For group work
  • Learning Support Clubs

Strategies to support/develop Literacy including reading:

  • Focused Accelerated reading lessons, with Paired Reading where appropriate
  • Small group intervention programmes
  • Access to specialist dyslexia Teaching Assistant/structured programme
  • Rolling programme of Literacy intervention delivered by an external support teacher (bought in using PPG funding)

Strategies to support/develop numeracy:

  • Small group intervention programmes/Mastery Learning???
  • Numeracy Passport
  • Ability setting at KS4

Strategies/support to develop independent learning:

  • Mentoring by peers or teaching staff
  • Small group programmes working on study skills
  • Homework Club
  • Planners for all year groups
  • Visual timetables for class/and or individual students

Planning, assessment, evaluation and next steps:

  • Bench mark testing in Year 7 – with end of year examinations at the end of Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9
  • CATs tests in Year 7
  • IEP’s/pen portraits

Strategies to support the development of students’ social skills and enhance self-esteem:

  • Small group targeted programmes
  • Lunchtime clubs
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Quiet room/safe space available lunch/break time
  • Social Skills groups
  • School Counsellor
  • Leader of Student Development

Mentoring Activities:

  • Peer Mentors Year 7
  • Assertive Mentoring Year 11
  • Student Counsellor
  • Time as necessary with members of the Senior Leadership Team

Strategies to support/modify behaviour:

  • School sanctions and reward system as set out in the Behaviour Policy
  • Behaviour Support Plan report process
  • Assertive Mentoring
  • School Counsellor
  • Time as necessary with members of the Senior Leadership Team

Support/supervision at unstructured times of the day including personal care:

  • Break time
  • Lunch clubs
  • Library access
  • Teaching/Support staff supervision during break periods/lunch times
  • Quiet room/safe space

Personal and medical care:

  • Care plans for students with medical needs
  • Access to modified equipment and ITC:
  • Specialist equipment as required on an individual basis to access the curriculum

Partnerships with External Agencies

The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met. These include:

Access to medical interventions

  • Use of individual Care Plans
  • Referral to triage via the Child Protection officer or her deputy
  • Referral to the School Nurse
  • Liaison/Communication with professionals/parents, attendance at meetings and preparation for reports

Regular meetings as required

  • SENCO/Learning Support Team available at all parents evenings
  • Referrals to outside agencies as required
  • Speech and language therapist for specific individual students
  • Specialist Teachers, Educational Psychologist, School Nurse attend at regular intervals to see specific students
Agency Description of Support
Inclusion Support Services Planning Meetings, Annual Reviews, Assessment, Parent Liaison, Student Observations and Advice.Advice to schools, alternative curriculum opportunities, Pupil Referral Unit access, access to a range of external professionals eg Attendance Officer
Educational Psychology Service Our attached Educational Psychologist is Mrs Lesley Udberg Planning Meetings, Annual Reviews, Student Observations and Advice.
Inclusion Advocates Our Inclusion Advocate is Miss Julie Flanagan
Specialist Teacher Support Our Specialist Teacher for ASC is Mr Danny Banks
School Nurse Referral through Pastoral Support Systems
CAMHS(Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
Educational Professional responsible for children who are looked after This oversees and monitors provision for children who are in the care of the Local Authority
Parent Partnership Support via the Local Authority for Parent / School Liaison if a parent requires the support.

Children and young people with SEN can become particularly anxious about “moving on” so we seek to support successful transition by: When a student is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the School SENCO and share information about any special arrangements or support that has been provided to help your child achieve their learning goals
  • We will ensure that all records are passed on as soon as possible

Year 6 to 7 Transition:

  • The school’s SENCO/Learning Support Manager will attend a Primary/Secondary Transition Review where the specific needs of your child will be discussed
  • In some cases additional multi-agency meetings may be arranged to create a more detailed transition plan which will include more frequent visits to the new school and/or additional visits to your child’s Primary School by support staff

Year 11 to further study or employment:

  • The school’s SENCO/Learning Support Manager will discuss with your child their future plans and wishes and help to make initial choices.
  • The school’s SENCO/Learning Support Manager will arrange a meeting with for your child with INSPIRA to discuss future plans and careers in depth.
  • In some cases additional multi-agency meetings may be arranged to create a more detailed transition plan which will include more frequent visits to the new school and/or additional visits to your child’s future School by support staff and your child.

An ongoing programme of training is in place to ensure that teachers and support staff have appropriate skills and knowledge in areas that will improve their teaching and support of children with SEN. Our SENCO/Learning Support Manager actively engages with local opportunities (eg The South Lakes Federation) to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policy to support students with SEN. We also have staff with specialised expertise and qualifications in school including: Accredited Teaching Assistant for Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), Accredited Teaching Assistants, First Aid trained teaching and non-teaching staff.

FURTHER INFORMATION about support and services for students and their families can be found here: The Local Authority Local Offer