Special Educational Needs

Our Focus on Individual Needs

We provide guidance and support to pupils in order to overcome the barriers to learning.

We liaise closely with parents, staff from the pupil's previous school and outside professional agencies, in order to enable us to acquire the relevant information. This helps build an accurate picture of our pupils and enables us to support pupils in the most appropriate way.

All our incoming Year 8 pupils sit MIDYIS which enables us to identify the pupil's strengths and difficulties. Pupils who are recognised as having literacy or numeracy difficulties are not set apart from the mainstream of everyday college life but:

  • begin work within the level suited to their ability;

  • follow the curriculum at a level differentiated to ensure their learning;

  • are offered extra in class support through a team of Learning Support Assistants;

  • where appropriate, pupils are set individual targets through our individual learning or behavioural plans. This is monitored and reviewed in partnership with parents, staff and the pupils;

  • work in a happy, nurturing and secure environment which promotes effective learning;

  • talents and achievements of pupils are identified and recognised.

All pupils identified as having academic, physical and emotional needs, receive support from relevant external agencies. A close liaison is maintained between parents, staff and external agencies.

The SENCO, in communication with the Head of Year 8, Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator and Pastoral Vice Principal, oversees and monitors such pupils. We also ensure that all staff are provided with continued professional development to ensure that the needs of all pupils are best met.

SENCO Staff Members

Mrs M Carron

SENCO

Mrs J Corr

Assistant SENCO

Frequently asked questions

  1. What kind of help can be offered to pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability?


  • A strong and experienced pastoral team
  • Differentiated materials in lessons
  • Teaching Assistant support
  • Individual and small group literacy programmes
  • Additional numeracy support
  • A variety of programmes to help pupils improve their social skills and their behaviour
  • An after school Homework Club
  • Technology for access




How are pupils included in the planning for their support and provision?


At St Pius X College, excellent relationships are fostered between pupils and members of staff to ensure all pupils feel comfortable and confident when having conversations about their education.
When a pupil requires additional provision, this will be explained to that pupil as appropriate.
Every week, pupils receive an opportunity to speak one-to-one with their form teacher and voice any concerns or troubles they may be experiencing during the PS lesson. The form teacher will then deal with this by any appropriate means.
When reviewing provision, pupils will meet as appropriate with the SENCo, Head of Year or form teacher to resolve any worries they may have and promote understanding.
Well-established links and close co-operation with feeder schools ensures that appropriate provision is in place when pupils start at St Pius X College. Parents and guardians are encouraged to provide relevant information about their child’s special educational needs and prior to transition to meet with the SENCO.




How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to pupil’s special educational needs?


If a pupil has a statement, the school will ensure the student has access to the provision described in that document. The provision will be reviewed in partnership with parents along with the pupil to ensure it is suitable in enabling him/her to make good progress whilst at the same time taking responsibility for their own learning and development.




How will my child be assessed and how will the school help you to support your child’s learning?


Every pupil in the school is assessed formally on a termly basis and data is reported to parents along with information about whether or not your child is on track to achieve their target grade. Once per year this data is accompanied by summary comments from the form teacher and head of year.
At each assessment point the SENCo, along with the Senior Leadership Team, analyses the data of pupils with SEN to ensure they are making progress in line with their peers. If pupils are not making, or are not on track to make expected progress, appropriate intervention and sourcing of any additional support will be put in place.
The homework diary provides the opportunity for regular home-school contact. Parents are able to see rewards received for good behaviour, comments about negative behaviour and homework performance.
There is a Parents’ Evening for each year group every school year.




What kinds of Special Educational Needs does St Pius X College cater for?


We are a mainstream secondary academy and welcome pupils with SEN in the following areas:
• Communication and Interaction (For example: Speech and Language, or Autism Spectrum Condition)
• Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH)
• Sensory and/or physical needs (Inclusive of visual, hearing and multisensory impairment)
• Cognition and learning




How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and/or transfer to a new school setting or the next stage of education and life?


We have an outstanding induction programme in place for welcoming new pupils to the school. The SENCO, Head of Year 8 meet with the primary SENCO and Primary 7 teacher to ensure all information is passed on and SEN information is transferred. We invite all pupils in for an induction visit as part of the normal induction process. Additional transition visits can be arranged for Primary 7 pupils.

We have a careers advisor in school that ensures that the students are catered for post 16, this involves interview preparation, assistance with college applications and CV construction and careers interviews.




How does the school know if pupils need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?


We speak with primary schools about each new pupil joining St Pius X College in Year 8 in order to gather as much information as possible.
Most pupils requiring any additional support will be identified at this stage or sometimes earlier.
The SENCO maintains strong relationships with outside agencies should a child need to be assessed for SEN. These agencies will provide examples of good practice for the school to follow. If parents are worried that their child may have SEN, the SENCO is the first point of contact.




How accessible is the school environment?


We value and respect diversity in our setting and do our very best to meet the needs of all of our pupils. The majority of the building has wheelchair access. When the need arises we bring in support for our EAL pupils to ensure that we can communicate proficiently with the pupils and parents/carers.




How can I contact the SENCO?


The SENCO is a qualified teacher, who works closely with the Vice Principal and Principal to ensure that all pupils with SEN make excellent progress. SENCO: Mrs M Carron Telephone Number: 028 7963 2186 Email: info@stpiusx.magherafelt.ni.sch.uk marked FAO: SENCO





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St Pius X College
59 Moneymore Road,

Magherafelt
Co Derry
BT45 6HQ

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