A PARENT’S GUIDE TO OUR SCHOOL

Our School at a glance…

How does the school know when a young person needs extra help?

Oakfield House School is an Acorn Care & Education Independent day special school for students between the ages of 5-12 years. The staff at Oakfield House School have a proven track record of successfully meeting a wide range of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. We are experienced in recognising and working with a wide range of additional challenges students face, including Autism, Asperger’s, speech language and communication difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, and SpLD. The school prides itself on being able to o er an appropriate curriculum for students ranging in ability from those with Moderate Learning difficulties to those who are gifted and talented.

We adopt a ‘hands on’ creative curriculum where all National Curriculum entitlements are provided through an enjoyable and meaningful creative framework. Each pupil’s progress is carefully monitored to ensure excellent progress and we provide additional interventions in Literacy, Numeracy and communication for any pupil that needs these additional sessions.

All pupils at Oakfield will have an Education, Health and Care Plan. Every pupil has their own unique learning targets that are monitored regularly. Oakfield works hard to have good relationships with our children’s family and strive to work collaboratively. Oakfield will develop uniquely for each child comprehensive Behaviour Support Plan, Individual Risk Assessment and Personalised Learning Targets and families can have input into these.

We are an Eco school set in substantial gardens where we have bike trails, vegetable plots, orchard, a bird hide and an Eco garden with play equipment. We can use our gardens as ‘green classrooms’ when the weather permits.

 

How will the school staff support my young person?

Oakfield listens to your child and we really try to get to understand them as an individual learner. As we understand more what motivates your child we also understand their individual barriers to progress which in turn help us to work to remove these barriers.

In a warm and friendly nurture school environment we maintain at all times a calm and purposeful atmosphere. We believe that a positive and mutually respectful relationship between staff and your child is the key to successfully helping them to develop and grow.

Your child will have a designated key worker that is there to support them. Children are encouraged to reflect and communicate during regular 1:1 key worker sessions.

We have a Speech and Language Therapist that works with all our children. We also have a School counsellor and Play Therapist working in school. It is also possible to arrange support for any child that requires Educational Psychology or Occupational Therapy service.

All pupil targets will be individually developed for your child to help them stretch and grow academically as well as socially. Any intervention plans will be designed to remove your child’s individual barriers to learning and promote progress and achievement.

We have a full programme of activities to promote personal growth, social, spiritual and cultural child development to supplement the good academic work your child will be making in our school.

Your child will have a communication programme developed by our Speech and Language Therapist. This can be an extensive programme for children that have communication issues through to a social communication programme to build self-confidence in social situations for more able children.

We have high levels of structure and high staffing ratios in each class. Each member of staff is trained in Team Teach which emphasises diffusion rather than psychical intervention. Intervention is only ever used to keep your child safe in the event where diffusion and all other interventions have not worked.

 

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?

Your child is treated, as an individual and all learning at Oakfield is fully differentiated to meet your child’s learning needs and learning style. Your child will have Individual Learning Plan targets that are based on their SEN / EHC objectives to ensure that the learning offered is fully matched to your child’s needs.

In addition, all National Curriculum entitlements are differentiated and are presented through a creative curriculum. Our curriculum is based on the International Primary Curriculum which has been specifically designed to re-engage reluctant learners and help support children to overcome a wide range of learning needs. It can stretch very able pupils at the same time as supporting children who have large gaps in their learning.

Comprehensive individual baseline assessments are undertaken so we can demonstrate easily the progress your child has made. Assessment is on-going to demonstrate the progress in all areas. An assessment of each pupil’s learning style will be undertaken and monitored as part of this process.

Our class sizes are usually six pupils and two staff to each class. We have additional staff that undertake Literacy or Numeracy intervention programme where a child requires this further support. Your child’s individual needs and preferences will be considered when deciding which class group they will be allocated to.

 

How will both you and I know how my young person is doing and how will you help me to support my young person’s learning?

We like to keep in contact with you. Your child will have a daily dairy that is taken back home every day to let you know what sort of day they have had in school. We will often phone you with good news about what your child has done that day or with any news that we think you may wish to know.

At the end of every half term all comprehensive baselines assessments are updated. We use B Squared data programme to evaluate your child’s current academic attainment against National Curriculum levels. We further assess the B2 data against DfE progression data to show the rate of progress for your child. If your child makes less than ‘Good’ progress in Literacy and Numeracy they will be offered an intervention programme to help them catch up. This means that most of our pupils make at least good progress and a significant number make outstanding progress in their academic studies.

In addition we will also undertake a Boxal Pro le on your child and several other assessments of their motivation and attitude to learning. These are also shared with you to demonstrate progress of your child in these areas.

Your child will also have a yearly formal Annual Review where we invite you and the Local Authority along with any other professionals supporting your child. At the Annual Review we will consider all the evidence of their progress. The review will include a curriculum over view on what your child is expected to attain in the following academic year.

At the end of July we also send parents a summary of everything their child has achieved that year. All information is freely available to you at any time of the year if you require further copies of any reports.

We will regularly make phone calls to share with you anything we find works successfully with your child.

If you would like us to come out to see you in your home we happily undertake home school visits to talk about any issue or share your thoughts on your child’s progress.

 

What support will there be for my young person’s overall well-being?

Our very strong ethos and values of individual support and ‘nurture’ underpins our proactive approach to promoting your child’s wellbeing through everything we do. Staff understanding your child as an individual helps them to identity if your child were to become concerned with any issue.

We have a zero tolerance to any incidences of bullying or name calling in school and have proactive PHSE sessions to help prevent these types of occurrences. We also have strong cyber safety protocols to keep children safe. Our ‘Keeping Ourselves Safe’ sessions cover water safety, road safety, stranger danger, electricity safety and Cyber Safety.

Your child will have regular key worker sessions with a dedicated named key worker where they can discuss any issue that may be concerning them. We have an active school council with representatives of each class where any child can bring up suggestions for further school development.

Your child will have an Individual Risk Assessment that you will help formulate to keep your child safe at all times. All o site activities are closely scrutinised by our trained EVC to keep your child safe.

We are committed to collaborative working with all other professionals supporting your child.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

Staff at Oakfield are highly experienced in supporting your child to achieve and progress in school. We work closely with our Speech and Language Therapist and all children are assessed and individual communication programmes developed for them individually. We offer in school key worker listening services, a School counsellor, Play Therapist and are able to offer Occupational Therapist services and Educational Psychology by arrangement if required.

 

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

The staff working in the main building have qualifications pertinent to the role that include NVQ 3 in Child Care, Qualified Teacher Status, SENCO qualification.

The staff working in The Willows (our autism unit) have additional qualifications together with significant experience of working with children on the spectrum. Their qualifications include Certificate in Autism and Diploma in Autism from Birmingham University, PECS, Teach and Sensory Integration practice.

Training for all staff will also include all the statutory guidelines for school staff:

  • Administration Of Medicine,
  • First Aid
  • EVC
  • Moving and Handling
  • Food Hygiene
  • Fire Prevention
  • Inclusive Learning
  • Safeguarding / Child Protection
  • Attachment Issues in Children
  • CAF training
  • DSP for Senior Leaders

 

How will my young person be included in the activities outside the classroom including school trips?

As an inclusive school, all our children are given the opportunity to enjoy trips out away from the school site.

All risk assessments on your child will be undertaken in a positive manner with the aim of supporting their inclusion and act to remove barriers to their full participation rather than act as a block.

At Oakfield we have a rich and extensive range of activities that our young people can enjoy. All activities are fully vetted and risk assessed before each visit to ensure your child’s safety is maintained.

Your child will also have an Individual Risk Assessment that you will help formulate to ensure that we are aware of any potential issues. We then plan all our outings with this information in mind. The information we gain may lead us to increase staffing ratios for the trip or select alternative activities but not exclude any child.

 

How accessible is the school environment?

The school is mainly accessible apart from an area upstairs in the main building which does not have wheelchair access at this time. The school is accessed via a ramp and we have disabled facilities on the ground floor. The Willows Autism unit is fully accessible having all classrooms and facilities on the ground floor. We have disabled parking and disabled toilet facilities.

How will the school prepare and support my young person to join the school, transfer to college or the next stage of education and life?

We work closely with your Local Authority to ensure that the child is offered provision that can meet their needs. As part of our admissions process prospective parents can meet the Headteacher and see the school in action. Parents and carers can express a preference for Oakfield House School and this is usually through close working partnership with Parent Partnership and placing officers working for the Local Authority. All places are decided at a LA panel comprising of Headteacher’s, Educational Psychologists and Local Authority Officers.

At the early stages of the admissions process we work closely with parents and carers, children and their current schools (if currently attending) throughout the transition stage to create bespoke transition packages that meet individual need. This will involve an initial school visit, a taster day then a planned transition usually starting with half days building to full days depending on individual need.

Your child will get lots of opportunities to gain important skills for their future adult life. Our emphasis on each pupil being supported to reach their potential in Literacy, Numeracy and Communication skills is just one aspect but forms an essential base for adult life. Our nurture approach to teach tolerance and self-respect and improve confidence gives our young people the skills they need to take their place in the world. We seek to give our children a love of learning to become independent learners in the future.

Planned sessions in PHSE, Budgeting and Independent Living Skills are some of the many lessons your child will learn at Oak Field.

When it is time for your child to move on from Oakfield we work hard to ensure their transition to their new school is as smooth as possible. Our staff will take your child on transition visits to their new school and can stay with them until they feel con dent in their new surroundings. We go the ‘extra mile’ to make sure your child’s good progress at Oakfield is maintained.

 

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

All our classes are fully resourced and we take a flexible and responsive approach to any additional resources that may be required by a particular child. Pupil premium resources are provided for some pupils and we are always mindful of your preferred options for your child when allocating this resource.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Your child’s SEN/EHCP will identify the level of support your child needs and your Local Authority will have informed our school of your child’s needs. We undertake careful planned transitions into Oakfield to ensure we can fully meet your child’s needs.

We listen to families and view your child as a unique individual and as part of our careful transition process into Oakfield you will also get the opportunity to share your view of your child’s needs.

 

How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?

We value your contributions and always strive to work in partnership with our children’s family.

We will try to communicate regularly with you and are always happy to speak to you about any matter.

We will invite you to regular reviews of your child’s progress. We also hold regular fun events throughout the year that you are welcome to attend. These range from our annual festive talent show, Sports Day, Eco Garden days and Charity events.

 

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact James Joyce, Executive Principal at:

Station Road Salwick Preston Lancashire PR4 0YH

T: 01772 672 630
E: office@oakfieldhouseschool.co.uk