Learning Support

Last updated: 01/04/2019

“Let everything you do be done in love.”
— 1 Corinthians 16:14

The Local Offer

Leeds City Council offers a vast amount of information regarding access to services for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This can be found using the link below:

Leeds Local Offer: Special Educational Needs & Disability

St. Mary's Menston SEND Information Report

St. Mary’s Menston Catholic Voluntary Academy is part of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust. There are 10 schools in the Trust, including our 5 feeder schools: Sacred Heart, Ilkley; St Mary’s, Horsforth; St. Joseph’s, Pudsey; St. Joseph’s, Otley and SS Peter and Paul, Yeadon. The Trust allows us to strengthen the work we do together in providing a world class Catholic education for the children and families within our Parish. Staff and Academy Councillors continue to work together to provide the best for our young people in all our schools throughout their education. 

As a school we firmly believe that each child, regardless of any educational or physical difficulties, has the right to take part in and enjoy every aspect of school life. The Learning Support department feels that our everyday work supports this belief and we base our work around our school values: Faithfulness; Humility; Truth; Forgiveness; Tolerance; Dignity; Service and Respect.

The aim of the Learning Support Department at St. Mary’s Menston is to ensure that appropriate provision is in place to meet the needs of students with additional or special educational needs or disabilities. 

The Learning Support Department, known as The Hub has three bases:

  • The Support Zone (room M15A)

  • The Learning Zone (room M14A and M15)

Meet the Learning Support Team 2018–19

The department is made up of a combination of staff who work collaboratively to ensure that students’ needs are identified and that all pupils have full access to the curriculum. The staff offer a high level of support both in and out of class.

Mrs E Addison

Mrs E Addison

Mrs E Allenby  Learning Support Manager

Mrs E Allenby

Learning Support Manager

Mrs S Batty

Mrs S Batty

Mr D Bowes  Teaching Assistant

Mr D Bowes

Teaching Assistant

Mrs L Collins  Teaching Assistant

Mrs L Collins

Teaching Assistant

Mrs A Cotter  Teaching Assistant

Mrs A Cotter

Teaching Assistant

Mrs J Hings  Head of Learning Support,  Assistant Headteacher

Mrs J Hings

Head of Learning Support,

Assistant Headteacher

Mrs L Masella  Teaching Assistant

Mrs L Masella

Teaching Assistant

Mrs C Miles  Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Mrs C Miles

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Ms T Nelson  SEN Administrator

Ms T Nelson

SEN Administrator

Miss E Pilgrim  Teaching Assistant

Miss E Pilgrim

Teaching Assistant

Miss E Thompson  Teaching Assistant

Miss E Thompson

Teaching Assistant

What's Available for Your Child?

How will St. Mary’s let me know if my child needs extra help or let me know what progress my child is making?

  • Staff carefully monitor and track progress. If a student is not making progress then a concern will be raised and staff at The Hub may be asked to intervene and support learning.

  • Parents receive regular Pupil Interim Reports which detail the level at which they are working and their progress towards subject targets.

  • Parents can arrange to discuss progress or concerns with teachers at any times by contacting the teacher or Progress Leader concerned

  • St. Mary’s Learning Support Department liaises closely with pupils, parents and staff to discuss concerns and take appropriate actions.

What should I do if I think my child may have a special educational need or disability?

  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should initially speak to your child’s Subject Teacher, Tutor or Head of Year.

  • The concerns can also be raised with the Learning Support department directly.

  • The Learning Support Department will use plan, assess, do, review model to support your child’s needs and ensure that they access the curriculum and achieve their potential.

How will St. Mary’s support my child?

St. Mary's is an inclusive school. We strive to enable our students with Special Educational needs to integrate fully within our school community and encourage a person centred, independent approach. Students in school are supported by programmes tailored to their individual needs.  

This may be provided by:

  • Differentiated work in the classroom

  • Learning support team in the school

  • External agencies and specialists for needs such as Autism, Visual and Hearing Impairment, Physical Difficulties, Cognition and Behaviour

  • Staff who visit from external support services such as the Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy Service or the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

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

  • Teachers prepare lessons according to the specific needs of all pupils in their class to ensure that your child’s needs are met.

  • Nurture groups and 1:1 mentoring will support individual need

  • The Hub staff will support learning in the classroom as appropriate.

  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and/or in groups.

  • Planning and teaching will be adapted to meet your child’s learning needs.

  • Lesson plans and teaching will be adapted to suit your child’s individual needs.

How will I know how my child is doing?

  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by teaching staff and progress is reviewed every half term.

  • The progress of pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan reviewed termly and at an Annual Review with the pupil and all adults involved with the pupil’s education.

  • Regular reviews are held with parents and students are actively encouraged to participate

How can St. Mary’s help me to support my child?

  • We believe that effective home school liaison is vital to support our students effectively and maximise achievement. We work in partnership with our parents to ensure that there is excellent home school links and we are always approachable to discuss concerns- no matter how small

  • Mrs Hings (Head of Learning Support) is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have at any time.

  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you directly or, where this is not possible, provided through a report. We will also arrange to meet with you to discuss any new assessments and recommendations suggested for your child.

  • Homework will be personalised to meet your child’s individual needs.

What intervention programmes are available at St. Mary’s to support pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

  • The Hub offers support and guidance to pupils throughout the school day and staff are always available to offer not only academic but also social and emotional support.

  • We provide specialist SEN support in the Hub during break and lunch times, when pupils are supported in developing social skills and forming friendships.

  • Coloured overlays and literacy resources are used across the school to support learning.

  • Pupils who struggle with handwriting or who find recording difficult have access to handwriting tuition and, if necessary, may use a laptop in class.

  • We work closely with our partner primary schools and have a clear SEND Transition Programme from Year 6 to 7 through the Ambassadors project.

  • Where helpful we provide visual timetables to support Pupils’ access to a timetable.

  • All staff are made aware of Pupil’s additional learning needs via specific information and guidance available to them on the school system. This information is always kept up to date and it ensures that staff are able to understand and plan for Pupil’s needs.

  • We have a dedicated team of Teaching Assistants who work with pupils in the classroom. For students with complex needs, a key worker oversees provision in school.

  • Teaching Assistants and Specialist Teachers deliver a wide range of 1:1 and small group intervention programmes to help address literacy, numeracy, social/communication, speech and language and behaviour concerns.

  • Pupils with identified SEN working below National Curriculum expectations in Numeracy and Literacy access Catch up Literacy/Numeracy nurture programmes to close the gap.

  • Access arrangements and exam concessions are put in place for those with SEND who meet specific criteria.

  • Pupils can access the Learning Support area at break and lunchtimes and are allowed priority access to the canteen.

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

  • The Pastoral system and Learning Support team carefully monitors students and intervenes when students are experiencing difficulties

  • Students are aware of the support available to them within our school community

  • Access to social and emotional groups during break and lunchtimes support the development of friendships

  • Learning mentors offer support and advice to students when they need extra support.

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school for my child?

External support services and support services within the Local Authority such as:

  • Visual and Hearing Impairment Teams

  • Physical Difficulties

  • Cognition and Learning and Behaviour Support Teams

  • Speech and Language Therapy Service

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

  • Educational Psychology Service

  • School Community Nurse.


What training will St Mary’s staff have undertaken to support children with SEND?

  • The Head of Learning Support has a wide experience of teaching students with Special Educational needs and disabilities across the primary and secondary range and supports the staff in planning and differentiating for children with SEND.

  • The Learning Support Department has a weekly meeting to train and update all Teaching Assistants on SEN issues such as Autism, Dyslexia etc.

  • Individual teachers and support staff can receive individual or group training through courses or training days run by both outside agencies and in house specialists. Training at St. Mary’s is both generic and bespoke to make it relevant to the needs of specific pupils.

How will my child be supported in activities outside the classroom eg school trips?

We will always try to ensure that our students have opportunities to access all activities.Teaching assistants are deployed to support students to enable them to access the curriculum and support learning on field trips and residential visits.

How accessible is St. Mary’s to children with SEND?

  • Please see the St. Mary's Menston Accessibility Policy

  • The school is aware of disability legislation and will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that we meet the needs of pupils who have a disability.

  • As far as possible, we ensure that equipment and resources used in school are accessible to all pupils but, when required, specialist equipment is available in school or through the authority’s specialist support services.

  • Specialist support is put in place to address specific needs which are assessed on an individual basis, for example a pupil with a visual impairment may need a reader, a scribe and practical assistance in addition to any specialised equipment which might be required.

How will St. Mary’s assist and prepare my child for the next phase of education? eg college, transfer to another school.

We recognise that ‘moving on’ can be difficult for a pupil with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible for the parent and the child.
We offer a transitional programme called “The Ambassadors project” which supports our future year 7 students with the transition into St. Mary's.

  • If your child is moving to another school:

    • We will contact the school SENCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child and

    • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on securely to the receiving school as soon as possible.

  • When moving years in school:

    • Information about your child will be shared with their new teachers and

    • If your child would be helped by a personalised plan for moving to another year, we will put this in place.

  • In Year 11:

    • If your child has a statement or EHCP they will meet with a Careers Advisor to create a plan for their Post 16 education.

    • The Key Worker and Careers Advisor will support your child in transition to Sixth Form or college.

    • If necessary, the Key Worker will arrange visits to new schools/colleges for your child.

Who can I contact at St. Mary’s for further information?

Mrs Joanne Hings – Head of Learning Support (SENCo) and Associate Assistant Headteacher

She is responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating all the support for pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEN Policy to make sure all pupils get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.

  • Ensuring that you are:

    • involved in supporting your child’s learning;

    • informed about the support your child is receiving;

    • involved in plan, assess, do, review of your child’s learning

  • Liaising with all the other external support services who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning (these may include, among others, the Speech and Language Therapy Service, the Educational Psychology Team and Specialist Support Services such as the Autism, Visual and Hearing Impairment, Physical Difficulties, Learning Difficulties and Behaviour Support Teams)

  • Updating the school’s Additional Needs register and making sure that there are clear and comprehensive records of your child’s progress and needs.

  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help your child to make the best possible progress in school.

Mr Darren Beardsley – Headteacher

He is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the support for children with SEND.

Achievement Managers, Pastoral Support Officers, Form Tutors, Subject Teachers, Heads of Faculty/Department.

They are responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need - this could be things like targeted work and additional support.

  • Liaising with the Head of Learning Support

  • Ensuring that all staff working with your child in school are supported to deliver the planned work/programme for your child, so they can achieve the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.

Mr Andrew Price  - SEND link governor

He is responsible for:

  • Linking between the governing body and the school in relation to pupils with SEND.

  • Making sure that the necessary support is in place for any pupil who attends the school who has SEND.

  • Reviewing the school's policy on provision for pupils with SEND and ensuring that parents have confidence in this provision.

  • Help to raise awareness of SEND