The transfer from primary to secondary school can be daunting In order to make things as smooth as possible for our students we have a transition programme in place. The SENCO is fully involved in the transition from primary to secondary phase in order to support some of our most vulnerable students to make a smooth transition into Abbs Cross.
- Before starting in September, Year 6 students visit the Academy for a full induction day.
- In September, year 7 students begin the day early, before the rest of the school arrives. This helps them get used to the new building and to new lessons and routines.
- During the Summer Term, liaison meetings are held with the primary schools. This allows information about students with SEN to be transferred so that it can be used in Student Support Summaries and to inform the Year 7 grouping process.
- The SENCO will also meet parents and the child before the child starts at Abbs Cross.
- Students who join the Academy mid-term visit once before starting. On this day they will have a comprehensive tour of the building. When joining they will be allocated a buddy who is in the same form group. The buddy will help them during their first few weeks.
Year 7 Target setting for students with EHC Plans
Initial targets for students in Year 7 with EHC Plans are set at their last Annual Review in Year 6. These are then revised after the interim review which takes place during the Autumn Term, following discussion with the students and parents.
New Group Reading Test
All new students take the New Group reading test in the Autumn Term when they join Abbs Cross. This enables us to identify students who, for instance, are competent readers with weak comprehension skills. The results are used to help us identify students who would benefit from inclusion on the Reading Recovery scheme.
The Reading Recovery scheme is a computer-based programme to support literacy. During afternoon registration a group of identified students use the age appropriate Lexia computer programme to improve reading, spelling, and comprehension.
In-class support is available for those students that require it. Support is prioritised for students with EHC Plans. There is also general support for students on SEN Support. Learning Support Assistants in class provide additional support for students that require it.
Alpha to Omega Phonics and Literacy Skills Groups
These groups run for years 7 to 11 wherever a need is identified.
Skills covered in these sessions can include:
- Reading (stories/plays)
- Writing (handwriting, written expression, dictation)
- Speaking (retelling stories, being able to justify an opinion, telling a story in chronological order)
- Listening ( listening, understanding and remembering what someone else says)
- Spelling ( 100/200 most common words)
- Reference skills ( being able to use a dictionary, an atlas, an index)
- Self-esteem (We KNOW you CAN do well, we need to convince you!)
Social Skills Group
In Years 7, 8 and 9 when students are identified as lacking in confidence and struggling with friendships we offer short term social skills groups to increase their confidence and enjoyment when interacting with peers.
CATs is an assessment of a range of reasoning skills. The tests looks at reasoning in four types of symbols: words, numbers and shapes or figures, i.e. verbal, quantitative, non- verbal and spatial reasoning. All students complete the tests in the Autumn Term when they join year 7.
To share the far reaching level of additional help being offered to our students across the whole school we conduct BASELINE testing of all new arrivals to identify every student’s reading and spelling ages, as well as having the resources to screen for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia if required. In addition, throughout the year we will work closely with staff to identify suitable students for our Intervention Programmes which include small groups and one to one for Social Skills & Resilience, Hand writing, Lexia, Alpha to Omega and Code X, Literacy, Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Reading Recovery, Numeracy, YCT & ABC Counselling Behaviour Group and KS4 Playback Academic Mentoring.
Homework, Social and Games Club
Homework club is offered throughout the week and is run by the ATL for the year group. Games club takes place every day between 1:30 and 2:00 pm in G7. Social club is available in the Life and Learning Zone every break time and lunch time (between 1.40 -2.00pm) allowing our highest level of need students an opportunity to play games and eat in a calm supervised environment. The SENCO and LSAs are available to support students with their homework and discuss any other concerns.