We are pleased to welcome you to the SEND Department, here at Abbs Cross Academy. These pages will give you an insight into the values and work of the SEND Department at Abbs Cross.

Role of The SENCO

The SENCO, in collaboration with the head teacher and governing body, plays a key role in determining the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision in the school in order to raise the achievement of children with SEND.

I am Mrs A. Draper and my key responsibilities as the SENCO include:

  • Overseeing the day to day operation of the school’s SEND policy
  • Liaising with and advising teachers
  • Managing the SEND team of teachers and learning support assistants
  • Coordinating the provision for students with special educational needs
  • Overseeing the records on all students with special educational needs
  • Liaising with parents of students with special educational needs
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Liaising with external support agencies

To get in contact, please ring the school reception on 01708 440304, and then ask to be put through to SEND.

Abbs Cross Academy - Mrs A. Draper

Telephone: 01708 440304

SEND Policy

SEND Information Report (Local Offer)

Havering Local Offer

Role of The Learning Support Assistant

Learning Support Assistants make a valuable contribution to the achievements of students. They may attend a student’s care needs but a high proportion of their role is educational. The key responsibilities of the LSA include:

Support for Students:

  • To provide in class, small group or individual support
  • To offer help, as appropriate, to any student experiencing difficulties
  • To praise, encourage and develop positive relationships
  • To foster the participation of students in the social and academic processes of the school
  • To enable students to become more independent learners
  • To help raise the standards and achievement for all students

Support for Teachers:

  • To help develop effective collaborative working across the curriculum to support SEND students
  • To assist in the preparation of teaching and learning materials for students with SEND
  • To assist in the development and implementation of appropriate systems for recording the progress of students with SEND
  • To assist in the management of the whole class
  • To assist with display work
  • To provide regular feedback to the SENCO

Support for the School:

  • To promote home school liaison for students with SEND
  • To contribute to review procedures for students with SEND
  • To liaise with staff and other relevant professionals and provide information about students as appropriate
  • To contribute to the evaluation of the school’s SEND policy and practice through discussions with relevant staff
  • To attend appropriate in-service training provided by school or LEA
  • To be aware of and follow school policies and procedures
  • To participate in educational visits
  • To attend meetings required for information, planning and development
  • To respect confidentiality at all times

Aims and Ethos

At Abbs Cross we value all students equally. Our guiding principle is one of Inclusion. We want to identify and break down possible barriers to learning.

The aim of Abbs Cross SEND policy is to develop a system of support, which enables students with special educational needs to make the greatest possible progress. The support systems are based on comprehensive whole school systems of monitoring, assessment and intervention.

Objectives in making provision for pupils with SEND

  • To ensure that all students including those with difficulties and disabilities have equal access to a broad, balanced curriculum which is differentiated to identify individual needs and abilities.
  • To ensure that all teachers are aware it is their responsibility to meet the special educational needs of students. To do this they can draw on the resources of the whole school.
  • To ensure that every student has his or her particular needs recognised and addressed.
  • To seek the views of the student and involve him/her in the process of support.
  • To offer the high quality support to ensure that all student needs are met.
  • To fully involve parents/carers in the process of provision for the student.
  • To acknowledge and draw on parental knowledge and expertise in relation to their child.
  • To ensure the aims of education for students with difficulties and disabilities are the same as those for all students.
  • To maximise the opportunities for students with special educational needs to participate in all the activities of the school.
  • To enable all students to experience success.
  • To ensure that consideration of SEND crosses all curriculum areas and all aspects of teaching and learning.
  • To ensure that all teachers encompass the good special needs practice which is beneficial for all students.
  • To ensure awareness amongst staff that any student may encounter difficulties at some stage

Support for your learning

How can your family help you?

Support from home is vital for all students, including those with special education needs.

By listening to parents / carers we can understand students’ needs better.

By working in unison with them a strong framework of support can be provided to help students feel safe, secure and ready to learn.

Parents / carers can help in the following ways, which may seem just everyday common things but are crucial to help young people succeed.

  • Help your child to organise herself / himself.
  • Ask your child to keep books in one place at home.
  • Pack your child’s bag for school with her/him until this can be done independently, do this in the evening if possible.
  • Ask your child how the day at school went.
  • Ask them to show you some work and give them praise for what has been achieved.
  • If possible work with your child at home.
  • Encourage your child to give regular time to homework and look at her/his homework diary at least once a week.
  • Contact the school if you have any concerns about how your child is getting on.
  • Listen to your child read and help them to understand key words in different subjects and to learn their times tables.
  • Give plenty of praise and encouragement.


Pastoral Support Programme – Overview

What is a Pastoral Support Plan?

Pastoral Support Plan (PSPs) are designed to support young people who are at risk of permanent exclusion or young people who are at risk of becoming disaffected through repeated fixed-term exclusions or who have been involved in a single very serious incident.

The PSP is a school-based, young person centred approach to address the inclusion of young people with challenging/concerning behaviour from a range of perspectives. SMART targets are set for both the young person and for the range of agencies who will be involved with the young person ( if appropriate).

Key to this process is the regular review of the PSP that enables close monitoring of the young person within the school environment. The process allows the school as well as parents and Outreach agencies ( if appropriate)  involved with the young person to monitor their progress and the impact of all support agreed.


  • is school based
  • is time-limited
  • has smart targets with practical strategies
  • is owned by the school and is overseen by a key member of staff, e.g. SLT/YCT/Social Inclusion officer etc.
  • follows a standard format and monitored across 16 weeks (This can be extended depending on exceptional circumstances)
  • is agreed with parents and carers

Provision for Students with SEND

We provide for a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities, divided into four broad areas. We recognise that students often have needs that cut across all of these areas and their needs may change over time:

Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Sensory and/or physical needs

We are able to offer the following:

  • Quality first teaching and learning
  • In-class curriculum support
  • Small group intervention work
  • Individual 1 to 1 work
  • Form time and mentoring support
  • Study Support at Key Stage 4
  • Before school support work
  • Break time and Lunchtime social club
  • After school support work

Students with medical needs

The Academy is committed to ensuring that students with medical conditions are properly supported in school so that they can:

  • play a full and active role in school life
  • access and enjoy the same opportunities at school as any other child, including school trips and physical education
  • remain healthy and safe
  • achieve their academic potential

The Academy supports students with medical needs so that they can participate in all aspects of school life, including school trips.

  • If a student has a medical need they will have a Care Plan which is compiled in consultation with parents under the guidance of the school nurse. The plan is discussed with all staff who are involved with the student.
  • All staff receive regular medical training delivered by the school nurse team which is either delivered within school or centrally at Queens Hospital.
  • Where necessary and in agreement with parents, medicines are administered in school but only with signed parental consent and with medicines in the original packaging.

See our Medical Needs Policy for more details

What support can students receive while taking tests and exams?

We follow the guidelines laid down by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). A student may be eligible for access arrangements (such as extra time, supervised rest breaks or use of a reader) if s/he meets certain pre-defined criteria.

For full information on access arrangements, click on the JCQ website: JCQ

Students who are on the SEND register are automatically assessed to ascertain if they meet the criteria. Other students are nominated by parents or teachers. Only small numbers of students are granted permission to have special consideration for examinations. In this case, parents and students are informed well in advance of the examination.

Post-16 support

Students who have had support from the SEND Department have successfully applied to both Sixth Form and local colleges to continue study to post-KS5 (University). We offer careers advice to our students in years 9-11.

  • During year 11, the SENCO and her team will support students with SEN with applications for College or apprenticeships. Where necessary, students will be accompanied on visits and supported during this important transition.
  • Every Key Stage 4 student has access to careers advice. The SEN team work closely with young people and parents/carers to ensure suitable choices are made.

Transition to Secondary Phase

Primary Liaison

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.

Reading Recovery

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

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)
  • Memory
  • 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 Testing

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.

Baseline Testing

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.


Achievement and Awards

As a department we feel it imperative that we recognise and celebrate achievement. Thus throughout the year we send letters home to update parents on positive teacher feedback and award positive behaviour and achievement SIMs, subject and intervention awards as well as nominations for the Prestigious Head Teacher awards.  We host regular Afternoon Tea events for our students with EHCP. These events are truly valuable to developing and strengthening our parental relationships. The purpose and impact of such an event will allow our SEND department to work with parents and students to discuss and gain a greater understanding of how to best support students in terms of their growth of independence, academic achievement and be able to fulfil their aspirational targets based on a review meeting to discuss the student’s Student Support Summary and targets.

We will continue to challenge all our students to make outstanding progress and through our rigourous monitoring we hope to instil a passion for learning and the life skills they need to become positive members of the community. Thank you in advance for your support, we look forward to working with you and promise to always do our utmost to assist you with any concerns or feedback you wish to share.

Local and School Offer

What is the Local Offer? What is the School Offer?

The local offer is a directory of all services available to support disabled students and students with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with SEND as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.

Havering Council’s local offer is in one place that is accessible to all. It includes information on what is available to support children and young people with a special educational need and/or a disability from birth up to the age of 25.

Further information on Havering’s local offer can be found at

The following document sets out Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College’s contribution to that offer.

Online Learning Resources

Supporting Families

New partnership on the rise as Havering CAMHS & Adult learning are working together!

All courses are free! Supporting families to support their children with their wellbeing, language, communication and safety.

Please see attached courses and a full list of upcoming course times below.

Please click on the attached link  for the most recent Family Learning leaflet which briefly outlines all of the courses that are currently running online. Parents can then either enquire by emailing/calling where they can choose a specific training/date and fill out an enquiry form.