ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS
Bishop Vaughan Catholic School is made up of a diverse range of individuals, each bringing their own unique blend of strengths, talents and experiences. As a school, we strive to take a person-centred approach, adapting our provision to meet the needs of every learner in our community. We work to support all of our young people and provide the tools that they need to succeed and thrive on an academic, social and spiritual level.
There have been significant changes in the world of ALN this year. The introduction of the Additional Learning Needs Education and Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (ALNET) has brought into play an updated and improved approach to supporting learners in Wales. The term SEN has been replaced by ALN, and the definition of ALN has evolved, now only applying to learners who require additional learning provision (ALP) that goes beyond the support that is generally available to all learners. As a result of this, many learners who were previously identified as SEN will not be recognised as ALN learners under the new system, but will have continue to have their needs identified, monitored and provided for under our ‘universal provision’. This includes strategies such as differentiated classroom teaching, small group interventions, and targeted literacy and numeracy support.
Under the new system, ALN learners are those who access an additional learning provision that is not made universally available to all. For Bishop Vaughan, that is our learners within the Foundation, Strive, and Aspire classes, as well as learners who have previously had a statement of educational need. All schools will now be required to create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for these learners, which will replace statements and outline the support that each individual requires. If your child needs an IDP, we will contact you to arrange a meeting and discuss this further. The introduction of IDPs will be rolled out gradually over the coming years.
When learners arrive at Bishop Vaughan, they are initially placed into mixed ability classes. Information is collated through dialogue with our feeder primary schools and a thorough transition process. Learners with specific needs are identified and monitored under our universal provision practice, with our team of dedicated teaching assistants deployed to support learners where required. A range of interventions, such as Language Link, Units of Sound, Maths Mastery and Talk About are also used to support targeted groups of learners and help them to make progress. Further information about our full range of interventions can be found in the interventions section.
As they advance through school, all learners are closely monitored and tracked. The impact of interventions is assessed and further intervention provided if needed. Classes at GCSE are set generally set in line with ability. Learners with specific difficulties are assessed for exam access arrangements and those that qualify are provided with additional time and support with exams if required.
Learners with significant additional needs at KS3 may be placed within our Foundation classes. These classes are small in number and follow an alternative curriculum delivered by a reduced number of teaching staff. At KS4, these learners are also offered an alternative pathway, including a blend of core GCSEs and other qualifications through the Prince’s Trust, BTEC Sweet and local training provider, Inspire. This pathway aims to reduce the number of exams that learners have to take and allows them to demonstrate their skills and gain qualifications through a more practical based approach.
As a school, we collaborate with a wide range of external services to help us identify specific needs and access additional support from a number of different sources. ALN staff work with Behaviour Support Specialists, Educational Psychologists, Social Communication Champions, Neurodevelopmental Disorder Specialists, Speech and Language Specialists, Autism Specialists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Social Services, Exchange Counselling, and Early Help Hub. Drawing on the expertise of this range of professionals helps us to ensure that all learners can access the support that they need.
At Bishop Vaughan, we take great pride in striving to ensure that each and every learner feels safe, supported and able to succeed. If you have any further questions about ALN at Bishop Vaughan, please do not hesitate to get in touch.