What kind of SEN provision is available at The Orchards?
The Orchard’s is a specialist free school, which is part of the inspirational Dunham Trust. It currently has places for up to 48 children from the ages of 4 – 11. The Orchards School caters for children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. All of the children at the school have difficulties with cognition and learning, with the majority having moderate to severe learning difficulties. Some of our children have profound and multiple difficulties, some have social communication difficulties including Autism and some have sensory impairments. The Orchards does not cater for children where Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs are identified as a primary need.
How will The Orchards identify and assess my child’s special needs?
Most pupils will have been assessed for and have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), however The Orchards is able to offer a small number of assessment places. These assessment places involve a multi – disciplinary team working very closely with the pupil and parents to assess barriers to learning. The culmination of these holistic reports and close work with parents is usually an Education Health and Care Plan which identifies barriers to learning and what provision may be appropriate to help overcome these barrier
How does The Orchards evaluate the effectiveness of our provision?
We have robust procedures for self evaluation of our work, including using our governors, other specialist settings and external specialists to quality assure the work we do. In addition the school self-evaluation cycle is based upon the Ofsted evaluation schedule looking at the areas: overall effectiveness, effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils.
How do I know how well my child is doing at The Orchards?
During the autumn term and spring term you will have an opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher at a formal parents evening. You will also receive an end of year school report.
At least once a year The Orchards will hold an annual review of the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan. You will be invited to attend this review along with any other members of the team around your child.
The Orchards operates an open door policy and we welcome parents making appointments or requesting phone consultations at anytime when they would like information. We know that the more you know, the more you can support your child in their learning.
How will The Orchards meet the needs of my child?
At The Orchards there are currently 7 classes across the school. The children are grouped according to their primary learning need. This primary barrier to learning directs which pathway the children are placed upon for their learning journey.
Pathways / Classes
At The Orchar’s School every child has a Personalised Learning Plan which combines all the information around each child from every professional involved. This person centred planning ensures that all children’s educational, health and social care needs are understood, planned for and ultimately fully met.
At The Orchards we offer three bespoke learning pathways for the children. Each pathway has been carefully designed to enable the development of optimum learning environments which can be carefully sculpted to meet the needs of all children. These pathways enable us to ensure that similar approaches and strategies can be established with groups of children who have similar learning profiles.
There are currently three pathways at The Orchards.
- Woodland Pathway
- Riverside Pathway
- Meadow Pathway
These pathways while offering a discreet package of support for the learners on their pathway also all ensure that the core offer of the school is accessed by all learners.
Each year we review our class groups in the context of the children that have left our school and our new intake ensuring that the class groups meet the needs of our current school population.
How will the staff support my child and how will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
The children are at the heart of The Orchards and learning and teaching strategies are matched to their individual needs. This includes:
- Ensuring an appropriate classroom learning environment matched to the needs of the pupils
- Small class groups with high staffing ratios to enable a high percentage of individual and small group support for learning
- Highly trained and skilled staff who are experienced in working with children with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities
- The provision of highly specialist teaching and learning strategies and breadth of resources to match the individual needs of all learners.
- A differentiated curriculum which is matched to the needs of all of our learners – Consistent implementation of total communication strategies, that is, use of signing, symbols and communication technology in addition to the spoken word.
- Regular advice and support from a wide range of therapists including speech and language, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
- All children have a personalised curriculum (‘My Learning Targets’). These are a set of targets directly linked to EHCP outcomes which are ‘barriers to learning’ and which they practice each day
How do we adapt the curriculum at The Orchards?
The curriculum at The Orchards School is based around the recommendations from The Complex Learning Difficulties & Disabilities Project (2011), The Rochford Review (2016), the work of Penny Lacy and the innovative work of the Swiss Cottage School in London.
The Orchards School Curriculum encourages active engagement in learning and ensures that all opportunities throughout a child’s school day are seen as an opportunity for learning. The curriculum is carefully sculpted to ensure that it is both skills and context based while taking account of individual strengths and interests. The curriculum model focuses on developing the key skill of communication, cognition, independence, physical development and self-care, all key transferable skills that equip children for life after school.
At The Orchards School we endeavour to ensure that our curriculum provides a variety of contexts for learning through different learning experiences, themes and subjects.
What additional support for learning is available?
At The Orchards we are proud to have such a hard working and highly skilled staff team. Click here to meet the staff
Ensuring our staff have the knowledge and expertise to meet the needs of our learners is a priority for us and as such we have a comprehensive programme of induction for new staff and whole school training. We also provide individual training for individual staff and small groups of staff where appropriate. Our induction and training programme includes safeguarding, health and safety, and moving and handling. Our training programme ensures staff are kept up to date on curriculum matters linked to the School Development Plan and also on meeting the additional needs of learners e.g. training on alternative communication strategies such as sign along / use of symbols.
What support is there for social and emotional development at The Orchards?
The development of social and emotional skills is at the very core of all our work. All the staff work with a clear behaviour policy that promotes pupil respect and decision making. Within the personal development curriculum social and emotional skills are a fundamental aspect of work. In addition each class works closely with families to support pupils.
What training is provided to develop staff expertise?
At The Orchards we are proud to have such a hard working and highly skilled staff team.
Ensuring our staff have the knowledge and expertise to meet the needs of our learners is a priority for us and as such we have a comprehensive programme of induction for new staff and whole school training. We also provide individual training for individual staff and small groups of staff where appropriate. Our induction and training progamme includes safeguarding, health and safety, and moving and handling. Our training programme ensures staff are kept up to date on curriculum matters linked to the School Development Plan and also on meeting the additional needs of learners e.g. training on alternative communication strategies such as sign along / use of symbols.
What equipment and facilities are there to support young people with special needs?
The Orchards is a single storey building with an annex building. The larger single storey building houses our purple avenue classrooms. These are large classrooms with plenty of space for all the children’s great learning. The classrooms all look a little different and are designed around the individual needs of the children in that group. The main building also houses our creative hive and school offices.
The smaller annex building currently houses our yellow avenue classes. The classrooms in the annex building are smaller and give a greater sense of safety for some of our children. There is a purpose built outdoor area, low stimulation room and work room in this building.
The school is accessible to all. Click here to see photographs of our school and facilities.
How are families involved in the education of their children?
At The Orchards – parents are fully included in all aspects of their children’s education.
· Initial visits to school
· Home visits for reception age children and introductory meetings for all
· Home/school book for information exchanges and key messages
· Twice a year parent/teacher meetings
· A report at the end of the year
· Annual Review meeting and report
· Parent workshops and training
· Coffee mornings
· Parental Representation on Governing Body
· Parent involvement in changes in school through informal and formal consultations
· Regular questionnaires of families
· Regular newsletter and text updates.
How are children consulted about their views in relation to their education?
All children in our school are treated with dignity and respect. There is full personalisation of the curriculum for each pupil in order that they can access and experience success throughout their time at The Orchards. The Senior Leadership team listen to children’s voices regularly through discussion, communication systems; such as PECs and through observation careful observation of the children. We know that happy children make the best learners and as such are highly committed to ensuring that all our children are happy and safe at our school.
Children’s views are always sought before their annual review is conducted and where appropriate, some children are invited to attend parts of their meetings to celebrate their successes.
What do I do if I have a concern about the provision at The Orchards?
In the first instance please contact your child’s class teacher. If you still have a concern then please contact the Acting Head of School, Ms H O’Brien. There is a complaints policy available on our website.
What specialist services can be accessed at The Orchards?
The school receives advice from a range of health professionals to meet the needs our children. We work with a variety of educational psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and a whole range of other services to ensure that our pupils are achieving the outcomes detailed in their Education, Health and Care Plans
What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood?
All transitions are well planned for throughout school as pupils move from class to class and to a new key stage.
Pupils are supported in planning for their transition from primary to secondary and this planning process begin in Year 5 with Summer term transition reviews being held.. Transition experiences are provided for pupils and we work with secondary schools to ensure transition is as positive as possible for our children as they leave The Orchards.
Children joining us in reception will have the opportunity to visit, receive a home visit and have a taster session prior to their September start. We work closely with families to ensure the move from part time to full time schooling is appropriate to the individual needs to the child. Pupils joining in other year groups will have sensitive, appropriate transition arrangements made depending upon their specific needs and circumstances.
Where can I get further information and support?
Where can I get information about the LA local offer?
Please click the link for the appropriate local authority to view their local offer.
Parents can also receive extra support and advice from The Trafford Parents Forum, who work in partnership with parents and professionals in the key areas that affect them and children with special needs. This can vary from a cup of coffee, the opportunity to meet other parents, leaflets and information to invitations to training events and conferences. You can find out further information on their website.