Our Mission Statement
Mount Tamar will work to ensure that the education students receive is tailored to meet their individual needs and designed to give them the skills to improve their chances in life. The development of students’ personal integrity and self-esteem is central to all work.
- To develop students’ educational and personal potential in a safe, stimulating and supportive learning environment
- To make good progress in learning
- To develop students’ personal integrity and self-esteem.
Definition of Special Education
“Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty or disability if they: -
- Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
- Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in school.”
Mount Tamar is committed to supporting students individual needs through a range of personalised opportunities and curriculum offers, thereby allowing them a positive experience at Mount Tamar to encourage successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
Objectives of SEN provision within Mount Tamar
- To provide the best possible experience for all pupils, within a safe, caring and stimulating environment to reduce barriers to learning.
- To ensure maximum access and progress for all children.
- For all practitioners to be teachers of pupils with additional needs and to differentiate according to the needs of the children in their care.
- To meet the physical, emotional, mental health and intellectual needs of all our children.
- To involve parents and carers in the implementation of programmes of support.
- To involve external agencies as part of the school community in meeting the needs of the whole child.
- To monitor progress of all children in order to enable appropriate action to be taken.
- To use early identification, assessment and intervention as the key to meeting the needs of individual students.
- To meet the diverse needs of all pupils ensuring they can access and contribute to the social and cultural activities of the school.
- To involve children in decision making and problem solving in order to develop appropriate target setting through a person centred planning approach wherever possible.
- To have due regard to the Revised SEN Code of Practice (Draft 2013) and the Disability Discrimination Act.
- Mount Tamar is a Specialist School that focuses on ASC/ADHD and SEMH
- All our students have a Statement of Educational Needs.
- The main site is on Row Lane and consists of the lower and upper school. Our offsite Aspire provision is based over three sites, Beckly, Diggin It and Southway.
- Our students are between 5-16 years old, covering Key Stages 1-4.
- We offer personalised support packages specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of students. This may be at one of our Bases across the city that best suits the needs of the student or may be a more ‘bespoke’ provision.
- We are aware that for many of the students we work with, their needs may change frequently. We hold regular reviews for all our students and work on a flexible basis- if the provision/ interventions aren’t meeting the needs of the young person then it can be changed.
- We work closely with appropriate external agencies and parents/ carers in order to meet the needs of the child as a whole.
- We aim to involve the student in decision making in order to develop appropriate target setting through a person centred planning approach wherever possible.
- Mount Tamar monitor progress of all our students regularly in order to enable appropriate action to be taken promptly.
Identification, assessment and monitoring progress for pupils
- Prior to joining us at Mount Tamar we consult with their previous education provision, parents and if appropriate other professionals who may be involved, this will enable us to decide the support needed and carry out further assessment to identify barriers to learning and the nature of their difficulties if needed.
- Mount Tamar will pay regard to advice and information from students, parents and previous settings at transition points; liaising as necessary to continue the use of successful strategies and approaches.
- The identification of a students strengths and difficulties is part of our standard admissions procedures.
- We ensure that teaching and support staff have appropriate guidance regarding the child’s additional needs. This may include access to appropriate information around the different SEN areas of need
- Mount Tamar make use of a range of appropriate screenings and assessments to identify needs. If needed these will only be used by appropriately trained and qualified staff.
- Seek advice from advisory services and outside agencies including the Educational Psychology Service, CAMHS, Speech and Language Service, Local Authority support services etc.
- In line with whole school policy, the academic progress of all students across Mount Tamar, is regularly tracked, reviewed and monitored using robust and clear tracking systems?
- Baseline assessment and school data is used to ensure appropriate target setting is in place so that lack of appropriate progress is identified.
- Interventions and actions are then put in place as appropriate.
- We review and evaluate provision regularly in the light of the information gathered.
- Good communication between staff is seen as vital and teachers are held responsible and accountable for pupil progress within their class. Key concerns are highlighted to Senior Leadership.
- There is a set schedule of scrutiny of pupil’s work and teachers planning. Classroom observations are regular.
What support can Mount Tamar provide for pupils with SEN?
- Mount Tamar believe in an inclusive approach towards education for all children regardless of their abilities ensuring they have a sense of positive well-being and above all feeling safe and happy.
- Mount Tamar believe that every child has the fundamental right to access a broad, creative and enjoyable education experience thus enabling them to foster a love for learning.
- The school offers a continuum of provision to meet a diversity of pupils’ needs.
- When referred to us, we assess and identify each students individual needs and an appropriate personalised programme is put in place and reviewed regularly.
- We are also able to offer more complex individuals personalised “bespoke” packages to ensure their needs are met and thus ensuring they are able to achieve to the best of their ability.
- Additional in-class support is available in all classes by LSA’s. This additional support is sometimes targeted at individual pupils as well as whole groups of pupils.
- Class sizes can vary dependent on the individual Base and needs of the student but tends to range from 4-8 students for each lesson.
- Lessons will be appropriately planned and differentiated to meet the ability and potential of each student.
- Suitable interventions and additional support (school based and external) will be put in place as needed to meet a students needs and enable progress to be made. Unfortunately there may be waiting times for some of these services.
- We also work closely with a wide range of external vocational providers and services to offer students as wide a curriculum as appropriate to meet their needs.
- Mount Tamar has a PSA who looks to support the whole family in times of concern or need, this may result in a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) being put in place to formalise and identify the need for multi agency support and explore wider issues which may be affecting the child or young person’s ability to access education. We will seek to involve other professionals as appropriate with your permission and consent.
Access to further external support
- Further advice and professional support is sought and implemented as is considered necessary for the individual needs of the children, although there may often be a waiting list to access these.
- Regular contact is maintained with a variety of outside agencies and professionals to discuss students who are deemed to be a cause for concern socially, emotionally or academically.
- As a direct result of this, many of our students may receive additional outside support from services such as CAMHS, Harbour, School Counsellors, Careers South West (CSW), the Multi Agency Support Team (MAST), and health, Social Services, the Educational Psychology Service, Education Welfare Service, Youth Service, Family Psychotherapists, the Youth Offending Service and the Behaviour Support Team. We also regularly access advice and involvement from Plymouth Advisory Learning Support (PALS), Sensory and Physical Outreach services, Communication and Interaction Team (CIT), Special Services, Occupational Therapy and The Children’s Speech and Language Service. These are just some examples.
- Parents may also be encouraged to contact the Parent Partnership Service if independent advice would be beneficial for them.
- When we seek the help of external support services, those services will need to see the child’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have been set and achieved.
- The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity towards staff and parents provide additional specialist assessment or be involved in teaching the child or young person directly.
Involving parents and students
- Partnership with parents plays a key role in enabling children to achieve their potential. Mount Tamar recognises that parents hold key information and have valuable knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them.
- All parents of children at Mount Tamar will be supported to play an active and valued role in their children’s education.
- The majority of our parents/ carers have weekly, if not daily contact from key members of staff involved with their child.
- Parents/carers are invited to participate in regular review meetings (at least every half term) to discuss progress and to be involved in setting targets with appropriate intervention strategies to help the student both in school and at home. Our staff will happily visit you at home if this is more appropriate.
- Children and young people with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views about what sort of help they would like to help them make the most of their education will be ascertained. They will be encouraged to participate in all the decision-making processes and contribute to the assessment of their needs, the reviews and transition processes when appropriate.
- Mount Tamar use a person centred planning approach whenever possible when working with a young person.
How do I get more information?
- The Director of Inclusion for Mount Tamar is Kim Wentworth
- They are responsible for supporting, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating provision for students at Mount Tamar as well as supporting and liaising with staff and parents as needed.
- Information can also be obtained from Head of Upper School, Head of Lower School and Head of Aspire provision. Parents are also advised to speak to the relevant tutor or LSA’s.
Appropriately trained staff
- Mount Tamar work to the principle that all teachers are responsible for meeting the individual needs of all pupils that they work with, therefore all teachers and staff are equipped to deal with a diverse range of needs.
- All members of staff attend relevant training to meet the specific needs of the children within their cohort or particular role. For example this may include behaviour management/ supporting literacy/ASD/ Mental Health/ Child Protection etc.
- Specialist training is delivered on a regular basis by appropriately qualified staff or specialist external support.
- Individual needs of staff are also identified and audited regularly to ensure that all staff training needs are met.
What if you’re not happy?
- Any formal complaints or concerns that you as a parent may have regarding the provision available and in place for your child should be made in line with Mount Tamar’s complaints policy.
- Parents should feel free to contact the school to discuss any concerns, which will be dealt with appropriately and promptly.
- Our Head Teacher is Alan Buckley. Please contact the main Mount Tamar office (on 01752 369128) if you wish to arrange an appointment to speak to a member of staff.
The Local Authority’s Local Offer
- The Local Authority are obliged to set out their local offer regarding the special educational provision that all early years providers, schools, post -16 providers and other institutions across Plymouth are able to provide to children and young people with SEN.
- Further information on this is available on www.plymouthonlinedirectory.com