Our ethos is to create a learning environment whereby all children whatever their barrier to learning can succeed and fulfil their potential. We are very proud of the job we do for supporting young people with additional needs and have been awarded with the Devon Inclusion Award for our work with students with Autism.
We have a dedicated team of Teaching Assistants (TAs’) led by the SENDCo and 3 Assistants who all have additional responsibilities. There is also a team of trained literacy TA’s who deliver our literacy support program.
If you have any queries or concerns please feel free to contact Sharon Barnes, SENDCo.
We are specially trained Teaching Assistants who deliver the Learning Support Department’s literacy support programmes. Students who are identified as needing literacy support will receive an intervention programme which is suited to their needs. These interventions include:
KS3 1:1 Soundswrite (Phonics) / KS3 Group Soundswrite (Phonics)
KS3 Spelling Support Program / KS3 Literacy Progress Units
Dyslexia (SpLD) Support
Sixth Form Paired Reading
Various ICT Programs
Synthetic phonics forms the basis of many of our interventions as recommended by the DfE and Ofsted and also follows on from what students will have been learning at primary school. The phonics programme that we use has material that is especially suitable for older students.
We are keen to work with parents/carers to improve their children’s literacy and have produced a literacy home book which explains more about the interventions we use and which also contains some homework so that students can practise their literacy skills at home.
Support for students with physical issues:
We are proud of our links with the community and in particular the Therapists who provide valuable training in areas such as physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.
This enables SEN staff to continue with programmes of therapy under their guidance.
Support for students with Autism:
Our department was recently awarded the Devon Inclusion Award for the level of support that is available to students with Autism and social, communication needs. We are able to offer a range of interventions that help to ensure students with Autism access lessons and are part of the whole school community. We also work with outside agencies from the Communication and Interaction team and North Devon CAIRB. Our interventions include:
Social Skills Workshops / ‘Circle of Friends’ / Comic strip conversations / Social Stories / Break/Lunchtime area.
The Learning Support department offers help in exams to students throughout the College. This means students in Years 10 and 11 have some sort of extra support in exams.
Students are monitored from the time that they begin college; in Year 9 students are screened and if eligible are tested for exam concessions in Year 10. The exam support for some students does extend into sixth form.
A letter is sent out to parents of students at the beginning of Year 10 who have been selected for exam concessions, which will outline what help will be available to their son or daughter.
For many students this help is essential to ensure that they reach their full potential. The help is enhanced by the assistance of a group of very experienced volunteers and invigilators. As much as possible volunteers that help with reading and scribing are matched to students. The student then becomes very familiar with their helper and settles easily and quickly into each exam with the comfort of knowing who is going to be there for them.
Hearing Support Centre
Bideford College has a Hearing Support Centre (HSC), specifically designed to support the needs of Deaf and Hearing Impaired students. British Sign Language is supported (and offered), as is Cued Speech. The HSC is funded by Devon County Council and students who are also suffering with ongoing Conductive Loss can be supported. Students are supported from Year 7 through to Year 13 and beyond where applicable. Deaf students entitled to exam concessions sit their exams in the HSC which is acoustically treated to recommendations by the NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society).
Further information and support services parents/carers can access in Devon: “The Local Offer”
In order to ensure you are fully informed about what is available for children with Special Educational Needs / Disability, we have provided links to some websites, including the Devon Local Offer which we hope you will find helpful:
Devon Local Offer Website: https://new.devon.gov.uk/send
Devon Information and Advice (DIAS) website (formerly Parent Partnership): www.devonias.org.uk