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.
Bideford College works closely with its Feeder Primary Schools to identify students who will find it difficult to reach age appropriate target grades. These students will be offered additional support with their English and Maths and may be part of our Accelerated Learning Group. All year 7 and 8 students gain further support during their weekly library sessions with a program designed to support their reading and understanding and both year groups are encouraged to ‘Drop Everything And Read’ (DEAR) in a bid to further enhance their reading skills. The library support us in this by recommending books and rewarding students who can ‘Big Up a Book’.
If you have any queries or concerns please feel free to contact Sharon Barnes, SENDCo.
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