About the School
Bensham Manor School is a large oversubscribed secondary special school for students with a wide range of special needs. We make provision for students who have statements of educational needs which include; autism, complex needs, speech, language and communication difficulties. Our aim is to recognise and respond to the individual needs of students and provide them with a relevant and challenging curriculum. We have a Post 16 provision on site. All students have a statement of special education needs or Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which is reviewed annually. We work hard to ensure students are successful and we celebrate and recognise achievement and effort in all areas of the curriculum. Our close partnership with parents and carers is instrumental in supporting students to make their best progress. We work hard to make sure students are safe and happy and we are always willing to hear what you think we can do better.
Do students gain qualifications?
- All students leave with nationally accredited awards. These include entry level certificates in most subjects, as well as some attaining GCSES’s in English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Film Studies and Textiles.
- In Year 10 students can opt to study specific areas of interest leading to further qualifications.
- We offer a range of other qualifications related to Independent Living Skills and Skills for Work and Life that recognize Personal Progress and Independence.
- We are a highly praised pilot school for Foundation Learning. This provides graduated accreditation in practical, functional skills in Maths, English, ICT, Personal and Social Development and culminates in a certificate or diploma.
Assessment Planning and Review
- On-going monitoring is carried out by the class teacher, form tutors and subject teachers to track the progress of students.
- Monitoring arrangements flag up students at risk of underachieving so that support and interventions can implemented to ensure progress.
- Interventions include additional teaching assistant support, dyslexia support and reading groups.
- IEPs are set for each child twice a year and this is monitored by class staff. This is designed to focus on specific needs identified in a student’s statement. Parents/Carers are invited to contribute to the IEP and will receive copies and evaluations.
- A weekly ‘WRAP’ meeting is held to offer a casework approach for the most needy and vulnerable students. This includes input from all key staff familiar with an individual pupil to share views and contribute to future plans to overcome barriers for learning.
- There is a formal Annual Review meeting at the end of Year 9 and 11. Each year a Planning and Progress meeting is held to review your child’s education at Bensham Manor. Parents/ carers, students and relevant agencies are invited to attend. The child’s statement of special educational needs or EHCP is reviewed and progress toward meeting the targets is considered. New targets are set which provide the learning priorities for the next twelve months and are incorporated across all curriculum areas.
- An on-going programme of training and support is in place to ensure that all staff have appropriate skills and knowledge to support our provision for our students. (The school currently holds the highly regarded Gold Charter Mark as an ‘Investor in People’. All learning staff have level 2 National Autistic Society Accreditation (NAS). 25 per cent have a level 3 NAS qualification. 40 per cent of our staff have level 3 qualification in Speech and Communication for pupils with autism.
- Recent training INSET has covered: assessment and marking, use of ICT in the classroom, positive intervention, embedding literacy and numeracy throughout the curriculum and Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS). All staff have a First Aid qualification.
- We have 27 qualified teachers, we have staff with specialist expertise and qualifications including accredited training for speech, language and communication disorders, specialist dyslexic teaching, restorative approaches, ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants), visiting drum and piano teachers
- Senior staff actively engage in a range of opportunities to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policy to support students with SEN. The school also seeks advice and guidance from advisors to review, evaluate and develop provision for students who have the most complex needs. The NHS provide a band 7 Speech and Language Therapist and Speech and Language Assistant to supplement our own therapists and an Educational Psychologist is attached to the school from the Local Authority.
What facilities do you offer?
- Specialist subject based classrooms for Art, Food Technology, Textiles and Music
- In addition we have the following specialist rooms:
- A Sensory Room
- Two school halls.
- Two ICT suites including a brand new Digital Media Suite.
- An indoor Gymnasium with disability approved equipment.
- Two outdoor games areas with astro turf and poraflex surfaces
- Three playgrounds (one with state of the art adventure equipment).
- Two Science laboratories
- A school allotment with small animals
- A dedicated outdoor games area for table tennis and table football
- A light and bright and spacious dining room with state of the art kitchen
- Two Food Technology classrooms
- A Life Skills Room
As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Access arrangements currently include:
- Ramps into school to make the building accessible to all.
- Wide doors in some parts of the building.
- Stair lift in the main school building.
- Depending on the needs of the students an individualized access and or medical care plans.
At times we consult with external agencies to receive more specialised expertise. These agencies include
- Child Protection Services
- CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- Social Services
- Children’s Therapy Team (Speech and Language, Physio and Occupational Therapy)
- School Nurse, Dentist and Doctor
We also have an educational psychologist allocated to Bensham. She normally works with students whose needs are felt to be considerable and who have not responded to the previous interventions put in place for them.
How will the school help my child to move to a new class / year group or different school?
Children and young people with SEN can become particularly anxious about ‘moving on’. Many strategies are in place for supporting students are they take their next step to ensure that transition is as smooth as possible both for moving to Bensham Manor and moving on to College or Post-16 provision. These include:
- Discussions with the previous teachers and school prior to the pupil joining. There is close liaison to ensure information is passed on.
- Visits from Bensham Manor school staff to observe students in the feeder primary school prior to them joining.
- Open mornings are held every half term where parents and carers have the opportunity to visit classrooms and tour the school whilst it is in progress. You can discuss the school offer and ask questions.
- All students attend a transition morning or day where they will spend time meeting the new teachers/class
- Additional time is allocated to students who require extra time to adjust to their new school
- We begin talking to families about post school provision in Year 9. Discussions also include contributions from Further Education providers and Personal Advisors to help students and families make informed decisions about their future.
- All students have a transition plan written in the Annual Review meeting every year following and including the Year 9 review.
- We offer link programs to local colleges for all Year 11 and Post-16 students.
- Our own Post-16 Department offers a smaller learning environment suitable for some ASC and less able students who need more support in developing core skills and independence.
Post-16 students complete a two day transition programme in the last week of the summer term