About Us Important Information about our School
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.
Our Current Awards and Kite Marks
We are both proud and delighted to hold the following Kite Marks.
- Inclusion Quality Mark – Flagship School
- Investors in People – Gold
- Investing in Children Award (currently one of a few schools that hold this recognition)
- UNICEF Rights Respecting School
- Healthy Schools London Award
- Learning outside the Classroom – Bronze Award
- RE Quality Mark – Bronze Award
- TfL Centre of Excellence for Independent Travel Training
- ELKLAN Communication Friendly School
Our Key Aims
- Raise, monitor and celebrate the achievements and diversity of our students
- Develop excellent teaching to enhance learning
- Facilitate an appropriate, well resourced, flexible, accredited and imaginative curriculum
- Provide high quality care, guidance and support ensuring everybody matters, feels respected and has a voice
- Maintain an ambitious and clear direction towards continued improvement
How will I know that Bensham will support my child?
- Every class group is taught by specialist class teachers who plan and deliver units of work with differentiated objectives that are assessed throughout the year.
- Pupils who are class based due to their need for greater support have their programme planned by the class teacher with input from specialist teachers where relevant.
- All programs are differentiated to meet each students individual needs and meet their learning style.
- Every student’s tutor group has a tutor and dedicated teaching assistant. The teaching assistant accompanies the group throughout the day in order to support their learning and pastoral care.
- If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education such as spelling or reading, then he or she may have additional support – known as ‘ positive interventions’ from teaching assistants or teachers. The duration of the intervention varies and is reviewed regularly to determine the effectiveness of the intervention and to inform future planning.
- Pupil progress data is reviewed each half term by the teacher and a member of the senior leadership team and will highlight any potential causes of concern in order for interventions to be planned.
- Occasionally some students require additional support with social, emotional or mental health disabilities. In such instances, a referral will be made with your consent and forwarded to the most appropriate agency.
- An on-site speech and language and occupational therapists enhance the provision
- The Deputy Head Teacher is is the Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer responsible for Safeguarding and Child protection procedures.
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that the school is as inclusive as possible and there is equality of provision.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
A Form Tutor is assigned to each pupil and is responsible for;
- Promoting the general progress and well-being of individual students.
- Registering students.
- Accompanying them to assemblies.
- Supporting their full attendance at all lessons and participation in other aspects of school life.
- Setting Individual Education Programme (IEP) targets and writing reports.
- Alerting appropriate staff to the problems experienced by students and make recommendations as to how these may be resolved.
- Communicating, as appropriate, with parents of students and persons or bodies outside the school concerned with the welfare of individual students, after consultation with appropriate staff.
All members of staff including class teachers, Year Heads and Senior members of staff are readily available for students who wish to discuss an issue or a concern.
- Lunchtime clubs are available for students who require more structure at this time.
- There is a school counsellor who provides individual support offering guidance and advice where appropriate and requested. Referrals may be made to help our students understand their emotions and develop strategies to manage friendships, self – esteem, anger, social skills and bereavement.
- We have a two drama therapists who work with individuals and groups to develop their ability to express and communicate their emotions.
- Our Family Support Worker is a former Nurse who is well known to pupils and their families. She is on hand to offer advice and support and hosts regular coffee mornings with guests speakers.
Curriculum and Teaching Methods
The curriculum at Bensham Manor School takes account of the different abilities and experiences of our students and provides an education appropriate to their individual needs.
Thorough our curriculum we aim to:
- Provide stimulating activities and tasks.
- Set challenging, achievable targets for individual students.
- Develop effective social and communication skills.
- Incorporate English, ICT & Mathematics into all lessons and activities.
- Encourage the tolerance of opinions and beliefs and reflect the multicultural and multi-faith nature of society.
- Develop self-confidence and skills towards independent living.
- Encourage a caring, respectful attitude towards each other within the community.
- Ensure continuity and progression.
- We offer a broad and balanced range of learning opportunities that includes and exceeds the National Curriculum. There is an exciting breadth of accredited courses.
- Students are taught in within year groups for most sessions and a 25 lesson per week timetable is followed.
- Grouping arrangements are organised flexibly with opportunities for class based and subject based settings to maximize learning opportunities for all.
- As students move into Key Stage 4 at the end of year 9, they follow a more personalised curriculum that may be academic or vocationally based and includes access to independent travel training, work experience and college link courses.
- All students follow accredited courses such as AQA, ASCAN, GCSE and Entry Pathways throughout Key Stage 4 and leave Bensham Manor School with a range of qualifications.
- At least one teaching assistant supports each class and additional staff are allocated according to need.
- Additional teaching assistants are used flexibly with a long-term goal of developing independent learning skills.
- Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Drama Therapy, Lego, Theraplay, Drawing and Talking Therapy and Social and Communication groups are timetabled as appropriate.
How will I know if my child is progressing?
- Parent’s evenings are held in October and July where you may discuss progress with your child’s subject teachers and class tutor.
- You will receive a detailed report of your child’s progress two weeks prior to the Annual Review or Planning and Progress meeting which contains current and target academic levels.
- You will receive an IEP and evaluation twice a year.
- You will be able to speak with the form tutor at the end of the day or contact them by email at any time.
- All pupils have curriculum targets in their folders.
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
What opportunities are available Post-16?
- Most of our students (80%) go on to a Further Education course at a local college.
- All students visit local colleges as part of their year 11 transition programme, including Croydon College, Carshalton College, John Ruskin College, NESCOT and Capel Manor College
- Students are assisted in making applications to the colleges in the spring term of Year 11.
- Year 11 students participate in a link college course once a week for a term in order to support their transition.
- We have our own Post-16 Department for students who require additional time and learning support before taking their next step to college.
Bensham Manor Post-16
- For students who are not yet ready to transition to college, we have a Post-16 Department where the focus is on life skills and promoting independence. It offers a smaller environment with a high level of pastoral input for those too vulnerable to move on to a local college.
- This is a flexible programme for students allowing them to spend between 1 – 3 years in the department until they are ready to take their next step.
- Students follow accredited courses in Life and Living Skills and Employability.
- Up to 40% of time is spent off site in community related learning activities.
- Students benefit from a link programme with a local college and regular work experience opportunities which are supported as necessary.
We have two open days a term from 9.30- 11.15am. This is a chance to meet the Headteacher and tour the school during a normal school day. If you are unable to make an Open Day one of the senior team will be happy to give you a tour during the school day at your convenience. Please contact the School Office on
0208 684 0116 or [email protected]