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SEND: Supportive Skills


The Supportive Skills Department (SSD) aims to ensure students with significant needs receive the appropriate level of support in order for them to engage with and access our Programmes of Study in school to the best of their ability.

The identification of students with special needs starts at primary school during transition, then continues through our internal monitoring of progress.  We will further assess students if they fulfil our criteria for significant underachievement and, we work closely with Curriculum Areas, teachers and support staff in order to do this.  Parents are always consulted before any withdrawal intervention is considered for their child.

There are three waves of support from our department, namely:

Wave 1 Support

Classroom based support using the IEP strategies for your child.  This is the best support as it ensures your child accesses the National Curriculum in line with their peers using quality first teaching.

Wave 2 Support

Small group support targeted at students who are not meeting national expectations and in the form of Step-Up Programmes.  These workshops run during tutor time registration and parents will receive letters requesting permission to run these interventions with their child.  Students are monitored for progress whilst on our programmes.  In addition to this SSD provide year group allocated TAs who support across all subject areas.  These TAs are specialised in SEN Support and work with students identified as having high needs as well as their peers.

Wave 3 Support

The Enhanced Provision Centre (EPC) at SHSCC provides appropriate educational opportunities for students who may have significant learning difficulties and who need to develop social and life skills.  It is primarily a transition centre for students in Years 5 through to 8 and is run by two Specialist Lead TAs.  This is a Local Authority funded provision on our school site.  Students therefore have to have a Statement of Educational Need for 20 hours or more and can only access this provision through the Annual Review process and, by being on roll at a Whittlesey/Coates school.  The aim of the Centre is to gradually integrate students into mainstream lessons after a period of Speech and Language activities, Basic Skills and/or Life Skills.  Students generally have their English and Maths lessons in the Centre and we work closely with those curriculum areas to ensure topics are linked so students integrate successfully during transition into mainstream.

General Support

Our overall aim is to develop independence and resilience in our students with special needs and encourage them to use the self-help strategies we provide.  We expect our students to fully engage in suggested strategies and we constantly work closely with agencies to improve our practice and to find the most appropriate intervention for students.

Our pastoral support includes many strategies allowing our students to develop ownership and independence, thus encouraging them to develop into successful young adults.  We do this in partnership with you, the parents or carer and the agencies which support your child.

In addition we monitor our students using a range of SEN assessments including:

  • Identification of reading age and standard scores, dyslexic/dyscalculic tendencies and cognitive ability testing.

  • SEN assessment to identify provision of exam support, where applicable, and this includes DASH tests for processing speed.  These tests are generally on-line tests and are a cost to the department, therefore are strictly for underachievers and based on our criteria.

We also provide lunchtime and break time club and social space for our students when they need it and encourage Key Stage 3 vulnerable students to access this. There is a lunchtime Homework Club run by a Senior TA which operates outside our department.

There are also opportunities throughout the year for parents to discuss students’ progress at coffee mornings, IEP days or at Annual Reviews, and we encourage Parent/Carer drop in sessions for informal discussions and to generate a ‘team’ approach.

Laura Lancaster

Sir Harry Smith Community College
Eastrea Road