Access Team (SEND Department)

Welcome to the Access team at Norham High School.  We are a team of teaching and support staff working across the curriculum with all pupils, tailoring our approach to specific needs. We support families and work closely with professionals to ensure every child is adequately supported throughout school.


We are a team of 23 staff who are here to support any child with an additional need to fully access their curriculum. We have:


·         Mrs. Pearson - SENDCo

·         Mr. Collins – ARP Manager / Associate SENDCO/ Exams Officer

·         Mrs. Sharp – SEND Associate Leader / Assistant SENDCO

·         Mr. Campbell – SEND Associate Leader (ARP)

·         7 x HLTA’s

·         5 x SSA Key Workers

·         5 x ARP SSA’s

Who and how we support

Norham High School is a mainstream setting with an Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) for language and communication needs. We are committed to meeting the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND. Reasonable adjustments are made to meet the needs of all pupils, including those identified in the SEND Code of Practice (2014) as:


·         Language and communication difficulties

·         Cognitive and learning difficulties

·         Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH)

·         Physical and sensory difficulties


Norham High School provides a range of interventions and additional resources to support pupils with SEND, including those at SEN support and with EHC Plans, to make progress. Support is available for ALL pupils with SEND including those with disabilities, pupils with EAL or those in the care of the Local Authority (LAC).


All pupils with an EHC Plan are supported to achieve their outcomes outlined in the EHC Plan. Progress towards these is reviewed at least annually and shared with the wider staff team via an Individual Education Plan (IEP).


Those pupils placed at SEN Support of the Code of Practice have an APDR document (Assess, Plan, Do, Review) in line with the Local Authority’s recommendation. The APDR contains specific outcomes to support the pupil to achieve their short and long term aspirations. Support is personal and tailored to the specific needs of the pupil to enable them to work towards their personal outcomes and achieve their own aspirations and goals. These pupils also have a one-page passport to support teaching staff in the delivery of Quality First Teaching.

Below are some of the ways in which we support pupils with specific needs and make up the school’s contribution towards the Local Authority’s Local Offer.

Language & communication needs

 For example:


Autism Spectrum Condition

Asperger’s Syndrome

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Social Communication Difficulties 

Support available in school

Visual timetables

Support/ supervision during unstructured times

Social and communication skills programmes

Lego therapy 

Use of ICT to reduce barriers to learning

Support in examinations (access arrangements)

Strategies to reduce anxiety (5-point scale)

Planning, assessment and reviews of support plans

Teaching resources are routinely evaluated to ensure they are accessible to all pupils 

IEPs and pupil passports available for all staff to use

Support and advice sought from specialist agencies

ELKLAN has been completed by SENDCo and ARP Manager and all staff have received training in the principles of ELKLAN

Regular CPD opportunities for teaching and support staff 

Multi-agency working between school, home and other involved professionals

Annual AEN Carousel to support teaching staff to adapt their teaching resources on a classroom level

In-house L&C assessment tool to initially assess needs

Referral to external agencies including, Educational Psychology and  Language and Communication Team, when appropriate

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH)

 For example:

Behavioural Needs

Social Needs

Mental Health Needs





Support available in school

Behaviour management systems in school are based upon encouraging pupils to have positive decisions and behaviour choices and focus on reward. Risk assessments are used and action is taken to ensure the safety and inclusions of all pupils in activities. The school provides effective pastoral care for all pupils. PSHE is delivered to all pupils weekly through the registration programme.

In addition:

Specific SEMH intervention groups running throughout the week

Access to Someone Cares and TRAX on the school site 

Referral to external agencies, including CAMHS and Educational Psychology, when appropriate

Small group targeted programmes are delivered to pupils to improve social skills and emotional resilience

Support is available at break and lunchtimes for vulnerable pupils

Access to Learning Support room to support vulnerable learners

Alternative provision placement where appropriate

Occasionally, school seek the support of Moorbridge PRU, through the Fair Access Panel, to meet the needs of some pupils with SEMH

Carefully managed transition programme to support vulnerable learners to move between phases i.e. primary to secondary, KS4 to KS5 etc.

Running of EHA/TAF meetings to support families

Family partner employed on a 52/52 contract to support vulnerable families outside of term time

Multi-agency working – professionals’ meetings to discuss concerns

Weekly welfare meetings to review pupil progress (SENDCo, DH, DSL and EWO)

All staff received targeted mental health training in 2019

All staff received ACEs and Attachment training in 2019

School representation at Moorbridge advocate meetings

Intervention work completed after school to support pupils who consistently struggle to comply with basis school expectations

Opportunities for restorative conversations when necessary 

Building home/school links between parents, carers and key staff within school

All SEND pupils have a key worker who is there as the first point of call if a pupil needs somebody to speak to

Behaviour support panel (HT/DHT, DSL, EWO, HOY, SENDCo) is in place for pupils who are finding it difficult to manage their behaviour in school 

Use of Class Charts recording system to monitor behaviour and identify any additional needs in a timely manner

HLTA is currently undertaking THRIVE practitioner training to offer THRIVE intervention in school

Cognition and Learning Needs

For example: 

Moderate Learning Difficulties



Literacy Difficulties 

Numeracy Difficulties 

Support available in school

Differentiated curriculum and resources

Access to literacy/reading support

Referral to Dyslexia team (if appropriate)

Personalised intervention programme specific to need

Provision to support access to the curriculum and to develop independent learning

Use of ICT use as a strategy to reduce barriers to learning

Support and advice sought from specialist agencies

Teaching resources are routinely evaluated to ensure they are accessible to all pupils

Ongoing Quality First Teaching CPD for all staff

Read Write Inc. used to support vulnerable learners to catch up to the level of their peers 

Access to coloured overlays if required 

SENDCo and 4 additional members of the AEN team have completed full Read Write Inc. training

2 members of the AEN team have completed success@number and success@arithmetic training

Use of Numicon in intervention groups 

Smaller class set sizes typically across the school

Access to small group catch up intervention programmes before and after school

Handwriting intervention 

‘ACCESS’ nurture programme for a small number of Year 7 and Year 9 pupils who require intense intervention to support their development of core literacy and numeracy skills

Access to CAT4 testing to assess cognitive ability 

Sensory and Physical Needs

For example:

Visual and Hearing Impairments

Multi-sensory Impairments

Physical and Medical Needs

Physical Disabilities 

Support available in school

Advice is sought and acted upon to ensure barriers are reduced or removed

ICT is used to increase access to the curriculum

Provision to support access to the curriculum

Access to strategies/programmes to support Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy

Occupational Therapy referrals, where appropriate 

Medicines in school policy

Reasonable adjustments made to the school environment- lift, high visibility strips to the stairs, ramps into school building, disabled toilet facilities

Regular multi-agency meetings to ensure suitability of provision and support provided 

Access to ear defenders, when appropriate

Use of sensory seeking support strategies – fiddle toys, chew toys, wobble cushions, thera-bands etc.

Language and Communication Needs with an EHCP naming Norham Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) 

*In addition to Language and Communication Needs section 

Support available in school

Differentiated curriculum with focus on life skills and social skills

Access to GCSE subjects and examinations in KS4

Small group teaching

Personalised timetable to meet the needs of the individual pupil

Occupational Therapist in school 1 day per week (delivering whole class and targeted interventions)

‘RISE’ programme of life skills and out of classroom experiences to develop culture capital 

Vocational course offers in KS3 and KS4 (where appropriate) – ASDAN COPE, ASDAN PSD, short courses

Visual timetables

Support/ supervision during unstructured times

Use of ICT to reduce barriers to learning

Support in examinations (access arrangements)

Teaching resources are routinely evaluated to ensure they are accessible to all pupils

Access to alternative provision in KS4 (where appropriate)

Specialist training to staff 

Some teachers have completed Level 3 ASD training

In-class support at all times

IEPs and pupil passports available to all staff

Support and advice sought from specialist agencies

Multi-agency working between school, home and other involved professionals 

Weekly swimming classes in KS3, where appropriate to the curriculum plan for each class

Support to access partial or full mainstream curriculum where appropriate

For further information, please visit the policies section of the website and view “SEND Policy” and “SEND Information Report”. 

Meet Sol – our school therapy and reading dog

Sol is a Cockapoo and is looked after by our SENCo. He is a soft-natured dog who loves human interaction. He attends school 4 days per week and takes part in a number of activities with pupils to provide therapeutic support and promote reading development. 

When in school, Sol:

Supports in key stage 3 reading lessons where pupils have the opportunity to read out loud to him

Provides small group and 1:1 therapeutic support to pupils

Attends the ARP for reward time where pupils have the opportunity to play with him

Works directly with pupils who are interested in animal care 

School dogs are known to have a positive impact on pupils and we are delighted with how well Sol has settled in to school life. Research suggests that having a school dog can: reduce anxiety in pupils, improve social interactions, develop emotional resilience and increase pupil understanding of responsibility. Using a school dog to support reading can: benefit pupils who are reluctant to read, improve reading skills and reduce stress and nerves when reading out loud – thus creating a positive and comfortable environment to develop confidence. 

Please refer to our policies section for our ‘Dogs in School’ policy and Risk Assessment. 

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to us about how we can support your child, please contact: 

Mrs Joanne Pearson


0191 814 3890