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Educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnic origin, religious belief, care status, impairment, sexuality, attainment or social or economic background. It involves adapting policies and practices to remove barriers, taking positive action, targeting resources and creating a learning environment to ensure that all young people have their rights upheld. As an inclusive school we display an ethos and willingness to offer new opportunities to young people who may have experienced previous difficulties. We constantly monitor and evaluate the progress of all learners and identify any who may be missing out, difficult to engage, or feeling in some way apart from what the school seeks to provide. We take practical steps, in the classroom and beyond, to meet students’ needs effectively and provide tolerance and understanding in a diverse society.

In practice the inclusive ethos of the St Ivo Academy is delivered through the combination of an effective pastoral system supported by a well-established student support team. This team includes the Learning Support Department, Heads of Year and Student Support Assistants, Teachers and Tutors, Safeguarding and Welfare staff and an Alternative Provision (AP) Coordinator. Transition from Year 6 into Year 7 is the starting point with a clear emphasis on providing appropriate support to the most vulnerable students. There are very strong links with our catchment primary schools who also have developed early intervention support systems. Support can either be provided on a one-to-one basis, or students can be placed in group situations. ‘The Student Support Unit’ (SSU) also provides a support to students who find it difficult to cope with the demands of a full time curriculum or a large classroom environment for agreed periods of time. This includes medical needs provision. We have also developed a close working relationship with outside agencies and in particular with the District Team.

Learning Support Needs

St Ivo Academy believes that all students should have full access to the curriculum, whatever their ability. Students entering St Ivo Academy in September with particular learning needs are first identified by close liaison with primary schools. The Learning Support Department spends considerable time during Year 6 working with future students. On admission to the school, new Year 7 students are given Cognitive Ability Tests (only Year 7) and New Group Reading Tests (NGRTs). The NGRTs are then completed termly throughout Key Stage 3, showing progress. All teaching staff are made aware of students with additional needs throughout the school.

Some students require additional support to ensure their access to the school’s curriculum. In practice, no curriculum area is denied support. This may take the form of teacher, teaching assistant and sixth form support. The management of special needs emphasises integration rather than segregation, with access to both formal and informal opportunities for learning support.

Withdrawal from mainstream lessons is only operated on a very limited basis. In some circumstances it may be necessary to work with a student on an individual basis, while in other situations a small group may be seen as the most appropriate format, where possible.

More detailed information can be found in the SEN information report.

Highest Achievers

The aim of our school is to provide students with an outstanding education that enables them to fulfil their potential. This includes our highest achievers. Research makes clear that school needs to make special provision, of different kinds, for their highest achievers, so that these students fulfil their potential.

For each year group, by highest achievers we mean the 10% (approximately) highest performing students across the “Progress 8” subjects.

Ethnic Minority

School pastoral and curriculum leaders work with students, teachers and parents to raise the achievements of ethnic minority students. Interpreters are available upon request, at parents/carers evenings and school meetings to ensure that effective communication takes place.

Years 7, 8 and 9 Literacy Support

All students at St Ivo Academy are assessed on their reading ability (NGRT). Some students, who fall below their chronological age in reading, are offered the opportunity to improve their literacy skills. This includes spelling strategies, study skills, understanding of text and reading confidence. The aim is to enhance learning across all areas of the curriculum.

Certain students identified by either their primary school, or by specific tests and observations within St Ivo Academy, can then be placed into one of our ‘Jump Intervention’ programmes. Following key assessments/observations, a suitable intervention programme will be agreed upon and communicated with the student and the parents/carers. These would normally focus on key core skills in literacy, numeracy, spelling and social skills to name a few. These aim to correct inconsistencies and develop specific skills to support learning as the students move through the Key Stages.

A range of Reading Development Programmes are also offered during Key Stage 3. These include a series of sessions, where students are sometimes withdrawn from lessons over a short period of time to enhance their reading comprehension skills.

Parents/carers may wish to access the Dolch List, which represents the most frequently used words in the English language. It is essential that all children are able to spell these words correctly. Click here to access this list (PDF document).