• Sarah D. Young, Headteacher : telephone 01263 578144
SEND Overview
In order to ensure we are continually meeting the needs of all the children at Sidestrand Hall school we review our SEND information report annually as well as our SEND policy every 3 years.  This year has been another busy and exciting year with plenty of events and theme days for the children and young people to enjoy.  
The school now caters for more pupils with speech, language and communication needs.  A focus for this year is to work towards the accreditation to become a Communication Friendly Setting, this is validated by ELKLAN.  All staff are trained in signalong and our signalong trainers are Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Olivey.  For more information on Signalong, please their website by clicking the logo below.

Sidestrand Hall SEN Information Report – Part of the Norfolk Local Offer

Sidestrand Hall School believes that all pupils have an entitlement to a full and extended curriculum which enables them to achieve.  All staff are committed to raising educational standards by addressing pupil needs through personalised learning programmes and targets. The school promotes positive relationships between pupils, staff, parents and community partners. Ofsted Inspectors have recognised this as a strength of the school. The school has clear expectations and boundaries, and has a ‘fresh start’ approach following any difficulties. Our website is set up to not only provide you with information about our school, but to also serve as a blog where you can read about upcoming and recent activities and trips.

The SEN Code of Practice 2014 states “A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they: (a) Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or (b) Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”

The new SEN code of practice identifies 4 types of SEN;

  • Communication and interaction (SEN Code of Practice, 2014) – Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
  • Cognition and learning (SEN Code of Practice, 2014) – Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
  • Social, emotional and mental health (SEN Code of Practice, 2014) – Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder. Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils.
  • Sensory and/or physical needs (SEN Code of Practice, 2014) – Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health. Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

Sidestrand Hall School is a complex needs school. Children at Sidestrand Hall School may have communication and interaction needs, cognition and learning needs, hold a diagnosis of autism/downs syndrome, ADHD and have difficulties with their social, emotional and mental health or sensory and/or physical needs. Some children at Sidestrand Hall School may have more than one of these Special Educational Needs.

At Sidestrand Hall School we are committed to delivering an education that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of individual children; we therefore feel it is important that you have the opportunity to discuss your child’s needs and education. You can talk to your child’s teacher and key stage leader. In addition to this you can speak to the SENCO and SEN Governor, Deputy Head Teacher and Head Teacher or members of our residential teams if appropriate.

Class Teachers

Catkins – Hilary Loftus

Acorns – Harvey Barrington

Conkers- Emma Thurston

Olive – Annabel Price

Bay – Jeannette Botwright

Fig – Benjie Smith

Beech – Ben Anderson

Birch – Pete Hamilton

Pine – Kelle O’Hara

Chestnut – Sarah Porter

Oak – Charlie Hield

Cedar – Gabrielle Hampton

Poplar – Carol Gilman

Hazel – Michael Williams

Maple – Cat Wood

Sycamore – Paul Evans

Discovery -Simon Grace

Explorers – Helen Keyworth

Endeavour – Hannah Letts

Pioneer – John Coates

Key Stage Leaders

KS2 – Sarah Jones

KS3 – Paul Nerney

KS4 – Paul Harrod

KS5 – Steve Hoskins




Sarah Young, Head Teacher

Shelley Taylor,  Deputy Head Teacher

Mark Fincham, Head of Care

Fiona Drake, Assistant Head Teacher- SENCO

Wendy Forster, School Business Manager


SEND Governor

Diane Davis

Children who attend Sidestrand Hall School will already be identified as having a Special Educational Need.  However should parents, carers or teachers become concerned of any additional need then they can speak class teachers to identify support necessary for the child. If it is felt necessary the School can make a referral to outside agencies.

In the School class sizes are usually for up to 10, pupils with a high staff pupil ratio. On average there are 3 adults to 10 pupils.

The School follows the National Curriculum  and at Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils follow a variety of accredited courses to quip them for the next stage of the learning, training or employment.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class.

High quality teaching is our first step in responding to the needs of our pupils. This will be differentiated for individual pupils based on their needs and barriers to learning.

Differentiation may be by task, resource, groupings or 1:1, outcome and the level of adult support.

Resources will include the use of ICT equipment or programmes, communication aids etc

All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils

All pupils are encouraged to go on our residential trip(s)

All pupils are encouraged to take part in sports day/school plays/assemblies/theme days/harvest festival and carol service in church etc

No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

The School is funded via the Local Authority. The School Budget is allocated according to the number of pupils @ £10 000 per pupil. The School is audited each year to allocate Top Up banding allocations for each pupil including a Top Up for residential pupils.

Monitoring progress and achievements by pupils is an integral part of Sidestrand Hall School. At Sidestrand Hall School we use ‘Solar’ to record children’s achievements. This information is monitored by teachers and members of the senior leadership team. This tracks pupils’ progress using the Norfolk Assessment Pathways (NAPS) devised by all of the Norfolk Complex Needs Schools in response to the Government removing National Curriculum levels. This is monitored and moderated by the Complex Needs Schools assessment group which meets termly.

Each Key Stage prepares a SOLAR report to identify pupils who may not be making expected progress and who may require specific interventions.

The Deputy Head Teacher responsible for pupil data meets twice yearly with every teacher to identify which pupils are making above or below expected progress and any areas for development.

If a child/young person is identified as making lower progress than expected then intervention and support will be discussed to support the child/young person.

At Sidestrand Hall School there are a range of opportunities for children to apply their learning and gain other skills. The extensive facilities and expertise on the staff team contribute to the breadth of learning opportunities on offer. The School uses the 15 acre site to its full potential, outdoor learning includes Forest Schools, gardening, nature trails, mountain bike trail, Go-Kart Track, outdoor play equipment. Specialist areas include a science lab, food technology room, gym, hair and beauty salon, construction and mechanics workshop, art/technology room, ICT suite.

We have a team of 46 Teaching Assistants and 5  teaching assistants who are trained to deliver interventions in speech and language, behaviour, THRIVE, emotional literacy and nurture.  The aim of these is to develop children’s social and emotional well-being. Education Learning Mentors are available to all children to support social, emotional and mental health.

Teaching Assistants are allocated to class groups according to their experience and expertise and the needs of the pupils within a group.

The School’s extended curriculum particularly focuses on emotional and social development and independence. On Theme Days pupils are provided with opportunities to work with other pupils that may be outside of their own class and area of the School.

An independent travel programme is delivered from age 12. It includes finding your way around the school, the local area and training in reading bus time tables and catching local buses to the School’s charity shop ‘Strands’ in Cromer.

The School also runs a House System which provides pupils with the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities such as representing the House in sporting events, school council etc. It also is linked to our rewards system with pupils earning house points for a wide variety of reasons.

We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying.  The School holds an annual Friendship Week when pupils take part in activities that focus on building positive relationships.



Transition is tailored to each child’s needs. Once a place is offered at Sidestrand Hall School, Sarah Adams our Transition Co-ordinator will make arrangements for transition according to the needs and views of the child, and following discussions with parents, carers, the current school or education provider, the EHCP Co-ordinator and other key professionals involved. This will involve opportunities for visits and transition days at Sidestrand Hall School and may include school staff visiting a child’s current school prior to them joining us and attending EHCP and transition meetings where required. We also hold an open day during Spring term for new students joining us in September and a Sixth Form information session in Autumn Term.

During the last two weeks of Summer term, transition is held for the whole school where each year group will move into their new class and start their new timetable in preparation for September. Children joining us in September will be offered transition days during this period to help them to settle into school and get used to their new teachers and surroundings and meet other students.

Key Stages 4 and 5 deliver a curriculum that supports the 4 areas for Preparing for Adulthood contained in the SEN Code of Practice.  These are:

  1. Independence
  2. Being Included in the Local Community
  3. Taking Care of Health Needs
  4. Employment

Due to the location of some of our families we realise that visits to School can sometimes be difficult.

The School has a text to parents service and parents receive letters detailing trips out etc. Every parent is invited to the Annual Review of their child’s EHCP/statement.  If this is difficult for parents  teachers can arrange a home visit.

The School holds 2 parent/teacher open afternoon/evening but parents are welcomed and encouraged to contact the school at any time.

Class Teachers complete home/school books for pupils and a class weekly newsletter.

The whole School newsletter is completed half termly and is posted on the School’s website along with the School calendar of up and coming events.  The website also has active blogs for each key stage written by staff and pupils.

Parents and carers are welcome to contact the school to discuss how they would like to support provision, policies and procedures. There are 2 parent Governors on the Governing Body and they are keen to increase parental involvement and support sessions. They hold Parents ‘drop in’ sessions in Great Yarmouth and at the School on a monthly basis. The dates and times will be posted on the school website.

The SEN Code of Practice is available here

The Norfolk Local Offer is available here

Norfolk SEND Partnership

Family Voice 

Please feel free to contact the school on 01263 578144 and ask to speak to Mrs Fiona Drake who will be happy to try and answer any further questions you may have.