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Sidestrand Hall SEND Information ReportPart of the Norfolk Local Offer

Introduction and Aims

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.

What do we mean by the term SEN?

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;


(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 institution.”

What are the different types of SEN?

The 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 who are neuro diverse 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. 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.

What is our SEN profile at Sidestrand Hall School?

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 sensory and mild physical needs.  The School site unfortunately is not accessible for pupils with complex physical difficulties although the School is part of the Department for Education re-furbish and rebuild programme. Some children at Sidestrand Hall School may have more than one of these Special Educational Needs but typically our pupils are 4-5 years delayed in their learning and usually fall below the 5th percentile and frequently below the 1st percentile.


Formative and Summative Assessment

Please find below a breakdown of need:

Who can I talk to regarding my child’s learning needs or disability?

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 teaching assistant in the first instance. The school has a dedicated Management Team that supports pupils’ welfare and development.

The school has an Assistant Head responsible for safeguarding and pupil welfare, an Assistant Head responsible for curriculum and assessment, an Assistant Head responsible for admissions and Looked after Children and a Senior Teacher for complex and medical needs, assistant SENCO and a SEN Governor.

Ms. Shelley Taylor

Mr. Mick Kelly
Assistant Headteacher
Safeguarding and Welfare

Mrs. Amanda Barley
Assistant Headteacher
Curriculum and Assessment

Mrs. Fiona Drake
Assistant Headteacher
Admissions and Looked After Children

Mr. Paul Harrod
Senior Leader

Mrs. Jeanette Botwright
Senior Leader
Complex and Medical Needs

Miss Kylie Davis
Assistant SENCO

Mr. Paul Nerney
Senior Leader

Mrs. Hilary Loftus
Dragonfly Phase Leader

Miss Emma Thurston
Lower Phase Leader
Years 3 – 7

Mrs. Pete Hamilton
Middle Phase Leader
Years 8 – 10

Mrs. Hannah Letts
Upper Phase Leader
Years 11 – 14

How are different types of SEN identified at Sidestrand Hall School?

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 for further assessment.

What we do to support learners at Sidestrand Hall School.

In the School we try to keep class sizes to 10, pupils with a high staff pupil ratio. On average, there are at least 2 adults to 10 pupils. The School is very popular and faces tribunals every year which does increase our pupil numbers.

The School is currently developing a new whole school curriculum. This will enable teachers to bespoke learning to pupils but at the same time offer continuity, progression and impact. The Curriculum at Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils follow a variety of accredited courses to equip 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.
  • Adaptions 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, I pads, chrome books
  • 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 services in church etc
  • No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.
  • In order to support the diversity of need there are different learning pathways. We have Curriculum leads who are responsible for overseeing the curriculum ensuring it is broad and balanced with each curriculum lead being responsible in ensuring it is designed in a way that is flexible for each teacher to tailor to their class needs.  Curriculum leaders provide Mid-Term Plans and Long-Term Plans for teachers and they are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of their curriculum area.  With a changing cohort of need the curriculum has to be flexible in its delivery.

What funding is available for SEN?

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.

How does the school find out if support is effective?

Monitoring progress and achievements by pupils is an integral part of Sidestrand Hall School.  We use a variety of baseline information, including BPVS, Sandwell or Puma testing for Maths, Salford reading and comprehension, TALC and Thrive. Ongoing progress is recorded against Norfolk Assessment Pathways (NAPS), adapted versions of NAPs, AQA unit award criteria, Entry level, Arts award and sports leaders’ specific level descriptors as defined by Ofqual.

Curriculum leads review progress data and use the professional judgement of staff to select pupils that would benefit from further intervention.


EHCP Annual Reviews

We hold annual reviews of EHCP outcomes for every child.  All staff are responsible for knowing the individual targets and supporting the development of them within the curriculum.

The Senior Leader 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.

What other opportunities exist to support my child’s learning?

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.

Interventions – A number of our staff are trained to deliver interventions in speech and language, behaviour, THRIVE, emotional literacy and nurture.  Education Learning Mentors are available to all children for social, emotional and behavioural support.

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

We also have a service level agreement with CEPP who provide us with Education Psychologists who at times work directly with our pupils but also offer staff training.

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, it also is linked to our rewards system with pupils earning house points for a wide variety of reasons.

The School has four Phase Leaders who are responsible for pastoral welfare for the pupils within their Phase.  Line Managed by the Assistant Teacher for Safeguarding and Welfare, they will monitor the attendance, progress and welfare.

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.

Student Voice is also important to us at Sidestrand and we have an active Student Council, with representatives across the school, who meet regularly with a Senior Leader to discuss issues and feedback on ideas to develop the school.

How are children prepared for the next step in their education?

Transition is tailored to each child’s needs. Once a place is offered at Sidestrand Hall School, staff 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. We also hold an open afternoon for new parents during the summer term to share our expectations and information about the school.

Towards the end of the summer term new pupils are invited to attend school for two transition days to meet their new teacher, teaching assistant and classmates.  An admissions pack is also sent with a variety of information to support parents and carers to understand the school and for us to gather as much information as possible prior to the start date.  Where additional support is needed for transitions Social Stories are prepared and shared with Parent and Carers.

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:


Being Included in the Local Community

Taking Care of Health Needs


Teresa Akgunduz is our Transition Lead for Careers and Post 16.  Starting from Year 9 in their annual review discussions begin to prepare for Post 16 and parents and carers are directed to view and consider what would be the best provision for their young person.  In Year 11 Teresa will work closely with parents supporting in the process to ensure that the provision is sought for them to extend their education and support their needs.

How can parents and carers have input into the provision, policies and procedures at Sidestrand Hall School?

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. Letters are usually sent home on a Friday. Every parent is invited to the Annual Review of their child’s EHCP/statement.  If this is difficult for parents, teachers can arrange a telephone consultation.

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/or a class weekly newsletter.  Planners are also used in Middle and Upper Phases to support communication with home.

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 phase 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 3 parent Governors on the Governing Body and they are keen to increase parental involvement and support sessions.

The School has one Parent Support worker who can provide support to parents and careers, when necessary they are able to signpost services to parents and support in completing forms, attending meetings and any other support that may be needed.

Not had your question answered?

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.

What is the Norfolk Local Offer?

“Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.”

It has two key purposes:

  1. To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it.
  2. To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.

It can be accessed by clicking on the link: The Sidestrand Hall School SEN Information Report for 2023-2024 forms part of the Norfolk Local Offer for learners with Special Educational Needs (SEND).

Where else can I find useful information?

The SEN Code of Practice is available here

The Norfolk Local Offer is available here