Arbour Vale School: SEN Information Report


1a. Arbour Vale School's value and Vision

  • Arbour Vale School focuses on meeting the needs of all pupils with SEN, both collectively and individually.  We are committed to providing a friendly atmosphere where pupils can have a sense of fulfilment,  grow in confidence and above all  make excellent  progress and  recognise  and maximise the abilities they have    We believe strongly in working closely with parents and partners and welcome your contributions.
  • We provide a high quality education, recognising and valuing the achievement of each individual.  We believe in developing our pupil’s core skills with a particular emphasis on literacy and numeracy as well as developing skills for independent life.
  • We provide our pupils with a wide variety of experiences in a stimulating and exciting learning environment.  As a school we are very proud of our achievements in sport and PE, and Creative Arts.  We are a caring school and work hard to provide a safe and happy place where everyone feels valued.
  • We also provide a Monday- Friday Term time only residential provision which supports pupils with ASD, Challenging behaviour and /or social and communication difficulties.   The purpose is to provided specialist support within Slough enabling pupils to remain within the family home at weekends and holidays.


1b.The School's  SEN Policy

  • The school caters for 2 pupils with moderate, severe, profound and complex learning difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder from 3 – 19 years.  An increasing number of pupils have significant additional needs related to behaviour, medical issues, sensory impairment or physical difficulties. Pupils are registered within school based on primary and additional needs.
  • The school has additional provision for 12 pupils who require a 24 hour curriculum within a residential setting.


2. Teaching and Learning.

  • What additional support can be provided in the classroom?

The class size is small, and will vary according to the age and ability of the peer group.   Typically class sizes are between 8-11 with a teacher and three- four Support Assistants.

There is a specialist provision within the school for pupils with ASD.  This follows best practice for pupils with ASD, and includes pupils with a broad range of cognitive ability.


  • What provision do you offer to facilitate access to the curriculum and to develop independent learning?

The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum but it is carefully adapted to ensure that pupils have the best possible chance of success. There is a focus on communication skills, literacy and numeracy as well as a range of subjects many of which are more practically based. We follow an age -appropriate themed Curriculum which is based on topics in EYFS, Primary and KS3, this helps pupils both link their learning across the curriculum and consolidate knowledge.  In KS4 and Post 16, pupils follow appropriate accredited courses in preparation for transition to college or work placements.

Boarders have access to an extensive activities programme that supports the development of their communication skills, self-help skills and independence.

  • What ongoing support and development is in place for staff regards supporting children and young people with SEN?

All staff have training to ensure that they understand how young people learn. We also ensure that all staff are able to identify any difficulties that young people have in relation to their SEN, and work with them to overcome these.     Staff within the specialist provision within the school for pupils with ASD have training specific to this cohort of pupils.  Staff work closely with Health professionals including Occupational therapist, Physiotherapists, and School medical teams who provide annual training for all staff.

Residential staff have specific training related to the needs of pupils with ASD   and to meet the requirements of the Care Standards.

  • What arrangements are made for reasonable adjustments in the curriculum and support to the pupil during exams?

All young people accessing external examinations are tested to see whether they are entitled to additional help during their exams. These are called Access Arrangements, and can include supporting pupils with scribes, readers, prompts and extra time. If they do qualify for extra support, this is always provided by staff who know the young people.


  • How do you share educational progress and outcomes with parents?

 Progress Reports are sent out at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms, with a full subject report towards the end of the academic year. Parents Evenings are held termly, when the IEP, targets and homework are discussed.

At the Annual Review of your child’s Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan, a detailed report is discussed and progress will always be discussed.

For pupils   there are six-monthly formal meetings to discuss the EHC Plan.

Boarders receive a half-termly report and weekly up-dates are emailed.


  • What external teaching and learning do you offer? The school uses a range of off-site providers; this can include   local colleges, TVAP, Pit Stop and work experience placements.  Off-site educational trips and visits are provided regularly for all pupils to support education on-site.

Boarders are provided with an extensive activities programme which includes access to a wide range of community facilities.

  • What arrangements are in place to ensure that support is maintained in "off site provision"? Some young people are given the opportunity to access education being provided by external agencies.  We only use provision that we know have DBS and the pupils are usually accompanied by a member of the school staff.


  • What work experience opportunities do you offer?

Preparing young people to move on to College or a job is very important to us. All Y11 and Y14 students go on work experience and our Post 16 students link regularly with local Colleges. Pupils are fully prepared for this beforehand with a series of workshops, and then regularly supported during the work experience by school staff

For pupils from whom external work experience placements may not be appropriate, placements are offered within school or a work based programme is planned.  This will include visits to, and visits from local businesses.











3. Identifying and assessing SEN

  • At Arbour Vale the majority of the young people already have a statement or  EHC plan in place before joining the school in which needs are identified.
  • However, through continual assessment further educational needs may be identified by staff and strategies are put in place to address these difficulties.
  • The schools employs a range of professional to further support this process including an educational Psychologist, SALT ,Sensory Consortium, and health professionals.
  • Young people and parents are encouraged to let staff know if they are finding anything particularly difficult, or if further needs arise.
  • Boarders have a detailed Care Plan which addresses their individual needs in relation to self-help and independence skills.
  • Pupils with medical needs have a Health Care Plan



4. Involving parents / carers and children and young people in Planning and Reviewing

We encourage parents / carers to play a role in supporting their child’s learning.

  • What arrangements are in place for review meetings for children with Statements or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans?

All young people have a Statement or EHC plan. Parents and carers are always invited to the review process organised by the School. They have the opportunity to share concerns and alongside their child, help to write the targets.   All pupils are supported to share their views of their progress and will prepare a power-point or poster for the meeting.   The level of detail will depend on the age and ability of the pupil.   A range of communication strategies are used to enable all pupils to participate fully in this process.


  • What arrangements are in place for children with other SEN support needs?

Arbour Vale School works closely with a range of professionals who support the young people who attend the school. These include staff from Speech and Language service, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, School Nurse, Sensory Consortium and the Educational Psychology Service.

  • How do you ensure that parents know “who’s who” and who they can contact if they have concerns about their child/young person?

Parents will find that the staff team at Arbour Vale School are very friendly and are always on hand to help however they can.   The class teacher is the first point of contact, and full staff lists of class staff and the Team Leader are shared at the beginning of each term.

For pupils who attend Arbour Vale House details of staff are shared as part of the induction process.  Weekly up-dates are provided through emails.


  • Do parents have to make an appointment to meet with staff or do you have an Open Door policy?

We aim to have very regular contact with parents. We will always make time to meet with parents, whether they have made an appointment or not.  


  • How do you keep parents updated with their child/young person’s progress?

Academic progress is reported to parents at the end of the Autumn Term and the end of the Spring term. A full report will be sent out towards the end of the school year. Progress will also be shared at termly target setting meetings, annual review meetings and parent consultation meetings: teaching staff are always happy to discuss more specific progress with you at any point, if you have any concerns.

Boarders are provided with weekly emails and half-termly reports.




  • How can parents give feedback to the school?

At the Annual Review meetings, and parents evening, parents have the opportunity to give the school feedback.    Questionnaires and response sheets are sent out through the term to obtain parental views.   If parents have concerns about their child they are encouraged to ring the school.



  • Do you have home/school contracts?

These are part of our Welcome information shared with new parents and set out the expectations of the partnership between parents and the school. Homework is discussed at Parents Evening and is agreed on an individual basis.


  • What opportunities do you offer for pupils to have their say? e.g. school council

We have a student council where pupils can discuss issues that are important to them. Each class has a representative on the council. Students are also on a pupil panel when there are interviews for staff as we value their opinion about who they would like to work with them.


  • What opportunities are there for parents to have their say about their son/daughter’s education?

We welcome parents sharing their feelings about their child’s education. We have regular opportunities at target setting meetings, parent consultation meetings and at annual reviews although we are always happy for parents to talk to us in between these more formal opportunities.


  • What opportunities are there for parents to get involved in the school or become school governors?

Parents are sometimes invited on educational visits and activities: if you are happy to be involved in this way, please let us know. We also hold regular coffee morning's and parental training where parents have met together socially and supported each other.




5. Additional Support


The 2014 Code of Practice sets out four main areas of need:

  • Communication and interaction, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social , mental and emotional health, including ADHD
  • Sensory and/or physical


Arbour Vale School caters for pupils within all four areas of need.    Many pupils have multiple and complex needs, requiring a highly individualised approach to their education provision.   On the initial visit to school there is a discussion around your child's needs and the approaches to learning that may be used.


The following interventions provide a summary of the approaches used.



Access to a supportive environment:

  • Specialist equipment, including IT, to access the curriculum where appropriate.
  • Small class groups with high adult ratio
  • Purpose built  facilities to provide a varied and practical approach to the curriculum
  • Prompt and reminder cards for organisational purposes.
  • Visual picture strips or instructions to support behaviour or understanding of a task.
  • Use of visual timetables.


Provision to facilitate or support access to the curriculum

  • 1:1 support in the classroom from Teaching Assistant (STA) or class teacher (CT)
  • Small group support from STA/CT
  • Breaking down of activities into small chunks.
  • Repetition of instructions and key information.
  • Use of specialist equipment such as seating, writing slopes or IT equipment.
  • Visual / symbol support for learning activities
  • Use of Makaton to assist communication
  • Use of AAC to assist  expressive language
  • Use of rapid prompting and facilitated communication


Strategies to support and develop literacy

  • Consistent approach to developing phonic skills
  • 1;1 Intervention
  • Specialist support for  pupils with specific difficulties with literacy
  • Frequent reading practice.
  • Small group support in similar ability groups with guided teaching
  • Use of rapid prompting and facilitated communication approaches
  • Use of  AAC   and assisted technology


Social Skills programmes/ support strategies to enhance self-esteem/ reduce anxiety

  • Social skills / self-esteem programmes for individual child or groups.
  • Use of social stories to discuss events
  • Breaktime structured activities group to alleviate unstructured time
  • Individual focused STA playground support for some named children
  • Peer mentoring
  • Nurture group support
  • Social and Communication programmes  in place -  including Social Thinking


Strategies/ programmes to support Occupational Therapy /Physiotherapy Needs/ motor needs/Sensory needs

  • Intervention programmes from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist
  • Provision of equipment advised by Occupational therapist
  • Activities from Slough Occupational Therapy Toolkit
  • Handwriting and motor support including activities from occupational therapists
  • Intervention programmes and specialist 1;1 support  from Sensory Consortium for VI/ HI and MSI
  • Specialist support from Occupational Therapists  for Sensory Processing difficulties




Strategies to Support Behaviour

  • Use of school’s behaviour policy, available on web site.
  • Use of praise, rewards and sanctions
  • Individual behaviour management programmes
  • Advice and support from Educational Psychologist and CAHMS
  • All staff have Team Teach training on positive intervention and de-escalation





6. Extra Curricular Activities

We recognise the importance of helping our young people become rounded individuals with full and productive lives, by offering them opportunities to get involved in extra activities.

  • Do you offer school holiday and/or before and after school provision?  If yes, please give details.

There is an after schools programme offering activities for pupils to participate in within school and community facilities. During the summer holidays, there is a holiday club offered through Slough's Short Break Schemes.

There are also a  Saturday morning activity club,  which involves  a local Dance Club that is based at  the school


Breakfast Club

After school

Holiday Club

Links with other holiday club providers. - sign post


Arbour Vale House provides a detailed activity programme for boarders.   Pupils are encouraged to develop skills within community activities that they can then attend with family members.


  • What lunchtime or after school activities do you offer?  Do parents have to pay for these and if so, how much?

All lunch time activities are free.   There is a charge for after school activities and holiday clubs.


  • How do you make sure clubs, activities and residential trips are inclusive?

By ensuring that the activities are subsidised where possible,  and that bursary support is  offered if required

Making phone calls to ensure that all parents are aware

Ensuring that the activities chosen cater for the broad range of needs within the school.

  • How do you help children and young people to make friends?

This is at the heart of all we do. Staff encourage pupils to develop and sustain friendships by helping them develop their communication and social skills, giving them opportunities to work closely and constructively together, and modelling positive relationships throughout the school day. We encourage a community of tolerance and understanding and help our young people to develop their abilities to make friendships in a safe and secure environment. Helping our young people to develop into independent and successful individuals, both academically and socially is the core purpose of the staff team at Arbour Vale School






7. Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of children and young People with SEN

 Health (including Emotional Health and Wellbeing)

We believe that if young people are not happy and healthy they will not learn. We therefore make sure that young people’s needs are met as fully as possible. All staff are trained in Child Protection, Moving and Handling, Team Teach and First Aid.


  • What is the school’s policy on administering medication?

The school caters for a large number of pupils with complex medical needs, and many require daily medication.  All staff are willing to administer regular and emergency medication, once provided with the appropriate training for the individual.  There are clear procedures in place for record keeping of administration of drugs.


  • How do you work with the family to draw up a care plan and ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the plan?

The Deputy Headteacher works closely with the School Nurse and other medical practitioners to ensure detailed Care Plans are in place for all pupils requiring regular and emergency intervention.   Care Plans are shared with all staff and a central record is kept.    Up -dates are provided as and when needed, but at least annually.  All staff are trained for individual pupils within their care.


  • What would the school do in the case of a medical emergency

If there was a medical emergency the School would follow the pupil’s care plan and call 999 if required.  In the case of an accident or unknown medical emergency 999 would be called and a member of staff would accompany the young person in the ambulance. Parents would be informed as soon as practically possible.


  • How do you ensure that staff are trained/qualified to deal with a child’s particular needs?

There is a training programme in place to support staff: there is a comprehensive induction programme as well as regular Continual Professional Development training   for all aspects of pupils personal and learning needs. There is a wealth of experience amongst the staff, including staff who have specialist experience/ knowledge and/or training in the specifics of SEN, such as Dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, MSI and more complex needs. In addition to this, the Educational Psychologist will hold solution-focussed strategy meetings which both share good practice and help find effective strategies for pupils maybe causing concern.   There are termly  Personalised Pathway Meetings for pupils requiring input from several specialists


  • Which health or therapy services can children access on school premises?

There is a range of support available to support young people and their families, including the school nursing team, who support the school with Health Education, including Sex Education, and any other health issues or concerns.  Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Sensory Consortium are on site through the week, and SALT are based within the school premises.   The Paediatricians hold weekly medicals at school.








8. Keeping Up to date with Knowledge and Skills.

  • Our recruitment policy ensures that when staff are employed by the school, they come with experience, aptitude  and skills which are needed to work with young people with SEN
  • In addition to this there is an induction programme which all staff are required to undertake. This training ensures that staff are aware  of the correct safeguarding procedures and  the management of pupils SEN,  including challenging behaviour, as well as approaches to teaching and learning for pupils with SEN
  • Throughout the year, the school also has a range of training opportunities to ensure that all staff are kept up to date with their knowledge and understanding of SEN.
  • A range of professionals are invited in to school to share their expertise as well as well as ‘in-house’ training and the sharing of outstanding practice across the College.
  • There is a comprehensive CPD programme available to all staff.   Further professional qualifications are encouraged.






Pupils can start at Arbour Vale School at any point during their school career, and careful thought is given to transition to ensure it is successful for the pupil and their family.   Transition plans can include;

  • Accompanied visits  to school to become familiar with the building
  • Home visits,  especially for pupils starting in EYFS, Primary or  with complex needs
  • Visits  to current settings by key staff
  • Attendance at Annual Reviews  and  TAC meetings
  • Transition visits to work alongside peers
  • Photo books/   Social Stories of key staff  and peers
  • Induction Day  for new Year 7 pupils
  • There is a tailor made induction process for pupils who become boarders.  This is  discussed, planned and implemented over 6-8 weeks


  • What support is offered for young people leaving the school? (e.g. careers guidance, visits to colleges, apprenticeships, supported employment etc)

Pupils get advice from the SEN PA from year 9 until the age of 25 years old.  Annual Reviews are an opportunity to plan with the young person and their family the variety of options for Post 16 and Post 19 provision.

Local Colleges and other voluntary agencies attend Parents Evenings so advice is accessible and available.  Special Voices also provide a range of information and expertise for families.


We recognises the challenges that unstructured times can present to many of our pupils We therefore have arrangements in place during the day.

  • What handover arrangements will be made at the start and end of the school day?  Do you have parking areas for pick up and drop offs?

Most young people who attend AVS are brought to and from school by a taxi. The drivers will bring the young people into the school where they will be greeted by staff. At the end of the day, pupils are escorted to their taxis by the escorts or a member of staff. We encourage parents to call the school in the morning if there are any concerns or important information we need, that may support us in supporting their children. Staff will equally call parents at the end of the day if there is any key information to discuss.

  • What support is offered during breaks and lunchtimes?

There is a range of activities available to young people at break times and lunch times.   Playground areas are closely supervised by staff.

  • How do you ensure my son/daughter stays safe outside the classroom? (e.g. during PE lessons and school trips)

All activities are risk assessed and staffing ratios are high. Staff are always carefully selected to ensure pupils are fully supported.

  • What are the school arrangements for undertaking risk assessments? 

There are risk assessments in place for each pupil and for all activities/ learning environments. These are completed by class based staff and are then checked by  the  Line Manager and the  Health and Safety Officer

Where can parents find details of policies on bullying?

Policies can be found on the website and we will give hard copies to anyone who wants to. Parents and carers are encouraged to come in to school if they have any concerns about their child being bullied.






 10. Helpful Contacts


Tracey Bradshaw,  Acting Headteacher


Arbour Vale School website


Information about Slough's  Local Offer can be found at