Abbeywood Community School

SEND - Useful Information 

Monitoring Progress

 How will staff at ACS know how my child is doing?

  • All classroom teachers are responsible for the regular monitoring and assessment of their students.
    • Assessments are formally recorded and overseen by Subject Team Leaders, Tutors, Key Stage Leaders, Senior Leadership Team and Governors.
  • Three times a year a meeting is held for each year group. These meetings are attended by key staff responsible for student support, inclusion and progress across the school. All students on the Record of Need, and those where data indicates a lack of academic progress, are monitored and discussed at these meetings.
  • Key information is shared sensitively, between relevant teaching and support staff, through regular communication channels such as staff meetings, emails and face to face meetings

How will I know how my child is doing?

  • Parents/Carers will be provided with information on their child's progress, behaviour and attendance..
  • Parents/Carers are invited to attend parent consultation evenings with subject teachers to discuss their child’s progress.
  • Our regular assessment points throughout the year provide parents/carers with formal data reports.
  • If teachers have any specific concerns they will always contact parents/carers directly to discuss these with you.
  • For students with identified SEND, there will be structured conversations three times a year in addition to the formal EHCP review
  • All students with an EHCP have a’ key worker’ who will be the main point of contact with you
  • We welcome regular communication with all parents/carers via email or by telephone. 

Working together; home, school & outside agencies

 How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • For students with identified SEND, there will be structured conversations, three times a year, one of which will be the formal EHCP review. During these meetings we will work together to discuss strategies you can use at home to support your child’s learning.
  • We will share with you any information we have regarding specific support groups available in school or in the local community.
  • ACS has an Independent Home Learning policy and all students will be set with regular IHL in the form of short tasks, to reinforce and consolidate learning, and longer extended projects which encourage the development of higher order skills such as research and time management. This programme will provide an opportunity for you to actively engage in aspects of your child’s learning at ACS

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • ACS has a dedicated team of pastoral staff.  The Assistant Year Leaders are skilled in supporting students whose social, emotional and behavioural needs places them at risk of disengagement, isolation, underachievement, non-attendance or even exclusion.  Where risks are identified, direct intervention is planned in partnership with parents/carers and students in order to overcome barriers.
  • Members of the Inclusion Team are always available and many students spend time in the Resource Base before school, breaktimes, lunchtimes and after school.

How does ACS work together with outside agencies?

  • If a student has support from more than one external agency their needs will be coordinated through the Single Assessment Framework, or SAF process.  The SAF is a document which draws together key information about a child and their family, in order to plan effective intervention across services (education, health and social care).  The SAF is overseen by a lead professional who will have been identified by you, as the parent/carer. 
  • If your child has an EHCP, their provision will be formally reviewed as part of the Annual Review process.   Parents/carers and students are invited to attend and contribute to this meeting.  Representatives from the Local Authority and other supporting agencies may be invited to join the meeting, particularly if amendments to the EHCP are required.  The school report and meeting summary documentation will be shared with parents/carers, supporting agencies and the Local Authority.   
  • If school has significant concerns regarding any student a request for a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting may be made in order to share information and plan support.  Parents/carers may be invited to attend. 

The Resource Base

My child has specific language and communication needs, what will provision be like?

ACS has a South Gloucestershire provision on site to meet the needs of students with specific language and communication conditions and/or a diagnosis of autism.

The Resource Base (RB) has a maximum of 23 students all of whom will have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan.

We have a speech and language therapist on site for two days a week and an occupational therapist who works with us for two days a week. 

What Parents & Students say

“It can be quite daunting moving from primary to secondary school – particularly for a child with special needs. We found the additional transition arrangements made by Abbeywood were really helpful in settling our son into Year 7.” Parent of a child with EHCP  


“The Inclusion Team at Abbeywood are fantastic. You can always get hold of someone to talk to about your child’s progress or to answer any queries. My daughter is very happy at Abbeywood and she is thriving in this very supportive and inclusive school.” Parent of a child with EHCP


“We have been very impressed with all the support the school has put in place for our son. Secondary school is so much more complicated than primary school and yet we have always been able to communicate easily with the SENDCo and Inclusion Team. Our son is enjoying school and his teachers and TAs have been wonderful in helping him access the learning in the varied lessons throughout each day.” Parent of a child with SEND


“Abbeywood is a kind and respectful learning space for all students and the staff work tirelessly to ensure everyone is treated kindly and supported properly. My daughter is loving school and has made some great friends at Abbeywood. The staff go the extra-mile as a matter of course and I cannot fault all the support we have received from the school.” Parent of a child with SEND 

Useful links & Support

National Association of Special Education:

Supportive parents:

South Glos Parents and Carers:


The National Autistic Society:

Autism Services Directory:

Parent to Parent: 0808 800 4106

Education Rights: 0800 800 4102

Autism Helpline: 0808 800 4104

South Gloucestershire NAS Branch

Branch Officers Joanne Osborne and Maria Watkins: 07917 085132


British Dyslexia Association:

National Helpline: 0333 405 4567


Speech Language and Communication Needs:

Tourettes Action Group 

 Glossary of Terms

Achievement: A process of striving towards a sense of personal success and achieving as highly as possible.

Achievement for All: A school improvement framework with particular focus on raising the aspirations, access and achievements of the lowest 20% of learners in all schools.

Additional needs: All children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes and require additional support, which may be a short-term intervention or a longer-term strategy.

Attainment: The formal recognition of achievement evaluated against specified standards, generally in national examinations.

Code of Practice: The 0-25 Code of Practice sets out guidance on policies and procedures aimed at enabling students with SEN to reach their full potential, to be included in school communities and to make the transition to adult life successfully.

Disabled: An individual who has a physical or mental impairment, which has substantial and long-term effect on his/her ability to carry out day-to-day activities. The definition also covers pupils with sensory or intellectual impairments, those with a learning disability, severe disfigurements or progressive conditions.

EAL: English as an additional language

Education, Health and Care Plans: From September 2014 these will take the place of statements. This is a statutory assessment process co-ordinated across education, health and care to ensure a joined up approach for children, parents and young people. EHC plans are integrated support plans for children and young people with SEN from 0-25

Inclusion: Inclusion is about educational access. It is not a simple concept, restricted to issues of placement. Inclusive principles highlight the importance of meeting students’ individual needs, of working in partnership with students and their parents/carers and of involving teachers and schools in the development of more inclusive approaches. Inclusion is a process not a state.

Individual Education Plan (ILP): Builds on the curriculum that a student with learning difficulties or disabilities is following. It is designed to set out the strategies being used to meet each student’s identified needs.

Learning difficulties/disabilities: Characteristics of students who have difficulty in acquiring new skills or who learn at a different rate from their peers.

Learning mentors: Staff who work with students to help them address barriers to learning. This is designed to enable the students to engage more effectively in learning and achieve appropriately.

Looked After Child (LAC): Refers to any student who is in care of the local authority, or who is provided with accommodation by the local authority social services department for more than 24 hours.

Medical conditions: Medical conditions are diverse and include sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, epilepsy, haemophilia, spina bifida, leukaemia and many more. Many of these conditions will result in absence due to prolonged periods in hospital.

Personalised learning: Enables teachers to match teaching with individual student’s learning to meet their needs, interests and aptitudes, enabling them to reach their full potential.

Provision map: An ‘at a glance’ way of showing the range of provision a school makes for students with special and other additional needs, through additional staffing or peer support.

Pupil Premium: Additional funding for schools to spend as they choose to raise the achievement of disadvantaged students. The Pupil Premium for each school is calculated according to the number of students eligible for free school meals.

Quality first teaching: the effective inclusion of all students in high-quality everyday personalised teaching.

Resource Based Provision: The term 'resource-base' can be used to describe any mainstream school (or college) that has a specialist provision on site

Special Educational Need: The term 'special educational needs' has a legal definition, referring to students who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children or young people of the same age.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO): The SENCO is the person responsible for co-ordinating the provision for all children and young people with special educational needs within a school. It is a statutory requirement that every school must have a SENCo

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN): Encompasses a wide range of difficulties related to all aspects of communication in children and young people. These can include difficulties with fluency, forming sounds and words, formulating sentences, understanding what others say, and using language socially.

Speech and language therapy: A health care profession, the role and aim of which is to enable children with speech, language and communication difficulties to reach their maximum communication potential a SENCO.

Transition plan: A plan that sets out the steps needed to move from school to adult life, usually drawn up after the Year 9 annual review of a Statement.

Vulnerable children: Those children at risk of social exclusion; those who are disadvantaged and whose life chances are likely to be jeopardised unless action is taken to meet their needs.

Waves of Intervention: Wave 1 is described as ‘inclusive quality first teaching for all’ and takes into account the learning needs of all pupils in the classroom. It covers high-quality inclusive teaching supported by effective whole school policies and frameworks, clearly targeted to all pupils’ needs and prior learning.

Wave 2 is Wave 1 plus additional and time-limited interventions provided for some children who need help to accelerate their progress, to enable them to work at or above age-related expectations. This usually takes the form of a structured programme of small-group support, carefully targeted and delivered by teachers or teaching assistants (TAs) who have the skills to help pupils achieve their learning objectives.

Wave 3 is Wave 1 plus increasingly individualised programmes, based on independent evidence of what works. Wave 3 describes additional targeted provision for a minority of children where it is necessary to provide highly tailored intervention to accelerate progress or enable children to achieve their potential. This may include one-to-one or specialist interventions.