INCLUSION AT ILKLEY GRAMMAR SCHOOL
“Our vision for inclusive learning at IGS is that whatever their starting points all students are enabled and empowered to achieve their Personal Best. We believe that this can be achieved through a caring, systematic, personalised and holistic approach to overcoming barriers to learning and personal development.”
In essence, our vision for students with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all young people at IGS – that they achieve well academically and they have the confidence and skills to make a positive difference to their own lives and the lives of others. We are therefore committed to providing a supportive environment in which each individual is able to flourish.
We currently have around 250 SEND students on role and around 40 students with EHCPs. The Inclusive Learning Department prides itself on being an experienced, dedicated and highly qualified team who strive to support the students to achieve their personal best in all areas of their life within school. The team comprises currently of around 15 Inclusive Learning Support Assistants (ILSAs), two full time intervention workers (one numeracy and one literacy), as well as three dedicated staff who ensure the smooth day to day running of a busy area. In addition, the DSP which provides a base for up to 12 students with ASD, has its own dedicated team of 3 autism specialist ILSAs led by a highly skilled and experienced DSP manager.
Our Inclusive Learning team strives for student-centred support which encourages independence. They support individual students, whole class groups and lead intervention programmes. ILSAs work with teaching staff to personalise the curriculum for individuals and our core belief is having high ambitions for all and getting the level of challenge right.
Some of our students do require curriculum adjustments beyond personalisation in the classroom. The Accelerated Learning Group (ALG) provides additional literacy and numeracy intervention for an identified cohort of year 7 and 8 students who arrive at secondary school well below age-related expectations. There are currently around 20 students in total across Years 7 and 8 accessing this provision in lieu of a modern foreign language for six lessons over the timetable cycle. Literacy and numeracy provision is key to our intervention strategy at all key stages with students in Year 9 benefiting from literacy intervention in lieu of MFL and KS4 students having Supported Study in lieu of one GCSE.
At GCSE, performance of SEND students is strong in many areas of the curriculum. It is our aim for every student with SEND to makes outstanding academic progress in relation to their Key Stage 2 starting points. Student success is our success and we firmly believe that we can make the difference together.
Primary Transition for students with SEND, anxiety issues and less confident social skills is well established. The whole team participate in primary transition and run the Student Ambassador Scheme with Year 7 students to help support transition to secondary school.
A number of students who have social understanding difficulties and who could potentially be quite isolated in a large school are very well supported at IGS. The department runs a variety of clubs and groups that support students who benefit from having ‘safe places’ to go at and lunchtime. These clubs and groups are very popular with both Key Stage 3 and 4 students; they enjoy the mix of students and have now made secure and lasting friendships.
Contact with home is always welcomed in the department and we are often the first port of call for a parent who is worried about their child. We pride ourselves on parent partnership and our ability to work and support all students and families within school. In our Annual Reviews, parents tell us they trust us and are appreciative that staff go above and beyond the support role.
The department works with a wide range of external agencies and departments and has a very good reputation across the Local Authority from both Bradford Education and Primary Health Care Trust. We regularly meet the Learning Difficulty, ASC team and Visually Impaired Teams from EB and CAMHS.