What does it do?
The ARC works in partnership with Hanson Academy to provide specialised teaching and support for young people across Bradford who are severely vision impaired. The ARC supports the inclusion of vision impaired pupils in all aspects of the school curriculum and school life. Young people who have a Statement of SEN, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or are attending Hanson on an assessment place for needs related to their vision impairment will have access to qualified Teachers of Vision Impairment (QTVIs), Specialist Support Assistants (SSAs), specialist Technology Officers, and Habilitation Specialists. The ARC provides: • Access to the specialist VI curriculum; o Specialist teaching from QTVI’s, in Braille, tactile skills and ICT, as well as pre and post teaching of new and challenging concepts. o Schemes of work to support the above are prepared by QTVIs and are delivered by both QTVIs and SSAs. o Habilitation lessons from a qualified Habilitation Specialist who teaches pupils about life skills and mobility o All the VI ARC staff are involved with the pupils as mentors, and high priority is given to social skills development, and independence o All the above specialist curriculum work leads to accreditation through AQA • In class support for those pupils who need it, with an emphasis on independent learning • Modified enlarged and tactile resources for all areas of the mainstream curriculum • Access to a range of specialist hardware and software, and IT packages, for all ARC pupils • Regular communication and liaison with mainstream teachers, in order to plan resources, and monitor and evaluate pupil progress • Continued delivery of training and support for mainstream and support staff to ensure all VI pupils achieve their potential. • Attendance at all school parents’ meetings and school events, by ARC teaching staff • Regular consultation and annual review meetings, to discuss pupil's individual learning targets and progress. • Preparation and evaluation of Individual Educational Plans for VI pupils, and assessment and report writing for the EHCP process • Communication pathways with other settings, and local Colleges, to share practice and promote good transitions. • Home visits, on request according to need • Opportunities for VI students to meet other VI role models, and to participate in specialist activities, ie at Leeds University, Yorkshire Blind Cricket. • Parent drop in sessions to support families, to provide training for parents, and to share information about other local organisations and agencies, particularly at times of transition.
Who is it for and is there any eligibility criteria?
The ARC provides up to 16 places (Year 7 - 13) for young people who are severely vision impaired, and require more support than a mainstream school could reasonably be expected to provide. Pupils accessing an ARC place will meet the assessment criteria for Range 5 in the Local Authority VI range descriptors. They will be tactile learners, who use braille and/or specialist technology as their main method of communication, or they will require large print at font 36 or above.
How do I access this provision?
The ARC is part of Bradford Council’s Sensory Service provision for vision impaired children, and referrals are made through the Local Authority Special Educational Needs (SEN) Team.