sax hill pic

 

Local Offer

 

Saxon Hill Schoolis an all-age (2-19) residential special school for children with physical disabilities and complex medical needs. With a school population of approximately 90 children, Saxon Hill is located in Lichfield and serves families from south-east Staffordshire. 

Our residential shorts breaks provision, “SleepOver Club” provides extended day and overnight education for children. Sleepover Club has a “Statement of Purpose” document which explains the residential offer in detail. 

Saxon Hill School is one of four schools in Staffordshire commissioned to provide the local authority’s Physical Disability Support Service – supporting inclusion for children with physical disabilities in local mainstream schools. 

We are a member of the Staffordshire Special Schools Company – a partnership network of Staffordshire’s 23 special schools; and a strategic partner with the National Forest Teaching School Alliance. 

 

Our school’s wide ranging provision also includes: 

  • All age phases, from Early Years pre-school through to adulthood at the age of 19.
  • Provision for wide ranging learning needs from complex profound and multiple sensory learning through to Level 2 qualifications and accreditation
  • Children’s Centre and Community Pre-School
  • Health provision:
    • Nursing
    •  Physiotherapy
    •  Speech and Language Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Sensory Integration
  • Hydrotherapy pool
  • Rebound therapy room
  • Forest School
  • Vocational enterprises supporting work-based learning: Community Café and Lichfield Scrap Barn
  • Extended school: including Lichfield 9th Scouts, Youth Club, residential trips, holiday play schemes 

 

Saxon Hill School’s unique profile enables us to provide a holistic and developmental curriculum for children with physical, medical, sensory and associated learning difficulties from pre-school right through to transition into adult life. The fact that we are an all-age (2-19) provision has huge implications for the relationship we have with our children and families. We travel the same journey for a significant proportion of their life, and in many cases, for the whole of the child’s school life through to adulthood. We often refer to “the family of Saxon Hill School”. This reflects our ethos of supporting the holistic needs of child and family.

Family support is a key element of our ethos, and we function as a hub for the wide range of agencies, such as Health and Social Care, as well as being a school. 

 

1.      How does your school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

 

Children attending Saxon Hill School generally have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan identifying a physical and/or medical disability, and often a sensory disability and associated communication and learning difficulties. Some children may be placed at Saxon Hill School on an assessment placement pending a Statement or EHC plan.

 

Children attending Saxon Hill undergo continuous assessment during their school life. Their physical, medical and learning needs are monitored continuously, and the provision is adapted as their needs change and evolve. 

 

2.      How will your school staff support my child/young person?

 

          The school is divided into Key Stage departments, with each Key Stage led by one or more qualified teachers, and a comprehensive team of Higher Level Teaching assistants, and Teaching Assistants.  All children access the statutory national curriculum, but this is adapted depending upon the learning needs of the children.

There is significant emphasis on the holistic needs of the child, with each child having a physical timetable that complements their academic one. All professionals work closely with other agency professionals on site, such as the physiotherapy team, speech and language therapists, and our nursing team to ensure that the wider needs of our children and families are being met.

Saxon Hill has a dedicated bathroom team that ensures every child’s personal care needs are met throughout the day.

Each child has a class tutor that may be a teacher or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. This person is the main contact between school and family. The headteacher and leadership team have an “open door” policy to children and parents, and value the relationships we build with families.

 

School governors work very closely with the leadership team and middle leaders to ensure they understand the effectiveness of Saxon Hill’s specialised provision, and work through committees to ensure that the strategic objectives and school aims are achieved. 

 

3.      How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?

 

What are the setting’s / school’s / college’s approaches to differentiation? How will that help my child/young person? 

Saxon Hill School has six age-phase departments:

  • Early Years Foundation Stage – ages 2-5
  • Key Stage 1 – ages 5-7
  • Key stage 2 – ages 7-11
  • Key Stage 3 – ages 11-14
  • Key Stage 4 – ages 14-16
  • Post 16 – ages 16-19 

We have three learning pathways through the key stages that are designed to meet the wide-ranging needs of our children: 

  • Sensory Curriculum Pathway– Children generally functioning between P-Levels 1 – 3, and having profound and multiple learning difficulties. Our Sensory Pathway children may also have significant and multiple physical, sensory and communication needs.  The curriculum we offer has been specifically designed to reflect their sensory interaction needs and to develop their pre-learning skills and responses, and includes experiences such as Sensology, Sound Bath, Resonance Board, Aroma therapy and massage.  Each child’s development is tracked and targeted to develop their interaction with the world around them.  Sensory classrooms are adapted to deliver the appropriate learning experiences and care for our most complex children and young people. 
  • Emerging Learners Curriculum Pathway– Children generally functioning between P-Levels 4-7, and having severe learning difficulties. These difficulties may be associated with their physical or medical disability and children may also have sensory and/or communication difficulties.  The curriculum is based on developing key learning concepts through the delivery of Thematic Units. Learning challenges are developed to reflect different aspects of the statutory curriculum in a stimulating and challenging programme based around a common theme for the term. Each child’s progress is tracked against wider holistic skills development (social, communication, and physical)  as well as against personal progress in key subject strands, including Literacy and Maths. 
  • Developing Learners Curriculum Pathway– Children generally functioning at P8 and above, and may have moderate or specific learning difficulties and/or communication difficulties, sometimes associated with their physical, medical or sensory needs. This curriculum is more typical of a mainstream school offer. It continues to utilise the Challenge Curriculum as described above, but differentiated to challenge our more able learners.  At Key Stages 4 and 5, students access formal accreditation such as Entry Level and Functional Skills qualifications. 

As the needs of our children evolve, we continually assess the most appropriate pathway for them. This sometimes means creating groups that can blur the boundaries between key stages, and children can move between pathways to achieve a personalised model to meet individual needs.  Pathways can overlap – with sensory children working with emerging learner groups, and likewise, emerging learners often work with our developing learners.  This offers freedom for children to progress into more appropriate pathways as they develop their skills and learning. 

 

4.      How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my   child’s/young person’s learning?

 

The relationship between family and school is an important part of our ethos. Parents share a continuous dialogue between the class tutor through regular home/school communication – such as home-school diaries or class news sheets. We encourage an on-going and active dialogue with parents, so that we can be responsive to your child’s needs as they change.

On a formal basis, parents are invited to meet with class tutors termly in order to review progress and reflect upon the physical, social  and learning needs of their child. This may take the form of a personal meeting over coffee, or a more formal consultation when evaluating progress made against the child’s statement or EHC plan. 

 

Parents work with tutors and the leadership team to agree the priority needs for learning and to agree priorities for physical and personal development.

 

We track pupil progress in detail in a number of key areas. This includes progress against the National Curriculum, sensory development, physical development, and in Early Years – against the EYFS profile. Targets are agreed with children and parents in a range of key areas, and reviewed regularly.

Progress is compared to progress made in previous years, and where appropriate, against national trends.

 

Parents will also meet with a member of the leadership team so that you can be sure that we are meeting your child’s needs appropriately. We are always happy to listen to your concerns so that we can work with the appropriate teams to ensure that our provision is focused on the needs of your child.  Progress in education and learning is important to us as a school, but we place equal importance to the quality of personal care, and to the physical and emotional needs of your child.

 

We place great value on supporting the family as well as the child. Our Family Support Worker works closely with families and other agencies and services to ensure that families receive the support and resources that they are entitled to.

We actively promote and support a Parent Support Group, run by parents for parents, to provide mutual support and shared experiences of bringing up a child with a disability.

 

Our regular weekly newsletters, and updates to our website, aim to keep parents informed of regular events and opportunities to access workshops and sessions for children outside of school.             

         

5.      What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall well being?

 

At Saxon Hill, we place great emphasis on the care and well-being of our children.  It is important to us that children feel safe, and that their personal care and emotional well-being take priority.  We work closely with our team of qualified nurses, physiotherapists and other agencies to ensure that their wider physical, medical and emotional needs are properly supported.

We take particular care to nurture the trust and relationships between staff and children, so that they feel able to freely express their concerns and worries.  This enables our staff to respond quickly to their needs, and to deal quickly with any issues that may develop.

We have a strong “student voice” that gives many opportunities for students to contribute to school improvement. The student council meet weekly and feed back to the headteacher any issues that require consideration or action. Students also meet frequently in SleepOver Club to discuss and share their thoughts and wishes.

 

We have a zero tolerance of bullying, and are proud of the ethos that encourages cooperation and mutual care and support between children. We work closely with parents and children where behaviour may require adjustment. We adopt models that promote positive behaviours, and where appropriate support families with 24 hour “wrap-around” behaviour plans. We work closely with other agencies and professionals where appropriate, such as Education Psychology, Learning Disability Teams and CAMHS.

All students where appropriate are involved in agreeing their personal goals and targets, and are able to give their views at the annual review of their statement.  Again – we encourage an “open door” policy so that students are able to speak to any staff to share personal concerns.

 

We have a full-time team of nurses on site that manage all medication, and physiotherapists work closely with our class teams to ensure physical programmes are delivered each day. 

Our dedicated team of personal care professionals ensure that all personal care needs are met throughout the day, and play a key part in developing the personal independence skills of our children.  The team also deliver our wider physical therapy programmes such as rebound therapy and hydrotherapy.

 

The school’s safeguarding policy ensures that any and all disclosures or concerns are considered and acted upon in an appropriate manner. The school’s safeguarding policy is available to view on the school website or by request. 

 

6.      What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your school?

         

Saxon Hill School is a specialist school for children with physical disabilities and complex medical needs, and have Specialist School Status for our sensory and physical curriculum. As described above, we work closely with our medical, physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy colleagues on site to ensure that our school provides the appropriate physical, sensory and communication support for each child. This ensures that each child can access a relevant and challenging education curriculum while making sure that their wider health needs are also being met.  We work closely with different health and social care agencies, and support families to access the services they need.

 

School Teams:

  • Qualified and experienced teachers in every Key Stage and Early Years. Teachers are also Middle Leaders, and have responsibility for the management of resources in their Key Stages, curriculum subject leadership and Key Stage team management.
  • Qualified and experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistants in each Key stage. HLTA’s, along with our qualified teachers form our Lead Professionals team. Our Lead Professionals have responsibility for tutor groups, and teaching and learning across the school.
  • Qualified and experienced teaching assistants work closely with our Lead Professionals to assist children with learning, physical programmes and personal and social support.
  • A dedicated Personal Care team who ensure each child is supported with their personal care needs throughout the day, promoting the development of personal independence skills, and delivering a range of therapies such as rebound therapy and hydrotherapy.
  • A dedicated residential team providing complete wrap-around care and support for children using our residential “Sleepover Club”.
  • A commissioned team of qualified nurses and assistants ensuring the medical needs of our children are fully met across the day.
  • Continuing Care teams for children requiring continuous medical support - (subject to health assessment).
  • School-based physiotherapy team ensuring that all children receive appropriate physical programmes in partnership with class teams as required.
  • Weekly input from Speech and Language Therapy teams. Our teams work with Speech and Language Therapists to support the delivery of adapted and augmented communication methods,  development of speech and language skills - (dysphasia), and assessment of “eating and swallowing” skills  - (dysphagia).
  • Family Support Worker – working closely with other agencies and helping families with assessments, referrals and wider family support.
  • As a specialist school, we have close working relationships with local support and specialist service providers such as Educational Psychology, Sensory Impairment Teams, Occupational Therapy, Social Care Disability  teams, CAMHS, and Clinical Psychology.
  • We are proud of our vocational and work-based learning offer for our older students, which enable them to access work and skills development in our own businesses: Lichfield Scrap Barn CIC, based at Chasewater Park, and Saxon Hill Community Café which is on the school campus. In combination with our widening community partnerships with local businesses (such as Shenstone Garden Centre and Tamworth Football Club), we are able to offer our students an innovative work-based opportunity as they prepare for life beyond school. 

 

7.      What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

 

Members of staff receive regular training in mandatory areas such as safeguarding, lifting and handling, behaviour management,  health and safety, and first aid. Where required, staff also access training for specific areas such as safe loading of minibuses, medicine management, specialised feeding, oral suctioning, and awareness-raising (such as epilepsy awareness).

We continuously review and adapt our teaching and learning strategies, and monitor the quality of teaching to ensure we strive for continuous improvement.  Recent specialised training has focused on Sensory Integration, and we are currently focusing on training to support the implementation of our new SEN curriculum model. 

 

8.      How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

 

Saxon Hill has a strong belief that education in the community and environment forms an essential aspect of learning, and of being able to use and apply their formal learning in real contexts.  We actively encourage our staff teams to take class groups off-site – into towns and their local community – to engage and communicate with people in shops, services and businesses.

Our older students regularly attend residential trips such as to Paris and to the Calvert Trust outdoor adventure centre in Keswick.

We have regular engagement for groups to access outdoor and adventurous activities each week, including special cycling, archery and orienteering in partnership with the Outdoor Education Service.

We have a Forest School environment alongside our horticulture area. The Forest School has outdoor classroom areas, including a fire-pit, and a Yurt with a wood-burning stove. These facilities are enjoyed by children of all ages throughout the year, and ensure that our children have many experiences outside the classroom.

We have two adapted school mini-buses that are used regularly to access our local community. Relevant staff are trained on the safe loading and securing of wheelchairs, and risk assessments are carried out for all trips to ensure that children are kept as safe as possible. 

 

Our older students are able to take part in real work-based learning through our partnership network developed with local businesses, such as Shenstone Garden Centre, and through the creation of our own businesses: Lichfield Scrap Barn (bases at Chasewater Park) and Saxon Hill Community Café. These have been set up as Community Interest Companies, and enable our students to develop skills in manufacturing, business and enterprise, retail, and hospitality and catering. 

 

9.      How accessible is the setting / school / college environment?

 

Saxon Hill School is a fully accessible environment that caters for wide ranging complex needs and disabilities. It is fully wheelchair accessible, and has fully accessible classrooms, therapy areas and personal care facilities. Many areas are equipped with fixed hoisting facilities, or have access to mobile hoisting so that children are able to come out of their wheelchairs to access therapies, standing, walking and lying as required. 

For children accessing our Sensory Learning Pathway, classrooms are equipped with appropriate sensory environments and resources that ensure our sensory children can access their sensory programmes easily. 

The curriculum is adapted to ensure that all students can access appropriate learning, including exam accreditation where appropriate.  

We work closely with the Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment specialists to make sure that any child with a hearing or visual impairment can access the appropriate support and resources. This may include communication support, and adapted teaching and learning resources such as large print, audio and tactile equipment. 

We work closely with other agencies to support families with assessment for resources at home, such as through Occupational Therapy assessment referrals. We use translation services when required, to support parents for whom English may not be their first language. 

Any specialist equipment required in school for a child will be assessed and agreed with other professional agencies and parents as necessary, and purchased by the school where the equipment is generic, or purchased by the Health Authority where the equipment is prescribed and unique to the child.  Equipment can include specialised seating, access to standing, walking and lying, or specialised work stations or desks. 

 

10.   How will your school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, or transfer to a new setting,  school or college or the next stage of education and life?

 

Starting a new school at any age or moving on to another setting can be a very worrying time for parents and children. This process of transition is very important to us at Saxon Hill, as we work hard with parents to make this as worry-free as possible. We encourage all new children and parents to visit us, where we give a tour of our facilities and give an opportunity for parents to meet the other children and staff around the school. The needs of any new child are discussed in detail, and detailed care-plans are completed alongside the health agencies to ensure that children start with all facilities in place to meet the complex needs of any child appropriately from the first day. We offer a friendly and flexible approach to induction which can include phased or part-time induction where appropriate.  Children are assessed during their first half term, where any adjustments to provision may be discussed and agreed with parents. 

As long as we have a space, children can join Saxon Hill at any age where our provision is deemed to be the most appropriate for meeting their physical and learning needs.  

Transition out of Saxon Hill and onwards to the next provision can be equally worrying, and again, we have developed a comprehensive transition plan for students moving on to new schools, colleges or other health or social care services. We work closely with other agencies and providers, and parents and students, to ensure that families are properly informed and supported through this process.  Transition planning for life beyond Saxon Hill begins at the end of Key Stage 3 (age 14), so that students and parents can develop aspiration that is appropriate to the student’s desires, skills and abilities. 

Our aim is to equip our students with the confidence and skills to become advocates of their own futures and valued members of our society. 

 

11.   How are the setting’s / school’s / college’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s special      educational needs?

 

Saxon Hill School is a Local Authority maintained special school, and is funded through a pupil needs-led formula.

The school is modelled and resourced ( as described earlier) to meet wide ranging physical, medical and learning needs of children aged 2 to 19.  

Individual assessments of need are made so that wherever specialised and personalised resources are required (that are reasonable and practicable) then these are provided. 

Some children qualify for additional funding through government Premium schemes or Student Bursary. These funds are allocated appropriately to ensure all vulnerable groups identified across our school population have their needs appropriately met. 

 

12.   How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

 

As described earlier, parents are involved at all times in agreeing the priority needs for their child. Saxon Hill School is resourced and structured to provide for the widely different needs of our students, through careful group structuring and input from our specialist teams.

 

In more complex situations, detailed assessments are made to determine whether additional resources are required to meet your child’s needs. This can be a medical continuing-care assessment, or an Exceptional Needs assessment. Where children meet criteria, additional support is provided. 

This is balanced against our ethos of encouraging and developing personal independence, self-advocacy and mobility as relevant to individual needs.

 

13.   How are parents involved in your school? How can I be involved?

 

There are many ways in which parents can help and support the school, and to become engaged in school life. 

We have an active Parent Support Group which is run for and by parents. We encourage parents to meet and actively support each other with advice, experience and resources. Our Family Support Worker works closely with parents to facilitate meetings.

As stated earlier, we have an “open-door” policy and welcome parents to meet and discuss their child’s needs with staff or the leadership team members.

We have an active volunteer service that enables members of the community, including parents to support students or engage in projects around school. Our Community Café is operated by volunteers, as is our craft enterprise: Lichfield Scrap Barn.

Our school governing body also has a committed representation of Parent Governors, playing a vital role in ensuring Saxon Hill Schools’ strategic role is focused on the needs of children with complex needs and their families.

If you would like to help- or have a special area of expertise that you would like to offer us, we would be glad to hear from you. 

 

14.   Who can I contact for further information?

         

For parents of children already attending school, then the day to day point of contact is with the class tutor, or if a residential matter, then with the allocated Sleepover Club Keyworker.

Senior leaders and the headteacher are also easily contactable to discuss aspects of provision. We welcome any discussion that ensures your confidence that your child’s needs are being fully met.

We are always happy to receive compliments to share with others, but also have a robust complaints procedure and policy should you have any concerns you wish to raise with us. We treat such matters very seriously to ensure our service to you and your child meets the highest of standards.

 

For new admissions, and information regarding places at Saxon Hill, parents should contact the Headteacher: Mr Jon Thickett, or Deputy Head Teacher: Mrs Sally Churchill to discuss your needs or to arrange a visit.

 

Other contacts:

Telephone – Main reception: 01543 414892

Office email:  office@saxonhill.staffs.sch.uk

Web:                www.saxonhill.staffs.sch.uk

Local Offer Web:  http://www.staffordshiremarketplace.co.uk/home.html    and search for Saxon Hill

 

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