SEND Beliefs

SEND Policy SEND Information ReportC Zone

East Sussex SEND Local Offer

At Uckfield College, inclusion is the guiding principle that informs our broad and balanced provision for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. We strongly believe that all young people, irrespective of personal circumstances, can achieve personal excellence and should be fully supported to do so.

We strive to achieve this for students with SEND through a strong and purposeful curriculum, impactful interventions/therapies and, critically, highly effective learning and teaching delivered by well trained staff.  As a result, all students with SEND will learn, progress and benefit from the ‘structured steps’ we have in place.

We foster a culture where there is a team around every student with SEND and, through this, every individual, their parents/carers and staff will work together to facilitate the very best life chances during their learning journey at Uckfield College.

Our Learning Plus team’s provision is thus responsive, reflective and adaptable to the needs of individual learners and based on a continuum of need. Alongside subject knowledge (including literacy and numeracy), Uckfield College will provide students with SEND the necessary tools to develop:

  • Communication skills
  • Social and life skills
  • Emotional literacy
  • Self-regulation
  • Independence
  • A love of learning for life

We recognise that there is a large body of evidence that supports the concept of neuroplasticity in the brain. Neuroscience research has found that neural pathways are created in the brain by our habits and our behaviours. For this reason, the key to success for many of our students with SEND is practice, practice, practice. Habit formation and establishing effective routines, such as regular reading, can have a profound impact on future successes and facilitating life changes. All of our students can form new neural pathways towards building their schemata (a pattern of thought/behavior that organises categories of information and the relationships among them) which will enable these students to access their full curriculum and entitlement and develop breadth and depth within it.

“High quality teaching is delivered through the judicious choice of developmentally appropriate learning materials and activities that are structured as progressively more complex steps towards learning goals.”

(Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools: Evidence Review, Cullen et al. 2020)

The College’s holistic provision for students with SEND is guided by our Uckfield ‘ACEs’. We are ambitious for all students, including those with SEND, and believe through adaptive teaching, building resilience and fostering a growth mindset that leads to neuroplasticity, students with SEND will flourish as both academically and personally developed young people. These individuals will be able to routinely establish new connections, feel successful and proud of their school and be prepared for an uncertain, yet exciting future.

Uckfield ‘ACEs’ are defined as:

A. Academic Achievement:
  • Critical, creative, hard thinkers and learners
  • Confident and knowledgeable speakers with large vocabularies (over 50,000 words) by the time they leave year 11
C. Global Citizenship and Character:
  • Social activists: engaged, responsible, knowledgeable, tolerant, outward-looking
  • Ready, willing and able  to make a wholly positive contribution to improving society
E. Enterprise and confidence:
  • Personally developed and personally knowledgeable -  physically, mentally, socially and emotionally
  • Able to think for themselves, be innovative, aspirational and to use their knowledge confidently

Additional aims for our Specialist ASC Facility:

We describe ‘the whole college’ as our Specialist Facility and not a separate unit. Students within our Specialist ASC Facility are therefore expected to learn in mainstream lessons, but with additional support which is facilitated by effective structured steps.

They will access a broad, balanced and rich curriculum and we are equally ambitious for their successes as for those with other specific needs and/or disabilities. This adative provision will be supplemented by coordinated wave 2 and 3 academic and therapeutic intervention alongside bespoke support.

We believe that it is vital to work with each student, their teachers, parents/carers and the local authority to tailor a provision that fully responds to their needs. This provision is facilitated by Learning Plus as well as -in some cases- outside agencies, but requires Quality First Teaching to achieve genuine inclusion. These students will continue to move along the autistic spectrum and, for this reason, we regularly review and adapt their provision. As a result we can respond swiftly when additional stretch or tailored support is required.

“SEND is not a fixed or permanent characteristic; it is a recognition that at a specific time a child has additional learning needs. At times, many pupils will require tailored or additional support to fully participate in everything the school has to offer.” (Education Endowment Foundation)

Careers provision:

Working is good for us and our mental health. In later life, those students with SEND should be in work too as part of supporting their positive mental health, wellbeing and further developing their resilience.

We promote and celebrate the personal successes of students with SEND and regularly acknowledge the progress and journey they have made. Students will be supported as they move from one key stage to another and when they are approaching the end of their learning journey with us so that they can make informed decisions.

We believe that through a broad and balanced curriculum, options and future pathway support and regular careers-focused mentoring conversations and focusing on key employability skills we will achieve a careers culture that focuses (in Pauline Holbrook's words) on what students “can do rather than what they can't do”. The ASDAN provision that the college provides for some SEND students during Y9-11 has been developed around key employability skills which are descreately taught within English and Maths short courses.

The key skills and qualities we prioritise as part of our CEIAG for students with SEND are:

  • the ability to problem-solve
  • the ability to communicate
  • the ability to self-manage
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • to be creative
  • to be numerate
  • to have basic digital skills