What kinds of Special Educational Needs does Oakwood School make provision for?

Oakwood School is a community maintained primary Special School.  We provide educational opportunities for children who have severe, profound or complex learning difficulties.  Many of our pupils may also have a range of additional needs including:

  • Sensory impairments, including visual and/or hearing impairment
  • Complex medical needs
  • Autism
  • Physical impairments
  • Social and emotional needs
  • Speech, language and communication difficulties

How would Oakwood School identify and assess children’s Special Educational Needs?

Every pupil has a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). These are reviewed and shared with parents, families or carers through the school’s annual reporting process.

On entry to the school in the Early Years department, there is a short settling in period to assess pupils and then pupils are scored according to a local authority entry profile.

Meetings are held three times each year with teachers and senior leaders to monitor progress.  The school works closely with therapists and external agencies to identify the holistic needs of every child. Pupils are assessed individually against their own prior learning.

The assessment of individual achievements is an integral feature of the work of the school.  Teachers evaluate individual targets on a regular basis and summarise achievements in the end of year reports. 

The majority of pupils at Oakwood School will be working within ‘P’ levels.  These are pre National Curriculum Levels enabling teachers to assess the level at which a pupil is working in a given subject area and to measure progress.  Class Teachers collect evidence of pupil achievement and record achievements electronically.  This data is then collected and analysed annually.

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs?

We have a robust system of reviewing our provision using the Ofsted self-evaluation framework. This includes looking at:-

  • Effectiveness of Leadership and Management
  • Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for pupils
  • Early Years provision

Governors are involved in this process and receive regular reports at planned Governor meetings.  Any interventions and additional funding such as Pupil Premium are identified and tracked to ensure the impact is effective. The school was inspected in March 2014 and was judged as outstanding.

How do I know how well my child is doing at Oakwood School?

There are meetings with parents each term to discuss individual educational targets and progress is also discussed at the Annual Review meeting.  We communicate regularly via the home school diary system and by telephone. In addition to the Annual Review there is an Annual Report during the Summer Term as well as an Open Evening. In addition to this parents and carers are welcome to discuss their child’s progress with us at any time.

How will staff support my child and how will the curriculum be matched and adapted to my child’s needs?

Every child has an Individual Educational Plan which identifies personal objectives. Class sizes are small with a high teacher to pupil ratio enabling individual programmes to be devised to meet the needs of each pupil. Personal as well as academic skills are encouraged.

Each class has a full time equivalent teacher and at least 2-3 learning support assistants but this is dependent on class size and the individual needs of the children.  School staff are supported by Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, School Nurse, specialist teacher advisors, paediatrician and professionals from CAMHS when required.

All pupils at Oakwood have access to a creative curriculum which is broad, balanced and relevant and which includes full National Curriculum entitlement. All planning is highly differentiated. Speech, language and communication are given high priority. All pupils work on the basic skills as part of their curriculum and independence is encouraged, promoting positive learning experiences. Included in this are interaction and communication work as well as numeracy and literacy.

What additional support for learning is available?

Initially the needs of children are identified on their Statement /E.H.C.P. which are reviewed annually. We also work very closely with other agencies:

  • There is a nurse on site to deal with individual medical needs
  • The community paediatrician holds regular clinics at the school
  • Visiting dental team
  • Dietician
  • Specialist support services ~ Hearing Impairment
  • Specialist support services ~ Visual Impairment (in addition to our own Qualified Teacher of children with Vision Impairment on the teaching staff)
  • Specialist music teacher
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Educational Psychologist

How will children be included in activities outside the school curriculum including trips?

At Oakwood School activities and trips are planned with our children in mind and our pupils regularly access local facilities such as parks, shops and libraries, as well as going further afield to visit other places of interest. All visits are risk assessed to make sure they are appropriate for individual pupils and every child has the opportunity to access school trips if parents wish. Our Inclusion Policy promotes involvement of all our learners in all aspects of the curriculum, including activities outside the classroom. Some of our children attend lunchtime clubs such as Makaton choir.

What support is there for improving emotional and social development?

We have a robust safeguarding policy and protocol in place.  Pupils’ health and well-being is paramount. Personal care is conducted discreetly, with dignity, fostering independence whenever possible. We work closely with on-site medical practitioners to meet the health needs of pupils whilst they are at school. We also work closely with social services, the children with disabilities team and with CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Services) should pupils need that level of support.

What training is provided for staff supporting children with special educational needs?

The school are committed to a comprehensive training programme for all staff, which includes moving and handling, Team Teach, TEACCH, Makaton, Visual Impairment, PECS, on body signing, Autism etc. Training packages may include additional training such as sensory processing disorders.

The vast majority of our teachers are qualified with many holding additional specialist qualifications pertaining to children with special educational needs.  Our Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) also have a wide range of expertise and ongoing professional development is organised to ensure all staff remain updated and skilled.

Staff across the school are committed to maintaining their own professional development and there are opportunities for all staff to develop their expertise in response to pupil’s learning and wellbeing needs. All staff access regular professional development that links to areas on our school development plan as well as their own performance management. Staff make best use of the knowledge of their colleagues and some of this professional development is delivered ‘in house’.

How will equipment and facilities be provided to support pupils at Oakwood School?

Oakwood School is fully accessible with dedicated disabled parking areas. We make all activities as accessible and inclusive as possible by making reasonable adjustments. Our building is single storey and is wheelchair accessible. There are hoists in the pool area and within teaching spaces to support pupils with mobility needs and there are specialist toileting facilities for children who require adult support throughout the school.

We have extensive specialist facilities which include a learner size swimming pool which is heated to hydrotherapy temperatures, a multi-sensory “immersion” room and a school minibus with tail lift. Our school grounds are inclusive with a variety of outdoor play equipment and two outdoor teaching areas.

All parents and families are welcome to visit the school prior to their child attending the school.

How are parents involved in the school and how parents can become involved?

Parents and carers are invited to be partners in their child’s learning through activities such as discussing and planning individual targets, celebrating progress either at annual review or in assemblies, attending parent workshops and taking part in home learning. We hold regular events – coffee mornings, Christmas Fairs, assemblies – to come together as a community.

Parents are shown around the school prior to deciding which school is their preferred choice for their child. Home visits are made to children who join our school in the Early Years department. On a more formal basis, parents and carers are invited into school at least three times a year to discuss Individual Education Plans, attend annual reviews and attend an Open Evening when they can look at the work that goes on in school and celebrate their child’s progress. We operate a school diary system and will contact parents by telephone should this be necessary.

Medical clinics are also arranged.  These can include meetings with a community paediatrician, physiotherapy assessments, feeding clinics, orthotics clinics and meeting the dietician.

Friends of Oakwood (P.S.A.) meet at the beginning of each term to arrange social events and fund raising activities.   All are welcome to join this group. For further information see our school website or contact the school office.

Some parents enhance the school’s leadership through becoming parent governors.

What are the arrangements for consulting pupils and involving them in their education?

The views of each child are brought together as part of the Annual Review process. Their wishes, feelings and views are recorded using photographs or symbols as appropriate to each child and this document is shared at the annual review.

Some of the children are also members of the School Council which meets on a regular basis with the Head teacher. These meetings provide a means for pupils to raise any issues with the Headteacher and to discuss ways of raising money to enhance the school learning environment.

What to do if you have concerns about the school provision?

In the first instance we encourage families to contact the child’s class teacher.  If there are still concerns then contact the Headteacher.  In the unlikely event that concerns are not resolved the next point of contact is the Chair of Governors.  Ultimately, parents have recourse to the Secretary of State. Please see our Complaints Procedure on the school website for more information.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

We work closely with the following:-

Community Nurses, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Hearing Impairment, Visual impairment, Educational Psychology, CAMHS and Children with Disabilities Team.

How are children prepared for joining school or transferring to another school?

Admissions to school are controlled by Walsall Children’s Services, S.E.N. team.  A visit may be arranged by appointment for parents to view the school and to be given basic information about the work of the school and offered a tour. Parents may or may not wish to bring their child on this visit.

For pupils who are joining the Early Years department of Oakwood School, the Early Years Team who have been supporting the child and their family at home, will organise a transition review. Home visits will then be arranged so that we can gather information, instigate transport arrangements if applicable and plan a timely and effective transition.

If children are transferring from another school, a visit for prospective parents can be arranged by appointment.  Oakwood teaching staff will arrange an assessment visit to the school currently attended by the child and will set up a transition review/meeting if necessary.  A period of transition will be agreed according to the needs of the child and a proposed start date agreed.  The S.E.N. team arrange transport where applicable. A visit to the school does not guarantee a pupil being  offered a place 

Transition to secondary education ~ When pupils move to their next phase of education there are well established transition plans in place which include:

Parents being offered the opportunity to visit secondary schools; staff from new settings observing pupils in their current setting and collecting information; Oakwood pupils and staff attending sessions at the new setting.

Where can I get further information & support?

Please look on our website: or phone the school on 01543 452040

Where can I get information about the LA local offer?

Click here and you will be taken to Walsall LA’s local offer.