English as an additional language
We will, where possible, support the attainment of a course equivalent to the English Language GCSE in their own language. Students whose first language is not English are assessed prior to entry into Inspire Academy and again upon arrival during their induction programme to assess their English language capabilities and needs. Extra support is provided through timetabled EAL (English as an Additional Language) lessons. These lessons aim to develop the students English language skills and communicative ability and to build the students confidence to succeed in an English speaking environment.
At key stage three students will undertake additional EAL lessons to develop their English language skills. At key stage four students have the opportunity to follow either the GCSE English programme or undertake a ‘Step up’ or functional skills qualification. Where appropriate students can undertake a qualification in their own language.
Learning Difficulties and Disabilities, Special Educational Needs, and Gifted and Talented
At Inspire Academy we will undertake a number of internal assessments to identify any additional learning difficulties or possible barriers to learning within ten days of arrival, in addition to acting upon any information passed on by the pupil's previous school and in their EHCP. The screening tests highlight those pupils who are gifted and those who could have specific learning difficulties. We will also assess for indicators highlighting Speech and language or social communication difficulties. If required we will ensure a formal assessment is undertaken in order to ensure best and most appropriate supports are in place. It is essential that we can baseline and measure progress for our students in order to increase their confidence, self-esteem and enable the student to be involved in reflective and decision making processes.
Pupils who have been screened and display indications that they may have additional needs outside of their EHCP, will have their needs considered individually by qualified specialist staff. Gifted children are provided with opportunities to extend their knowledge in extension work in the classroom or small group activities. There are also a plethora of enrichment activities that can be accessed. The provision for a pupil with a learning difficulty depends on a pupil's need having been formally diagnosed; and may include such help as group support within the classroom. As a special school for children with a primary diagnosis of SEMH difficulties, we invest heavily in training our staff so they understand how best to support our students. All staff are well informed, have up to date knowledge of effective learning and teaching strategies and are skilled at teaching pupils with SEMH needs, learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
Therapeutic Support and Interventions
We have a number of therapeutic interventions at Inspire Academy, including drama therapy, dog mentoring and speech and language therapy. All students have access to these although participation is voluntary. We believe that the therapeutic curriculum supports students to access the academic and vocational curriculum. In this way students will be helped to develop skills in terms of managing their emotions, developing resilience, managing relationships, communicating and taking responsibility for themselves.
Any students that need additional support in terms of developing their literacy and numeracy skills are identified via the baseline testing. We have a literacy and numeracy team that will work with individuals and small groups to ensure that any gaps in knowledge are addressed. We have a whole school approach to reading, writing, speaking, listening and numeracy skills. All students have the opportunity to develop these throughout the curriculum and in specific numeracy and literacy lessons during tutor times.
We believe, and will work to ensure, that every student can achieve. Each student should have success that reflects their ability and developmental level; the curriculum and interventions should ensure continued and sustained development. Examinations and accredited courses are important, but overall the outcomes are about holistic achievement for the student so that they can be successful as they transition into adulthood. High expectations and high levels of support underpin our curriculum access and philosophy.