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Bulmershe School

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The Bulmershe school, originally built in 1964 as a grammar school, has received a welcome investment from the local authority to the tune of £6 million. Students, staff and families will benefit from a new, state of the art, hall, entrance building and 21st century classroom block, redevelopment of the dining area and Student Support Centre, as well as extensive refurbishment of current classrooms.

Having been judged as a good strong school, our vision continues to be an ambitious and inspirational place of learning where every student is valued. We are proud of our high standards and constantly strive to improve our school so that every student achieves the success they deserve and leaves as well qualified individuals, ready for employment, training or the next stage of their education.

We are an inclusive school and welcome students of all abilities and backgrounds. Our website is a celebration of the wide range of our students' achievements and will give you an indication of the many opportunities available at The Bulmershe School.

Bulmershe School

Who to contact

Contact Name
Amanda Woodfin
Contact Position
Head Teacher
0118 935 3353

Where to go

Bulmershe School
Woodlands Avenue

Accessing this service

Type of School
Age Ranges
11 yrs - 18 yrs

Local Offer - Support available for children and young people with additional needs

Local Offer logo
Local Offer Description

Local Offer last reviewed 30/11/2020

Identification of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
1.1: How does the school identify children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?

Students’ needs are identified and determined as follows:

  • Through the liaison of the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and the Head of Year with feeder schools in the summer term prior to transfer.
  • Through a ‘Vulnerable Students Transition Programme’, run by the school in consultation with primary feeder schools.
  • Through the analysis of assessment data from feeder schools e.g. KS2 attainment data, Teacher assessments, attainments in literacy and numeracy, EHC Plans, Provision Plans, and reports from professionals.
  • Through baseline screening tests carried out during the first half term and then repeated at intervals to enable monitoring and review. Tests include STAR reading, Young Parallel spelling, CATs, WRAT testing for specified identified students and others for more detailed investigation.
  • Through a teacher or LSA expressing a concern, and then implementing a cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do and Review'.
  • Through referral to a specialist outside agency if appropriate.
  • Through a parent raising a concern e.g. at SEN Drop-in.
  • Through a student raising a concern themself.
1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

Contact the SENCo, either at Drop-in (dates published on the school’s website) or by phoning the school and asking to speak to the SENCo.

Support for children with special educational needs
2.1: If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) will oversee and plan the support for children identified as having SEND. The current SENCo is Frances Childs.

The SENCo is responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating provision for students with SEND
  • Managing the Learning Support Team
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • Compiling the Inclusion Register and overseeing the records of students with SEND
  • Liaising with parents of students with SEND
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Liaising with external agencies
  • Liaising with the school’s designated Governor for Inclusion.
2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

The school values and listens to the views of parents, recognizing that parents know their child best. The school seeks to build positive, close relationships with the parents of students with SEND. This is achieved in the following ways:

  • Parents are invited to school prior to their child’s transfer where they have the opportunity to meet the SENCo and share information.
  • The SENCo will attend transition meetings at the invitation of the primary school to meet parents, listen to their views, answer their questions and to describe the provision that can be made.
  • Parents are informed in meetings or by letter if their child is placed on the Inclusion Register.
  • Monthly ‘Drop-in sessions’ are held in the Learning Support Department, for parents wishing to discuss their child’s special needs and review progress. The sessions are informal and no appointments are necessary. Dates are published on the school’s website. Handouts and practical advice about supporting children with SEND are made available.
  • Parents of students with EHC Plans are invited to attend Annual Review meetings which are person centred and are encouraged (and helped if appropriate) to make a written contribution so that their views are recorded. Parents and students contribute to agreeing outcomes and describing progress towards meeting them.
  • Parental advice is always sought before requesting involvement by an outside agency. When appropriate, school and parents may complete a referral together to request support.
  • Parents are invited to attend annual parents’ meetings to discuss progress with their child’s subject teachers. The SENCo is available to review provision and progress with parents and the student, and also to listen to parents who may have concerns.
  • More informally, the school has an ‘open door’ policy which means parents are encouraged to telephone the school as and when problems arise. Meetings with the appropriate member of staff may then be arranged, if problems cannot be resolved over the phone.
2.3: How will the school balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?
  • All students are encouraged to work as independently as possible and to take responsibility for their learning, behaviour and progress in keeping with their age and ability.
  • Students are supported by a number of Learning Support Assistants during the week so there is no reliance on one adult.
  • Whenever possible, Learning Support Assistants will move around the class and be seen helping several students in order to encourage independence and enable students with SEND to have the same opportunity for social interaction as their peers.
2.4: How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child's needs?
  • At KS3, a common curriculum is delivered to all students including those with SEND. All departments are responsible for developing courses and resources to meet students’ SEND and all teachers are responsible for differentiation within their lessons. The Learning Support Department is able to advise.
  • At KS4, students with SEND are able to choose courses in the same way as students without SEND. Students with SEND are given advice and guidance so they can choose a curriculum more suited to their strengths and interests. Alternative accreditation is available in some subject areas. Life skills and study skills sessions enhance the curriculum for those students who would benefit from a high level of support and who would be unable to cope with a full number of GCSE courses.
  • The school sets for English, Mathematics, Science, MFL and other curriculum areas where setting is felt to be the most appropriate way of meeting needs. Whenever possible, the lower sets provide an enhanced teacher student ratio.
2.5: What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?

The school currently has students with a wide range of SEND including sensory impairments, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties and Social and Emotional Difficulties. Teaching strategies are adapted according to need and include:

  • 'Quality First Teaching' with differentiation of resources, tasks and teaching.
  • Varied tasks encouraging learning through auditory, visual and kinaesthetic means.
  • Seating plans refelcting advice in the Inclusion Register regarding best outcomes for students.
  • A whole school behaviour management policy which ensures expectations and rules are applied and reinforced with rewards and sanctions. 
2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?

The school funds:

  • The SENCo (also the Head of the Learning Support Department)
  • A teacher specialist in multi-sensory teaching who works with students in mathematics and literacy.
  • Learning Support Assistants (sometimes referred to as Teaching Assistants)
  • Inclusion Team Assistants, one of whom is responsible for First Aid and oversees the day to day management of medication in school.
  • A SEND administrative assistant.
2.7: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / TitleIntervention Type
2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

The Learning Support Department has its own base The Oasis Centre, within Martin House which is suitably arranged to facilitate small group teaching and provides a nurturing environment. Students with SEND have ‘open door’ access to the centre and staff out of lesson time. The Oasis Centre is well equipped with computers and audio visual equipment.

When appropriate, resources for students with SEND include:

  • Enlargement of text e.g. text books, worksheets, exam papers.
  • A small library of easy and graded readers.
  • A small number of Neo laptops for use in classes.
  • A small number of reading pens for use in classes and exams
  • 2 LSAs with specific responsibility for liaising with teachers from the Sensory Consortium, Speech and Language Therapists, and Occupational Therapists. They have responsibility for disseminating information to classroom teachers and parents.
2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?
  • The school screens all students’ SEND and literacy skills and compiles a list of students entitled to a range of access arrangements eg. extra time, reader, scribe.
  • In year 9 application for access arrangements is made to the examination boards when appropriate. The school adheres to the regulations set by JCQ.
My child's progress
3.1: How will the school monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?

Students’ progress is monitored and their needs reviewed by:

  • Setting targets for all students based on their prior attainment. These are sent home at the start of each school year.
  • Regular class teacher tracking of progress towards these targets. Tracking sheets are sent home to parents.
  • Regular review and updating of the Inclusion Register.
  • Some students are on an intensive behaviour tracker (bingo) and this record can be sent home to parents at the end of each week.

Parents and carers are involved by:

  • Having a doddle account linked to their child's account to support with homework.
  • Attending monthly Drop-in to discuss their child’s progress (dates on the school’s website)
  • Attending Annual Review meetings for students with EHC Plans, and completing the parent form to share their views with the Local Authority.
  • Attending Pastoral Support Plan meetings to plan and review support for their child.
  • Attending Personal Education Plan meetings in the case of Looked After Children.
  • Attending parents’ evenings and information sharing events.
  • Access to SENCO via email or phone (information on the school website)
  • Checking communications from the school via the SIMS app and email.
3.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?
  • All students have targets set based on their KS2 results as this is the way that the government makes judgements about student progress. Parents will see these targets and their child’s progress towards them on the tracking grade sheets.
  • Longer term outcomes and short term SMART targets are set at meetings to draw up and review EHC Plans, Pastoral Support Plans, Personal Education Plans and Provision Plans. The contribution made by parents, carers and their child is crucial.
3.3: ln addition to the school's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child's progress with school staff?
  • Each month there is a Drop-in session where parents can come with or without their child to discuss progress with the SENCo.
  • Parents are welcome to telephone or email staff about any specific concerns they may have.
3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?
  • All students have a planner. This is used for 2 way communication.
  • Monthly Drop-in sessions.
  • The SENCo is available to take telephone calls in order to sort out urgent issues at the start of each day.
  • Parents and class teachers often communicate by telephone and email. 
  • SIMS app.
3.5: How can I help support my child's learning?

No response given

3.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child's learning, eg. training or learning events?

No response given

3.7: How will my child's views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?
  • During the Summer term students who have been receiving support are invited to complete a questionnaire about the help they have had, and what help they think they still need.
  • Students with EHC Plans or students with Pastoral Support Plans and Personal Education Plans are encouraged to attend their meetings and to participate in keeping with their age and ability.
  • Students have frequent 1-1 discussions with Learning Support staff. They complete an "About Me" report in preparation for their Annual Reviews, and are helped to do so as needed.
  • Mentoring staff. Involve children in discussions about the best way they feel they can be supported. Students views cue dissimated to staff.
3.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?

No response given

3.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?
  • The overall effectiveness of SEND provision is reviewed annually when the School Governors review the SEN policy.
  • The SENCo monitors the progress of students with SEND during each whole school tracking cycle.
  • The learning outcomes for students with SEND are reviewed at all Annual Reviews for students with EHC Plans and also at Pastoral Support Plan meetings and Personal Education Plans.
  • Parents and carers of students with SEND are invited to comment on the effectiveness of the provision as part of the Annual Review process, and also by questionnaire at parents’ evenings.
Support for my child's overall well being
4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?

The following interventions are provided when appropriate, subject to resources and according to level of need:

The whole school Enrichment Curriculum (personal, social, emotional and physical health education; the spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum.

One to one

  • Daily Meet and Greet 
  • Social Communication / social skills programme
  • Mentoring and intensive behaviour monitoring 

Small group

  • Break and Lunch time Club 
  • Daily Meet and Greet 
  • Social Communication / social skills programme
  • Friendship group 
  • Life skills work at KS4


4.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?

The following interventions are provided when appropriate, subject to resources and according to level of need:

  • Whole school classroom behaviour policy which provides consistent rules, expectations, rewards and sanctions.
  • Bespoke visual prompts, cue cards and self monitoring

One to one 

  • Emotional regulation work in the Ivory Centre
  • Mentoring and intensive behaviour monitoring 
  • Personalised reward systems linked to weekly target setting and reviews
  • Pastoral Support Plan
  • Time out with designated place and support to calm 
  • Inclusion Team Assistants - The Ivory Centre in Martin House.
  • Therapeutic counselling sessions where need identified- part of Ivory Centre

Small group

  • Break and Lunch time
  • Emotional regulation work in The Ivory Centre
  • "Making Better Choices" groups
  • Inclusion Team Assistants - The Ivory Centre in Martin House




4.3: What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?

The school has a First Aider and there is a medical suite with disabled toileting facilities.

4.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
  • Liaison with The Inclusion Team Assistant in charge of First Aid.
  • Students with known medical needs have individual care plans as appropriate.
4.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc?

No response given

Specialist services and expertise available at or accessed by the school
5.1: What SEN support services does the school use, eg. specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?

The school values the support from outside agencies and makes regular use of support from:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Sensory Consortium for students with visual or hearing impairments
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Early Help e.g. family workers, targeted youth work
  • SENDIAS (independent parent support)
  • Health Service eg. CAMHS, Occupational Therapy
  • Educational Welfare Service
  • Counselling services e.g. ‘ARC’
  • Youth Offending Service
  • School liaison police officer.
  • ASSIST (support for students and families with ASD.)
  • Children’s Social Care Services.
5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

Contact the SENCo by telephone or at Drop-in.

5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?
  • The services determine the level and frequency of the support they will provide to the school for individual students.
  • The Speech and Language Therapy Service may issue a programme to be followed at home or at school. An LSA with special responsibility for speech and language therapy will liaise with the service and implement the programme issued to school, either 1-1 or in a small group as appropriate.
  • The programmes issued by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Services are usually designed to be integrated in to the curriculum. The SENCo shares the programme and guidance with the student’s class teachers, and activities/exercises are built in to 'Tune Up' a small group session delivered by an LSA with responsibility for physical needs.
5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?
  • Contact the SENCo.
  • Contact your GP.
5.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children's Social Care services?
  • The school takes very seriously its responsibility for safeguarding and has very clear whole school systems in place, co-ordinated by a designated teacher. The school will not hesitate to contact Children’s Social Care if it has any concerns about the safety or well being of a student.
  • The school liaises with Children’s Social Care services by attending Personal Education Plan meetings, Child in Need and Team Around the Child meetings, and by working together to ensure individual students and their families have the care and support needed.
Training of school staff in SEND
6.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

All teaching staff are supported to develop their skills and knowledge of special educational needs. Training opportunities include:

  • Professional development courses run by specialist providers.
  • Courses run by the LA.
  • In school sessions led by specialists from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service, the Sensory Consortium, Speech and Language Therapy Service.
  • Input by the Support Department to the school's CPD programme, and to teacher training programmes.
  • Individual guidance and support from the SENCo.
6.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

All members of the Support Department are supported to develop their skills and knowledge of special educational needs. Training opportunities include:

  • Courses run by the LA
  • Workshops run by outside professionals eg Occupational therapy, Educational Psychology.
  • Evening workshops run by charities eg. Autism Berkshire, Dyslexia Action
  • Departmental training sessions led by the SENCo.
  • An induction programme for all new LSAs which incorporates opportunities to shadow experienced LSAs in the classroom.
6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?
  • The SENCo holds the Post Graduate Certificate SENCO qualification PGCert SENCO.
  • A literacy teacher holds the necessary qualifications to assess for exam access arrangements.
6.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?
  • All LSAs have completed some training in ASD and most have completed Autism Awareness Level 1 Training.
  • An LSA has accreditation in teaching Multi-sensory Numeracy.
Activities outside the classroom including school trips
7.1: How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?
  • Students with SEND are invited to attend trips and activities the same as students without SEND.
  • Risk assessments are carried out, and when appropriate, LSAs who know the student with SEND, attend and support as required.
  • When appropriate, extra planning meetings are held with parents eg. to discuss administering medication.
  • When appropriate, LSAs may provide initial support to help a student access their work experience placement.
7.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

No response given

Accessibility of the school environment
8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
  • The Oasis Centre has an entrance fully accessible by wheelchair.
  • The new building has a lift but large parts of the school are not accessible to wheel chair users, because of the school’s original building design. The school is working towards increasing accessibility, with the support of the LA.
8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?
  • The school has discrete classrooms rather than open plan areas.
  • All classrooms have blinds which help to reduce glare.
  • Most classrooms have Interactive Whiteboards which allow text to be enlarged or made bolder.
8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

There are disabled toilet facilities in the PE changing rooms and in the Oasis Centre which adjoins the medical suite where there is also support available.

8.4: How do you ensure that all the school's facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?

New buildings have ramps but large parts of the school are not accessible to wheel chair users, because of the school’s original building design. The school is working towards increasing accessibility, with the support of the LA e.g. the school canteen is now on one level and accessible by wheelchair.

8.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

No response given

8.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

No response given

Preparing my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life
9.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?
  • Parents of children with SEND in years 5 and 6 are welcome visit the school and meet with the SENCo. This is a good opportunity to share information about the child’s strengths and difficulties and to gain an understanding of likely provision. The same is true for parents of older students joining the school at a later stage.
  • The SENCo will attend transition meetings or Annual Review meetings prior to transition at the invitation of the feeder school, to meet parents, listen to their views and to describe the provision that can be made.
  • During the Summer term, the Support Department runs a transition programme for students with SEND in year 6. Places are requested by the feeder primary schools. The programme comprises 3 visits in a small group with activities delivered by the SENCo. The intended outcome is that each child will feel familiar with the Support Department and some of the support staff, so that it feels like a ‘home base.’ The child will have an understanding of the routines of the school day, and will leave with a booklet of ‘what do I do if...?’Sometimes friendships are formed and parents also make contact with each other. All students increase their self confidence.
  • Children with SEND also join in the transition visits arranged for all year 6 students. We provide LSA support according to need and the availability of resources.
  • Having liaised with parents, and the feeder school, the SENCo compiles the Inclusion Register and student profile sheets so that all of the child’s teachers are aware of their strengths and difficulties before they start school.
  • Parents of all Year 6 students planning to transfer to the school are invited to a meeting in June with their child. The SENCo is available.
  • Parents and students are invited to complete questionnaires about their children's strengths and needs, and this information is used to prepare a 'Student Profile' which is shared with their teachers.
9.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?
  • Students with SEND moving to the next Key stage are given lots of advice and guidance to enable them to make choices which build on their strengths. The SENCo will meet with them, and also with their parents at options evenings.
  • During the summer term, students who have been supported are helped to complete a questionnaire which enables them to identify the help they need, and what form they would like it to take.
9.3: How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school?

Should a student with SEND transfer to another school, The Bulmershe School will help the child to prepare for transition by:

  • Encouraging and facilitating visits for your child to the new school.
  • Helping your child to leave the school feeling proud and positive about the move. This may involve making a scrap book, saying farewells, taking photographs, giving cards etc.
9.4: How will you support a new school to prepare for my child?

Should a student with SEND transfer to another school, The Bulmershe School will:

  • Ensure that the student’s file including the special educational needs information is sent to the new school.
  • Respond to any particular requests from the new school for information and advice in order to facilitate a smooth transition.
  • Welcome the new school should they wish to visit your child within the school day.
9.5: What information will be provided to my child's new school?
  • The school file, including SEND information e.g. Student Profile.
  • Information about provision and progress eg. Provision Plans, professionals’ reports, tracking grades,
  • Attendance data
  • Data about behaviour
  • Safeguarding information if appropriate.
9.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?

All Year 11 students benefit from careers advice provided as part of the Enrichment Curriculum and also through support from an independent careers advisor. Additional support for students with SEND, when appropriate, includes:

  • Life skills support delivered in a small group.
  • Supported visits to local colleges.
  • Supported work experience.
Who can I contact to discuss my child ?
10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

Parents concerned about provision for their child’s special educational needs should in the first instance, contact the SENCo, who will arrange to meet the parent to discuss the situation.  The SENCo will liaise with the line manager for more serious concerns.  If the situation is not resolved then the complaint should be put in writing and addressed to the Head teacher.

10.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

No response given

10.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

No response given

10.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?

No response given

School Admissions and Policy Documents

11.1: School admission arrangements for children with special educational needs and disabilities

School Admission Link
Bulmershe School

11.2: School Accessibility Plan

11.3: Special Education Needs Policy

Data last checked: 03/10/2019
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