Welcome to the Specialist Support Centre

What facilities are available in the SSC?
  • An outdoor learning space that is also used for a playtime for those children who are not able to play on the mainstream playground.
  • Access to Ipads for learning.
  • Use of the small and large hall as well as the Multi Use Game Area for development of motor control, PE, gym trail and sensory
    download sessions.
  • A quiet room for Speech and Language therapy or meetings with professionals.
  • Activity area for messy play.
  • A calming area with sofa and calming toys.
  • The classrooms are part of the main building, providing a strong sense of inclusion and belonging. The older children go out to play
    at lunchtimes and playtimes on the main playground and, on occasions, the younger children integrate with the reception children in their playgrounds.

What happens when the pupil goes to High School?
  • The process of moving on to High School is discussed with parents and carers well in advance.
  • Once a school has been identified and the pupil has a place offered, the staff in the SSC will put together a programme of visits so the pupil becomes familiar with the buildings and staff.
  • Staff from the SSC meet with High School staff to ensure information is passed on.
  • Staff from the High School may visit the pupil in the SSC.
  • Staff from SSCs in Suffolk with Y6 pupils meet to ensure transition for all pupils is as smooth as possible.
  • If children are part of the County Inclusive Support Service they can provide assistance with transition.

How is the SSC funded?
  • Funding is provided for each place in the SSC by the Local Authority. This is in addition to the special Needs funding for the rest of the school.
  • £273,804 = £250,000 (£10,000/placement); £10,560 (FSM), £5,700 (LAC) Pupil Premium; £17,250 HTN top up funding, for the year from April 2017 – March 2018.
  • As well as staffing the SSC, funds are spent on the curriculum, training and specialised resources.

How is the SSC staffed?
  • There is a dedicated team of teachers and support staff, who provide the pupils with a much higher adult/pupil ratio than in a
    mainstream class.
  • Teachers and support staff can work with small groups of pupils and, on occasions, individuals.
  • Visiting staff, for example Speech and Language Therapists, County Inclusive Resource work alongside the Centre staff.
  • Staff are available at playtimes and lunchtimes, both in the hall and outside so there is always a familiar adult with the children.
Specialist Support Centre

What training do the staff receive?
  • All teachers are fully qualified and may also have teaching experience in mainstream classes.
  • All teachers are fully qualified in behaviour support, speech and language therapy, Makaton, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, diffusion and de-escalation, epilepsy, epi-pens, alternative therapies, attachment theory, sensory processing to help with anxiety and other training and advice to meet the needs of individual pupils.
  • The SSC Lead is licenced to assess children's social and emotional development using the Thrive program.
  • Teachers and support staff meet with staff from other SSCs on a regular basis for training and discussion.

How are the children in the SSC assessed?
  • To gain a place in the SSC the child will already have been issued with a Statement or Education, Health and Social Plan. On the anniversary of the Statement and Annual Review meeting is held with parents/carers, the school and any other external professionals involved with the child to discuss progress that has been made towards the objectives in the Statement or EHC. The child is invited into the meeting if it is appropriate to the child and they are encouraged to express their views.
  • If the child is working at a suitable level the child will be assessed using Young's Spelling and Salford Reading test to compare their reading and spelling age to their chronological age, and to measure progress.
  • Each term the child is issued with an Individual Education Plan that contains targets that work towards the annual targets set in the annual review meeting as well as a review of the previous term's targets. Children are encouraged to reflect upon their progress towards their target throughout the term.
  • Termly meetings take place to analyse the children's progress between the child's teacher, SSC Lead Teacher and Head teacher. It is at these meeting that the effectiveness of interventions are analysed and new strategies to try to increase progress are suggested.
  • The social and emotional development of the children are assessed using Thrive.

How does the curriculum meet the needs of the pupils?
  • Learning is planned to be in small steps to meet the needs of the pupils and stages of their development. English and Maths are taught in small groups alongside a personal curriculum that includes interventions such as gym trail, finger gym, Lego therapy, communication, computing, speech and language therapy, reading, handwriting, phonics, emotions and art as well as foundation curriculum subjects for those children that are ready to learn at this level.
  • The day is carefully structured to include routine and variety designed to develop pupil independence.
  • There is an emphasis on learning basic skills, knowledge and concepts through focussed small-group work and practical activities.
  • When possible and with support, pupils are included in lessons with a mainstream class – for example PE or Music. There is also the
    opportunity to join mainstream children for clubs such as choir, football, running.
  • Opportunities are always sought to include visitors and visits to enrich the curriculum.
  • Learning outside is important to give pupils the opportunity to work with independence and in groups on practical tasks.
  • There is great emphasis on Personal and Social Development, so the curriculum includes life skills, such as cooking, eating together,
    hygiene and health care.
  • We make use of a variety of strategies and interventions, including: Bare Necessities, Jolly Phonics, Letters and Sounds, Reading and
    Language Intervention for Downs, Lego therapy, Dynamo Maths.

How are parents and carers kept informed?
  • Parents are invited to a parents evening once a term to discuss the new targets set in the IEP. Parents and professionals are also invited into school for the Annual Review meeting of the child’s Statement. At Gorseland we also have more informal parents’ open afternoons when parents are encouraged to come and share learning experiences with their child, as well as sampling treats from their cooking lessons. At Christmas we have the SSC Christmas extravaganza! Parents, family and friends are invited to watch the children perform. We also have assemblies during the year. 
  • Regular observations of the children are shared with parents through Tapestry on-line. 
  • When the children are in Year 5 we hold a meeting regarding the transition to high school and this provides an opportunity for parents to talk together about their hopes for high school and their worries.
  • Every child has a home school diary that is used as a means of communication between school and home. Any notes from the teachers are included and we encourage home to include news that their child might want to share. We also telephone home to share happy news or concerns about a child.
  • Many of the children arrive at school by taxi. When the children arrive they are escorted by the taxi company to our outside area where the taxi company supervises the children until 8.45. At the end of the day the gate is opened at 2.40 to allow parents and taxi escorts into the outside area. The children are called to the door one taxi company at a time and the taxi escort is then responsible for getting the child safely to the taxi.
  • If at any point you need to contact the SSC please ring the school office on 01473 623790 and ask to speak to Mrs Wallace, SSC Lead Teacher.