Brookfields Special School

Brookfields School is a large, thriving and dynamic special school in Tilehurst, Reading and is part of West Berkshire. Brookfields School offers an ‘outstanding’ (OfSTED 2010) education for pupils aged from 2 to 19 who have a learning difficulty as a primary need.  The school is able to offer tailored, personalised education programmes to meet the unique and individual needs of pupils with Moderate, Severe, Complex or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. In addition to a learning difficulty, some of the pupils we support may have additional needs such as ASD, ADHD, sensory impairments or a physical impairment. 

Who to contact

Telephone
0118 942 1382
Email
office@brookfields.w-berks.sch.uk
Website
Brookfields Special School 

Where to go

Venue address
Sage Road Tilehurst
Reading
Berkshire
Postcode
RG31 6SW

Local Offer

Last Localoffer Updated
03/07/2014
Age Bands
12 to 14,
15 to 16,
5 to 7,
1 to 4,
16 to 18,
7 to 11
Support for children with special educational needs
1.1: Who will oversee and plan my child’s education programme?

We are accountable to yourselves and the LA for your child’s education and the support they receive. To ensure they receive the highest quality education, your child’s individualised learning programme will be overseen by yourselves and the Head Teacher in addition to other key professionals from the schools multidisciplinary team. These may include their class teacher and class team, therapists (Physio, Speech, OT, Music Therapist, specialist teachers (VI, HI, MSI) and medical professionals.


1.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being helped?

Families are pivotal to the work we do at the school and working in partnership is at the centre of our approach. You will be invited to attend a range of meetings such as Annual and Transition Reviews, parent workshops and regular progress meeting as well as informal opportunities to discuss your child’s progress with members of your child’s team. Our Person Centred approach allows us to work in partnership with families to plan for the here and now as well as their futures.


1.3: How will the school balance my child’s need for support with developing their independence?

Our aim is that every young person who leaves Brookfields School is to be as independent and as autonomous as possible. For some young people this may be indicating through eye pointing that they want a drink; for other young people it could be making an informed choice about the job they would like to have, where they would like to live, the type of bank account they would like or the relationships they would want. Through our Person Centred approach we balance the support they need with developing their independence by creating an individualised learning plan to enable them to become as independent and autonomous as possible.


1.4: How will the school personalise the curriculum to meet my child’s needs?

Through our Person Centred approach we balance the support they need with developing their independence by creating an individualised learning plan to enable them to become as independent and autonomous as possible.


1.5: What teaching strategies and approaches does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties and physical disabilities?

At Brookfields School, we are constantly researching, reviewing and developing our approach to teaching pupils with a wide range of needs, whether they are educational, social or developmental. We do not advocate a particular approach but use a range of approaches to meet the needs of individual pupils. The approaches we use are drawn from REACh (Relationship Education for the Autistic Child); MOVE; ProActSCIPrUK; Picture Exchange Communication System; TEACCH; Total Communication and Systematic Instruction to name but a few. In addition to these approaches, all our staff are trained and highly skilled in supporting pupils with a wide range of needs. We have a qualified teacher for the Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired and MultiSensory Impairment. For some young people with more complex needs, we have staff who have a very specific role in supporting their access to learning and the world around them.


1.6: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / TitleIntervention Type
Progress and attainment is at the heart of what we do and therefore we have a range of specific intervention programmes which include Project X Code; Numbers Count; a range of therapeutic interventions eg horticulture therapy, food therapy, art and play therapy. These can be delivered either on an individual basis or through group work. One to one
Progress and attainment is at the heart of what we do and therefore we have a range of specific intervention programmes which include Project X Code; Numbers Count; a range of therapeutic interventions eg horticulture therapy, food therapy, art and play therapy. These can be delivered either on an individual basis or through group work. Small group
1.7: What equipment does the school provide?

Brookfields School has a wide range of resources to meet the needs of all our pupils. Some of these resources are specific to individual pupils but others are generic and available to all. Our Person Centred approach allows us to work with you and your child to identify what they might need in order to access the curriculum, learning about the world around them to achieve their full potential. Resources could be ‘high tech’ such as the latest tablet or ‘low tech’ such as a symbol board.

 


1.8: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

Some of our pupils are able to take public examinations if they show interest and ability in a particular subject. We are able to support them through specific teaching as well as tutoring. We are aware that some pupils will need more time in an examination or require a scribe and therefore we work closely with individual examination boards.


My child's progress
2.1: How will the school monitor my child’s progress and how will I be involved in this?

We monitor progress very closely and in a range of different ways. Pupils achievement is measured and monitored on a termly basis through teacher led assessments as well as standardised tests. This allows us to track individual progress in a very detailed way and to identify areas which require specific input and intersessions to ensure that they make the progress we expect. Parents and families are involved in monitoring their child’s progress through our Person Centre approach to planning and reviews. There are a number of opportunities for you to discuss progress which include annual reviews, termly progress meetings or employment planning meetings. We have an ‘open door’ policy and welcome parents to contact the school to discuss their child’s progress at any time.


2.2: When my child’s progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?

Your child’s targets, whether they are short term or long term, will be reviewed though our Person Centred approach. They will be reviewed annually, termly and for some, daily. You will be invited to comment and contribute to this process as your input is vital to ensure that everyone is clear on both the long term and short term targets.


2.3: 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?

In addition to the normal school reporting system, there are a range of other ways to discuss progress. This could be though home visits; emails; and for some pupils, home/school diaries.


2.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?

Families are a vital part of the work of the school and we are very clear that families are an integral part of the school. In addition to the more formally planned contact, there are also a range of other opportunities throughout the year for parents to meet staff. These include coffee morning; courses and workshops for family members; clinics; Stay and Play; BBQ’s and PTA quiz nights.


2.5: How can I help support my child’s learning?

We realise that the needs of your child do not start at 9.00am and finish at 3.10pm and therefore have a range of services which are a bridge between home and school to allow continuity and consistency of approach. We have a dedicated Family Support Work and an Autism Support Worker who can work with you outside the traditional school day to help you put into place approaches and programmes for your child. We understand that home life is very different from school life so we welcome your thoughts and ideas on how best to support you and your family.


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

Throughout the year we offer a range of informative and fun training courses for family members whether they be a series of workshops, one off training events, or through online coaching. For all courses and progress evenings we can offer a crèche facility. In addition, we offer behaviour clinics, covering aspects such sleep, enuresis, eating, and issues at home.

 


2.7: How will my child’s views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?

Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their learning and progress, whether that be at the end of a lesson or progress over a year, through a number of different approaches. This could be through video; having work annotated by the teacher; preparing an Action Plan for their Person Centre Annual Review. More generally, pupils views are also sought through surveys; the School Council and Key Stage Suggestion Boxes


2.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer?

We offer a range of accredited courses for pupils such as:

·         GCSE (for pupils who can access them)

·         Entry Level 1-3 (Maths, English, PSHE, Science, ICT, Sports Leadership

·         CoPE

·         ASDAN

·         LAMDA

·         Horticulture

We also offer non accredited courses such as

·         Drama

·         Duke of Edinburgh

·         Employment Pathway

·         Project SEARCH


2.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?

To ensure that Brookfields School continues to be a leader in the field of SEN, our overall effectiveness is assessed in a range of different ways, both formally and informally. This may be through external sources such as OfSTED or the School Improvement Advisor, or through our internal monitoring processes. We monitor the progress of all students on a termly and yearly basis by carefully tracking and analysing their attainments and achievements against specific learning outcomes and attainment targets. This progress in moderated both internally with staff and externally with other schools. Progress and teaching are intrinsically linked and therefore, we formally monitor all staff working with pupils through a structured and agreed approach. Both the progress of the pupils and the ability of our staff to teach the pupils is reported to the schools governing body on a termly basis who challenge and question the senior leadership team on the effectiveness of the school. We also seek the views of parents and pupils again through formal and informal routes.

 


Support for my child's overall wellbeing
3.1: What support is available to promote the emotional, behavioural and social development of children?

We believe that the emotional wellbeing and emotional literacy of our pupils is a corner stone to their development now and for their adult lives. To this extent we have an extensive curriculum delivered by trained and skilled staff. As a school, we have adopted a whole school approach to the development of positive behaviours, Proact-SCIPr-UK. In addition, all pupils participate in a detailed PSHE and SRE curriculum as well as Social Skills lessons and activities. Our Autism and Behavioural Support Service (ABSS) offers support to parents and families who may be experiencing difficulties and challenges at home as well as individual and small group support for pupils. As part of the ABSS team, we have a Family Support Worker and an Autism Support Worker who can support families and pupils outside of the school setting and during the school holidays.


3.2: 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?

We have adopted a whole school approach and philosophy in the promotion of positive behaviours for all pupils. PROACT-SCIPr-UK provides a person-centred whole approach to the promotion and development of appropriate and positive behaviours. In addition, through our Person Centred approach, we are able to develop and tailor an individualised approach, curriculum and timetable for pupils who experiences particularly challenging behaviours which disengage them from learning. We work closely with the family and the Local Authority to ensure that each pupil is supported in a way which allows them to re-engage with learning. We also promote the emotional, behavioural and social development of our pupils through a range of other initiatives such as participation in the School Council, Rights Respecting Schools, access to the local community, work experience, voluntary work through our Duke of Edinburgh Programme and Disability Awareness training,


3.3: What medical support is available in the school?

We work in partnership with colleagues from Health and are therefore able to offer the following: support from school nurses, dental visits, paediatric visit/clinics, seating clinics and child immunisations.

 

 

 


3.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

The school follows guidelines in the administration of medication.


3.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc ?

For some pupils at the school, they will require personal and intimate care and therefore we have developed a very clear policy about this.


Specialist services and expertise available at or accessed by the school
4.1: What external SEN support services does the school use, e.g. educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment, visual impairment and multi sensory impairment etc?

Brookfields School advocates a multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach to meeting all pupils needs by providing an individualised curriculum and support. Pupils have an Educational Team which will be made up of their families, teachers, and class team and for some pupils, their Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist, or OT. In addition, there may be other professionals involved in the education of pupils such as an Educational Psychologist; Qualified Teacher for the Hearing or Visually Impaired; Social Care; CAMSH; Parent Partnership; Respite Services; Music or Play Therapists or Specialist teachers; horticulture therapist etc.


4.2: What specialist support services are available from within the school?

Brookfields School works in partnership with families to identify the appropriate support and input that your child might need now or into the future. In the first instance, you should speak with your child’s class teacher.


4.3: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

As part of the trans-disciplinary approach we have at the school, we aim to integrate the therapies into the classroom. In implementing this integrated approach, therapists work alongside the classroom team to provide a seamless approach to meeting young people’s needs as well as ensuring that they have access to and can engage in the curriculum and learning. The therapy needs and support for pupils are identified with families through our Joint Assessment Clinic (JAC’s). From this, long term aims are identified and the way in which they will be achieved are identified as well as those responsible for achieving them, whether that be the family, the class team or the therapy team. The school has a Total Communication approach to meeting the communication needs of pupils which is not just reliant on a speech and language therapist delivering ‘therapy’. Likewise, physiotherapy and OT programmes are integrated through all learning opportunities and activities. However, some pupils will require discrete therapeutic input from specific therapists which will be timetabled into the pupil’s day. We work in partnership with families and parents to build up their skills, knowledge and resources to enable them to support their child’s needs at home, whether they are communication or physical needs.


4.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

As part of the trans-disciplinary approach we have at the school, we aim to integrate the therapies into the classroom. In implementing this integrated approach, therapists work alongside the classroom team to provide a seamless approach to meeting young people’s needs as well as ensuring that they have access to and can engage in the curriculum and learning. The therapy needs and support for pupils are identified with families through our Joint Assessment Clinic (JAC’s). From this, long term aims are identified and the way in which they will be achieved are identified as well as those responsible for achieving them, whether that be the family, the class team or the therapy team. The school has a Total Communication approach to meeting the communication needs of pupils which is not just reliant on a speech and language therapist delivering ‘therapy’. Likewise, physiotherapy and OT programmes are integrated through all learning opportunities and activities. However, some pupils will require discrete therapeutic input from specific therapists which will be timetabled into the pupil’s day. We work in partnership with families and parents to build up their skills, knowledge and resources to enable them to support their child’s needs at home, whether they are communication or physical needs.


4.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

The school has a Total Communication approach to meeting the communication needs of pupils which is not just reliant on a speech and language therapist delivering ‘therapy’. Likewise, physiotherapy and OT programmes are integrated through all learning opportunities and activities. However, some pupils will require discrete therapeutic input from specific therapists which will be timetabled into the pupil’s day. We work in partnership with families and parents to build up their skills, knowledge and resources to enable them to support their child’s needs at home, whether they are communication or physical needs.

 


4.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children’s Social Care services?

Brookfields School works very closely with Social Care and meets every ½ term with West Berkshire’s Child Social Care lead. Some of our pupils have more involvement with Social Care than others.


Training of school staff
5.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

All our staff are highly trained and skilled in supporting learners with a wide range of needs. In addition to a comprehensive induction and CPD programme for staff, we also work in partnership with Prof Barry Carpenter, Peter Imrey, Alex Kelly and Richard Hirstwood to name but a few.


5.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

Teaching Assistants have a range of qualifications and experience working with pupils with SEN. Within Brookfields School, we have a clear progression route for teaching assistants which allows them to gain additional qualifications eg NVQ as well as to take responsibilities for particular areas of learning and support in the school.

 


5.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Teachers who work at the school are all qualified and experienced teachers who may have worked in either special needs settings or mainstream settings. Though our CPD programme, teachers are encouraged and supported to attain additional qualifications in SEND to support their professional development, practice in the school, as well as the development of the work across the school.


5.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Teaching Assistants have a range of qualifications and experience working with pupils with SEN. Within Brookfields School, we have a clear progression route for teaching assistants which allows them to gain additional qualifications eg NVQ as well as to take responsibilities for particular areas of learning and support in the school.

 

 


Activities outside the classroom including school trips
6.1: How do you ensure that all children can be included in out of school activities and trips?

At Brookfields School we do not discriminate against any pupils from accessing all that Brookfields has to offer. As part of the Equalities Act we have a clear policy for all at Brookfields School. Within lessons and other learning activities, each is planned to meet the learning needs and learning style of all pupils so that they can participate and achieve their best at all times.


6.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

Parents and family members are an integral part of their child’s Educational Team and we are mindful that for some parents and pupils, participation in a residential trip may be the first time away from home. Prior to a residential trip taking place, we meet with the families as group to go through what will happen on the trip so that they are confident that their child’s needs will be met and they will be well cared for whist away from home. In addition to these briefing meetings, we can also meet with parents individually if needed. For some pupils who may be anxious about going away from home, we are able to offer then taster sessions to ally their worries.


Accessibility of the school environment
7.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

Brookfields School is an accessible school for those pupils with mobility needs, visual impairments or a hearing impairment. Brookfields provides a secure environment for pupils with key pad operated doors to the main building as well as having secure access to the school site through electronically controlled entrances.


7.2: Have adaptations/improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

We are very mindful of the needs of pupils with a hearing or visual impairment and work closely with Qualified Teachers of the Hearing Impaired and Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired and the schools Mobility Officer to ensure that our environment is appropriate and accessible for these pupils – for example, classrooms have acoustic ceilings, staff use radio aids as needed, kerbs are highlighted in yellow, trail rails, objects of reference.


7.3: Are there disabled changing and toilet facilities?

There are accessible toilets at Brookfields School


7.4: How do you ensure that all the school’s facilities can be accessed by all children irrespective of their SEND?

As a school for specialising in the education and support of pupils with a wide range a leaning needs and styles, we have a wide range of facilities, resources and approaches which are inclusive to all pupils which takes account of individual needs

 


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

Parents and families are an integral part of the work we do at Brookfields School. We understand that some of our parents may have additional needs themselves and therefore work in partnership with them to ensure that they are fully included in their child’s education. We welcome the support and input from Family Advocates; our Family Support Worker is available to help families as appropriate; we are able to arrange translators for meetings and parent courses; written information can be presented and adapted to suit the needs of families

 


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

For parents whose first language is not English, we are able to provide translators for all meetings.


Preparing my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life
8.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?

If you are interested in finding more about the school, please have a look at our website www.brookfieldsschool.org If parents would like to arrange a time to visit the school, please contact us on 0118 942 1382. A visit to the school will allow parents to learn more about the school, visit classrooms as well as have questions answered, allowing you to make a more informed choice as to whether Brookfields School is right for you and your child. If your local authority agrees to your child coming to the school, then we will identify a time for you and your child to visit the school again in preparation for starting. For some families, we may arrange a home visit with you and your child’s teacher so that we can learn more about your child, their needs and the support that they require throughout the day – it’s also another opportunity to answer any further questions you might have.


8.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?

We understand that transition for pupils from one phase of the school to the next can be a little daunting as it can be for parents. For this reason, parents are invited to attend an ‘open morning’ where they will have the opportunity to visit their child’s new Key Stage, meet their child’s teacher and also the Head of Key Stage. For pupils, we run a series of days during the summer term where they can join in playtimes, lunchtimes as well as opportunities to meet with their new teachers. We are mindful for some pupils, they will need longer to prepare and transition and therefore we meet with parents to discuss the best way to prepare their child to transition to the next Key Stage as well as look at the different class options which might be available.

 


8.3: How will my young person be prepared to move on to his or her next placement, eg. FE college or Adult Services?

Some parents may choose a ‘Dual Placement’ so that they spend part of the week at Brookfields School and the remainder at a mainstream school. Should parents choose this option, they will need to discuss this with their Local Authority. We have found that a dual placement works best when pupils are in the Primary phase of education rather than in the Secondary phase. We work closely with the pupil’s mainstream team to ensure that there is consistency of approach and that the pupil achieves. For some of our pupils, as they move through Brookfields it may become clear that their needs would be more appropriately met within a mainstream setting or an alternative specialist provision. We work in partnership with parents and the receiving school to ensure that the transition for both the pupil and the parents is as smooth as possible.


8.4: How will you support a new placement to prepare for my young person?

We work closely with the pupil’s mainstream team to ensure that there is consistency of approach and that the pupil achieves. For some of our pupils, as they move through Brookfields it may become clear that their needs would be more appropriately met within a mainstream setting or an alternative specialist provision. We work in partnership with parents and the receiving school to ensure that the transition for both the pupil and the parents is as smooth as possible.


8.5: What information will be provided to my young person’s new placement?

If an alternative school is identified for your child, we work with yourself and the receiving school to ensure that all information is passed to them so that they can support your child’s progress and attainment. We welcome the visits from the new team to Brookfields School so they can meet your child and to ensure that there is an effective handover of information


8.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to employment?

For older pupils, they and their families are supported by our team and an independent Careers Advice provider (Adviza) to enable them to consider the pathway into adulthood which would best suit them. For some pupils, they may choose to continue their education at a Further Education provider on specifically designed courses or for others it may be to enter in the world work. We have a carefully planned careers development programme and opportunities to allow pupils and families to make an informed choice about their future.


Who can I contact to discuss my child?
9.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

Working in partnership with families is a cornerstone of our approach at Brookfields School. Families are an integral part of the pupils’ educational team. If at any point you wish to discuss your child’s education or are worried or which to discuss something about your child, we would encourage contacting the school as soon as possible. It may be that you wish to discuss something with the Head Teacher, your child’s therapist or your child’s teacher.


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

We know that a child’s needs do not start at 9.00am when they arrive at school and stop at 3.10pm when they leave school. For this reason, we offer a range support which parents can access at any time. We have a Family Support Worker and an Autism Support Worker who are able to support outside of the traditional school day, whether it be help with filling in forms, modelling programmes at home for you, arranging visits, accompanying you on visits. In addition, we can offer advice and support if you are experiencing difficult behaviours at home with your child through our Autism and Behaviour Support Clinic. We also offer a range of family courses over the year whether they are series of evening workshops (we are able to offer crèche facilities so that you can attend), ½ day workshops or online courses. For pupils in our Early Years department we run Stay and Play sessions for parents.


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

Brookfields School works in partnership with local family support groups, voluntary organisations and Local Authorities. We understand that families may need a range of different support at different times and are able to signpost and direct you to the most appropriate support.


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

Feedback on how well we are doing as a school is an important part of our work as it enables us to continue to build on what we have already established and is recognised as an outstanding school. Feedback is welcomed at any time but we formally ask parents for their thoughts and ideas every two years through our Parent Questionnaire. There are also other mechanisms through which parents can give us their feedback such as the family contributions to the Annual and Transitional Reviews, courses evaluations, through Parent Governor Representatives, progress meetings etc. The school has a Complaints Policy and Procedure should parents have a complaint about the school which they feel has not been resolved through discussion with the Head Teacher.


Last Updated
22/03/2016