Mark Hall Academy open doors to parents keen to know more about Special Educational Needs

Education / Mon 12th Dec 2022 at 01:13pm

PARENTS have been welcomed into school to learn more about how children with special educational needs and disabilities are being supported.

Mark Hall Academy, in Harlow, invited families to meet the SENCO – the special educational needs co-ordinator – and take a look around the facilities, as well as ask any questions they had about their children.

During the event, parents were able to find out more about the ways in which the school supports children with special educational needs, including – 

  • The sensory space – where students can relax, unwind, reconvene and self-regulate
  • Zones of regulation – where students build skills in emotional and sensory regulation
  • Lego therapy – promoting social interaction, turn-taking, sharing and collaborative problem-solving
  • Handwriting haven – a dedicated session to support students with specific learning difficulties with handwriting skills
  • Speech and language support
  • Numeracy support – for basic numeracy and maths catch-up
  • Literacy support – using Lexia Power-Up to help struggling and nearly-proficient readers to become confident learners
  • Phonics – using Freshstart to help struggling readers to become confident learners

SENCO and assistant principal Victoria Butler gave a presentation on how and why students are referred, the screening process, how SEND manifests itself in young people and where parents can go for further support.

She said: “It is important for us to share with parents the ways in which we can support young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This was an opportunity for us to share ideas and good practice, to demonstrate the resources, facilities and interventions we have on offer and to invite our parents along on our journey.”

Parents were given another opportunity to take a look around the school during a coffee morning with the pastoral and safeguarding team and MIND in West Essex.

The charity works with Mark Hall each week, offering support and advice to young people suffering with low mood and anxiety.

One parent who attended said: “I went along hoping for advice on helping my daughter, but ended up chatting to another parent who has very similar issues with her child. It was lovely to have someone who understood how it feels.

“I also got to chat with the people from MIND when I got upset.

“It was a really useful thing.”

Marios Solomonides, director of SEND for the BMAT family of schools, said: “Mark Hall Academy is opening up to families and being completely transparent.

“We are not hiding away. We want parents to come and speak with us and to see that  we are proactive in supporting our students.

“We know how important it is to work closely with families because parents know their children better than anyone.

“This is very much in line with the BMAT SEND strategy in terms of co-producing provision and targets for our pupils, as well as identifying SEND accurately, as early as possible.”

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3 Comments for Mark Hall Academy open doors to parents keen to know more about Special Educational Needs:

Hannah Bolton
2022-12-12 22:19:35

Wow how many more parents can they fool into thinking they care about send pupils. I'm embarrassed for them even for even pretending at how amazing they are. Believe me I know soooo many families who are fighting to get their send children the support at this school. The fb page I run shows the lack of support and knowledge this school has in SEND. I'm not even sure the head sendco has even finished her training yet as she was still training only a few months ago.

Karen psiris
2022-12-16 07:41:09

As I have said before you can have such a wonderful SEND department on paper.. and even showing parents around to tell them how amazing it is... that is until the doors close and is the same story... so short staffed ... can’t do that special activity today or not consistent so they might do that activity once then couple of months later do it again ... in the mean time give that student a thousand detentions and exclusions for their behaviour when they are really struggling... doesn’t help when Teachers themselves don’t know of child’s needs...

Zoe Harris
2022-12-16 11:52:24

What a load of crap BMAT destroy kids with SEN whilst raking in the funding… don’t believe a word of it. They have made so many mistakes with so many SEN kids .

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