At Durham Trinity School and Sports College we strive to ensure that all children achieve their potential. We support the children throughout their journey as much as possible with high quality teaching and pastoral care.
There are many different kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and here all at Durham Trinity School and Sports College we are able to support children with a wide range of needs who have an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP). The school offers a variety of specialised differentiated curricula to meet the needs of all children. Durham Trinity School and Sports College was recently graded as ‘good’ by Ofsted, it was highlighted that;
‘Leaders have thought very carefully about what pupils should learn. The leaders have recently developed a three-tier curriculum which they feel better meets the needs of each individual pupil. They have high expectations about the skills, knowledge and understanding that pupils need to help them to be successful in their future adult life.’ (Ofsted February 2020)
Durham Trinity School and Sports College has a wealth of resources to support children’s learning including; Internal specialised swimming facility, a state of the art multi-sensory room, specialist teaching rooms, a (Multi-Use Games Area) MUGA, and we are continuing to develop the outdoor learning environment to support our OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) agenda. All classes are small and supported by highly trained teaching staff and teaching assistants.
The children also learn outside of the classroom and offsite. We have access to 3 school minibuses which all classes can have access to. We also provide a Friday afternoon enrichment curriculum so pupils can engage with the wider community and access learning and social development opportunities in alternative environments. The children also have the opportunity to access residential excursions to places such as Bendrigg and Weardale Adventure Centre, and these have been extremely successful to date. With a significant focus on emotional well-being, children are offered many opportunities to develop their emotional resilience through Thrive intervention, OPAL play opportunities and pastoral events.
We offer several different ‘pathways’ through the school from ages 2-19, these include our pre-formal pathway for our PMLD learners with the most complex needs, a semi-formal pathway aimed at specific skill development for our largest cohort of SLD learners, and a formal pathway for those learners aiming to attend college for further education post-16.
Through our sports specialism, students access the School Games Programme which allows them to participate in different sporting activities and to engage with other children, some of whom may have similar barriers to learning as they have.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinators (SENCOs) work closely with class teachers and other agencies to work out the best support for children within our care. The SENCOs at Durham Trinity School and Sports College are;
Mr Brian Brown – Primary SENCO
Miss Jennifer Alford – Secondary & Post 16 SENCO.
Ms Clare Taylor – Cover SENCO
For further information you can access our SEND Policy on our website.
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions;
Q – How will Durham Trinity School and Sports College support my child?
It is important that your child is allocated to the most suitable learning pathway and type of provision that will best meet their needs. All our classes are small so that children are supported in a small group with a high ratio of adults. The teacher will implement agreed strategies to support the individual learning needs of your child, with a view to working towards EHCP outcomes. Support may include access to specific intervention programmes coordinated by specialist members of staff.
Q – How will I know how my child is progressing?
Through contact with tutor staff using the home-school diary, a first term tutor-based parent’s evening, and a school report which highlights current and expected progress both towards educational and EHCP outcomes. A summer term parent’s evening will be available to discuss subject specific progress and attainment. All parents are invited to attend the annual review process to review EHCPs. Parents will be sent a copy of the EHCP.
Q – How can I help my child?
The EHCP will be shared with you which will outline your child’s outcomes. They may also ask you to support your child with homework or other activities to further reinforce what they have learned at school. By attending parents evenings and the annual review process you can play the most active role in helping your child to succeed.
Q – What agencies are available to help me?
With your permission we may ask any of the agencies below to offer advice and support for your child;
• Educational Psychology Team (EP)
• Speech and Language Therapy Team (SALT)
• Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
• Counselling service
• School Nurse Service
• Social Care
• Visual Impairment Service (VI)
• Hearing Impairment Service (HI)
• Physiotherapy Team
• Occupational Therapy Team (OT)
• Parent Support Advisor (PSA)
Q – What training have Durham Trinity School and Sports College staff had with regard to SEND?
Our staff have the appropriate qualifications and training opportunities to support children with a range of needs such as;
• National Award for SEN Coordination
• Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
• Asperger’s Syndrome
• Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH)
• Aspects of physical and coordination needs
• Medical needs
• Special dietary requirements
• Speech and Language needs
• Moving and Handling
• Adverse childhood experiences
Durham Trinity School and Sports College prides itself on the development of its staff in order to provide your child with the best possible learning experience. Staff have a range of qualifications such as rebound therapy, advanced first aid, Team-Teach and MAKATON, Thrive practitioner qualifications, SCERTS training, and specific medical training such as tracheostomy and epilepsy training.
Q – How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our provision?
The leadership of the school frequently assesses the quality of teaching and learning and resources throughout school as part of the school’s self-evaluation process. We have a wealth of documentation which is used to inform the School Improvement Plan (SIP). The annual review process is monitored and reviewed and parents are asked for feedback on this. We also invite professionals from other schools and organisations to quality assure our judgements. Our last Ofsted inspection was in March 2016, and Durham Trinity School and Sports College was judged as a ‘good’ school in all areas of assessment.
Q – How does the school support my child at points of transition?
For children transferring placement to Durham Trinity School and Sports College we provide opportunities for parents and students to visit school, and talk to staff. There is a transition programme in place to allow students to meet and spend time in their new provision before their start date. The Transitions Team from Durham County Council help to support children and families in making an informed decision on the most suitable placement for future provision. This will be discussed at annual review meetings with the SENCOs and regular meetings with tutors and students.
Q – How can I make a complaint?
If you have a concern about school you should raise these as soon as possible to the class teacher or PSA. If the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may wish to speak to one of the senior leadership team, or Head Teacher. If you wish to make a formal complaint, you can do so in writing to the chair of governors at Durham Trinity School and Sports College. The Complaints Policy is available on our school website.
Q – What support is available for my child’s wellbeing?
The class teacher and teaching assistants are responsible for your child’s emotional, moral, and physical welfare, and they are the first point of contact if you have any concerns. Durham Trinity School and Sports College adopts a clear approach towards behaviour and anti-bullying – details of which can be found in our policies. Our PSA, Diane Chapman, is also available to support parents and can provide support, time to talk, provide advice to you and others supporting your child and can also help you to develop links with other agencies. Durham Trinity prides it’s self on ensuring your child’s emotional and wellbeing needs are met. Significant training has been provided for all staff. Many receiving recognised training in key areas.
Durham Trinity School and Sports College is committed to ensuring we provide parents / carers with the latest information regarding SEND, both in school and around the local area. If you feel we can further improve the information, please contact school.
Updated September 2020