Beechcliffe School Local Offer
Beechcliffe School is a generic special school for students aged 11 – 19 years and has provision for young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). This means that we provide a specialist educational provision across a wide spectrum of learning difficulties and complex disabilities. Beechcliffe School is co-located with a mainstream secondary school in Keighley which is in the north of the district.
At Beechcliffe we provide…
Communication is a key focus for us at Beechcliffe School and underpins everything we deliver. We employ a range of methods to support a ‘communication rich environment’ all of which are incorporated into the curriculum.
• Intensive Interaction (child led communication)
• Touch Cues and Objects of Reference with our students who have the most profound and multiple learning difficulties
• Signing (Makaton)
• Signs and symbols to offer more concrete meaning to learning (Boardmaker)
• Speech and language therapy and additional small group work (working on the advice and guidance of a NHS Speech and Language Therapist)
• Social stories
• ICT (including AAC, switches and devices to enable PC access)
Curriculum and teaching
At Beechcliffe School we believe that all pupils are individuals and as such are all working within their own individual developmental stage. With this in mind we offer three differing curricula: Post 16, modified and supported and sensory experiential. Students are grouped in cohorts that best suit their age, learning styles and abilities, behaviour support needs, emotional wellbeing and social groups.
• Post 16 learners follow the Foundation Curriculum comprising an academic core along with a programme of personal social development, vocational learning and independence skills. These students range from students who need varying degrees of additional support using signs, symbols and use early language skills, to those students who work mostly with spoken word and text as main form of communication. Some Post 16 learners stay in the sensory experiential groups and access the post 16 curriculum as appropriate.
• Key Stage 3 and 4 Modified and Supported learners follow a differentiated National Curriculum, including PSHE, Creative and Performing Arts and a range of additional therapies. These pupils range from pupils who need varying degrees of additional support using signs, symbols and use early language skills, to those students who work mostly with spoken word and text as main form of communication
• Sensory and Experiential learners follow the Early Years Developmental Matters curriculum. This curriculum places the pupils at the centre of all learning opportunities. These pupils who require a multi-sensory approach are supported with a high adult to pupil ratio.
Some pupils with ASC are grouped separately to support their learning and emotional needs.
All pupils are supported by a highly motivated and well trained staff team who deliver an appropriate, successful and engaging curriculum.
Assessment at Beechcliffe School takes place throughout the year. Teachers continually assess and set new individual learning targets at least every half term (6 times a year). Parents are informed of these targets. Pupils are formally assessed twice a year (summative assessment) when pupil achievement is recorded and progress is analysed.
Achievement is currently assessed using P Scales, although these are currently under review and new DFE assessment for pupils with SEND is due to change and the Beechcliffe Pathways assessment Performa. Individual learning targets are set using this information. There are two parents’ consultation evenings a year and Annual Reviews. Parents are encouraged to communicate about progress and other information via the home/school diaries.
The school operates an open door policy and parents are welcome to contact school regarding any issues, including the progress of their child. POST 16 Assessment – All pupils in Post 16 complete externally accredited qualifications and other awards as part of their learning programmes. We seek to provide accreditation that spans academic areas of learning and also Personal Development and Vocational aspects within the curriculum. A range of other assessments tools are used such as the Salford Reading and Comprehension Test and some aspects of SCERTS assessment are occasionally used to further inform staff of achievements and next steps.
Behaviour and Safeguarding
Beechcliffe School has a rigorous and effective behaviour policy. Our students are well behaved and well managed. Much time and effort goes into promoting an ethos of respect and dignity towards all. Students understand boundaries and the impact of unsafe behaviour on others. Our policy states:
‘Our aim is to promote positive behaviour which will help to develop pupils' self-esteem, self-discipline and ability to co-operate with one another and with staff, thus encouraging them to behave in a socially acceptable manner. The underlying philosophy is respect for the pupils and a desire to help them to develop - not to condemn or criticise. This respect for pupils should form the basis for all interactions with them.’
• Positive behaviour management strategy – we are a Team Teach school and all staff receive training in strategies to manage behaviour in a positive way.
• Risk assessments are completed for behaviour, moving and handling, curriculum areas and activities and off-site educational visits.
• Handover arrangements at the start and end of the school day - There are procedures in place for all staff to receive the students off the vehicles in the morning and to return them to their vehicles in the afternoon. There is a designated secure parking site for school transport vehicles.
• Supervision of students during breaks and lunchtimes – Break time arrangements are managed by teachers and support staff. Students are supervised throughout this time. During lunchtimes we have midday staff who join us to ensure there is a smooth transition between the morning and afternoon teaching times. Some pupils have 1:1 support at these times.
• Safeguarding and Child Protection - The school works closely with children’s families and social care, complex health and disabilities teams and family intervention support staff where there are safeguarding or child protection concerns. We have 4 Designated Safeguarding Leads (‘named persons’ for child protection). All staff receive regular training in safeguarding and child protection.
• RSE curriculum – supports our students to make informed and healthy choices to keep them safe.
Health and Wellbeing
The management of care, guidance and pastoral support at school is delivered by dedicated and trained staff in close liaison and consultation with the children’s specialist school nursing team and other health and therapy services including: paediatricians, continence team, audiology support, oral health team, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists.
Care plans are written by NHS professionals. Any training requirements are carried out or organised by the school nursing team. For students requiring specific individual medical interventions, training is provided. Examples of care plans include gastrostomy feeding, continence needs, epilepsy and medication.
First Aid and Emergency Procedures - We have a large team of First Aiders at Beechcliffe School. Medical emergencies are dealt with in a calm sensitive manner, staff are informed of students health needs and know when and how to call for assistance.
Emotional and Mental Health – At Beechcliffe School we understand that the emotional, mental health and wellbeing of our students is vital to their learning and progress towards a valued and healthy lifestyle. We have staff in school who are trained as mental health first aiders who provide support to students to enhance their self-esteem and promote emotional well-being.
Beechcliffe School has a fully accessible building. It has a secure perimeter, specialist equipment and extensive hygiene facilities. It has a secure transport arrival and departure area that is accessible for all pupils and vehicles.
We support our students through all phases of transition, working closely with our partner schools, colleges, Bradford Council’s Career Advisor, social services transition workers and health professionals. This is also part of the annual review process. Beechcliffe has developed a successful programme of transition with our feeder schools.
Student progress is shared with parents and carers throughout the year on curriculum, attendance, behaviour and medical / care needs.
This is through a variety of methods including: telephone conversations, home school diaries, school reports, annual reviews, face-to-face meetings, certificates, newsletters, website etc. Parents are welcome to contact school at any time. Beechcliffe has an ‘open door’ policy and will accommodate parents’ visits and queries whenever possible.
There are a range of opportunities for parents/carers to become involved with their child’s life at school. There are coffee mornings, transition events, Nursing ‘drop in’ sessions, seasonal fairs, open days, Grandparents day, school shows, performances and dance events, whole school assemblies, parents’ evenings etc. These are all promoted on the school website. The School website has a learning zone area where parents and their children can access learning opportunities together.
At Beechcliffe School we positively and actively encourage our students to make their voices heard. Beechcliffe has been previously awarded Investors in Pupils and will be undertaking the renewal of this under the new format.
Student Council - Within our school we have a very strong student school council. This is made up of student representatives from each class. They are fully involved in school life and help to make important decisions that influence their time at school.
Annual reviews - We use these systems to encourage student voice: “All about me”, My Plan and ‘Record of Achievements’. These record what they like/dislike about school. These are differentiated to accommodate the student’s level of ability.
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