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. This includes children who have severe and profound learning difficulties and complex needs including Autism and a range of syndromes. Beechcliffe School is co-located with a mainstream secondary school in Keighley which is in the north of the district.
Admission to the school is through the Local Authority SEND placement panel that consult the school and decide the most appropriate placement. Pupils usually have a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) however; we do take some children on assessment placements. Funding is through the High Needs Block funding system where pupils are funded according to the council agreed levels for different needs.
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 (Board maker)
• 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 Key Stage cohorts that best suit their age, learning styles and abilities, behaviour support needs, emotional wellbeing and social groups.
• Key Stage 3 Modified and Supported learners follow a differentiated National Curriculum based upon a thematic approach, 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
• Key Stage 4 learners follow a curriculum based upon an academic core subject approach and an options element where pupils begin to make choices over what subjects they want to study.
• Post 16 learners follow the 16-19 Study Programme comprising of an academic core along with a programme of vocational learning, work experience, and non-qualification personal development activity. The Post 16 curriculum at Beechcliffe subscribes to the pathways within the Preparation for Adulthood initiative. Our offer supports young people where appropriate to develop skills supporting Access to Work. We strive to support young people to develop personal independence and to have the skills, confidence and self-esteem to contribute to the community and to have purposeful, meaningful and rewarding future lives.
• Sensory and Experiential learners follow a continuous provision approach. This curriculum places the pupils at the centre of all learning opportunities and offers a wide range of engaging activities to support developmental progress. 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 within Key stage 4 work towards completing externally accredited qualifications at the end of year 11.
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 awards that spans academic areas of learning and also Personal Development and Vocational aspects within the curriculum.
Pupils are formally assessed three times a year (summative assessment) when pupil achievement is recorded and progress is analysed. Achievement is currently assessed using the Beechcliffe Pathways Performa which incorporates the current National Curriculum and former P Scales.
Individual learning targets are set using this information and targets within the pupils EHCP.
There are two parents’ consultation evenings a year and Annual Reviews.
Parents are encouraged to communicate about progress and other information via Class Dojo or 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.
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 a named governor for safeguarding who meets regularly with the Head of School to ensure all procedures are in place.
• We have 4 Designated Safeguarding Leads (‘named persons’ for child protection). All staff receive regular annual 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.
• All staff moving and Handling trained.
• 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. The provision includes:
• CAMHs clinics
• Early help referrals when necessary
• Rewards and achievement schemes.
• PSHD curriculum including RSE.
• Celebratory assemblies,
• Sensitive and appropriate grouping of pupils.
• “My voice” intervention small group or 1:1 work for pupils who are identified as requiring additional support.
Beechcliffe School has a fully accessible building.
It has a secure perimeter
Specialist equipment as required by individual pupils.
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 to ensure pupils moving from a primary setting to a secondary one have a long transition with regular visits including staying for lunch to ensure that by the time the pupils start they are familiar with the school and new routines.
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,
• EHCP reviews
• Meetings to discuss pupils
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.
• Coffee mornings
• FAB – Parent group supporting fundraising activities for Beechcliffe
• Transition events
• Nursing ‘drop in’ sessions
• Seasonal fairs
• Open days
• Grandparents day
• School shows
• Performances and dance events
• Whole school end of year celebration assemblies
• Twice yearly parents’ evenings
• The School website has a learning zone area where parents and their children can access learning opportunities together which is linked to current learning themes within school.
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. Pupils are also invited to join the annual review meeting to share their thoughts and opinions.
Lunch time clubs - At Beechcliffe we run a range of lunchtime activities which extend our students’ learning in a fun and engaging manner. These vary from film club, music club, football, computer club, karaoke, go karting and relaxing in a sensory area.
After school and holiday clubs - Our after school club currently operates on a Tuesday and Wednesday 3pm – 5pm
• Swimming ( during holiday club)
• Rebound therapy,
• Sensory ‘Tac Pac’,
. Duke of Edinburgh Award - Pupils from across the school have an opportunity to work towards achieving the Bronze D of E award which includes an overnight expedition.
Educational Visits - As part of the school’s extended curriculum, we go out in to the community to extend and enliven our students learning. We visit the schools allotments, parks, museums, canal boats, countryside and our town centre. We provide a ‘summer trip’ each year for each group suitable to individual needs which may be to the sea-side, theme parks or other venues. We have provided residential visits to the Nell Bank Centre in Ilkley and at the nearby Beamsley Project.
Some pupils also have the opportunity to participate in work experience and a range of sporting activities, including Sports Leadership.
Pupils also participate in team sports competing against other special schools.
Our specialist provision
• Hydrotherapy Pool - Our pool is heated to allow the maximum health and physical benefits and comfort for all students.
• Rebound –A dedicated Rebound room.
• A fully equipped sensory integration room.
• Sensory Rooms
• Music Therapy
• Outdoor Learning – we have an allotment and outside areas to grow fruit and vegetables and to experience outdoor learning.
• Creative & Expressive Arts – this is accessed by all pupils and covers dance, drama, music (singing and instrumental teaching), sound and lighting and the making of props and costumes. We have 2 shows a year usually before Christmas and at the end of the Summer term.
• We have an Arts Award showcase during the summer term which includes a Art Gallery of pupils work, dance routines and music.
• Health and therapy facilities – Our health and therapy rooms are used daily by multi-agency services. These include a medical team of school nurses, a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, paediatrics clinics, School dentist, Orthotics clinic, CAMHS clinics. The facilities are also used by voluntary agencies.