Please find below details of the ISP school local offer. If you have any further questions or would like to find out more about ISP schools please contact the School Offices on (01795) 422044 or (01795) 523900 and one of our team will direct you to relevant personnel.
We are an Independent Specialist Provision, serving children in Kent or Medway who live with either birth parent(s), foster carers or at residential children’s homes. We work with children who have primarily social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). Most children are in receipt of a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), but we are able to support a child and their family undergoing assessment of educational needs. Our Staff expertise enables us to work with young people whose needs maybe complex, and those whose primary needs are communication and interaction, cognition or behaviour. Our teaching and learning is modelled upon a therapeutic way of working in order that those who have had previous negative experience of school to begin to attend regularly and feel included within the school community.
Our School is one Community teaching pupils from Year 3 to Year 12. We are based on 2 sites: Central Sittingbourne where most KS3 &4 pupils are taught and a Primary and KS3 Transition Group based in a rural location at Teynham. The Teynham site is also home to our Vocational programme of options: Motor Vehicle Studies, Land Based Rural Science, Animal Care and Hospitality.
The school is led by the Head Teacher and Leadership Team who have strategic and operational duties, each providing staff support through our line-management system.
We aim to support children to achieve positive outcomes in relation to their ability. We teach the National Curriculum leading to external accreditation at GCSE level, where applicable. We can also offer vocational qualifications and Life skills awards such as ASDAN and COPE. External exams are accredited through the AQA or WJEC exam boards.
We recognise that each child is unique and has individual strengths that we aim to develop. Therefore a comprehensive assessment process, both prior to a child’s admission and systematically thereafter is central to our work to ensure that appropriate targets and interventions are in place.
We work in a supportive environment that enables pupils to express themselves appropriately through the acquisition of key Social Communication Skills. We fully encourage pupil participation via the termly Health and Well Being Audits. We expect pupils to develop an awareness of and consideration of others. This is developed in peer co operation and a nurture group ethos (in primary) and respect for the views of their friends. Pupils are regularly elected to the School Council to help shape school planning and ideas.
We welcome parents and carers as active participants in their child’s education and meet half termly to share positives, concerns and discuss future plans.
We have an established system for admission. We are pleased to welcome prospective pupils to visit the School via referral from Local Education SEN officers, in consultation with a child’s Local Home Authority. Parents who wish to discuss using their personal budget with us will need to contact the School after initial negotiations with the named officer on their child’s EHCP.
After referral papers are received we consider each case individually through the admissions panel. If we feel able to meet the pupil’s needs we invite the pupil to visit the School and meet the Head Teacher and Referrals Manager. At this meeting they can see the school and surroundings and some of the children. Following this and a confirmed expression of interest of a place and having ensured funding is in place the Referrals Manager will send out a Sharing information document to all people able to give an informed picture of the pupil. The School SEN Coordinator will then profile and collate the information and then chair a pre induction meeting at which all information will be discussed and an induction plan created. Induction is usually part time building to full time within a 2 week period.
Where a pupil moves on from our School we aim to support and ease transition by forwarding relevant information including their current academic levels and any assessments which have taken place.
The National Curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all the pupils and designed to include the pupils in developing their learning as much as possible. During the first weeks of the pupil starting at ISP School a comprehensive holistic assessment takes place to identify their strengths, difficulties and learning styles. We work with all pupils to help them understand their learning. Each pupil has their own targets which they are aware of and are supported to work towards achieving them. We aim to help them identify areas of strength and weakness, whilst developing their emotional resilience to cope with successes and disappointments.
We use a variety of different methods including multi sensory approach so all learning styles can be covered. Many different teaching techniques are use including dyslexia friendly style teaching and ASD strategies applied within a classroom for the benefit of all.
We consider how our classroom environments help learning through their layout and organisation for both group and individual work.
We have many ways of supporting children within our school. The first level of support is provided in the classroom through quality first teaching. The level of support needed then increases to short term interventions for a specific need, to long term support, which is planned and evaluated regularly. We discuss frequently with the parent/ carer and other professionals known to the individual to develop a pupil centred approach. We include the children in directing their learning as much as possible and aim to help them identify areas of strength and weaknesses. Initial assessments and cumulative tests, marked work and pupil progress meetings will all contribute to development of targets and focused interventions. Each pupil’s learning and well-being is constantly monitored by staff. If a concern arises from
these observations then you will be contacted by the child’s class teacher, a member of the SEN Team or a member of senior staff. Similarly, if there are any concerns regarding how well a pupil is progressing a member of staff can be contacted at any time.
Staff track pupil progress and wellbeing regularly through observations, teacher assessment, formal assessment and pupil progress meetings. Children who are not making progress at an adequate rate compared with their age and potential are identified and then a decision is made about the type of support required. Children are then given support to try to catch up. Interventions are tracked and monitored.
The Speech and language therapy team will carry out observational assessments on all pupils and monitor their progress in developing communication skills. If necessary, a fuller assessment will be undertaken. All of our pupils meet with our Health and Well Being Co ordinator on a half termly basis to discuss from their own viewpoint their feelings, any worries, their academic achievement, personal skills and social friendships in preparation for achieving independence.
The Action Plus© Behaviour Support Programme is a BILD accredited training regime,
exclusive to ISP, that provides the framework upon which we deliver our service to young
people. This competency based training is mandatory for all staff and includes an initial 3 day
course followed by ongoing updates, workshops and refresher days. The programme offers a
range of pro-active strategies and skills to ensure that we provide an effective therapeutic
The Head Teacher has undertaken research in this field of SEN and published his work. Our SENCo has gained the Masters level National Award for SEN Co-ordination. Our Educational Psychologist is highly qualified to advise and support on complex needs; she is HCPC registered, a chartered psychologist and a trained video interaction guider.
The on-site Speech and Language Department consists of one consultant, one Principal Speech and Language therapist and Speech and Language therapy assistants. The consultant SLT has a MPhil in communication and behavioural difficulties, has researched and published in this area and is a trained Video Interaction Guider. She is HCPC registered and a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. The assistants have considerable training in SLCN and EMH. Many training sessions have been undertaken by members of staff including Speech and Language, Dyspraxia support, ASD and ADHD support, emotional well-being and first aid.