Our Inclusion Support
The care, development and progress of our students is the concern of all members of the teaching and support staff, and our pastoral system prioritises providing a happy, safe, secure and inclusive environment for all.
Our team around the child is able to offer an extensive range of solutions to any barriers to learning that appear. Whether it be a Special Educational Need, an EAL issue, a mental health difficulty, we can build a supportive pathway. We encourage parents to work with us at the earliest opportunity if any problem arises. Our experienced and knowledgeable team are here to help.
Year Group Support
Each Year group is led by a Head of Learning and an Assistant Head of Learning who strive to motivate and inspire our students to be the best version of themselves.
Form Tutors have a special responsibility for the pastoral welfare, academic and personal development of a designated group of students. This begins with the fundamentals of Attendance, which we know is one of the most important factors of success at GCSE level. We work with parents to ensure Attendance is a top priority and is at the heart of Inclusion. Form Tutors meet their tutees regularly and are the first point of contact for students to raise personal and academic concerns.
For those students who need additional support, our Inclusion package can work for some.
This is tailored to the individual and allows for a timetable that is best suited to the students’ needs. We devise a Support Plan in agreement with individual students and their family and can also consider Alternative Provision. We also work with other agencies, as appropriate; to promote well-being for students we look after in Inclusion.
Our department aim is to empower our students with the resilience they will need to emerge as successful adults.
By building trusted relationships with the students, we are able to understand the areas where interventions would be of benefit. The Inclusion Team is a strong network of staff that includes two Assistant Headteachers who lead on Pastoral Care, the Heads of Learning, who work with their allocated Assistant Heads of Learning, and Inclusion Room and Isolated Support Room staff. The SEN Team, and EAL Team also work closely with students to deliver comprehensive intervention packages. We also work with a range of outside agencies to achieve the best results for our students.
Thames Valley Police Safeguarding Team
Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services
Virtual Schools & their Tutors
School Nursing Team
Youth Enquiry Service
Prevent Education Officer
Terrence Higgins Trust
YOS – Prevention Programme
Family Support Service
Specialist Teaching Service
County SEN Team
Educational Psychology Service
The above agencies are very much partners in the work we do. The most important partnership we have, however, is the one with parents. We recognise the strength that is created by parents and schools working together.
We have a Mental Health Lead who is able to assess and signpost students to the appropriate pathway for their particular need. We have a full-time Child Protection Officer who works closely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the rest of the Safeguarding Team to ensure those students with a Social Worker or are Children Looked After (or previously looked after) are supported effectively.
In addition to the primary functions listed above, our team are involved with the Transition process, breakfast, break and lunch clubs, classroom management of individuals and strategy training.
We also organise the annual Well-being Day, which aims to introduce students directly to support agencies covering a wide variety of topics.
When behaviour does not meet the high expectations we have at The Highcrest Academy, we allow a period of reflection in our Isolated Support Room.
During this time students continue with work that is set by their subject teachers. We work closely with Heads of Learning to ensure that these students consider alternative choices they could have made with regard to their behaviour. We support self-regulation and independent working, two highly valued qualities. Should the student require additional support from any of the other departments within the Inclusion Team, this can easily be arranged.
Our team often work one to one with students to get to the root of difficulties or conflicts and have been trained in restorative justice.
Should a student’s behaviour lead to a Suspension, we are the stepping stone between the Suspension and re-joining the main school. It is within the Isolated Support Room that the student is closely supervised to ensure they are ready to join their peers with the right attitude to continue their learning. Lunch is taken at a different time to the rest of the school to enable the student to focus on themselves and take responsibility for their actions without distraction from their usual associations. Our team is fortunate to be able to get to know these students very well under these circumstances. We are able to offer support with academic and emotional, behavioural and social issues. Our observations, coupled with input from the other departments that form our Inclusion Team, help to signpost students to targeted interventions with the intention of ensuring positive outcomes.
We aim to provide a calm, orderly, disciplined working environment where subject teachers supply work which is supported by our team.
Senior staff will meet with the student and their parent/carer just before the student returns to the main school following an Suspension. Reintegration meetings will also occur following an extended period in Isolated Support or repeated incidences of poor behaviour. At this meeting an agreement is signed, by all stakeholders, outlining expectations of behaviour.