Parental FAQs

1. How does the school know if children need extra help?

The excellent transition programme the Key Stage 3 Team provides ensures that we know a great deal about our students and their learning needs before they join us. The SENCO takes part in the transition visits and meets the primary school SENCO to ensure that all of the relevant information and documentation is received. This information is then carefully disseminated among staff, both teaching and support, accordingly.

With emphasis on ‘Early identification’ the majority of our students learning needs are identified and/or diagnosed before they join us at Hanley. In some cases the additional learning needs may diminish owing to maturity, growth and development.


2. What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Occasionally the additional learning needs of a student may arise during their adolescent years. In this instance the SENCO will ensure strategies are put into place within school to manage the changing needs of the student. However, on the rare occasion that further strategies or support are needed the SENCO will seek advice from the relevant external agencies.

The school does not diagnose specific special educational needs and parents will be notified before referrals are made to other professionals. It is also important that parents notify us of any diagnosis obtained privately or of any additional changes to their child’s learning needs.


3. How will school staff support my child?

We endeavour to ensure that the support we offer is discrete and inclusive. We have high expectations for all of our students and the additional support offered is tailored to ensure that students can achieve, that they are prepared for adulthood and most importantly it ensures that they become independent learners. It is a stepping-stone towards achievement.

Support is offered on a short term basis with the idea that students learn how to manage and become more responsible for their own learning needs. This in turn enables us to focus more on the students’ strengths and rates of progress as opposed to their additional learning needs.


4. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

An inclusive, whole-school approach is used to ensure that all students can access and benefit from the curriculum. The individual subject expertise of our teaching staff ensures that lessons are personalised and differentiated to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom.

When choosing Key Stage 4 (years 9-11) pathway options, advice is offered to students and parents to ensure that students get the most out of the broad curriculum options that we offer.

See the prospectus or website for more information about the curriculum at key stages 3 and 4.


5. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

We aim to ensure that our students take responsibility for their own learning and are therefore aware of the progress they are making and understand how to improve.
The Key Stage Teams send regular information home, which includes half-termly A&E (Attitude and Effort) letters, termly attainment letters and annual reports to ensure that parents are also aware of the progress their child is making.

For students on the SEN register Aspire may also make additional contact with parents to discuss their child’s learning needs and progress or may arrange more formal review meetings to discuss academic and learning matters in more detail.

We aim to work in collaboration with parents to ensure that their views are heard, and to ask that parents support our work at home.

Aspire’s Parent Voice is also an opportunity for parents to contribute towards the development of SEN/D provision in school and to seek the advice of strategies to use at home.

For further support and advice please see the contact procedure document.


6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

Well-being Academic Learning Needs Specialist Needs
Key Stage Team Subject specialist teachers Educational Psycologist*
School Counsellor* Bespoke interventions* Complex Communications Disorder Team*
Time for You (self-referral) Academic mentoring* Speech and Language Team*
School Nurse* Teaching Assistants* Medical Education Team*
Peer Mentor* Differentiated Materials Behaviour Support Team*
Adult mentoring* Alternative Curriculum Provision* Sexual Health Team*
South Worcestershire Bereavement Counselling* Subject revision sessions CAMHS* (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)
Family Support Worker   Hearing Impaired Team*
PSHE Curriculum   Occupational Therapy*
School Assemblies   Stronger Families*
Sign-posting information   Early Help*
    Visual Impairment Team
    Regency Outreach Team for physical abilities

* Provided to students on a ‘needs only basis’, where other strategies and resources have already been tried, reviewed and evaluated.


7. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND received?

We feel that it is important for all of our staff to remain abreast of the ever changing decisions and approaches towards Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Staff are involved in regular training sessions to this end.
Learning Support Assistants have received additional training to support our young people with Special Educational Needs.

The SENCO and the Deputy Head Teacher both have the National Accredited SENCO Award and both have additional experience and knowledge in managing Special Educational Needs. (See Aspire Team Page)


8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

The broad variety of extra-curricular activities that we offer, including school trips, are available to all.

For more information please see our extra-curricular sporting activities for this term.

Additional extra-curricular activities offered by Aspire:

  • Break time and lunch time club
  • Homework club
  • Morning motivator


9. How accessible is the school environment?

Hanley Castle High School is an inclusive school where we strive to encourage all students are able to participate fully in all of the daily activities of school life. We consistently review our approaches, such as adaptations to our newer buildings, to ensure that this continues.


10. How will the school prepare and support my child transfer to a college or the next stage of their education or training?

During KS4 and KS5 students and parents will receive clear and impartial guidance and information to ensure that they make informed, and the best, choices to pursue their aspirations towards their next stage of life.

The majority of our students, regardless of their additional learning needs, choose to stay on to study in our sixth form, where the courses offered meet their learning needs. Where the school is not able to provide a specific course or pathway, impartial advice and support is provided in securing a more appropriate provision. For students with Statements and Educational Health Care Plans, this will be discussed as part of their transition review.


11. How are the school’s resources and support allocated and matched to students’ special educational needs?

We promote inclusive learning; consequently teachers will use a range of resources to ensure that the majority of additional learning needs are met in the classroom.

Further resources and additional short-term interventions may be offered by Aspire to assist students towards making good progress.


12. Who can I contact for further information?


New Sixth Form Leadership Team
New Sixth Form Leadership Team
Congratulations to Izzy and Ollie our new Head Girl and Head Boy and to Noah and Imogen, their deput...
Reverse Advent Calendar
Reverse Advent Calendar
The Sixth Form Charity committee has been really busy this month, having launched their idea of a re...
Y7 Visit to Diglis Island
Y7 Visit to Diglis Island
On Thursday 25th November, 2021, year 7 arrived at Diglis Island, and started their journey.Millions...
Thanks for such a positive start to term everyone! @Malv...
Y7 Textiles for Remembrance
Y7 Textiles for Remembrance
Lest we ForgetYear 7 students studying Textiles had the opportunity to create a range of designs tha...
A Level Geography Field Trip
A Level Geography Field Trip
 On the 2nd of November, the A-Level Geography cohort headed for Snowdonia. When we arrived, we spen...