STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Larwood School is a primary day special school for boys and girls with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. All pupils who attend our school have an Educational Health Care Plan (or Educational Statement). We have many pupils who may also have a diagnosis of autism, and /or ADHD, as well as ODD. The school opened in September 1996 following a review of SEMH provision by Hertfordshire LEA.
The school is named after Harold Larwood, the English fast bowler famous for his part in winning the Ashes. The name Larwood was chosen because Harold was a workingman who became a sporting hero through effort and hard work.
Larwood has capacity for 60 pupils. There are up to eight class groups across the age range; each class has a class teacher and a full time learning and support assistant. The school has developed a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum with literacy and numeracy as key elements. Religious Education is based on the Hertfordshire framework and a range of sporting, recreational and cultural activities and opportunities are provided. Our curriculum is constantly adapting to fit the needs of our pupils, however, we do follow the national curriculum and have implemented changes in light of recommendations made for 2014/15.
The staff team of 45 consists of:
- Senior Leaders
- Class based teams
- Pupil support staff
- The Fox Team
- Site staff
- Catering staff
The School team is further supported by visiting and attached professionals including Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teacher for Autism, Psychiatric Nurse, Family and Community Support Worker, Speech and Language Therapist, School Doctor, School Nurse and Attendance and Inclusion Officer. In addition, therapy may be arranged at the discretion of the Local Authority, CAMHS and Health Authority.
School Vision (Ethos and purpose):
Despite its deletion, the school remains committed to the principles and aims of ‘Every Child Matters’ and endeavours to achieve this through the following:
all you can by listening, looking and learning
in yourself, believe in others and be part of a positive team
to learn, expect to grow and develop in all areas of your education
every lesson, every day and enjoy your time at Larwood!
We aim for every child to experience an outstanding education whilst at Larwood School ensuring that they make progress in every area of their development. We will achieve this by:
- Providing a safe and secure environment which allows children to relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. All members of The Larwood School Community are valued. We ensure that pupils are rewarded for getting things right and we apply consequences when they don’t.
- By providing a dynamic and flexible curriculum with emphasis on literacy, numeracy and creativity. Ensuring that every child has a strong and respectful relationship with the adults that work with them
- By challenging children to succeed in all areas of school life, ensuring that pupils understand that we all make mistakes and that success comes in many forms. This may include improved behaviour, subject progression, and could be related to relationships and trust. All staff will ensure that Hertfordshire Steps is consistently used to engage, modify and aid pupils on their journey of improved progress.
- By working with other parties to ensure we get the very best out of our children. This includes parents, other professionals such as the Educational Psychologist, Attendance Officer, School Nurse, SEN Officers and Speech and Language specialists.
- We model the fact that we never stop learning and engender a love of learning for all, this is vital for our children and us in the ever changing society that we live in.
Our pupils will:
- Be encouraged in a variety of ways to engage in all activities to promote their progress, improve their behaviour, and make the necessary changes to engage in their own education. They will achieve!
- Experience consistent boundaries and expectation with staff trained in Hertfordshire Steps. We expect them to make changes!
- Value themselves and others and be able to set themselves realistic goals, and targets. We believe that our pupils can improve and we aim to help them believe this as well!
- Develop a sense of pride in themselves, their work and being part of ‘Team Larwood.’ They know that we enjoy working with them and hope they enjoy working with us!
- Go onto become life-long learners!
- Become more resilient as young people, moving forwards to secondary schools and further/higher education.
- Have their work and achievements praised and rewarded in a variety of ways to help develop their own self esteem, alongside their social and emotional development
- Experience success! They will achieve, believe, expect and enjoy!
- Are encouraging, empathetic, well trained and love working with our pupils
- Will go the ‘extra miles’ to help pupils make the changes they need to make
- Appreciate that they are preparing pupils for jobs that don’t even exist right now!
- Promote the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, hard work, equality and appreciation of differences
- Provide pupils with the opportunity to express themselves in a safe, productive and reassuring manner
- Will promote educational development in the widest sense including intellect, creativity, and physical development
- Promote the role of the family-whatever shape or form that may take
- Provide a well resourced, safe and welcoming environment for everybody
- Use Hertfordshire Steps as a behaviour management process to enable our pupils to become able to self regulate more often and with independence
- Enable and encourage a love a learning for fun!
- Model the behaviour that we expect from pupils so that they can undertake the future roles that they would like and make a meaningful contribution to their communities and society
- Liaise with parents, and other professionals to promote the very best outcomes for all of our pupils
Range of needs
Pupils at Larwood will have an Education Health care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs unless under exceptional circumstances the LA considers a placement for assessment to be appropriate. Pupils will have been assessed as having their overall social and educational performance depressed by their social and emotional experiences with resultant behavioural difficulties. The main presenting need will be social, emotional and behavioural and, in addition, there may be a degree of sensory, physical, communication or learning difficulty as described in the Local Authority guidance for admission. This currently includes pupils with degrees and combinations of: ADHD, Tourettes Syndrome, Dyslexia, Autism, Asperger Syndrome and ODD.
Provision for disabled pupils
The main presenting need, as identified in pupils’ EHC plans, is Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties, as well as an increasing number of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Asperger Syndrome. SEMH is considered a learning disability. Additionally, the school expects to meet the needs of pupils with a range of needs described above. The school has limited access for disability which is addressed in the School’s Disability Access Plan.
Hertfordshire County Council Children Services Department are the admissions authority for the school’s day and residential provision. Children Services/SEN policy is to place pupils in the school able to meet the pupils’ needs, nearest to where they live. Pupils will in the norm, come from the north and the east of the county and from other areas of the county as needs arise. Referrals from ‘out of county’ are considered if referred through Hertfordshire County Council SEN procedures. The school has a well-established admission process, which seeks to confirm the appropriateness of the initial referral. The referral documentation is reviewed and the pupil and carers are subsequently invited to the school for an initial meeting. This meeting will focus on an explanation of the school’s philosophy and approach to the management of behaviour. This will be followed by a second meeting at school, or in the family home, where a designated member of staff will gather more specific information about the pupil’s needs, presenting difficulties and background. An admission will be agreed if both the carers and the school believe that the school is best placed to meet the pupil’s needs and importantly there is an acceptance that the pupil has the capacity to choose to change his/her behaviour. Residential places are offered when it is jointly agreed between the school and the carers that the pupil would benefit from the opportunity for enhanced educational and behavioural progress provided by the increased consistency of management, stability of routines and relationships possible in the residential setting. Residential placements are not offered for reasons of care alone. All residential placements are approved, via a panel of local authority/headteacher colleagues.
Larwood has no religious affiliation. The school respects any religious or dietary requirements requested by parents or carers.
Designated Child Protection Officer: Bianca Osobu
Designated Deputy Child Protection Officer: Sean Trimble
Designated Officer for Looked After Children: Sean Trimble
At Larwood School, staff provide a structured and ordered environment in which pupils will feel safe and secure. Staff promote and reinforce positive behaviour and attitudes.
When pupils are working, playing and behaving positively, then consequences are rewarding and encouraging. In the first instance, the consequence of negative or self-defeating behaviour is the removal of adult approval and of positive feedback and not earning the points otherwise available.
The pupils at Larwood School are encouraged to look at the consequences of their actions, to question their own choices and decisions. It is recognised that many will have complex emotional needs and/or histories of negative behaviour patterns. Within the context of an ordered and safe school, pupils will be encouraged to take control of, and responsibility for, their behaviour. Hertfordshire Steps supports this process via use of carefully chosen language and activities such as ‘roots and fruits’.
Larwood School is committed to providing clear and consistent boundaries and management for pupils. Some pupils may have experienced rejection previously. Staff are sensitive to this and will, therefore, confine their response to pupil behaviour and not towards pupils themselves.
Children with severe social, emotional and mental health difficulties often have a well-rehearsed repertoire of disruption and anti-social behaviour that they use to maintain a sense of control over their immediate circumstances. Staff aim to look beyond behaviour to meet the social, emotional and other needs, build trust and understanding and allow pupils to gain confidence and self worth. This may be in the form of very small steps in the right direction or could be the recognition that great work can be achieved and that it is alright to make mistakes and learn from them.
It is school policy, wherever possible, to work in partnership with parents, guardians and carers to provide consistent boundaries. Parents are consulted about and informed of school decisions and policies on behaviour and discipline. We also promote a high level of communication and interaction with parents pupils.
Larwood School aims to create an environment in which children and staff feel safe, secure and happy. We have a Behaviour Management Policy that encourages everyone to treat each other with respect and kindness. The school has an Anti-Bullying policy that positively promotes non-bullying behaviour. This policy is regularly updated and is available for parents/carers to see on request.
Bullying is taken seriously by all staff and pupils have regular information regarding what forms it may take, what to do if it may happen (in school and out of school) and how other people can help. The context of society is also discussed with particular reference to digital devices and the use ICT.
Our website has its own devoted section for pupils to learn about ‘staying safe online’ using a variety of situations and with safeguarding very much in mind.
Rewarding Positive Behaviour
Whenever pupils display appropriate social behaviour, positive effort and achievement, they can expect that this will be recognised and acknowledged. Pupils will be rewarded through praise and encouragement, smiles and gestures of approval, as well as the award of points through the rewards/points system.
Up to 20 points are available to be earned each day. Points are allocated across the lesson periods, playtimes and lunchtime. Points gained are recorded daily and if children earn 65 or more out of the 100 available, they will earn the opportunity to take part in an activity of their choice during activities on a Friday afternoon. For a small group of students who behave consistently and work well with others, they may be able to come off the points system. To access this reward, pupils will need to have achieved at least 90 points for six weeks in a row. Members of the Senior Leadership Team will then discuss whether it is appropriate for that student to come off points. If they do they will receive an automatic 100 points every week (subject to monitoring), access to the top of the range activities on a Friday and entry into a half-termly raffle draw with prizes! For consistently earning high levels of points, pupils may become part of the ‘black shirt’ programme in years 5/6 or the ‘sunshine kids’ programme in years 3/4, or ‘blue shirt’ programme for year 2.
We also run regular end of term trips, award House Points and run a separate competition for this, as well as award a weekly nomination for politeness and kindness.
Friday afternoon activities include:
Football, Rugby, Cricket, Gymnastics, 360 Play, Bowling, High & Low Ropes, Athletics, Sailing, Canoeing, Climbing, Adventure Playground, Cycling, Hall Games, Pet Club, Music, Cookery, Computers, iPads, Laser Planet, Skiing/Rubber Ringing, Arts, Beauty Club, Crafts, and Dance.
Staff implement the system in an age appropriate way and aim to consistently respond to pupil behaviour across the school and residential day. A parallel system operates for residential pupils in care time.
In the first instance, inappropriate or negative behaviour results in the withdrawal of adult attention, praise and the non-earning of points. Pupils earning 64 points or less out of 100 will join a reflection club instead of enjoying activities on a Friday afternoon.
At times, inappropriate behaviour will result in the withdrawal of certain privileges and free time. Pupils may experience short periods of ‘time away’ within or outside the group and extra tasks or reparation may be required. Points, once earned, cannot be taken away.
Internal exclusion from everyday routines or exclusion from school is, on occasions, used to underline the seriousness of certain behaviour. Exclusion also shows other pupils that certain actions will not be accepted.
Parents are required to attend a re-inclusion meeting with their child following any school exclusion.
The school ethos is clear. Many pupils coming to Larwood School have previously behaved poorly, have low self esteem and experienced difficult times. Larwood aims to reinforce all positive behaviours and to help the pupils to change through consistent management and positive reinforcement. Pupils may learn a new repertoire of skills and behaviours that they may find more attractive and rewarding.
Behaviour Expectations (Individual classes may have a variation on this)
1. Be kind and gentle to each other - WE ARE A TEAM!
2. Listen to the person who is speaking
3. Follow instructions
4. Put your hand up and wait your turn
5. Pupils are expected to learn to take responsibility for their own actions.
All pupils have access to a broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant curriculum that includes full National Curriculum entitlement. Class sizes are kept small, enabling individual targets to be drawn up in order to monitor progress.
Personal, as well as academic, skills are nurtured to encourage the development of increasingly confident and well-adjusted young people.
All pupils at Larwood School have a Local Education Authority Statement of Special Educational Needs (Or Education Health Care Plan), but it would only be in exceptional circumstances that a pupil would be excluded from full National Curriculum entitlement.
Religious Education, based on the Hertfordshire framework, is taught across the school. The school has a statutory responsibility to lead the pupils in collective worship each day. This act of worship takes a range of forms but is broadly Christian. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of Religious Education and/or religious worship. Any parents who wish to discuss this would be encouraged to contact the school.
The school assembly offers pupils the opportunity to celebrate achievements, events and special occasions together. It will often have a spiritual or moral focus whilst on other occasions; a class will share aspects of their work with the rest of the school. At Friday’s assembly, we share and celebrate pupils’ achievements over the school week.
Sporting aims and provision are discussed under ‘Out of School Activities’ Section.
Personal, health, social and sex education
The school will work to ensure equal opportunity for all pupils and will strive to maximise educational, emotional and social growth, helping each pupil to achieve their full potential.
In doing so, the following values are promoted and encouraged:
1. Respect for self.
2. Respect and consideration for others.
3. Responsibility for one’s own actions.
We aim to provide the knowledge and information to which all pupils are entitled: -
- To provide an understanding that positive, caring environments are essential for the development of healthy self-esteem and self image.
- To provide an understanding that individuals are responsible for their own bodies.
- To encourage sensitivity in pupils and develop an awareness of differing perspectives in a culturally diverse society.
- To present facts in an objective, balanced and sensible manner.
- To create a trusting environment where issues can be discussed openly without fear of criticism.
- To provide knowledge about the process of reproduction and the nature of sexuality and relationships.
As a caring school community, we recognise the importance of Sex Education for our pupils, believing that their particular needs make them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation in relationships. We will work to develop pupil skills to counter this. All aspects of school life are designed to empower the pupils through the building of confidence and self esteem.
Larwood School believes that all pupils are entitled to a comprehensive, well-planned programme of education and is committed to the provision of a broad and balanced educational experience that ensures equality of opportunity. Sex Education is taught within this context. However, parents have a right to withdraw their child from this part of the P.S.H.E. curriculum.
Medical Health Issues
The school doctor visits the school on a Monday evening, if required. When available, regular checks are made of hearing, eyesight and teeth. Routine inoculations are offered to all pupils at the appropriate age.
Accident or Illness at School
Parents/carers are asked to provide telephone numbers where they, a friend, or relative may be contacted should their child become ill at school and need to be sent home.
Pupils occasionally injure themselves, requiring hospital attention. If parents/carers can be contacted by telephone and have a car, they will be asked to transport their child to hospital. Otherwise, school staff will take the pupil to the hospital and meet parents/carers there, if at all possible.
On completion of the appropriate form (available from the school office) certain prescribed medicines can be given to pupils at school. School staff do not administer intimate medical procedures. Oral medication only is administered.
Staff do not administer medicine because parents forget to do so. It is always part of a planned and agreed approach between school and parents and in the best interests of the young person concerned.
The school operates a “No Smoking” policy. Governors, parents, carers, staff and visitors are asked to refrain from smoking on the school site.
Partnership with parents/carers
There are many ways in which we try to achieve close and co-operative relationships between school and home. We welcome the interest of parents/carers and their visits to the school. To support this very important objective, a full time Family Support Worker is employed.
The school is keen that parents/carers meet the staff working with their child at the beginning of the new academic year, and to that end, a parents’ evening is held. We welcome parents and carers who may wish to make a formal appointment at other times to discuss issues of concern or interest. In addition, regular telephone contact and the use of a home/school contact book is valuable to all parties and we actively encourage parents/carers to make entries in these books about any concerns and to share information about the home, including special family events, outings and holidays.
From time to time, parents are invited to other events at school such as assemblies, productions, sports day etc.
We maintain and promote partnership by:
Meet the teacher event in September
Subject based parents evening in November
Annual reviews usually during March/April
A written summative report in July
A home school communication book
Regular phone calls
Other meetings with colleagues to aid progression and well being
A dedicated Year 5 transition evening with secondary Headteachers present
Annual Reviews (Moving to Education Health Care Plans)
Each child’s progress is formally reviewed on an annual basis. For the purpose of this review, the school produces a written report and the views of parents, carers and other involved parties are sought. Parents and relevant professionals are invited to the Review Meeting and it is important that every effort is made to attend as decisions often need to be made about future plans. Decisions will be made for the future and specific targets set for the purpose of monitoring progress over the coming months.
It is Larwood School’s intention to develop attitudes and ways of behaving which respect individuals regardless of their ability, colour, culture, gender or social circumstances. The school is unequivocally opposed to any form of discrimination and it seeks to form a partnership with pupils, staff, governors, parents and carers to combat ignorance and prejudicial attitudes both in school and in the Community as a whole.
The school works in partnership with parents to support children in every way possible.
However, Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2015) requires all schools to follow procedures for protecting children from abuse. Such guidance places a clear responsibility on schools to ensure that they work together, with other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. This responsibility necessitates a Child Protection Policy and Procedures and the school may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies (e.g. Social Services) when there are concerns about a child's welfare.
It may be helpful to know that the Authority requires the Head Teacher to report any obvious or suspected case of child abuse to Social Services including non-accidental injury, severe physical neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.
This procedure is intended to protect children at risk and schools are encouraged to take the attitude that where there are grounds for suspicion, it is better to be safe than sorry. This does mean that the Head Teacher may run the risk of upsetting some parents by reporting a case that, on investigation, proves unfounded. In these circumstances, it is hoped that parents/carers, appreciating how difficult it is for the Head Teacher to carry out this sensitive responsibility, would accept that he/she was acting in what was believed to be in the best interests of the child.
Larwood School has a range of policies which are designed to inform staff practice and ensure safeguarding for all involved. Our Child Protection Policy is an example of this and alongside other policies is available on our school website. (www.larwood.herts.sch.uk-‘about us’ and in section marked as Policies)
Bianca Osobu (Assistant Headteacher) is the designated Senior Person for Child Protection. She will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns parents/carers may have about Child Protection Policies and Practice.
Out of school activities
The school offers a range of activities, visits, trips and educational journeys as part of the whole school curriculum. Such activities contribute to the individual targets set for pupils and the teaching of the National Curriculum. They also give breadth and depth to the learning of pupils.
The Governing Body has undertaken to ensure that the pupils are offered, and engage in, a wide variety of sporting activities. Traditional competitive games and Outdoor Adventurous activities take place during lessons. Music, the arts and creativity are all key areas of life at Larwood. Larwood staff take many of these activities but we also make use of experienced and qualified external coaches. In such cases they are subject to normal qualification and barring checks as part of our safeguarding processes.
Charging Policy – The Governors have a simple charging policy which asks parents for contributions to various activities which the school plans. Contributions are entirely voluntary and no pupil will be excluded from an activity if parents are unable to contribute. The school will make every effort to provide appropriate activities from its delegated budget. However, the range and amount of activities is increased by voluntary contributions. Parents will be informed in writing with regard to each activity.
Change of Address and Contact Telephone Numbers
Parents/carers are asked to inform the school immediately of any change of address and telephone number, particularly mobile telephone numbers.
The school maintains a framework of time events in order to provide a secure structure for every day: -
9.00 am Pupils arrive
9.00 am Assembly for all pupils on Monday/Wednesday and Friday. Tues/Thursday - pupils have extra reading.
9.15 am First lesson
10.00 am 5 minute break
10.50 am End of second lesson
11.00 am End of fruit and news break
11.45 am End of lesson three
Half of school to lunch/other half to play
12.45 pm End of lunch/play
1.00 pm End of reading/start of lesson four
1.45 pm End of lesson four/start of lesson 5
2.30 pm Playtime
2.50 pm Tutor/reading time
3.20 pm Pupils go home
9.00 am Rewards assembly
12.15 pm Lunch
12.45 pm Reward afternoon/classwork
2.20 pm Pupils to dining hall and depart
Personal belongings and valuables
It is each child’s responsibility to look after their own belongings as staff can only take as much care as is practicable.
We do, on occasions, allow children to bring in toys, but only after this has been agreed between parents and school. We do not allow ‘swapping’ or ‘giving away’. Although every attempt is made to keep articles in good condition, we cannot be held responsible for them. It would be better if items of value were left at home to be enjoyed during the holidays.
For reasons of safety, pupils are not allowed to wear any of the following items:
- FINGER RINGS
- EARRINGS OR STUDS
To avoid disruption to the children’s education and the possibility of being picked on, the school asks that parents avoid allowing their children to have high fashion haircuts involving sculptured razoring. Children with long hair will be required to have this tied back during the school day and for certain activities for Health and Safety reasons.
All pupils at Larwood School wear school uniform. The uniform consists of a school sweatshirt, which is purchased from the school office, a white or grey polo shirt and grey or black trousers, skirt or knee length shorts. Red and white check summer dresses for girls.
Trainers or school shoes may be worn to school. Inside school, plimsolls will be worn at all times. Parents may provide plimsolls; alternatively the school will issue them.
School PE Kit is provided for a small charge and is laundered in school. Swimming trunks/costumes should be brought in when required. A pair of jogging/slack
Bottoms and trainers to be left in school for outdoor PE.
The school provides riding boots.
Concerns about school
If parents/carers or other parties have concerns about any school matter, they should communicate with the school straight away. Small problems can often be resolved quickly if communication between school and others is good.
We hope that parents/carers will, in the first instance, discuss any worries with the staff concerned. The Family Support Worker is a contact between parents/carers, Social Services and the school. If you are not satisfied, please contact the Deputy Head teacher or Head teacher.
If no satisfaction is gained from informal discussions, the procedure for formal complaints is described in our Complaints policy which is available on our website.
Full copies of Policies referred to in this brochure can be seen or sent to parents on request.
Regular attendance is important if pupils are to benefit from the full range of educational opportunities on offer at Larwood School. It is very important that pupils get into, and maintain, a pattern and routine of attendance in order to support learning and good behaviour. Consistent management of pupils is supported by regular attendance. Pupils should only be kept away from school for genuine reasons. If pupils are kept off, or have appointments coming up, parents/carers are to inform the school. The school, as a matter of routine, asks for explanations for all absences.
Parents/carers are requested to telephone the school on the first day of a pupil’s absence and send in a letter when the pupil returns.
Parents/Carers are requested to take annual holidays during school holidays. Request for holidays during term-time will be declined. Where parents decide to take holidays regardless, the appropriate form must be completed. The school will record all such occasions as unauthorised absence and the local authority Attendance Officer may also become involved
Please note that this prospectus provides a snapshot of what is on offer and provided at Larwood School. We are constantly evolving and adapting our practice and therefore systems and procedures noted here may change at any given time.