The SENCO at The Acorns School is Stephanie Heaton. She can be contacted on 01695 575486 or via email to

FIND newsletters for parents and carers


We offer an enriching, educational environment for pupils who have experienced difficulties in school. In our school pupils are accepted, valued and feel safe. We assess pastoral and learning needs and plan for progress. We give time to pupils. This is so they can reflect on and reassess their difficulties, build self-esteem and develop meaningful relationships. 

We provide a broad and balanced curriculum designed to capture pupils’ interests and prepare them for life. We aim to improve each pupil’s academic performance, ability to learn and social and emotional skills so that pupils are able to return to school, further education or enter the world of work. 



How we identify special educational learning needs as a school and how we seek the views, opinions and voice of pupils and their parents in planning to meet them. 

  • Prior information from primary schools/transition information.  

  • Information from parents at admissions 

  • Baseline assessment in maths, English and Biology when admitted to school .  

  • CATS4, dyslexia and dyscalculia screening, reading and spelling ages, Social, emotional wellbeing assessment. 

  • Wrat tests 

  • Educational Psychologist assessments. 

  • Information from Camhs. 

  • Staff and/or parent concerns.  

  • All teachers are teachers of SEND and provide Quality First Teaching in the first instance, as detailed in the SEND code of practice 2015. School follows the graduated approach using the Assess Plan Do Review cycle. 


What extra support we bring in to help us meet SEND: specialist services, external expertise and how we work together. For example health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations 


  • A team of Keyworkers also support individual pupils across the school.  

  • Local authority services, including educational psychologists, SEN Case workers 

  • A team of key workers assigned to specific students.  

  • Close collaborative work with outside agencies/local authority.  

  • Health services including CAMHS and a school nurse.  

  • Systems for contact with social care where appropriate. 

  • School counsellor. 

  • Elsa sessions 



How we provide access to a supportive environment; ICT facilities/equipment/ resources/facilities etc. 


  • Access to ICT resources, including laptops and ipads 

  • Differentiated resources such as overlays, coloured paper, large text 

  • 5 point plans to regulate emotions 

  • Safeguarding team for pupil drop-in 



What strategies/programmes/resources are used to support pupils with autism and social communication difficulties? 


  • ELKLAN  

  • Social Stories/Comic Strip conversations  

  • Visual timetables  

  • In-class support from Keyworkers to support strategies and interventions in class including visual supports. 


Strategies to support the development of literacy (reading /writing). 

  • Quality first teaching and focus groups 

  • Reading and spelling tests to identify initial level 

  • Intensive reading strategies targeting literacy needs. 

  • Focused reading lessons for targeted year groups. 

  • Targeted reading intervention. 

  • Keyworkers providing 1 to 1 support when appropriate. 


Strategies to support the development of Numeracy. 


  • Quality first teaching and focus groups. 

  • Keyworkers providing 1 to 1 support when appropriate. 

  • Targeted intervention sessions when needed. 


How we adapt the curriculum and modify teaching approaches to meet SEND and facilitate access. 


  • Keyworkers providing support in-class and withdrawal when appropriate.  

  •  Provision of tailored SEN Support Plans for identified pupils.  

  • Provision of Personal Education Plans. 

  • Implementation of strategies as suggested by external agencies.  

  • Personalised curriculums to meet individual needs. 


How we support pupils in their transition into our school and when they leave us and in preparing for adulthood. 


  • Mock interviews for college courses are conducted for identified vulnerable pupils for moving on to college and apprenticeships. 

  • A hand-over process is engaged in for vulnerable pupils.  

  • Regular meetings with parents.  

  • Supported college visits are conducted to ease the transition into a post-16 environment. 

  • Work experience placements are tailored to individual pupils. 

  • Visits to school from colleges and apprenticeship employers. 

  • Apprentice UK work with students to register for the database. 


How additional funding for SEND is used within the school with individual pupils 


  • Schools receive funding for all students including those with special educational needs and disabilities and they meet students’ needs through this (including additional support and equipment, alternative provision where necessary). The local authority may contribute if the cost of meeting an individual’s needs are significant.  

  • Variety of interventions and in class support to deliver strategies as detailed in Education, Health and Care Plans.  

  • The provision of in-class support.  

  • For the development and delivery of personalised timetables to meet pupils’ individual needs. 

  •  For one-to-one sessions when deemed appropriate. 



Looked After and Previously Looked After Children at The Acorns School  

The Children Act (2004) places a duty to safeguard children in care, to promote their educational achievement and to ensure each child can achieve and reach their full potential. The collective responsibility of Local Authorities and schools to achieve this are set out under six principles:  

 ✓ Prioritising Education   

✓ Maintaining high expectations and aspirations   

✓ Inclusion – changing and challenging attitudes   

✓ Achieving continuity and stability   

✓ Early intervention and priority action   

✓ Listening to the child’s voice at all stages of care and education planning  

The Acorns School, believes that in partnership with Lancashire County Council, we have a special duty as Corporate Parents to safeguard and promote the education of looked-after (LAC) and previously looked-after (PLAC) children.  

Our Aim is to provide a safe and secure environment, where education is valued and where the belief in the abilities and potential of all children to achieve is at the heart of our work together; to give our looked after children and previously looked after children access to every opportunity to achieve to their full potential and for them to enjoy learning; to fulfil our schools’ role as corporate parents; to promote and support the education of our looked-after and previously looked-after children, by championing their needs for them to achieve and reach their full potential.  

Our Designated Teacher (DT) for looked-after and previously looked-after children who will act as their advocate and will co-ordinate support for them within The Acorns School is: Mrs Cathryn Woodhall  

Our nominated school governor for looked-after and previously looked-after children who will ensure that they are prioritised at a school management level and who also supports the Designated Teacher (DT) in their role as advocate and educational champion, is Mrs B Harrison.



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