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Orchard Park High School


Orchard Park High School provides support for students with a wide range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

At Orchard Park High School, we recognise the importance of developing a 'learning triangle' between the school, students and their parents/carers, we meet with the parent/carer and young people at least three times a year, to ensure that all support plans and interventions are co-produced between family, school and professionals involved with our young people.

All students have an entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. We believe that all students with additional needs should be taught wherever possible, with their peers in mainstream classes by subject specialists who use a range of teaching methods and strategies to develop students' knowledge, skills and understanding. 

SEND Identification Process

  • It is really easy for a teacher to submit a SEND referral form via Google Form on the OPHS Intranet or desktop. Teachers are kept informed by the SEND team with updates following each referral.
  • Quality of information about our SEND students
  • Edukey is has well-presented, useful and relevant information for class teachers - I particularly like the bit about student interests, it can often help to 'crack' a vulnerable student to engage in lesson
  • Monday briefings are useful so that all staff have access to consistent best practices.  The SEND snapshots are really useful to help me develop my understanding of specific areas of need, such as ADHD and ASD.
  • NGRT/SAS scores are helpful pieces of the jigsaw for staff to know how to effectively plan for ability/need.  

A day in the life of a SEND student 

We can’t describe a typical day in the SEND department of OPHS as no two days are ever the same, however, one thing that never changes is the constant hum of activity.

From 8:20am every morning our ELP offers our students a quiet, safe place to begin their day. They can check in with a TA to collect their equipment and get extra support with any outstanding homework. 

All students including our SEND students have access to the Orchard Park High School breakfast provision in the restaurant. A small group of students with social, emotional and mental health needs have access to our ‘STAR’ provision which provides a structured and nurturing start to each day, for those students who struggle in the roll call.

Throughout the day our students receive in-class subject support and interventions from our specialist team as well as outside agencies. From SEMH counsellors to Speech & Language therapists, the varied support offered to our students has a compassionate, respectful and personalised child-centred approach.

Literacy Provision 

The Literacy curriculum at OPHS focuses on improving reading skills for all students who require additional support with regards to their reading abilities and skills. Students improve their skills by revisiting phonics in a Greenshaw Learning Trust designed programme suitable for older learners; practice their comprehension skills through History texts relevant to the KS3 History Curriculum ensuring students still acquire History knowledge whilst focussing on their learning needs and goals; and have small group DEAR Reading at the end of each day-providing a calm relaxing end to their day while improving students reading fluency and vocabulary. Altogether, these carefully planned provisions support students to develop their Literacy skills and become budding readers.

Maths Provision

Interventions in Maths can vary widely but all have the same goal: building students’ knowledge and skills so that their access to the curriculum is improved and becomes closer to that of their age-related peers. The support offered can be to individual students or to small groups with bespoke sessions ranging from improving basic numeracy skills, through to filling knowledge or skill gaps and improving knowledge or proficiency in specific topics. We make use of manipulatives to aid progress with this and move through to pictorial, then abstract methods, whilst providing opportunities for practice and over-learning.  We match the approach, methods and style of explanations used in the classroom to achieve consistent interventions, allowing consolidation of learning and the building of student confidence.
Last, but not least, we provide in-class support, giving timely and appropriate help to those who need it most and, in general, to the rest of the class.  In-class support is also seen as critical to the success of interventions as exposure to classroom teaching allows us to achieve the desired consistency needed for that success.