Local care and services to help you choose the right care and support.
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Critchill School is a small school that provides a calm and aspirational learning environment that delivers excellent education and support for around 50 pupils with severe and complex learning needs from Reception age children (4/5 years) right through to 19 years. All of our pupils have a statement of educational needs or EHCP and therefore our school has a wide range of different abilities. Most of our pupils live in the Mendip area.
Each pupil’s needs are carefully and sensitively met and all our pupils are fully included in the well- developed curriculum that we offer here at Critchill.
By using information from your Childs statement or EHCP, your child will be able to access a wide range of specialist provision and support, which may include play therapy, art therapy and speech and language therapy or be offered cycle maintenance, animal husbandry or take part in group work i.e Forest School to enrich their learning opportunities.
We actively use Communicate in Print and Somerset Total Communication (STC) and we also use TEACCH strategies and interventions where appropriate.
We have an established transition programme and support those who are accessing our school for the first time with our Inclusion Team. We also give advice to mainstream schools. We have an extensive team here at Critchill who will support you as a family. They are:
Mr Mark Armstrong - Head Teacher
He is responsible for the day to day running of the school. Although the whole school team are responsible for making sure that your child’s needs are met, he makes sure that everyone works together. He is also makes sure that all the governors are kept up to date with all SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) issues.
Miss Sophie Addison – Deputy Head Teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)
She will advise and ensure that the school will meet your child’s educational needs not just by following the statement or EHCP but also by identifying, assessing, planning, monitoring, managing and supporting all aspects of SEN. She also co-ordinates all the specialised support for your child like Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, music therapy and drama/play therapy etc.
Mrs Emma West - Lower School Lead
She is responsible for working with Mark Armstrong and Sophie Addison in overseeing the Primary Provision (4 – 11 years).
Mrs Jane Haines - Post 16 Co-Ordinator
She is responsible for working with Mark Armstrong and Sophie Addison in making sure that Post 16 curriculum is equally as engaging.
Parent Family Support Advisor - Cleo Donaldson
If you feel that you cannot speak to the above people, you can speak to our PFSA. Who acts as a mediator and can speak to you about any concerns that you may have. Together they are responsible for making sure that the right support is in place for your child, by working with the SENCo and the teaching staff and you as parents/carers. This is done by making sure that you are kept informed about what support your child is getting, that you are being kept informed by the class teacher, being involved with the progress your child is making and also having a say in how we plan in the future.
We also actively encourage you to work with any other service providers that may come into school to work with your child. They may include people like, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists to name a few, but don’t panic, we will support you if you need it.
We also provide specialist support to our teachers and support staff to make sure that everyone achieves the best outcome.
The Class Teachers
They are all responsible for writing and planning for out your child’s Personal Learning Intention Map (PLIM) which reflect the key priorities for your child’s learning.
They will also look at the targets set out on your child’s PLIM with you and your child regularly, at least 3 times per year. Teachers use your child’s PLIM to plan lessons, so that they can get the best from your child, by building on what your child already knows and also by providing for your child’s individual needs. This way they can deliver the best quality learning environment so your child can flourish. The Teachers will make sure that all support staff (TA’s) are kept up to date with anything that would affect your child, which allows them to plan the lessons appropriately. Our Teaching Assistants (TA’s) work with our teachers to be able to work with your child individually or as part of a group.
Funding When a placement is made at Critchill School, the Local Authority (LA) agree how much support the pupils require financially. This is done by looking at your child’s. Every year the school and the LA meet to go through an audit of need, where financial support can be raised if there is more need or it can fall if the need is not there anymore.
Support and Concerns
Here at Critchill, we know that communication is key in having a good relationship between the school and your child. There are three evenings a year where you will receive a progress report about your child. We have an open door policy in our school should you have any queries about your child we will always discuss changes in the level support your child may receive. Should you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of our team and we will endeavour to talk through any problems that you may have.
We also offer a pack to parents who are thinking of sending their child to Critchill. It includes more in depth information about how our school works in regards to tracking the progress that your child will make and also about the wonderful services that we provide.
We have a Learning Support Centre on site which creates resources for pupils and schools, but also lends equipment, books and topic packs, which are available to parents and SEN pupils across county.