‘Pupils are impeccably behaved in lessons and around the school. They are polite to one another, to staff and to visitors. Pupils are proud of their school and they want to make the very best of themselves to maintain its reputation.’
— Ofsted, 2020
Wilson’s is a friendly and caring school and new pupils settle in quickly. We work hard at ensuring that the transition into Year 7 is a positive experience via an extensive induction programme to help new pupils feel at home. Year 7 and 8 pupils have their own building (the Lower School), which contains its own Dining Hall (the McAlister Room) and purpose-built Music Room.
What is distinctive about pastoral care at Wilson’s?
All schools recognise the importance of pupil welfare, but at Wilson’s we dedicate significant staff development time and resources to this aspect of school life:
- Each form in Years 7-11 has two tutors to monitor the welfare and progress of the students in their care. The primary responsibility of the tutor is to promote respect, responsibility and resilience while maintaining an overview of the wellbeing and academic progress of the boys and communicating closely with the Head of Year.
- The Head of Year has overall responsibility for each year group, both pastorally and academically – he or she is the single point of contact for parents of boys in that year group, directing queries to colleagues most able to help.
- Our Pupil Support Managers work alongside the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to coordinate one-to-one mentoring for pupils when necessary.
- Our Praise Policy promotes a ‘growth mindset’ and we strive to reward hard-won achievement, resilience, reflection and independence, kindness and thoughtfulness to other students, service to the school and the community, and collective endeavour. We use praise as a strategic tool to boost the happiness and wellbeing of pupils.
- In addition to the ‘core themes’ (Health, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World) our PSHE programmes include units on happiness and wellbeing, drawing on the most recent research into these areas.
- For more specialised support, the school employs a counsellor and also a clinical psychologist. Our school nurse provides a weekly drop-in; the school makes use of further external agencies and services (e.g. educational psychologist) when necessary.
- For Sixth Formers, all of the above support is available and we also subscribe to DISCOVER, an innovative school-based workshop programme for 16 to 18s who experience anxiety, low mood and stress. The scheme won the Guardian Public Health award in 2018.
The friendly, purposeful atmosphere at Wilson's is underpinned by high expectations of personal conduct and appearance. Our aim is to encourage a self-disciplined, kind and considerate approach in every aspect of school life to enable boys to become gentlemen. We consider the personal development of our students to be a responsibility of all staff in the school, from senior managers and teachers to support and administrative staff.
SEN and DisabilitiesSutton Local Authority’s “Local Offer” is published at: http://localoffer.sutton.gov.uk/
Wilson’s School’s Special Educational Needs Policy can be downloaded here.
The SENCO at Wilson’s School is Tom Gore who can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pupil Support Managers are:
- Key Stage 3: Virginie Renaut
- Key Stage 4: Kathryn Schofield
- Key Stage 5: Megan Fairbrother
The SEN Governor is Lynne Smithard.
The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
There are four broad categories of need described in the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and Wilson’s is able to make provision for each of these:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, mental and emotional health
- Sensory and/or physical
Information and Guidance: Points of Contact
- Governing Body and SEN Governor: The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring high quality policy and provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs. The SEN Governor meets the SENCO regularly to support the evaluation of SEN provision in the school.
- Head and Senior Leadership Team: Responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the progress of all pupils and for making strategic decisions which will maximise their opportunity to learn lies with the Head and the Senior Leadership Team. The SENCO is not a member of SLT, however the SENCO regularly liaises with a member of SLT to ensure that SEND matters are discussed regularly at SLT meetings.
- SENCO: The school’s SENCO has overall responsibility for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (as defined in the 2015 SEN Code of Practice), including identification and coordination of provision. The SENCO will liaises with, advises and manages training for teaching staff relating to pupils with SEND and their needs, ensuring that individual plans written for pupils are put into practice. The SENCO is responsible for annual reviews and other key meetings about pupils with SEN. The SENCO manages the referral procedures to the Local Authority to request High Needs funding and/or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) when it is suspected that a pupil may have SEND which will require significant support. The SENCO is responsible for the evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of all additional interventions for pupils with SEND. The SENCO is responsible for liaising with other agencies and professions when necessary to support a pupil with SEND.
- Directors of Key Stage and Heads of Year: At Wilson’s the relevant Head of Year is normally the first point of contact for a parent wishing to discuss any concerns relating to their son. They have overall responsibility for monitoring the academic progress and wellbeing of pupils. They also liaise with teachers and other staff (including the SENCO) about any interventions that may be required. Occasionally, the Head of Year may recommend direct contact with the form tutor, who has day-to-day contact with your son.
- Class teachers: the role of the class teacher is to monitor the progress of each pupil and liaise proactively with the Head of Year and/or SENCO about the additional needs of particular pupils. Lesson planning by classroom teachers must take account of the individual needs of pupils with SEND and to demonstrate high expectations and sensitivity towards these pupils; ensuring there is adequate opportunity for SEND pupils to working on agreed targets which are genuinely additional to or different from those normally provided as part of the differentiated curriculum offer and strategies”. (SEN Code of Practice 2015)
- Designated Safeguarding Lead: The DSL is a vital point of contact whenever there is any concern about the welfare of a child.
Assessment, Planning and Review
- The school has very rigorous tracking procedures to monitor the progress of pupils. Where there is a concern that a pupil may not be making good or exceptional progress as a result of previously unidentified Special Educational Needs, London Borough of Sutton’s Graduated Support for Special Educational Needs is consulted to determine the type and severity of need. Data suggesting that a pupil is not making above expected progress may trigger an application for Education Health and Care Plan assessment.
- Assessment and progress data about pupils with Special Educational Needs is subject to extra scrutiny on a termly basis by classroom teachers, Heads of Department, Heads of Year and the SENCO. Any concerns about progress are recorded and collated and may lead to additional review meetings.
- Parents receive a termly report on their son’s progress, giving information about the assessments that their son has completed and the GCSE grade he is working towards, as well as indicating whether his current progress is a cause for concern.
- Parents of pupils with Special Educational Needs are likely to be updated on their son’s progress more regularly than this – particularly if their son is not meeting expectations in one or more subject areas. This may involve formal meetings in school with the Head of Year or SENCO. Pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan have a full, formal annual review of their progress.
- Any additional support that is made available to pupils with SEN is documented and evaluated regularly in conjunction with classroom teachers, the Head of Year and pupil support mentor (if appropriate).
- It may be appropriate to involve external agencies in providing additional guidance and support, for example the Educational Psychology Service or CAMHS and the school does this when necessary.
- We believe that listening to the voices of our pupils at Wilson’s is crucial if we are to provide the best possible school experience for them. As well as the school’s many structured opportunities for Pupil Voice, pupils with SEND are given opportunities to share their views during review meetings. One of the main purposes of the Pupil Support meetings is to listen to pupils and pass on a record of their views to other colleagues.
Curriculum and Teaching Methods (including groupings / interventions)
- Teaching at Wilson’s secures outstanding outcomes for pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs. The school’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Criteria give full details of the expectations for classroom teaching at Wilson’s.
- At Wilson’s, teachers’ planning for lessons is based around the prior attainment of individuals and groups within the class – this includes individual pupils with SEN. The link to the list of pupils with SEN is sent at least termly to every member of teaching staff. The list can be amended by the SENCO at any time, but review of the list is a standing item at meetings of the Directors of Key Stage. We also place on the same list students who do not meet the threshold for Special Educational Needs, but who we feel may require monitoring and additional guidance within their lessons.
- Information about each student with Special Educational Needs is contained within an electronic folder accessible to all staff. This contains details of their condition or needs as well as records of meetings (where appropriate) and an up to date record containing details of actions and relevant advice. Our approach is very simple: we identify the potential barriers to progress and then how these are to be overcome in the classroom environment and around school.
- Pupils with SEN may have objectives set for them within lessons that are ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ those normally provided as part of the differentiated curriculum offer and strategies (SEN Code of Practice, 2015). In practice, this may mean that teachers may anticipate and encourage different outcomes from pupils who are working with the same lesson content. Some pupils may also have access to different resources (e.g. extension or support).
- We use setting extensively at Wilson’s to ensure that lessons are tailored to the abilities of students. Furthermore, within many lessons seating plans are used and groups carefully selected to enhance the progress of individual students. This may, for example, allow a pupil to play a specific role within group work.
- In some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide additional adult support within individual lessons or across the curriculum. We are able to make this provision at Wilson’s. Where we do so, it is with the intention in bringing about improved independence on the part of the pupil.
- Some pupils meet regularly with a member of teaching staff to review academic progress. We call these ‘pupil support meetings’ and they may be used to provide additional guidance to teaching staff on the curriculum and teaching methods.
Tests and Examinations: Access Arrangements
- The SENCO and Exams Officer are responsible for the administration of Access Arrangements for examinations.
- Where there is a concern that a student may not be able to gain equal access to an examination, the SENCO makes arrangements for screening or a diagnostic/specialist assessment as appropriate. This may involve a specialist professional (e.g. educational psychologist). If parents have secured such an assessment themselves, the SENCO will meet them to discuss its recommendations.
- The JCQ criteria are always used in decision-making about Access Arrangements. Parents are kept informed about the procedures and progress of an application for Access Arrangements when necessary. Access Arrangements are also made available to pupils with medical needs when necessary.
- When a decision about Access Arrangements is made, these details are added to the SEN/Monitoring list and distributed to all staff so that they can become part of a child’s normal way of working in the classroom and internal examination environment.
Social and Emotional Support
- Pastoral care is of fundamental importance at Wilson’s, which is a friendly and caring school. Class teachers, form tutors and Heads of Year are especially vigilant about the social integration of pupils with SEN. The Planner used by students is an essential part of the home-school communication. On occasion, additional visual prompts are made available for students who require them (e.g. a ‘What do I have? What do I need?’ card) to reduce the risk of damaged relationships with peers or teaching staff.
- The school is a safe place at break and lunch times. Members of staff are on duty in all parts of the school and the Senior Leadership Team routinely walk through the whole school site during these times. Senior Staff are also highly visible before and after school (including at the bus stops). There is an extensive extra-curricular programme (including lunchtime and after school), which strongly enhances the school experience for many students (including those with SEN) and boosts opportunities for structured social interaction. The Library is open after school for pupils who wish to work in a quiet, safe environment.
- The school nurse operates a drop-in which is available to all students in the school. Appointments can also be made. The school also employs a counsellor who is available to any pupil who wishes to express and clarify any distress that may be affecting his life and then support him in making changes
- When appropriate, we may request that our school-attached educational psychologist works with a pupil to improve their social skills and/or enhance their self-esteem within and beyond the educational context.
- Specialist support (e.g. CAMHS or Speech, Language and Communication support) is engaged when necessary.
Accessibility to Premises and Facilities
- No student is ever prevented from physically accessing the location of any lesson at Wilson’s. The school fulfils all duties under the Equality Act 2010. We are always happy to discuss the individual accessibility requirements of pupils, parents or any visitor to the school.
- Due to the age and composition of the main school building (constructed in 1975), there is no wheelchair access to the first and second floor.
- The Foundation Building (constructed in 2005) has a lift, which gives access to all rooms.
- The new Lower School building has been constructed with an adjoining walkway which enables wheelchair access to the first floor via the lift in the Foundation Building.
- Wheelchair access is available to all rooms on the ground floor throughout the school. When necessary, a timetable will be rewritten to ensure that all classes for a student who is unable to use the stairs are on the ground floor.
- You can read our Accessibility Plan here.
Working with others
- The school works with all of the following services on a regular basis:
- Educational Psychology Service (Sutton: 020 8770 6780)
- School Nurse (Jean Crate, contact the school on 020 8773 2931)
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Sutton: 020 3513 3800)
- Children’s Social Care in a range of local authorities (Sutton MASH: 020 8649 0418)
- When necessary, the school may also consult or refer to a range of other local services (e.g. the Autism Spectrum Disorder Service or the SEN team). Contact details are available from the school.
- When a referral is made to any of these services, parents will usually be informed. Please see the school website.
- In accordance with the school’s admission criteria places are generally offered to pupils in the rank order of the standardised score achieved in the entrance tests. However a boy who has demonstrated selective ability by passing the entrance examinations and who has an EHCP which names Wilson’s School is given priority admission.
- The school is committed to ensuring fair access to the school for pupils of suitable ability. It is important that every child is given a fair opportunity to do well in the tests. The school will make appropriate adjustments for any candidate with a disability in accordance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, under the regulations governing School Admissions and with reference to the JCQ Guidelines for Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments. There is a process published on the school’s website that requires parents to submit supporting evidence if they would like access arrangements to be considered for their child for the entrance tests. The decision on the adjustment (if any) to be made is taken by a panel consisting of SENCOs from all of the schools which participate in the Selective Eligibility Test. For more information on the Admissions process please see here.
- We work hard at ensuring that the transition into Year 7 is a positive experience via an extensive induction programme to help new pupils feel at home. For pupils who are already considered by their school to have SEN, meetings or visits by the SENCO or Head of Year take place.
- Where students with SEND move on to other schools, the liaison with the school will be thorough and the sending on of documentation will be prompt.
- The vast majority of pupils at Wilson’s stay at the school until the age of 18 and so our main consideration will be ensuring effective transition to universities; this may involve additional support and guidance for pupils with SEN from our Higher Education Coordinator and liaison with university admissions departments where appropriate.
- Where appropriate, careers advice and guidance is specially tailored towards pupils with SEND; transitional plans across Key Stages will be written and put in place as required.
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural DevelopmentAt Wilson's, we take a very proactive approach to supporting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students. Through many aspects of school life we take the opportunity to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This is evident in the rich PSHE programmes at all Key Stages as well as in the teaching of other subjects in the curriculum.
- We promote teaching styles which value pupils’ questions and give them time to think for themselves. Teamwork and collaboration is a feature of the vast majority of lessons.
- The Code of Conduct makes very explicit what is expected of students at the school; teachers are role models of the values desired in pupils.
- Thoughtfulness, honesty, kindness and respect for difference are strong features of the school’s ethos. The school strongly tackles racism, homophobia and other forms of bullying. Students with SEN and disabilities thrive at the school and achieve very well. Discrimination is addressed head-on in assemblies.
- There are rich opportunities for spiritual development through the activities that take place beyond the classroom; students are given many opportunities to develop leadership skills and self-reliance.
- The qualities of service, effort and creative risk-taking are enthusiastically celebrated in a range of ways.
- Individual endeavour and achievement is very visibly celebrated.
- The PSHE curriculum at each key stage explores moral concepts and values (justice, personal rights and responsibilities).
- Pupils at the school are listened to. They are encouraged to bring concerns to their tutors or other staff, to raise issues via their representative at Student Board. All senior staff are involved with small groups interviews with Year 8 and Year 11 students.
- There is an effective WRL programme and strong links with the world of work (including interview practice).
Assemblies delivered to year groups and to the whole school:
- Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely;
- Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- Bring about further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010; and
- Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
The promotion of partisan political views is precluded; where political issues are raised, students are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.
Combatting racism, homophobia and bullyingFor school to be a happy and productive place, kindness and respect is everything. These are values that we seek to promote in all aspects of school life, with the intention that pupils should have the strength of character to act decisively in the face of wrongdoing. Bullying is completely antithetical to the guiding principle of the school’s Code of Conduct: “everybody will act with courtesy and consideration to others at all times”.
Pupils are encouraged to be alert to bullying and to report it promptly when they become aware of it. For staff, there is a duty to act promptly and firmly against bullying in accordance with school policy.
How bullying is preventedThe school raises awareness of the nature of bullying and different types of bullying in PSHE lessons, form time, assemblies and sometimes subject lessons in an attempt to raise awareness of such behaviour. Pupils are told how to report bullying and how it is dealt with. Assemblies address different forms of bullying (including racism and homophobia) in a systematic way. In assemblies teachers openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality. Pupils are taught that using any prejudice-based language is unacceptable. The Pupil Wellbeing Lead and Key Stage Directors review information about bullying regularly and evaluate the effectiveness of the methods used to prevent and tackle it. All teaching staff recognise that bullying and peer-on-peer abuse can be child protection issues that must be addressed.
How bullying is dealt withA pupil who has been bullied will be given support. Time will be made available so that he has an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a form tutor, Head of Year, Pupil Support Manager or another member of staff of his choice. The purpose of this discussion will be to explore what has happened and provide reassurance for the pupil. This may lead to on-going support with the designated member of staff, the school counsellor or school nurse or somebody else. Over time, the goal will be to ensure that self-esteem and self-confidence is restored. Parents will be contacted and, where necessary, given further information and advice.
A pupil who has perpetrated bullying will also be given the opportunity to discuss what has happened and how he become involved. The purpose of this meeting will be to ensure that the perpetrator accepts that his behaviour was wrong, knows that the bullying must stop and that he will be closely monitored – and to establish the plan of action for improving his attitude. Occasionally, the perpetrator may also be advised to seek counselling or anger management support.
Where appropriate, bystanders (see below) will also be spoken to about how they become involved and what made them speak out (or what prevented them from doing so).
All instances of bullying are recorded and reviewed over time to ensure that the bullying behaviour has definitely come to an end (and to help us in develop the school strategy to prevent bullying).
The Role of the BystanderAll members of the school community, including students, teachers and other members of staff have a responsibility to report any incident of bullying if they witness it or know that it is going on. Bystanders can passively accept bullying by watching and doing nothing. Often without realising it, these bystanders contribute to the problem. Passive bystanders provide the audience a bully craves and the silent acceptance that allows bullies to continue their hurtful behaviour. Through assemblies, PSHE, regular newsletter reminders and plasma displays we promote the idea of the ‘helpful bystander’, who can:
- Directly intervene, by discouraging the bully, defending the victim, or redirecting the situation away from bullying.
- Get help, by rallying support from peers to stand up against bullying or by reporting the bullying to adults.
RacismWe acknowledge that overt and covert racism still exists in schools, workplaces and other institutions and continues to be a source of anger and dismay for us all, requiring proactive attention and a dynamic response.
Racism, homophobia and bullying are regularly subject to discussion by Key Stage Directors and the wider Learner Development Team and each year we revisit and develop our anti-bullying strategy in school and commit ourselves to further understanding how hateful attitudes and behaviour can be tackled in children and adults.
We feel we have taken many steps in the right direction in recent years, including establishing the anonymous ‘Report a Concern’ page for reporting incidents (including racism, and other hateful and bullying behaviour); pupils are reminded about this on a regular basis. We also hold full and detailed pupil surveys (which address questions of pupil safety and equality) but we there is always more we can do, in particular by talking more to black and ethnic minority pupils about their experiences in the school and considering their recommendations at all levels.
An Ofsted visit in February 2020 indicated that “pupils are kind, considerate and have a keen sense of equality”. We believe this is true and it is a strong starting point for further improvement, but we are not at all complacent and continue to be highly self-critical in developing our policy and practice. In May 2021, we will be hosting our biennial mental health conference with delegates from schools the south-east of England, which will address disparities in mental health treatment for children from BAME backgrounds in the UK.
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