Students‎ > ‎

Special Educational Needs

Interventions: Special Educational Needs Department
The Interventions team work with students who are not making progress in subject areas despite faculty support, as well as students who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs provided by their local authority. The team consists of an SEN teacher and HL/TAs who provide individual, group and in class help and support for pupils with Special Educational Needs. Staff assist children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom. They organise and run break time and lunchtime homework/board games and sports clubs. 

The team also manages and administers a number of educational interventions and programs and SEN Screening; including initial screening for Dyslexia. These programs acknowledge specific needs of identified pupils, assisting HL/TAs in implementing strategies that focus on the areas of difficulty for each pupil. Strategies include:

Catch-Up Literacy (1 to 1): listening to children read, identifying areas of weakness and focusing on overcoming these.

Catch up Numeracy (1 to 1): identifying areas of weakness in Mathematics and working on those.

RML (Ruth Miskin Learning) teaching a class of 5- 10 pupils: a program which develops reading and writing skills.

Project: This is organized for students in Year 8 who need further support in developing their literacy skills.

Nurture: this is a Pathway where students who may have difficulty making the transition from Primary to Secondary are given extra support in class and provision to support them in becoming more confident in the Secondary environment.

LUCID Software: This is used to screen for Dyselxia and includes games which help to develop short term memory skills and reading speed.

Key stage 3 & 4 Mathematics, English and Science withdrawal groups: these are organised for further differentiated teaching of each subject. 

Entry Level courses for KS4 and 5: these allow students who may not be able to access the GCSE to complete programmed to develop basic numeracy, literacy and life skills. 

Talkabout: this provision aims to improve students’ self and social awareness and to develop their communication skills. 

As the SEN Faculty we aim to ensure that all pupils can access the curriculum and make as much progress in line with their potential.


The Aylward Academy Nurture Department (2016)
If you, or your child’s primary school teachers, have any of the above concerns, your child may be placed in the Nurture Class.

The Nurture Department is part of the Interventions Faculty at AA, under the overall leadership of the Head of Interventions (SENDCo).

It is run by the Nurture Lead Teacher (Head of Nurture) who is supported by a small team of Teaching Assistants.

Y7 students are usually offered a place in the Nurture Class on the recommendation of:

  • their Primary school teacher(s)
  • their parents/carers
  • the Year 6/7 Transition Coordinators – primary and secondary based

The Nurture Class:

  • Is a mixed ability class of 10 to 12 students;
  • is taught the same academic subjects as the rest of Y7;
  • caters for the developmental needs of the students;
  • is taught by specialist subject teachers;
  • spend (approximately) two thirds of their lesson time with the Nurture Lead Teacher (currently their English and Humanities Lessons);
  • Provides a safenurturing environment, which eases the transition from primary to secondary school.
Most students will be ready to move to mainstream classes by the end of Y7 (or during the course of the year). Provision is made for the few students who need continued support into Year 8.

Additional Maths Intervention

Aylward Academy acknowledges that some students need additional support with their overall literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), alongside the four basic skills in maths (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). At Aylward we run provisions, such as SEN/EAL maths, on a daily basis to help students fill gaps of fundamental knowledge. The lessons are tailored to meet the needs of students to ensure they reach their full potential, providing a solid foundation for mainstream classwork..

Catch Up Numeracy

CatchUp Numeracy is an intervention aimed at students who are working at level 3c or lower in maths. It aims to identify areas of numeracy where students are struggling, and work on increasing their basic knowledge and confidence in those areas through a programme of targeted activities, with their progress measured against CatchUp levels from 1-12. Sessions are 15 minutes long, and delivered one-to-one.

Additional Literacy Intervention

RML is a literacy intervention programme, using phonics. It is a programme designed to enable students to develop strategies for reading, writing and spelling.  Students are selected on the basis of their reading ages.  Those who are significantly behind their chronological reading ages attend a daily session.  When a student reaches a functional level of literacy they are reintegrated into mainstream lessons.

Catch Up Literacy

CatchUp Literacy is an intervention aimed at students with a low chronological reading age.

It is delivered twice weekly, one-to-one, with a tutor talking a student through a chosen book, before listening to them read, using specific strategies to improve students’ confidence and ability. The session finishes with students working on an area in which they struggled, to reinforce their learning. Progress is measured against 12 CatchUp levels.


Project is an intervention for students in year 8 who have low level English targets  (3c-3a) and a reading age of below 8 years. It is an interactive class where students work together, covering basic punctuation & grammar, comprehension, story writing  and reading skills.

The course is based on two fiction texts (Goodnight Mr Tom; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and a poem (The Highwayman). The students carry out research related to the texts and produce their own projects.  They also write a poem using the techniques they have learnt about. Finally they choose their own topic to research and present to the class.

Help with Speech and Language for Students

1. Test of Abstract Language & Communication (TALC)

This test is used when a speech and language difficulty is initially identified in a student.  It is designed to assess the level of abstract language that a child can understand.  It analyses the student’s grasp of abstract language and reasoning using picture resources and verbal responses.  This allows the test to be used regardless of a child’s literacy level.

Subsequent analysis of the student’s answers show us which of four levels the child has reached in their speech and language development from basic yes/no responses to questions about the immediate environment to complex problem solving and thinking about the past and future.

After testing there are two speech and language courses available for students; Talkabout for Teenagers and Language for Thinking.

2. Talkabout for Teenagers

Talk about is aimed at students who have emotional, behavioural difficulties or who have problems making friends with their peer group.  It allows the student to develop their social skills and confidence and can therefore help them build positive relationships with others and participate fully in their lessons.  The students work in small groups, allowing them to explore difficult situations in which they might find themselves within areas such as friendship and behavior; enabling them to work out strategies for dealing with problems before they occur.  As students have to have a high level of self-awareness to benefit from this course, they have to have passed levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Talc test.

3. Language for Thinking

This is for students who have not passed all 4 TALC levels.  It allows them to develop their ability to use abstract thought and reasoning.  It is a one-to-one intervention which uses pictures, story and questions.  The questions fall into three levels.         

                        Level A – concrete language e.g. Who went swimming?

Level B - student must make some inferences e.g. What will happen next?

Level C – most abstract e.g. How do you know (how old Caroline is)?

All students will start with level A questions and progress on.  Students are tested regularly and when they can answer at level C regularly they finish the programme.



Exam access arrangements support pupils in reaching their potential in their exams and assessments. Eligible pupils find it difficult to access the curriculum in most of their subjects, mainly those that involve literacy i.e. English Language.  Pupils are identified through their assessment grades and target grades and are put forward to the exam boards for agreement to the provision. Depending on the grades of individual pupils, this can be a reader and extra time, a scribe or extra time only.


Special Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP-SpLD) is a computer-aided diagnostic assessment and profiling package that brings real insights to the practical diagnosis of learning difficulties, for ages 5 to 18. It is a questionnaire based programme and focuses mainly on areas pupils find difficult from the views of their subject teachers. 25% of the questions are for parents/carers and for the child there is a self-esteem question section.


Most secondary schools use Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) to test general intelligence and to stream overall or set for certain subjects. CATS are usually computer based but booklets are also used. CAT4 assesses a pupil’s ability to reason with and manipulate different types of material through a series of verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial ability tasks. Together, these four tests provide teachers with a comprehensive profile of a pupil’s reasoning abilities, and as such the core abilities related to learning.


LASS 11-15 is a fully computerised multifunctional assessment system for use with students in the age range 11 years to 15 years. LASS 11-15 has six broad applications:

  1. routine screening on entry to secondary education
  2. screening of all students in the age range for literacy problems
  3. assessment of special needs in literacy
  4. identification of specific learning difficulties and dyslexia
  5. regular monitoring of progress in literacy
  6. assessment of general ability

Special Educational Needs Report and Policy
Trip to Alexanda Palace

Miss Stead and Mrs. Finch took year 7 and 8 Project/Literacy to Alexandra Palace ice skating on Thursday 17th July. A fantastic time was had by everybody, the students were like little Torville and Deans on ice!

We then took the students to part of Alexandra Palace for sports games and lunch in which they all enjoyed including the adults.


The Team