Mark Rutherford Secondary School
“We believe that every child is unique. Our aim is to provide broad, balanced, personalised learning experiences that will enable them to be healthy, stay safe enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and to achieve economic well-being.”
Who to contact
Where to go
- Mark Rutherford School
- MK41 8PX
- Get directions
- Age Bands
11-14 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
Schools Extended Local Offer Response
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Your son/ daughter will be in a tutor group at Mark Rutherford, the tutor will be the member of staff who will get to know your child well, and your child will generally stay in the same tutor group throughout their time here. The tutor groups belong to one of our 4 houses. The House office is a great source of pastoral support to parents/ carers and children. Twice a year parents/ carers are invited to attend an academic mentoring interview to discuss progress and set targets. Each term we have ‘Assessment Points’ when student progress is measured and reviewed in school. When your child transfers to Mark Rutherford you will be invited to ‘Meet the SENDCo’, this appointment allows you to share information about your child’s learning and social needs. The school will use this information, alongside information from the feeder school, to create a ‘pupil passport’ that identifies the needs of the child and interventions and strategies to support them. This meeting is the first opportunity to help to plan and support your child at Mark Rutherford School. The Individual Provision Map is available to subject teachers, the tutor, parents/ carers to support the progress of the child. Students with an Education, Health and Care Plan, or statement, will have an Annual Review Meeting and outside agencies may be invited to attend. The Learning Support department offers an ‘open door’ to parents and carers to communicate with us. We find that email communication is often most effective and can be used to share and respond to concerns in a timely manner and are also available by phone. Reports/ home school communication you may receive throughout the school year include: o School reports: Interim and full reports o Annual Review o Updated Provision maps o Personal Education Plans o Individual behaviour plans o Contact with Tutor, Head of House or mentor o Contact from the Raising Achievement Centre o Rewards and Sanctions system o Planner communication We work hard to develop partnership with parents and may invite parents to events throughout the year. We support the Parent/ Carer forum. The first point of contact is your child’s form tutor or Head of House. You can also talk to subject teachers and Heads of Department if you have any specific concerns. Additionally you can talk to the SENDCo, Mrs Strong who is contactable by email email@example.com or by telephone 01234 290200 Transition to Mark Rutherford is handled by our Office Manager Mrs Gwynne and Assistant Head Teacher Mr Briggs.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
Mark Rutherford school is set over two floors. At present the building is not fully wheelchair accessible. Where children are wheelchair users it has mostly been possible to room their classes on the ground floor. Art is an exception and the specialist art rooms are on the first floor. We have disabled toilet facilities in the school, but do not have specialist changing facilities. We have worked to improve the auditory environment and most rooms are carpeted for noise dampening. If a child has auditory needs we work closely with the Hearing Impairment Service to meet the needs of the child. We work closely with many outside agencies to support the needs of individuals including the Visual Impairment team, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy teams. We are able to access some translation services for parents/carers whose first language is not English; this has to be arranged in advance. We encourage parents/ carers to bring a friend or relative with whom they are familiar to act as a translator if this is possible. Specialist equipment to support students with severe visual or auditory difficulties is usually supplied by the relevant outside agency.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Parents/ carers are able to raise concerns with the tutor, house office or SENDCo and we will work to address them. All students are screened during their first year at school. Students complete Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATS). Students are screened for reading and spelling through their English lessons. These tests are used to screen for learning needs and to shape interventions. Students may self- refer with a particular difficulty or issue. We liaise closely with all our feeder schools, and have a good passage of information. Teachers and Teaching assistants are able to raise concerns regarding special education needs and these are then further investigated by the SENDCo. We may ask parents to approach a GP for referral if a diagnosis is required for a condition such as ADHD or ASC, or may request support from outside agencies. Mark Rutherford School aims to have a graduated response to learning needs, this aims to respond with early intervention and the use of strategies to meet individual needs. Interventions will be triggered through concern that, despite receiving differentiated teaching within class, pupils: o Make little or no progress o Show (ongoing) difficulty developing literacy or numeracy skills o Present persistent emotional and behavioural difficulties o Have sensory or physical problems, which continue despite the use of specialist equipment (or may require additional specialist equipment or advice) o Have communication and/or interaction problems which continue despite curriculum differentiation (or may prevent the development of social relationships or hinder learning) Mark Rutherford School has a specialist Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) provision for students with EHC plans. Places in the Provision are allocated by Bedford Borough. This placement is identified as part of the statutory review of EHC plans.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?
The SENDCo will provide detailed information about the learning needs of students to all subject specialist teachers and Houses. The SENDCo will oversee the SEND teachers planning and delivery of interventions. For the most part the subject teachers will be teaching every child according to a mainstream timetable. Teaching assistants work in subject departments to support learners’ needs. Some students may occasionally be taken out of timetabled lessons for an ‘intervention’ class which endeavours to accelerate progress in areas in which a student may be behind. This will be communicated by letter. Students are formally assessed each term by all their teachers at ‘Assessment Points’. This assessment information is then tracked by departments and houses to ensure that all children make good progress. Any child who has additional SEND will be regularly assessed by the member of staff leading an intervention they take part in. If progress is not being made despite the additional intervention lessons, then the intervention will be reviewed and altered accordingly. Heads of Department develop and monitor provisions in their subject area to ensure that students can access the curriculum and make progress. Students who are not progressing in line with expectations are identified by this process and may be invited to attend an intervention to boost their progress or be referred to our Raising Achievement Centre for additional support.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
We aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to all students. This curriculum can be personalised to meet the needs of the child. More details of the current KS4 curriculum routes can be found at http://www.markrutherford.beds.sch.uk/information_prospectuses.asp . We recognise that making choices at KS4 is a difficult time and support children through the provision of careers interviews, options information evening and assemblies, and strive to support students and their families to make realistic decisions to enable them to experience success. For students with an EHC plan this is also an important consideration as part of the annual review process. Differentiation is seen as a priority in all lesson planning and in additional provision, and is supported by the inclusion team who are working alongside their subject colleagues. Effective differentiation will enable your child to participate fully in all aspects of learning and to make the best possible progress. All staff are regularly briefed on the different learning needs of the students. The SENDCo and Subject Teachers will consider appropriate strategies such as: o Providing different materials or equipment o Using extra staff to work closely with the pupil o Differentiated learning strategies through staff development or training o Group support o Devising interventions and monitoring their effectiveness by providing extra adult time o Local Authority support for advice on strategies and equipment or staff training o Students who join in year 7 are supported in their transition to a large school by dedicated areas such as the year 7 playground and staggered lunchtimes.
- What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
Every child has a form tutor who provides daily face-to-face support through contact during ‘tutor time’. The form tutor generally remains with the same tutor group throughout the student’s time at Mark Rutherford School. We have a dedicated team of pastoral support with Heads of House and Assistant Heads of House, all of whom are experienced with working with young people and their families, and have received training in safeguarding, conflict resolution, coaching for success, first aid, mental health awareness and defibrillator training. We also have a team of key workers who work as part of the Raising Achievement Centre to support all children towards reaching their potential. Student reception holds student medicines securely. Whilst we are happy for students to take medicines at school, the student must have the levels of independence to be able to self-administer. The school nurse is also available to see students through appointments. Heads of House are able to refer students to counselling services that are available in school. We have a dedicated Attendance Officer who liaises with staff, parents, EWO and any further agencies that are deemed necessary. We encourage young people to participate in decision making that relates to them. We aim to empower young people to take an active role in society when they enter the adult world.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
The SENDCo is well qualified and participates in an ongoing programme of professional development and has undertaking the National Award for SENDCos. The ASC provision manager has expert knowledge of ASC and is supported by the Borough’s specialist teacher for Autism. Mark Rutherford School is pro-active in working with outside agencies to support the needs of learners. We have TAs who are trained to deliver a range of interventions including delivering Speech therapy strategies under the advice of the relevant Speech Therapist, Everyone Can Read (Phonics course for older users), Sounds- Write (Phonics course), Better Reading Partners (Paired reading initiative). The TAs have extensive experience and training in working with children with learning difficulties including SpLD, ASC, sensory impairments and behavioural difficulties. Outside agencies include: o Educational Psychology Service o Educational Welfare Service o School Nurse o Speech and Language Service o Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service o Sensory Support Services (Visual Impairment and Hearing Impaired) o Bereavement Counselling o Careers Advice o Autism Bedfordshire o Social Care o Occupational Therapy o Physiotherapy o Independent Counselling o Young Carers o Young Minds parents helpline
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Students with additional needs are encouraged and supported to be fully involved in all areas of school life. All clubs and trips are available and individual arrangements are planned in advance to ensure that all students are able to participate. We have a broad range of extra- curricular activities available to students. Sporting activities are regularly reviewed to ensure that they meet the needs of learners and to aim to increase participation across the student body. For students with medical/ physical needs, any issues relating to trips and activities will have been discussed and addressed with parents/ carers in the care plan.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
There is an annual open evening in October where any prospective student and their family are welcome to look around; all members of staff are available to answer questions. Following on from Open Evening, tours are offered during school open hours. Parents apply for a place and the transfer process is initiated directly after an application to the school is successful. Every child (and their parent//carers) are invited to, and must have, a 1:1 meeting with a key member of staff. This is an opportunity to share expectations and the Home School Agreement is signed. Members of staff from Mark Rutherford School liaise with staff at the child’s current school. They will gather information relating to attainment, learning need and pastoral information. The SENDCo will have additional conversations with feeder school SEND teams where necessary (i.e. where a child has been highlighted as having additional needs either by the parent/carer or feeder school). We will also request information from any outside agencies that are involved with your child. In June/ July every child is invited to meet the tutor evenings, followed by transfer days. Extra and personal transition days are organised where thought helpful to aid a settled and calm transition. Support is offered at key transition times during the school life such as; o Year 9 options o Year 10 exploring post 16 opportunities o Year 11 GCSE results and post 16 route o Choices after school – Apprenticeships, Colleges and Universities In depth information is passed on to any new setting / school / college a student moves on to.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
As an academy, Mark Rutherford School receives its school budget directly from the Education Funding Agency, rather than Bedford Borough Council. We allocate specific funding from this schools budget share to cover the work of our inclusion team. This is in addition to funding for EHC Plans. Funding decisions are made by the SEND and Inclusion teams. All support is regularly reviewed with particular focus on improving educational outcomes for students.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Partnership with parents is an essential and integral part of school life. All families complete a ‘Home-School Agreement’ when a place at Mark Rutherford is accepted. You can be involved in the school life of your child by attending Academic Mentoring and subject evenings. Meetings you may be invited to attend throughout the year: o Subject evening o Academic mentoring meeting with your child’s tutor. o Pastoral support plan meeting o Team around the child meeting
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
Students will meet with their form tutor on a daily basis. Students participate in meetings and decision making about their education. They are supported to raise their opinions and concerns about planning and decision making that impact upon them and their future life.