Ridgeway School is a Local Authority maintained special school situated in Bedford Borough. It is a school for children with a physical disability, medical needs and associated learning difficulties.
The children have a wide range of Special Educational Needs in addition to their physical or medical conditions, including communication difficulties and visual and hearing impairments. Currently, with the exception of a few children on assessment placements, all pupils have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
Our aim is to provide high quality education in a supportive and caring environment which promotes and enhances the all-round development of our children through the provision of inclusive, individualised and motivating learning opportunities.
Ridgeway School is a school for children with physical disabilities, medical needs and associated learning difficulties; The school caters for children with a very wide range of special educational needs and cognitive abilities. The majority of children at the school have a statement of special educational need but assessment places are available in some circumstances.
Children are referred to the school in a number of ways: by professionals at the Child Development Centre, through the Assessment and Monitoring Team at Borough Hall or from other neighbouring local authorities. Parents may approach the school themselves if they have concerns about their child. They will be invited to talk to senior staff who will discuss processes and procedures to them and explain about the school. The school has an informative website: https://www.ridgewayschool.org.uk/
Who to contact
Where to go
- Ridgeway School
- MK42 7EB
- Get directions
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old
- Needs Level
- SEN Provision Type
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?
We meet with you as parents/carers at the beginning of the Autumn term at our Parent Consultation evening where we talk about progress and targets for your child. We also discuss progress and our expectations for your child at Education Health Care Plan review meeting. We communicate with you regularly through a variety of ways that include home school diaries, by telephone and by e-mail and through our Parentmail system via text and email. In addition to the EHCP review you will also receive an annual progress report from us. You will have access to our Evidence for Learning (EfL) electronic assessment system through which we record and track children’s progress. You are invited to contribute comments and evidence on EfL to reflect activities and progress that happen at home.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
We have a robust safeguarding policy and protocol in place. Pupils’ health and well-being is paramount. Personal Care is conducted discreetly and with dignity whilst fostering independence whenever possible. We work closely with medical practitioners if your child has a health need and will discuss with you a Healthcare Plan and protocols regarding the administration of prescribed medication. We also work closely with social services and the children with disabilities team. We have a music therapist who works with pupils throughout the school. A school nurse is almost always present during school hours. Well – being is a high priority within school with each class practising mindfulness daily.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
The school takes an holistic approach to the education of pupils and recognises that their personal development goes far beyond simply academic achievement. To this end we work closely with a variety of professionals. We work closely with the following to support your child’s needs: Therapy services including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. Health Service –school nurse, dietician, continence service, dentist. Specialist services including Hearing impairment, Visual impairment and the Educational Psychology services, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and Social Services children with disabilities team. Physiotherapy - The school has two part time physiotherapists and one part time physiotherapy assistant provided by the NHS. Their role is to assess all pupils with physiotherapy needs and determine the level of support they need. This may vary from producing a programme for class staff to implement to providing hands on treatment for a block of time. They will always need to be flexible enough to provide support for a pupil with new challenges e.g. post-operative care. Physiotherapists support the hydrotherapy work – seeing some children in the pool and advising on programmes for others. They liaise with medical staff and parents. They contribute to annual assessment and support the writing of Personal Learning Objectives (PLOs). Occupational Therapy- The school has the part-time services of an occupational therapist whose role is to work with all pupils who require static seating and wheelchairs. The OT will monitor these and train class staff in their use and will also provide support with fine motor assessment. They train staff in exercise programmes and the use of equipment and liaise with other professionals and parents as necessary. The OT contributes an annual assessment with targets for the following year and supports the writing of PLOs. Speech Therapy - The school has a part-time speech and language therapist and a Speech and language assistant. Their role is to assess all pupils with speech and language difficulties and determine the level of support they need. This may vary from producing a programme for class staff to implement to providing hands-on treatment for a block of time. They liaise with other professionals and parents and contribute an annual assessment with targets year and support the writing of IEP targets. The SaLT will work on speech production and also alternative augmentative communication methods such as VOCAs. The Speech Therapist is qualified to assess feeding difficulties. Parents will be consulted if their child is to be assessed. The Speech therapist will consider all aspects of a child’s eating from a medical point of view as well as a consideration of health and safety, posture, dignity and age appropriateness. They will provide a programme which will decide whether oral feeding is safe, the texture of foods, positioning, cutlery and crockery etc and will write the programme and train the relevant staff as appropriate. Where there are doubts about the safety of oral feeding the child will be referred to the school paediatrician for referral for a video fluoroscopy. The dietician may also be involved in this work where necessary. (Spring Term 19 – speech therapy provision is very limited within school due to circumstances beyond the control of the school.) School Nurses – we have a team of nurses whose role is to oversee the care of pupils with on - going medical conditions. There is usually at least one nurse in school. Paediatrician - The school has close links with a paediatrician who runs clinics for pupils at the school at the CDC. The paediatrician sees pupils for regular reviews and will also see pupils when there is concern raised by the school staff, nurse or parents and they are the first point for referral to other services. Your child will usually need an Education Health and Care Plan before being considered for admission to our school except in rare circumstances where an assessment placement may be considered. Your point of contact to discuss this is the Local Authority SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) team.
- 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?
All of our teachers are qualified and have undertaken specialist further professional development. These include specific Literacy, Numeracy, Sensory awareness, ICT courses and First Aid courses. Some staff have signing training and qualifications. Our Nursery nurses and Teaching Assistants also have a range of expertise and participate fully in the training programmes. All staff who give medicine or undertake medical procedures are fully trained. Ongoing professional development is key to ensuring staff of all categories remain updated and skilled. The school has a Moving and Handling trainer who ensures that all staff are trained in correct procedures, produces Moving and Handling plans for pupils and ensure the school has the correct and sufficient equipment such as hoists.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
At Ridgeway School every child has the opportunity to access class and school trips. Provision is highly differentiated and if an activity is deemed inappropriate for individual or specific groups, alternative activities will be sought if possible. No child is excluded from activities at Ridgeway School because of their inability to financially contribute towards the cost of trips. Money from the Pupil Premium Grant may be used to support pupils for whom financial hardship may be a barrier to attending trips or residential opportunities. Occasional trips may have to be postponed if not enough financial contribution has been received. The school has five fully adapted minibuses which facilitate frequent out of school trips and extra-curricular activities.
- What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
You will be invited to meet with the Head or deputy head teacher to discuss transition for your child into the school and to look around the school, if you have not previously done so. A decision is then made in discussion with you the most appropriate transition for your child. We have a flexible approach to pupils starting at the school – some start straight away on a full day timetable whilst others prefer to build up their time in school gradually, for example starting mornings only. The most important consideration is that the transition into the school is appropriate to the individual pupil. We have a comprehensive range of documents to be completed by parents/carers and handed in to school on your child’s first day in school. Once your child starts with us individual targets will be set within the first two months of them starting at Ridgeway, regardless of the age of your child. During transition, other professionals will meet your child and the class teacher to ensure that there is a proper hand-over of information. This ensures that all care, medical and physical needs will be fully met from the pupil’s first day in school. The class teacher at Ridgeway who will be teaching your child will liaise with their present school and visit if appropriate. A robust transition process is in place for young people moving on from Ridgeway. The Careers Education and Guidance programme develops skills for transition and the students undertake a range of visits to all the possible college options. When the time comes for your child to move on from school we will liaise with the receiving school/college and discuss the transition process with them. We liaise closely with colleges and other post-school providers and each student has a well-structured period of transition, suited to their needs.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
Financial banding levels are allocated to each child according to their level of SEND. The majority of children at Ridgeway School are funded at Band 3 or 4 by the Local Authority reflecting their complex needs, a Band 5 receiving the highest level of funding. Banding levels provide money to enable the school to buy specialist equipment and to employ sufficient staff to meet the needs of the children. Resources are matched to the children’s needs and specialist equipment such as postural seating and standing frames are bought for those requiring them. The staff to pupil ratio is very high.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Your child will initially have their needs identified through their Education Health and Care Plan. We constantly review these and using our expertise and experience will identify when and where additional support may be needed, for example, input from an advisory teacher, extra therapy support or targeted reading support. All pupils will have individual attention as part of their small group work throughout the day. Ordinarily one to one support is not the most effective way of working with your child as this can be a barrier to interaction with other pupils. However, pupils with the most complex needs may require a higher level of support based upon the identification of specific or exceptional behaviour and medical needs. Where this is required a key person will be named but a range of staff will work with the child to prevent him or her becoming over dependent on the presence of one person. The support will be reviewed regularly.
- 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?
We aim to work in partnership with our families, working together to achieve the best for our pupils. We have an ‘open door’ policy and you are welcome to contact the school at any time to speak to someone on the phone or to make an appointment to see any member of staff. We have an active PTA known as the Ridgeway School Association. We also hold Christmas and Summer Fayres and put on a range of other events throughout the year to which you are warmly invited. We produce a newsletter usually at the start and the end of each school term that provides information and highlights achievements and events that are or have been happening throughout the school. For further information our website is regularly updated with events and comprehensive information about the school. Alternatively, please contact our school office if you have any other enquiries.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All children and young people at Ridgeway School have special educational needs. The children follow individual pathways within their classes in order to address their individual needs.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
There are five classes in the Primary Department and two in Key Stage 3 and 4. Our Post-16 provision consists of two classes for students aged 16 – 19. The average class size is 10 pupils, but this may vary depending on the individual needs and number of pupils in a particular cohort. Within the class, every pupil has their own individual objectives and staff use a range of strategies to ensure that individual needs are met. Each class has a full time equivalent teacher and an appropriate number of TAs to support learning, medical and personal needs and behaviour. Some classes could have almost 1:1 adult support if the needs of individual pupils are very high. The underlying principle of the care and safety for all pupils and staff at all times is of paramount importance. School staff are supported by Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, school nurses and other specialist advisors where and when appropriate. We have a specialist coach for P.E. There is a Communication support assistant who works with pupils with an additional communication need and supports staff in working as effectively as possible with pupils with communication devices. We currently have two trained communicators supporting our hearing impaired pupils. Class staff strive to meet the needs of each pupil by taking into account the whole child or young person and balancing their physical, cognitive, communication and social needs as well as any other needs such as medical and emotional and behavioural.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
The curriculum is creatively based on the National Curriculum but ensures a breadth and balance appropriate to meet the wide range of needs of our pupils. Our curriculum enables all pupils to make their own progress and work at their own level within the class. We want our pupils to achieve the knowledge and understanding and skills needed to succeed in their life. All of the information built up on each pupil through assessments and observations, enables staff to understand what each pupil needs and they will differentiate the curriculum at class level. Our pupils with the most complex needs follow an individualised curriculum designed to meet their particular needs.