SEND at Sharnbrook Academy


Sharnbrook Academy is fully committed to inclusive education. We set the highest possible standards of education and care for all of our students and create an environment where students feel safe, secure, achieve well, and enjoy their learning. Students feel valued and are encouraged to make positive contributions to the school and the wider community. We provide our students with every opportunity for personal, emotional and intellectual growth, aiming to ensure that every student fulfils their potential and can excel. 

 Our Vision:​

“To be a department of excellence whereby all students with SEND develop their character, work towards high aspirations and achieve good outcomes that are absolutely in line with their non-SEND peers.”​

Our Mission:​

“We seek to enable all SEND obstacles to be overcome, by students and with the assistance of the teams, so that these students are able to achieve and progress absolutely in line with their non-SEND peers. We always go ‘the extra mile’ towards this goal and are relentless in our support for these students. We do not narrow the curriculum, we provide equal access to equally ambitious and challenging outcomes.” 

 What is SEN?  

At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need (SEN).   A pupil has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  

 They have a learning difficulty or disability if they have: 

  • A significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or  
  • A disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools  

Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools. It goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high-quality personalised teaching.   It is important to note that not every pupil making slower progress has a special educational need. Some pupils may make slower progress for a reason unrelated to SEN, such as a gap in their learning.

What is disability?  

The Equality Act, 2010, gives the following definition of disability:  

“A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and adverse long‐term effect on their ability to carry out normal day‐to‐day activities.” 

 This definition of disability includes children and young people with long‐term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disability and SEN. A child or young person may therefore be covered by both SEN and disability legislation.  

Quality first teaching

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.  Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. ​

SEN Code of Practice 6.37, p.99

High quality, inclusive teaching ensures that planning and implantation meets the needs of all pupils, and builds in high expectations for all pupils, including those with SEND.  It is about the day to day interactions that take place in the classroom and the different pedagogical approaches teacher use to engage and motivate learning which ensure good pupil progress.

The Graduated Approach

The SEND Code of Practice (2015) advises schools to follow a graduated approach of: assess, plan, do, review in supporting all pupils with identified SEND.  By continually monitoring all children, which we do via a variety of methods from both an academic and pastoral perspective, we can then decide on the most appropriate support for all children, including those with SEND.


Graduated approach.docx 


All pupils at Sharnbrook Academy will be taught using ‘Quality First Teaching’ (QFT). All children and young people make progress at different rates and learn in different ways, QFT means thinking about this and teaching appropriately. Focused lessons, with high levels of interaction with pupils and appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling, and explaining means QFT should meet the needs of most pupils. The image below gives examples of the reasonable adjustments (wave 1) we can and may make use of to support our learners appropriately. 


Sharnbrook Academy acknowledges that students that make slow progress and/or have low attainment do not necessarily have SEND. There are many factors that impact on progress and therefore it will not automatically lead to a student being recorded as such.

In understanding and supporting students who have identified needs or barriers, we utilise a process called The Four Wave Graduated Approach (wave 2). It involves a process using the following cycle:

  • Understand the needs the child has
  • Decide what support is needed
  • Carry out the extra support
  • Evaluate the support the child has had.

 Four Wave

 For a small number of children, we may have to go through a number of cycles of assess, plan, do and review and find that a young person either needs the support to be maintained over a long period of time (wave 3) or that a higher level of support is required using outside agencies possibly resulting in an education, health and care needs assessment (wave 4).

The Four Wave Graduated Approach is depicted below for your reference.

To ensure all staff are able to support the needs of our students, it is imperative any assessments or reports from professionals completed prior to your son or daughters time at Sharnbrook Academy, are shared with us either electronically using or in hard copy marked for the attention of the SENDCo.  This will ensure we can implement advice and guidance as part of our quality first teaching, as soon as students join us at Sharnbrook Academy.

 Graduated approach2


An Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) offers statutory protection for individuals aged 0-25, as long as they are in education (not including higher education, as universities have their own system). Individuals will have their areas of need identified under four broad categories: cognition and learning; communication and interaction; social, emotional and mental health needs; physical and/or sensory.  It may be the case that the young person has multiple needs, in all four categories, or their need may be more specific. The EHCP is outcome-driven, rather than provision-driven, and it looks at what the young person aspires to achieve and how to support them in achieving these goals. 

What types of SEND are provided for at Sharnbrook Academy? 

There are four broad areas of need, although Sharnbrook Academy recognises that a student’s needs may fall into one or more categories.  Sharnbrook Academy provides provision for all areas of need in line with the appropriate provision students require.  

1. Communication and Interaction (C&I):  

Students with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to (expressive), understanding what is being said to them (receptive) or they do not understand what is being said to them (cognition). They may not understand or use social rules of communication. Children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) can have more prevalent difficulties with social interaction due to deficits in their understanding and connections between language, communication and imagination, which then impacts on how they relate to others.  

2. Cognition and Learning (C&L):  

A broad ranging group of learning difficulties including Dyslexia and Dyspraxia as Specific learning Difficulties (SPLD), Moderate learning Difficulties (MLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) where children and young people will need support in the curriculum and may have associated mobility and communication difficulties, to those with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) where children and young people have severe and complex learning difficulties with physical disability and/or sensory impairment.  

3. Social Emotional and mental Health (SEMH):  

Children and young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attachment Disorder may need additional support in the curriculum. Those with mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, self-harming, substance abuse, eating disorders, or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained may also need additional or different support to access education. 

4. Sensory and or Physical Needs (SI/PD):  

Children and young people with Hearing (HI) or Visual (VI) Impairment, or Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI) may need additional specialist support or equipment to access the curriculum, or rehabilitation support. Some with physical disability (PD) may need additional and ongoing support to enable them to access opportunities available to their peers. SEN provision may be required as they have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making full use of educational facilities generally provided. 

In-Class Support

Our team of trained teaching assistants work alongside students and teachers in the classroom.  Help is available to all students in the class.  Teachers and TAs spend time planning the most effective ways of helping students to understand and achieve their best from that lesson. 


We currently run a reading intervention during tutor time, RapidPlus, and a social skills intervention based on the programme ‘Talkabout for Teenagers’.


D1 is the Individual Needs classroom.  D1 offers support for students that is based on their needs.  It is also supervised by Teaching Assistants during social times so that students can socialise, eat their lunch, use the computers and clarify homework tasks or any difficulties they may be having in class. The SEND, Pastoral and Attendance teams can refer students to receive support in D1.

Click here for the CMAT SEND Policy: Policies - CMAT (

Click here to link to the SENDIASS Service | Bedford Local Offer website.

You can find the link to the Local Offer from Bedford Borough Council for children and young people (aged 0-25) with Special Educational Needs and disabilities here:  Bedford Local Offer


SEND Information Report 2021-22