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Welcome to our Special Educational Needs and disability (SEND) information website. We hope you will enjoy reading about the variety of ways in which we are able to support your child to reach their full potential in order to ensure a successful transition into adult life.

What sort of children are given a place at Ad Astra? 

Children and young people who attend Ad Astra may experience significant difficulties regulating their emotions and behaviours in response to life challenges, change, and relationships with both peers and/or adults. Their abilities to respond to educational opportunities and learn effectively are often impaired. Students are placed in our Alternative Provision by direct school referral or  through the local authority (LA) Education,  Health and Care Plan process if parents and the local authority agree this is in the child’s best interest. A significant number of our students on roll have an EHC plan and students’ targets are linked to the outcomes of the EHC plan.

My child hasn’t got a statement  or EHC plan  but is like the children at Ad Astra – what do I do ?

If you think your child is like the children who attend Ad Astra, but they haven’t got a statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC plan, then talk with your child’s school or a health professional such as your GP or Health Visitor.

Your child may need an assessment to find out what specialist support they need so they can make good progress in school.

My child attends Ad Astra Alternative Provision

Who are the best people to talk to about my child’s difficulties? Who can I contact?

Pastoral mentors and other class based staff contact parents regularly and informally to try and make sure parents and carers are aware of the progress or any difficulties which may have arisen throughout the day or week. If there are any concerns or worries regarding your child please contact Ad Astra on 07935224868. If it is not possible for the pastoral mentor to speak to you straight away, they will return your call as soon as they can. If it is an urgent matter, please ask to speak with another member of the team.

 Who are the other people providing services for students at Ad Astra Alternative Provision?

Head of Provision - Kate Frankish

 Education- Ingrid McNair

Local Authority

Inclusion Services

Educational Psychologist

Education Welfare Officer


Social Care

How does Ad Astra ensure that all staff are fully equipped to meet the wide ranging needs of individual students?

Step 1

Pastoral mentors, Assistant mentors, Specialist mentors and education tutors support in providing Quality First Teaching, Termly Data Collection, Student Passports to Progress, Provision Map, Boxall Profile, PASS Data and Ad Astra Learning Maps

Continued Professional Development for all staff members

Step 2

Informal support from SENCO re meeting individual needs

Step 3

Request for formal assessment and advice by other agencies to inform practise within our setting

How will Ad Astra measure the progress of individuals and how will I know what progress my child is making

Progress for all students is tracked following data collection each Half term.

Further assessment and interventions as and when appropriate.

Progress and targets for all students will be shared with individuals and parents at each review and sent home termly

Assessment for Learning strategy used throughout the academy

SENCO, to review attainment and progress data to identify students who may need intervention to address a particular or specific area of need.

EHCP Review process

Student centred planning including written and verbal feedback

Student and parent voice

What support does Ad Astra have for me as a parent of a child with SEN?

Our setting is committed to supporting our students and their families. A member of the Senior Leadership Team is usually available to talk to parents /carers throughout the working day during term time. If this is not possible, a return call before the end of the working day will be made by the pastoral mentor or Senior Leader.

Meeting the needs of all students.

‘Quality First Teaching’ is an entitlement for all students. Ad Astra Alternative Provision constantly strives to ensure that this is of a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ quality at all times. This is about mentors and education tutors meeting the needs of all our learners in all our activities. Sessions are carefully differentiated to take account of different learning styles and abilities. All staff are fully informed about student’s starting point using prior attainment data and relevant learning history. There is an ethos of continued professional development embedded in our setting to ensure that all staff members are trained and informed of new developments in education and in particular developments in the teaching of students with a broad spectrum of Special Educational Needs.

A wide variety of strategies are used to provide support for students across our alternative curriculum. The following interventions and methods currently exist:

  • Differentiation of tasks, resources and outcomes

  • In-class support (assistant mentors)

  • Individualised support sessions for English, Maths

  • Life skills/PSE social skills/behaviour sessions

  • Use of IT facilities to support preferred learning styles.

  • Access Arrangements for students with specific needs for internal and external assessments

How are students supported to help them make progress in their learning?

For many students, changes to the way that the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact on removing the barriers to their learning and make the expected progress. This is done in the following ways

  • simplifying the language used to explain ideas and work

  • developing an engaging, active and interesting scheme of work,

  • tailoring activities to try and take into account specific interests

  • In some cases it may be necessary to develop very personalised schemes of work or timetables.

  • If appropriate, Ad Astra will include vocational sessions if it is felt this will benefit individual students, particularly in terms of progression post 16. We  currently work in collaboration with The Contracting Company (land based contracting work), York Council, Natural England and others to provide opportunities for students with require a greater amount of personalisation in their timetable.

Mentors and tutors plan to meet individual needs on a daily basis in order to ensure that all the students in the group can make the most of their learning experiences and make outstanding progress.

Some students may require interventions which are ‘additional to and different from’ that which is normally provided for all students in the classroom. This will be discussed with you during the review process. Typically the intervention will be to support an identified need such as developing reading, writing, maths or communication skills.  The work carried out is monitored by the SENCO and delivered by additional staff involvement both individually and in whole group sessions.

Student Voice

Students’ views are very important and feed directly into all policies, procedures and daily teaching.  Students are given regular opportunities to:

  • Self- assess and peer-assess in sessions

  • Attend review meetings, and where possible working with support to lead on a student centred review

  • Suggest possible targets to achieve

  • Suggest how Ad Astral can better provide for their needs

  • Contribute to their passport to progress (P2P)

  • Be part of the student council

How will my child’s learning needs be assessed and their progress monitored?

Assessment of student progress takes place on a regular and daily basis which may include teacher, peer and self-review assessments. Assessments also take place at the end of specific pieces of work. All assessments aim to inform the mentor’s planning of the student’s next steps in learning.

This information is analysed to determine their strengths and areas for development.

Progress data and flight paths are shared with students and parents on a regular basis, so that they are aware of what their next steps to progress are.

Useful websites

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