Our Guiding Principles?

We are a fully inclusive school and aim to ensure that all students achieve their potential: academically; emotionally; socially; personally, in all areas of the curriculum.

At Atherton Community School (ACS) we seek to develop the full potential of each child, recognising the uniqueness of each individual. We aim to provide support for students who require it, within a caring ‘family’ environment, which allows individuals to develop their full potential regardless of their ability.

We believe:

  • All students have an equal right of entitlement to an appropriate and worthwhile education
  • All students are special, different and have individual needs
  • All students are equally valued within the school and have a right to voice their views
  • All students have a common entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum

Inclusion is a process and the use of this term within the SEND Strategy is consistent with the broad definition provided by OFSTED (2001):

“An educationally inclusive school is one in which the teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and well-being of every young person matter.  Effective schools are educationally inclusive schools.”

The ACS SEND Department ensure that an inclusive ethos is maintained where the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and well-being of every student matter including those with SEND, those from all cultural backgrounds and students with English as an additional language. Students may have special needs at different times and therefore a wide variety of strategies are used to meet these needs as they arise.

How Will ACS Support my Child?


Students with SEND are identified throughout the transition process. Meetings take place between the Year 6 teacher, SENCo, Head of Year 7 and our Pastoral Manager; following this a preliminary assessment can be made. We ensure to offer a range of support during transition, including personalised service and family support to help students make the most effective, smooth transition as possible. We understand that the move from a primary setting to secondary can be extremely daunting. Information on students with an identified SEND is gathered from all relevant primary schools and a suitable personalised transition plan is then agreed and actioned.

We have ‘taster’ days available, summer school places, home visits, specialist advice and opportunities to express any worries and concerns prior to the move. For students with specific SEND, any additional personalised transition can be put in place, to ensure that these students can become familiar with staff, the building and any other concerns they have.

Upon Entry:

All Year 6 SATs results are passed to ACS as students transfer from their feeder primaries along with all SEND files. In addition, during their first term all students are given standardised reading and spelling tests, and the full range of Cognitive Abilities Tests.

When all this data is considered, along with the progress a student is making, decisions are made with regard to placing students on the appropriate category of SEND.

The SEND categories are:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Emotional, Behavioural and Social
  • Sensory/Physical and/or Medical

Pupils’ needs are fully scrutinised and all documentation from their primary school and data on entry are used to inform every pupil’s personalised provision on their individual provision map. This is regularly reviewed to ensure that all relevant provision is delivered effectively.

Students with particularly low literacy skills are targeted at this point, usually by help from the small group intervention programmes: parent volunteer support, peer reading, spelling facilitators and the English Department. Students with large differences between their verbal and non-verbal scores are also highlighted to staff to ensure that they reach their full potential.

Within the first half term a full review is made of each student’s needs which will then lead to an IEP and specialist behavioural plan for those who have identified SEND. We will then inform you if we have decided to place them on our SEN List. Appropriate interventions are prioritised and tracked to assess progress. Some students may have either an IEP/Behaviour Plan or an EHCP. We ensure that this process is personalised, involves a graduated inclusive approach, with the child at the very centre of everything that we do.

On-Going Support:

All students who have an identified SEND will be placed on our SEN list. We collate daily detailed intervention trackers for all these students, ensuring to monitor progress carefully. Progress data is shared with parents regularly throughout the year, in written format and also at parents’ evenings. The SENCo and Pastoral Team are available to discuss individual students at any point, usually by appointment, to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

All EHCPs will be reviewed annually and all those involved in a student’s care needs will have input to ensure a personalised approach; with the student always at the heart of everything we do.

The school firmly believes in clear, consistent and open communication alongside positive school – parents/carers – child relationships. Communication usually takes place via face to face meetings, telephone calls, letter, logbook and email.

Any sensitive issues will be dealt with by the pastoral team in accordance with child safeguarding procedure.

What Support and Interventions Do We Offer?

Following identification of learning needs, the SEND team will initiate personalised intervention. Intervention may include:

  • Sounds Write (phonics)
  • LEXIA (reading)
  • Breakfast nurture club
  • Handwriting once weekly
  • Homework club twice weekly
  • Grammar workshops
  • Numeracy intervention
  • 1:1 teaching support in class/small groups
  • Various clubs – peer support/relationships/social development
  • Anger Management
  • Friendship support
  • Emotional well-being
  • Buddy System
  • Parent Consultation Group
  • Speech and Language
  • Relaxation strategies
  • Total Communication interventions
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Active Student Voice – School Council

What Other Professional Agencies Can Support Your Child at ACS?

  • Educational Psychologists
  • Health specialists
  • Nurse – on site
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Hearing impairment services
  • Visual impairment services
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • Outreach teams
  • Social Services

In addition, important links are in place with the following organisations (particularly for post 16):

  • The Careers Service
  • The LA
  • Specialist services
  • Members of the business community
  • UCAS

Is there any further information that I can access?

All about Wigan’s ‘High Expectations for All’

The Local Offer from Wigan LA

ADHD Foundation

Colour Blindness Awareness

National Autistic Society

Royal National Institute for the Deaf and Blind People

British Dyslexia Society

Dyspraxia Foundation

Social and Emotional Wellbeing


This policy complies with the statutory requirement laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014) 3.65 and has been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:

  • Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE Feb 2013
  • SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014)
  • School’s SEND Information Report Regulations (2014). See Wigan LA’s High Expectations for All Documentations at:

  • Statutory Guidance on Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (April 2014)
  • The National Curriculum in England Key Stage 3 and 4 framework document (Sept 2013)
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Teachers Standards (2012)