School Offer

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Heaton School is a secondary special school for children and young people aged 11- 19 years maintained by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. It caters for young people who have • profound and multiple learning difficulties • complex health and medical needs • physical disabilities • severe learning difficulties • autism • social & communication difficulties
Admissions to Heaton School for pupils with Special Educational Needs are made through Stockport Local Authority. All pupils have an Education, Health and Care Plan.
We work in three departments based on Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Within each department children may be grouped depending on their needs, abilities and social preferences in mixed year groups. We also co-locate classes that have similar needs to share good practice and link for subjects such as PE, Performing Arts and Music. Heaton School follows an inclusive philosophy, students are currently taught in classes created to enable students to follow 3 broad and overlapping pathways that enable curriculum leaders and teachers to plan for students to access learning and be assessed at an appropriate level.
  • These pathways are Encounter / Experience (H1-3) Explore / Experiment (H4-7) Develop / Apply (H8 and above)
    • Small class sizes that vary from 5 - 10 in a class
    • A very high level of staffing - each class comprises of one teacher and a minimum of 3 teaching assistants
    • Highly skilled and knowledgeable staff, with expertise in numerous specialist teaching approaches to maximise the children’s access to the curriculum. These include; Positive Behaviour Support, Zones of Regulation and sensory integration, TEACCH and multisensory teaching
    • The school uses a total communication approach which includes Makaton signing, Intensive Interaction, PECS, Objects of Reference and AAC
    • Therapy needs are part of every lesson. Class teams provide Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and speech and language strategies in all lessons – guided by a strong team of professionals based on site
    • Therapists based on site provide training to staff and targeted interventions for students
    • We provide comprehensive support to families through the Family Liaison team
    • We run after school clubs and holiday club to help children enjoy their leisure time
    • The school believes very much in the benefits of the performing arts to help children learn and develop
    • The school is increasingly developing the work related curriculum in order to prepare children for adult life.
In the last three Ofsted inspections (2009, 2012 and 2016) we were rated Outstanding. We aim to prepare children for adult life and therefore focus heavily on independence, communication and social skills as well as providing an exciting and broad curriculum.
The school is a very safe environment with a fob system on external and internal doors, it is all on one level and fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is overhead tracking in all classes and other key areas of school. There are specialist rooms such as a multimedia learning environment, warm water pool, sensory room and food technology room. We have an indoor trampoline for rebound Therapy. The school grounds are extensive and there are lovely garden and play areas, including an outdoor Gym, a sensory music area, a multi-use games area, trampoline and large swing. Class Dojo – is used in each class to communicate with parent’s daily, sharing messages, photos and videos of student’s activity. Forest School – We have an excellent forest school area, student’s access this weekly and some daily. The school has two minibuses accessible to all students. There are four “low stim” / sensory areas that can also provide a safe space for children if they need it.
There is an extensive multi-disciplinary team working on site. This includes: Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and HYMS. There is a School Nursing Service including a nurse and nursing assistant. The school has routine visits from our Educational Psychologist. Peripatetic teachers visit the school on a weekly basis including music therapy and a qualified teacher of children with multi-sensory impairment from Stockport’s Sensory Support Service. The school hosts a number of clinics; there is a regular paediatric clinic provided by Dr Berchtold, a continence clinic, orthotic and wheelchair clinics and occasional visits from the dental team. Dinners are cooked on site. Our school cook caters for all special diets. The school has strong links with Travel Coordination and provides annual training for drivers and escorts.
We have extensive links with all other specials schools in Stockport via the Special School Alliance for all Stockport Special Schools and Governors. We develop links with colleges as part of transition to post 19 services. We have a link with Brentwood School in Trafford to allow us to moderate and work together to ensure robust and affective delivery of lessons and assessment. We are part of the SHAPES Alliance and host disability sport competitions in school.
Teachers inform parents of children’s progress in a number of ways throughout the year. We hold 2 parents afternoons and send targets and reports home at 3 points in the school year. Each child has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). This is written at the beginning of the school year and the targets in the plans are evaluated each term to show progress. Each child has an Annual Review meeting between school staff and parents and a report is written by the class teacher. The multi-disciplinary team are also invited to this review. Annual review targets from the previous year are evaluated and new targets are agreed. At the end of each school year the Learning Journey is sent home for families to keep.
Children’s progress is continually monitored using an online platform called classroom monitor that allows us to track progress in H Levels, this information is shared with parents as above. Each pupil’s progress is carefully checked using the schools assessment processes. Pupils are given a baseline assessment on arrival at school and their progress is monitored and tracked until they leave school. The assessments we use in school to measure children’s progress is a new system that we have written specifically for our students (H-Levels) and Accredited courses in Key Stage 5 (WJEC accreditation in Entry Level 1- Pupil Progress and our own Outcomes for Adulthood award in Yr14.and Duke of Edinburgh). We assess skills and progress in 7 broad areas to inform planning from KS3 through to KS5 and beyond based around the outcomes for adulthood: –English –Maths –Communication –Life Skills –Physical and Health –Friendship and Community –Understanding the World Each of these areas is overseen by one of our most experienced teachers and monitored and developed by a team of teachers and support staff. Heaton school’s curriculum is organised in to rolling programmes for each subject to create a frame work that gives multiple opportunities to teach and assess skills in the 7 H Levels in every part of the students day – not just in lesson time.
Each child at Heaton has an Individual Education Plan linked to their EHCP. These are a series of targets that focus on priorities and may be in the areas of; Communication and Language development, Personal, Social and Emotional skills, Core Skills and Physical skills. The targets are written with input from therapy colleagues and are based upon the child’s strengths and areas of need. Children in Key Stage 4 & 5 complete the WJEC Personal Progress Level 1 course and a variety of accredited courses appropriate for their needs interests and abilities including the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards.
Parents are invited to visit the school when their child is in year 5 ( or year 11 if seeking a post 16 placement) The parents of children who are given a place at Heaton are invited to a new parents meeting in September. Children attend preadmission visits in the summer term during which they have a look round school and meet and spend time with other children and Heaton staff. Once class teams are finalised you will be sent a staff list including photos to share with you child over the holiday. Transitions between classes are supported by; meetings between class teachers, the planned movement of familiar teaching assistants who move between classes each year and visits to their new classrooms. Transitions to other schools are supported by close liaison with the new school team, including the compilation of a comprehensive transition information file. Visit from the new school team are encouraged and staff and children would also visit the new school.
Heaton School is a safe place to learn. First and foremost the high level of staff is crucial to keeping children safe. All staff are trained in child protection, moving and handling and Team Teach training. All staff and regular visitors to school are DBS checked. We have a number of staff who are first aid trained and strong links with the school nursing service. Team Teach is Stockport’s approved approach to supporting children with challenging behaviour. This includes, as a last resort, physical interventions to keep children safe. Our physical environment is secured with fobs to all external doors and there is a requirement for all visitors to the school to sign in at the office and wear a badge around school. All off-site visits, are fully risk assessed. The school has a comprehensive Safeguarding policy. This is available on request.
All medical needs are supported across school and using the multidisciplinary team around all students. We have a full-time school nurse on site. If a child has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled by the nurse and parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff involved with the pupil. Teachers and Teaching Assistants are trained by the nursing team to administer regular medication and numerous feeding needs.
Learning out of school is an important part of our curriculum, we use as many opportunities to experience the community as possible. We offer swimming at Grand Central for appropriate Key Stage 3 pupils, who will attend for a term each year of Key Stage 3. We make use of community facilities to enrich our children’s experiences in all subjects when possible and appropriate. Each class has a session timetabled to access the community weekly – this will be used to supplement and allow practical experiences in a variety of subjects. Pupils aged will access work experience within or out of school if appropriate. We use our grounds extensively for environmental education, leisure, gardening and Forest School. We are involved in the Greater Manchester special schools network of summer and winter games.
Heaton School benefits from a highly experienced and supportive Governing Body whose members hold a great deal of expertise and knowledge about the school, education, local issues, finance and specific experiences that specifically support a Special School. Governors have a responsibility to make sure that the school’s decisions are in pupil’s best interests and to promote high standards of educational achievement. The Governing Body monitors and evaluates the work on school improvement issues. All Governors share a joint responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The Governing Body agrees priorities for spending, including the use of Pupil Premium with the overall aim that children will receive the support they need in order to make progress.
We have a school council with representatives voted in by peers on an annual basis. Staff are skilled at interpreting children’s responses and reading their behaviour through our total communication approach. We use objects of reference, photos and symbols to help children make choices and express themselves. You can support us in giving your child a voice by actively using Class Dojo to let us know what your child has done at the weekend and in holidays. Children are helped to contribute to their Annual Review with a personal statement.
Complaints about minor matters within school should be discussed with the class teacher in the first instance. However whatever the issue and certainly with more serious concerns parents should contact the Headteacher. Please do not hesitate as it is better to sort out issues than dwell on them. We will always treat complaints seriously. If the complaint is about the Head Teacher you would contact the Chair of Governors. If it is about the Governing Body you should contact Stockport Local Authority. The school complies with Stockport’s agreed procedure for complaints.
We welcome visits to the school. These can be arranged through the school office.
  • Please contact the school office on 0161 432 1931.
  • Alternatively please contact Jonathan Curtis, Headteacher to discuss any aspect of our school offer.
  • For more information on the curriculum or a specific subject please contact either the Class Teacher or Head of Department (Karen Meese KS3, Ruth Martin KS4 & Jane Philpott P16) in the first instance.
  • For information around Positive Behaviour Support – Steve Ivey (Behaviour Lead).
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