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Local Offer

Arden College

Arden College is situated in the heart of Southport, a vibrant and cultured town on the west coast of Lancashire. The college makes the most of its location, with a lot of the extended curriculum being located in vocational settings within the community.

As a specialist day and residential college for students aged 16-25 years with learning difficulties and disabilities and/or behavioural and social difficulties, Arden College provides individual programmes of support either as 38 or 52 week placements for up to three years.

The college has designed its curriculum to develop, and support, the communication skills that are fundamental to effective learning. The student cohort has changed over the last few years and the number of learners presenting complex support needs has increased. Many students have significant communication issues which could impact on their opportunity to take part in a meaningful programme of study. It is recognised that the expectation for these students rely on different routes and outcomes if the college is truly going to meet their needs.

With a dedicated team of staff, we provide every young person with a personalised programme of education, care, leisure, life skills and training to enable them to live as independently as possible and make their own life choices. The college also offers a wide range of work experience placements which may also lead to paid or voluntary work opportunities.

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Who to contact

Telephone
01704 534 433
E-mail
ardencollege@priorygroup.com
Website
www.priorygroup.com/.../arden-college---southport
Social Media
Twitter Link Facebook Link

Where to go

Address
Arden College,
40 Derby Road
Southport
Merseyside
Postcode
PR9 0TZ

Other Details

Availability

Age Ranges
From 16 years to 25 years

Local Offer

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?

Arden College is a specialist college for students between 16 and 25 with learning difficulties and disabilities and/ or behavioural and social difficulties. As such young people will typically have had the need for extra help identified prior to applying to the college.

Following application to Arden College all young people will have an assessment. This process typically involves observation of the student in their current placement, inviting them for a visit to the college to participate in a variety of activities, and discussion with parents and staff who have previously worked with the young person. We also look at documents and reports from previous placements, as well as the individual’s Education, Health & Care Plan.

Information gathered during the assessment process is firstly used to determine whether the college is able to meet the needs of the young person. It is also used to establish the amount and type of support they will require to meet their learning goals, and to identify lessons and vocational areas that may be of interest.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

The support provided to each young person will depend upon their particular needs. This may be support to learn and develop new skills, to stay safe, to manage behaviour or a combination of all of these. In some cases a student may require close support from staff on a 1:1 basis (or higher) to safely participate in activities, whilst other students may require a lower level of support such as supervision or having a member of staff they can seek help from as needed when they meet a problem.

Staff use a variety of strategies to support young people. This can include modelling, using verbal instructions and using visual resources to support learning. The efficacy of different strategies is noted in a student’s care plans, so that staff are able to use the appropriate strategy with each individual.

One of the aims of the assessment process is to identify the support needs of each student, including whether these vary between settings (eg if a higher level of support is needed when accessing the community). Support needs are regularly reviewed for each student, with adjustments made when necessary. One of the goals of the college is for students to increase their independence as they become more familiar with tasks and activities. As such it is typical for staff to take a step back over time, to allow the student to complete a familiar task with a reduced level of support. This is done at a pace that is comfortable for the individual student, and ensuring their safety remains at the heart of our provision.

For those students whose placements include residential provision we aim that there is a consistent approach to support between the residential and educational settings. Staff who work in the residential unit also work in the college, with the member of staff supporting a student to prepare for college in the morning typically then supporting them with their timetabled sessions for the day. We also use the same care plans in both settings, ensuring that there is consistency in strategies used.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's young person's needs?

During the assessment process the interests, areas of strength and areas of need of each young person are identified. This is done through discussion with the young person them self, with their parents and with staff who have being working with them in previous placements. Where necessary visual resources are used to support learner engagement in this process.

We also consult the young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan to see if there any areas of the curriculum that have previously been identified as of being particular importance to their future learning.

All students have a personal tutor assigned to them. They will meet regularly with the young person, and, amongst other things, will discuss whether their timetable is still suitable. If there are issues we can adjust an individual’s timetable during the academic year if necessary.

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 students have cross-curricular short term targets in a number of areas, including communication, functional literacy, functional numeracy, and social, emotional and behavioural needs. These are addressed in each session that the student participates in across the week. Each half term progress is measured and the short term target may be changed if appropriate. Short term targets are set in consultation with outcomes identified in the young person’s Education, Health & Care Plan.

All students have an annual review, to which the young person and their parents are invited, along with social workers and other professionals. At this meeting progress is discussed and goals for the next year (and beyond) can be identified. As part of this meeting, the young person’s Education, Health & Care Plan will be reviewed to ensure that it still relevant and accurate.

Day students all have a home-college book in which staff will write about what the young person has done in college that day, and in which parents can also leave messages to let college staff know about anything that has happened in the home. Residential students are assigned a keyworker who will phone weekly to update parents about their child’s progress.

All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom parents can discuss progress. This can be by phone or email, and can be a regular arrangement or done on a more ad hoc basis, according to the preferences of the individual parent.

To help parents to support their child’s learning, the college will share strategies and techniques that have been found to be effective. The college will also make available visual resources that may be useful in consolidating learning outside of college hours.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

All students are assigned a personal tutor who is available to provide pastoral support. Depending on the needs and wishes of the individual young person, they can meet with their tutor on a regular basis or as and when required.

Some students will have PHSE and/ or Personal Development as part of their timetable. These sessions allow students to develop their understanding of appropriate interaction and relationships with others.

Arden College fully recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding and that all of its students are vulnerable. The college has rigorous safeguarding procedures and all staff participate in training to ensure that they are aware of current requirements in this area.

What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college

The college has a Speech & Language Therapist who leads the college’s communication team. She carries out an initial communication assessment for all students before they start at the college. Using this information she identifies specific strategies for all staff to support the development of the learner’s communication skills. The Speech & Language Therapist may also write and develop individual support programmes with the aim of aiding the development of specific skills in a young person.

The college also has an Occupational Therapist who carries out assessment of the sensory needs of each young person. This can be used to create a sensory diet for each individual, which includes activities that provide desired sensory input through safe and appropriate methods. The occupational therapist can also identify non-desired sensory input, and can advise on strategies to minimise this, leading to reduction in anxiety and increased engagement in learning.

Where necessary expert specialist advice will be sought, and the college has worked with community nurses, psychologists, advocacy and other external agencies to meet the needs of students. The college recognises the importance of working with other services to provide a consistent approach.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

All staff take part in regular training in a range of areas that help them to support young people with SEND, including:

  • Communication, including signing
  • Understanding Autism
  • Behaviour management, including Team Teach
  • Safeguarding

Courses are led by qualified trainers, and staff will periodically revisit training to refresh their understanding of the area, and to take on new strategies and developments.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

All students will have timetabled sessions outside of the classroom in community settings. This might include work experience in a local shop, walking in the countryside as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or accessing a leisure centre in enrichment.

Before accessing the community a risk assessment is carried out, taking into account the activity to be done and the individual students participating. Where appropriate a student will be given a higher level of support to access the community.

Visual resources are used to support students to prepare them for accessing the community. This may include pictures and information about the place they are to visit, and task cards to support the development of their understanding of areas such as road safety.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment

The college is wheelchair accessible, with lifts between floors.

The college does not have facilities for hoisting.

How will the seting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life

Preparation for joining the college

In the summer term before they join Arden College, all students are invited for a number of visits. During these visits they will join existing groups to participate in lessons. This allows the young person to meet with staff and students they may work whilst at the college and to get used to the surroundings. It also allows our staff to get to know the student. During these visits we may ask that they are accompanied by staff from their previous placement, as this can help the young person get the most out of the days and also allows our staff to learn about effective strategies for working with them.

Preparation for the next stage of education and life

Developing skills for later life is a core part of the curriculum at Arden College. This includes development of independent living skills, such as food preparation, household tasks, personal care and road safety. Young people are also given opportunities to develop vocational skills, including work placements in the community. All students will work towards accredited qualifications across their timetable.

When a future placement has been identified for a young person, the college will support the transition process to ensure that it is as smooth as possible. This can include sharing information and supporting visits to the new placement.

How are the seting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

The assessment process identifies specific needs for each students. This may include support needs, specialist equipment and/ or training that needs to be put in place for staff who will be working with that student. When the college applies to the local authority for funding for a young person’s placement, the amount of funding sought is in line with the needs identified.

The college recognises that the needs of students can change during their placement, and so the level and type of support may need to be changed. The college works with the local authority to ensure that the funding for each student’s changing needs remains appropriate.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will recieve?

All young people are assessed before they start at Arden College. This includes visits by Arden staff to meet the young person in their current educational placement, visits by the young person to participate in activities at Arden, and discussion with parents and staff who have experience of working with the young person. We will also look at documents and reports from previous placements, as well as the individual’s Education, Health & Care Plan.

The assessment process allows the college to determine how much support is appropriate for each young people, including changing support levels across different settings if necessary. We are also able to learn from previous placements about what type of support strategies have been found to be effective (and conversely which have found to have been ineffective). This information is used to prepare an Individual Education Plan for each student, in which the young person’s support needs and effective strategies for working with them are laid out so that all staff are able to provide a consistent approach.

During their time at Arden College, a young person’s support needs are regularly reviewed to ensure that they remain appropriate. The college has the aim of all students developing their skills for independence, and so staff will typically take a step back as the student becomes more familiar with a particular task or activity. We realise that many young people will develop their skills at varying paces across different areas, and so we ensure that support levels remain appropriate for each individual session across a learner’s timetable.

How are parents involved in he setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

Day students all have a home-college book in which staff will write about what the young person has done in college that day, and in which parents can also leave messages to let college staff know about anything that has happened in the home. Residential students are assigned a keyworker who will phone weekly to update parents about their child’s progress.

All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom parents can discuss progress. This can be by phone or email, and can be a regular arrangement or done on a more ad hoc basis, according to the preferences of the individual parent. Parents are also invited to annual review meetings at which they can discuss their child’s progress in a more formal setting.

To help parents to support their child’s learning, the college will share strategies and techniques that have been found to be effective. The college will also make available visual resources that may be useful in consolidating learning outside of college hours.

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