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SEND, Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) & Student Support

sen information report 2024

Identification of children’s additional needs

How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Where possible, Woolwich Poly School for Boys collects data on every child before they start in Year 7; Mrs Franklin – our transition lead – aims to visit all feeder schools before children arrive in year 7. Information is gathered on all students and SEND information is then added to our SEND register and then shared with all teaching staff in the school. If a pupil has an EHC Plan, our SENCo will attend their annual review meeting to ensure a smooth transition from primary. We offer support to a range of different needs, including those under the four main board areas of need (Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Social Emotional and Mental health and Sensory and/or Physical.) Standardised tests and primary school assessments decide the tutor and ability groupings from the start of Year 7. All in-year, admissions are assessed through CATs/reading ages.

Assessments are carried out twice a year for progress.  Reviews are held throughout the year via academic review days with both tutors and subject teachers. The Heads of Year meet with the SENCo regularly to review the needs and express any concerns for each year group during this meeting appropriate intervention provision is discussed and allocated.

The learning support department works closely with subject teachers to ensure pupils work is adapted so all children can access the curriculum confidently and independently.

Parents and carers are welcome to contact and/or meet the SENCo to discuss any wellbeing and academic concerns directly.


Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my child’s SEND?

In School –



Involving students and parents/carers in planning support

How will the school involve me as a parent/carer and my child in meeting our SEND needs and in general school life?

  • If a pupil has an EHCP Parents will be invited to their child’s Annual Review meetings.
  • Parents receive updated guidance through the school’s website and via the MCAS app.
  • Some pupils' needs may require a Key Worker; there will be regular contact between home and school via the keyworker.
  • School will also contact parents via telephone calls, emails and letters. Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time during the school day.
  • All pupils have termly Academic Review days with subject teachers and/or form tutors.

Range of support

What different kinds of support are available to children with SEND?

The Learning Support Department has an open-door policy for our SEND students, we always have a member of the LSA Team on duty to facilitate learning within the department if pupils are finding in-class learning challenging.  We offer a safe space for students to access support both academically and emotionally. 

Woolwich Poly School for Boys learning support department offers a range of academic and wellbeing interventions for our students as detailed below -

Touch Typing

Pupils learn to touch type.  Touch typing is the ability to be able to type using all of the fingers without looking at the keyboard or cognitively thinking about what your fingers are doing.

Calm Club

This is a lunch and break time club for vulnerable students held in learning support, it provides a safe social space where pupils are encouraged to build peer relationships.  

Social skills

Social skills is a group intervention where students have in-depth conversations and play games based around important social topics. In KS3 pupils discuss topics such as creating friendships, transition, mental health, hygiene etc.

Zones of regulation

This is a therapeutic intervention designed for targeted students to teach them how to identify and regulate their feelings; It is an approach used to support the development of self-regulation in children.

Additional literacy

This is a group intervention where additional literacy teaching is provided. During this group work students can have any gaps in learning identified and filled as well as having more in-depth focused skills for GCSE texts developed. We also provide additional reading for KS3.

Draw and Talk (wellbeing)

Drawing and Talking is a therapeutic approach that allows individuals to discover and communicate emotions through a non-directed technique.

ELSA (wellbeing)

We have three trained ELSA’s on the learning support staff; ELSA is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, their job is to encourage and teach students to learn how to understand, identify and manage their feelings. 


Flower skills is a college providing a multi skills course where the students study a variety of construction skills including bricklaying, plumbing and painting. This course is offered to specific students in KS4.  


Archway is a youth project based in Abbey Wood offering a range of educational workshops and recreational activities focused on off-road motorbike, bike, and car mechanics. Students are specially selected to attend Archways once a week as an addition to their academic.


ASDAN is a personal development programme, the students work toward Bronze, Silver and/or Gold certificates (this is tailored to their ability) and complete variety of challenges which are designed to develop personal, social and work-related skills.

Speech and Language Groups

Children who are diagnosed with Speech and language disorders are selected to join SALT groups, where they will participate in activities designed to develop and manage speech and language skills appropriately as directed by our external Speech and language therapy team.

If you are a parent of a pupil with SEND please also see the Royal Borough of Greenwich Local Offer website, this is a useful source of information and services available.

Measuring children’s progress

How will the school know how well my child is doing and how will they inform me about this?

If your child has an EHC plan they will have an annual review each year and will be allocated a keyworker from the learning support department who will keep you informed. Parents are welcome to contact learning support at any time to discuss concerns and to inform us of any issues.

The progress of all other pupils in the school, including those on the Special Educational Needs Register, are monitored and measured during regular data drops. The data is then analysed and monitored by the Raising Standards Leaders. Meetings are held to discuss identified pupils and actions are taken to ensure all students are making progress.

Support and Training for school staff

Have any staff received specialist training in SEND?

The SENCo has the statutory National Award qualification for SENCO’s as stated as a requirement in the SEND Code of practice 2016.

Staff regularly have CPD and INSET. This is delivered as a whole school and within departments. INSET and CPD is delivered by both internal and external providers.

Outside agencies develop and support staff knowledge and expertise by continually being updated on how to best support our young people.

Learning support assistants hold a range of qualifications. Several LSA’s are Draw and Talk facilitators, ELSA trained, CENMAC facilitators and have knowledge and expertise working with children with visual impairment.

The Learning Support department are supported by numerous outside agencies such as ASD outreach, Sensory Services, Speech and Language therapists and the Educational Psychologist service. The school has a pastoral and well-being service that includes trained counsellors, it offers a large programme of support and is supported by the MHST (Mental Health in Schools Team).


How is the school accessible to children with SEND?

There is onsite disabled parking available and disabled toilets, our school site is for most part a single storey building. There is a lift and ramp access to areas of the school building that are not on ground floor level. These areas include the canteen, English block and some of the outdoor area. Our premises staff are very willing to make reasonable adjustments to the school site where necessary.


How will the school ensure that my child will be included in all activities at school, after school clubs and on school trips?

Children with SEND are encouraged to participate in all activities, we aim to make reasonable adjustments where possible so that all pupils can enjoy all the activities on offer, inclusive of after school clubs and school trips.

We are committed to quality first teaching across all areas of the curriculum. Teachers have access to the SEND register which provides strategies appropriate to each pupil to help them succeed in the classroom. Pupils with EHC Plans may have access to in-class support.


How will the school support my child to change classes and/or move on when they reach the appropriate stages?

Transition stages at the end of Key Stage 3 (Y6 –7) and from Year 11 moving into post-16 placement are carefully planned for.

Our Year 7 transition lead visits and gathers information from all the local primary schools to ensure that the transition process is smooth and successful. The SENCo from both WPSfB and the primary school will meet to discuss successful strategies and interventions that may need to continue. All teachers have access to a transition booklet where they are made aware of those pupils that may require additional support. If it is recognised that certain individual pupils will struggle with the transition from primary into secondary school WPSfB will invite them to attend additional transition days. For many this move can be daunting and additional parent and pupil visits are required and welcomed.

Once attending their new school some pupils are offered a Year 7 transition support group that is delivered by our wellbeing service. In addition, because it is recognised that transition can be daunting to our young people there is a larger team of staff co-ordinating and supporting the year 7 cohort. During Term 1 parents and carers are invited in to meet their sons tutor and Head of Year team. WPSfB recognise education works best when home and school work together.

When pupils transition into their post-16 placements all SEND information and access arrangements will be shared with all feeder post-16 placements. Students with an EHC Plan will meet with their keyworkers to discuss learning pathways, this meeting and discussion ensures that the best college choice are made in relation to pupils individual learning needs.

Additionally, when EHCP students are in year 9 and making option choices, they will meet with the careers officer from the local authority to explore and discuss future choices.


Learning Support

Learning Support

The Learning Support Department aims to provide a safe, secure environment to support the learning and personal development for students that find mainstream lessons a challenge.

Students with Special Educational Needs at our school will receive the best education, have the highest expectations for the quality of their work and be self-confident in their learning. Our priority is that all students reach their full potential and make as much progress as they can.

The department provides additional support for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). SEND students will have School Support, or have a statement/EHCP. Many of our students have complex needs covering a variety of differences across a broad spectrum.

The Learning Support Team aims to tailor its support to each individual student’s needs. Support offered has a very clear focus on working with subject departments, including assisting subject teachers in developing a variety of differentiated materials and strategies to enable all learners to succeed. Students can expect to be supported in any subject depending on their needs.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

We have an EAL department that supports students that arrive in school with a poor command of the English language.

For the few students who are in the early stages of learning English, they require differentiated work set and may receive additional adult support in class or a short-term withdrawal programme. We aim to facilitate the integration of students for whom English is an additional language into the full life of the school, as quickly and as effectively as possible. The support is specific to the needs of students and changes as the student's needs change.

Designated Specialist Provision - DSP

Woolwich Polytechnic Designated Specialist Provision is for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) and ASD. Admissions to Woolwich Polyechnic DSP are made through the RBG SEN.

The criteria is as follows:

  • Have diagnosis of ASD/MLD
  • Normally have an EHCP with ASD as primary need
  • They should have potential to access and engage in some mainstream learning with appropriate support 

Students are supported by specialist staff within the provision which comprises of two main classrooms, a lifeskills area, sensory garden, outside learning space, sensory room and access to own toilet area.


The DSP aims to provide students with the best possible learning environment to meet their individual needs and for students to develop social, independent skills and gain qualifications relevant to their next steps. We currently have 15 students in the DSP.

  • The DSP is a nurturing environment where we support students to transition into a secondary mainstream environment
  • Develop communication and interaction and social skills with peers
  • Access the curriculum
  • Develop independence
  • Develop literacy and numeracy
  • Develop life skills
  • Gain appropriate qualifications for future education and employment
  • Access the local community

Multi-Disciplinary Team

We work closely with parents/carers along with a range of other professionals involved with each individual student. This can include Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, CAMHS, Outreach services, Children with Disabilities team and health professionals.

Meet the DSP Team

Ms S Murphy - Head of DSP:


  • The students have individual visual timetables
  • Individual workstations and small group intervention
  • The environment is calm and distraction free
  • Rewards and working towards approach
  • Resources to meet sensory needs


  • Structured approach and visuals to support
  • Staff know individual students well to reduce anxiety and recognise triggers
  • Students use a reward system to motivate and engage
  • Positive approach and work towards strengths and motivators
  • Trips and visits are an important part of learning
  • Students are rewarded for successes

Low arousal approach

  • The environment is kept visually calm and ordered
  • Students voice is listened to and time allowed to manage difficulties
  • Opportunities for own time and space throughout the day to manage work and sensory overload when needed


Students have their own personalised timetable based on their individual needs which includes mainstream lessons along with accessing the curriculum and interventions within the DSP. Students follow a personalised curriculum to meet their own individual needs. Depending on their pathway they will follow either an adapted curriculum (EQUALS, AQA UAS, ASDAN, Entry Level, Functional skills or GCSE where appropriate). Many of these lessons include practical activities which support independence and tolerance of new sensory stimuli. The DSP provides specialist interventions to help develop the student's communication, interaction, self regulation and independence.

Specific Teaching Approaches

  • Visual timetables
  • Now and next approach
  • Attention Autism
  • Travel Training
  • Outdoor learning
  • Sensory circuits
  • Social stories and comic strip conversations
  • Social skills
  • Lego therapy

Students are supported in developing language and communication skills through 1-1 and small groups. Interventions may also include Attention Autism, fine and gross motor skills, social skills, life skills and travel training. Students also engage in a range of physical activities to develop key skills and support wellbeing. These include trampolining, swimming and yoga.

Link to local offer:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer | Greenwich Community Directory

Link to ACE Participation Group:

Action Change Equality (ACE) | Greenwich Community Directory

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