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Plume Academy is an inclusive school, committed to providing all students,

including those with special educational needs and disabilities, access to an ambitious range of academic and enrichment opportunities.  Our first response to overcome barriers to learning is through universal high-quality teaching and appropriate differentiation, further complemented by specialist guidance and support designed to meet individual needs and aspirations.


Students are inspired to develop into confident young people, adequately equipped and prepared, academically, socially and emotionally for life in a modern, diverse society through a supportive and nurturing environment sustained through coordinated partnership with all stakeholders.


The SEND team support preparation, delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, by gathering and sharing information to provide guidance and strategies to overcome potential barriers, so that all students can engage effectively, retain knowledge, develop and apply skills, enjoy learning and grow in confidence.


Alongside additional staff support in designated lessons, supplementary and alternative programmes of study and interventions are offered to complement the curriculum, enhancing or reinforcing learning.  Maintaining positive student wellbeing, including emotional, social and mental health, is an essential ingredient in development and progress, a range of support mechanisms and tools are employed to aid student welfare, including quiet rooms, emotional literacy and social skills provision.

Students who receive targeted SEND support which is ‘additional to or different from’ the universal offer at Plume Academy have individual strategies documented on a One Page Profile and regular ‘One Planning’ meetings will be held to review targets and strategies. 

Cognition and Learning

Cognition refers to the thinking skills involved in gaining knowledge and understanding and learning refers to the process of acquiring knowledge or skills. Young people with special educational needs may learn at a slower pace, even with appropriate differentiation. Difficulties may be related to only one specific area of learning (SpLD) or may be more general (MLD).

Curriculum related areas impacted by difficulties in cognition and learning include:

  • Reading, writing and spelling
  • Comprehension
  • Processing difficulties such as sequencing and inference
  • Numeracy
  • Working memory
  • Short term verbal memory

Plume Academy use a range of targeted intervention programmes to support learning in this area:

  • Attack Spelling
  • Numeracy Ninjas
  • Reading: fluency, comprehension, inference
  • Touch Typing
  • Working Memory Activities

Communication and Interaction

Communication is the sharing of information, it can be transmitted one way, whereas interaction refers to acting in a manner which affects another, it is reciprocal or two way.

Communication and interaction difficulties are usually considered under two main headings: speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and autistic spectrum condition (ASC).

Young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. They may have difficulties in one or more of the following areas at different times of their lives:

  • Receptive Language. Understanding what is said, written or signed
  • Phonological or articulation skills. Making the movements which produce speech or from dysfluency, or stammering
  • Expressive language. Joining words together, in the right order to make complex sentences to convey meaning
  • Processing information and responding appropriately to the verbal communication of others

Young people with autistic spectrum condition (ASC) may have some difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others. They may have difficulties:

  • Interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice
  • Understanding abstract concepts, they may take things literally
  • Recognising or understanding others' feelings and intentions or expressing their own emotions
  • Recognising and regulating their emotions; feeling overwhelmed can lead to a meltdown or shutdown
  • Understanding age-related social conventions of interaction, such as turn-taking during conversations or appropriate level of physical contact during play
  • Managing uncertainty, they prefer routines
  • Managing sensory sensitivities, they may experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, colours, temperatures or pain

A range of targeted intervention programmes are offered at Plume Academy to support development in this area:

  • Phonics
  • Social stories
  • Social skills: Communication, Empathy, Interactions, Managing Emotions
  • Heathy relationships

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) is a broad term which embraces a range of different needs which can lead to young people feeling anxious, misunderstood or scared. This area of need includes attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder.

Young people may have difficulties with social situations or interaction:

  • Forming and maintaining relationships with others
  • Disruptive, uncooperative or antisocial behaviour

Young people may have their difficulties recognising and understanding emotions in themselves and others, emotional regulation, building resilience and managing stress.

These difficulties may be expressed through:

  • Outbursts of temper, frustration or anger
  • Verbal and physical threats or acts of aggression
  • Withdrawn and depressed attitudes
  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm

At Plume Academy, we support the development of young people using targeted support and intervention programmes, including:

  • Mentoring
  • Quiet rooms at MRC and FRC
  • Counsellor
  • Break and Lunchtime Supervised Buddy Rooms
  • Anxiety and Worry Toolkit
  • Social skills: Communication, Empathy, Interactions, Managing Emotions
  • Starving the Gremlins: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Exam Stress
  • Banish the Thief: Body image, Self-esteem
  • Positive Me
  • Self-esteem Workbook
  • Zones of Regulation

In the event young people exhibit persistent symptoms of a diagnosable mental health condition, staff at Plume Academy would seek professional engagement to initiate and engage appropriate support.

Mental health challenges may include:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Phobias
  • Self-harm
  • Obsessional pre-occupations
  • Persistent intrusive thoughts
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Trauma

Sensory and Physical Needs

Sensory needs can be wide ranging and include hearing impairment, visual impairment, sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties. Young people with sensory and / or physical differences may find it challenging to access some Academy facilities.

In order to support young people with sensory and physical differences, Plume Academy has a range of adaptive solutions:

  • Accessible toilets and changing facilities
  • Lifts and stairlifts
  • Noise reducing ear defenders and ear buds
  • Specialist equipment
  • Personal Care staff
  • Physiotherapy facilities
Our experienced student first aid team oversee the medical provision for our students. Supporting Students with Medical Needs Policy

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We deliver a variety of tailored interventions to assist the students’ wider learning. We work closely with key departments and the pastoral team to identify areas of support required and organise relevant, targeted and successful interventions. Under the Literacy umbrella we deliver interventions in areas such as: reading, phonics, handwriting, typing skills, speech and language, spelling and reading comprehension. For Numeracy support we deliver specific interventions covering all aspects of maths from basic time skills to algebra. Our Social, Emotional and Mental Health area covers a huge range of social skills including self-esteem, self-confidence, friendships and emotions.


Our interventions either take place during Learning Group time in the morning or are integrated into lesson time. The sessions are delivered in one to one or in small group settings, allowing your child to fully engage and benefit from this specialist support.

Breakfast Hub

A morning intervention that provides an opportunity for students to ‘check in’ with key members of staff, take part in mindfulness crafts/activities and have some breakfast. This intervention seeks to prepare students to positively face the day ahead.


A range of interventions delivered by our Senior LSA for Literacy. These include reading comprehension, fluency, recall, spelling, handwriting, typing and more. Interventions can be 1:1 or as a group, depending on student need.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

A range of interventions delivered by our Senior LSA for SEMH. These include social skills, positive me, zones of regulation, social stories and more. Interventions can be 1:1 or as a group, depending on student need.

SEND Interventions at Plume Academy

Speech and Language

A range of interventions delivered by our Senior LSA for Literacy. This can include sentence structure, word recognition, recall and comprehension, phonics and more. Interventions can be 1:1 or as a group, depending on student need.

Reading Recovery

An intervention led by LSAs and trained College students to boost students’ skills and confidence in reading whilst nurturing a love for reading and literacy. Delivered in small groups.

Year 11 Focus Group

An intervention delivered by Senior LSAs for Literacy and Numeracy, providing students with key skills and strategies for approaching their exams and covering key information relevant to Maths and English examinations.

More information about how students of Plume Academy are supported can be found by clicking on the links below.  If you have any questions or queries, or would like to give us feedback on the SEND information on our website, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The SEND Code of Practice (January 2015) identifies four broad areas of Special Educational Needs:

Working closely with external agencies

We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with a wide range of external agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, outreach support services such as YMCA, Autism Anglia, Travel Training, IAG, Families in Focus and Occupational Therapists. Together we work hard to offer the best support for your child.



SEND Staff:

The SEND Core Team:

Mrs. O. Bamigbele SENDCo & Assistant Vice Principal – Inclusion 

Miss H. Walls Deputy SENDCo


Mr. G. Chapman EAL Coordinator &Teacher of SEND

Mrs. J. Hiscock SEND Student Progress Manager, KS3 & SEND Transition Support

Mrs. S. Archer SEND Student Progress Manager, KS4/5


Senior LSA Coordinators:

Mrs. K. Ager Senior LSA Literacy Coordinator

Senior LSA Social, Emotional, Mental Health Coordinator

Miss H Smith Senior LSA Numeracy Coordinator


Teaching Assistants:

Mr Tom Brooks, Mrs Heather Morrell, Mrs Kate Smith, Mrs Dee Pilcher, Mrs Lydia Lloyd, Miss Charley Tompkins, Miss Ellie Booth, 


Personal Care Teaching Assistants:

Mrs Marie Cook, Mrs Alana Wilson, Mrs Niki Timson, Mrs Sharon Pittuck

Supported by:

Mrs. D. Tompkins SEND Administrator

Mrs L Judd SEND Administrator