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Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College is a vibrant inclusive college in Southampton. Our core business is to provide full time education to 16 - 19 year olds (currently around 1250) but we also offer part-time adult education courses and provide facilities for a wide range of other community-based activities during evenings and weekends.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Paul Swindale
Contact Position
023 8051 1811
Social Media

Where to go

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College
Hill Lane
SO15 5RL
Children's Centre Areas
North Shirley

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Transitions to Adulthood (16+)
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type

Other Education Extended Local Offer details from Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

How does your education setting know if children/young people need extra help and what do I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College identifies students with special educational needs in a number of different ways. Students will be screened on entry to college using a range of activities that include reading, writing and spelling. We use the screening activities to work out who may need to go on to have extra diagnostic assessment. We will use all of this information to decide if a student has additional support needs that can be accommodated both in class and out.

Any available information about a student’s needs and any successful support strategies that were used at their previous school are requested before the start of term. This helps us to continue the good practice that was happening previously, and ensures we can plan for a student’s needs.

During enrolment interviews, we ask each young person and their carers/parents for information about how much help the student receives at school and how we can best support the student at college.

Class teachers are also able to refer students for extra support at any point in the year, and are experienced at identifying the needs of learners.

We provide a range of diagnostic assessments for literacy difficulties and dyslexia. This means that possible additional support needs can be identified and catered for in a way that is specific and personal to the student.

If you feel it would be beneficial to discuss your young person’s transition from school with us, then please do get in touch with the learning support department.

How will the education setting staff support my child / young person?

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College has a team of experienced professionals who are able to plan and deliver support and individual education programmes for students with special education needs or disabilities. Our learning support department manager and administrator work to plan and oversee all of the support that each student with special educational needs requires. They will contact you when and where necessary to liaise and ensure appropriate decisions have been made. All parents/carers are welcome to call or come in to talk to our learning support manager about their young person and their support plan.

There is also a fully qualified dyslexia specialist in the learning support department who is able to assess, plan and deliver teaching for learners with dyslexia.

Our team of teaching and student support assistants are trained and experienced in working with students with a variety of disabilities, specific learning difficulties and special education needs. They are able to work both in class and out, to provide support and additional tuition for students to enable them to excel.

If you feel that your young person may need personal care, such as help with toileting, please contact the Learning Support Manager, Roger Jones, on 023 80514728 to discuss your young person’s needs further.

How will the curriculum at your education setting be matched to my child / young person's needs?

Our entry requirements are designed to ensure that the curriculum matches each student’s needs. Students applying for a one year, level 2 programme will be expected to have achieved mostly C and D grades at GCSE. For students who have mostly D and E grades at GCSE a two year level 2 programme may be more appropriate. Qualifications other than GCSE (e.g. BTEC) may be considered. Students with no formal qualifications will be assessed individually. In order to commence a Level 3 programme, students should have attained five GCSEs, including English Language, at grade C or above.

We want to ensure that every student is challenged and supported in a way that is appropriate for their needs and ability. We also adapt lessons for specific learning difficulties where necessary. For example, students with dyslexia will have their learning style and needs accommodated using both dyslexia friendly teaching techniques and resources. Where it is possible, physical changes to a classroom environment will also be made.

If your young person is entitled to examination access arrangements, like extra time, they will be given the same help for controlled assessment course work. We also accommodate their access needs within the classroom too. For instance, a scribe or reader can be in class to help as they work. The teacher will also be aware if they require additional time to complete work, or the assistance of a reader. We want that kind of provision to become their normal way of working.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child / young person's learning?

We consider progress monitoring and assessment for learning to be fundamental to our learners’ education. Teachers conduct many forms assessment during the course of a lesson and term, and ensure accurate regular testing and assessment is used to inform current progress grades and predicted final grades. In addition to this, observation, collaborative target setting and student discussion are used to make and record a holistic, pastoral and documentary approach to progress monitoring.

Regular contact between parents/carers and staff is maintained throughout the year. Tutors will often contact home to update on performance or express concerns, should they arise. You are also always welcome to initiate contact with any member of staff who has been working with your young person. Parents/carers are also able to access ‘Moodle’, our online learning environment. Here you will find information about you young person’s progress.

Formal feedback about your young person’s progress will take place regularly throughout their time at college. A review day happens once a term where they will have a chance to talk to their tutor and reflect on teacher comments about their progress. Parents/carers are also invited to take part in these review meetings. Regular parents’/carers’ evenings are also scheduled throughout the academic year to enable you to meet with each teacher and review progress.

Some students may be invited to take part in writing a Student Passport, our version of a personalised learning plan with learning strategies, targets and helpful information.

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

Students may find, during their time at college, that they have some difficulties that are not directly related to their studies. If left, these things can often become more and more of a concern so, we will always encourage them to get help. It is good for a student to speak to their tutor in the first instance as they will have developed a good relationship with their tutor and they are there to be the student’s advocate. Depending on the worry, this can then be referred onto a teacher or learning manager to give more advice and support. This may involve additional guidance or learning support to enable the student to remain focused and achieve.

We may sometimes refer a student onto a counselling service that can take place in college, or suggest that they speak to an external counselling or psychological service.

In any case, we will encourage the student to express how they feel and ask them to take an active role (where appropriate) in the planning of any help or assistance they may need.

If you feel personal care is necessary for your young person’s attendance then we will meet with you to discuss what sort of support package we can put in place.

Students who take medication are responsible for this process themselves. If they need to store something in a fridge then we will be happy to help with this. Otherwise, the student will be asked to look after and administer their own medication.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your education setting?

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College has a British Dyslexia Association accredited, qualified dyslexia specialist with a current Assessment Practising Certificate who is able to conduct full diagnostic assessment and deliver specialised tuition for students with dyslexia.

The college staff can and do also regularly access the expertise of professionals outside the college. If we feel a student would benefit from the input of a counsellor, doctor or physiotherapist for example, or it is appropriate to get some help from social care services, we will make sure that we access the right support and help for the student and us.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?

All of the learning support team are trained in the delivery of literacy intervention and tuition for students with dyslexia.

There are also learning support staff members who are trained and very experienced in working with students on the Autistic spectrum.

All members of the learning support team regularly take part in continued training on a range of special educational needs. We aim to make this relevant for the learners that we have in college at the time. As a result, we will be forward thinking in terms of what skills we need to develop for new students.

How will my child / young person be included in activities including trips run by your setting?

Teachers will be aware of the individual needs of each student. Participation in class trips and activities is always encouraged. Teachers will therefore be proactive in putting the correct arrangements in place to enable a student to take part in an activity or trip. If necessary, the teacher will talk to the student and the learning support department to arrange extra help or the assistance of a member of the learning support team to accompany the student and so enable them to take part in college activities and trips.

Students can always approach their tutor, class teacher or the member of staff leading a particular club or enrichment group, if they have any concerns about a possible barrier to taking part in college activities.

If you, as a parent/carer, feel you would also like to have any input in planning the arrangements for an activity or trip, or indeed we feel we need your input to get the arrangements right, then you will be welcome to discuss the arrangements with the team and help develop the correct approach.

How accessible is your education setting? ( indoors and outdoors)

Our building is fully wheelchair accessible, including ramps, automatic doors and lifts to allow access to the second floor. We also have disabled changing and toilet facilities.

It is very important to us, that we enable good communication with a home that does not have English as a first language. In some instances we have a member of staff who is able to translate and so support successful communication with parents/carers. Where translation is not possible, we will endeavour to communicate in the most appropriate way. This may often be in a face-to-face meeting rather than over the phone.

How will the education setting prepare and support my child / young person to join the education setting, transfer to a new setting and or the next education stage and life?

It is important to give students a chance to get familiar with college before starting. We offer all students the opportunity to come along to a taster day, where they can try out the courses and see what a college day is like.

We can arrange a time for individual students who may also want to come in to look around on their own. They can meet the learning support team and talk about any worries and needs they think we should know about.

In addition to high quality teaching and learning, we help students to prepare for university by ensuring they have the right study skills and study habits by the time they have finished at college. We can offer full diagnostic assessment of Specific Learning Difficulties for the purposes of Disabled Student Allowance.

As well as encouraging the development of responsibility, independent learning and team work, we work with outside agencies to give advice on apprenticeships and traineeships. Extensive careers advice is available to all. Careers fairs provide students with the opportunities to explore workplace options with a variety of employers.

Should a student wish to transfer to another Sixth Form or Further Education college, we endeavour to provide the student with all the information necessary to make an informed choice. We work with the new college to provide all the information they need regarding learning support provision to ensure a smooth transfer.

How are the education setting resources allocated and matched to children and young people's Special Educational Needs and disabilities?

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College offers additional learning support to all students in the form of Upgrade, our study support provision. This means that any student who feels they would benefit from some 1:1 input on study skills, for example essay planning, or literacy support for spelling, is welcome to engage with this. It is not limited to any criteria of need or entry requirement. We subsequently find students of all levels and abilities coming to Upgrade for regular study skills development.

Students with higher dependency needs will receive higher funding levels to reflect their needs. This is then allocated for the support requirements of that student. For example, a student may need 1:1 supervision throughout the day, including lunchtime, as well as some personal care. The cost of that provision can be high, but is covered by the proportionate allocation of funds.

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

Decisions regarding the type and amount of support a student will receive are based on a number of channels of information. One way we identify students with special educational needs is to screen students on entry to college using a range of activities that include comprehension, reading, writing and spelling. We use the screening activities to work out who may need to go on to have extra diagnostic assessment. We will use all of this information to decide if a student has additional support needs that can be accommodated both in class and out.

In addition, any available information about a student’s needs and any successful support strategies that were used at their previous school are also requested before the start of term in order to continue the good practice that was happening at the previous school.

The student and parents/carers are also integral to the decision about support provision. We will want to discuss what support is appropriate with you if this is something your young person has had in the past, or you have concerns or points that you want to make.

The support that is provided will be regularly reviewed in order to ensure it remains effective. This review may take the form of continued assessment for progress or observation of behaviour/attainment both in class and out. We always want to make sure what we are doing is having an impact and is valuable for the student.

How are parents / young people currently involved in your education setting? How can I be involved?

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College welcomes input from parents/carers at every stage in the academic year. Parents/carers are able to contact any of their young person’s teachers to arrange meetings where necessary in order to discuss and have input on support and development strategies for the student.

We also ensure a very close working relationship with parents/carers for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We have found it crucial to develop an ongoing dialogue with parents/carers in order to build an appropriate support plan for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities that enables the student to progress in their educational setting and reach targets for future career and educational destinations.

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