Schools Provision Statement

Rushey Meadows (within Rushey Mead Academy)

Our School

Rushey Meadows is an inclusive environment offering a broad and balanced curriculum, as well as bespoke interventions, to students aged 11 to 16 years old with an Educational Health Care Plan for additional needs for communication and interaction.

We are housed within Rushey Mead Academy, (classed as outstanding by Ofsted since 2007), and our students are an integral part of the Rushey Family, following our core values: Be kind;Work hard and Develop your whole self.

We call these values our Rushey 1-2-3 expectations; they provide a framework for personal conduct and development for our entire school community. From the moment a student arrives at Rushey Mead Academy we ask them to live these expectations, so that they permeate all we do.

Be kind – We aim to develop respectful, accepting students who are kind to everyone.

Work hard – We promote resilience, perseverance and determination as qualities to be admired and rewarded at school, as they will be in life. We expect our students to respond to feedback, improve, and to never give up. Our students learn that success needs hard work and effort.

Develop your whole self – We encourage students to develop themselves through our extra-curricular provision, so that they leave Rushey Mead Academy as well-rounded citizens with a broad range of experiences and interests. We want them to develop their leadership skills, sporting talent, musical and dramatic ability. We expect them to raise money for charity and to challenge themselves to try something new and unfamiliar. All these experiences aim to develop a whole range of skills, helping our children thrive as citizens in the wider world.

We are proud to serve a diverse community of 1750 students, aged 11-16 years, and we are oversubscribed each year. We believe that all children are capable of remarkable things, and we serve our community to ensure that we support our children to achieve the very best they can. We are fiercely ambitious for each one of our students. Being firmly rooted in our community, we benefit from the trust of our families, who support the academy to provide their children with the best possible education, knowing that their children will be supported, challenged and cherished.

Our DSP is aimed at supporting young people with primary needs in the area of Communication and Interaction and has 20 places. We aim to ensure that every young person in our DSP will learn happily within a positive, developmental, supportive and inclusive educational environment.

At Rushey Meadows all students, teachers and families share a common vision to ‘Make a positive difference’. This underpins everything we do and helps us to achieve the best outcomes for all students. We are built on strong respectful relationships between students and staff, external agencies and families.

It is expected that all students admitted to Rushey Meadows shall have primary needs which are in line with the DSP’s designation of Communication and Interaction.

Our young people are broadly similar to their mainstream peers in their academic ability but require support with communication and interaction, executive functioning, anxiety, functional skills, and other needs related to their diagnosis. Many of our young people also have co-occurring diagnoses, such as ADHD and dyslexia.

Part of the consultation process will often include a member of staff from Rushey Meadows visiting the student in their current provision to assess their needs and suitability for the DSP.

We welcome visits from families who are interested in finding out more information about our DSP.

Rushey Mead Academy is a fully inclusive school and we are totally committed to removing barriers to learning to enable all of our students to succeed.

In 2022 we were judged as Outstanding by Ofsted in all areas, they noted “Leaders make sure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) access the same ambitious curriculum as everyone else. They expertly identify these pupils’ additional needs with support from other professionals to create a ‘team around the pupil’. Teachers and learning support assistants follow support plans to ensure pupils with SEND do not miss out on learning.”

They also observed that “The support provided to pupils who speak English as an additional language is exceptional. These pupils make rapid progress in learning how to speak, read and write in English. One pupil receiving this support said, ‘I love school because of the education that helps us to achieve our futures.’”

Our Vice Principal is the Senior Leader for SEND and our SENDCO is on the senior leadership team, ensuring that the vision for SEND is at the heart of our whole school provision. We have an extensive team of Teaching Assistants, Level 2, Level 3, HLTAs and ELSAs, who are developing as experts in a specific area of SEND and deliver specialist interventions, as well as supporting teaching and learning across mainstream provision.

The school also benefits from a specialist language development and reading team of mentors who work with children to improve their literacy and oracy skills.

As part of our professional learning programme all of our staff receive training from the AET (Autism Education Trust), the only Department for Education supported, CPD-accredited Autism Training Programme that has been co-produced with parents, professionals and a panel of autistic young experts. The AET trainers deliver bespoke training sessions throughout the year, using a range of teaching methods, to form an essential part of our continuing professional development programme.

Students at Rushey Meadows access a bespoke, personalised curriculum that is both broad and balanced to incorporate provision for their additional needs. All students study English, maths and science, taught by specialist teachers. Most students also study a modern foreign language and humanities subject, taught by specialist MFL and humanities teachers. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all learners, allowing most students to access mainstream lessons for PE and some other subjects such as art and design, music and computer science.

Students follow personalised pathways for learning which meet their individual needs. They are taught in groups by stage rather than age. This will include individualised intervention groups or 1 to 1 sessions with our highly trained and enthusiastic staff, as well as external professionals. They receive a programme of social, emotional, academic, sensory and physical support, which enables them to develop the skills and ability required in order to learn and communicate constructively with other young people and adults, in both individual and small group situations.

Our focus is to provide experiences that parallel the mainstream provision with the additional focus on therapeutic programmes and a heavy emphasis on wellbeing, social skills and life skills.

Rushey Meadows is situated at the heart of Rushey Mead Academy within a suite of specialist rooms, equipped with the most up to date technology and resources to support the children’s learning. These include:

  • Two bespoke classrooms, where students have their tutor time and core subject lessons;
  • Rushey Restoration, a sensory room providing a safe haven for students to explore various stimuli, helping them manage sensory overload, improve focus, and reduce restlessness;
  • A suite of intervention rooms where small group and one to one sessions take place;
  • A kitchen, where life skills are taught, including cooking, washing and cleaning;
  • A resources room which includes a Braille printer for students with a visual impairment;
  • The learning support office where the SENDCO and Vice Principal are based.

All rooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard and computers, as well as specialist ipads and headsets.

We are also fortunate to benefit from a Sensory Garden which students can access during the day and where small group lessons and one to one interventions are sometimes delivered.

The DSP is accessed via the main school gate, and students are greeted by a member of the team, to ensure students have a safe and confident start to their day. They are also accompanied to the gate at the end of the day when leaving the school site.

Rushey Meadows follows the same term dates as the Academy.

Our day starts a little later, and students should arrive at the main gate for 8.40am, which allows a quieter arrival to school. Each student has a meet and greet with a member of staff to start the day.

The day finishes at 3.10pm, again to allow a quieter departure from the main school gate.

There are a number of clubs and activities taking place after school until 4pm that students are able to take part in if they wish.

During the day students follow a timetable which is very similar to the students in mainstream, including small group lessons and a break time in the morning. If they wish to, and are able to, the children can join their mainstream peers for their breaktime, or they can take their break at a separate time. Similarly at lunchtime, children can join their peers for lunch in the main school restaurant, or they can bring in a packed lunch to eat in the DSP if they prefer. There are clubs during lunchtime and break time that they can take part in, or they can spend time outside in the playground or in the Sensory Garden.

Students are encouraged to spend some time outside each day, either playing sport – using our playing fields, the MUGA (multi-use games area), basketball courts and outdoor table tennis tables, or in the gardens – we have 2 gardens that students can use, one for gardening and growing vegetables, the other as a sensory space.

All students will also have some therapeutic interventions each day, either in a small group or one to one session.

Where possible, and where appropriate, students will join a mainstream class for subjects that a student excels in, or has a particular interest in, for example computing, music, art, design, drama, etc. This is always tailored to an individual’s needs and wishes.

Our support for students begins before they join Rushey Meadows with our comprehensive transition programme. Information is gathered from previous schools and external agencies about each child so that their needs, strengths and dispositions are known, which allows students to settle into our Rushey family smoothly. We want our students to be safe and happy from their very first day and feel a real sense of belonging.

It is very important that we get to know every student who starts at Rushey Meadows as quickly, and in as much depth, as possible. Prior to their first day, we invest time and resources in understanding each child’s personality and abilities, as well as what they like to do, where they excel and where they will need additional support. This enables us to personalise their learning and create a truly bespoke timetable for them.

All of our students in Rushey Meadows have access to the same comprehensive careers programme as Rushey Mead Academy, where we are passionate about supporting students through the process of deciding what they want to do after leaving school. We provide impartial guidance and advice through qualified and experienced careers staff on further education, training, and careers across KS3 and KS4 and involve outside agencies such as employers, education and training providers. We realise that good quality Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) helps to prepare our students to become valued members of society. We encourage our students to make informed choices guided by a team of experienced Careers staff with the sole aim of enabling them to understand what their options are after Rushey Mead in terms of college courses, training, and apprenticeships, and to help them develop valuable employability skills.

Students follow the careers programme during tutor time:

We pride ourselves on being one Rushey Family, and Rushey Meadows is an integral part of this family. It is important to us that we work closely with our community to ensure we have positive relationships with all of our parents and carers, and these relationships are central to our work. Families are always welcome to come into school and see the work we are doing, and regular telephone and/or email contact is available as required. We hold regular family events where everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the children’s experiences at school and how to support their learning at home.

Our Staff

Jane Bland                          Vice Principal

Shireen Takolia                  SENDCO

Rachel Fletcher                  DSP Manager

Zainab Karim                     Assistant SENDCO

Sarah Green                       Executive Assistant – Learning Support

Shuhela Mussa                  HLTA

Alex Furniss                       HLTA