Rossendale School provides a range of support for children and young people who are joining the school to ensure a smooth transition and maximise the chance of a successful placement. This structured approach to induction helps students to settle in quickly and includes:
- Academic work from the form tutor, completed with help from a support assistant
- Assigning each pupil their own experienced key worker from the care staff team
- Assigning some young people a mentor within the class group to help them settle in
- Inviting parents and Local Authority workers to attend the first day of school with the young person to talk through the Home-School agreement
- Pupils completing a ‘short week’ for their first week at school to help them assimilate
- An initial planning meeting within 12 weeks of a pupil being admitted to the school
As pupils move towards the end of a key stage, preparation is done to support their transition to the next key stage, for example:
- Moving from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3
- Moving from Key Stage 3 to Kay Stage 4
- Moving from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5 (either leaving the school or moving to our sixth form provision)
This process involves the whole staff team, particularly form tutors, SSAs and key workers.
At the end of Year 9, Key Stage 3 pupils will also have an individual transition review as well as individual options sessions, to which parents/carers are invited. Rossendale School’s options programme aims to help Year 9 pupils make an informed choice about what they want to study in Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) and can include GCSE, functional skills, D of E etc.
Transitions out of Rossendale School
Rossendale School has a strong track record of helping its young people move successfully into mainstream education. This is in no small part due to the fact we start transition planning for students moving on from Rossendale School far in advance - usually from Year 9. This enables us to ensure we have the necessary support services in place, not just simply finding the next place for a young person to move on to. Even if a student is transitioning to our sixth form, we would still treat this as a stepping stone into mainstream FE college.
Where appropriate, we support young people moving on from Rossendale School via:
- Interviews with the careers education and guidance service
- Opportunities to sample further education in local colleges (for pupils in Years 10 and 11)
Where a young person is starting their Post-16 career away from Rossendale School, we do our best to ensure the young person will receive the maximum support in their new Further Education setting. We have a number of established links with local colleges and the Young People’s Service which actively help us to ensure a positive start to a young person’s 16+ career, wherever that may be.
An integrated approach to transitions
Regardless of whether a young person is transitioning into the school, between Key Stages, or leaving us, we will always ensure that all interested parties are involved in discussions. This helps to ensure that the decisions made are based on a full understanding of the young person’s situation and needs. Transitions are usually planned in consultation with:
- The young person themselves
- Rossendale School staff (educational, residential and therapeutic)
- The young person’s family
- Previous/future settings
- Any other multi-agency staff that work with the young person
The Statutory Review process at Rossendale School means we evaluate whether an individual’s placement at the school is still appropriate, at regular intervals. We give careful consideration to any opportunities to help our young people reintegrate back into their own homes and/or mainstream schools. Given the importance of these decisions, the school always consults and seeks opinions from the full range of people who would usually be involved in the Review process.
In practice, most young people who attend Rossendale School as residential pupils return to their own homes by the time they are Year 10 pupils, ensuring that the school can continue to work with and support both the young person and his or her family until they are of school-leaving age.