Parkside Academy

We are a secondary school for 11-16 year olds.

When is it on?

Session information
8.50am - 2.50pm

Who to contact

01388 746 396

Where to go

Parkside Academy
Hall Lane Estate
County Durham
DL15 0QF

Other details

Referral required?
Age range
11-16 years old
Related links
Ofsted reports

Local Offer

Local Offer description

We are committed to the academic and personal development of all pupils regardless of ability. We recognise the diverse and individual needs of all of our pupils and take into account the additional support required by those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

We adopt a whole school approach to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All staff work together to ensure the inclusion of all pupils. We are committed to ensuring that students with SEND achieve their full potential.

We believe in positive intervention: removing barriers to learning: raising expectations and accelerating levels of achievement. As an Academy, we also work in partnership with other agencies to ensure that all SEND pupils have a positive educational experience at Parkside.

Contact name
Mrs J Goldsmith
Contact telephone
01388 746 396
Contact email
SEN&D at Parkside Academy

How do you identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

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

If you think your child may have a special educational need, please contact Mrs J Goldsmith, SENCO: Telephone 01388 746 396, email 

How will you support my child with their special educational needs and disability?

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

Our pupils benefit from high quality teaching and an appropriate curriculum differentiated to meet the needs of all learners, including those who need support or extension. We adopt a graduated response to meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs. 

Learning support is delivered using a three stage model:

Wave 1 Quality First Teaching (QFT)

This involves:

  • Ensuring that the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • Ensuring that all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and understands.
  • Putting in place different ways of teaching so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.
  • Putting in place specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or external staff) to support your child to learn.

Wave 2 - Small Group intervention

If your child is struggling with aspects of literacy, numeracy, speech and language or motor skills they will be given the opportunity to access additional small group intervention. Specialist HLTAs will work with your child on an appropriate programme to boost their skills to ensure that they have the skills to access the school curriculum.

Wave 3 - Individualised one-to-one support

Children who are working significantly below national and age related expectations may benefit for Wave 3 intervention. This would involve a highly structured one-to-one support programme which would be delivered by a specialist HLTA or in some cases a teacher, depending on the area of need.

How will you make sure my child's education meet their needs?

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's young person's needs?

We consider all teachers to be teachers of pupils with SEND. Staff are trained to identify and provide for pupils with SEND, ensuring they can achieve their potential.

All pupils at Parkside follow the national curriculum at a level that is suitable for their ability.  Our inclusive ethos aims to provide a personalised learning experience for SEND pupils by providing a tailored curriculum to meet individual needs.

To match pupil ability to the curriculum we are dedicated to providing:

  • A range of teaching and learning styles.
  • Differentiated teaching resources to both support and extend students ability. 
  • Additional 'out of class' support.
  • An innovative and supportive curriculum – including an integrated literacy based curriculum at KS3 (Inspiring Minds) and preparation of adult life (PAL) curriculum at KS4.
  • Mentoring and counselling.
  • A broad range of extra-curricular activities.
  • Key Stage 4 programmes of study that are relevant to pupils’ needs.
  • Applications to examination boards to obtain access arrangements as appropriate.
  • Access to ICT.

How will we know my child is progressing?

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

The success of our SEND provision is evaluated through:

  • Monitoring of classroom practice by the SENCO, Heads of Department and Senior Leadership.
  • Progress made by SEN pupils in terms of target grades in core and other subjects.
  • The performance of SEN pupils in nationally accredited tests and examinations.
  • Analysis of pupil tracking and testing data for both individual pupils and cohorts.
  • Monitoring of policy and practice by the SEN Governor.
  • Comments from parents and pupils.
  • External evaluation by Durham County Council and OFSTED inspections.
  • Parental involvement, especially attendance at reviews.
  • The Governors’ Annual Report to Parents

Information will be collated in order to self-evaluate the success of the department, build on success and look for areas for improvement and innovation.

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Mrs J Goldsmith, SENCO

  • The National Award for SEN Co-ordination - Post-Graduate Certificate, University of Wolverhampton
  • Teaching Children with Dyslexia in a School Context - Post-Graduate Certificate, Northumbria University
  • British Dyslexia Association Associate member - AMBDA
  • Specialist Leader of Education- SEND

Mrs Slater, HLTA/Transition:

  •  HLTA, University of Sunderland
  • Level 3 Teaching Assistant - awarded by City and Guilds

Mrs Graham, HLTA:

  • HLTA, Northumbria University

Mrs Wade, HLTA:

  • HLTA – Leeds University
  • Level 1 British Sign Language

All staff have access to continuing professional development (CPD) to develop their knowledge of different SEN needs. This is carried out annually.

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

All students are encouraged to get involved in after school activities and school trips. Visit our website for more information.


How will you support my child's needs?

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

We are committed to providing an accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors, regardless of their educational, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional or cultural needs. We challenge negative attitudes to disability and accessibility and develop a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

My child is going to be starting or leaving soon, how will you help them?

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

Primary transition
We have a comprehensive transition programme for both KS2-KS3 and KS4 to further education. We know how important a successful transition is to our pupils with additional needs.

KS2-KS3 Transition
We work with local feeder primary schools to support pupils from Year 5, through to arrival in Year 7. We provide additional transition support for pupils who they feel would benefit from enhanced transition. To support the transition process we have a designated transition worker, Mrs Wade who works closely with the feeder schools. During the spring and summer terms Mrs Wade organises regular primary school visits and visits to Parkside for identified children.

Our SENCO, Year Leader and Transition Worker will also attend annual review meetings and meet the current class teacher, parents and pupils. This provides an excellent opportunity to ease any worries or concerns that pupils or parents may have during the transition period.

All pupils are invited to attend Induction Day which allows pupils to experience sample lessons and fun activities, designed to build self-confidence and familiarise themselves with Parkside Academy.

We value the importance of including parents and carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to Parkside. Parents are invited into school in the summer term of Year 6 for the induction evening. This gives parents a further opportunity to look around the Academy, meet staff and discuss any concerns that they may have before their child starts in Year 7.

Individual transition plans are put in place where necessary to support a smooth transition to secondary school.

Moving up
In the autumn term of Year 7, parents are invited to attend moving up sessions. This provides another opportunity for parents to discuss the transition period and raise any concerns that they may have.

KS4 and Beyond
We provide enhanced transition for KS4 pupils moving onto their Post-16 choice.

If your child has a statement or EHCP, they will meet with a ‘Post-16 worker’ to create a plan for their Post-16 education.

If your child does not have a statement or EHCP, the plan will be created with parents, the pastoral team and SEN staff.

Our SENCO and Post-16 worker will support your child in finding a new school or college. If necessary, the SENCO will arrange visits to new schools/colleges for your child. The period of transition will depend on the individual needs of the pupil.

What is available to help my child with their education?

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

We aim to ensure that pupils who are thought to have a SEND need are identified and assessed as early as possible. On entry to Year 7, all pupils are tested on their reading and comprehension ability through a standardised test.

If your child comes to the school with SEND need, Statement or Education, Health and Care plan they will undergo additional standardised testing to ensure that the provision that the school are providing for your child is appropriate.

The results of these tests, along with their KS2 data and information gathered through the transition process will determine the level of initial intervention.

It is important to note that not all pupils referred to the SEND Team will be SEND pupils - any support and guidance given may be short, medium or long term.

What support can I expect for my child?

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

The level and type of support that is delivered is dependent on the type of need. We adopt a person centred approach to delivering SEND support.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

Our partnership with parents is one of the most powerful resources to ensure that children with SEN can achieve their full potential. Parents are informed when students are placed on the SEND register and are involved in all stages of the process. All parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s education.

We welcome feedback from parents all year round. Parents can make an appointment to speak to any member of staff including the SENCO throughout the year for any reason.

All information from external professionals will be discussed with you and with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report. Our SENCO will also arrange to meet with you to discuss any new assessments and ideas suggested by external agencies for your child.

Durham SEND Information Advice and Support Service provide information and support to parents of children with SEND. A wide range of support and advice may be obtained by contacting this independent service.


Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.

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Address: Hall Lane Estate  Willington  Crook  County Durham

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