Hermitage Academy

We are an inclusive learning community in Chester-le-Street, where the teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of students matter – including those identified as having Special Educational Needs and/Disabilities (SEND).

Our culture, practice, management and deployment of the schools’ resources are designed to ensure that all students are able to fulfil their full potential.

Who to contact

Contact name
Hermitage Academy
0191 388 7161

Where to go

The Hermitage Academy
Waldridge Lane
Chester le Street
County Durham

Other details

Related links
Ofsted reports

Local Offer

Contact name
Mrs Sam Boland SENCO
Contact telephone
0191 388 7161
Contact email

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?

The Hermitage aims 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 a SEND need or Statement or Education, Health and Care plan, they may undergo additional standardised testing to ensure that the provision offered is appropriate for your child).

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.


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?

All pupils at The Hermitage Academy benefit from high quality teaching, which includes an appropriate curriculum differentiated to meet the needs of all learners, including those who need support or extension. Subject teachers, in their own classrooms, provide the first stage of support for any student.  They will work with departmental colleagues and Leaders and Managers to develop differentiated teaching approaches. 

The Hermitage 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- QFT-Quality First Teaching

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 teachers or learning assistants 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 1:1 support

Children who are working significantly below national and age related expectations may benefit for Wave 3 intervention. This type of intervention would involve a highly structured 1:1 support programme which would be delivered by a specialist teacher or learning assistant, depending on the area of need.

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 partnership with parents is one of the schools 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.

Feedback is welcomed 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. The SENCO will also arrange to meet with you to discuss any new assessments and ideas suggested by external agencies for your child.

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

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

All members of teaching and support staff have regular opportunities to access continuing professional development (CPD) both inside and outside of school.  Staff members are encouraged to undertake further study in different areas of specialism, including SEND. 

Qualifications in the SEND department include:

· Masters in teaching and learning
· PGC in Teaching pupils with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia) within the school context
· Associate membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) – Specialist teacher status
· Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualifications

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

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

The Hermitage is an inclusive learning community where the teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of students matter – including those identified as having Special Educational Needs and/Disabilities (SEND). The culture, practice, management and deployment of the schools’ resources are designed therefore to ensure that all students are therefore able to fulfil their full potential. The Governing body believes that all students, regardless of potential or performance, should be valued equally at The Hermitage Academy. Consequently SEND students are not viewed as a separate entity but are an integral part of the whole learning community, where their differing needs are met and recognised through varied and flexible provision.

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?

The Hermitage works collaboratively with local feeder primary schools to support pupils from year 4, through to arrival in year 7. As an Academy, they provide additional transition support for pupils who they feel would benefit from enhanced transition. To support the transition process during the summer term, Friday afternoons are dedicated to regular primary school visits and visits to The Hermitage for identified children.

Alongside this, the SENCO will attend annual review meetings and meet the current class teacher, parents and more importantly the pupils.  This provides an excellent opportunity to ease any worries or concerns that pupils or parents may have during this transition period.All pupils are invited to attend two Induction Days which allows pupils to experience sample lessons and fun activities, designed to build self-confidence and familiarise themselves with The Hermitage Academy.

The school values the importance of including parents and carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to The Hermitage. 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.

In addition to this individual transition plans can be put in place where necessary to support a smooth transition to secondary school.


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  • The Hermitage Academy

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Address: Waldridge Lane  Chester le Street  County Durham

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