Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 16/08/2017

Education at Vranch

EDUCATION AT VRANCH HOUSE SCHOOL - THE CORE OFFER

Like all schools Vranch House is obliged to state the services and opportunities it will provide its pupils and their families.  This statement is known as the "Core Offer". To access Devon County council local offer please click here:

https://new.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/special-educational-needs-and-disability-send-local-offer

Ours has been accepted by Devon County Council and appears below:

Vranch House School Core Offer

Learner profile

Pupils at Vranch House School require a quiet, nurturing and supportive environment, delivered through personalised learning opportunities in small class groups.  Pupils at VHS all experience severe physical disabilities and will have a combination of additional needs including complex medical, multisensory (visual and/or hearing impairment). Most pupils experience associated learning needs, many with severe, multiple and profound learning difficulties. If appropriate, pupils access a very high level of nursing support and therapeutic input.

School Designation

The registered range is from age 2 to 12 for up to 21 pupils. Three specialist teachers and a team of specialist assistants provide a high level of additional support. The pupils are provided with a curriculum which is personalised and appropriate to their individual developmental and health needs.

Vranch House offers a multidisciplinary approach, hosting a large range of medical clinics on site, such as: paediatrician, orthopaedic, dietician, dental and bladder and bowel clinics.

A pre-school nursery, managed by a Nursery Nurse and led by an Early Years Foundation Stage teacher, is provided for up to 6 pupils from the age of 2 to the year in which they reach primary school age.

Securing placement

A potential pupil's suitability for a place at Vranch House School will be determined by the Local Authority and as a result of a formal consultation with the school. The school will only carry out an assessment to determine if it is able to meet a child's educational needs as a result of the Local Authority requesting it does so. An assessment should not be undertaken without the Local Authority's agreement. More information here: 

https://new.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/school-information/apply-for-a-school-place

The curriculum

The Vranch House Individual Education and Wellbeing (VIEW) Curriculum is the mainstay of our educational provision and describes at every step an individual's assessed needs and projected areas of development as they progress through the school Delivery is project and theme-based but each pupil will have assessed outcomes. Pupils are taught collectively in ability groups to improve their chances of meeting their learning outcomes but there are also class and whole-school based activities. Content of the curriculum and enrichment are decided by Vranch to enable outcomes for individuals

Enrichment

Vranch House School offers a varied enrichment experience consisting of: music therapy, rebound therapy, hydrotherapy, personalised programmes for speech, language and communication, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and nursing care. Pupils also have access to 24 hour postural management.

Therapy Support and Intervention

The school will provide Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy programmes as deemed appropriate by professionals and specified within the EHCP/Statement. If direct therapy is required then this will be clearly outlined in any EHCP/Statement and arranged accordingly.

 

Staff Ratios

The school will provide a ratio of staff to each pupil appropriate to their needs during the school day. The ratio will be dynamic; a pupil requiring the whole-time support of a trained Teaching Assistant will be allocated the time but if others who need more than 1:1 (and for some activities this can rise to 3:1) or can be taught in small groups might receive 1:3. There will be no permanent allocation of support; as a pupil's needs change the ratio of support will change. All Teaching and Lunch Time Assistants will be fully trained and specialist training will be provided for support staff having the intimate care of a child with specialist needs.

Equipment

The charity will provide equipment for each pupil as required and as per professional recommendations during their time at school. This does not include the provision of a wheelchair (although additional Wheelchair needs can be addressed through our Specialist Wheelchair Service) and Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA). The provided equipment includes Standers, Walkers, adapted seats and tables, complex recliners, couches and IT equipment (including Eye Gaze). Wheelchair adaptations can be referred to the charity's Specialist Wheelchair Service. Some equipment will be provided through the NHS (Ventilators are an example) and the NHS Mobility Centre will provide standard wheelchairs.

Inclusion

A child will be placed at Vranch House because the Authority, parents and the school agree that it is the most appropriate setting. A very small number of Vranch House pupils may benefit from accessing mainstream settings and could therefore be included on a part-time basis provided the anticipated educational outcomes are agreed to be beneficial. This will be arranged and managed by the school, if deemed appropriate for an individual, on a case-by-case basis.

Transition

Transition into the school will be carefully planned and appropriately managed according to the individual needs of the pupil. This planning and management will include the preparation of staff through appropriate training if specialist training is required and the acquisition of needs-based equipment. At the end of Key Stage 2 the school will support transition to the next phase of each child's education. This process will involve liaison with, and if required support to, the receiving school.

Interpreters

The school will provide occasional access to an Interpreter Service. Occasional is defined as the provision of an interpreter for important meetings (reviews and clinics).

Home Education

Some home education may be provided for pupils but under strictly controlled conditions (including duration and clear definition of the expected outcome) and only if the risk assessment shows that the provision is practicable, productive and safe. A home education programme will not exceed three hours in any single school day.

Additional Information (Not in the Core Offer)

At Vranch House School we recognise the effects that physical difficulties can have upon the child's acquisition of basic skills.  The relationship between movement, language and function is fundamental to all children's opportunities for learning.  Through the VIEW Curriculum we strive to offer the children challenging learning opportunities in all aspects of their school day which is relevant and appropriate to their needs and potential.

All staff work as an interdisciplinary team and support and enhance one another's roles.  Regular meetings are held to coordinate class, group and individual children's education programmes.  The interdisciplinary team consists of teachers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, school nurses and teaching assistants.

A topic based approach is used for most subjects and these are chosen to provide an overall balance in all curriculum areas.

The class teacher also has a strong pastoral role and will be aware of the children's emotional and social needs as well as coordinating their education programmes.

We ensure that children are aware of the rich cultural diversity in the UK and of other faiths and religious festivals.

Some children will require the use of information technology especially in relation to recording and producing written work and for communication.

A broad range of augmentative communication systems are used throughout the school and these include communication boards, touch talkers, eye gaze, iPads and talking books.  Signing is used positively throughout the school to aid both communication and the development of spoken language and objects of reference are used to reinforce.

Our overall aim for each child is to provide them with a challenging environment in which they can flourish.

All curriculum policies and other policies and procedures are available to view from the school office or downloaded from our website.  If you ask us for a copy we may make a small charge for photocopying.

 

CLINICS

Clinics are also held at Vranch House by paediatricians, the school dentist, the orthodontist, audiologist, orthotist, orthoptist and continence nurse.

 

ASSEMBLIES AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Assemblies at Vranch House are of a broadly Christian character which enable an opportunity for the whole school to participate in an activity together.  Assemblies are considered part of the educational programme and are frequently related to the topic for the term, current or topical events or religious and moral education.

Religious Education is non-denominational and based around British Values giving children opportunities to experience good behavioural models through stories and discussions and to provide them with the opportunity to explore their own beliefs.  Stories are taken mainly from Christian and other information related to other cultures and religions.

If you do not wish your child to be included in assemblies and religious education, please inform the Head of Education and the appropriate arrangements will be made.

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The school aims to provide access to the curriculum regardless of gender, cultural background, ethnic origin, religion and disability.

We respect the religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds of all parents and children and this respect is reflected separately in our policies for Religious Education (RE) and Personal and Social Education.  We will make suitable provision for any pupil admitted with English as an Additional Language (EAL).  Please see our EAL Policy of our website.

 

ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCES FROM SCHOOL

If a child is absent from school without explanation or a valid reason then this is marked on the register as an 'unauthorised' absence.  It is the parents' responsibility to notify school on the first day of an absence although when possible please let us know in advance.  It is always possible to leave a message on the answering machine if parents telephone early in the day.  Please request an absence form for absences from school for other than medical reasons.  Parents are not entitled to remove children from school for holidays as of right.  Leave of absence must be applied for and the decision to authorise absence for holidays rests entirely with the school.  This information is shared with any mainstream partner schools.

 

ENCOURAGING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL

A Home - School Agreement will be sent to all parents to be signed when their child starts school explaining the School Rules.