Inclusion at The Netherhall School and Oakes College is about ensuring that the school curriculum is accessible to all pupils to enable them to reach their full potential.

The Netherhall School and Oakes College value the individuality of all learners. The Inclusion Faculty is committed to giving all our learners every opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards. We do this by taking account of students’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations for all our learners. The achievements, attitudes, and well-being of all our learners matter.

The Netherhall School and Oakes College are inclusive. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils or groups of students. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for all our learners. We make this a reality through the attention we pay to the different individuals and groups of learners within our school:

  • Girls, boys, non-binary and transgender pupils
  • Students from minority faiths, ethnicities, travelers, asylum seekers, refugees
  • Children who need support to learn English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Children with additional learning needs
  • Gifted and talented children
  • Children with special educational needs (SEN) or Disabilities
  • Students who are subject to Child Protection or Child in Need plans
  • Students who are at risk of disaffection or exclusion, young carers, sick children, children from families under stress
  • Students with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Inclusion is about ensuring that all students, irrespective of their needs, can access the diverse opportunities available at Netherhall to be the best that they can be.

Inclusion is a rapidly changing field within society and in education. The effect that legislation can have on a school community is significant. All schools are required to promote an inclusive education philosophy.

The Equality Act (2010) and the SEN Code of Practice (2014) have major implications for the way schools cater to students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The strongest outcome of this legislation is the strengthening of the right for students with SEND to be educated within mainstream provisions. We are also required to make reasonable adjustments for students with SEND. Disability is defined as a ‘substantial and long-term impairment that impacts normal day-to-day activities’.

ALL staff are now expected to take responsibility for the identification of, and support for, students with SEND. This means that the planning and delivery of a curriculum need to genuinely offer opportunities for achievement for SEND students.

There are changes to the Code of Practice that affect all teachers. The New Code (2014) states that:

“All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. High-quality teaching, differentiated for individual students, is the first step in responding to students who have or may have SEND.  Additional intervention & support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.”

The Inclusion faculty benefits from excellent resources and facilities. These include a suite of classrooms, withdrawal and meeting rooms, a courtyard, and The Hub, a multi-use facility.


The faculty provides the following:

Classroom Support

We have a team of highly experienced Teaching Assistants at Netherhall who play a key role in supporting teachers and students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities within the classroom, across all curriculum areas.

We have Teaching Assistants who are specialists in supporting students with hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech, language, and communication needs, and social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.

Whole Cohort Testing

Students in Y6 will sit the MidYis test on arriving at Netherhall. MidYis is an adaptive baseline test designed to measure aptitude and ability. We use this test to identify which learners may be likely to require additional support from the Inclusion faculty.

Targeted Interventions

We have an Assistant SENCo with responsibility for identifying which students may benefit from specific, evidence-based interventions designed to improve students’ skills in areas such as literacy and numeracy. We identify these students using screening tests such as MidYis and LASS.

Our interventions include the programmes Lexia, Lexoniks, LEAP, Sound Training, Number Shark, Word Shark, and one-to-one reading using the Toe-by-Toe programme. Interventions are delivered in ‘Waves’: a child will be entered for one intervention, and then may move onto another to develop their skills in another area. Interventions are delivered either during specific study support sessions or during Form Time to limit the impact on timetabled lessons.

Study Support Groups

In Years 7 and 8, selected students are timetabled for ‘Internal Study Support’ in place of a modern foreign language. These students will have four hours per fortnight to work on their literacy, numeracy, and study skills in a supportive small-group session led by highly experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

Nurture Classes

Some of our learners in Years 7 and 8 have needs that are best supported in a smaller class, with a focus on consolidating key skills and knowledge from KS2, as well as providing an increased level of emotional support. Students work in this nurture-style class for 72% of their lessons and then spend the remaining 28% in mainstream classes with the rest of their year group. All students in the school are part of a Form. We feel this represents the optimal balance of providing appropriate levels of support to our highest-needs learners whilst also ensuring that all students at Netherhall feel fully part of the school and can benefit from all we have to offer. Students who would best suit a nurture-style class are typically identified by their primary school in consultation with parents.

I3nnovate Pathway

 The I3nnovate Pathway is an exciting, new curriculum offer for students in Years 9-11 who have a learning profile that suggests they would continue to benefit from bespoke, small-group provision with an increased focus on vocational pathways as they start working towards their GCSEs.

 Foundation Learning

Some students in Years 10 and 11 follow our Foundation Learning course alongside their other GCSE and examination courses. This includes studying in small groups towards the ASDAN qualification, Home Cooking Skills Course, and visits to Cambridge Regional College.

Bespoke Provision: The Hub

The Hub has been developed as the school’s internal bespoke provision and is based in the Inclusion Faculty. The concept of The Hub is to provide an alternative education space for students who, for a variety of reasons, are finding it difficult to access mainstream education. The Hub will provide a personalised and structured approach to education, with each individual referred to The Hub requiring different strategies to support them. The Hub provides a safe and secure place for students with SEND and/or medical needs to learn in a way that suits them best and allows them to feel comfortable that their input is valued. The Inclusion team liaises with staff to support the students’ learning to reintegrate students back into mainstream lessons.

Support During Break and Lunch

Some students need additional support during social time to keep them safe and happy whilst in school. The Hub is fully-staffed and open for students who require such support every break and lunchtime. There is a space for students to eat their snack/lunch together either inside or outside in our courtyard area, to read a book, and also to play board games.

Examination Access Arrangements

We have an Assistant SENDCo who is currently training to become an exam access arrangements assessor. They have oversight of the provision of access arrangements for students and are trained to deliver a range of psychometric tests to screen for Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia.

If you need to contact the Inclusion Department please do so via the school office on 01223 242931 or Deputy Principal and SENDCo Daniel Berry (01223 868314)

A flowchart of the interventions, testing, and referrals available within the Inclusion Faculty

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