The John Fisher School

Address: Peaks Hill, Purley, Sutton

Postcode: CR8 3YP

Contact: Mrs E Kenny

Telephone: 0208 763 3713/ 0208 660 4555



twitter: @Thejfschool

Contact to discuss child needs

In the first instance parents should contact their son’s Form Tutor and then the Director of Learning.
If the matter cannot be resolved at the above stage then the Senior Leadership Team link to each year group can be contacted, followed by the Headteacher and SEND Link Governor.
If the concern is related to your son’s Special Educational Needs, or possible needs, you are always welcome to contact the SENCO directly.

About the school

The John Fisher School is a growing voluntary aided, all-ability, Catholic school for students. Students are nurtured by staff to become 'Young Catholic Gentlemen' and to aspire for 'Academic, Sporting and Cultural excellence' through their studies and co-curricular opportunities. The John Fisher School was rated as 'Outstanding' for behaviour and attitudes' and 'Outstanding' for its Sixth Form (Ofsted, January 2018). The school is a community of learning and worship, with love and support central to all our activities and experiences. We believe as well that all aspects of the life of the School should be lived in a spirit of justice and charity and that Christian selflessness should be part of all our dealings with one another. This was highlighted in our Denominational Inspection report (for Schools with a Religious character). Our desire is that students leave us as mature, independent learners who are ready to take responsibility for their own progress beyond school and are able to make valuable contributions to the wider community for years to come.

Assessing children

• All Year 7 pupils take their CATs, New Group Reading Test and New Group Spelling Test at the start of their school journey. The results of these assessments allow us to monitor students’ reading and spelling skills, and identify students who may benefit from further intervention and support.
• Our subject teachers regularly monitor and assess pupil progress, and there is ongoing monitoring at both departmental and whole school level of rates of progress
• Interim monitoring in all subjects takes place throughout the year and this information is sent home to parents.
• Full reports are sent to parents at the end of the year.
• At KS4 and KS5 - 4 Matrix and ALPS data analysis systems inform our assessment of pupil progress.
• There is a member of the Senior Leadership Team linked to each year group to oversee pupil progress. They liaise with Heads of Department and the relevant Directors of Learning to ensure that appropriate interventions are in place after analysis of progress and pupil monitoring data.
• We use the London Borough of Sutton’s graduated approach for Special Educational Needs
• All students with a special need have a Pupil Passport co-produced. Learning Plans are written every term for pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan and those working with external specialists. Other pupils with Special Educational Needs will have their provision recorded on a Provision Map. The Learning Plan and Provision Map information are shared with parents.

Informing parents and carers

The list below shows the methods available to parents to be kept informed about how well their son is progressing. In addition, reports and interim levels are sent home to parents. Parents are welcome to contact the school with any concerns and advice can be sought from individual teachers on how to support their son at home.

• Parents Evening
• Written reports – including Provision Maps, Pupil Passports and Learning Plans
• Phone calls
• Emails
• Review Meetings, including annual reviews

Updates on progress

Parents are updated at least termly.

If a child is not making progress

In the first instance, subject teachers and your son’s Form Tutor would be in touch. If the concern is more serious, Heads of Department/ subject leaders or your son’s Director of Learning would be in touch. Pupils who continue to not make expected progress over time are referred to the SENCO. If after one or more cycles of Assess, Plan, Do, Review, it is decided that the child has a Special Educational Need, the SENCO will continue to use the graduated approach to try to meet the student’s needs, in consultation with parents/ carers. If necessary, the SENCO will seek advice/support from external agencies. Parents are kept informed at all times.


A broad and balance curriculum is offered to all our pupils at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 including GCSEs, A Levels and Btec courses:
• KS3 subjects include English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Studies, PE, Games, Food Technology, Design Technology, Art, ICT, Music, Drama, History, Geography, French, Spanish, PSHE.
• KS4 as per KS3 plus Sports Studies, Business Studies, Economics, Media Studies.
• KS5 as per KS4 plus Psychology, Government & Politics and Classics.
• Btecs - ICT, Business, Sport and Science.

Adapting for child needs

Teachers will use Quality First Teaching strategies to ensure all students can achieve and progress. Quality First Teaching, as per the Code of Practice, is the first response in meeting all Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. If further adaptation is required, this will be made on a case by case basis, considering the child’s right to a full and balanced curriculum.

Teacher flexibility on child needs

•Teachers are trained in Special Educational Needs from their initial teacher training, which is then consolidated by in-house training from the expertise within the school. In addition, external agencies often contribute to INSET opportunities to ensure staff are making appropriate and reasonable adjustments to their teaching to maximise the learning of all pupils.
• Any assessments and recommendations conducted by professionals such as the Educational Psychologist or the Speech and Language Therapist are shared with staff to help them with their planning and reports are also sent home to parents.
• Teachers are provided with Pupil Passports for boys who have additional educational needs and which gives them information to help them with their planning and differentiation.
• Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plan may have extra support in the classroom from Learning Support Assistants, but they also help other pupils. The LSA may in some cases work with the teacher to differentiate the learning tasks further so the pupils can complete the work independently
• Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) are encouraged to attend training in a variety of SEND areas so they are well equipped to support the pupils.

Additional support

•Subject teachers and their Heads of Department/ Subject Leaders are best placed to respond to students’ needs and ensure students have access to Quality First Teaching.
• All staff have access to Pupil Passports. Staff are expected to implement strategies listed on these documents and/or Learning Plans to ensure pupil needs are met.
•The Learning Support team provide targeted interventions in response to students’ needs. This may include seeking assessment, advice and guidance from other professionals such as the Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist. This will always be done with parents’ knowledge and consent.
• Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) support all pupils within the class who require support but with a focus on those on the SEND register.

Learning strategies

• Individual strategies are co-produced for each child’s Pupil Passport and where relevant, Learning Plan.
•Teaching staff are provided with teaching strategies for students with SEND through the student’s Pupil Passport or Learning Plan. Strategies are also shared during INSET time, staff briefings and staff meetings to ensure staff are aware of appropriate and effective support and interventions.

Meeting child needs

• Parents can liaise with the subject teacher, Form Tutor, Director of Learning and SENCO to ensure their child’s needs are met.
• Teachers and other school staff use Pupil Passports or profiles and Learning Plans to inform their practice.

Access to exams

• Pupils are entered for KS4 examinations appropriate to their age and ability, and usually these will be GCSEs.
• Access arrangements such as extra time, reader, scribe or word-processing are special arrangements to ensure a pupil is not disadvantaged in an exam. In order to be eligible for access arrangements there needs to be a clear history of need which can be evidenced by specialist testing, the pupil’s special needs and the pupil’s normal way of working in the classroom. The pupils are assessed – typically in year 9 - by a qualified assessor. The outcome of the assessment is then sent to the JCQ (Joint Council of Qualifications). Their decision as to whether or not a pupil is entitled to access arrangements for GCSEs is shared with parents and staff.
• For internal exams, some KS3 students with an EHCP or pupils with particularly significant needs (at the school’s discretion) will receive access arrangements. However, this does not imply they will necessarily meet the criteria for access arrangements in KS4 as this will be based on specialist assessment.
• Pupils who are admitted mid KS3 or KS4 will be assessed as necessary.

Additional support or time for exams

• If your child is eligible for access arrangements, which is based on their history of need and special educational needs, you will be informed.

Comfort, safety and socialising

• Form tutors and Directors of Learning provide students with pastoral care and a point of contact for any concerns.
• Social Games and Social Skills groups are typically available for a small group of identified Years 7 and 8 boys.
• Vulnerable students can see a member of the safeguarding team, our Inclusion Co-Ordinator or a Wellbeing Co-Ordinator to seek help and feel safe.

Social and emotional skills

•There are many opportunities across the school for social and emotional development including PSHE lessons, cross-curricular teaching around social, emotional, moral and cultural, charity events, enrichment opportunities and religious worship, reflection and celebration.
•The Inclusion department usually offer Social Games and Social Skills to small groups of targeted students who need help with their social skills.
•The Inclusion Co-Ordinator Miss Highfield provides additional support and mentoring to vulnerable students.
•The Talk Easy Trust provides peer mentoring by our sixth form students to our younger boys.
•We will also support students by referring them to external agencies offering counselling, mentoring etc. where available, as well as to CAMHS.

Tier 2 / Early Help Support in the Community

ELSA staff are available to work with the boys. The Inclusion Co-ordinator works with boys one to one or in a group to help with self-esteem and anger management. We also enlist the services of external mentoring agencies who come in to work with some of our boys.


• All policies (including Behaviour and Anti-bullying) are on the school website.
• All pupils have the right to feel safe at The John Fisher School.
• All complaints of bullying will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. The bully or bullies will be interviewed separately and together. The victim and any witnesses will be interviewed. If the complaint is upheld the bully or bullies will be told to stop in the first instance, if necessary in the presence of their parents.
• Should there be reoccurrences of bullying behaviour more serious sanctions will be imposed.
• A guarantee will be given to the victim that any repercussions, either in or out of school, will lead to the immediate imposition of the agreed sanctions.
• Parents and victims will be informed of the general complaints procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

Disability support

• Parents are welcome to inform the school of any issues they have identified which relate to mobility or access to lessons, whether these be permanent or transient that their child may have.
• A fully differentiated curriculum for all boys, including the availability of large print texts and Dyslexia support materials.
• We have staff on site during the day who routinely check the building and grounds to check they are safe for all pupils.
• We have toilets at ground floor level for pupils and visitors with disabilities.
• We have a wheelchair ramp into our main reception and access to the grounds.
• An identified parking space for the disabled is situated at the front of the school.
• Where needed hand rails are in place and lines highlighting edges to steps are in place for the visually impaired.
• Pupils who have visual impairment and others who find large groups of people difficult to negotiate are allowed to leave lessons 5 minutes early to ensure safe passage around the building accompanied by a staff member or pupil.
• Laptops for pupils who have problems with hand/joint mobility, fatigue or dyspraxia.
•Where required, we work with external agencies such as Occupational Therapy to support students with disabilities to move around the building safely and take part in lessons

Accessing lessons

If you think your son has a disability which may make it hard for them to navigate the school, contact the SENCO in the first instance. Parents are welcome to visit the school before they make an application.

Who we work with

We work with a wide range of external agencies including:
•Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
• Educational Psychology Service
• Speech & Language Therapy Service •Occupational Therapy service
• Visual Impairment Service
•English as an Additional Language Service
• Autism Support service
•Educational Welfare Officer
• Early Help
• Social Services.

The majority of our services are provided via Cognus in Sutton.

Other agencies

Pupils who are identified as needing specialist help are referred through the SENCO or Inclusion Co-Ordinator to external agencies. There is a Cause for Concern form which is completed to start the referral process.
Parents will be informed of all referrals to outside agencies such as the Educational Psychology Service or CAMHS.

Informing parents and carers

Parents will be informed before we refer to a new agency.

In general, parents and carers are kept informed via:
• phone calls
• emails
• assessment reports sent home to parents
• meetings
• parent evenings
• annual review meetings.

For boys with an additional need, a Pupil Passport will be co-produced. Additionally, for some boys, such as those with an Education, Health and Care Plan, a Learning Plan will be drawn up, shared and reviewed throughout the year.

Helping your child settle with confidence

• We are a Catholic school and have a strong ethos of pastoral care and provide spiritual life and Chaplaincy support. Our Chaplain is available to provide emotional and pastoral support to all our students.
• Our transition programme for Year 7 pupils includes interviews at primary school, an induction day and extra visits to the school for pupils with significant additional needs.
• Staff monitor play areas during lunch and break times.
• We also have senior staff in attendance at our local bus stops at the beginning and end of each day to ensure our pupils are safe.
• The Learning Support team may be able to offer individual and group support with social skills, social games, anger management and mentoring.
• We have access to specialist services such as Educational Psychology Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Educational Welfare Officer, Speech & Language Services, Occupational Therapy, Autism Support Service, English as an Additional Language and Visual Impairment Services etc.
• The John Fisher School has a robust anti-bullying policy and procedures in place.
• The Talk Easy Trust is a peer mentoring scheme which was set up by a John Fisher pupil, Aidan McNulty. The trust helps students with issues such as bullying, depression or anxiety.
• Our Inclusion Coordinator can provide emotional support to our more vulnerable pupils.
• Parents are requested to inform the school of any issues that may make transition more difficult for their son.
• The Year 7 Director of Learning, Form tutors and SENDCo liaise closely in ensuring transition between year groups and schools is managed smoothly and free from anxiety for the pupils.

Transition to High School from Year 6 to 7 is supported through a number of ways:-
• Visits to primary schools by the SENCO and Director of Learning.
• Induction Day for all pupils
• Pre-term sports activities in late August each year.
• Appointments can be made with the SENCO to arrange a visit to the school.
• We have an identified member of support staff who deal with admissions KS3 pupils.

Students with identified needs will:
• Visit the school with parents and discuss SEN needs with the SENCO during the term before they transfer.

Transition from KS4 to Post 16 for students with identified needs:
• Support to complete College or University Application forms and CVs.
• Independent Careers Advice and Guidance
• Information evenings regarding Further Education, Apprenticeships, work and training.
• Interview Practice

A number of students join the school each year through the mid-term admissions process. Support for these students include:-
• Liaison with previous school
• Support from the Learning Support team as appropriate
• A 'Buddy' system is put in place to offer peer support in the first weeks of transition.
• Support from Form Tutor and Director of Learning.
• Assessments (literacy and numeracy baseline data)

Extended School Day

The school run a number of extracurricular activities before school, at lunch time and after school. For example, there is a breakfast club, many sporting activities, musical opportunities, and a homework club after school for boys to complete their homework and receive adult support if needed. Many of these clubs are well attended



October 2021