Fordwater School is a Local Education Authority,
co-educational school for 2-19 year old pupils with severe learning difficulties.
The particulars contained on this Website were correct in relation to the year 2007/2008 when this document was prepared. It must not, however, be assumed that there will be no change before the start of, or during, the said year, or in relation to subsequent school years.
The School is divided into two Departments, Lower School and Upper School. An experienced senior member of staff manages each department. Children will be members of a specific class group, but may, for part of their time, work in mixed groups across the department. One of the lower school classes (Owls) caters specifically for pupils who are deafblind.
THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Fordwater School offers a curriculum designed to meet the needs of pupils who have severe learning difficulties. The curriculum model can be best described as being delivered in three distinct, yet overlapping ways. A separate document is available which describes in detail how the curriculum is managed.
Lunchtime is an important time of the day when we are able to concentrate on eating and associated social skills. This is part of our curriculum and as such, is part of each teacher's normal working day.
All pupils are encouraged to stay for school dinners. The kitchen staff are able to meet requirements for special diets and most specially prepared foods. Dinner money is paid on a Monday morning.
LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY
The length of our School Day is governed by the constraints of transport. Pupils will spend differing times being transported to School, but pupils are normally expected to arrive in time for registration in the morning at 8.50am. The day ends when the children leave, at 3.10pm.
All pupils who attend Fordwater School and who live in our catchment area are entitled to transport both to and from School. The arrangements for transport are dealt with by the Area Education Office. Special harnesses, seating aids and escorts are available for children with particular transport needs. Parents may also arrange to bring their own child to School, if they wish to.
The decision as to whether a child should be offered a place at Fordwater School is made by the Education Officer for Special Education.
In order for a placement to be considered, it is necessary for a recommendation to be made by either a GP, Hospital Doctor, Social Worker, or other professionals involved with the child.
We welcome preliminary visits from parents who want to know about the work we do in School and encourage parents to visit us informally. It is our hope that we can offer positive help to families at this time, as we know how difficult it sometimes is to find out what options are available. We are also able to visit families at home if this is thought to be helpful.
Pupils at Fordwater School are usually offered a place as a result of a Statement of Educational Need, or for assessment, pending a Statement being prepared. The "Statement" highlights the special needs of the child, and states how the Local Authority is planning to meet those needs. It is completed by the Local Authority, after consulting all the professionals involved with the child and, most importantly, the parents of the child. The role parents play in this matter is of vital importance.
Once a Statement has been written, the School reviews it on an annual basis. This Annual Review consists of a report prepared by the School, in consultation with parents. This joint consultation is an important way in which the School can work in partnership with parents.
The Governors' Policy on Charging is in line with West Sussex County Council's agreed procedures and complies with the requirements of the Education Reform Act and takes full account of the contents of Circular 2/89.
There is no charge made for activities that are undertaken as part of the School's normal curriculum. However, if during Home Economics or craft lessons it is intended that pupils take home their work, then the cost of the raw materials may be requested.
There are occasions when parents are invited to make a voluntary contribution to activities, which take place both within and outside the School Day. These are known as optional extras. An inability to contribute does not prejudice a pupil's participation.