Special school

Local Offer

Yes (details below)
Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool
Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool, Church Road, North Wavertree, Liverpool, Merseyside, L15 6TQ

Age

From 3 to 19 years old

Description

We are a non-maintained special school for Multi-Disabled Visually Impaired pupils aged 3-19. We offer day and residential places. Capacity - 66 in school with residential provision for up to 20 pupils.

We offer day places, weekly boarders, respite places and an after school club for our pupils.

Local Offer downloads 

Contact name

Clare Geraghty

Contact phone

01517331012

Contact position

Deputy Headteacher
Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool

Opening times

School Term Dates - 9am to 4pm

Needs a referral?

Yes

Referral details

Referral through Local Authority

Ofsted rating

Outstanding

Local Offer details

Please see our Local Offer link below.

Local Offer contact

Clare Geraghty

Local Offer phone

01517331012

Local Offer email

clare.geraghty@rsblind.co.uk

How do you identify special educational needs and disabilities?

Before your child is placed here you will be very welcome to visit school, see the facilities, talk with staff. Staff are also very happy to do home visits to see your child in a familiar place. Parents are welcome in school at any time to discuss their child's needs and progress. Home/school books are used daily to keep parents informed and phone calls are also welcome. We really want to work with you to provide the best that we can for your child. Annual reviews are held for each pupil and a detailed report is provided by the staff at this time but interim reviews can also be held in the meantime if required. Therapy staff - physio, speech and medical are based at school and are available to meet with parents when requested.

How do you support a child with extra needs?

We have a high ratio of staff to pupils with classes of between 5 and 6 pipils with a minimum of three staff members plus additional staff through physio, speech, mobility and music therapies. Close collaboration is maintained with the residential staff if pupils are staying during the week or on respite with us. All staff listen to and respond to communication from each child in whatever form they communicate.

How do ensure a child’s education meets their needs?

All pupils have an assessment when they begin school which includes their learning development, visual assessment, mobility assessment, physio assessment and communication assessment. Individual learning targets are then set for each child to meet their needs and help them move on to the next stage. Learning outcomes are set in very small steps and all achievement, no matter how small, is celebrated. All lessons are provided through multi-sensory teaching offering lots of hands on experience to help the children understand their world. A total communication approach is used - language, on body signs, objects of reference, depending on individual needs. As pupils get older, styles of learning will change and different emphases placed upon areas of the curriculum. For instance, at Key Stage 4 pupils begin to work towards external awards.

How will we know my child is progressing?

The high staff ratios help the children settle into school and enjoy school life. Parents are welcome to help their child settle in when they first come to school. The ethos of the school is one of respect and care between staff and pupils where any communication from the child is listened to and responded to and the safeguarding and happiness of each child is of paramount importance. Those pupils who are residential or who do one or two nights respite here stay in small residential units and each child has a residential keyworker. We have a nurse and nursing assistant on site during the day who help the children with particular medical needs. All staff are here to support the pupils, they get to know them very well and know instinctively if something is wrong.

How will you support my child’s overall wellbeing?

All teaching staff in the school either have, or obtain, the qualification as a teacher of the visually impaired. The teachers also have a wide range of experience and qualifications in learning disability. Most teaching assistants either have NNEB or NVQ Level 2 but all have attended many on-site training sessions in school specifically looking at the needs of the pupils. Residential keyworkers have NVQ Level 3 in childcare. We strongly believe that a multi-disciplinary approach is vital for pupils and we have physiotherapy, to speech therapy based on site, occupational therapy on request, nursing staff on site and trained mobility staff on site. Four nights a week residential provision is available and also respite nights are available for short breaks or regular weekly breaks. We have an after school club from 4pm to 7 pm two nights a week.

What specialist services and expertise are available?

Our school has a proud history of supporting children with a visual impairment. In the last 20 years we have specialised in supporting children who are visually impaired and multiply disabled. Teaching staff achieve the mandatory Qualification in Visual Impairment as well as their initial teaching qualification. Everyone in school undertakes training sessions designed to strengthen their knowledge of how best to maximise a pupils opportunities. Residential staff all have NVQ level 3 and the Head and Deputy Head of Care have NNEB qualification and NVQ Level 4 We have an after school club from 4pm to 7pm two nights a week.

How are staff trained on extra needs?

The school has three specialist buses and one adapted car so that all pupils are able to access trips out. All visits are risk assessed and appropriate staffing levels are in place to meet all the needs of the pupils. The school is well situated in the local community and both day and residential pupils make full use of all the amenities in the local and wider community. The residential pupils have a fantastic social life visiting theatre, circus, parks , shops, cinema, football training and much more.

What activities are there outside the classroom?

The entire site is completely accessible and a full environmental audit has been completed to ensure this. The school environment is tailored to meet the needs of multiply disabled visually impaired pupils with contrasting colours and landmark objects around the site, appropriate levels of lighting, handrails and sensory cues to enable pupils to become familiar with routes. All classrooms have bathrooms with overhead hoists which allow the safe moving and handling of the pupils when staff are attending to the pupil's personal care.

How will you support my child's needs?

Prior to your child starting school some visits to the home are usually undertaken followed by several visits to the school by the child and their parents. Sometimes staff from the child's current provision also visit the school. Because class sizes are very small there is no need to have a designated person assigned to each pupil but good relationships build up fast between the child and the class staff. If your child is spending any nights here they would visit with the residential units and have tea with them before this begins. Each residential child has an allocated key worker . Preparing to leave school begins a few years before it actually happens. Most pupils leave in the school year they are 19yrs. Parents, school staff and external agencies work together to identify any opportunities for pupils leaving school as they approach 16yrs. When we identify where the pupil wishes to go, the new provider, with parents permission, can look at school documentation. They will also be invited to attend school and meet with school staff.

How do you support children when they start and leave?

Everything in the school – staff, resources, curriculum and care are specifically designed to meet the needs of multiply disabled visually impaired pupils and each pupil is provided with all the resources needed to make the most of their abilities and help them through difficulties/barriers to learning.

What is available to help my child with their education?

Much of this is decided through your child's Statement of Special Needs or the new EHC Plan. If any more support is needed this would be discussed with yourselves and your Local Authority during the annual review.

What support can I expect for my child?

We believe that communication needs to be a two way process between parents and staff if it is to be effective. Parents are invited to review meetings to discuss their child's wellbeing and progress. Home/school books are used for daily contact and phone calls/visits are welcome. During the year there are various “fun” activities for parents to attend and some parents also volunteer to help with some activities.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

We believe that communication needs to be a two way process between parents and staff if it is to be effective. Parents are invited to reivew meetings to discuss their child's wellbeing and progress. Home/school books are used for daily contact and phone calls/visits are welcome. During the year there are various 'fun' activities for parents to attend and some parents also volunteer to help with some activities.