Skip to content
SEN Information Report

Forest Moor School Offer

Forest Moor School is the same as other schools in that we:

  • Have high expectations of our pupils and want them to achieve as much as possible
  • Want our children to feel safe and happy 
  • Create a calm and purposeful atmosphere where children can learn 
  • Give our children the opportunity to access a broad range of subjects and qualifications, including GCSEs
  • Aim to build strong relationships with parents and carers

Forest Moor School is different to other schools in that we:

  • Are a special school and only accept pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan that identifies Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) as their primary need
  • Are a former naval intelligence complex located in Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • Have up to 100 pupils between the ages of 9-16.
  • Work in small classes, usually with children of the same age, typically up to 8 pupils and 2 staff members in each class
  • Build the school day and our curriculum to support pupils with SEMH needs
  • Use a Trauma Informed approach with Unconditional Positive Regard at the centre of everything we do
  • Have specially trained staff to support the special educational needs of our pupils
  • Offer a range of interventions to support pupil needs
  • Work closely with a range of external agencies and professionals to identify and meet the needs of our pupils

Places at our School are accessed via the SEND consultation process through the Local Authority. More information about our admissions criteria can be found through our admissions policy.

If you would like to attend one of our parent/carer tours, please contact the school office.

Special Educational Need and Disabilities

Forest Moor School is a specialist provision for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.  A number of our pupils have secondary needs including difficulties with their communication and learning. 

Which policies identify children and young people with SEND?

At our Special School, all of our pupils have an EHCP, which is related to their SEMH needs.  Many of our pupils have secondary needs relating to cognition and learning, communication and interaction and sensory/ physical needs. Our SEND policy includes further information, including the role of the SENDCo in improving the outcomes of our pupils with SEND.  Additional policies that talk about the identification of need include our Admissions Policy. 

How are their needs assessed?

If we feel that pupils have additional needs that are not in their EHCP, we may implement an intervention to meet these needs.  Where possible, we aim to use formal methods of assessment such as standardised scores.  When this is not deemed appropriate due to the pupil’s needs, we rely on observational methods to both assess and monitor progress. We would also support with referrals, evidence and liaison with external agencies including CAMHS, Healthcare and Educational Psychology.

Who is the school SENDCo?

The SENDCo at Forest Moor School is Serena Porter and SEN admin is Nichola Ward.

Contact: 01423 779232


Our Approach

Unconditional Positive Regard

At Forest Moor School we show unconditional positive regard for our children. 

That means we treat all our pupils with:

  • Genuine warmth
  • Genuine care
  • Flexible consistency – we understand the needs of the individual

We also:

  • Show and model resilience
  • Offer multiple fresh starts
  • Find a way that works
  • Act positively at all times


Central to the philosophy of nurture is attachment theory, an area of psychology that explains the need for any person to be able to form secure and happy relationships with others in the formative years of their lives.  We adapt this approach as by successfully addressing barriers to learning, academic attainment and health and well-being are improved. 

All of our practice is guided by the six founding principles of nurture, which are:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives

Trauma Informed 

We are a trauma informed school, which means we are able to support children and teenagers who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose behaviour can sometimes act as a barrier to their learning.

Restorative Practice

At Forest Moor School we believe that everybody has the right to work in a safe and positive environment. We work with our pupils to give them the skills and capacity to build and keep productive relationships, cope with conflict or being upset and rebuild friendships if problems arise. To do this, we adopt a restorative approach.  

Restorative practice is made up from a range of methods and strategies which we use to prevent relationship-damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. All our staff are trained in this approach.

How do you consult with parents of children with SEND and involve them in their child’s education?

As a school we aim to build partnerships with parents and carers that are based on honesty, trust and mutual respect with the purpose of supporting the academic, personal and emotional development of our pupils.  As a consequence, we consult and communicate with parents on an ongoing basis. During the annual review of special educational needs, parents and carers are invited to contribute to and discuss the following:

  • Pupil Progress
  • Provision
  • Positive Handling and other Intervention Plans

In addition, we call parents and carers on a regular basis.  We are fortunate to be supported by an outstanding pastoral welfare team who can also offer support for our families out of school, and can make home visits to maintain strong partnerships.

How do you consult with children and young people and ensure they are actively involved in their own education?

Success revolves around the pupils themselves.  With this in mind, we value the views of our pupils.  Their views are recorded through the student council termly and before their annual review.  

Pupils are invited to all review meetings and are encouraged to suggest possible targets and how school can better provide for their needs. If due to need, pupils do not feel able to attend, they can select an advocate to share their views. Pupils are also encouraged to self-assess and peer-assess work in class and reflect on their progress in a daily Review and Reflect session.

How do you assess and review children and young people’s progress towards outcomes?

Reviewing progress towards EHCP outcomes takes place at an annual review and in termly reviews.  Parents and carers are involved in the annual review process and their views are recorded and taken into account.  To support the EHCP review process, a variety of school data is used including progress in subjects and social and emotional development. 


How do you support children and young people who move between phases of education?

On admission to our school, our SENCO, Assistant Head for transitions & Parent Support Officer works with parents, carers and other professionals to plan a personalised transition for new pupils.  This might include:

  • Parent and carer visits
  • Supported visits with trusted adults
  • Supported time in the classroom

Likewise, we support the transition from primary to secondary within school by implementing a personalised programme depending on the pupil’s needs, which helps them to prepare for change.  

When the pupil is ready to move to their next provision, school or college, there is a carefully planned transition programme where pupils, parents, school staff and relevant outside agencies are involved at every stage.

How do you help children and young people prepare for adulthood?

We aim to nurture a purposeful learning environment that is physically and emotionally safe.  A specialist educational offer that ensures children and young people are well prepared for college,  employment and participation in society. 

We prepare pupils for adulthood through:

  • Personal development
  • Curriculum – qualifications
  • Real-life experiences
  • Careers support and advice on site
  • Classroom activities based on problem solving and the ability to use initiative
  • Social communication development
  • Work experience opportunities where appropriate

What approach do you use when teaching children and young people with SEND?

At Forest Moor School, our pupils in Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 are in year groups and according to needs wherever possible. All of our practice is guided by the six founding principles of nurture, which are:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives

We also ensure that all pupils access ‘Quality First Teaching’ which is differentiated to meet needs. 

Within the curriculum that is offered outdoor learning is highly valued.  This is based on a different learning topic each half term, appropriate for each key stage, where a range of curriculum areas can be covered.  Wherever possible, and in a variety of weather, groups are encouraged to learn outdoors. 

How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEND?

Like mainstream schools we work within the statutory guidelines set out in the National Curriculum.  Our aim is:

  • To shape successful learners who enjoy school, make great progress and achieve a range of qualifications; confident individuals, who lead safe, health and fulfilling lives and responsible citizens, who make productive contributions to society
  • To focus on the acquisition of attitudes and attributes, for example, perseverance, resilience and respect; skills, for example, literacy, numeracy and personal development; and knowledge and understanding

To do this we:

  • Provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that supports all pupils to push the boundaries of their potential
  • Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils
  • Ensure all pupils gain appropriate qualifications and accreditation at KS4 enabling them to successfully access post 16 education
  • Offer extended enrichment that develops pupils’ confidence and helps engender an appreciation and enjoyment of human creativity and achievement
  • Provide pupils with the essential knowledge and skills they need to be good citizens and make the most of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life

The curriculum is planned through both discrete and topic based lessons that combine elements of nurture into routines and activities throughout the day.  Additional, intense and focused interventions are planned where necessary. The following interventions and methods are used to adapt the curriculum and learning environment when needed:

  • Further differentiation of tasks and resources, for example, simplifying the readability of the text or adapting it to meet personal interests
  • Targeted in-class support using Teaching Assistants (TA)
  • Use of ICT to support preferred learning styles
  • Access arrangements for examinations and in preparation

What expertise and training do your staff have?

All of our teachers and support staff are experienced in working with pupils with SEMH within a nurture setting. When additional expertise is necessary, group staff are supported by the SENDCo, who can provide further strategies and recommendations.

How do you secure additional specialist expertise?

When desired progress has not taken place through school interventions, specialist expertise is sought, either directly or on a consultancy basis, depending on the needs of the individual pupil.  These specialist recommendations and strategies will then be implemented in school.

There is an ethos of continued professional development embedded throughout our school to ensure that all staff members are trained and informed of new developments in education and, in particular, developments in the teaching of pupils with a broad spectrum of SEND. 

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEND?

All senior leaders, class teachers and support staff play a key role in evaluating the effectiveness of our provision. Senior Leaders wi=rite a school self evaluation every year and produce a school development plan, to which staff contribute. The Senior Leadership also play a key role in evaluating the effectiveness of our provision by:

  • Robustly monitoring and reviewing SEND provision
  • Monitor and reviewing individual pupil progress
  • Overseeing regular assessment arrangements
  • Recording and analysing the impact of interventions
  • Making comparisons with local and national data
  • Analysing school data
  • Gathering feedback from relevant partners

How are children and young people with SEND enabled to engage in activities?

Building the self-esteem of our pupils and allowing them to experience success is key to our nurturing ethos.  Activities, whether based in or out of the classroom, are differentiated and personalised to meet individual needs to meet this. We encourage our pupils to be confident, and to lead fulfilling lives. We do this through enhancing our curriculum by providing a variety of trips, visits and outdoor education. The school has a minibus and MPV to enable our pupils to engage with such activities.

How do you support the emotional and social development of children and young people?

Improving emotional and social development is key to the trauma informed provision the school offers. At Forest Moor School we have embraced Thrive that is used in principle throughout the curriculum and in small group and one to one interventions where possible. Thrive prioritises the social and emotional development of young people through language and the arts. The school council enables pupils to engage with the pastoral team to discuss whole school plans.  This provides vital social skills and helps to build confidence.  Our highly skilled pastoral team supports each pupil’s social and emotional development through short and long term interventions, close work with families and through providing a rewards system that enables pupils to achieve goals and targets.

Bullying is addressed through restorative practice by group staff.  Where bullying continues, parents and carers become involved and incidents are followed up with the pastoral team.

How does the school involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEND and supporting their families?

As a school, we work with a wide range of partners including those from health, social care and the Local Authority. We gather a variety of information on admission to ensure that we are involving and working with all relevant bodies from the start. Early Help Assessments are offered when we feel that families may need support. We can refer and signpost them to other relevant services in order to better the lives of the children and young people.  Staff from the school attend various professional meetings to ensure close working with the family and other professionals to achieve the actions that are set. It is often necessary to share information and work alongside other professionals including healthcare, social workers, family support workers, police, youth justice and others in order to achieve the best for our pupils. 

What arrangements are in place for handling complaints from parents of children with SEND about the provision made at school?

Forest Moor School aims to provide the best possible educational experience for all its pupils and their families. Queries from parents and other members of the public are initially dealt with by the school office. We like to hear when we are doing something well but also realise that there may be times when you are unhappy or you just might want to make a comment about how we can improve. If parents or carers would like to make a comment, pass on a compliment or make a complaint about our school they can contact the school directly by telephone, email or in writing and will be directed to the most appropriate person.  Our underlying principle is that concerns ought to be handled without the need for formal procedures.  The school is committed to responding to the queries of the parents and guardians as soon as possible in line with Chapter 11 of the 2014 Code of Practice.