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Our Lady & St John Catholic College

Our Lady & St John Catholic College is an 11-16 comprehensive school servicing the Catholic population of Blackburn with a capacity for 900 pupils.  

The purpose-built building was opened in January 2014 and combines traditional values with 21st century learning.  We are a fully inclusive school that places quality first teaching at the head of everything we do.  We regard every teacher is a teacher of every child and in this context all our teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs (SEN).  We believe all pupils should be treated with respect and tolerance and be educated in an environment that promotes self-esteem and growth.

In addition to striving for academic excellence school believes that ...

"in particular the school - like the church itself - has special responsiblity for those who are most in need"

The Easter people

The school is geared and structured to provide accessibility of curriculum for all, whatever the nature of their SEND or level of ability.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mr G Jones
Contact Position
Assistant Headteacher SENDCo
01254 588388

Where to go

Our Lady & St John Catholic College
North Road
North Road
This service is part of the Local Offer

Local Offer


Our Lady & St John is fully accessible and committed to meeting the needs of all the pupils.  

There is lift access to all the floors in the buildings as well as ramp access to most areas.  

Door signs have a braille equivalent, architraves have differentiated colouring as do pillars.  

There are disabled parking bays and disabled hygiene rooms.

There is a dedicated medical room.

All classrooms have interactive televisions and enlargement facilites.  Most of the rooms have adjustable tables.  Advice is sought from inclusion support services as part of "Assess, plan, do" review cycle.

Coloured overlays are provided for children with Dyslexia

Dyslexia Boxes are available in all departments for all pupils to use. Which include High Frequency words, coloured overlays, white boards. writing frames, subject specific words. This is not an exhaustive list. 

School has regular slots with the Educational Psychology Service and uses school nurse drop in sessions.  

The school has specialist facilities, a Learning Support Centre, Nurture group, to support pupils with barriers to learning. 

We have TAs that are ELKLAN trained in delivering Speech and Language Sessions. 

Nurture club is available at break/dinner times for pupils requiring additional social support during these times. 

Counselling sessions are available for pupils that require Social and Emotional Support 

We have a group of TAs that are training in delivering Literacy sessions for pupils that require literacy support 


Local Offer Age Bands
Parents & carers
11-16 years
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the school/setting?
  • National Teaching School
  • Educational Psychology
  • School Nurse
  • Inclusion Support Service
  • Speech/Language Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Professionals
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Paediatrician
  • Counselling Service
  • Restoration Justice Specialist
  • Behaviour Support Service
What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?

The staff body has a wealth of experience and training in all aspects of SEND. Whole School CPD sessions occur on a termly basis focusing on Early identification and intervention through classroom  teaching  We have trained staff in:-

  • Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties
  • Autism Spectrum Condition
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health 
  • Catch-up literacy and numeracy
  • Speech and Language training
  • Visual Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • First Aid
  • Various subject specialist training
  • Behaviour Management
  • Safe people handling for physically disabled children
  • Use of support in the classroom.  

We pride ourselves on a flexible continuous personal development to meet the needs of all children and staff in school.

An extensive link up with a national teaching school has also brought an extensive intervention from national providers and leaders on various types of education and subjects.

How do you know if my child/young person needs extra help?

There should be a record of need for your child at the primary school.  

In addition Our Lady & St John will conduct baseline tests.  We have a vigorous data capture system that identifies learning difficulties, should they arise.  The school operates a 'plan, do and review' cycle.

If you have any particular concerns, please contact the Achievement Co-ordinator or the SENDCo.  

Often early discussions avoid undue worrying. The SENDCo is always available via email and attends all Parental/Open Evening events

Early identification is crucial as recommended by the code of Practice.   


What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

In the first instance speak with the school - parents are sometimes unaware of all the interventions or additional support already taking place.  

Further assessment may be required, in addition to the ongoing measures school has already put in place.  

If we feel that even more support is required, we can access additional help or engage it directly, should tha be appropriate.  

The SENDCo is always available for enquires or advice.

How will staff support my child/young person?

Staff are all briefed on the type of support individual young people require and pastoral support is a real strength of the school.

An extensive profile is developed over the child's progress through school. Initially a pen portrait is created by the SEND team which provides information from professionals, subject teachers and parents. This will include support advice and strategies for staff to use in school to effectively support all barriers to learning. Regular discussions with subject teachers are completed via a Team around the Child process, this ensures all strategies and support advice are up to date.   

Departments run a range of interventions to address underachievement. There is an extensive network of small group literacy intervention and even 1:1 tuition.  Also, there is a network of in-class support and Learning Mentors for pupils.   

All children have access to all facilities/clubs in school.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

The curriculum is fully inclusive with subjects differentiated according to ability - lower ability groups have a more favourable staffing ratio and a range of interventions are deployed within subject areas.

Technology is utilised where appropriate as is flexible learning options.  

Robust monitoring and data analysis are used to match needs within a broad banding system.

How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child/young person?

Quality first teaching involves a highly differentiated curriculum.  For pupils with specific needs e.g. visual impairment and dyslexia teachers follow strategies recommended by professionals and Learning Support.  

Teaching Assistants work closely with staff to adapt or plan learning where appropriate.  Highly specialised literacy tuition is included to support this area and all staff employ a range of learning activities in lessons.

Subject teachers use the support advice as recommended from the RAMP/Pen Portraits which are created by the SEND department.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing?

Progress is monitored formally and informally by school.  There are formal assessment capture points in the year and parents are also informed on attendance, behaviour and attitude to learning.

Pupils with an Educational & Health Care Plan (EHCP) will have an annual review and all children on SEN support will be reviewed termly.  

Every year group has a parents' consultation evening.

Parents are welcome to contact school at any point to arrange an appointment to discuss their child's progress.


How will you help me to support my child/young person's learning?

Our Lady & St John College prides itself on its good relationship with parents.  

One of the main ways we do this is through the pupil planner. We also use text messaging and various online communication systems. Parents are kept informed at all stages be it teaching band movement, rewards, sanctions or departmental initiatives.  Show my homework is available for pupils and parents to access at home. 

Several departments direct children to relevant learning systems.   

A range of extensive interventions are available for pupils on the SEND list. This includes

  • SALT support from trained ELKLAN TAs.
  • SEMH intervention via CBT based sessions.
  • Pyramid club and Lego Therapy to improve social interactions.
  • Literacy Intervention via Soundswrite/IDL cloud programmes

Parents are invited to coffee mornings to share good practice and provide SEND specific advice.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

The Pastoral team contributes to this area.  The school seeks to build safe, secure and supportive relationships.

There is an active Pupil Council and a dedicated Pupil Services Team to support pupils.  We have 2 full time attendance officers, a School Counsellor and we have access to health and educational support.

For pupils with SEMH difficulties we have a specialist Learning Support Centre.

Pupils that have been identified with SEMH difficulties receive regular CBT based sessions delivered by trained TAs and a School Counsellor.

What activities will be available for my child/young person?

School tries to be as inclusive as possible.  There is a Breakfast Club, a refuge at break and lunchtimes, various after school activities including; Craft, Cookery, Sport and Gardening.  We liaise closely with groups like the Prince's Trust and Positive Activities for Young People to try and access further activities at weekends or evenings.  Several activities are organised departmentally like visits to museums, the theatre and abroad.

How will you prepare and support my child/young person during transitions?

Transition from Year 6  

The SENDCo visits all feeder primary schools to obtain information on children's needs as well as attending annual reviews.  Induction days and collaborative works begins in the summer term.  

Transition from Year 11  

Year 9 reviews are a starting point for EHC Plans to consider options.  College providers are invited to reviews in Year 11, taster sessions are arranged where possible.  Assistance with applications is offered to all SEND pupils and the Director of Learning Support liaises directly with Colleges' SEN Teams regarding "passports"

Connexions are involved with pupils form year 10 onwards.

How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child's/young person's needs?

School will endeavour to match resources and equipment based on need.  Applications for local authority funding where necessary will be made for high cost items. A provision map is used to ensure that appropriate provision is in place to support SEND need.

Dyslexia boxes are available to all pupils and are attached to departments.

How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

We pride ourselves on meeting the needs of all children within the school if at all possible. Decisions are always taken in consultation with teachers, parents, the child and the local authority (if appropriate) as well as a range of professionals the child may be involved with.

Children with EHCPs are reviewed annually.

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