• LRB 2

Language Resource Base

North Durham Academy is an Enhanced Mainstream Provision.

The Language Resource Base (LRB) at North Durham Academy caters for up to 20 students who have an Education and Health Care Plan; specifically, for speech, language and/or communication difficulties.

North Durham Academy is a mainstream secondary school.  

Students who are part of the Language Resource Base may have difficulties in any of the following areas, but should not have a general learning disability:

  •  understanding spoken language; particularly complex or abstract ideas, lengthy instructions and conversation.
  •  putting words together to make sentences, thinking of words they want to express themselves and/or using grammar.
  • speech difficulties. When they talk, it may be difficult to understand them.
  • some students have all the necessary basic language skills, but struggle to use language socially to make friends and get on with people.
  • Students may have other difficulties linked to those listed above 


What can the Language Resource Base offer my child?

Our aim is to develop students’ confidence and self-esteem, so they can achieve their full potential, ready for adult life.

Language Resource Base students are included within lessons alongside their peers. They access a wide and varied curriculum with a variety of staff. Designated Curriculum Support Workers support the students in lessons to help them. 

Where appropriate, students may follow a curriculum better suited to their needs or take some of their lessons in the Harbour with members of the SEND team.

LRB students also attend speech and language therapy involving individual/group programmes of work, as appropriate to their needs.

Who are the staff in the Language Resource Base Team?

The Language Resource Base Team includes a Head of SEND, Mrs Norman; Harbour Manager, Mrs Hope; Curriculum Support Workers (CSW), and an  Educational Psychologist also form part of the team, as well as other outside agencies as required.

The students and staff access The Harbour, the designated SEND area.

What extra provision will my child receive?

The SEND support staff are available to meet students in the LRB when they first arrive in the morning. They also ensure the students collect their taxis safely in the evening where necessary.

The Harbour is open at break and lunchtime should students choose to access this provision. Students are given early break and lunch passes so they can avoid the queues. The support staff provide help with homework and study support sessions.

The SEND Team are available to support with any issues or concerns, provide a quiet area, access to computers or just a friendly space where students can mix with their peers.

What are the Transition arrangements for LRB students?

LRB staff work closely both with Enhanced Mainstream Provision Primary Schools and Colleges to ensure a smooth transition. Most transition packages are bespoke according to the needs of the child. This may include additional visits, social stories, additional meetings for professionals and parental contact.

Where possible LRB staff may attend Annual Reviews at the Primary Schools and some College staff may attend Year 11 Review meetings. This ensures staff have all the relevant information. The Academy works closely with One Point services to ensure transition planning is achieved.

How will teaching staff meet my child’s needs?

Students’ strengths, needs, outcomes and the strategies for supporting them are detailed within their Student Support Plan. Progress and impact of Support plans is closely monitored both through the academy’s regular assessment and data collection procedures, as well as  reviews of Support Plans with students and parents.

Staff also have access to training, to help raise awareness of students’ needs.

The Speech and Language Therapists may sometimes observe students in lessons. This helps them advise staff on the best ways of supporting students.

How does everyone work together?

The SEND team regularly contact parents through telephone or via e-mail to ensure a strong network of support around a student. They also offer support and advice to teaching staff on how to achieve the best outcome for a student.  Teaching staff offer feedback on students’ progress for review meetings and annual reviews.

The Statutory Annual Reviews ensure that all the agencies working with a student meet to discuss the provision and progress of a student.

What areas may my child work on during speech and language therapy sessions?

The Speech and Language Therapist will complete some activities to find out what the LRB students strengths are and areas for development. Therapy sessions are then offered to develop student’s communication skills. Often therapy is delivered in a group. It can also be given one to one, through training of other staff or by providing work for others to deliver to students.

Possible areas of need for students may include:

  • Language and Memory skills: understanding classroom instructions and remembering heard information.
  • Narrative skills: telling the story of what happened.
  • “Understanding Me”: helping them understand the label name(s) used to describe their communication skills.
  • Emotional Literacy: understanding emotion vocabulary, emotion intensity and basic strategies to help them cope when feeling upset.
  • Adult Relationships: discussion group exploring friendship and relationship issues.
  •  “Understanding Me 2”: students are supported to create a personal leaflet to explain their communication diagnostic label to other people.
  • Job Skills: vocabulary for job adverts, C.V. creation, interview skills.
  • Life Skills: students select any area of life they’d like support on for the future e.g. medical appointments, housing, dealing with emergency services.

What should I do if I have any questions?

We want your child to be happy at North Durham Academy.

Therefore please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or queries.

Mrs Sarah Norman (Head of SEN)

Mrs Jill Hope (Harbour Manager)


Updated August 2020