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Ormiston Denes Academy

General Details

Ormiston Denes Academy is one of Suffolk’s leading co-educational secondary schools, situated in the coastal town of Lowestoft, about 110 miles north-east of London. The most easterly secondary school in the United Kingdom, it lies just 22 miles south-east of Norwich, and has a train route to London Liverpool Street via Ipswich which is 50 miles to the south.

The academy is located on the A47, centrally within the catchment area and just over a mile from the centre of Lowestoft. The grounds include a sports centre which serves a focal point for the community.

Located in the historic parish of St Margaret’s, the academy’s history dates back to 1910 when it was founded as a replacement for a secondary fee-paying day school established in 1904. Built by Brown and Kerr its main building is a Grade II listed building with a Queen Anne façade. The school was originally designed to accommodate 320 pupils with the site comprising eleven acres, of which seven were playing fields. For the first nine years the school was called the Lowestoft Municipal Secondary School and its aim was to provide a ‘sound education for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18’. In 1914 the first school magazine, The Lowestoftian was published, detailing the events of the school. Although it has seen many changes over time The Lowestoftian continues to be published to this day.

Lowestoft Municipal Secondary School, in a painting from 1912

From 1920 the school was renamed the Lowestoft Secondary School before becoming known as Lowestoft Grammar School from 1945 under the changes of the 1944 Butler Education Act.

In June 1940, soon after the start of the Second World War and as a result of the danger from air raids on Lowestoft, 327 pupils together with the Head Master and 21 members of staff were evacuated to Worksop. The return to Lowestoft commenced in 1943 with eventually all returning by July 1944.

After the end of the war there was a population boom, which caused a rapid rise in the number of pupils attending the school. This necessitated a utilitarian building programme in order to accommodate the new pupils. This expansion of the school buildings continued intermittently for the next 30 years.

Lowestoft Secondary School

Lowestoft Secondary School, c. 1935

The school became a comprehensive in 1971 and was renamed The Denes High School. In September 2004 it was designated by the Department for Education and Skills as a specialist centre for business and enterprise.

In September 2011 the age range changed from 13–18 to 11–16 as part of the reorganisation of all schools in the area. Students in years 7 and 8 joined the school after the closure of eight middle schools in Lowestoft and the opening of Lowestoft Sixth Form meant that the Lowestoft sixth form consortium, which had operated as a shared sixth form between the high schools in the town, was dissolved.

As a result of these changes and the consolidation of other local providers, Ormiston Denes Academy is now the largest secondary school in the area with approximately 1,000 students on role, primarily feeding into the school from one of the eleven primary schools in north Lowestoft.

Ormiston Denes Academy, today

In 2013 the school joined Ormiston Academies Trust, converting to academy status and into its present form as Ormiston Denes Academy. Under new leadership from September 2016 the academy recently celebrated the highest ever student outcomes in its history, confirming its position as the top performing secondary academy in north Lowestoft, alongside its established reputation as a centre for sporting and creative excellence.

Who to contact

Jim Nixon
01502 574474
01502 573957
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Yarmouth Road
NR32 4AH

Additional contact

Additional Website
Suffolk County Council website

Where to go

Ormiston Denes Academy
Yarmouth Road
NR32 4AH
Area served
Venue Email
Venue Website
Parking available

Other details

Age Groups
Young people
Disabled Parking, Wheelchair Access, Lift, Adapted Toilet
School Transport assistance
Find out more about home to school transport



School Type
School Status
Academy Sponsor/Trust
Ormiston Academies Trust
View the latest Ofsted Inspection Report
DfE Number
Chair of Governors
Tina Ellis
Last Updated

Local Offer Local Offer Record

Experience of including people with special educational needs and disabilities


What support is available for my child at Ormiston Denes?

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Team has a key responsibility for ensuring students with special education needs or disabilities and other additional needs are supported effectively. This means:


  • Teaching Assistant (TA) support in lessons
  • Providing strategies to staff that will help in lessons
  • Advising on suitable differentiation of resources and learning tasks
  • Providing one-to-one or small group support for literacy, numeracy or other curriculum areas
  • Providing catch-up opportunities
  • Offering computer-assisted programmes to improve literacy
  • Providing extended learning opportunities
  • Supporting the student to access on-line learning opportunities and monitoring their progress
  • Interventions through The Raising Achievement Centre to support individual needs (Y11)
  • Enabling subject areas, where appropriate, to arrange subject specific in-class support or to develop team approaches
  • Supporting the student to attend specialist external provision and monitoring their progress
  • For students with Education, Health and Care plans guidance towards Post 16 pathways begins through transition planning. Initial careers planning takes place through informal discussions with the students and their parents.
  • Examination special arrangements are designed to ensure access for students with certain disabilities and certain learning difficulties without giving them an unfair advantage. Consideration for special arrangements is given with reference to guidance and regulations of exam boards and Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). The Principal, further to a recommendation from the Disabilities and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (DSENCO), makes decisions about special arrangements and disapplication. Once special arrangements have been granted it is the responsibility of the Examinations Officer to ensure they are implemented.
  • Working closely with other providers, the Local Authority and specialists like the Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) team to ensure that every opportunity for additional support is explored and that our activities are appropriately coordinated

How accessible is the academy environment?

Ormiston Denes Academy firmly believes in equal opportunities and will aim to meet the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of all our students through providing appropriate and personalised interventions to enable every student to achieve.


Most classrooms in the academy are available via ramps, a lift, and doors suitable for wheelchair access. However, in the old part of the academy there is no access to the balcony classrooms (English). Therefore, we have additional English classrooms on the ground floor to ensure all students can access subject specific classrooms and all appropriate learning resources.

Can the academy meet my child’s needs?

The vision of the Children and Families Act 2014 is based on the following principles:


  • High expectations and aspirations for what young people can achieve.
  • Aspirations of young people and their parents and carers that are placed at the centre of everything we do
  • Early identification of needs and integrated early help
  • Integrated assessment and planning, focussing on long term outcomes, bringing together education, health and care support
  • High quality provision organised with clear pathways and choice for families
  • Excellent outcomes achieved through the knowledge, skills and attitude of everyone working with children and young people
  • A personalised approach focussed on the individual needs of the student


All students belong to a year group, a horizontal tutor group and a House.

They attend assemblies, participate in year group, house and whole academy activities and follow a common tutorial and mentoring programme.


A wide range of extra-curricular activities is available to all students and the academy employs a highly personalised approach so that we can work together in ensuring that individual needs are met and supported.


Once a fortnight we have Enrichment. This offers a wide range of activities for all students to access. This is run across the whole academy so students are grouped according to their passions rather than year group or ability.

Where else can I find support and information?

Additional information on the support available can be found on the Suffolk local offer website at:


Who should I contact at Ormiston Denes?

The DSENCo, Mrs Kerry Ellison, is responsible for the work provided by the SEN team as well as ensuring the SEN policy is up to date and being implemented effectively across the academy.



For any enquiry regarding a specific learning difficulty, special need or additional support request please contact:

DSENCo:                                                      Mrs Kerry Ellison

Email:                            Phone: 01502 574474


Enquiries about our transition support for students with special educational needs, or to make enquiries about our Nurture provision contact:

Nurture and Transition co-ordinator:            Mrs A Gee

Email:                     Phone: 01502 5734474


For specific concerns about attendance contact:

Attendance Officer:                                                Michelle Halsey

Email:                 Phone: 01502 574474


For pastoral, learning, health, general welfare or other personal difficulties, enquiries should be through the House Teams in the first instance.

Head of Endeavour House:                            Mr Dean Fisher

Email:                             Phone: 01502 574474

Head of Enquire House:                               Mrs Honey Turpin

Email:                            Phone: 01502 574474

Head of Inspire House:                                Ms Gemma Calver

Email:                            Phone: 01502 574474

Head of Venture House:                               Mr Jon Wilkinson

Email:               Phone: 01502 574474


Alternatively, you may call the academy on 01502 574474, and our receptionist will be pleased to direct your call to whomever is most appropriate.

What are the SEND categories?

Students will be included on the SEN register if needs are identified in the following areas:


  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Mental and Emotional Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical


They will be registered as requiring SEN Support or as a student with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


Behavioural difficulties do not necessarily mean that a student has SEN and will not automatically lead to them being registered as such. Students who present with challenging behaviour may have unidentified SEN and the academy will endeavour to identify these in appropriate ways.


How does the academy identify and assess children with SEND?

Students have a learning difficulty if they:


  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for students of the same age


Students will be identified using:


  • Information from parents
  • Education, Health and Care plans and other records
  • Baseline data from routine testing
  • Information from previous educational settings
  • Liaison with primary academies from Year 5 onwards
  • Attending case conferences and review meetings
  • Testing of students joining the academy (other than at transition).
  • Identification by subject teachers, the House Team and referral to the Inclusion Team


Students with SEN will be monitored and progress checked by:


  • The teachers’ evaluation and assessment
  • Routine testing
  • Through discussion with the student
  • Through consultation with parent(s)/carer(s) to listen to their views on the progress of their child
  • Through consultation with external agencies working with the student and/or family
  • The ‘assess, plan, do, review’ process.


For those students who have a Local Authority (LA) Education, Health and Care Plan there are additional review procedures. The review during Year 9 forms the Transition Plan, which seeks to outline the appropriate changes to provision for the pupil’s future.


The SEN team carries out annual reviews for students with Education, Health and Care plans.


Where appropriate, and in consultation with parents, the academy will refer to outside agencies such as the Educational Psychology Service, County Inclusive Support Service, Pupil  Referral Units, and the IYFAP (In-Year Fair Access Panel) process.


How will my child’s needs be met?

Most SEN needs can be addressed in the classroom by their subject teachers, who hold primary responsibility for enabling every student to make good progress with their learning regardless of difficulty or disability.


For some students further interventions will need to be put in place. These will be personalised according to the needs of the student and may be either short or long term – there is no one size fits all solution.


The following provision and interventions are used at Ormiston Denes Academy:


  • In-class support - Students with EHCPs and those with particular needs (including certain medical conditions) have access to shared in-class support from a TA. The TA works closely with the teacher to assist the students in making progress. Occasionally, where needs are very complex, one to one support is provided in the classroom.
  • Literacy - In order to address literacy difficulties there are a variety of interventions available:
    • Some students will have their needs met within the smaller group setting
    • Students with specific difficulties (e.g. dyslexia or poor spelling) may be withdrawn individually or in a small group on a weekly basis
    • Other programmes to address particular needs such as reading comprehension, Catch Up Literacy or paired reading are put in place as necessary
  • Numeracy - The majority of difficulties with numeracy are addressed within the smaller supported groups, sometimes with additional support being placed in the classroom. Where there are specific difficulties students are withdrawn individually.
  • Dyslexia – We have access to the dyslexia outreach team through a referral process. If a referral is successful, they will work with the student in school. They will then form a personalised support plan for school to use to support the individual.
  • Speech and Language - Students with identified Speech and Language Difficulties and problems with communication in conjunction with needs such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are withdrawn to follow individual programmes. These programmes are either informed by a Speech and Language Therapist or by the County Inclusive Support Service for ASD students.
  • Subject specific – When a student requires additional support, in particular in Key Stage 4 (years 9, 10 and 11), subject staff will offer catch up or revision sessions.
  • Resilience/Mentoring - Students with low self-esteem and a history of difficulties often have little belief in themselves as learners. Some students are offered a mentor individually to help address these issues. We also offer group work to help develop resilience.
  • Irlen support - Where students are having difficulties with literacy skills they can be screened at the academy for Irlen Syndrome/scotopic sensitivity. This is a visual disorder which can mean the children skip lines or words when reading on white paper. It can also affect their written work. If a student is diagnosed with this we provide overlays and coloured paper/booklets appropriate for them.
  • Individual Withdrawal Programmes - Some students have particularly complex needs and need an adapted curriculum which will involve some withdrawal from lessons. These students will have their own individualised programme to address their needs. All individual programmes are carefully planned with a student’s strengths, weaknesses and future needs in mind.
  • Transition Group – we offer one to one, small groups and SEN transition. Needs for transition are identified by the feeder primary academies or at parental requests.
  • One to One mentors – This is offered through the House team or through a referral to the Inclusion team.
  • Behaviour management – This is a six week program offered through our Internal Exclusion programme. It is run one to one or in small groups depending on individual needs.
  • Self-esteem – This is a six week program and can be run through the Nurture Unit or Internal Exclusion.
  • Academy Counsellor – This facility can be accessed at student or parental request or can be offered through the House team. All referrals go to the DSENCo who co-ordinates this. The academy counsellor is in two days a week. All appointments are confidential and information will only be shared if the student is at risk.
  • Academy Nurse - This can be accessed at student or parental request or can be offered through the House team. All referrals go to the DSENCo who co-ordinates this. There is also a drop in session where no appointment is needed.


Other approaches are continually researched and implemented if deemed appropriate for meeting the needs of the individual.

How does the Academy support transition?

With our main feeder academy, we start transition as early as Year 4. Students visit the academy for a variety of transition projects.


The main transition work starts in Year 6. In the autumn term, primary schools liase with us to identify students that would benefit from working with us.


In January, we start with small group work. We have a key worker who visits the primary schools on a weekly basis to work with one or two small groups of students.


In April, our key worker works with students on a one to one basis in their primary school. If required, they also visit the academy at various times of the day. This can include after academy, during lunchtime or lesson times.


In June, we run Vulnerable and SEN transition groups. This is with a group of students from a variety of primary schools so they can meet new people who will be in the same year group come September. We run four separate transition groups. These are run at the academy.


We welcome visits from prospective parents and students at any time; simply contact the academy to arrange.


How does the academy communicate with me?

A wide variety of information is available on the academy website and Go4Schools. You will be given information about your child’s progress through the academies reporting system and at parent’s evenings.


A half termly newsletter gives regular news on what is going on in the academy and how you can become involved. You will be contacted by text message for any attendance issues and also to inform you when letters are being sent home.


Staff can be contacted by telephone via the main reception or by email.


How will I know how my child is doing?

Teacher assessments are completed on a half termly basis and information about your child’s progress will be made available to you. This will be in the form of assessment and effort levels, a full report and at parent’s evenings.


Progress and attainment is also discussed at annual reviews and other review meetings.


Alternatively, you can access your child’ attainment levels on Go4Schools at any time.





Where do I find the SEND policy?

The Academy’s SEND policy can be found on our website. Alternatively, please follow the link here: 



Pupils with special educational needs but without EHCPs are treated as fairly as all other applicants for admission.


‘Admission authorities must consider applications from parents of children with special educational needs but with no EHCPs on the basis of the academies published criteria’ (SEN Code of Practice).


Prior to admission parents of SEN children are given time to share information and concerns regarding the transition with the DSENCo.


This allows necessary resources and arrangements to be put in place.

Glossary of Terms


  • Additional Needs
    • An identified issue that is affecting a child’s learning
  • Alternative Provision
    • Education that is not part of the academy’s mainstream provision for all students that might include the use of another organisation
  • ASD
    • Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Children with autism are less able to interact with the world as other children do. Typically they have deficits in three key areas:
      • Verbal and non-verbal Communication
      • Social awareness and interactions
      • Imaginative play (variable interests and behaviours)
    • Baseline Testing
      • Test of ability in a subject or aspect of learning taken at the start of the period of teaching, typically at the point of joining the academy
    • Catch-up
      • Additional support from a teacher or other adult to enable the child to learn something that the rest of the class has mastered as a result of absence or learning difficulty
    • County Inclusive Support Service
      • a SuffolkCounty Council outreach service that can be accessed by mainstream schools to support the inclusion of students with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or those with behavioural needs
    • DSENCo
      • Disabilities & Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator
    • Decoding Skills
      • The ability to apply knowledge of letter sound relationship, letter patterns etc
    • Differentiation
      • Changes to the task, level of expected response or other device to adapt an activity to the specific needs of a student or group of students
    • Disapplication
      • The decision not to offer a student a subject or element of mainstream provision
    • Dyslexia
      • A general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.
    • Educational Psychologist
      • The branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning
      • Consultant able to assess a students ability to learn and identify specific learning difficulties
    • Education and Health Care Plans
      • An EHC plan is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.
      • An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment. At the end of that process, the local authority has to make a decision, either to issue an EHC Plan or not.
    • Enrichment
      • An activity provided for students that is not typically part of their mainstream provision
    • Exam Board
      • A company that produces a syllabus and examination arrangement that is compliant with the criteria specified by the QCA, with authority to award qualifications including GCSEs, for example.
    • Exams Officer
      • The designated member of staff responsible for ensuring that examinations run smoothly.
      • Examinations officers oversee and administer the whole exam process, including sorting out timetable clashes; making sure special requirements are met; and
        liaising with external examining bodies.
    • Extended Learning
      • Learning activities that either extend learning beyond that anticipated by the teacher for this period of learning, for an individual student or
      • Learning that is provided outside of timetabled lessons
    • External Partner
      • A company or organisation that works in partnership with the academy
    • Go4Schools
      • A website that the academy uses to store and share assessment data (
    • House
      • The academy has four houses comprising students of all ages.
      • Each House benefits from a team of staff dedicated to the needs of students in their House
    • IE
      • Internal Exclusion
      • A team of staff with expertise in behavioural therapy and support



  • Individual learning support plan


  • Inclusion Team
    • A Local Authority Team charged with ensuring that the needs of all students are met through the provision of appropriate support both within the academy and beyond, and specifically in the event that a child has special educational needs or has been excluded
  • Integrated Team
    • A description of Local Authority Services that are structured such that they are able to fulfil their statutory obligations including early intervention for children with additional needs
  • Intervention
    • Additional support for a students to enable them to complete work, develop knowledge, skills or understanding either within the lessons or at another time
  • Irlen Syndrome
    • A specific condition that affects or alters the way that the eye sees things
  • Local Offer
    • All school and Academies are required to publish a ‘local offer’; information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place.
  • Literacy
    • The ability to read and write
  • Mentor
    • A named individual who provides counselling or support to an individual
  • Nurture
    • A specific resource unit within the academy providing support for students with emotional difficulties including developing effective social interactions
  • Numeracy
    • The ability to understand and work with numbers
  • On-line learning
    • The use of a programme, application (app) or website that supports learning
  • Outcomes
    • The attainments of a qualification
  • Pastoral
    • Pastoral care is an umbrella term, describing the support provided for students to enable them to develop effective adult behaviours, access learning and overcome personal difficulties and to develop life skills
  • Post 16 Pathway
    • The route into and through education from the age of 16
  • PSHE
    • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • QCA
    • Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
  • Raising Achievement Centre
    • A classroom and teaching team who provide additional support from individuals and groups to complete coursework or other learning activity for those in Y11
  • Scotopic Sensitivity
    • Also known as Visual Stress, IrlenSyndrome, and Asfedia, is a condition relating to the interaction of the central nervous system and the eyes at a physiological level with light.
  • SEND
    • Special Educational Needs or Disability
  • SEN
    • Special Educational Needs
  • Special Arrangements
    • The provision of a scribe, reader, technology or additional time to enable a students to access an examination
  • SpLD
    • Specific Learning Difficulty
  • TA
    • Teaching Assistant
  • Transition
    • The changing of school, or phase of education typically used to describe the change from Primary to Secondary Education
  • Transition Plan
    • A plan for an individual child that will enabled them to be successful beyond the point of transition

Linked team for Statutory Assessment and EHCPs:  Lowestoft & Waveney Family Services Team (


Mrs Kerry Ellison
01502 574474
SEND policy
Local offer
Ormiston Denes Academy
Conditions Supported
Autistic spectrum conditions
Communication difficulties
Health conditions
Learning difficulties
Mental health conditions
Physical disabilities
Sensory impairments

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