Special Educational Needs
- What kinds of Special Educational Needs are provided for at your school?
Andrews’ Endowed School is a mainstream primary school, providing an inclusive education for children aged 4 to 11.
We value the abilities of all pupils. We recognise that they learn at different rates, and that there are many factors that affect achievement, including ability, maturity and emotional state.
We believe that all pupils have the same entitlement to the whole school curriculum and we are committed to making this accessible to all pupils whatever their needs. We aim to identify these needs as early as possible.
- How does your education setting know if my child needs extra help and what do I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
Class Teachers are responsible for the day to day learning and wellbeing of each pupil. They will notice a child falling behind in their learning or having a difficulty in another aspect of their daily life.
Class Teachers are informally and formally assessing the children on a very regular basis. We use this information to track the progress of each child. As soon as we notice a child may be falling behind, we share this information with other staff, including the SENCo.
Our SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is a member of staff who is responsible for organising and monitoring all the support for children with Special Needs.
We have a wide range of different types of support that we can provide for children. Once we know that a child may need help, we carry out additional assessments to help us decide on the best way forward. This usually includes:
- Observation of the child, both in class to see them during their learning, and at playtime to see how they socialise
- Conversations with parents/carers to get a full picture from them of how they feel the child is doing at school and at home
- Checks on areas of the child’s need which might include numeracy, reading, writing, speech and language, wellbeing and social interaction.
We value the information we get from parents at their very first meetings with us – Home Visits and Induction Meetings for our children in Early Years (Acorns); and initial conversations with parents when they tour the school looking for places for their children either in Acorns or further up the school.
Sometimes this information comes to us from other sources. For example, preschools will share information as children are joining us in EYFS, and we receive information from the child’s current school when children are preparing to join us further up the school.
We encourage lots of dialogue between parents and school staff – if parents/carers have a concern about their child’s needs, however small, we want you to share it with us, we can then help to investigate whether additional support is needed to help the child. Talk to your child’s class teacher – she might then suggest you have a chat with the SENCo or the Head.
Once we have a clear picture of your child’s needs, we have a wide range of resources in school we can use to support your child. We also have access to a variety of professionals and services linked to the Local Authority. These include Educational Psychologists , Specialist Teacher Advisors, Speech Therapists, Behaviour Specialists, Paediatricians, the School Nurse service and Family Support Workers.
- How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We believe learning is a partnership between school and home. Each year you will be invited to a Welcome Meeting where teachers will talk about the learning for the year ahead and answer any questions you may have.
Homework is an important way of extending the children’s learning. They will bring home things to do which are linked to the activities they are busy with in class – the Home/School Link Book is a useful way to let us know how your child is doing with their home learning.
We encourage informal drop-ins at the end of the school day – class teachers are available on the playground and you can either ask to see the teacher there and then, or organise a short meeting for another day.
Parents Evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms, and are an opportunity for class teachers to share with parents the progress their child is making and talk about targets for the coming weeks.
In July you will get a full end of year Report, which summarises your child’s progress and current National Curriculum Level.
Children in Early Years (Acorns) also have a Learning Journey document, which is regularly updated with photos and information about the child’s learning. The Learning Journey is sent home regularly so parents/carers can add to it and follow their child’s progress. You will also receive a weekly newsletter from Acorns which shares the learning the children have been doing and gives some information about the next week’s curriculum.
If we identify that your child needs additional support, we will share this with you and then draw up a plan to address their needs. This plan used to be called an IEP (Individual Education Plan). We use a child friendly format, so that the children can understand it, and regularly refer to it in their learning.
When the plan is drawn up, the class teacher will share it with you and your child, and go through it to ensure that everyone is happy with the arrangements being made. There will be regular, termly meetings between you and the class teacher to talk about how the plan is going. More regular meetings can be arranged if needed.
The plan includes the specific learning activities (called ‘Interventions’) that we believe will help your child make progress and overcome their difficulties. We have a range of interventions that we use. These are usually delivered by members of our support staff team, supervised by our SENCo.
Currently our interventions include:
- Precision Teaching
- Rapid Phonics
- Rapid Read
- Hornet, Word Wasp
- Narrative programme
- Third Space online Maths Tuition
- Speech and Language Programme
- Speech Links
- ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support) to help children develop their social skills and wellbeing
Currently, assessments we use to decide which interventions we need include:
- DEST (EYFS screening for Dyslexia) and DST (Y2+ re-screening programme)
- Infant Language Link (YR/Y1)
- Junior Language Link (Y2 – Y6)
- Sandwell Maths Assessment (KS1 and KS2)
- Neale and Salford Reading Tests
- Vernon Spelling Test; SWST Spelling Test
Generally, Intervention programmes are designed to last around 6 weeks. We assess the child at the start and end of the programme, so that we can track their progress, and see how successful the programme has been for the child. It may be that the child will need a new or different intervention at the end of the programme. We will share this information with you too.
The school tracks the progress of all pupils with SEND. This information is monitored by the Headteacher and the SENCo, who reports to the Governors about the progress of this group. The Governors are responsible for making sure that the school’s provision for children with SEND is effective.
- How will the school staff support my child?
Within any class, there will be a range of abilities and maturities. The class teachers are experienced in matching the curriculum to the needs of each child, and grouping the children so that they can best access their learning. Schools call this process ‘differentiation’. It may mean that your child is in different groups for maths, literacy, spelling, or reading and that he or she sometimes works in a large group, sometimes in a small group with an adult, or sometimes even on a 1:1 basis.
Learning is supported in the classroom by the class teacher and the teaching assistant. Much of your child’s learning will take place in their classroom, but sometimes learning takes place in one of our lovely group learning rooms or areas. These are set up to support small group and individualised learning through the materials they have on offer, or the space available, or the opportunity to work with different members of staff, or children in different classes.
Our support staff team is led by our SENCo, supported by our HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant). We have a number of Teaching Assistants who work with the children both in the classroom and in delivering interventions. All our staff receive regular training in all aspects of learning, including provision for children with special educational needs. Support staff who deliver interventions have been trained in using these materials, and are supported by the SENCo in their day-to-day delivery. The team includes those trained specifically to support children’s emotional wellbeing (called ELSAs) and their speech and language development, as well as their numeracy and literacy.
- How will the curriculum at your school be matched to my child’s needs?
We believe that a good classroom environment is one which supports the learning needs of all children. Well organised resources which the children can access independently, clear prompts to help the child know what is happening, (such as a visual timetable of the day), and routines to help the children organise themselves and their learning are all important features in all our classrooms.
The curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of each child through differentiation. Interventions are used to support children’s learning and help them access the curriculum at their level.
For a very small number of children, usually those on an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan) or those who have a SENSA (top up funding), more significant adaptations might be needed. This might include creating a completely different curriculum where a child’s learning needs are significantly different from the rest of the group.
- How is the decision made about what type of, and how much, support my child will receive?
So far, we have outlined the in-school support that we can provide for children with SEND. Depending on the child’s needs, this in-school support may be all that is needed for them to progress in line with their peers. However, over a period of time, it may be that we will all agree that we need to seek additional advice or support from other professionals.
The school works in partnership with the Local Authority to source the most appropriate guidance for each child. We have access to:
- Educational Psychology Service – who can make formal assessments of a child’s need in consultation with school and parent/carers – this process follows on from in-school provision
- Speech Therapy,
- Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy,
- Physical Disability Inclusion Service
- Outreach from Special Schools
- Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Physical Disability, ICT
- Primary Behaviour Service
- School Health Service – regular liaison with a named School Nurse, and with links to the Paediatric Services and to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- Locality Teams, Social Workers and Family Support Workers to help families in need
Referral to any of the above happens only once we have all the evidence in place to show that the support is needed, as all services have a limit to the number of cases they can take on. Referral can only take place with parent/carer permission.
- What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
We know that children learn best when they feel secure and happy. The wellbeing of our children is very important to us. Because we are a relatively small school, our children are well known by every member of staff. Greeting each child at the gate each morning gives us the first clue about how the children are feeling, and parents will often share with us any additional information we need to know. Class teachers and teaching assistants are always on the look-out for any child who seems unhappy or under the weather. Our support staff, including lunchtime and office staff, know the children very well and quickly spot when something is up. We all work together to ensure that each child’s needs are met, and share any concerns we have noticed so that we can quickly help a child to feel happy again.
Where a child needs further support with their emotional wellbeing, we can, with parental permission, arrange for them to see Mrs Pearce or Mrs Pither, our ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants). Our ELSAs can work with a child to help them develop their friendships, or their social skills, or deal with a difficulty they are having in the family, such as a bereavement or break-up.
Our Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Gemma Gundry, and our KS1 Leader, Mrs Jenny Hudd, are also available if a child needs additional support.
Ours is an inclusive and welcoming school, and we all respect and care for each other. We have a very clear set of expectations about behaviour, and these are laid out in our Behaviour Policy and our Home/School Agreement.
We do understand that for a whole range of reasons, some children may sometimes display very difficult behaviour. In these cases, we work with the child, the family, and with other adults in the school to find out what is causing the difficult behaviour, and how we can best help the child to communicate their needs in other ways. Where necessary, we can draw on the support from external agencies, and we can provide outreach for parents and carers too.
We have a First Aid Policy and an Administration of Medicines Policy. Any medicines your child needs to take during the school day must be handed in and collected by an adult to the school office. You will be asked to complete a permission form. We are used to administering a range of medicines when prescribed by your child’s doctor – including asthma inhalers and antibiotics.
All members of staff receive regular First Aid training, and there are always staff on duty who can deal with minor injuries.
Occasionally, a pupil may have more complex medical needs. We work with the family, the school nurse service and other health care professionals to draw up an appropriate care plan in these cases. Sometimes this might require additional training for our staff, which is organised prior to the pupil joining us. Specific, named staff will then be allocated the role of administering medicines and other health care to that pupil. This is important, as it helps the child to maintain their privacy and independence, and helps both parent and pupil to establish a relationship with specific staff. Where necessary we set up additional systems, such as the use of home-school books, to help the family and school share important information.
We believe that pupils with medical needs or disabilities have the right to the same experiences as everyone else. Our staff work hard to ensure that outings, residentials and other experiences are suitably planned so that they are accessible to all our children, regardless of their need or disability.
Good attendance is essential for a child to make progress both in their learning and in their social relationships. We track attendance very carefully, and expect children to be in school on time every single day. We do not authorise absence for holidays, routine appointments or other events which should take place outside the school day.
Occasionally, a child’s medical condition may, for a short time, limit their attendance at school. In these cases, we provide learning materials from school, and try to maintain good links with the child whilst they are recovering. We work with the family and involve the Local Authority Inclusion Team to provide outreach tuition where necessary, so that the child is supported to continue with their learning.
Pupil safety is at the heart of everything we do at school. We have clear Health and Safety policies and systems in place. More details about this are on our website or available at the school office. All our pupils are fully involved in the life of the school. All have equal access to all aspects of the curriculum, and to taking on special responsibilities including representing the school in Sports, Leadership Roles and at external events.
Our Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) curriculum covers all aspects of inclusion. We expect our pupils to be respectful of each other and to celebrate everything that makes each of us unique and special.
- What training is provided for staff supporting children with SEND?
Our SENCo is Mrs Lucie Harris. She can be contacted through the school office 01420 83094 or via email@example.com
Staff receive regular training on aspects of SEND. This includes Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism, Disability Awareness and Speech and Language Development. They also receive regular training on delivering support in numeracy and literacy.
We currently have two trained ELSAs – Mrs Louise Pearce and Mrs Bev Pither, who receive regular support from the Educational Psychologist.
Individual Staff receive training to enable them to lead programmes in school.
Staff regularly receive training updates on Safeguarding and Child Protection, First Aid, and Behaviour Support.
Where a pupil has significant needs which are new to our team, we source training for the team prior to the child’s arrival. This might, for example, include training in administering specific personal care. We liaise, where necessary, with other professionals who work with that child, who can provide us with additional advice, information and training.
- How accessible is your school (indoors and outdoors)?
Within the limits posed by the historic nature of parts of the old schoolhouse, the school is fully accessible. The main teaching areas, including the hall, are accessible. We have a disabled toilet with a shower. There is a small area with small group rooms upstairs which can only be accessed via stairs. There are two classrooms with steps leading to the playground. Some of our corridors are particularly narrow, due to the age of the building. We are able to accommodate wheelchairs and walking frames. The school liaises with the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for Physical Disability for additional support to ensure we provide effectively for pupils with disabilities.
Disabled parking is available at the front of the schoolhouse.
- How are parent/carers currently involved in your school? How can I get involved and who can I contact for further information?
We encourage regular liaison, both informal and formal. The Head Teacher or Deputy Headteacher are always on the school gate morning and afternoon. Parents are encouraged to talk to teachers at end of school day – and can contact by telephone too.
We welcome parent help both in the classroom and on outings. All volunteers need to be D&B checked. Parents help with a variety of classroom activities, including reading, gardening, cooking, and art. We invite parents to join us for themed days or to share their expertise when we are having curriculum weeks. We are always grateful for help with parties and other special events!
If you would like to help out at school, please contact the school office.
Pupils at our school regularly contribute to discussions about how we can improve the school. Each class nominates two School Councillors. Each class has a special ‘issues’ box, where children can post ideas, concerns or requests for the Council to consider. The Council meets regularly, bringing ideas and issues from the class for consideration by the group. Decisions are made about the questions raised, and the Councillors feed back to their class the outcomes.
Pupils’ views are sought in class, where teachers regularly ask them about their learning. We take the children’s views into consideration when making changes to the curriculum or introducing new ideas.
Pupils with Special Educational Needs are invited to contribute to the drawing up and review of their Plan. They also contribute directly whenever documents are being drawn up as part of an EHCP Review. If a child struggles to express their views on paper, we do this through the use of photos, video, drawings, and adult scribing.
- What steps should I take if I have a concern about the school’s SEND provision?
Talk first to your child’s class teacher. If this doesn’t resolve your concern, speak to the SENCo or to the Headteacher. We can usually resolve any concerns together. Please come back and let us know if you still have concerns – we can always look at the situation again.
Support is also available through the Hampshire SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service). Contact them by telephone on 0808 1645504.
For unresolved difficulties, there is a formal complaints process, outlined in the school Complaints Policy, which can be found on the school website or on request at the school office.
- How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, and transfer to a new school at the end of their time with you?
For the children joining us in September, the class teacher and teaching assistant will visit you and your child at home. Your child will visit Acorns class for 3 afternoons in the summer term, and you are invited to attend a Parents’ Induction evening. The Early Years teacher liaises with the pre-schools and ensure that as much information as possible is shared about all the children starting.
To support the transition to Secondary school, children take part in an extended programme of taster days and curriculum enrichment experiences offered to all pupils by both our local Secondary Schools. Staff from the schools visit our pupils, and meet with our Y6 staff to discuss individual needs. To support the transition for more vulnerable children, an additional series of visits is arranged. We will pass on all the relevant records to ensure continuity.
If your child joins us from another school, we liaise closely with staff to ensure the relevant paperwork is shared, and any concerns discussed.
If your child has complex needs, then a TPA (Transition Partnership Agreement) or EHCP review will be used as a transition meeting to which staff from both schools are invited. Parents are involved in the transition discussions so that the needs of the child and any particular concerns are shared.
- Where can I get further information about services for my child?
Each Local Authority is responsible for providing parents and carers with information about services they offer. This information is called the Local Offer. To access the Local Offer for Hampshire, please follow the link below:
Or you can visit the Hampshire SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service) website www.hampshiresendiass.co.uk This site provides helpful advice for parents and carers, and useful links to other organisations.
You can also contact SENDIASS by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by telephone: 0808 164 5504.
Or you can visit the Department for Education website.