At St. Mary’s Catholic Academy we aim to provide the best learning opportunities for all children and ensure that every child is included in all aspects of school life. Mrs Thurman is our school’s SENCo, responsible for ensuring we offer the best provision for all children.
We value the input that parents/carers make to their child’s education and we aim to work together to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.
We are supported to be as inclusive as possible for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by Nottingham City Local Authority.
What is SEND?
SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There are four broad categories of SEND as stated in the Code of Practice. These are:
• Communication and Interaction (e.g. autism and speech and language disorders)
• Cognition and Learning (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia and moderate learning difficulties)
• Social, Emotional and Mental Health (e.g. ADHD, attachment disorders, emotional difficulties and mental health difficulties)
• Physical and Sensory (e.g. hearing or vision impairments)
A child may have SEND if they have a barrier to learning which requires them to have support that is ‘additional to or different from’ the provision offered through quality first teaching within their class.
Children with medical conditions will have an Individual Healthcare Plan which will specify the type and level of support required to meet their medical needs.
What is the SEND register?
The SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) register is a list of children who need extra help and support within the school environment.
Children can be placed on the register because they have difficulties in any of the following areas:
• Communication and Interaction
• Cognition and Learning
• Social, Emotional and Mental Health
• Physical and Sensory
We work in collaboration with parents/carers to discuss their child’s individual needs. Children will only be added to or removed from the SEND register in consultation with a child’s parents/carers.
What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
If parents/carers are concerned about their child, or know that their child has additional needs, they should make an appointment to speak to their child’s class teacher. The special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) co-ordinator will be informed and become involved as needed.
How will the school know if a child needs extra support?
We recognise that children are individuals and they develop at different rates. Some children, however, may require support that is ‘additional to and different from’ the provision delivered within their class.
Teachers continually monitor each child’s learning. If they observe that a child is making less than expected progress, given their age and individual circumstances, they will seek to identify a cause. This can be characterised by progress which:
• Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline.
• Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress.
Where children are identified as not making progress, despite of quality first teaching, they are discussed with the SEND co-ordinator who will decide on what further intervention or outside agency involvement is required to meet the child’s needs. A plan of action is agreed with the teacher and shared with the child’s parents/carers.
If a child is having emotional or behavioural difficulties, the frequency and nature of these may be tracked over time to try to identify the patterns and triggers behind them.
Although the school can identify and make provision for special educational needs, we are not able to offer specific diagnoses. Parents/carers are advised to contact their GP if they think their child may have an underlying medical condition or a disability. Parents/carers are very welcome to discuss their concerns with the SEND co-ordinator before making an appointment with their GP.
It is important to be aware that for some children:
• SEND is identified at an early age.
• SEND difficulties can become evident as they develop.
• SEND may only be temporary in nature depending on a variety of factors.
How will the school let me know if they have concerns about my child’s progress and learning?
We aim to have positive and informative relationships with our parents/carers. If a child is experiencing difficulties, parents/carers will be informed either at parent/carer meetings (autumn and spring terms) or during informal meetings to discuss their child’s progress.
During the meeting staff will:
• Listen to any concerns the parents/carers may have.
• Plan any additional support the child may need.
• Discuss any referrals to outside professionals that may be needed to support their child’s learning.
Other informal meetings may be scheduled at other times throughout the year and parents/carers are welcome to seek advice and support about their child at any pre-arranged time.
How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child’s needs?
We aim to deliver an interesting, stimulating and exciting curriculum in a variety of ways to engage all children with a range of learning styles.
Every child in school has support within lessons through differentiated activities and quality first teaching. This means that activities are planned according to the level at which the child is working and learning opportunities are based on the strengths and needs of individuals.
Where a child needs provision which is ‘additional to or different from’ quality first teaching, staff implement appropriate support and provision to meet their identified needs, enable them to access the curriculum, and foster greater independence in learning. Some of the adaptations made to the curriculum may include changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles, the use of specific resources or materials, and targeting the level of adult support.
Where necessary, advice may be sought from outside agencies who will observe or work with the child and give feedback on strategies and ideas to further support their needs. These will be incorporated into the child’s individual provision and amendments made where necessary.
How will the school know how well my child is doing?
Every child’s progress is continually monitored by his or her class teacher and senior leaders during their time at school. Some of the ways in which their progress is monitored include:
• Pupil Progress Meetings – These meetings take place each term to formally review and discuss children’s overall progress with a particular focus on reading, writing, maths and emotional well-being.
• Lesson Observations and Work Analysis – This is carried out by the members of the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that the needs of all children are met and the quality of teaching and learning is of a high standard.
• Individual Education Plans – Children with special needs have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is reviewed regularly and new targets set to meet their specific needs.
• Intervention Review – The SEND co-ordinator monitors the attainment of children with SEND to ensure they make good progress within the one-to-one or group interventions in which they take part.
• Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) – Children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests at the end of each key stage (Yr 2 and Yr 6).
• Statements/EHC Plans – If a child has a Statement of Special Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan their progress is formally reviewed each year. The annual review will take place with representatives present from all agencies working with the child.
How will I know how well my child is doing and how will the school support me to support my child’s learning?
Children with SEND will have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) which outlines measurable targets and the provision which is being undertaken to meet their needs.
IEPs will be discussed and reviewed once a term (or more often when needed) with the child’s parents/carers and new targets set. If, for any reason, the parents/carers is unable to attend the meeting then copies of the reviewed and newly set targets will be posted to the parents/carers.
During these meetings, the child’s teacher, SEND co-ordinator and parents/carers will discuss what is working well at school and home so that similar strategies can be used in both environments.
Where relevant, the class teacher/SEND co-ordinator may signpost parents/carers in the direction of organisations which work with and support children with specific needs/disabilities outside of school.
At the end of each academic year parents/carers of children with SEND will receive a written report detailing their progress within all areas of learning. They will be invited to an end of year review to discuss their child’s successes and further actions for their new class.
How are parents/carers of children with SEND supported in school?
If a child is identified as having a special educational need we will support parents/carers through each stage of the process and work with them in determining the best possible provision and support for their child. We offer the following ways in supporting parents/carers of children with SEND:
• Parents/carers of children with SEND can arrange to meet the class teacher and/or SEND co-ordinator to discuss their child’s progress or any concerns they may have, and to share information as to what is working well at home and in school so similar strategies can be used in both environments.
• All information from outside agencies will be discussed with parents/carers.
• Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be reviewed with parents/carers each term. Where this is not possible, parents/carers will receive a copy of the new targets.
• Homework may be adjusted, when needed, to support the child’s learning at home.
• A home/school contact book may be used to facilitate communication with parents/carers if this is deemed to be useful for the school staff, parents/carers and their child.
• Where parents/carers require support at home with their child’s needs, we can make a referral to the Children’s Centre to request a Family Support Worker who will offer help to the family in their home environment.
• Where parents/carers circumstances are more complex, it may be beneficial for a variety of professionals to be involved in order to support the family. In this situation we may initiate a Common Assessment Framework (CAF).
• The school’s SEND co-ordinator, Miss O’Sullivan, and SEND assistant co-ordinator, Mrs Hodgkinson, are available to talk to parents/carers if they have any questions, concerns or want to seek further advice or support.
• On the SEND page of the school website parents/carers will find links to external support agencies specific to their child’s need.
• The SEND co-ordinator and SEND assistant will support parents/carers to fill out forms/paperwork related to aspects of their child’s SEND.
How is the decision made about the type and level of support provided to a child with SEND?
The school budget, received from government Education Funding Agency, includes money for supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for SEND in consultation with the Deputy Head, SEND co-ordinator and School Governors. They review all the information they have about SEND in the school including:
• The children already receiving extra support.
• The children needing extra support.
• The children who have been identified as not making adequate progress.
Based on this information, decisions are made regarding resources/training and support required to meet the needs within school.
How is the school accessible to children with SEND?
• The school is on one level with easy access.
• There is a disabled toilet.
• We ensure, wherever possible, that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
• After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
• Extra-curricular activities are accessible to all children including those with SEND.
Who is responsible for my child’s special educational needs and/or disabilities in school?
The Class Teacher
Your child’s class teacher is responsible for:
• Having high expectations for every child in their class including those with special educational needs and disabilities.
• Building on what each child already knows, can do and can understand.
• Adapting their teaching so that each child is fully involved in learning in class.
• Having specific strategies in place to support each child to learn.
• Carefully checking each child’s progress and recognising if your child needs extra support to help them make the best possible progress;
• Setting, reviewing and sharing each child’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) targets once a term with parents/carers.
• Using ‘additional to or different from’ strategies for motivation and management of each child’s behaviour (if appropriate).
The SEND Co-ordinator and SEND Assistant Co-ordinator
The SEND co-ordinator/SEND assistant co-ordinator are responsible for:
• Co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
• Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.
• Ensuring that parents/carers are:
i) Involved in supporting their child’s learning.
ii) Kept informed about the support their child is receiving.
iii) Involved in reviewing how their child is doing.
• Liaising with people who come into to school to help support a child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy Service, Community Educational Psychology Service, Inclusive Education Service etc.
• Updating the school’s SEND register and keeping records of your child’s progress.
• Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff so that they can help children with SEND to achieve the best progress possible.
Mrs Thurman is the SEND co-ordinator and can be contacted through the school office.
The SEND Governor
The SEND governor is responsible for:
• Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child who attends the school who has SEND.
The SEND governor is Mrs Alcock.
What extra-curricular activities are available for my child? How will they be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
We provide a wide variety of after school activities, visits and residential experiences. We value the benefit of education outside the classroom and believe that all children should have the opportunity to participate in these.
Prior to any trips, a risk assessment is carried out which considers the needs of all children.
Where necessary, we meet with parents/carers to discuss any additional support which may be required for their child’s specific needs.
We aim to ensure all children have the chance to be part of all activities whether they take place inside or outside the classroom with reasonable adjustments made where needed.
What support will be available for my child’s overall well-being?
The social and emotional well-being of children in our care is of upmost importance. We know that children with SEND may have needs associated with their social and emotional development that require support within school. These are some of the ways we support all children’s well-being:
We have a number of robust policies in place including:
➢ Supporting Children with Medical Conditions
➢ Behaviour and Discipline
All staff continually monitor the emotional well-being of the children in their care and discuss any concerns they may have with a child’s parents/carers and the SEND co-ordinator, where appropriate.
Older children act as buddies and play leaders to support younger children at lunch times.
Children’s achievements are celebrated during Congratulations Assemblies.
Our nurture group caters for children who require extra emotional/behavioural support.
Our school nurturer works with individuals to support their emotional well-being.
Our school counsellor works on a one-to-one and group basis with children who may require emotional support.
The School Council and Rights Council are represented by children from each class. This is one of the ways in which children can share their opinions about what they are happy with in school, and make changes to the aspects they would like to improve.
We follow guidance from trained health professionals to meet additional health, medical and personal care needs of individual children. School staff are trained, as appropriate, to support the medical needs of children with SEND.
Where a child has complex needs requiring complex arrangements they may undergo a statutory assessment process known as an Education Health and Care Plan. This can be requested by school, parents/carers or other professionals. This will occur where the complexity of need or additional clarity around the needs of the child are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, planning provision and identifying resources is required.
How will the school know that what they are providing is helping my child make progress?
When allocating support to children with special educational needs and disabilities, our focus is on outcomes, not hours. We endeavour to implement sufficient support to enable each child to achieve their targets whilst encouraging them to become independent learners.
The school identifies the needs of children with SEND on a provision map. This identifies all support given within school and is reviewed regularly. Changes are made as needed so that the needs of children are met and resources deployed as effectively as possible.
Interventions are planned in blocks, and a child’s progress towards their targets is assessed and recorded at the end of each block. When this is reviewed the staff involved and the SEND co-ordinator decide whether to:
• Continue the intervention with new targets.
• Swap the intervention for an alternative.
• Allow a period of consolidation in class.
Targets set for children with SEND are deliberately challenging in the attempt to close the attainment gap between them and their peers. Interventions are often crucial in closing these gaps so they are monitored closely by both the class teacher – who monitors progress towards the targets during the intervention – and by the SEND co-ordinator who monitors overall progress on an individual and whole school basis. The SEND co-ordinator can then identify what works well for the specific needs of children in our school.
What specialist services and expertise are available in school/accessed by school?
Specialist provision within school may take the form of:
• Differentiated work planned by teachers/teaching assistants for groups or individuals.
• One-to-one and group interventions within and out of class.
• ICT support in the form of writing and maths programmes.
• Nurture Support for individuals or groups.
• Counselling support from the school counsellor.
• Extra-curricular clubs and activities.
Local Authority Provision
We have close links with a wide range of outside agencies who offer specific guidance and services to our children and families. These include:
Inclusive Education Service – The Inclusive Education Service is made of specialist teams who support staff development and effective practices within school so that children and young people with SEND are included in all aspects of school life and make good progress. Support is provided by the:
• Autism Team
• Learning Support Team
• Sensory and Physical Team
The Educational Psychologist helps children who are experiencing problems to enhancing their learning. Challenges may include social or emotional problems or learning difficulties.
Behaviour Support Team
The Behaviour Support Team aims to support mainstream schools to meet the needs of young people experiencing emotional, social or behavioural difficulties through a holistic and multi-agency approach.
Parent Partnership Service
The Parent Partnership Service gives impartial advice, information and support about education issues to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Health Professionals include health visitors, the school nurse, GPs and paediatricians. Support can also be accessed from the following services:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
CAMHS offer assessment, advice to staff and treatment when children and young people have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
Speech and Language Therapist
Speech and language therapists (SALTs) work closely with children who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems, and with those who have swallowing, drinking or eating difficulties.
Occupational therapists help children with mental, physical or social disabilities to independently carry out everyday tasks with more confidence and independence. They may suggest changes to the child’s environment and introduce the use of equipment which will support activities.
Physiotherapists help children with physical difficulties resulting from illness, injury or disability. They assist the rehabilitation process by developing and restoring body systems, in particular the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
What training have the staff working with children with SEND received? What training is planned?
The SEND co-ordinator’s role is to support class teachers and teaching assistants in planning for children with SEND. Once information is collated on the needs of children within school they consult with staff on areas in which they would like more support.
Training is then provided to enable staff to improve the teaching and learning of children with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Dyslexia.
Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. Diabetes Awareness
Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding special educational needs and disabilities please contact the SEND co-ordinator, Mrs Thurman, through appointment at the school office.