Learning and SEND
Learning and Special Educational Needs &Disability
We have set out below the answers to some common questions about how we support children (and their families) who have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). You can also find further information by reading our SEND Policy.
What kind of SEND provision do you have at the school?
Whilst we do not have any specialist provision at the school specifically for pupils with particular types of SEND, we are committed to making whatever reasonable adjustments that we can to ensure that chidren with SEND receive a comprehensive and fully inclusive education at the school. We will do this by discussing with the child, their family and any specialist services who have had an input, what changes we need to make to support the child.
How do we identify children who may have a SEND and assess them?
Often it is the parent or carer who first identifies a concern about a child's progress and we would encourage any concerns to be discussed initially with the child's class teacher as they are the person in school who knows the child best. The school will regularly undertake academic progress assessments of all children and any child who is not making sufficient progress may be assessed to see if they have a SEND. This could involve a variety of different methods of assessment, depending upon the potential issue (for example it might be an eye test, a computerised assessment test or a meeting with a member of a specialist services team). The school will always discuss any referrals to outside professional with the parents prior to making them, but many assessments can be quickly and easily undertaken within the school.
How do we help children with SEND to learn?
There are several ways in which the school can support children with SEND. Firstly, we do whatever we can to ensure that classroom based learning is accessible to all children. We do this by ensuring that the teacher has the highest possible expectations for ALL pupils in the class and treats children as individuals with different needs. We also make sure that any specific strategies to help children with SEND are discussed with the class teacher and fully implemented. This might include changes to the classroom environment or an adaptation of the curriculum (for example in PE we might introduce more inclusive team games such as boccia). Every class has a range of knowledge organisers available which outlines the knowledge that children are expected to know by the end of their unit in each subject. By using these knowledge organisers as memory aids and spending additional time at school and at home in studying the knowledge organisers we can support all children to reach the standards required.
Secondly, we often arrange for pupils with SEND to work in smaller groups, known as intervention groups. These may be run in the classroom or in a separate classroom and could be led by a teacher or teaching assistant. Intervention groups are designed for a very specific purpose so that gaps in children's knowledge can be quickly and specifically closed. We run several different types of intervention group and we use recognised and well-researched intervention programmes. Intervention groups cover a wide range of academic subjects as well as providing specific emotional, mental and social support opportunities. An example of the latter is our anger management support groups (we can also provide some 1:1 support such as counselling and speaking with one of our learning mentors).
Thirdly, we can arrange for pupils with SEND to have extra specialist support in school from a specialist external to the school. There are many types of support that we can request such as behaviour, autism, psychology, hearing and vision support. We have 'contracts' with many of these specialist providers so that we can simply arrange a routine visit from a member of their team. Where we do not have a 'contract' we will always arrange to involve a specialist provider, regardless of potential cost, provided that the SENDCO and family are in agreement. We also maintain close contact with a number of other professional organisations such as social services and a range of voluntary specialist providers. For example there are a number of charities set up that support children and their families with specific medical conditions.
We monitor carefully the progress that all of our pupils make. For pupils identified as having SEND we keep a particularly careful eye on their academic progress as well as updating their support plans on a termly basis. The support plans are maintained by the class teacher with input from the parents and SENDCO.
Who co-ordinates the support for children with SEND in the school?
The person with overall responsibility for ensuring that we meet the needs of our pupils with SEND is Mrs Rachel Tunney, who is assistant head with responsibility for all pastoral matters. (The overall co-ordinator is often referred to as the SENDCO.)We also have two other teachers who are fully qualified to support children with SEND - Mrs Sims (reception) and Mrs Payne (lower KS2). You can contact Mrs Tunney via the school office. Please see our 'contact us' page for details of how you can get in touch.
How do I know that you have the expertise required in school to support children with SEND?
As mentioned above, we are fortunate to have three teachers in school with the SENDCO quaification. Mrs Tunney, our designated SENDCO is highly experienced in this area, having previously worked as an SEND advisor to other schools. She is therefore able to train classroom-based staff in many specific techniques and strategies to support pupils with a range of SEND-related issues. All classroom staff are given access to a wide range of training and support to ensure that they have the necessary understanding and expertise. This includes online training, membership of specialist organisations, face-to-face training and purchase of published materials.
Do you have any special equipment/facilities in school for pupils with SEND?
Our school building has had a major upgrade within the last five years. As a result it is easily accessible to people with a physical impairment. We have a number of disabled toilets and a lift to the first floor classrooms. Corridors are wide and are easily negotiated. We stock a range of aids to learning that are particularly suitable for children with a variety of SEND and are always open to securing new equipment as required.
How do we ensure that our pupils with SEND and their families are fully involved in arrangements for making educational provision?
We feel that it is very important to ensure that our pupils and their families are fully consulted and involved in discussions and making arrangements for any specialist educational assessment and provision. We do this by arranging regular (at least termly) meetings with the classroom teacher to discuss progress and the arrangements that are in place. If there are any particular concerns, either by the school or the family, then we will arrange an immediate meeting to discuss the issues.
What if the family is unsatisfied with the educational provision made?
We would advise anyone who is unsatisfied with the school in any way, including in making provision for children with SEND, to follow the procedure set out in our Complaints Policy to ensure that their concerns are dealt with.
How will we support a pupil with SEND when they are leaving this school? OR moving on to another class?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible. If the child is moving to another school, we will contact their SENDCO and ensure that they are made aware of any special arrangements to support the needs of the child. We will also make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible. When moving classes within the school we will ensure that information is passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All individual documentation will be shared with the new teacher. In Year Six, staff will attend the Primary Transition Day to discuss the specific needs of the child with the SENDCO of their secondary school. They will also be given an opportunity to participate in focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
What is an EHC Plan and how do I find out more about applying?
Education, Health and Care Plans have now replaced what used to be known as a 'statement'. You can find out all about the application process in Derby by clicking here. You can also source some more general advice on the application process from the NHS Choices website by clicking here.
What other sources of information might be of help?
Each local authority in the country is required to publish a 'local offer' that sets out their arrangements for supporting children with a range of needs. You can find information about the Derby local offer by clicking here.
You can find a wide range of resources to download on the MENCAP website by clicking here.