Welcome to our SEN information section which is part of the Norfolk Local Offer for learners with Special Educational Needs, and also forms our own school SEND policy. If you have any questions about the Norfolk Local Offer please look at their website, including Frequently Asked Questions found here.
Who should parents/carers contact if they have any suggestions, questions or concerns about their child’s SEND?
· Their child’s class teacher
· Miss C McMeekin – SENDCO
What kinds of SEND do we make provision for at school?
Thompson Primary school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children with high quality teaching. We are an inclusive school and strive to support all children to enable them to make the best possible progress and achieve well. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. The Teachers’ Standards (DfE, May 2012) state that all teachers must “adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils…have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.”
Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs and require particular action by the school. We provide effective support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), starting from our first contact with parents and carers when a child enters our school. We make sure that additional needs are identified early and we offer a range of provision according to identified needs. We work with a range of other professionals, e.g. from health, to make sure that all children receive the support they need to do well at school
Children may have Special Educational Needs either throughout or at any time during their school career. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for these children takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.
To that end, the Local Authority provide a ‘local offer’. The local offer provides information on what services children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies, including education, health and social care. Knowing what is out there gives parents more choice and therefore more control over what support is right for their child(ren).
The local offer provides information on a number of things, including:
- special educational provision;
- health provision;
- social care provision;
- other educational provision;
- training provision;
- travel arrangements for children and young people to schools, colleges and early years education; and
- preparing for adulthood, including housing, employment and leisure opportunities.
Definition of SEND
The SEN Code of Practice (2014) provides the following definitions:
Special Educational Needs:
“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her”
“A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
• has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
• has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions”
Special Educational Provision:
“For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.”
“Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition.”
Aims and Objectives
- To have clear expectations for all children to reach their potential, e.g. physical, educational, social and emotional
- To provide a learning environment supporting individual academic and developmental needs.
- To ensure access to the National Curriculum for all children, but with particular emphasis on the core subjects, by a range of teaching strategies and approaches.
- To ensure the early identification, assessment and appropriate intervention in order to improve the prospects of children with SEND
- To promote a close and positive working relationship with parents, pupils, local schools, social and health services and School Support Services.
If a child’s progress is causing concern the parent should contact the class teacher as soon as possible. If their concerns are not resolved, there can be consultation with the Head Teacher, the Governors and ultimately the Local Authority (LA).
Identifying children’s additional needs
How will the school know if a child has an additional need and how will it be addressed?
We may find that a child needs additional help if concerns are raised by a parent/carer, by the child’s teacher or by the child. We would be alerted by a teacher or parent/carer if a child in any age group is making limited progress or if there is a change in their behaviour. Sometimes, other professionals, for example, in health or an early years setting, may notify the school of any concerns. Parents can approach their child’s class teacher at any time if they are worried about their child. They are kept informed at all stages in the process of identification and assessment of needs. They are invited to meet the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) and participate in discussions of support planned for their child. They can obtain advice on how to help at home with any particular aspect of parenting, e.g. managing behaviour at home. Further assessments may involve a specialist such as the school’s Educational Psychologist or allocated Speech and Language Therapist. Parents/carers are given copies of any specialist assessment reports and can discuss them with the SENDCO.
Some children who join our school have already attended an early education setting. Liaison takes place between the pre-school group organiser and the Reception teacher to identify children with special needs. All our children are assessed when they join our school, so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.
We accept the principle that pupils’ needs should be identified and met as early as possible. On-going observation, record keeping and assessment aid the class teacher in early identification of any problem. The parents are informed at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.
We follow the principle of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ and adopt the following procedures for identification and assessment:
- the analysis of data including initial assessment in the Early Years, Foundation Stage Profile, entry profiles, and of key stage SATs, reading ages, teachers’ termly assessments
- Pupil Progress Meetings (termly)
- following up parental concerns
- tracking individual pupil progress over time
- liaison with previous schools/settings on transfer
- information from previous schools
- information from other services
To aid identification and applications for Top-up funding across cluster, we also, as cluster schools, use similar identification tests across the cluster.
The SENDCO maintains a record of pupils identified through the procedures listed. This record is reviewed termly with teachers.
For some pupils a more in depth individual assessment may be undertaken by the school. This may take many forms e.g. a reading assessment, an observation of the child, working 1-1 on some aspect, a specific questionnaire.
For some pupils with a high level of need, an external agency will be involved in assessment and identification of individual need.
In our school we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:
- Have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
- Require different strategies for learning;
- Acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
- Need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.
On occasions children with special educational needs may be withdrawn from their classroom, either singly or in groups to work with the special needs teacher, teaching assistants, visiting professionals or volunteer helpers.
Teachers respond to children’s needs by:
- Providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy.
- Planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences;
- Planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities;
- Helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
- Helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.
- By keeping a record of
a) the nature of the concern
b) action taken
c) targets set and outcomes
d) when progress will be reviewed
e) parental contact.
Children with special educational needs have full integration with social activities which may be adapted to suit their special needs.
Partnership with Parents/Carers
How does the school involve pupils and parents/carers in planning to meet SEND and in general school life?
The school works in partnership with parents. This is a school priority in line with the SEND Code of Practice. We work to enable and empower parents and carers by;
- giving parents and carers opportunities to play an active and valued role in their child’s education
- making parents and carers feel welcome
- encouraging parents and carers to inform school of any difficulties they perceive their child may be having or other needs the child may have which need addressing
- instilling confidence that the school will listen and act appropriately
- focusing on the child’s strengths as well as areas of additional need
- allowing parents and carers opportunities to discuss ways in which they and the school can help their child
- agreeing targets for their child
- keeping parents and carers informed and giving support during assessment and any related decision-making process about SEND provision
- making parents and carers aware of the parent partnership services
- providing all information in a ‘parent friendly’ and accessible way
- planning and Review meetings for children who would specifically benefit from these
- advice on how to support learning at home
- texting service
- parent/teacher consultations – formal in the autumn and spring term, informal at other times
- Parent Support Adviser support through Old Buckenham High School
Involvement of Pupils
We recognise that all pupils have the right to be involved in making decisions and exercising choice. We endeavour to fully involve pupils wherever possible by including pupils in
- identifying their own needs and learning about their own learning (self assessment)
- individual target setting across the curriculum
- the self-review of their own progress and in setting new targets
- formal reviews, providing evidence for meetings and attendance at review meetings
We ensure that pupil perceptions of the support and process are included in monitoring and evaluation procedures. We also ensure that all pupils have access to a designated member of staff for support and to allow pupils to express any concerns they may have.
Types of Intervention and Support
What different kinds of support are available to children with SEND?
We try wherever possible to support pupils with learning difficulties through our regular whole-school systems. We aim to meet as many pupils’ needs, SEND or otherwise, through ‘Quality First Teaching’, through the implementation of personalisation and Assessment for Learning Principles. Examples of this include:
- teachers differentiating work, working to meet individual needs and marking work and planning homework effectively.
- lessons have clear learning objectives, work is differentiated appropriately and assessment is used to inform the next step of learning.
- Children all receive their own personalised literacy targets and layered numeracy target.
- we stream in phonics in KS1/EYFS through the “Codebreakers” scheme we have adopted as a school.
- Support for behaviour in line with our behaviour policy
- External sources of support can also be accessed where necessary. These can include school-to-school support through Chapel Road School; Educational Psychologists; Solution-focussed approaches; support through the Short Stay School for Norfolk
- We also utilise our Before and After School club as a nurture-type setting for some children with emotional and social issues.
Other, more specialised provision for children with SEND includes:
Specified individual support
- Where appropriate and necessary, individualised adult support can be employed. This can be a targeted support worker, or 1-1 support sessions with a member of staff.
- Sometimes, individual resources can also be required, for example Hearing Loop systems for children with Hearing Impairments or weighted belts for children who may be on the Autistic spectrum.
Support for health needs
- These are identified and implemented on an individual basis
Grouping of pupils/Specialist teaching groups
- Through targeted intervention programmes. These are utilised as needed dependent on the needs of specific cohorts of children. This could include:
- Talkboost for EYFS/KS1 children with Speech and Language needs
- 1st Class @ Number for children in Y2-4 with number difficulties
- Catch Up Reading for children in Y3/4
- Sound Discovery for children with issues around phonics.
- Support for communication needs/ assertive technologies
- Fine Motor interventions for children in Y2 and above who may still need help in developing their physical fine motor skills
- The school has wheelchair access for all areas e.g. toilet, ramps to main door and mobile, and disabled toilet facilities.
- We also have access to the wider services universally provided by Norfolk County Council, described in the Local Offer here.
The teaching and support staff have expertise and/or have received training in the following areas:
- implementing Additional Literacy and Numeracy programmes
- working with children with Hearing Impairment
- working with children with Global Developmental Delay
- working with children with Speech, Language and Communication needs
- working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- working with children with SpLD (dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia)
- working with children with Attachment Disorders
- Higher Level Teaching Assistants
- Foundation Degrees in Education-related fields
- Honours Degree in Inclusive Practice in Education
- Attachment disorders
- The SENDCO also provides regular (termly) INSET for staff on aspects of SEND. Recently we have had INSET on Speech and Language and Specific Learning Difficulties (ie Dyslexia).
Monitoring Impact and Progress
Every child’s progress – SEND or otherwise – is tracked termly and reviewed at termly pupil progress meetings. Interventions are logged and reviewed termly to see if they have resulted in children progressing better – ‘catching up’.
It is our policy, set within these robust whole school systems, to write and review separate Individual Education Plans (IEP) only for children with low-incidence, complex learning difficulties or disabilities, where a number of agencies are involved, and where that IEP will be beneficial to ensuring the child makes progress. We do not use IEPs for children with high-incidence needs. External research evidence (i.e. Gross, J. (2008), Beating Bureaucracy in Special Educational Needs, or Hartley, R. (2010) Special Educational Needs: Reforming Provision in English Schools) and our own self evaluation have shown us that these are not effective in raising standards for our pupils or promoting their well-being.
We are also mindful of government guidance that:
Schools do not need to write individual education plans for children with SEN where they have a policy of planning, target setting and recording the progress for all pupils as part of personalised learning that
- identifies learning targets for individual pupils
- plans additional or different provision from the differentiated curriculum offered to all pupils
- reviews provision in light of individual pupils outcomes
(Independent Review Unit statement on SEN and Disability, 2007)
Instead of IEPs, the SENDCO will hold a Provision Map for the school which will be reviewed termly (Appendix A). This will outline, alongside the SEND Register, the needs of children in the school and the specific provision and interventions that are in place for those children. We utilise our whole-school procedures for literacy and numeracy target setting with children, and review progress and impact through pupil progress meetings.
For some children with more specific, ongoing, learning needs we will use a Personal Profile sheet (Appendix B) and will review those regularly with the child and parents. These include that child’s barriers to learning, aims/targets and strategies school and home will utilise to ensure those barriers are overcome. Reviews may be termly at parents’ evenings, or longer term (i.e. annual) dependent on the individual case.
Broad Areas of Special Educational Need
The main areas of difficulty or need are set out in the SEN Code of Practice, Chapter 6.
Communication and interaction
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Sensory and/or physical needs
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.
Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
SEND Coordinator (SENDCO)
The name of our SENDCO is Mrs K Brookes.
The Special Needs Coordinator’s responsibilities are:
- overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
- co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
- liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
- advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
- advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other
- resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
- liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
- liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
- being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
- liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
- working with the headteacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date
How will the school support children with SEND to change classes and move on to a new school when they reach the appropriate stage(s)?
Careful consideration is given to preparing pupils with SEND for transition at all stages. Initial contact is made with the setting previously attended and with the parents, as soon as we are notified that a pupil is transferring into our school. The Parent Support Adviser will help with additional transition support if required. When pupils are changing classes or moving to another school, teachers liaise together and with parents/carers, sharing information and preparing the pupil well in advance of the move.
In Year 5, the transfer options are explained to parents/carers and they have the opportunity to visit secondary schools before making a decision and expressing a preference. Teachers and the SENDCo will pay particular attention to preparing pupils with SEND for transfer to secondary school, addressing both the learning and the well-being concerns that may arise.
The Head Teacher/SENDCO regularly reviews how to use funds. Funding comes from three sources:
- The school – general budget – discussed with Governors
- The block allocation – from the L.A. for all S.E.N. children based on county screening tests
- Cluster ‘Top Up’ Funding. Our Cluster Policy for SEN is found here
The Head Teacher informs the Governing Body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.
The governor for SEND works with the Headteacher/SENDCO to keep abreast of current developments and keeps the other governors informed. The progress of all learners is a priority for every governor, but to ensure that the progress of learners with SEND is monitored and accounted for, we have a governor with specific responsibility for SEND.
This policy has specific links with:
- The Behaviour Policy,
- The Anti-bullying – where we outline our approaches to preventing and tackling rare incidents of bullying within school,
- Equal Opportunities Policy,
- The Homework Policy,
- The Health and Safety Policy,
- The Teaching and Learning Policy,
- The Assessment Policy
- School Disability and Equality Scheme and Accessibility Plan (DESAP) (below)
and all other curriculum subjects.