Special Educational Needs provision at St. Andrew’s
St. Andrew’s Primary School is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the children living in our local area. We believe that all children, including those identified as having a special educational need or a disability (SEND) have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life.
We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.
St. Andrew’s Primary School aims to include everyone and values diversity. We want all of our children to do well through having access to appropriate, high-quality education. When our children struggle with learning or experience difficulties with communication, walking, making sense of the world around them or have medical issues- which mean they need day-to-day support- it can be very frightening and confusing. Parents and carers often worry about how they will make sure their child gets the right services and support.
This section of our website aims to help by providing an outline of what we can offer here at St. Andrew’s and by pointing out links to other services and sources of information.
Our SEND contacts are:
- Mrs. Rachel Stevens (SEND Lead)
- Mrs Clare Ellis (SENDCo HLTA)
- Mrs Liz Williams (SEND Governor)
What does SEND mean?
Children are all different and make progress at different rates. They have different ways in which they learn best. Our teachers take account of this in the way they organise their lessons and teach. Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.
It is important not to assume, just because your child is making slower progress than you expected, or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that your child has special educational needs.
The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice (2014): for 0 to 25 years (Statutory guidance for organisations who work with and support children and young people with SEN), is the document which gives guidance on increasing options and improving provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.
This definition appears at the beginning of the document:
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 them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them (Clause 20 Children and Families Bill).
The Code of Practice (2014) identifies four broad areas of SEN
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical.
What we can offer at St. Andrew's
St. Andrew’s Primary School is committed to inclusion. We aim to promote a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties.
This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners.
This is why we support all our children with life skills, including cooking, working in our allotment on-site and developing social skills.
Our disabled facilities include a disabled toilet and ramps to access all areas of the school.
Quality First Teaching
Every child is different and needs different things to help them succeed, and this means that the things we put in place need to be different for each child, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
All children at St. Andrew’s Primary School benefit from high quality teaching which includes an appropriate curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners, including those who need support or extension. Teachers use a variety of teaching styles and a wide range of materials, and are highly aware of the needs of each student in their class. Assessment methods and materials are tailored to the needs of individual pupils so teachers are able to monitor the progress of all of our children very carefully.
Our beautiful sensory room provides the children with an ideal therapeutic environment to consolidate and build upon their overall learning experience here at St. Andrew’s. Depending on the child’s needs at any given time, the room offers controlled stimulation or calming by playing with and using the different resources.
We have soft furniture, fibre-optic lights, bubble tube, coloured spotlights, mirrors, as well as music, bean bags, plus many items to touch and hold.
All equipment can be used wirelessly and can be switch-operated, making the room fully accessible to all children.
Sometimes children need additional support to make good progress. There are lots of ways to do this.
Additional support might include:
- small group support in class
- individual support in class
- tailored interventions by highly trained staff
- access to specific resources (use of technology, accessible materials, specific aids)
- emotional, social and behavioural support programmes
- specifically differentiated materials
- part-time attendance shared with a specialist provision school
Working as a team around each child
Sometimes, a child may need specialist support as well. We work with lots of other agencies and professionals to provide the best support possible for each child. This can include:
- Educational Psychologist
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Visual Impairment Services
- Hearing Impairment Services
- Special School Colleagues
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- School Nurses
- Health Visitors
- Advisory teachers (including of the deaf/of the physically disabled etc)
- Community Pediatrics
- Specialist nurses – we currently link with epilepsy/cancer/ bowel and bladder nurses
- Social Workers
- Bereavement specialists
- SPLITS workers (domestic violence support workers)
- Children Centre
- Parent support Advisors
- Family support workers
- Educational Welfare
After-school and Enrichment activities
All children are able to apply to take part in after-school clubs and activities.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not a barrier to participation. However, attendance at after school clubs is dependent on making appropriate behaviour choices in school. Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are included in all educational visits and experiences, and appropriate support will be provided.
If you are worried about whether your child might need additional support to take part in an educational visit, please come and talk to us.
Working with families
At St. Andrew’s we know that all parents and carers want the best for their children and hope they will be happy and achieve their potential at school. We believe that success in the education of our children depends, at least in some part, on how parents, carers and school work together and this is particularly so when a child has additional needs.
Parents and carers know their children best and we want to take into account your views and experience to increase the effectiveness of any provision put in place for the child. The process of identifying that a child might need additional support or assessment will involve a conversation between school and parents or carers at the earliest opportunity. This makes sure that parents and carers are always consulted at every step and kept fully informed about the help their child is given, and the results of that help.
We are very happy to work closely with parents and carers of children with more complex needs, in order to support them in school, wherever it is appropriate and possible. We have worked with parents and carers to learn how to support children with medical conditions, those who need specific pieces of equipment or technology, those who need to continue prescribed therapeutic regimes (speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy) or need to attend other schools to access part of the curriculum.
If you have any questions about what is possible, please come and talk to us.
In order to ensure that our parents and carers are fully informed about what is available for children with SEND, we have provided links to some websites, including the DEVON LOCAL OFFER website which we strongly recommend that you access and which we hope you will find helpful:
Devon Local Offer Website: https://new.devon.gov.uk/send
Devon Pathfinder Website: www.devonsendpathfinder.info/local-offer
Devon Information Advice and Support for SEND (DIAS) provides general advice and support on many aspects of education for children with SEN and disabilities and can be of particular help at times of transition from primary to secondary school. https://www.devonias.org.uk/
Moving on to Secondary School
We believe it is very important to prepare all of our children for their transition to secondary school at the end of Year 6. This is a challenging time for all children and their families, but we understand that it can be a particularly worrying time for children who need extra support or have additional needs.
We have worked very hard to make sure our support for children with SEND meets their needs well and we welcome conversations with parents and carers about the specific needs of their children.
If your child has a social/communication difficulty or a disability (for example, visual impairment), we start planning for transition in Year 5. This means we start to meet with parents and carers, other professionals who may be involved and colleagues from secondary schools to talk about what particular provision needs to be made. These conversations are very useful as they ensure that parents, carers and children see what ongoing support will be available from a range of secondary schools. Then it is easier to make a decision about the most appropriate school for your child. It also helps secondary colleagues plan ahead, so that appropriate support can be ready for your child when he or she arrives at the new school in Year 7.
In Year 6, we offer the parents and carers of all children with SEND extra meetings with us. Where necessary, these meetings are also attended by colleagues from the secondary school, so that you know who your contact will be when your child reaches the new school.
We arrange extra visits to the chosen secondary school, throughout the Summer term, for children we feel would benefit from more opportunities to experience what it is like.
These visits might include:
- finding ways around the building
- who to go to for help
- understanding the arrangements at meal times
- meeting new teachers
- specifically-tailored experiences.
When your child moves on to secondary school, we make sure that all information about your child’s needs are passed on to the appropriate people at the new school.