Special Needs provision

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Ditcheat Primary School

The School’s offer in support of pupils with Special Educational Needs and or Disability (SEND) – Information Report 2015/16

‘Learning Together to Achieve our Best’

How does the school know if children need extra support and what should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

At Ditcheat Primary School children can be identified as having SEN if:

  • A child is performing below age expected expectations / or making less than expected progress
  • Concerns are raised by Parent Carers / or students themselves
  • Concerns are raised by teachers because a child’s behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
  • There is a liaison with external agencies i.e. occupational health
  • A diagnosis is made from the paediatrician

If you think your child may have SEN, please:

• Talk to us. Parent / Carers have the opportunity at the beginning and end of the day to speak to their child’s class teacher. If they require additional time all class teachers will be more than happy to arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time. If concerns persist parents are able to arrange a further appointment with the SENCO or Headteacher.

How will school support my child?

Who will oversee, plan or work with my child? How often will this happen?

• Our SENCO oversees all support and progress of any child with SEN  across the school.

• The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure that good progress is made.

• There may be a Teaching Assistant (TA) working with your child either individually or as part of a group, if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.

Who will explain this to me?

• If a child has SEN the class teacher will meet with parent / carers at least every term (this could be as part of parent’s evening) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress. A written copy of this information will be given to you through a pupil passport or an IEP (Individual Education Plan) depending on the complexities of the pupil’s needs.

• For further information the SENCO is available to discuss support in more detail. If you would like to do this please arrange an appointment.

How are the governors involved, and what are their responsibilities?

• The SENCO reports to the Governors every term to inform them about the progress of children with SEN; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.

• One of the Governors is responsible for SEN and meets regularly with the SENCO. The SEN Governor also reports to the Governing body to keep all informed.

• The Governors agree priorities for spending within the SEN budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

• All work within class is planned and delivered at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access according to their specific needs. This is known as Quality First Teaching. This will mean that children will be supported in a range of styles, and will undertake a variety of activities that best support their learning, rather than that of the class as a whole.

• The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.

• On top of this we are also Primary Talk and Dyslexia Friendly Accredited. This means that work is supported by objects of reference, signs and symbols. Resources are all provided in a dyslexia friendly style.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

• We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCO and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.

• We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents / carers and teachers; therefore we aim to keep in touch regularly. This will often be an informal chat by the school gate or regular phone calls if you are unable to drop off or pick up.

• Where appropriate we use a home / school book which your child will bring home regularly so that comments from parents and teacher can be shared and responded to when needed.

• If your child is on the SEN register they will have a pupil passport or an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which will have individual targets. This is discussed on a termly basis and parents are given a copy of them. The targets set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets with the expectation that the child will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed. Targets are set by both the pupil and the teacher.

  • If your child received SEN support, a review will take place on an annual basis which will involve the pupil, parents, SENCO and possibly the class teacher. This review will assess the effectiveness of the previous year and look forward to targets for the next year.

• If your child has complex SEND they may share their schooling as part of a dual placement; or have a Statement (soon to be Education Health Care Plan or EHCP) which means that a formal meeting will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written legally outlining their needs. This will be reviewed on an annual basis.

How does the school know how well my child is doing?

• As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and age related expectations.

• The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry in Reception through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including Early Learning Goals, age related expectations and Reading and Spelling ages. We also use P Scales to assess children’s learning; they are a really useful tool for measuring progress in small achievable steps.

• Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through termly progress meetings with the Class teacher and Headteacher. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.

• When a child’s pupil passport/IEP is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress. Pupil passports/IEPs are always shared with parents, and parents are a crucial part of the review process themselves.

• As a school we value the views of our children and each time a pupil passport/IEP is reviewed the children contribute to this process through a child friendly questionnaire and follow up discussion.

• Children are always aware of how well they are doing because they track their own progress with a monitoring book.

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

• We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school and we welcome and celebrate diversity. Our staff firmly believes that children’s emotional well-being and self-esteem is crucial to academic success and the enjoyment of school. We are proud of the caring, understanding team we have looking after our children.

• The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore if you have any concerns this would be your first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher will liaise with the SENCO for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as our Educational Psychologist or Parent Family Support Agency.

• As a school we also operate a weekly nurture group to support children who are struggling with a social or emotional barrier to their learning. They also provide support from bereavements or if a child is struggling coping with divorce/ separation.

How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

• All procedures for the administration of medicines can be found in our First Aid and Managing Children with Medical Conditions policy.

How will my child be able to contribute their views?

• We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is usually carried out through the School Council, which provides an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised.

• Children who have pupil passports/IEPs (Individual Education Plans) discuss and set their targets through self-evaluation and discussion with their teachers. They are also part of an ongoing process of reflecting on their learning through their monitoring books.

• There is a termly pupil questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of children on their social, academic and emotional views on schools.

• If your child is part of a dual placement or has an ECHP their views will be sought before any review meetings.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by our school?

Members of staff are trained in:

Support Services Available:

– Dyslexia Friendly Strategies

– Somerset Total Communication (like signing)

– ILI (Individual Literacy Intervention)

– Autistic Awareness Training

– Positive Handling Training

– ELKLAN Communication Training

– Phonics

– Learning Support Services

– Educational Psychologist

– Parent Family Support Advisor

– Occupational Health

– Speech and Language Therapist

– Physical Impairment Medical Support Team


–      Communication and Autism team

–      Visual impairment team

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom e.g. school trips?

• All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful, for example additional adults may go on a trip to ensure all children remain safe and have a fantastic day out.

• A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.

How accessible is the school environment?

• The school site is not fully wheelchair accessible, though there is a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing. The school is predominately on one level with ramps at specified fire exits. Should you wish for your child to attend Ditcheat then appropriate changes will of course be made.

• We liaise with EMAS (Ethnic minority Achievement Service) who assist us in supporting our families with English as an additional language.

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

• We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting. The will be shown around by children from their class and have the opportunity to meet staff. For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings. We would also try to visit them in their current school.

• We encourage children to make photo books on their visit days, as this provides an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the setting over the holidays before they begin in Septmeber.

• When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits. At our ‘feeder’ secondary school, Ansford Academy, they run a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils. Similarly we encourage children to take photos and bring them back to share with the class.

• We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.

• If your child has complex needs there will be a School Entry Plan Meeting before they join in reception, these will be joined by parent /carers, pre-school staff and outside services.

• If your child has complex needs and is transitioning to secondary school a very similar meeting will take place at the secondary school and will be reviewed in the autumn term to reflect on the transition and agree if further action is needed.

How are the schools resources allocated and matched to children’s SEN needs?

• We ensure that all children who have Special Educational Needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.

• We have SEN TAs who are funded from the SEN budget to deliver tailored interventions to groups or individuals.

• The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The Children who have the most complex needs are given the most support often involving a TA.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

• The class teacher alongside the SENCO will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.

• Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.

• Any strategies which involve significant costs will need to be discussed with the headteacher and approved by the governors.

• Parents will be kept informed of all support or changes made to it.

How do we know the support has made an impact?

• By reviewing children’s targets on pupil passports/IEPs and discussing the progress made. The child will know they are making progress through the daily tracking of the monitoring book.

• The child is making progress academically against national/age expected levels and the gap is narrowing.

• Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and pupil.

• Children may move off of the SEN register when they are working at expected levels or have made sufficient progress.

Who can I contact for further information?

• First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns.

• You could also arrange to meet our SENCO Miss Crook or our Head teacher Mr Reid on (01749) 860329 or ditcheat@educ.somerset.gov.uk.

• Look at the SEN policy on our website

• Contact the Somerset Parent Carer Forum – http://www.somersetpcf.org.uk/ 

• Contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) – www.ipsea.org.uk/

Who should I contact if I would like to discuss the possibility of my child joining the school?

• Contact the school Admin office to arrange to meet the Head teacher Mr Reid, who would willingly discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs – ditcheat@educ.somerset.gov.uk.