Special Educational Needs Information Report
Westwoodside Church of England Academy
Information for parents/ carers about the Special Educational Needs provision
Please refer to our admissions policy for information about arrangements to join our school.
- How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special needs?
At Westwoodside we work hard to liaise with parents at all stages of a child’s education. Initially we offer all parents/ carers a home visit when your child starts nursery. This is a time when you can express any concerns that you may have. It is useful to share information from your child’s ‘Health Visitor’s record’ at this time e.g. information about the two year old check. This may highlight concerns that you have before your child starts school.
Once a child has joined our school we monitor their progress half termly. In Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) we use the North Lincolnshire tracker and the ages and stages of the Early Years framework to do this. Our staff team keep detailed records which are shared regularly with parents. If there is a concern about your child’s progress, in any area of development, this will be shared with you at the earliest opportunity.
As children move through the school teachers keep a record of children’s achievement in different areas of the curriculum. Information is gathered from the child’s day to day work and their participation in lessons e.g. answering questions to show understanding. Assessments are made half termly and are informed by informal testing e.g. spellings, reading and maths tests. At Year 2 and Y6 we use national tests. We monitor progress against the expected outcomes for each year group in reading, writing and maths. We also monitor progress in other curriculum areas. If we are concerned that your child is making less than expected progress we will raise this with you at the earliest opportunity. Parent teacher consultations are held every term and provide an opportunity to raise any concerns that either party may have.
If concerns are raised about progress or attainment then further observations will be made and the schools Special Education Needs Coordinator may be asked to offer additional support. Throughout this time you will be involved along with your child. For some children adjustments are made and they are able to progress with their learning. An ‘Individual Education Plan’ (IEP) may be written to set out learning targets and clarify the support that is required. For some children it may be necessary to seek specialist support e.g. from the Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist. For some children more detailed assessment may be required from external agencies.
Parents/ Carers should contact the class teacher at the earliest opportunity if they have any concerns about their child’s progress or attainment in any area of development e.g. physical, social, emotional or academic. Remember that many children need a little extra support from time to time. Sometimes this support will be for a short period and for others may last longer. Whenever support for Special Needs is initiated the child’s name is added to the school’s Special Needs register which means that the SENCO can monitor the support and progress they are making. Parents are always informed and involved if this happens.
- How will school staff support my child?
In our school all teachers and teaching assistants work with children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All staff support the delivery of quality first teaching.
For some children additional support is required. This varies according to the child’s needs. Some children may complete programmes of work on a 1-1 basis or in small groups with a teaching assistant. Some children may be supported with daily practice of specific skills e.g. reciting the alphabet or recalling number bonds.
We employ a specialist teacher to assess children in more detail and to provide advice about specialist programmes e.g. for children with dyslexia. A specialist teaching assistant also works with individuals and groups who require regular programmes of support.
The school SENCO has a specific qualification to enable her to offer support for all children with additional needs and to coordinate this provision across the school. The SENCO also liaises with other agencies to seek additional support. In our school the SENCO is Mrs Smith.
- What kind of special needs does the school currently support?
Currently staff are experienced in supporting children with specific learning difficulties and moderate learning difficulties. We support children with dyslexia, dyscalculia and those on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. Staff have experience of supporting children with emotional and social needs and those pertaining to speech, language and communication needs. We also support children with a range of medical needs. Staff are skilled at assessing children’s needs and providing additional support in line with our graduated approach.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
In all classes differentiation is the process by which teachers plan learning to match children’s needs. By doing this we ensure that gaps in learning do not emerge and if they do we can address them quickly. Teachers differentiate learning in a number of ways.
Sometimes the level of work to be completed is varied e.g. different children may tackle differing levels of maths problems. Work may also be presented in a different way e.g. a practical task can enable some children to demonstrate their understanding more fully than if they write answers.
Resources are also varied to support learning e.g. a child with dyslexia may use an ‘alphabet arc’ to support recognition of letters as they write. Children who struggle with attention may be supported with verbal prompts or a timer to keep them on task. Children with physical difficulties may have specialist equipment to help them to access their learning e.g. posture-rite slopes, specialist scissors or a computer to aid recording.
Teaching assistants may be used to carry out focused work with individuals or groups of children to support or stretch their learning. Teaching assistants have a range of skills which allow them to deliver intervention programmes e.g. phonics, handwriting, occupational therapy. We aim to ensure that all children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities have the opportunity to develop independent learning skills so they do not ‘over rely’ on an adult.
Some children will have specialist programmes of work included in their daily timetable e.g. for speech and language or occupational therapy.
- How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Reporting arrangements for all children include a termly ‘parent – teacher’ consultation and an annual report. For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) additional time is given at parent-teacher consultations. This allows for the child’s general progress to be discussed as well as progress towards their specific targets as outlined in their IEP.
In Foundation Stage parents can ‘stay and play’ and take the opportunity to look at their child’s ‘progress booklet’ this helps to see new achievements and areas to develop. It also allows for regular conversations with staff in these formative years when pupils needs change quickly.
Whenever IEPs are reviewed these are shared with parents/carers and the child. A copy is sent home for parents to keep. IEP’s also include suggestions about activities that will enable parents to support their child.
From September 2014 progress and attainment for all children will be monitored against end of year expectation. For SEN children progress is also measured against their personal targets.
We hold information sessions for parents to support specific areas of learning such as reading and phonics. Parents are invited to appointments with specialists e.g. Speech and Language therapists, Educational Psychologists etc. We signpost to other organisations for specialist support e.g. Kaleidoscope for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We constantly review our provision and if we identify a need for specific training we will aim to organise this.
Class teachers are always available at the start and end of the school day to share information about learning and progress and to listen to any concerns or information that parents need to share. The school SENCO also offers 'drop in' sessions on a Wednesday morning. Please either come along or ring ahead to arrange a meeting.
- What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We pride ourselves on the close community we have at Westwoodside and aim to develop every child as a unique and special person.
There are many strategies in place which support children’s wellbeing and impact positively on children who have special educational needs or disabilities. We have strong links across our school between the older and younger pupils. Older children act as buddies – supporting younger children to deal with minor issues at break and lunch time. Our sport’s ambassadors organise games and activities for groups of children. We use SEAL (social, emotional aspects of learning) to address issues such as self-esteem and anti-bullying.
Our strong pastoral support system supports many of our children. This may include ‘meet and greet’ sessions with a teaching assistant or work to develop an understanding of the emotions of others through social stories. We have a positive behaviour code which encourages children to take responsibility for their own actions. We also operate a system of ‘strengths’ which supports children to develop self-esteem and good relationships with others. Our strengths are discussed and shared across the school and are supported by sign language actions.
An increasing number of school staff have had specialist training in the areas of behaviour and emotional need. Skilled staff in this area support children to learn to manage their emotions and behaviour and reduce the need for exclusion.
We aim to meet the needs of all our children. If a child has medical needs then discussion should take place with the class teacher and school SENCO. At times additional support may be sought from the School Nursing service or CAMNET (Complex and Medical Needs Education Team). Specialist training for staff may be required e.g. Epi-pen training for school staff. Further information about supporting children with medical conditions can be found in our ‘Medical Needs Policy’.
All children are able to share their views about issues in school. We have a school council which represents their views. Children with IEP’s are involved in reviewing their targets and setting new ones. We talk to them about their strengths and weaknesses and what they want to achieve. Children with a Statement or Education Health Care Plan are fully involved in the review and target setting process so that their views are known and understood. Children who have difficulty communicating will have their views represented although they may choose to record these with a trusted staff member prior to their meeting.
We make sure that children with SEND can access before and after school clubs and other special events that take place in school. Children also take a full and active part in outdoor learning and school visits.
Whenever teachers arrange trips for their class consideration is given to the needs of the group and, if required, a discussion with parents of children with SEN takes place to inform decisions taken and to take account of any adjustments or provision needed. If required, consultation with specialist agencies take place to ensure we have accessed the best advice possible.
- What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
- We employ a specialist teacher who works in school each Monday. She holds a specialist Dyslexia qualification. Teaching assistants have various levels of specialist skill e.g. some have attended specific training to support children with speech and language needs, others have experience of supporting children with behavioural or emotional needs. Some have trained to deliver specific programmes of support e.g. TELL (Teaching Early Language and Literacy)
- We purchase additional support from: The Educational Welfare Service, Educational Psychology and Behaviour Support Service.
- We also have access to Speech and Language, Occupational and Physiotherapy services, ASET (Autism Spectrum Education Team), The Education Preparation Unit, School Nursing service and CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).
- We have links with services to support children with hearing and visual needs and for children with complex medical needs.
- We actively seek additional support from other agencies/ organisations if this is felt relevant to a particular child.
- What training have staff supporting children with SEN had or going to have?
In recent years the staff team have had training for speech and language development, and support to meet the needs of dyslexic pupils. In-house training has included: the development of inclusive classrooms and practice; planning and personalising IEPs; using precision teaching techniques; supporting maths through practical apparatus (Numicon and Base 10 equipment) Staff have also accessed training about the use of social stories and activities which meet social, emotional and behavioural needs. A large number of staff have also attended team teach training. The school SENCO attends local authority meetings to receive updated information about the local offer and changes in SEN locally and nationally.
Training planned for the future includes: Refresher training for Epi-Pen administration; cursive writing linked to multi-sensory ways of learning to spell and read high frequency words; the new SEN Code of Practice; dyslexia friendly classrooms and supporting children with autism spectrum disorders.
- How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school?
As soon as we are aware that a child with special needs wishes to join our school we will work closely with parents/carers to put in place the best possible transition arrangements for that child. This may include: additional home visits, extra transition visits to school, visits to preschool settings for staff to work alongside key workers, meetings with outside agencies already supporting the child and a series of meetings with parents and professionals to plan and evaluate transition support.
Within school all children are supported to prepare for the next step in their learning journey. We have a whole school focus on ‘Changes’ in the summer term. Transition from one class to another is supported with a ‘moving up’ visit to the next class and teacher. Additional visits may be planned for children who require more preparation. Past and present teachers always meet together to share information about learning needs. Sometimes the ‘new teacher’ may spend additional time with a particular child or observe them in their current class.
For children moving onto the next stage of education we work in close collaboration with local secondary schools. Initially we will communicate with the new school’s SENCO and arrange a joint meeting for parents. This takes place well before transition begins. A transition plan is developed .In the past these have included the following: extra visits for a child to their new school and supporting activities; sharing information about the child; planning a time for staff from the new school to observe the child in their class and time to speak to their current class teacher. Where necessary a statement or Education Health Care Plan review takes place at least 2 terms before the child moves to secondary school. This meeting always includes transition arrangements.
- How accessible is the school environment?
The school is accessible with a wheelchair there is one disabled parking space close to the main entrance. All doorways have a level entrance or slope. There are no steps on the site and there is one disabled toilet. The playground is fully accessible also. We have an accessible kitchen area fitted at child height to support food technology in the curriculum. Since January 2014 there have been improvements to the visual environment to streamline the storage of resources resulting in fewer visual distractions. More space for circulation has been created near the Y2/3 classrooms during summer 2014 and relocation of a communication cabinet has improved the auditory environment in one room. Carpeting is being purchased for another room to reduce noise from a solid floor.
Parents and carers who do not speak English as their first language should contact the school to arrange to have letters/ information translated. We are also able to contact the local Bilingual Support Service for additional support.
- How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Resources for SEN are allocated on a priority basis following teacher assessment of children’s needs. The SENCO has overview of the needs of all SEND children and allocates programmes of work and support accordingly. We map our provision for children with SEND and regularly analyse whether interventions and support are being effective. A proportion of funding pays for our specialist teacher and specialist teaching assistant support. Resources are prioritised based on the needs of the children in the school e.g. in 2014 we upgraded our SEN assessment materials and purchased resources to support in identifying and teaching children with mathematical difficulties. We have also invested in materials to support children with emotional and social needs.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
We base all decisions about support on an ASSESS, PLAN, DO, REVIEW cycle. When a child is identified as having an additional need we put in place a plan to meet this need. This plan contains clear outcomes. Actions are then carried out and reviewed after 6 weeks to see if they are being effective. At different times it may be necessary to increase or decrease the level of support required. A child’s IEP forms an integral part of this process. If targets and provision are effective in moving a child’s learning forward then this will continue, if they fail to address the desired outcomes then additional support will be sought. Initially support will be accessed from within school. If it is felt necessary to access further guidance and advice then support from external agencies will be sought.
Examples of the graduated approach at Westwoodside (types of support)
Quality First Teaching
Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
Increased visual aids – letter formation, number lines.
Visual timetables (class and individual)
Alphabet arcs, phonic cards/displays
Letters and sounds support
Use of writing frames
Alternative recording methods – digi mikes, sound buttons,Clicker
General ICT access with appropriate software.
Sensitive grouping/ pairing / class or playground buddy.
Spelling banks for new subject specific words.
Look say cover write check
Numicon and practical maths equipment
Where appropriate simple and clearly laid out worksheets.
Structured school and class routines
Clear unambiguous instructions
Visual prompts and use of symbols for understanding
Individual work station
Speech and Language toolkit resources
Whole school and class reward system / individual reward
Whole school/class rules / Whole school policy for
Circle time as part of PSHE curriculum
Use of positive language to promote self esteem and strengths programme
Time out facilities
Desk slopes /seat wedges/ Magnifiers
Pencil grips/ adaptive scissors
Overlays / Use of coloured paper
Quality First Teaching
Named part of whole class
Group intervention English
Group intervention Maths
Additional Phonics Support.
Speech and Language Support.
Time out/Anger Management
support cards/ timers
Group intervention for
behaviour and emotional
Sensitive class seating
1:1 Reading intervention.
1:1 Phonics intervention. (TELL)
1:1 Maths intervention inc. Dyscalculia materials, precision teaching, Numicon, Base 10.
Multi Sensory spelling programmes
PIVATS to support small step progression
Word Shark, Number Shark, Accele-Read - Accele Write
Word Wasp, Toe by Toe
Maths strategies books
Comic Strip cartoons
BBC ‘dance mat’ touch typing
Communication and support
from external agencies.
ASET assessment and actions
Speech and Language programmes
Support in line with
individualised advice from an
external agency including
Quality First Teaching,
Assistance and support in
line with individual EHC
- Who can I contact for further information?
The school’s Special Education Needs coordinator is Mrs S.Smith She can be contacted via the school office 01427 752355.
If your child is already at school you should contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance. You may also want to speak to the school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) or Head Teacher. .
If you have concerns that are not met then please talk with the SENCO or Head Teacher.
If you have a child with SEN and are considering whether your child should join our school then please call 01427 752355 to arrange a visit and an appointment with the SENCO/ Head teacher. At this time you can ask questions relevant to your child’s specific needs.
Information about the North Lincolnshire’s Local Area offer can be accessed at: http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/schools-libraries-learning/sen/transition-pathways/the-local-offer/ (From Sept 1st 2014)
Current details about SEN can be found at: http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/schools-libraries-learning/sen/ (up to 1st Sept 2014)
- Who can I speak to if I have a complaint about the SEN provision in the school or require unbiased advice and support?
The school complaint policy can be found on our website. Initially you should approach the Headteacher to express any concerns or complaints. If you do not receive an adequate response then the Chair of Governors (Mrs M. Potter) may be contacted. Further details are described in the complaints policy and procedure.
You may find it useful to contact Parent Partnership who offer unbiased advice and support to parents of children who are concerned about SEN.
North Lincolnshire Parent Partnership Service
PO Box 35
Tel: 01724 277 665
Mobile: 07717 587 621