Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Our Lady School Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information Report
Welcome to the SEND Information report for Our Lady School. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, which strives to meet the needs of all children. All children benefit from quality teaching in the classroom, some require additional support and a few children’s needs are met through individual programmes. This information is put together by a group of people including the Inclusion Manager, governors, staff and parents. It is reviewed annually.
This report tells parents what they can expect from Our Lady School regarding SEND provision. If you have any questions, please contact Ciara Nicholson, Headteacher on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the school office. Our SEND Governor is Joanne Chico email@example.com.
What is inclusion?
In simple terms, 'Inclusion' is about being included. At Our Lady School we treat each child as an individual but take into account their needs so that they can be included in the whole curriculum. This means that when a child has an identified need, we work together with parents to ensure that these needs are met so that the child can learn and progress alongside their peers and that their time at Our Lady School is a positive and rewarding experience.
We have an Inclusion Manager who is responsible for these areas: SEND, long-term medical conditions, children with English as an Additional Language, children who receive Pupil Premium, children who are Looked After (fostered or adopted), those who are Most Able and those who have additional needs (needs which may not be diagnosed, but require additional support e.g. after a bereavement, during a separation/divorce, unexpected illness/injury, children in the Forces etc. The Inclusion Manager is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Senco), a member of the Senior Leadership Team and attends Governing Body meetings.
1. What should I do if I think my child may have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) or the school think my child needs extra help?
We work in partnership with our parents and carers. If you have any concerns about your child, please speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance. The class teacher supported by the Inclusion Manager will listen to you, discuss your concerns and together we will plan a way forward.
We aim to identify and assess children with SEND as early as possible so that we can work together to provide the best outcome for your child. Together with you as parents and carers, we look at a range of information to inform our plan:
- Views of the child
- Views of the parents, carers and wider family
- Views of school staff
- Information from previous school/nursery
- Continuous assessment of a child’s learning
- Data from assessments
- Observations of the child/class by other members of staff
- Behaviour records
- End of Key Stage results (SATs)
You are more than welcome to make an appointment to discuss your child with the Inclusion Manager, Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher, again through the school office. If we know about your concerns, we can support your child.
If we at school have any concerns about your child, you as parents and carers, will be our first port of call. We will contact you via phone to arrange an appointment in school.
2. How will school staff support my child?
At the centre of your child’s development in school is the learning they do in the classroom. We work hard to ensure teachers provide quality first teaching to both support and challenge all children.
It is not unusual for children to require additional support to help them learn and make progress. Our teaching staff and teaching assistants work together to offer this support which may include specialised resources, teaching in a small group or individually or other adaptations to the curriculum, resources or classroom. Your child may need an Individual Support Plan (ISP), written jointly by parents/carers, teachers and children (where appropriate) to set out agreed targets for learning. Children may have an ISP for a while, after which time it may no longer be required. Other children may need an ISP for the whole time they are at school.
A few children require more specific provision and we will seek advice from external professionals. These children’s needs may be best met through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/local-offer/support/ehc-plan.aspx.
Children with disabilities of all kinds (seen and unseen) will have reasonable adjustments made to the school environment, curriculum and resources to ensure they are happy and make progress alongside their peers.
3. How will I know how my child is doing and how will I be involved?
We follow the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle for children with Individual Support Plans. As parents/carers, you are a part of this cycle and will be asked to meet with the class teacher termly, in addition to the usual parent consultations. During this meeting, we will celebrate your child’s successes, assess your child’s progress towards targets, and plan our next steps. We will set SMART targets for your child’s learning:
As children progress through the school, we encourage them to be involved in these meetings. Younger children’s views will be gathered by staff prior to a review.
We have an ‘Open door’ policy and teaching staff can be met informally at the end of the day for a brief chat. If you would like a longer or more private meeting, please make an appointment via the school office with the class teacher.
4. How will learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
The Assess, Plan, Do and Review Cycle (called the Graduated Approach) is essential to meeting the needs of children with SEND. Support is carefully planned to make sure it will be effective for your child before being implemented. Children are involved in this process and their input, alongside your own, is key to the success of interventions.
Staff are trained regularly to identify and assess children’s needs and match these to planned interventions. The interventions we choose to use at Our Lady School are based on current research and best practice.
We may ask external professionals for advice on your child’s development and will incorporate their suggestions into our plans.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
We live out the Gospel teachings of Jesus by loving and supporting each other. Children’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing are extremely important to us as we recognise that children cannot be happy and learn when they are struggling with mental health needs.
Every child has a named adult who they can talk to about pastoral issues. These are updated termly and each adult knows who ‘their’ children are so they can support them fully in school life. Within every class, children have a wellbeing buddy who they learn to support and be supported by. Mental and emotional health is part of our curriculum and we have support from external agencies to teach our children about specific areas including Phase (http://www.phase-hitchin.org) who run workshops for Y5 and Y6.
Our school has access to further support for the whole family through the Hitchin Partnership. Please contact the inclusion manager if you require further information on this http://www.hitchinpartnership.org. Our Family Support Worker attends various school events where you can speak directly to her.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Our Lady School can call upon the expertise of many professionals, depending on the needs of your child. These include:
- Speech and Language Therapist
- The School Nurse
- ADHD Nurse
- Specialist Advisory Teachers e.g. for Hearing and Visual Impaired children
- Educational Psychologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Family Support Worker
- Hitchin Behaviour Support Service
- Charities and support groups for specific conditions
The school nurse may be able to refer to different health services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Child Development Centre (CDC) or Communication Disorder Assessment Clinic (CDAC). The school may also access outreach services such as emotional wellbeing support (Nessie), Moderate learning difficulties (Woolgrove Special School), Specific learning difficulties (The Grange SPLD Base) and the Communication and Autism Team (CAT).
We aim to include as many professionals as are appropriate for your child. These professionals are usually involved with a few children and will come into school for most appointments. If you wish to discuss referral to a specialist service, please speak to the class teacher and inclusion manager.
7. What training have staff supporting children and young people with SEN had or are having?
Staff receive additional training in specialist areas depending on the needs of our children. Staff have received an inspirational INSET day on SEND from Sharon Gray, OBE in September 2017. Teaching Assistants are being trained in a wide variety of interventions to support specific groups or individuals including Catch Up Literacy and Numeracy, Precision teaching, WellComm communication programme, supporting children with Pupil Premium. Staff have received recent training on ADHD and planned training for Autism is in the autumn term. A training needs analysis is part of our Performance Management programme and identifies and plans to meet training needs relating to SEND.
The inclusion manager has completed the National Award for SEN Coordination in November 2017.
We recognise that parents have a wealth of specialist knowledge about their child’s specific needs which we can use to help us to support your child.
8. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
A curriculum map is published termly on the website with an overview of all subjects and topics in your child’s year. It is helpful for you to know what your child is learning to be able to support them in their understanding. Homework is given weekly, which varies in content, length and frequency by year group. Frequent daily bursts of reading, times table and spelling practice is shown to have the most impact on your child’s learning.
Termly ‘meet the teacher’ meetings are held which enable you to understand the expectations of your child’s class. Parent information meetings are held on subject areas e.g. e-safety. Parent consultations and Open Evening are other opportunities to speak to staff. We write detailed reports on your child in the summer term.
We signpost parents to relevant training courses on specialist issues which may help you to support your child. If you need any further information to support your child, please speak to us.
9. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
For all school trips a risk assessment is undertaken to ensure that each child is kept safe from harm. All children with SEND are included on all school trips, including residential and when appropriate reasonable adjustments, such as additional staff are deployed. Parents are consulted to ensure full participation and active engagement of all children. Where the outings are run by outside agencies they are made aware of each child’s needs so that they deal with them in a sensitive and appropriate manner.
We appreciate that changes to routine may be difficult for some children with SEND so, where appropriate, we will also prepare the child for the trip by explaining what will happen, how they will be helped and remind them how to ask for help on the day.
10. How accessible is the school environment?
The school is compliant with the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments are made for all children with SEND where necessary (See Equalities and Accessibility Plan on the school website). The building is wheelchair accessible and has disabled changing and toilet facilities. Specialised equipment is provided where appropriate for children with SEND needs and advice is sought from the appropriate medical/health professionals to ensure all children’s health and physical needs are catered for within the school environment. The school can access an interpreter and arrange for school documents to be translated if necessary.
All classrooms are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are as inclusive as possible to all children – this might include things like easily accessible equipment to support learning, and useful information available on displays for children to access.
11. Who can I contact for further information?
The school has a non-class based, part-time Inclusion Manager, Mrs Elizabeth Tye, who is available on the school office number or email firstname.lastname@example.org and is available to meet parents with concerns about their child. We share information with your consent with relevant staff members to ensure your child’s needs are met fully.
If you wish to make a complaint, the school has a complaints procedure which is available on the website.
12. How will the school prepare and support my child at times of transfer?
We have detailed transition programmes in place for children transferring from Nursery to Year Reception, and for those leaving us in Y6 to move up to secondary schools in Y7. The support offered is dependent on each child’s needs, age and development.
For children beginning our school, the inclusion manager and YR Teacher visit families at home before the start of the school term to give us the chance to get to know one another. Families are invited to a New Intake assembly, and have the opportunity to spend time in their new class with their new teacher.
Year 6 have many transition activities planned including workshops and a day at their new school. We have a transition programme in school which is run by the inclusion manager alongside the class teacher.
All children have a ‘moving up’ day in school when they spend time in their new classroom and with their new teacher. All children in the school develop a One Page Profile which gives an overview of what is important to them, what others admire about them and how they like to be supported. This essential information is passed on to new teachers before the start of the new school year.
When children join our school mid-year, we arrange a Welcome Meeting with the Inclusion Manager within the first few weeks. The aim is to get to know your child, you as a family and to work out any support your child may need.
For children with additional needs, extra class visits and meetings are planned before the start of the new school year, to ensure a smooth transition for the child.
13. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to the children’s special educational needs?
The school has an amount identified within its overall budget called the notional SEND budget which is used for resources to support the progress of children with SEND. This is mainly used to buy resources and to provide specialised training for staff. The allocation of the school budget is prioritised according to need.
Where a child requires provision which exceeds the nationally prescribed threshold additional top-up finding can be applied for through the local authority. (Exceptional Needs Funding). Parents will always be consulted if the school is to try and apply for additional funding for their child.
14. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
The amount and type of support offered to a child is determined by a detailed analysis of a child’s needs, barriers to learning, stage of development, parental views, their own views and consultation with their class teacher.
This support is reviewed regularly via the Individual Support Plan process with amendments being made to the programme of support. Targets are set and progress towards targets is reported back to parents at regular intervals. Interventions typically last around 6 weeks with the emphasis being on early identification and targeted effective support to minimise any long term need for additional support. The inclusion manager has responsibility for monitoring the impact of interventions and deciding, along with class teachers, what the next steps are.
15. How can I find information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs?
The authority’s local offer of services and provision for children and young people with SEN can be accessed at www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer