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Our Lady Catholic Primary School

Our Lady Catholic
Primary School

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Our Lady School Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information Report

October 2023

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 children 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 SENCO, Head Teacher governors, staff and parents and carers. 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 Bryoney Hobbs on senco@ourladys.herts.sch.uk via the school office. Our SEND Governor Tony Gorton on admin@ourladys.herts.sch.uk via the school office.

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 are carers 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.

 

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Our Leadership Team is responsible for: 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 Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

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 SENCO 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 SENCO or the 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). See: 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:

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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.

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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.

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 well-being?

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We live out the Gospel teachings of Jesus by loving and supporting each other. Children’s mental and emotional health and well-being 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.

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.

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 Therapists
  • Specialist Advisory Teachers e.g. for Hearing and Visual Impaired children
  • Educational Psychologists
  • School nurses
  • SPLD base teachers
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Family Support Workers
  • Hitchin Behaviour Support Service
  • Charities and support groups for specific conditions e.g. Angels/ADD-Vance/GRIT

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/or SENCO

Parental consent will always be sought prior to any referral made by the school. Once a service is accessed, we aim to work in partnership with relevant professionals.


7. What training have staff supporting children and young people with SEN had or are having?

Training is ongoing and responsive to the needs of the pupils currently at the school. Staff are trained in the following areas:
• Support for specific learning difficulties
• Wider Speech and Language issues
• Understanding and support for Autistic Spectrum Disorder
• Therapeutic Thinking behaviour support training
• Training for specific pupils, as needs arise (such as visual impairment or physical disability).


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.

We hold information sessions at the beginning of the academic year to provide an overview of the year and inform parents of the expectations of a particular year group. Parent Consultations, Open Mornings and Open Evenings provide further opportunities to view your child’s progress. A detailed report on your child’s attainment and progress is written in the Spring term (Year 1 – 5) and in the Summer term (Early Years and Year 6).

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. Specialist 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. 

Classroom provision and the wider school environment are regularly reviewed.


11. Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact Bryoney Hobbs via email at senco@ourladys.herts.sch.uk or email admin@ourladys.herts.sch.uk.

With your consent, we will share information with relevant members of staff to ensure your child’s needs are fully met.

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 Year Six to move up to secondary schools in Year Seven. The support offered is dependent on each child’s needs, age and development.

For children beginning our school, the SENCO and Reception Teacher visit families at home and in their nursery settings 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 throughout the year 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 SENCO within the first few weeks if we/parents feel the need. 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 ( Local Higher 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 and external agencies where appropriate.  

This support is reviewed regularly through our assess, plan, do, review cycle 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 SENCO has responsibility for monitoring the impact of interventions and deciding, along with class teachers, what the next steps are.

15. How do I make a complaint regarding my child's SEND provision?

If you wish to make a complaint, please follow the school Complaints Procedure as set out in the complaints policy.

If your complaint is about the way the School has been delivering the provision set out in Section F of your child's Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you may complain further to the Local Authority that maintains your child's EHCP. If the EHCP is maintained by Hertfordshire County Council, you may complain further by setting out the detail of your complaint and sending it to:

Customer Service Team – Complaints
Postal Point: CHO118
Resources Department
County Hall
Hertford
SG13 8DF
Email: cs.complaints@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Once in receipt of your complaint, the Complaints Manager for Children’s Services will ensure that the Local Authority completes a Section F Provision Checklist. This process entails a Provision Checklist being drawn up directly from Section F of the EHCP. A Senior SEND Officer will then visit the School in order to work through the checklist point by point and complete it. The Senior SEND Officer will seek the comments of the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, SENCo and Governors as appropriate, as well as any other information or advice that they deem necessary.

Once the Provision Checklist has been completed, the Local Authority will notify the complainant of the outcome in writing, enclosing a copy of the checklist. A copy of the outcome letter and Checklist will also be sent to the School for its information and record keeping. This process will take up to 25 working days (of the Local Authority) to conclude.

Complainants who remain dissatisfied following further investigation of their Special Educational Needs provision complaint by the Local Authority may complain to the Secretary of State who may decide to conduct an additional investigation. The contact details for the Secretary of State at the Department for Education are set out below:

Online: www.education.gov.uk/contactus

Telephone: 0370 000 2288

In writing: Department for Education, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD


 

16. 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

 


Who’s Who at Our Lady School?

Mrs Sarah Snowball – Head Teacher
Mrs Bryoney Hobbs - Assistant Headteacher & SENCo
Ms Jill Westbury – Business Manager
Mr Tony Gorton – SEND Governor.
 
 

 Our Lady School Support

Social Skills programmes/support including strategies to enhance self-esteem

  • Circle Time
  • Social Skills groups
  • Named listened adult for each child to speak to
  • Celebrating assemblies celebrating achievements
  • Headteacher Awards
  • Involvement of Educational Psychologist
  • Involvement of Family Support Worker

Access to a supportive environment – IT facilities/equipment/resources (including preparation)

  • ICT resources including interactive white boards, Purple Mash, Sam Learning, Expresso, Websites i.e. – Hit the Button, CBBs, Videos, YouTube, Top Marks, and Phonics Play.
  • Hand held learning response system
  • Coloured overlays, coloured overlay reading rulers, cream paper
  • Writing slopes, pencil grips, left handed scissors
  • Alphabets, word grids, planning sheets, working walls, number displays, dictionaries
  • Radio aid
  • Involvement of the SpLD Base, HI & VI Service
  • IPads

Strategies/programmes to support speech and language

  • Delivery of planned programmes, including Social Skills, recommended by Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT)
  • Members of staff trained in Speech and Language strategies
  • Use of talk partners
  • Involvement of Specialist Speech and Language Service
  • SMART moves intervention

Mentoring activities

  • Y6 Buddies for EYFS
  • Older children acting as play leaders
  • Peer mentoring
  • Mentoring with Family support worker for individual children if necessary
  • JEPECA empowerment coaching

Access to strategies/programmes to support Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy needs/fine and gross motor skills

  • Delivery of planned programmes by Occupational/Physiotherapy services
  • Specialist skills group for children requiring concentration, strength, coordination and balance.
  • Sports Apprentice actively supporting children in PE, Games lessons and on the playground to take part to the best of their ability.
  • Cup stacking games, skipping, multi skill games

Strategies to reduce anxiety/promote emotional wellbeing for children and parents

  • Pastoral support provided by trained staff
  • Transition meetings with parents/buddies to ensure smooth transition across classes
  • Comprehensive Transition Programmes to secondary school for children with SEND
  • Home/School communication books for individual pupils
  • ISP meetings with parents, staff and pupils
  • Parent surgeries/consultation evenings
  • Meet and greet at the start of each day
  • Staff ‘hand over’ children at the end of the day – available for brief discussion
  • Appointments with staff and parents
  • Liaison with Parish and services in the school and church
  • Head and SENCo available by appointment
  • Referral to external agencies such as CAMHs and STEP 2 for individual children.
  • Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Offer range of support from Hitchin Partnership

Strategies to support/develop literacy including reading

  • First Quality whole class teaching and small group teaching with planned differentiation
  • Graded reading books for EYFS, KS1 and KS2
  • Specifically trained Teaching Assistants for Literacy
  • Individual and group programmes
  • Planned phonic programmes for individuals and groups
  • Parent information meetings on reading and writing.
  • Shared reading with parents for EYFS and KS1 children
  • Writing and planning grids available
  • Referral to Specific Learning Difficulties Base and Educational Psychologist for individual children.

Strategies to support/modify behaviour

  • Behaviour Policy composed by School Council
  • Rights Respecting modelled behaviour throughout the school
  • Class charters/pupil charters/parent charters/governor charters
  • Home/School Agreement
  • Reward systems – celebrating good behaviour with stickers, charts, badges
  • Playtime support
  • Behaviour Support Plans
  • Behaviour Referral
  • Role models in Y6

Strategies to support/develop Numeracy

  • First Quality whole class teaching and small group teaching with planned differentiation
  • Specifically trained Teaching Assistants for Numeracy
  • Individual and group programmes
  • Early Morning Maths groups
  • Resources
  • UCAN programme
  • ICT programmes
  • Maths for Six (confidence building in Maths) after school tuition
  • Referral to Specific Learning Difficulties Base and Educational Psychologist for individual children.

Provision to facilitate/support access to the curriculum

  • Pre-teaching concepts/vocabulary
  • Personal targets
  • Teachers’ plans address individual targets for SEN children
  • Termly pupil progress meetings
  • Curriculum letters to parents/carers
  • Guidance and homework on website updated weekly
  • Newsletters

Strategies to support independent learning

  • Independent learning ethos across whole school
  • Targets clearly communicated to children
  • Visual timetable
  • Homework
  • Success criteria
  • Learning Partners

Support/supervision at unstructured times of the day including personal care

  • Older children acting as mentors and monitors
  • Additional adult support for targeted children
  • Training for MSAs to recognise the needs of individual children
  • Care Plans
  • Sports Apprentice and TAs assisting vulnerable pupils
  • Lunch time Buddy System
  • Lunchtime club

Planning and Assessment

  • Stick Mark Boom Criteria used throughout KS1 and KS2
  • Individual Support Plans for children who need specific additional support
  • Personal Education Plans for Children Looked After
  • Pupil Progress Meetings
  • Target setting
  • Whole school support register
  • Class Concerns List
  • Assessment of individual children’s needs through tools e.g. BPVS (language skills), WRIT (cognitive skills) etc

Liaison/Communication with Professional/Parents, attendance at meetings and preparation of reports

  • Parent consultation evenings
  • Parents consulted and informed of additional intervention programmes
  • School reports and levels
  • Regular referral to and communication with Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapists, Specific Learning Difficulties Base, Child and Assessment Development Centre, Advisory Teachers for children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), Advisory Teachers for children with sensory impairments, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) nurse, CAMHs (Children, Adolescent, Mental Health Service) and the School Nurse.
  • Reports compiled by Inclusion Manager for external professionals
  • Teacher or SENCo can attend first meeting at CDAC (Child Development Assessment Centre) with parents and child when appropriate.
  • Professional links made to Woolgrove (Special Needs) school, Letchworth.
  • Inclusion Manager or Head will attend TAF (team around the family) meetings for individual children
  • SENCo to attend termly SEND briefings
  • SENCo to attend SEND cluster meetings
  • Meetings with Head, Inclusion Manager and Class Teachers by appointment

Access to Medical Interventions

  • Access to and support from the School Nurse.
  • Staff trained to use Epi-pens
  • Asthma boxes in each class and clear policy for use
  • With parents develop individual strategy for significant medical needs and allergies
  • Trained staff to give medication to children with complex conditions.
  • Staff with Paediatric First Aid training always on site.

For children with complex SEND, the school will liaise with parents and professionals which may lead to an application for an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) and/or additional funding to support a child, known as Exceptional Needs Funding.