SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
Castle Primary School strives to meet the individual needs of all its learners. We work in partnership with children, parents and other agencies to provide the best possible outcomes for all our children, including those with a range of additional and complex needs. The school staff work hard to ensure that high expectations, early intervention and appropriate support for all our children is in place to ensure our children reach their full potential.
At Castle Primary School we are committed to:
- The Safeguarding and wellbeing of all children and adults
- Unlocking every child’s potential to learn and succeed
- Early intervention
All provision for SEND is coordinated by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and is overseen and managed by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The SLT monitors, reviews and evaluates all SEND provision on a regular basis throughout the year and reports to the Governing Body on how individual needs are being met and how SEND funding from the local authority is being spent.
At Castle Primary School, SEND funding is spent on the following:
- Employing a SENCO - Mrs Sarah Marriott - for four full days a week
- Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers and teaching assistants
- Access to Specialist on and off site provisions- if necessary, dependent on children’s needs.
Below are Castle Primary School’s current responses to frequently asked questions from parents or carers.
At Castle Primary School we are constantly looking at how we can improve the provision for our pupils. To this end the information in these responses will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. The voices of children and young people and their families will be valued and honoured and there will be opportunities for them to influence change.
How does Castle Primary School know if children need extra help?
- Concerns are raised by parents, teachers, teaching assistants or the pupil’s previous school
- There is lack of progress
- Poor test scores
- There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour
- A pupil asks for help
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you have concerns, please contact your child's classteacher in the first instance. They will then discuss your concerns with Mrs Marriott and contact you to let you know the next steps.
How do I know how Castle Primary School supports my child?
- Records for each child will be held on a computer system which allows teachers to set and review targets. These will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the classteacher or teaching assistant in class or use of particular resources (eg ear defenders, handwriting grips)
- If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education or social skills, such as spelling, handwriting, maths and English skills, or emotional needs, the pupil may be placed in a small focus group. This will be run by a teacher or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need but will generally be for a term. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. These interventions will be recorded on a provision map (for each class). This is a record of the interventions, timings of the intervention. The impact of the intervention is recorded on a termly basis by using teacher assessments. If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the classteacher or SENCO
- Progress Review Meetings are held on a termly basis. This is a meeting where the classteacher meets with the Headteacher or a member of the SLT to discuss the progress of the pupils in their class. This shared discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support to be planned
- Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency, for example a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist or a Community Paediatrician. Referral forms are then completed in conjunction with parents and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a programme of support is usually provided to the school and parents
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
- Teachers plan from children’s levels differentiating work to closely match children’s ability and learning needs. When a pupil has been identified as having special needs their work will be further differentiated by the classteacher to remove barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum more easily
- A teaching assistant may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small focus group to target more specific needs
- If appropriate, specialist equipment may be provided for the pupil, eg writing slopes, pen/pencil grips or easy to use scissors
- A range of interventions (support programmes) will be used in small groups or one to one situations to accelerate progress
- Where needed, there will be extra pastoral support arrangements to aid the social, emotional and behavioural development of children with SEND such as Nurture Groups, which include measures to prevent bullying
- Castle Primary School’s Pastoral Manager, Mrs Ruth Bright, supports children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health alongside the SENCO.
- Castle Primary School encourages independence for all children, including children with SEN – a specific one to one teaching assistant is not allocated to children with an EHCP or specific funding, unless in exceptional circumstances.
How will I know how my child is doing?
- You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parent’s Evenings - these take place three times a year
- Classteachers are regularly at the classroom door or on the playground, if you wish to raise a concern. Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the classteacher or the SENCO by visiting or contacting the Office
How will I be helped to support my child's learning?
- The classteacher may suggest additional ways of supporting your child’s learning through a note in the reading contact book, at parent’s evening or by arranging a meeting with you
- The SENCO may meet with you to discuss how to support your child. This would normally follow on from when a child has been assessed or discussed at a Review Meeting.
- Our Pastoral Manager, Mrs Ruth Bright, may meet with you to discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s behaviour/emotional needs
- Outside agencies, such as the Educational Psychologist, may suggest advice or programmes of study that can be used at home
- Coffee afternoons for parents of children with SEND are arranged throughout the year, sometimes with invited guests, to encourage an open and relaxed forum where advice and ideas can be exchanged
What support will there by for my child's overall wellbeing
- The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and behavioural difficulties, co-ordinated by the Early Intervention team which is led by the SENCO and Pastoral Lead.
- Members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants, SENCo, and Pastoral Lead readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns
- Pupils who find lunchtimes a struggle are invited to spend lunchtime in a quieter environment with two experienced teaching assistants.
- The School offers Thrive support and currently has three members of staff who are fully trained
- Different therapies such as Sandtray Therapy, Theraplay and Sunshine Circles are offered to children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs
Pupils with Medical Needs
- If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Individual Medical Healthcare Plan is compiled by Mrs Ali Richards (School Business Manager) in consultation with parents. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil. The School Nurse may also be available to take part in developing a plan. The SENCO may also be involved if medical needs impact upon the child’s learning
- When appropriate, prescribed medication can be voluntarily administered or supervised by school staff in line with Drug Administration policy. Please contact the Office for more details
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the School?
At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. The agencies used by the School include:
- Educational Psychologist
- ASD Outreach
- SEND Parent Partnership
- CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- AAP (Attendance Advisory Practitioner previously known as Educational Welfare Officers)
- Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team (DAHIT)
- Visual Impairment Team (VIT)
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- School Nurse
- Area SEN Practitioner
- What training do the staff supporting children and young people with SEND receive?
Recent targetted training has included:
- Autism Awareness Training
- Speech and Language Therapy Interventions
- Precision Teaching training
- Lego Therapy
- Sandtray Therapy
- For a child with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) - formerly known as a Statement of Special Educational Needs - the Local Authority provides the support from an Educational Psychologist (EP) and aims to send the same EP each time to ensure continuity
- When Educational Psychology support is initially required, the school refers to an independent specialist, currently Quality Education Support and Training (QUEST). The EP would normally only work directly with pupils who have needs that are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them. In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed. The EP will offer advice to the school and parents on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.
Speech & Language Therapy
The school currently buys in Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) support from Virgin Care's Social Language Inclusion Programme (SLIP). Our allocated SaLT, Callum Smeaton, is in school with us on a weekly basis, carrying out assessments and updating our allocated Speech and Language TA, Mrs Jean Lapham, with advice and support on regular Speech and Language work. This provides school with an excellent opportunity to support speech and language development for everyone. Mrs Lapham then works with children both in small groups and on a one to one basis. A referral to speech therapy will be made with additional consent from parents so that accurate records of progress can be kept. A member of the school Teaching Assistant Team is Talk Boost trained and is able to offer this intervention to Early Years and KS1 children with speech and language needs.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
The SEND budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependant on an individual’s needs. The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year. Further support or resources may be allocated to your child following assessments by school staff or outside agencies (e.g. children’s therapy teams). Funding may be used to buy in specialist support.
How will I be involved in discussions about planning for my child's education?
The Headteacher, Mr Chris Cannings, in consultation with the SENCO, the Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Nicky Wake and Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Alison Blackman, as well as the classteacher will agree the level of support needed. This may take the form of additional individual or small group support in class or in other focus groups tailored to the pupils needs. During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being, then other interventions will be arranged
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Activities and school trips are available to all. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. If a health and safety risk assessment suggests that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent may volunteer to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual school staff.
How are the School's resources allocated and matched to the children's special educational needs?
- Regular reviews with the class teacher and SENCo where necessary. Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s targets with possible suggestions that could be incorporated.
- Discussions with the class teacher
- Parent evenings during the Autumn and Spring Term
- Discussions with our SENCO and/or other professionals.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact one of the following:
- Your child’s classteacher
- The SENCO, Mrs Marriott
- The Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Blackman
- The Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Wake
- The Headteacher, Mr Cannings
Appointments can be made with any of these people through the Office either by popping in to the Office, phoning us on 0117 986 4489 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This policy is currently being reviewed and will be available shortly.