Special Educational Needs – SEN

All about SEN:

The Priory Primary Academy Trust is a small, mainstream, village school in a rural setting. It is one form entry and we have approximately 178 pupils on roll.

The Priory Primary Academy Trust is committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which people feel free to disclose their disability or Special Need and to participate fully in Academy life. The achievement of pupils with Special Needs and/or disabilities will be monitored and we will use this data to raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching. We will make reasonable adjustments to make sure that the School environment is as accessible as possible. At the Academy, we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.

Mrs Selwood School SENCO

How does the school know if pupils need extra help?

Early identification is vital. The class teacher informs the parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active support. The triggers for this could be the teacher’s or others’ concern, underpinned by evidence, about a child who, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities:

  • makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness
  • shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas
  • presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not improved by the School’s behaviour management techniques
  • has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment
  • has communication and/or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

What should I do if I think my child has SEN?

If parents have concerns about the progress their child is making and wish to discuss this, they can arrange to meet with the Class Teacher, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), and/or the Head Teacher.

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

The class teacher and the SENCO assess and monitor the children’s progress in line with existing Academy practices.

The SENCO works closely with parents and teachers to plan an appropriate programme of intervention and support. Home–school partnership is vital and we enlist parents/carers to support the children’s targets at home.

The assessment of children reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the Academy. The class teacher and the SENCO can break down the assessment into smaller steps in order to aid progress and provide detailed and accurate indicators.

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

All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable children to:

  • understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities
  • experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that brings feelings of success and achievement

Teachers use a range of strategies to meet children’s special educational needs. Lessons have clear learning objectives; we differentiate work appropriately, and we use assessment to inform the next stage of learning.

Individual Education Plans (IEPs), which employ a small-steps approach, feature significantly in the provision that we make in the School. By breaking down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets, we ensure that children experience success. All children on the special needs register have an IEP.

We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. Wherever possible, we do not withdraw children from the classroom situation. There are times though when, to maximise learning, we ask the children to work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom.

Please also refer to our Disability Policy.

How are decisions made about the type and how much support my child will receive?

Pupil progress is monitored closely through class work and termly assessments. When pupils are identified as requiring additional support, we involve the parents, Class Teacher, SENCo, and the Head Teacher in discussions about how to support the child in the best way. It is taken into consideration what the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses are, their preferred learning style, and where the greatest current need is. An IEP is written identifying the key targets for the pupil. Using this information an intervention plan is decided upon. This usually takes the form of short (15-20min), targeted, daily activities in either group or one-to-one situations.

Activities that are available for pupils with special educational needs in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum. How will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom including school trips?

When planning school trips, outside learning, and enrichment activities, the needs of all children are considered. Children are included in activities outside the classroom, by adapting the planning of the session and including additional resources/support where required. Where possible, parent support for trips is a great assistance. All breaks and lunchtimes are supervised. Depending on the level of need, additional adults are available to provide support at these times. At the end of the day, children are all escorted onto the playground by an adult, who remains there until the children are collected. After 3:25pm children are asked to wait in the office reception with an adult.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What support is there for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEN?

All pupils attend a weekly, Stars of Wonder assembly. At this time pupil achievement and progress is celebrated. Activities outside of school are also recognised. In Year 5 all pupils are asked to be a ‘Buddy’ to the new Year R children, allowing them to develop an understanding of caring for others. In Year 6 all children are given prefect duties. These rotate in groups so all children get the chance to develop responsibilities. In addition Year 6 buddies maintain their contact with their younger partners in a weekly shared reading experience.

Pupils are supported in their personal and medical routines, whilst the long-term goals are to increase their independence.

The school has a great track record in avoiding exclusions. With parent involvement, helping to understand the underlying causes of ‘behaviour’, we can support our pupils to develop strategies that help them live, work and play alongside others.

Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children with SEN. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

Staff training has included, whole school training on stage 1 Makaton (sign language), Safeguarding, refresher First Aid training, and Precision Teaching (an intervention method to support learning). Three members of staff have attended Autism awareness and support training. One member of staff has attended Dyslexia awareness training. One member of staff is currently undergoing the HCC ELSA (Emotional Learning Support Assistant) training. The SENCo has completed the National Accreditation for SENCos Award.

We work in close partnership with Outside Agencies for specialist support. Some of the services we work with are; NHS Speech and Language Therapy, NHS Physiotherapy, NHS Occupational Health, Outreach Support for Autism, and Hampshire Educational Psychology. These links provide us with expert advice in finding strategies and resources that support children with a wide range of SEN.

How are children able to contribute their views in relation to their provision?

We aim to involve pupils in setting their own targets for the IEPs. This is facilitated by having discussions with the children about what they are good at, what they enjoy, how they learn best, and what areas they might need more support in. The targets are written with the relevant adults, who maybe; class teacher, teaching assistant, parent, and SENCo. These adults are present to support the child understand and work out how to achieve their targets.

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

The school invites all parents to discuss their child’s progress twice each academic year at Parents’ Evening. A full report is written to all parents during the summer term. In addition to these meetings, parents of children with SEN are invited to discuss the targets that form part of their child’s IEP once each term. Where support from Outside Agencies is received, parents are usually invited to these meetings to discuss progress, strategies to assist learning, and targets.

How accessible is the school environment?

The Priory Primary Academy has two accessible toilets (one for adults and one for children), and most areas of the School including classrooms are accessible to all people. There are allocated disabled parking spaces outside the school and in the staff car park. We are fortunate to have a flat site to the front of the school, which allows fairly easy access and freedom of movement. We will make reasonable adjustments to make sure that the School environment is as accessible as possible.

When providing newsletters and information for parents, we attempt to make this information available in an accessible format.

Events for parents such as open evenings, and meetings with teachers, should be held in the hall which is accessible to all by the main entrance.

How will the school support my child in starting school and moving on?

Before children join the school, the Year R class teacher visits children in their pre-school setting. In the summer term before the children start in September, there are settling in sessions at the school, in their new classroom, with the class teacher. For children with a known SEN or if parents are concerned their child has additional needs, we can arrange transition meetings to discuss the matter in more detail and organise provision for them. Annual transition meetings take place between class teachers and parents, to ensure continuity and good strategies are carried forward.

At the transition between Primary and Secondary school, we discuss all children’s needs with their new schools. It is usually the case that the children will have the opportunity to visit the Secondary school of choice several times, in the lead up to making their choice and again afterwards.

Who can parents contact for further information if they are worried or to resolve concerns?

Parents can discuss any worries or resolve concerns with the school. The class teacher, Mrs Selwood (SENCo), and Mr Walsh (Head Teacher) are available to meet with parents to talk about their child’s progress. The school address, email, and phone number are on the website.

Links to further information.

Hampshire County Council, along with all other local authorities, are required to publish information about services they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). This is known as the ‘Local Offer’. The Local Offer outlines all services and support available across health, education, social care and leisure services and will improve choice and transparency for families.

Hampshire Local Offer page – click here

Please see our SEN policy below:

SEND policy December 2022.docx