Martins Wood SEND Information For Parents
1. How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
The attainment and progress of all pupils is monitored frequently and consistently. Children falling behind age appropriate expectations or children making less than expected progress will usually be identified through Pupil Progress meetings at the start of each term. Those children will be highlighted to the SENCO, additional support will be put in place after an initial discussion with the child to highlight any areas of difficulty they may have identified. This would usually be high quality teaching targeted at their area of weakness and the child’s progress monitored closely over a period of time. Parents will usually be informed of this at Parent’s Evening or earlier if necessary. If progress continues to be less than expected it may be necessary to put in place additional support or targeted intervention and a thorough assessment of a child’s needs takes place. This draws on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the child, their previous progress and attainment, their development in comparison to their peers, the views and experiences of parents and the pupils’ own views. If there is an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities then the child will be recorded as having SEN. Parents will be informed and involved throughout this process.
Parents who are concerned that their child may have Special Educational Needs should either speak to their child’s class teacher in the first instance or contact the SENCO to arrange an initial meeting.
2. How will school staff support my child?
If a child has been identified as making less than expected progress the first response is high quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. If progress continues to be less than expected it may be necessary to put in place additional support or targeted intervention. This support is usually delivered by a SEN teacher or Learning Support Assistant and it is the SENCO who co-ordinates this support based on a detailed assessment of the child’s individual needs and the skills of each member of her team. Support usually takes place within the classroom as part of the lesson to maximise impact. On occasions some interventions may require the child being taken out of the classroom. Where this is necessary detailed planning takes place to minimise any disruption to learning. Interventions can range from a short daily session to longer less frequent sessions a week depending on the need of each child. The SENCO is responsible for co-ordinating the provision for children with SEN and the effective implementation of support however it is each teacher’s responsibility to provide for children with SEN in his/her class and to follow the school’s procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision to meet those needs. Where the interventions involve teaching away from the main class the teacher still retains responsibility for the child and works closely with the support staff to plan and assess the impact of the interventions and how they can be linked back to classroom teaching. All support for each child in the class is recorded on a Class Provision Map which gives an overview of all interventions in place for all pupils. These are produced termly but are updated frequently and used as a working document to ensure that they reflect the current support in place in class. This support is monitored closely by both the class teacher and SENCO and amended to ensure that support and intervention are matched to need, barriers to learning are identified and overcome and the impact of the interventions is maximised.
There is a school governor for SEN who is fully informed about SEN issues oversees the school’s work for children with SEN and ensures the quality of SEN provision is regularly monitored.
3. How will I know how my child is doing?
All teaching in school is of a very high quality. All teachers are highly adept at differentiating work to ensure that all children are encouraged to reach their full potential. High expectations of each child in their class coupled with skilled differentiation usually ensures that children are making at least the expected progress and frequently higher than expected progress. However some children still require additional support in spite of this. Where a child requires additional support parents are informed and additional support and targeted intervention is put in place. This support is monitored rigorously by both class teacher and SENCO and regularly modified to ensure maximum impact. Most interventions take place over 1 or 2 terms and progress is reported back to the parents half way through the intervention usually verbally by the class teacher/SENCO either at Parent’s Evening or a meeting is arranged depending on the timing of the interventions. Each child receiving additional support has an individual provision map which details the type, duration and frequency of support and who is responsible for delivering the support. There are also between 3 – 5 targets relating to each provision to ensure that progress is being made. These targets are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely (SMART). These targets are reviewed each term and progress is recorded. All targets are shared with children and parents. Parents are invited in to meet to with the class teacher initially to discuss the targets on the provision map and be given a copy. Parents are invited to review provision maps each term. Usually this coincides with Parents Evening however, if not, an alternative meeting can be arranged. Detailed records of intervention and progress are kept by support staff and class teachers which contribute to the review of the targets on the provision maps. On some occasions it is necessary to have daily contact with parents. On these occasions it has been found to be effective to have a home/school book in place where things that have happened at home or at school can be shared with both staff and parents. All attainment and progress data is tracked closely and discussed during Pupil progress meetings which are usually attended by the Class Teacher, Assistant Head and SENCo where possible. The effectiveness of the school’s provision for children with SEND is evaluated, reported to governors and monitored by OFSTED.
4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
A detailed assessment which draws on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the child, their previous progress and attainment, their development in comparison to their peers, the views and experiences of parents and the pupils’ own views takes place. This ensures that any barriers to learning are identified and effective provision suited to a child’s specific needs is implemented. A cyclical approach of assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing is integral to the process of meeting the needs of children with SEN. There is a wealth of support available for different levels of needs which is included on the website as a separate document. Each intervention is carefully weighed up to ensure it is the most effective for each individual child with their own particular needs before it is implemented. Children are consulted through the whole process and are key to decisions about what support is needed and will yield most impact.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
All staff are trained in Protective Behaviour and there is a Family Support Worker as part of the SEN team who works together with parents and children to meet their social and emotional needs. A counsellor is employed by the school to provide support for children’s social, emotional and mental health needs. There are two Behaviour Support Assistants are highly skilled in implementing personalised effective behaviour strategies and working closely together with parents and children to ensure strategies are consistent with those at home. Children have regular opportunities to speak to either the Family Support Worker or Behaviour Support Assistants when they need advice, guidance or support. Currently the school runs a Bright Stars programme throughout the school which promotes self -confidence, self - esteem and independence. There is also a Connections weekly lunch time club for KS1 and for KS2 for children who need support in developing their friendship circle. The school has a consistent behaviour policy for each Key Stage of the school which is published on the school website. In KS1 rewards take the form of ‘terrific cards’ and sanctions are reflected by moving a peg from the sun to the cloud. In KS2 rewards take the form of green cards and a red and yellow card system is in place for sanctions.. Accumulation of red cards can lead to internal exclusions or external exclusions. The duration of these accumulates with each occasion. There is also a code of conduct on display in each classroom which is regularly reviewed. The reviews of both the behaviour policy and code of conduct involve the school council to ensure that pupils are able to have their say as well as parents. Attendance is regularly monitored by the Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO). Good attendance is rewarded with certificates and stationary. Children also receive gold book entries and receive certificates ranging from bronze to platinum dependent on their number of entries in the Gold Book. These certificates are given out in whole school assemblies. The school adheres to the statutory guidance ’Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ and all medication is kept in a secure place and is only administered by designated people. Individual health care plans are written for children with medical conditions and shared with all staff that work with the child including lunch time staff.
There is a designated school nurse who works together with parents and staff to meet a child’s health needs. In some instances this will require referring a child to access a specialist support service such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Child Development Centre (CDC) or Communication Disorder Assessment Clinic (CDAC) or Challenging Behaviour Team. There is an assigned Speech and Language Therapist that works very closely with the School. The school refers children after an initial discussion with parents and Speech Therapist and then a Speech and Language assessment takes place. If a child requires support a specially trained Speech and Language Learning Support Assistant implements a speech and language programme set by the Speech Therapist. The child is assessed every few months and amendments to the programme are made.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
There are 2 part time teachers and 10 Learning Support Assistants in the SEN team led by the SENCO. All SEN staff have undergone training recently in different areas of SEN to develop specialisms to ensure that there is a wide range of skills and expertise in all areas of SEN. Specialisms include behaviour support, Autism, Specific Learning Difficulties e.g dyslexia, dyscalculia, literacy and maths interventions, reading intervention, gross and fine motor skills difficulties e.g dyspraxia, Speech and Language and signing and supporting parents. The school has a link Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Counsellor and school nurse to whom they can directly refer to. The school nurse is then able to refer to different health services such as CAMHS, CDC and CDAC, The school can also access outreach services such as behaviour Support (The Leys PRB/ ESC), moderate learning difficulties (Woolgrove) specific learning difficulties (The Leys SPLD Base) Communication Disorders Team, Occupational Therapist.
7. What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having?
All staff are trained in Protective Behaviour, First Aid and Safeguarding. There is a specially trained paediatric first aider for each phase of the school and three DSP’s for safeguarding concerns. Early Years staff have been trained in Wellcomm so that an accurate assessment of a child’s language needs is done on entry to school and appropriate provision implemented. Other staff have been trained in ELKLAN (Speech and Language Support), Autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, literacy and maths interventions, reading intervention, behaviour strategies, gross and fine motor skills difficulties e.g dyspraxia, signing, communication in print and working with parents. All support staff are trained to a minimum of NVQ level 3. The SENCO has completed the National SENCO Award, Advanced SENCO Award and Advanced SENCO as Leader qualification. Training is refreshed regularly and all opportunities for additional training are sought to ensure that staff have an up to date working knowledge of SEND issues and current legislation.
8. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Parent’s Evenings are held each term to keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress and an annual report is written for each child in the Summer Term. Parents are involved in reviews of the Provision maps and their views are sought at each opportunity to help support their child’s learning. Parents receive a copy of their child’s classroom targets/ targets on their child’s provision map. Children are set homework regularly each week which will involve reading and at least one piece of literacy, maths or topic work so that parents are able to see what their children are able to achieve independently and support them with their learning if necessary. Information leaflets are handed out each term so that parents are informed which topics will be covered and a meeting is held for all parents at the beginning of each Key Stage. Parents are invited in to meet their child’s new teacher informally after school and are invited to a class/year group assembly each term. The school has worked closely with the Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning (HAFLS) initiative on a range of projects such as story shields and HAFLS have also provided training for parents on supporting children at home. In the Foundation Stage informative evenings for parents are held on all aspects of their child’s education and continue throughout the key stages with phonics training for parents in KS1 and e safety training for parents in KS2.The Family Support Worker has access to a wide range of support from local agencies and services and is able to signpost parents effectively. Support has ranged from behaviour support, helping your child to sleep or ADD-VANCE a 1:1 support service to help manage difficult behaviour at home. Coffee mornings have also been held and ‘surgeries’ with outside agencies such as the school nurse, parents support worker present to answer any questions parents might have.
9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
There are formal occasions such as Parent’s Evening where parents are involved in discussions about their child’s education however we have an ‘open door’ policy where parents are usually able to speak to a teacher before or after school to pass on a message/ piece of information or a meeting is planned where a longer discussion may be needed. Working parents are able to telephone to arrange for a teacher to call them back or email via the school office if there is a particular issue they wish to discuss. Parents are represented on the school governing body and there is also a very active PTA in school. Parents of children with SEN are regularly involved in discussions through reviews.
Children with SEND are represented on the school council and Green Team are able to have their voice heard on all issues relating to school .Pupils with SEND have pen portraits which provide them with an opportunity to explain what their barriers to learning are, how best to support them and any other additional information they would like to share.
10. 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 and when appropriate 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.
11. How accessible is the school environment?
The school is fully compliant with the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments are made for all children with SEND where necessary. The school received the Equalities Award in 2013. The building is fully wheelchair accessible and has disabled changing and toilet facilities. Specialised equipment is provided where appropriate for children with SEN 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 has several staff familiar with different languages to aid communication with parents whose first language is not English, or can access an interpreter and arrange for school documents to be translated if necessary.
12. Who can I contact for further information?
The school has a non - class based full time SENCO, Mrs Sandra Hawkins, who can be contacted by telephone or email and is available to meet with parents if you have any concerns about your child. You may feel it is more appropriate to speak to your child’s teacher or Assistant Head in the first instance who will then, with your consent, pass information on to the SENCO who will then contact you to discuss concerns further or arrange a meeting if necessary.
If you wish to make a complaint the school has a complaints procedure which is available from the school office.
13. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
There is a detailed transition programme in place for children new to the school, moving to new classes or leaving the school. The level of support offered is dependent on each child’s needs, age and development. In the Foundation Stage there are visits to the child’s current setting, meetings with their current teacher and visits to the school for a morning, a lunch time etc. In KS1 and KS2 the children have a move up day in July where they meet their new teacher and see their new classroom. The Year 6 children also have a move up day and some secondary schools offer additional support for transition such as additional visits, summer school and activities planned to minimise any anxieties the child may have. Other support during transition offered is a pupil passport to take to the next teacher, photographs of the staff and classroom to take home with them and additional opportunities to visit their new classroom. There is also 1:1 support available for individual children from the Behaviour Support assistant or Family Support Worker. There have been additional Bright Starts sessions delivered focussing on preparing for transition and transition information evenings for parents at the start of each Key Stage.
14. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The school has an amount identified within its overall budget called the notional SEN budget which is used for resources to support the progress of children with SEN. This is used to employ Learning Support Assistants to meet the needs of children with SEN, buy specialist equipment, books or stationary or provide specialised training for staff. 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). Resources and support available for children with SEN can be found on the school website.
15. 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 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 between 1 and 2 terms with the emphasis being on early identification and targeted effective support to minimise any long term need for additional support.
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 and disability?
The authority’s local offer of services and provision for children and young people with SEN can be accessed at www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer