How does the school know if my child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have particular barriers to their learning or special needs?
If you have any concerns about your child, please speak to your child’s class teacher; you do not have to wait for a parent’s evening.
At Pulham Primary School, class teachers meet with the headteacher and Special Educational Need Co-Ordinator (SENCo) formally on a termly basis to review the needs and progress of the children.
On a weekly basis children of concern are discussed at a whole staff meeting. We also meet informally on a day to day basis, sharing concerns and discussing options for support, ensuring that additional needs are identified early.
Children are carefully assessed. Teacher observation, note keeping and gathering of evidence are all vital in fully assessing a pupil, so class based support and any other intervention is carefully adapted to the individual child. The following are also respectfully considered:
- Information from a transferring nursery or school
- Information given to us by parents, especially during home visits before starting school, which may include family history
- Individual learning styles, as observed by teaching staff and described by the student themselves
- School based assessments, such as standardised reading and maths tests, which feed into the school’s tracking system
- Other diagnostic assessments, for working memory, phonics processing for example
Any concerns raised by parents are shared with the SENCo and the head teacher, both are happy to meet with parents. Please contact them on 01379676313 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In addition to this Norfolk County Council publish their Local can Offer (LINK to just show as ‘Norfolk’s Local Offer’ https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer) online which has some useful information about SEND, the support you expect and the resources available.
How will Pulham Primary School support my child?
The level of support your child will receive will depend on their needs. It is sufficient in most cases for the parents of children receiving additional support to discuss with the class teacher the support provided. In addition, the SENCo offers optional meetings to all parents, at the same time as the usual learning conversation evenings. In addition special provision is delivered as follows –
High Quality Classroom Teaching
The most valuable tool we have for all our pupils is high quality class teaching. This is the best model of inclusion for children with SEND.
This excellent classroom teaching, often referred to as Quality First Teaching (QFT), is how every teacher adapts the curriculum to ensure access to learning for all children in the class. A document mapping this provision is updated every term. The information on this is the same as that shared with parents and students by the class teacher.
Targeted Small Group work (Interventions)
We have intervention groups for those children who need a boost, to fill gaps in learning or to ‘catch up’. These children are not necessarily on our SEND register but have been highlighted by teaching staff as in need of some short – term support.
These groups may be run in the classroom or in an alternative learning space. They may be run by a teacher, trained teaching assistant or the SENCo. We use an interesting range of published programmes as well as putting together our own bespoke packages for particular needs.
The need for this provision is reviewed at least twice termly.
Further specialist support
If a pupil is not making the progress we would expect despite QFT and short-term intervention we will talk with you about further assessment, more intervention time, greater involvement from the SENCo, the impact of being on the SEND register and possibly the involvement of other specialist professionals. At this point your child will be recognised as having ‘SEND support’.
These specialists help us all understand further your child’s particular needs and plan positive ways forward. We work with a range of other professionals to make sure that all children receive the support they need to do well at school, these include Speech and Language Therapists (SALTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Educational Psychologists (EPs).
At the time of more formal statutory assessment, SATs for example, those children who need readers or other specific support are identified and additional provision will be provided. If there are reasons for a child to be ‘dis-applied’ this can be discussed and actioned too.
Education Health care Plans
For those children whose learning needs are severe, complex and life-long we will endeavour to support via application for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). The application for this is something that we would work on together and once in place describes outcomes and actions that education and health professionals are required to provide. These plans are reviewed annually and can continue through to age 25.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
At different times in their school career, a pupil may have a special educational need. The SEN Code of Practice (2014) definition of SEN is having ‘a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child has a learning difficulty or disability if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than others of the same age or have a disability which hinders them from making use of educational facilities as provided for others of the same age.’
Parents/carers, class teachers, support staff, and the learners themselves will be the first to notice a difficulty with learning. At Pulham Primary School we ensure that identification and assessment of educational needs directly involves the learner, their parents/carer and their teacher. The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) will also support with the identification of barriers to learning using a variety of assessment methods and tools, for a range of learning barriers.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Needs, they will specify the support needed for your child. We will also arrange Annual Review meetings with you, to ensure that the plan is still appropriate for your child and to make any changes.
For all other children with an identified additional need, either on our SEND register or not, the type of support given to your child will be reviewed twice termly, by the class teacher, head teacher and SENCo and you will have the opportunity to discuss this at termly meetings with the class teacher and SENCo.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
During the school day the work will be differentiated so that your child will be able to access the curriculum provided for all children in the class.
Our pupils learn to use the challenge system effectively, where they can choose the level of difficulty of a task. The challenges are designed as a range that is inclusive of all learners.
A variety of resources will be available and your child will be involved in making decisions around adjustment. Both the teacher and teaching assistant will provide support in groups or individually within the classroom.
Individual strategies for SEND pupils are planned and reviewed termly, these will apply to activities all around school as well as in the classroom and throughout the school day, not just in class teaching times.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and will you help me support my child’s learning?
Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher, this is in the context of the whole school progress tracking from entry through to Year 6.
Effectiveness can be measured in many ways, for example, pupils are successful in meeting targets, pupils make progress academically against national/age related expected levels, the gap is narrowing and they are catching up with their expected age levels, verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and pupil consistently suggests improvement and reading age and spelling age scores may increase.
We follow the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model and try to ensure that parents/carers and children are involved in each step. Before any additional provision is selected to help a child, the SENCo, Class Teacher, and Teaching Assistant delivering the intervention and learner, agree what they expect to be different following this intervention. Parents/carers may also form part of these discussions. A baseline will be recorded, which can be used to monitor the impact of the provision.
Very often pupils move off the SEND register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress that indicates they have adapted to or overcome the barrier to learning.
Pupils who are not making expected progress are identified through termly pupil progress meetings, led by the Headteacher. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.
Parents are kept updated through the Autumn and Spring Term learning conversation evenings, the Summer term full report and interim reports at each half term. The termly changes in QFT and interventions for those on the SEND register, can be shared at parent’s evenings. For a few pupils with multi-level needs we write an Individual Education Plan (IEP), this is reviewed in the same way and is always shared by the SENCo with parents.
Parents and carers are given copies of any specialist assessment reports and can discuss them with the SENCo or class teacher. Parents and carers are invited to meet the Educational Psychologist on the day of an assessment.
We offer an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss pupil progress.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
We regularly discuss and identify staff training needs related to the needs of the children in school at the time.
The TAs involved in intervention are highly experienced and the SENCo has the National Award for SEN co-ordination. All use a number of structured programmes, to name a few,
- Talk Boost for early language development,
- Toe by Toe, a highly structured programme for children with specific learning disabilities eg. dyslexia,
- Speed Up, a kinaesthetic programme to develop fluent handwriting,
- Nessy, educational software to support self-checking development of phonic use,
- Numicon, Closing the Gap, a multisensory approach to mathematical learning
- Socially Speaking Interventions, an age specific approach to develop social interactions.
Outside services are employed too. Pulham Primary School as part of the Harleston Cluster, have commissioned for 2018/19, support from Judith Carter’s Educational Psychology organisation Willow Tree learning. For speech therapy services we use the NHS East Coast Community Health service (ECCH) in the first instance. We access the sensory occupational therapy service of SENSI and have access to services universally provided by Norfolk County Council, which are described on the Local Offer (see link on opening page)
What support will there be available for my child’s overall well-being?
We are an inclusive school and welcome diversity. All staff believe that high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.
We care about the social and emotional well-being of each child and take bullying very seriously. We teach anti-bullying as part of the PATHS progamme and our anti-bullying policy can be found on our school website.
A key stage 1 and key stage 2 nurture based intervention is available for groups of children who need some specific social and emotional support.
The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of each child in the class, therefore this is the parents’ initial point of contact. If further support is required, the class teacher liaises with the SENDCo for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health practitioners and Children’s Services, and/or the Child Support Team.
The school is fully accessible to pupils with SEND. The school is wheelchair accessible with a disabled toilet in the main building. The school produces an annual Disability Access Plan to ensure that this provision is regularly monitored and developed.
How are the school resources allocated and matched to the children’s special educational needs?
At Pulham we allocate funds carefully to the variety of support offered; 1:1 support, small group support, specialist support from outside agencies and time for the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to liaise with the pupils, parents, class teachers and teaching assistants. We also fund specialist equipment and resources where appropriate and our teaching assistants attend courses to support their work with pupils.
The school budget received from Norfolk LA includes money for supporting children with SEND through the SEN memorandum for the year 2018/19 this is £38,671. In addition the school has successfully bid for some pupil specific ‘top up’ funding, the total of this is
We ensure that the needs of all children who have special educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We have a team of teaching assistants who are funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs. The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given the most support, often involving an additional adult.
Where a SEN child is also registered as pupil premium they will benefit additionally from the funding allocated to that group.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
At Pulham School in 2018/19 we are offering a range of additional clubs and activities. These can be found on our website.
All learners at Pulham School have the same opportunity to access extra-curricular activities and other school activities including residential visits. All staff take seriously their obligation to make reasonable adjustment for all pupils, including those with SEN and those with a disability, to be able to access all activities if they wish, in line with the Equality Act of 2010.
School trips are accompanied by a high ratio of adults to children and more individualised support is arranged where necessary. A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity and sometimes a pupil specific risk assessment will be in place too, for this parents would be asked to advise and contribute.
What training have the support staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
When a child joins our school or a need is identified at Pulham, we endeavour to ensure we get the appropriate training, updates and support available to us, through the relevant services.
Our SENCo, holds the statutory qualification and informs staff of SEN developments from cluster and county training opportunities. Most recently we learnt about the lovely idea of understanding and appreciating neurodiversity which explores the idea that we all think and learn in different ways – a very inclusive philosophy.
Sound Discovery and Catch Up interventions require specialist training in order to be delivered effectively. Any staff leading these interventions have been appropriately trained either by experienced staff within the school or by an external provider.
Additionally we have a member of staff who is working on the full accredited nurture group training, all SEN TA staff are trained in the phonics programme Read Write Inc and the SENCo is trained in the use of a number of assessment tools.
This year, staff are involved in training for working with pupils with autism, the effects of bereavement and two SEN support staff are joining the SENCo at the SEN network meetings run by Willow Tree Learning.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, move through the school and transfer to a new one?
We recognise that ‘moving on’ can be difficult for any child and this seems particularly true for those with SEN and we are committed to working in partnership with children, families and other providers to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.
As a child gets ready to move into our Reception class initial contact is made with their previous setting and with the parents. Our reception teacher will visit the child in their pre-school setting along with the year 6 pupil who will be their buddy once at school. The teacher will also offer a home visit. Children are invited for a number of taster sessions in the Summer term and parents are invited to attend a meeting with the reception teacher. Parents are invited to contact the school at any other time to ask questions and discuss concerns. Any relevant information is shared with other members of staff and the SENCo when appropriate.
As a child gets ready to move to a new school we will contact the SENCo there and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
As a child moves into a new class within school, information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. Children will have opportunities to meet their class teacher and undertake a ‘transition day’ to work within their new class in the Summer Term prior to transition.
On high school transition the SENCo and Year 6 staff will meet with the High School SENCo to discuss the specific needs of your child and what provision needs to be made. Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school. Opportunities to familiarise pupils with their new school are organised as part of the transition process throughout the year by all high schools locally at the end of the Summer Term. Some of these transition days facilitate additional opportunities for vulnerable learners.
How are parents involved?
At Pulham Primary School, we respect and value your understanding of your child’s needs and wishes. We aim to involve you throughout decision making processes. We encourage you to meet with us as often as you feel necessary and we really notice the positive impact of parents working equally alongside us.
Parents are encouraged to express opinion through Parentview on the OFSTED website. Additionally parents can be part of the group to review the SEN report for the school annually along with the SENCo and governors. In the event that parents are not satisfied with the outcomes of discussions or their child’s progress, parents should speak to the headteacher.
Who can I contact for further information?
At Pulham Primary School your first point of contact is always the class teacher. You can also speak to or email the SENCo, Vicki Read via the school office in the first instance. Our school governor with responsibility for SEND is Donna Eaton.
Where can I find further information, advice and contacts on SEND?
There are many sources of advice for a range of children’s needs, the class teacher and SENDCo can help you find the most relevant for you. The following links are to a few general sources of support.
(Review date September 2019)