Frequently Asked Questions
When a child first begins school the amount of information presented to parents can seem daunting, especially if their child has SEND. We have published a number of FAQs posted by parents relating to our school and SEND provision:
What is Special Educational Provision?
Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for others of the same age. This means provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality, personalised teaching. It may take the form of additional support from within a setting or require involvement of specialist staff or support services.
Our School has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), Mrs Smith, who is responsible for the management of provision and or support for identified pupils with SEND. She supports teachers and other staff to enable them to provide appropriate assessment and focussed provision for children in their class with SEND. All teachers are teachers of SEND pupils and as such provide quality first teaching which takes account of the particular individual needs of pupils with SEND within the classroom.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Talk to us – firstly contact your child’s class teacher. If you require more information contact our SENCO or Headteacher. We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to do the same with us.
How does the school know a child may have additional needs?
Children may be identified as having SEND through a variety of ways including the following:-
- Child is performing below age expected levels
- Concerns raised by Parent/Carer or after discussions with the individual child
- Concerns raised by teacher for example a behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
- Liaison with external agencies EG: physical
- Health diagnosis through paediatrician/doctor
- Information from a previous school
As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and age related milestones.
The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Reception through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods. Children who are not making expected progress are identified through our assessment process and meetings with the Class teacher, SENCO take place. 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.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The class teacher alongside the SENCO will discuss your child’s needs and what support would be appropriate with you, your views are very important to us. Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels. This will be through on-going discussions with parents.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
We regularly invest time and money in training our staff to improve Quality First Teaching (QFT) for all children, to develop enhanced skills and knowledge to deliver Supported Planning Interventions and furthermore to provide specific individual support for children who require an Education Health and Care Plan. Our SENCO holds the National Award for SENCO and is a fully qualified and experienced teacher and regularly receives training in specific areas. All our teachers hold qualified teacher status and all our staff members receive regular training to best support our children with SEND, for example Movement Difficulties Programmes, Attachment Training & early Trauma, a variety of Local Authority SEND sessions, ASD Support Services, Down Syndrome support and specific training from Speech and Language Therapists, etc.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access according to their specific needs. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be different levels of work set for the class, however on occasions this can be individually differentiated. The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
How are resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We ensure that all children who have Special Educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We will often allocate Teaching Assistants who are funded by the SEND budget to deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs. The budget is allocated on a needs basis.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
How do we know if the support or strategies used have had an impact?
In school we use Pupil Support Plans to set targets and review progress. We can use these targets to monitor children's progress academically against national/age expected levels and update or adjust the Pupil Support Plans. This may involve updating into smaller steps or using a different approach to ensure progress is made. Children may move off of the SEND register when they have made sufficient progress.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
The class teacher and SENCO and any other agencies involved, will meet with parents/carers on a regular basis, depending on the need of the child and the family, to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress and review targets. For further information the SENCo is available to discuss support in more detail. Parents are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCO/Head and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home. We believe that your child’s education is a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
Your child may have an EHCP Pupil Support Plan in place and therefore the targets set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets with the expectation that the child will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed. If a decision is made to create an EHCP Pupil Support Plan for your child, you will be asked to complete a My Story document. This document allows you and your child to share information only once, including family history, what works well, what’s not working so well, who is important to your child, what you and your child would like to achieve and what is needed to get there, any additional agencies involved with your child (for example Speech and Language) If your child has complex SEND they may have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) which means that a formal Annual Review will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written. This can also be done at a six monthly interim review if changes to circumstances occur or concerns arise.
What specialist services are available at your school to meet my child’s needs?
We work with an extensive range of services and professionals to ensure we meet the needs of each individual child. We encourage these professionals to visit school as often as possible to work with our staff and share their expertise. Wherever possible, staff implement programmes of work linked to these professionals e.g. speech and language programmes, exercises recommended by Occupational Therapists, etc.
How will your school prepare my child for the transition to Secondary school?
Children with SEND are given an extensive level of support before they leave for a new school. Their teacher and SENCO will discuss with secondary colleagues how many transition visits can be arranged over and above those offered to children without SEND. These additional visits to the new school will be carried out with the child and Secondary School Staff in the summer term. This ensures that bridges are built between schools, key information shared between staff and the child is given the opportunity to settle into a new routine with the support of a familiar adult.
How are parents involved with your school?
We are fully committed to encouraging parents to be involved with all aspects of school life. We welcome parents into school to discuss any concerns they may have and to keep informed about their child’s progress. We encourage parents who have time to come into school to help in classrooms with various activities. We also invite parents to school performances, sports events and assemblies. We have a variety of information sessions for parents every year about phonics/reading, maths, SATs, etc.
What should you do if you feel that the Local Offer is not being delivered or is not meeting your child’s needs?
First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns. You could also arrange to meet Mrs Smith our SENCO or Mrs Cox our Headteacher (click here). You may also wish to:
- Look at the SEND policy on our website (click here)
- Durham SEND Information Advice and Support Service (click here)
How is the local offer reviewed?
This local offer is reviewed annually to reflect the changing needs of the children who join and are developing in our school. Part of this review process will involve contributions from parents/carers.
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
Return to SEN Main page.