SEN (Special Educational Needs)
The person responsible for overseeing the provision for children with SEN is Mr Richard Bakker (Acting Head of School ).
The person co-ordinating the day to day provision of education for pupils with SEN is Mrs Victoria Stanley.
The coalition government has issued new guidance for the way in which provision and support is made for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities in England. New legislation (The Children and Families Act 2014) enacted on the 13th March came into force from the 1st September 2014. A new SEN Code of Practice also accompanies this legislation.
More details about the reforms and the SEN Code of Practice can be found on the Department for Education’s website.
One significant change arising from the reforms is that Statements of Special Educational Needs, for those children with the most complex needs, have now been replaced with a new Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. These plans are being supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan Pathway. You can view this new pathway on Cambridgeshire’s SEND Local Offer website.
The SEND Local Offer is a resource which is designed to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families. It describes the services and provision that are available both to those families in Cambridgeshire that have an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who do not have a plan, but still experience some form of special educational need. The SEND Local Offer includes information about public services across education, health and social care, as well as those provided by the private, voluntary and community sectors.
1. What kinds of special educational needs does the school provide for?
Communication and Interaction
These are children who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and have difficulty in communicating with others. Children with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.
Cognition and Learning
Children who learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication. Specific learning difficulties affect one specific aspect of learning or more for example Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
These difficulties may manifest themselves in many ways including being withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other disorders include Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or Attachment Disorder.
Sensory, and/or Physical difficulties
Some children may require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities provided. These difficulties can be age related. Some children with visual and hearing impairment or multi sensory impairment may need specialist support and equipment. Children with a physical disability require ongoing specialist support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
2. What sort of help might my child receive?
Targeted support for some
pupils identified as needing help to achieve good progress
Quality First Teaching
including; well differentiated work to match the needs of ALL learners; guided groups; dyslexic friendly classrooms; multi-sensory approaches; and accurate assessment and effective feedback.
Training in special educational needs is ongoing and as required.
You might run short-term interventions to plug a gap in the child’s knowledge.
Ongoing Assessments and Pupil Progress Meetings ensure high expectations for all, identify those in need of targeted support and ensure resources are used effectively.
Communication with parents / carers, including daily teacher accessibility; parent consultations twice a year and annual reports.
Involvement & inclusion of learners, through engaging learning contexts; individual learning programmes, explicit learning about learning; encouragement of pupil voice; peer and self-assessment and personal targets.
In-class support, given by teacher or teaching assistant during specific lessons through whole class teaching or Guided Groups.
Intervention groups, Interventions are put in place to meet the child’s needs in one of the following four areas:
Usually led by a Teaching Assistant in close consultation with the Class Teacher, with the aim of making accelerated progress over a set amount of time.
Some interventions may be carried out by the class teacher or SENCO where appropriate. The impact of these interventions is closely monitored through Pupil Progress meetings and the Intervention Audit.
Results of the interventions must be shared with the SENCo and recorded on Target Tracker.
A log of concern may be completed and/or discussion with SENCo, if progress has not been made.
We aim to remove barriers to learning and ensure children participate in mainstream education.
Children may now be considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN) and will go onto the school’s Assess-Plan-Do-Review One (APDRO) form. Targets on the APDRO must be reviewed and new ones set in line with the Assessment Calendar. All targets must be shared with parents and the child and reviewed with them at least termly. A pupil passport will also be completed to reflect the child’s individual strengths, interests and learning styles. The APDRO and the Pupil Passport forms must be stored centrally so the SENCo and others can access them at any time.
Support from outside agencies
We may ask an outside professional to support us in identifying a child’s needs and provide us with ideas/recommendations. Recommendations will be fed into the child’s APDRO form.
Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
If we need to involve multiple agencies, or ones not accessible through the above route, we may ask you to contribute to the CAF process and play an active role. There will be an initial piece of work (the assessment) followed by subsequent regular meetings (Team Around the Family/Child TAF/C). Teachers are expected to attend these meetings and if they cannot, they must provide a report to be fed back at the meeting.
Education, Health & Care Plans in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014 and Equality Act 2010 an EHC Plan is created alongside the pupil, parents and professionals. It details the specific strategies, support, resources and targets in place for the child and is reviewed at least annually.
3. How will both you and I know how my child is doing?
- Regular marking of work will indicate next step learning for the child. This can be seen during Parent Consultation times.
- Assertive mentoring assessments will clearly indicate the level at which your child is working and how she/he is doing.
- Parent consultations are planned twice a year though you are welcome to seek a time to discuss your child with the class teacher at any time.
- An annual written report will be completed in July.
- If your child has a statement of SEN or an EHC plan, review meetings will be held annually or more often if required.
- The SENCo will check that your child is making good progress by regular monitoring.
- Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by members of the Middle and Senior Leadership Teams to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high.
- Children on the SEN register will have personal targets recorded on an Assess, Plan, Do, Review One (APDRO) form which will be reviewed regularly and shared with you and your child.
- In Foundation Stage progress is broken into smaller steps which are assessed and monitored.
- At the end of Key Stage 2 all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the Government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally.
4. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Teachers are responsible for planning lessons that are accessible to and differentiated for every pupil. All children are entitled to participate in all areas of the curriculum and it is the teacher’s role to differentiate resources and activities to ensure all children can access the learning.
This means that teachers plan:
- Visual, auditory or kinaesthetic activities to allow for different learning styles.
- Differentiated activities
- Pre-tutoring of specific vocabulary/concepts before the lesson.
- Mind mapping of concepts
- Word banks
- Dyslexic friendly classrooms
- Specific resources and strategies to support your child individually and in groups.
- Adaptation of Planning and teaching, on a daily basis if needed, to meet your child’s learning needs.
- Teaching Assistants, under the direction of the class teacher, adapting planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.
- Any recommendations from other Professionals eg Specialist Teaching Team are planned for and reviewed regularly with you.
- Alternative activities for homework
- Provide additional apparatus or materials
- Adapt and adjust resources and materials to make them accessible for children with specific learning difficulties
5. How will school staff support my child?
- All teachers will deliver high quality teaching for all children.
- Teaching assistants will support your child within lessons or targeted interventions. Your child will be encouraged to use self help strategies to promote independent learning.
- Appropriate resources will be provided.
- The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school, so that similar strategies can be used.
- The Inclusion Worker/SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
- All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
- Personal progress targets will be reviewed with your involvement every term.
- Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual requirements.
- A home-school contact book may be used to support communication with you when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
6. What are the different types of support available for my child with SEND?
Class teacher input, through excellent targeted classroom teaching (High QualityTeaching).
For your child this would mean:
- That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
- That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
- That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
- That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO) are in place to support your child to learn.
- Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress
- Specialist equipment will be made available if necessary to support your child in class, eg writing slopes, pencil grips sensory equipment.
7. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including physical activities and school trips?
- After-school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEND.
- Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
- School trips are accessible for all children, including those with SEND. Parents are invited to discuss provision prior to the trip.
- Physical activities are planned to ensure that children with SEND are able to access all activities where appropriate.
8. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- The school has a Responding to Bullying Policy and Safeguarding Policy which are available on request from the school office or on the school website.
- The school is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all children so they can learn in a secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. We are a TELLING school and anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff. The school's behaviour policy is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. All staff will agree on a consistent approach. The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable.
- We recognise that, statistically, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. The school will support staff to decide appropriate strategies that will reduce anxiety for the individual child and raise self–esteem as part of an overall behaviour support plan agreed with parents/carers.
- As part of the PSHE curriculum staff will teach children personal safety skills commensurate with their ability and needs.
- Pupils who may have communication difficulties are vulnerable to abuse because they are unable to express themselves to others. Where necessary, the school will provide additional training to staff to use Makaton, or other communication systems.
- We promote high standards of practice, including ensuring that disabled children know how to raise concerns, and have access to a range of adults with whom they can communicate.
- If your child has any medical needs, please discuss these with their class teacher. They will then inform any members of staff who need to be told so they can care for your child in the most appropriate way. Please refer to the school office of any medication needs to be administrated to your child.
- If your child needs extra support because of a Special Need or Disability on a school trip, please speak to the class teacher who will do all they can to meet the needs of your child so they too can enjoy a school trip.
9. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
- Social Care
- Community Paediatrician
- SEND Specialist Services (a team of Educational Psychologists, Specialist teachers and practitioners)
- Speech and Language service
- Occupational Therapy service
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS, formally Parent Partnership Service)
- Visual Impairment Specialist Teacher
- Hearing Impairment Specialist Teacher
- School Nurse
- Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS)
- The Locality Team (family workers, Education Welfare Officers)
- School Inclusion Worker
- School Pastoral Worker
- Trained Counsellor
10. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had?
- All staff and support staff attend training courses as and when needed.
- The role of the SENCo is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.
- Support Staff have had training at different times to support and meet the needs of the children they are working with e.g. Autism training, behaviour management training, dyslexia friendly classroom training etc.
- Many of our Teaching Assistants have completed the Elklan course or taken part in some training which focuses on speech and language skills.
- Teaching Assistants are deployed across the school according to their skills, knowledge and experience, and the needs of the children.
- Some teaching assistants are trained for specific difficulties in Numeracy.
- Some staff and TAs are trained in Communication and language difficulties and how to overcome them.
11. How accessible is the school environment?
- The school is fully compliant with DDA requirements.
- The school is on a split-level with easy access, double doors, lift and ramps.
- The office front desk has a wheel-chair height section and is DDA compliant.
- There is a disabled toilet.
- We ensure where ever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
12. How are parents and children themselves involved in the school?
- Parents are informed at the earliest opportunity by the class teacher if their child is experiencing any difficulties.
- Children are involved in their own learning and personalised and group targets shared with them which are reviewed regularly.
13. How do you involve other agencies in meeting the needs of children with SEND and in supporting families?
- Other external agencies we can call upon to support the children include: Family support workers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Specialist teachers for children with visual and hearing impairments, Educational Psychologists, Specialist Teaching Team, Paediatricians, Child Development Centre, School nurse and Child Mental Health services
- A child will be referred to an external agency if it is felt that all interventions have been used without as much success as usual or parents or school feel that expert advice is needed. The SENCo will refer a child in conjunction with the child’s class teacher and parents.
- There are specific pathways to follow to access these agencies but the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is the most common route to take, particularly where there are likely to be long-term needs.
- Each agency has their own threshold for their involvement and their own allocation process.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
- A parent/carer’s first point of contact should be the child’s class teacher to share concerns
- Parents/carers can also arrange to meet the Special Needs Co-ordinator or the Head of School by making an appointment through the school office. 01480 375115
- The school liaises with and can refer parents/carers to SENDIASS who offer independent, free advice to parents of children with SEND.
15. 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?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If your child is moving to the Godmanchester Education Trust from another school:
- We will contact the SENCo from the other school and any previous school SENCo and ensure he/she passes on any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
- We will make sure that all records about your child are passed to us as soon as possible.
- If possible and necessary, we will invite your child over for extra settling sessions to help them become more familiar with staff and the school.
When moving classes in school:
- Information will be passed on to the new class teacher and a planning meeting can be arranged between the parents and teachers.
- Resrouces may be created to aid your child’s transition eg a book showing photographs of their new classroom.
- There are opportunities for children to familiarise themselves with their new class and meet their new teacher.
In Year 6:
- We will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO of their secondary school.
- Your child will take part in focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
- 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.
- You and your child may visit the secondary school to observe lessons or even take photographs of key workers and staff.
- You and your child may want to visit to observe lunchtime arrangements or have a lunch together.
16. How does Godmanchester Community Academy provide for children with Dyslexic tendencies?
Provision for children with Literacy difficulties
Godmanchester Community Academy follows the Cambridgeshire Dyslexia Guidance, 2016:
“Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.”
- Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed
- Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities
- It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points
- Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia
- A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexia difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention
It is unlikely to be overcome completely, but strategies and targeted teaching can significantly improve weaknesses in areas of difficulty, enabling students to become confident learners.
When children are having literacy difficulties, we will have a discussion with parents and explore in the first instance whether there is a potential sight or hearing issue. We would recommend a tracking test to be done by a recognised Opthalmic Practitioner in addition to an eye test as this could be a potential difficulty preventing rapid reading fluency.
In addition, some of the following assessments may be carried out to provide a full picture of strengths and weaknesses, though will not provide a formal diagnosis:
- Language Skills Checklist
- Phonological Awareness Assessment
- Non-word Decoding Test – Turner
- Reading Miscue Analysis
- One Minute Reading Test
- Reading Profile
- Writing assessment
- Spelling Test
- Diagnostic Dictations
- Spelling Miscue Analysis
- Sequencing/Organising/Memory Assessment
- NFER New Reading Analysis
- Assessment of reading with coloured overlays.
We will consider the child’s strengths and weaknesses in light of the assessments and will follow the SEND code of practice and Cambridgeshire guidelines in providing a graduated response to need.
- In the first instance, High Quality Teaching specifically addresses reasonable adjustments that need to be in place in order for pupils with Dyslexic tendencies or reading difficulties to achieve eg. Alternative ways of recording and presenting information, multi sensory teaching, addressing self-esteem and encouraging high aspirations. Development of fluency and accurate literacy skills through systematic phonics teaching, vocabulary instruction, guided and shared reading and writing, as well as diagnostic listening to pupils’ reading using miscue analysis.
- Class teachers differentiate whole class learning and provide regular small group guided reading and writing sessions. With appropriate targeted support, for instance from Teaching Assistants ( but being careful to avoid dependence), the aim is for all pupils to learn and make good progress.
- In early literacy there will be systematic and structured teaching of phonics such as Letters and Sounds.
- Teachers will be expected to provide ‘Dyslexic Friendly Classrooms’
- Additional small group work interventions will be planned for and reviewed regularly
- If pupils are identified as needing additional individual support they may need a more intensive programme delivered by a teacher or a trained and supervised teaching assistant (an intervention-see below)
- A consultation process will be initiated with the schools SENCo and Specialist Teaching Team as required by the New Reforms and a plan of action devised
The Cambridgeshire Dyslexia Guidance asks the big question: What is the nature of the dyslexic difficulties and what are the best interventions to support an individual’s particular needs relating to reading, spelling and some wider areas of literacy? This is the approach that we also take-to look at the identified strengths and weaknesses and address those through high-quality teaching and appropriate intervention where necessary.
Some of the interventions used to help literacy difficulties include the following:
- Direct phonics ( a structured group phonics programme )
- Fischer Family Trust – KS1
- Toe by Toe phonics programme. KS2
- Use of alternative methods for writing-eg Clicker 6
- Word Wasp – KS2
- Elklan approach to literacy
- Memory training
- Expanded Rehearsal Technique (ERT)
- SNIP spelling techniques
- Spell checkers
17. What other support is available?
Find out more about the local offer of support which is available for disabled children and young people and those who have SEN on the Cambridgeshire web site: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/Send