Special Educational Needs

Ashlands C of E First School is a fully inclusive school and we are proud of the way that our school manages the needs of all children, including those with learning difficulties or those who require special educational provision. On this page you will be able to read our school offer for Special Educational Needs below. You will also be able to access other useful information such as an information leaflet for parents which can be downloaded by clicking on the word icon. Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is Miss Nicola Ball (Executive Head).  If you have any queries regarding Special Educational Needs please contact the office on 01460 73437.

Our School Offer – A Parent and Carer guide to SEN at Ashlands C of E First School

Our School caters for children aged between 4 and 9 and our dedicated team of staff provide our children with an exciting education in a safe, happy, caring and stimulating environment in which each child feels secure and valued as an individual. We endeavour to work closely with our parents and community to create a learning partnership. Children learn at different speeds and in a variety of ways. There is likely to be a wide range of ability within your child’s class at school. The SEN/D Code of Practice 2014 states: ‘children have SEN if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty if they have a significantly greater difficulties in learning than the majority of children their age or have a disability and special educational provision as something additional to or different from that offered to other pupils of a similar age.’

What is a learning difficulty?

Children who have a learning difficulty may find it harder to learn than the majority of children of the same age, or they may have a disability which prevents or hinders them from taking full advantage of the education provided for other children. Children do not necessarily have a learning difficulty simply because their first language is not English, although in some cases children who speak English as an additional language may also have a learning difficulty.

What might my child’s learning difficulty cause problems with?

Reading, Writing or Number Work Expressing themselves or understanding information Making friends or relating to others Social and Emotional Development or Mental health Personal organisation Tasks or activities which depend on sensory or physical skills The SEN Code of Practice (Revised 2014) is the guidance that schools must follow. It states that there are four main areas of special need. These are:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Emotional and Social Development and Mental health and wellbeing
  • Communication and interaction
  • Sensory and/or Physical needs

How do we identify SEN?

When children have identified SEN before they start here, we work closely with the people who already know them and use the information already available to identify what their SEN will be in our school setting and how we can manage it. If you tell us you think your child has a SEN we will discuss this with you and look into the matter. We will share what we discover with you agree on what we will do next and what can be done to help your child both at home and at school. If our staff think that your child has a SEN this may be because they are not making the same progress as other children. We will observe them, assess their understanding of what we are doing in school and use tests to find out what is causing the difficulty. Should we require further help we will contact the SEN Support Services Team from the Local Authority, with your permission. We will always discuss what we have noticed with you and keep you informed of our teacher assessments.

How do we engage with children, parents and carers?

We are a child and family centred school, so you will be involved in all decision making about your child’s support. When we assess SEN we discuss it with you to determine whether your child’s understanding and behaviour are the same at school and home; we take this into account and work with you so that we are all helping your child in the same way to make progress. We write and review SEN support plans with appropriate goals termly with children and parent carers for children who are identified with SEN. Sometimes we may use homework to allow children to practise activities and make progress towards their support plans.

How do we adapt the curriculum so that we meet SEN?

sen1 All of our staff are trained to make lessons easier or more challenging so that every child is able to learn at their own pace and in their own way. We will make or provide any additional resource required. We use additional materials and interventions so that children with SEN can access learning tailored to their requirements. Interventions we use include; Somerset Individualised Literacy Intervention; Baseline Communication; Talking Partners; Language Steps; Silver SEAL; Talk About and Somerset Total Communication.

How do we modify teaching approaches?

All of our staff are trained so that we are able to adapt to a range of SEN, including; specific learning difficulties; dyslexia; autistic spectrum disorder; speech, language and communication needs and emotional and social difficulties. When teaching we use different teaching approaches to cater for children’s preferred learning methods, including visual, aural and kinaesthetic teaching styles. All staff have received training in identifying and meeting the needs of learners with speech language and communication needs. Teachers are trained according to the needs of the children in their care. Additional training includes delivering speech and language programmes; co-ordination groups and teaching children with a hearing loss.

How do we assess pupil progress towards the outcomes we have targeted for children with SEN? How do we review this progress so that the child stays on track to make at least good progress?

We regularly assess the performance of all of the children in the school. Some children with SEN may need to be assessed using ‘P Levels’ or ‘Progress Scales’ to assess progress in smaller steps and at a slower pace than the usual national curriculum if required. We regularly monitor and moderate assessment data to ensure that progress is good in Reading, Writing and Maths. Ongoing assessments and evaluations are used to check understanding and progress in each lesson. Our Senior Leadership Team monitors the performance of all children at regular progress meetings and reviews, to ensure that good progress is evident, including for those with SEN. For all children with SEN the SENCo plans targets for progress with parents and staff termly as part of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. For children with more complex SEN progress is reviewed every year at the SEN Annual Review. Children with less complex SEN have their progress discussed at the usual termly point and yearly with the SENCo at a SEN Review. Children with an EHC Plan will have reviews each term as well as the Annual Review, which is reported to the Local Authority.

sen2What equipment and resources do we use to give extra support?

We use a variety of resources to support learners with SEN. This may include theraputty, writing slopes, ICT programs and equipment, iPads, word banks, displays, visual timetables and numicon. We deliver speech and language programmes provided by the Speech Therapy Service. A therapist or the SENCo will demonstrate to school staff how to use the programme and this will then be delivered and assessed after a given period of time. Any specific physical requirements will be assessed individually and equipment will be provided to meet these needs with the help of Local Authority SEN services.

What extra support do we bring in to help us meet SEN and how do we work collaboratively?

We benefit from support from specialist teachers and support staff for accessing the curriculum on SEN related needs (speech, language and communication, hearing impairment, visual impairment, behaviour related needs and severe learning difficulties). We get support from other Local Authority services, SEN Specialists, Educational Psychologists, Speech Therapy and CAMHS, as well as working with other schools in the Crewkerne and Ilminster Partnership. Occupational Therapists work with children who need assessment and support for developing motor co-ordination, handwriting, attention and focus or other specific needs. All targets set at Assess, Plan, Do, Review meetings are reviewed with the child, parents and involved services. We agree action points to ensure that teaching becomes more effective and that learning is well supported. New targets will be discussed and a date will be set to review how well the child is doing, if the targets are effective and what next steps need to be taken. This information is recorded to ensure accountability.

What extra curricular activities are there available for children with SEN?

We offer a wide range of after school activities and these are open to all children. Should any child need support to access these activities, school will make the necessary arrangements. Children’s learning is supported through regular educational visits as well as people coming into school to support different topic areas. These activities are fully inclusive and no child will be excluded from any trip, including trips of a residential or adventurous nature on the grounds of their SEN. We provide any support required for their full inclusion.

How do we support children with their transition into school and when they leave us?

Children entering our school and their parent carers will have opportunities to visit the school in the summer term prior to them starting in the September. Information will be gathered regarding any SEN and any necessary support put in place on their entry into school. Additional visits to school are encouraged for those children who may find the transition into school challenging. Meetings will be arranged for those children who are already known to Early Years SEN services to make school aware of their needs and ensure that appropriate support is in place. When children leave our school meetings are arranged to share information. SENCos from each school will meet to discuss those children with SEN, identifying their needs and difficulties and also strategies to support the child in their new school. Staff from Maiden Beech Academy, our local middle school often attend SEN Review meetings in the summer term of Year 4 so that parent carers and staff can work together to plan for the future. If your child will attend a different school then we will strive to involve them. In year transition is supported with additional visits to the new class. For some children booklets are made with pictures of staff and the classroom to help prepare the child for the new academic year and the changes they will face.

How does the SEN funding work?

Schools receive funding for all children including those with SEN and these needs are met from this, (including equipment). The local authority may contribute more funding if the cost of meeting an individual child’s needs is more than £6000 per year. If the assessment of a child’s needs identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated. Parents may have a say in how this is used. You will be informed if this means you are eligible for a personal budget. This must be used to fund the agreed plan.

Where can children ask for help or support?

Ashlands School aims to ensure that there is a culture where children can feel confident to ask for help from any member of staff. Most children feel that they can approach a member of staff to ask for help. Our SENCo, Mrs Clair Findlay will follow up any concerns and make sure that children’s views are acted upon.

Where can parents or carers ask for help or support?

Your views are important to us and we want to listen to them and know that you are satisfied with what happens in our school to support your child. Our SENCo Miss Nicola Ball will follow up your concerns and make sure that your views are heard. There are a number of parent support groups available, details of these are available in school. Somerset’s Parent Carer forum http://www.somersetpcf.org.uk is an umbrella organisation for all parents and carers of children and young people with SEN, disabilities and complex medical needs. They work with Somerset Local Authority, education, health and other professionals and agencies to ensure that delivered services meet the needs of children and their families.

What can I do if I am dissatisfied?

Your first point of contact is always the person responsible – this may be the class teacher; the SENCo or the Headteacher. Explain your concerns to them first. If you are still not satisfied that your concern has been properly addressed, speak to the Headteacher and then ask for the School Governor’s representative. If you do not feel the issues have been resolved, we will arrange a meeting with the Chair of Governors who can be contacted via the school.

What else can I do to help my child?

As a parent you are the person who knows your child best and has the most influence on their development. You could try to: Share books with each other Talk and listen to each other Involve your child in family activities and encourage them to be responsible for small jobs around the home. Play games to help develop good social relationships and self confidence. Remember to be realistic with your expectations of your child. It is really important to praise and encourage your child and celebrate their achievements. You can also help your child by actively working in partnership with the school. For example you should try to: Keep in regular contact with school and discuss how to support your child’s learning. Always contact the school if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s education. Ask for clarification if you are unsure about what people are saying. Attend parents evenings, concerts, class reading sessions, sports events etc. whenever possible – let your child know that you are interested in what they are doing at school. Share all the relevant information with your child’s school and other involved professionals. Further impartial advice can be found through contacting the Somerset Parent Partnership on 01823 355578 or at enquiries@somersetparentpartnership.org.uk or through visiting their website at http://www.somersetparentpartnership.org.uk/spp   News We currently have a member of staff training to be an ‘ELSA’ – Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. ELSA’s are trained to plan and deliver programmes of support for pupils experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. Outcomes for pupils on the programme include academic success, increased school attendance and positive changes with emotional difficulties. New resources;  This term we have purchased ‘The Number Box.’ The resource helps to establish basic concepts of numeracy through multi-sensory methods. We are also using Talking Pens – pens with accompanying books and dictionaries that can be adapted to different languages.

Our school SENCo is Miss Nicola Ball.  Further impartial advice can be found through contacting the Somerset Parent Partnership on 01823 355578 or at enquiries@somersetparentpartnership.org.uk or through visiting their website at http://www.somersetparentpartnership.org.uk/spp.

Somerset County Council’s local offer can be viewed at www.somersetchoices.org.uk.