Special Educational Needs at St Stephen’s C of E First School
The changes in the Children and Families Bill affect the way children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported in schools. The new approach begins in September 2014 and places pupils at the centre of planning. The key principles of the new legislation are:
1. Young people and their families will be involved in discussions about the support they need, so they can share their knowledge and feed back to the school on the young person’s progress.
2. Education, health and care plans (EHC) will replace statements of special educational needs. New assessments for additional educational needs will follow the EHC guidelines from September 2014. (Existing statements will remain in force until all children and young people have completed the transition, which will be within three years).
3. School Action and School Action Plus will cease and be replaced by a single school-based category for children who need extra specialist support. This is known as SEN support.
St Stephen’s First school is well placed to adopt these changes and looks forward to working with pupils and parents/carers to ensure fully inclusive access to our education.
The local offer from Worcestershire County Council can be found at:
Here is the St Stephen’s Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability: SEND
More details about SEN can be found in our SEND Policy
St Stephen’s School upholds the children’s right to education and recognises the diverse educational needs within its community. We acknowledge those needs may change and require a range of provision. We believe we have a duty to offer that provision where we can, to foster inclusion and provide full educational access. We value and respect each individual within our school. We strive to embed our Christian values throughout our daily learning, offering a caring, peaceful and hopeful learning environment that reflects our vibrant school community.
Some children need increased support to access learning because:
a. they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
b. they have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by children of the same age.
We will try to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our school are removed or overcome. We monitor and track progress of all children so that the support provided is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and where necessary seek support and advice from specialists outside school to ensure we develop and maintain a range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all children.
These agencies will include, the Learning Support Team, LST, Speech and Language Therapy, SALT, Physiotherapy, CDD, The Autism Team, Behaviour support team.
Parents are always consulted first if there is a problem. Parents are fully involved in the consultation process and are kep informed if their child is improving or needs more support.
At St Stephen’s First School our local offer is:
How we support children to access the curriculum:
Staff teams in all classes, know the profile of their class and individual needs and learning activities are planned to match children’s learning needs.
The environment is stimulating, supportive and well resourced. Teaching is interactive, creative and focused. Displays provide prompts and reminders to encourage children to learn and achieve independently.
Each class has a teacher and a teaching assistant. If children have an Education, Health and Care Plan, there may be additional teaching assistance so that specialised support is available.
Classes are well resourced and for children with additional needs, specialised equipment such as writing slopes, special keyboards for ICT are arranged.
We will ensure that all staff know and understand the needs of all pupils through careful tracking and mapping the correct provision for each individual. These are then shared with parents.
All staff have access to training, advice and resources to enable them to contribute to developing fully inclusive practice , and Quality First Teaching.
We support literacy and numeracy
Strategies and interventions are in place to support literacy and numeracy. Teachers and teaching assistants make sure the classroom environment is full of language and have well- organised wall displays to support learning in all areas of the curriculum.
For children with specific learning needs activities include we have developed personalised bespoke intervention that is developed to suit the learning needs of the pupils. There are lots of opportunities for reinforcement and pre-teaching in small groups. In addition we have specific programmes for literacy and numeracy such as Numicon, Rapid Read, word Shark etc.
We support speech and language development
Teachers make sure their classes have lots of language support and activities. Many of our staff are trained to provide specific interventions such as phonics. We work in partnership with speech and language therapists to plan and deliver support for children with specific difficulties.
We promote positive behaviour
Our behaviour policy describes the high standards of behaviour and conduct expected in school. In each class there are shared and displayed expectations about the rights and responsibilities of everyone in the class. We make sure all staff know and understand the reasons behind any difficult behaviour and how to respond. In class, the teaching assistant may support targeted children to stay on task and focussed on learning. In the playground, staff will involve targeted children in specific activities. Some children who find good behaviour a challenge may need additional help such as lunchtimes activities with Dave our Sports Coach, games with a lunchtime supervisor.
Where difficult situations have occurred, staff talk calmly through the event with the child helping to identify what went wrong and what actions could be taken if a similar situation happens again.
We support children’s emotional well being
Emotional well-being is supported by making sure that children who find “change” difficult are well prepared for any changes or transitions. When they are about to change class they are helped to make their own transition book, which they can revisit during the summer holidays. To promote positive friendships, we use our values curriculum in our whole school and class assemblies to reinforce thoughtfulness, respect, resilience, selflessness, examples of our core values. We are fortunate at St Stephen’s to have strong links with a Family Support Worker who can offer a professional service to our school.
We support children’s physical needs
Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists provide specific advice and guidance for target children. They also provide training for staff. Teaching assistants follow up any recommendations by providing specific interventions to children with physical difficulties. At St Stephen’s all of the learning spaces are on one level so they are accessible to all. There is a disabled toilet available.
We support children’s medical needs
The school nurse visits school to carry out checks with children and to provide advice and training to staff. In school we have a member of staff who is in charge of First Aid and manages the medical area for use by children and adults who are hurt or unwell. Some of the teaching assistants are first aid trained. We accommodate all pupils where possible despite their medical needs as part of our inclusion policy and our Christian ethos.
We support children during unstructured parts of the day
Lunch and playtimes are staffed to ensure safe adult: child ratios. There is a range of equipment available and different activities are led by staff. Specific intervention for children with additional needs include having a sports coach at lunchtimes to offer a games club.
We work in partnership with parents and carers
Our open door policy encourages partnership working with parents/ carers. We ensure that all review meetings, structured conversations are arranged at times which allow parents and carers to attend. We listen to what parents/ carers tell us about their children and use that information to make sure everyone who works with a child fully understands their needs.
We work in partnership with other agencies
St Stephen’s First School has links with, Speech and Language Therapy, The Autism team. The learning support team, The Beacon Short Stay School (for children with Emotional and Behavioural Needs).
The SENCO Mrs Barrett, co-ordinates children with special needs and has achieved The National SENCO Award in line with new The SEN Code of Practice. We have an extensive knowledge of services to support children and families in the local community.
We monitor children’s progress
We have a system to track and monitor all children’s progress using an electronic database and progress tracker. Through day to day teaching and learning, children are continually assessed and teachers’ planning responds to this. For particular children more in depth assessments may be required. Some of these can be carried out by the SENCO and sometimes we ask external agencies to carry these out. (This is particularly in the case when applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan).
If you have any questions regarding any of the above or any concerns regarding your child please contact school.
Head teacher: Sarah Callanan
Deputy Head: Sarah Barrett