Thropton Village First School SEND Information Report
Welcome to our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) pages. We hope that you will find this information useful. We aim to describe the support available for your child in order that they are able to reach their full potential.
The Learning Trust is committed to a policy of including all children, where the teaching and learning achievements, attitudes and well-being of all, matter.
All children, regardless of ability and behaviour, are valued equally. Children with SEND are an equal part of the whole school community and individual children’s needs are recognised and met through varied and flexible provision. Details of the percentage of pupils with SEND and their progress compared to the national average can be found on the DfE School Performance tables.
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) is:
- Flora Whitfield
The Three Rivers Learning Trust Directors with responsibility for SEND are Rachel Johnson and Tom Burston.
If you wish to make contact with the staff identified above please do so by calling the school office or emailing the admin address of the respective school.
Telephone: 01669 620297
In the first instance we would encourage you to speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any initial concerns about how your child is progressing. Either yourself or the class teacher may then decide that it is appropriate to have a discussion about these concerns with the SENDCo.
The role of the SENDCo includes:
- Overseeing the provision for SEND children and ensuring that plans and progress are regularly reviewed and targets reviewed and re-set as required
- Supporting class teachers and learning support staff in meeting the needs of children in their care so that they make the best possible progress
- Co-ordinating the support for children with SEND and developing the school’s SEND policy, provision and practice to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school
- Ensuring that parents are:
○ involved in supporting their child’s learning
○ kept informed about the support their child is getting
○ involved in reviewing how their child is doing
- Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support a child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language, Educational Psychology etc
- Updating the school’s SEND register termly, and making sure that there are comprehensive records of your child’s needs, programmes followed and progress made.
What kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are provided for?
Provision and support exists throughout the school for children with special educational needs and disabilities. The kinds of SEND for which provision is made include (but are by no means exhaustive or exclusive):
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Asperger Syndrome
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hearing Impairment (HI)
- Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues (SEMH)
- Specific Literacy Difficulties (SpLD)
- Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
- Visual Impairment (VI)
Any child identified as having SEND will be supported according to 4 broad areas of need, in accordance with the 0 – 25 SEND Code of Practice: 2014
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and / or physical needs
All children who are placed onto the school’s SEND register will be identified as either:
- EHCP – having an Education, Health and Care plan
- K – not holding an EHCP, but having additional support as a result of a SEND in one of the 4 categories identified above.
How does the school identify children with Special Educational Needs?
When a child is in the process of transition from the previous phase, information from a range of sources is used to help identify SEND. This includes information from parents/carers, school to school liaison with the SENDCo, Class Teachers, end of key stage data and outcomes of recent tests in reading, spelling and maths. This information is gathered both before and after entry to the new school phase and then combined to identify whether an additional level of educational support is required for a child.
During their time at school, our Class Teachers, Learning Support Staff and SENDCo closely monitor the progress and attainment of all children, including those who have or may have SEND. This continuous monitoring of children allows us to further identify children with a special educational need. We follow a staged and graduated approach to identifying and assessing needs, using the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model, after which any member of staff is able to refer a child to the SENDCo if they continue to have concerns. If appropriate, we seek the advice or intervention of external support professionals such as an Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist.
What is the school’s approach to teaching children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
For the most part, children with SEND are taught in the classroom alongside their peers. Teaching techniques and strategies, including differentiated resources and learning tasks, accommodate those of differing abilities. Guidance with regard to the use of these is shared by the SENDCo. This enables individual learning needs to be met and allows children to maximise their potential in all areas of the curriculum. The teaching arrangements for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be determined by their EHCP.
How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for SEND?
The school rigorously and routinely monitors the effectiveness of Teaching and Learning for all children, including those with SEND, through the analysis of progress and attainment data. Frequent data analysis allows us to identify areas of strength and development and to pinpoint individual children and where a specific area might need to be further supported.
Regular feedback from parents and children provides qualitative information about the impact of the Special Needs provision. This information is used to create and implement development plans for all aspects of school life.
What are the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of children with SEND?
The progress of children with SEND is monitored carefully and further support is put into place if necessary. Rigorous tracking systems inform us of any student who is falling behind and who may need further help. We aim to keep parents fully involved in the process and, equally, if parents have any concerns we encourage them to make contact with school at the earliest opportunity so that we are able to work together to best meet the needs of each child and ensure that good progress is made.
Parents will be kept informed of any support which we feel would benefit a child. The SENDCo will work closely with class teacher(s) to offer further advice if necessary, so that a child is able to access and manage the curriculum that they are following.
How does the school adapt the curriculum and learning environment for children with SEND?
It is a guiding principle of our school that children with SEND are valued and their needs are recognised and met through a varied and flexible provision, which begins with Quality-First teaching.
We believe that every person should be treated equally and with respect. As long as the school is the best place to meet the needs of an individual, he/she will be admitted and every care will be taken to ensure appropriate access to the full curriculum. However, a small number of children have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs and abilities. This may include additional literacy and numeracy support, intervention groups and additional out of class support, sometimes carried out by an external professional.
All staff and adults are aware of those children who need additional support for any reason and are provided with suggested strategies for how our children with SEND can best be supported in lessons. Work is carefully differentiated as appropriate by the class teacher to meet the needs, ensuring progress. As far as is practicably possible, the physical needs of every child will be catered for. The school provides accessible toilet facilities for children and adults. Any child with a disability that may make movement around the building more difficult will be fully supported, with plans put in place
to facilitate their access around the building. A risk assessment will be undertaken if required. Specific equipment and resources for HI and VI students will be provided if necessary.
There are members of staff within school who are first aid trained and trained in administering prescribed medication to children. All medication is stored in a locked cupboard away from the children. The school endeavours, where practically possible, to cater for all medical needs and will request any additional training or expert advice as required. Children with additional medical needs will have a Health Care Plan completed by parents / carers outlining the specific needs of the child.
What additional support for accessing learning, the wider enrichment curriculum and additional school activities is available to children with SEND?
The SENDCo will coordinate support and interventions for your child. This may include:
- In-class support where a Teaching/Support Assistant, will work closely with the teacher, in order to help your child to access the curriculum.
- 1-2-1 or small group support as appropriate where the Teaching/Support Assistant will work with your child either individually or with other children.
- Social Clubs where staff encourage social skills development and the building of relationships between peers with an emphasis on enjoyment.
- Medical – there is a person with an overview of all medical difficulties. Provision for children with physical disabilities is made as appropriate. First Aid is always available from trained members of staff.
Targeted ‘In-Class’ Support
To make the most effective use of additional support staff in our lessons, teachers and Teaching/Support Assistants need to plan together and work together as a team. Support may be provided by a Teaching/Support Assistant or a member of our teaching staff.
Some key features of high quality (Tier One) support in class are:
- Working with small groups of children
- Observing behaviour and keeping records
- Ensuring children have understood the task given
- Helping to mark work
- Preparing adapted resources (with the teacher’s guidance)
- Working with a larger group so that the teacher can work on specific tasks with a small group
- Being an extra pair of eyes and ears
- Praising, encouraging and recording good work
- Supporting individuals with reading and written work
If your child is falling behind, Tier Two Strategies are available:
- That your child is slightly behind expectations for the class but well placed to improve and make progress with regular individual or small group support, usually from a Teaching/Support Assistant, for either a short or sustained period
Tier Three Strategies are also available:
- That your child is likely to require more help to make progress in the short term and that work covered in class may be inappropriate
- Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo or outside agencies) are in place to support your child to learn
- Small steps of progress will be identified and shared with parents and children
- Your child may have a SEN Support plan which explains their current abilities, the targeted ability within a 6-8 week time frame, and the programme being followed to help your child reach their goals as part of the graduated response
- Your child may work individually or in a small group with an adult, usually a Teaching/Support assistant, several times a week, and may also have differentiated work to follow in class to develop their independence when reinforcing the skills they are learning
- There will be an informal assessment at the beginning and end of the intervention period to help determine starting points and measure progress. This process is known as ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ and the outcomes of this may be communicated to parents
Our purpose is to show each child that they matter and will be valued for their contribution to school and to the world in which they live. Wherever possible, children with SEND will take part in all of the enrichment activities our school provides. Our policy of inclusion covers all areas of the curriculum, school visits, residential trips, sporting activities and social activities.
What support is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of SEND students?
We aim to ensure that your child’s learning needs are met whilst any emotional and behavioural difficulties are also supported. We take into account the child’s voice at all planning and review stages and ensure the child feels happy with any arrangements being made.
Where necessary, one to one or small group work is carried out looking at friendship, social skills, mental health and wellbeing as well as our whole school Social, Emotional, Moral and Cultural learning programme.
The continued work we do on Growth Mindset also helps children with SEND to believe in themselves and to want to try new things.
There are a variety of programmes in place to help your child with settling in and feeling comfortable in the school community. These include:
- Pastoral support from class teachers / support assistants.
- Buddy system where children are paired with another child in school who can help them with daily routine, play times etc.
- A positive behaviour programme which is used at appropriate times for children with needs in these areas.
There are a number of staff designated and trained in First Aid for all pupils, including:
Miss Cann, Mr Packer, Mrs Fourie, Mrs Potts, Miss Hewitt and Mrs Gillott.
Further information is available in the Medical Needs Policy which is available at the bottom of this page.
We have an assigned SENDCo who works closely with the SENDCo at our linked middle school to help with transition. Training is provided to all staff, including teachers and Teaching/Support assistants, as the need arises. There is on-going training for all staff as well as many opportunities to further develop skills. Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEND.
Additional Specialist Expertise:
If the class teacher’s or parent’s request for advice in providing for a child cannot be met from within the expertise of the staff in school, the SENDCo or Headteacher may identify the need for extra specialist support in school from an outside professional e.g. Northumberland Inclusive Education Services (NIES) , Sensory Support Services or outside agencies such as EOTAS (Education Other than at School) and CYPS (Children and Young People’s Service).
For your child this would mean:
- Your child has been identified by school staff, or you may have raised your own concerns, as needing specialist input in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
- You will be asked to give permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
- A visiting specialist professional will work with your child to observe their work, behaviour, ask them to complete assessment tasks if appropriate and respond to direct questions
- The specialist professional will discuss the staff’s hopes for the outcome of the visit and look at records of the child’s assessment and the targeted work to date.
- The specialist professional may give immediate verbal feedback to staff and will prepare a written report which is shared with parents.
- You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
- Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better.
- Support to set targets which will include following programmes in their specific area of expertise.
- A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group.
- A group or individual may work with the outside professional.
The school may suggest that your child needs some agreed individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
Speech, Language and Communication support
If your child has been identified as requiring additional speech and language support and has been assessed by the SEND Speech, Language and Communication Service, there are trained and experienced support assistants within school to deliver programmes, following the recommendations of the specialist who also visits school at least termly. These support assistants also work within your child’s class teache and can therefore follow up targets in other lessons and can link practical and oral activities to the topics being studied. Your child is referred to this service via school as soon as a specific need is recognised. Children may have also been referred to this service before starting school, in which case, school can liaise with a professional from the Speech, Language and Communication Service to continue this support.
For your child this could mean:
- An initial assessment carried out by a Speech and Language Therapist in school with your child and a phone call or meeting with parents
- Working with a support assistant within school usually 1:1 for 2 short sessions each week or working with a Speech and Language Therapist in school for a series of sessions
- A visit by the Speech, Language and Communication specialist to school once a term, to which you are invited, to review progress and set new targets
- Following up programmes within class where the specialist, class teacher and support assistant can plan together to address needs
- Bringing home visual materials to reinforce the speech sound or area of grammar addressed, so that you can practise together at home
Support for Fine and Gross motor skills
Your child may have been referred to an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist and require a specific exercise program which needs to be carried out regularly at home and in school. Referrals can be made through your family doctor.
We will allocate a specific member of staff to carry out recommended exercise programs, and class teachers will build in activities eg to improve manual dexterity, to whole class or targeted group work as necessary. Class teachers will meet professionals from Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services to discuss programmes, review the child’s progress and update exercises as required. Additional resources are sometimes required to follow programmes, which can be bought by the school or loaned by the therapy services.
For your child this could mean:
- Following a specific physiotherapy programme, checking specialist clothing for comfort, completing daily exercises and warm ups before PE lesson on a 1-1 basis
- Following gross motor physical programmes in a small group as an alternative to or in addition to the usual PE lessons
- Following fine motor programmes including handwriting and hand strengthening exercises in a small group
- Following other fine motor programmes which would be built into class lessons including art and technology and could also be completed by many or all of the classmates
- Using adapted materials such as training scissors
Autistic Spectrum Condition
All staff in school have regular SEND training which covers ASD and when more specific training is needed this can be accessed by all staff. The SENDCo and class teachers have experience of working with children on the Autistic Spectrum and liaising with external professionals and parents to ensure school is a calm and happy place for every child.
For your child this may mean:
- The support of outside agencies observing your child in the classroom and discussing their provision with school staff – possibly leading to a diagnosis and possible additional funding for adult support becoming available
- Working in a quieter corner of the classroom or a side room near to where other children are working, in specific circumstances
- Using overt routines, rewards and consequences which are understood by your child
- Withdrawing to a quieter area for specific intervention such as a social skills group or individual social story
- Working through a set of tasks with minimal adult involvement to build up academic or motor skills alongside increasing independence
- Gradually adjusting all of the methods above so that your child can work towards accepting most activities and to promote positive interactions with peers and staff
ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder)
We will work with families and other professionals to ascertain the specific reason for your child’s difficulties and help them to overcome them. This may mean using some of the strategies mentioned above to help your child understand reasons for our rules and routines, integrate successfully with their peers, and achieve their best.
For your child this could mean:
- Attending individual or group appointments at CYPS (Children’s and Young People’s Service) and being observed by CYPS staff in school
- Using methods such as a workstation or rewards and sanctions
- If diagnosed, receiving medication which could be administered at school if required
How will facilities and equipment to support students with SEND be secured?
If a child requires additional facilities and equipment to support their learning in school then the school will identify the best way to secure these, working with additional services and professionals as required. This may include:
- Purchasing the materials directly e.g. writing slopes, reading rulers, overlays
- Looking for options to rent or lease more expensive items
- Liaising with professional organisations to support with the provision of specialist items e.g. electric wheelchair
- Working with our facilities team to make any reasonable adjustments that may be required to support a child’s learning
We aim to ensure that all children who attend the school have access to the school curriculum and wider enrichment activities and that all reasonable effort is made to ensure that the facilities and equipment needed to enable this to happen are in place. Where appropriate a needs assessment and / or risk assessment will be undertaken to support this.
What are the arrangements for consulting with the parents of students with SEND and involving them in the education of their child?
Before entry to school there are opportunities for parents to meet with the SENDCo and Class Teachers to plan the support for their child. Once in the school, there are termly parents’ evenings and regular SEN Support Plan meetings and review meetings as well as a schedule of Annual Reviews for children with EHCPs. Communication between the school and parents is essential for the needs of the child to be appropriately met. Parents are always welcome to speak to the SENDCo or class teacher about any problems/issues/worries to do with their child.
What are the arrangements for consulting with children with SEND and involving them in their education?
As with their parents, all children with SEND are asked to contribute to their Pupil Passport Profile and reviews of this. Children with a SEN Support plan are asked to fill in a section which talks about how they feel in school,what they like/dislike etc.
As interventions are evaluated regularly, children are involved in this process and any changes are actioned. Strong and frequent communication between all school staff and the child are essential to this process.
What arrangements are in place for supporting children with SEND transfer to Middle School?
We will do everything possible to ensure that your child’s needs are identified early, before transfer, and support measures will be put in place on entry. The SENDCo will meet with the SENDCo from the middle school to discuss the specific needs of each child. If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), there will also be a ‘phase change’ review meeting. This is carried out at an early stage to allow parents and staff to carefully plan the transition which will take place at the end of each school phase.
Additional support will be offered to ease the transition of some children who may feel more anxious or be vulnerable. Extra visits, before transfer, will enable your child to feel confident and secure. Targeted support, after transfer, will ensure that your child does not ‘flounder’ and is given the best possible opportunity to succeed.
Year 4 children are invited to a number of transfer activities including a Mini Sports Day organised by our Young Sports Leaders, and a general ‘getting to know you’ day organised by the Year 5 team. The year 4 children going up to middle school will receive a welcoming booklet which tells the children what they can expect and look forward to. All children and parents will have the opportunity to meet the new class teacher in the Summer Term.
What provision is in place by the Academy Councillors for dealing with any concerns or complaints from the parents of children with SEND concerning the provision made by the school?
There is a designated SEND academy councillor who works closely with the SENDCo during planned visits. Any concerns made would be passed on to the school leadership team.
What do I do if I have a concern?
If you have a concern then contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance. If concerns persist, then contact the SENDCo – Miss Flora Cann.
Please provide details of your concerns and who you have discussed these concerns with and what the outcomes were.
What do I do if I am still concerned that the issues have not been addressed appropriately?
Please contact the Executive Headteacher: Mr. Liam Murtagh.
What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer is essentially the provision available for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This requirement is laid out by the Children’s and Families Act 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability regulations 2014 and the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2014.
The Local Authority will produce a Local Offer for Northumberland and all schools will produce one for their establishment.
The Local Authority Local Offer has two key purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available
- To make provision more responsive to local need and aspirations by directly involving young people with SEND, parents and carers and service providers in its development and review.
The Northumberland Local Offer can be found here.
Offers designed by each school should also have these key principles in mind.
Local Offers from Neighbouring Authorities:
As a comparison, please see other examples of Local Offers:
What other support services can be accessed by parents of children with SEND?
Additional information can be found via the following links:
What are Education and HealthCare Plans?
These were introduced in September 2014. Children with previous Statements of Special Education Need have had these updated and converted to EHC Plans.
The 0 – 25 SEND Code of Practice 2014 states that:
“The majority of children and young people with SEN will have their needs met within local mainstream early years providers, schools or colleges.
A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs and prepare an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person through an EHCP. This is likely to be where the special education provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions. This statutory assessment should not be the first step in the process; rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parent and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.
EHCPs must be focused on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health and care. EHCPs must set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and in support of those outcomes. EHCPs will be based on a co-ordinated assessment and planning process which puts the child and young person and their parents at the centre of decision making.
Statutory assessment will not always lead to an EHCP being allocated. The information gathered during an assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs from within available resources.”
If an application for an EHCP is made, this process will take at least 20 weeks to complete before a final EHCP is agreed. More information about EHCPs can be accessed via the Northumberland County Council website.
All related policies can be found here.
Date: March 2022
Review By : March 2023