SEND (Special Educational Needs)
SALWAY ASH CE VA PRIMARY
SEND information - reviewed September 2021
SENCO - Elizabeth Smith
Salway Ash CEVA Primary: School overview
We are a small rural primary school with approximately 113 pupils in 4 class bases. Pupil numbers have steadily risen over the past 10 years. We often have appeals for children to join the school in EYFS, as well as year groups throughout the school.
We are pleased to be part of the new West Dorset Collaboration which launched at the beginning of the Autumn term 2016. The collaboration has 9 primary schools from two pyramids with Beaminster Secondary School.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
At Salway Ash Primary we have experience of providing for a wide range of special educational needs and always have some children who need support or specialised provision. Our ratio of children with SEN is similar to the National average (approximately 16% at present). We have successfully catered for children with needs as diverse as profound hearing loss to complex needs, including ASC (autistic spectrum condition).
Most of our pupils with ‘moderate learning difficulties’ have moved on to main stream secondary school provision with good basic skills, including social skills.
We are very experienced at identifying barriers to learning in children from a very young age, whilst always endeavouring to close the gap before significant differences in attainment occur. Our children with SEN have achieved well at Salway Ash and continue to do so.
Children may come to us with their needs already identified by parents and professionals. We liaise with pre-school groups, nurseries and child minders before entry to the foundation stage. Our Reception class teacher visits these early years’ settings, talking to both staff and children. We can then contribute to their learning program or any other special provision needed, immediately on entry. If necessary a meeting can be arranged to discuss a child’s needs before they start school and we encourage children/parent(s) to attend our six ‘pre-entry’ fun afternoons in the Summer term before they begin, in order to familiarise everyone with staff members and the classroom/outdoor environment.
If you are concerned about your child and feel that they may find school challenging, we are more than happy for you to approach the Head teacher or the child’s class teacher to discuss this. Similarly, if we as a team are concerned about your child’s learning we will talk to you first to discuss this and will always seek your opinion; we consider you to be the prime expert on your child. If your child is moving to our school we can arrange a smooth transition with visits and an opportunity to discuss any difficulties previously experienced at other schools.
The special needs coordinator will be aware of these concerns and a meeting will be arranged to discuss your child’s difficulty. The SEN coordinator will liaise with the class teacher to suggest a learning program. She may suggest specialist referrals that your child may require, with the agreement of all involved.
Pre-schools and schools share paperwork that may be relevant to your child’s needs.
How will the school support my child?
Firstly we will assess your child carefully, using both standard assessment procedures and informal assessment methods such as observation. If necessary, we may then suggest making a referral to a professional such as a specialist teacher who can make a full assessment of your child’s skills and learning styles, including both their strengths and weaknesses. This can be very effective with difficulties such as dyslexia.
Similarly with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, we will scaffold your child’s behaviour and responses to ensure that they have the maximum chance to adapt and adjust successfully. We believe that our good behaviour record as a whole school encourages good individual choices. We have a staff member who is ELSA trained (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant).
Teaching staff will then develop a tailored program of interventions for your child’s needs. Your child’s program and progress will be monitored by their class teacher and the special educational needs coordinator (or SENCO). The SENCO works in an advisory role, liaising with parents, the support services and teaching staff (including teaching assistants). They will get to know your child and take appropriate measures to close any gap in learning or social ability. All developments are reported to and shared with the Head teacher.
The way provision is organised for a child with learning difficulties will vary according to need. Some children will benefit from targeted group work and this can take place in or out of the classroom; however we prefer the more inclusive approach of working in class whenever possible. Your child will be taught by the class teacher with support from experienced teaching assistants when necessary. Some concerns are more effectively carrried out on an individual basis (one-to-one), following a specialist program e.g. speech and language therapy.
However, all children on the special needs register will have an individual program.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
All children at Salway Ash follow the National Curriculum and base this learning around relevant class topics. Children with special educational needs may need adjustments to enable them to access the curriculum fully. This may include:
learning specific vocabulary in advance
changes to the presentation or content of a learning task
- differentiated targets
- specific resources
- additional support from a teaching assistant
- booster or ‘catch-up’ sessions
- changes to the environment/seating arrangements
- for complex needs, an approach that is specifically tailored to the child
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?
The progress of children receiving support will be regularly monitored and tracked using assessment data (we use the Pupil Tracker online system) and observation of the child’s confidence levels at school. Teaching staff will consult and discuss with one another regularly in order to ensure that the provision is updated and effective.
Advice from specialist services will be put in place and reviewed. The Literacy support service tracks the progress of our children with dyslexia every six months, with an assessment of skills carried out by one of their specialist teachers. Parents always receive the results of these assessments.
Parents are kept informed with termly parent consultations and interim, less formal meetings to discuss individual programs and children’s progress. We are always happy for parents to come in and see us in order to discuss their child’s learning or any other concerns that they may have. Parents receive a copy of all paperwork, including all assessments.
Children with ‘Education Health & Care’ plans (formally known as ‘statements’) will have a full review annually, with all specialist staff involved.
In addition there are termly parent consultations (Autumn and Spring term individual appointments, plus an open afternoon in the Summer term) and lots of opportunities to visit school, attend assemblies and performances in order to see your child in action!
We believe that working with parents is essential to a child's well-being and success.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
At Salway Ash Primary we regard care for ‘the whole child’ as a priority and acknowledge that a happy child is one who will learn well and thrive. Emotional health and well-being are paramount. We are a happy school and try to promote a positive and calm atmosphere in which to work and to be together.
We support parents with suggestions of activities and strategies that may help their child’s emotional health and self-esteem. We have links and contacts with local counseling services. We also have the services of an Educational Psychological service and specialist teachers service if necessary.
We also have a member of staff who is ELSA trained. She runs support sessions for individuals or groups.
We use ‘pupil premium’ (means tested) funding to assist those children to gain access to new skills, well-being activities, school trips and services/equipment.
We run clubs and activity groups that are focused on developing both skills and self-esteem.
We ensure that all pupils receive training and guidance on e-safety, including the use of social media.
All staff working in the school practice excellent personalized care for children on a daily basis. Emotional problems can be discussed with all teaching staff or with the Head teacher.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Salway Ash Primary uses the full range of services available to primary schools such as the Educational Psychology service, Speech and Language Therapy Service (NHS), Hearing & Vision Impairment service and specialist teacher (for example, for specific learning difficulties including dyslexia). Our Literacy support provision includes regular updates of skills such as tracking progress in reading and spelling every six months, carried out by a specialist assessor.
We are fully in touch with Social Care (Child protection services) when necessary and with the ‘locality teams’ including family workers. We ensure that team meetings are attended by the SENCO and/or the headteacher. We can signpost parents to support groups, counselling services and other support organisations.
What training has the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
The SENCO has many years of experience supporting children with a very wide range of needs, including complex needs and moderate (significant) learning difficulties. We have catered for children with profound hearing loss and visual impairments, attending courses when necessary in the specific areas of SEN required. We have knowledge and experience of ASC (autistic spectrum condition).
Teaching assistants have also attended training in some of these areas and have undertaken additional training in literacy difficulties, math’s support/intervention and speech and language problems.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Salway Ash Primary is a fully inclusive school and all children participate in the full range of activities. We may encourage children to participate in one of our school clubs if we feel it would be beneficial. Those families receiving Pupil Premium funding may attend free, if there is any expense involved.
School trips are designed to be accessible and any adjustments that may be necessary are carried out following consultation with parents. Full risk assessments are completed.
How accessible is the school environment?
Salway Ash Primary is all on the ground floor level for children with spacious entrances, wide corridors and disabled toilet facilities (both child and adult). We have level outside spaces with ramps/slopes. Our outdoor steps are carefully designed with handrails and marked edges.
All our classrooms and the hall have been acoustically designed or have adaptations that meet current requirements for the hearing impaired.
We have up-to-date technology in the classrooms with interactive screens and other ICT.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the next school?
Salway Ash Primary has well established transition procedures with all local secondary schools.
All children visit the prospective schools and extra visits can be arranged with our staff for those who would benefit. Children with an EHC plan often enjoy visiting their new school in order to get to know the staff, other children and the layout, with activities designed to help them settle and have a positive approach to this new phase in their education.
Members of staff from both schools get together before the transition period to discuss children’s needs and to meet the children themselves. Relevant information is always passed on.
Some children with moderate learning difficulties have enjoyed a series of visits with children from other primaries, including to a local farm with a picnic and social events.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child receives?
The educational needs of children are discussed by teaching staff, together with the SENCO and Head teacher. Any concerns are discussed with parents. We then offer a programme of support and gain permission for a specialist assessment if necessary. We believe that all special educational needs issues are best dealt with quickly and early on in a child’s schooling.
Children with an EHC plan will have their needs fully assessed by all concerned with their wellbeing (including health professionals) and a team decision will be reached that outlines the amount of support and the type of support needed.
All plans and targets are monitored and reviewed regularly.
Financial decisions regarding SEND are published on the school website.
How are parents involved?
Salway Ash Primary always endeavors to build honest, positive working relationships with all parents. Parental involvement is central to the child’s wellbeing and success in school.
We welcome the active participation of parents and listen carefully to their views. We are keen to develop good communications with your family.
Please contact us for extra information, as we are always happy to talk to you.
Salway Ash Primary 01308 488302
(updated September 2021)