Special Educational Needs
SEN Information Report for parents
1. What is `The Local Offer’?
The local offer is where Wiltshire Council publishes information on all services and support for young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities). As part of the Children and Families Bill 2014, all schools are required to make available information regarding services and support available to families with children who have a special educational need and/or a disability. More information on Wiltshire’s Local Offer can be found the Wiltshire Council Website.
2. What is SEND?
We use the definition in the 2014 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (June 2014):
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.
3. What is Bellefield like?
Bellefield CofE Primary and Nursery School is a larger than average sized primary school with around 290 children on roll in ten classes plus an LA maintained Nursery catering for 52 children (26 in the morning and 26 in the afternoon).
There are on average around 26 children in each Foundation Stage/Key Stage One class and an average of 31 children in each KS2 class.
We currently have approximately 25% of children with a special educational need or disability.
We have a higher than average number of pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.
4. What should I do if I think my child has SEND?
Start by speaking to your child’s class teacher. If you require more information, then an appointment can be made for you to talk to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo, Mrs Kay Bennett). You know your child best. It is vitally important that we work together with you as parents/carers so we can help your child to achieve his/her potential during their time with us.
5. How does the school know if my child needs extra help?
All teaching involves a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing. We monitor all the children’s progress through observations, class teacher assessment and Pupil Progress Meetings. If your child is identified as needing extra help during the school year, the class teacher will inform you and liaise with the SENCO to discuss the nature of their needs. If we feel we need outside support/advice to help your child we will invite you into school to talk in more detail about this and we will always explain the process to you. This is also an excellent opportunity to find out how you can help at home. Further information on our approach to teaching pupils with SEND can be found in our SEN Policy which is updated annually.
6. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school?
First and foremost, we will liaise with you as parents/carers to plan for a smooth transition to our school.
If your child is due to join our school at the start of September in Reception year we will also liaise closely with your child’s nursery/pre-school. If your child is due to join us during a school year, or at any other time during their school career, we will liaise closely with their previous school. We will also liaise with any other professionals who have been involved in your child's educational provision or meeting their additional needs such as health visitors, speech and language therapists etc.
These discussions will enable us to plan a suitable transition programme for your child, depending on their needs. This may include:
- extra visits to our school before your child’s start date;
- meeting significant members of staff such as their class teacher or teaching assistant;
- taking photographs of areas of the school which will be important to your child e.g. classroom, hall, toilets and playground;
- ensuring the correct resources are available and reasonable adaptations to the school environment have been made. We have an Accessibility Plan to ensure that our school is accessible to all and to plan for any improvements to access that may be needed.
7. How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new setting?
We have good relationships with all our local secondary schools and work closely in the lead up to the end of Year 6 to ensure that all children have a successful transfer experience. Our Year 6 teachers meet with the Year 7 Pastoral Support Team from the relevant secondary school. Our SENCO and the SENCO from your child’s receiving secondary school also meet in the summer term of Year 6 to ensure that any child with additional needs is discussed in depth and so that provision to meet those needs can be made. Our Family Link Workers also set up extra visits to Secondary School for any child who needs it.
If your child has an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), a Transition Review Meeting will also be arranged in Year 5, which you and your child will be invited to attend. If your child has an EHCP and you know which secondary school you would like them to attend, a representative from that school will also be invited to that meeting.
8. How accessible is the learning environment?
Bellefield is a two storey school. Within the building itself, there is one main staircase leading up to KS2 classes. There is a lift for disability access. The playground is accessible from downstairs. Upstairs classes use the external fire escape to access the playground. Other provision can be made using the lift as necessary. We have a disabled parking space outside the main entrance and a disabled toilet both upstairs and downstairs.
9. Who can I talk to if I am not happy about how my child is learning?
It is always advisable to talk to your child’s teacher first, as s/he is the member of staff who knows your child best. If you have further questions, please contact the SENCO or the Head Teacher via the school office.
10. How does the school allocate resources to match children’s SEND?
It is the Governing Body’s responsibility to ensure that resources in school are allocated to support appropriate provision for all pupils requiring it. These resources include learning materials/apparatus for the children, training for staff and staffing levels. It is important for children to have a balance of support from teachers, teaching assistants as well as opportunities to work with their peers and independently. The Head Teacher, together with the Senior Leadership Team (Deputy Head/SENCo, Senior Teachers), meet regularly to review and monitor the provision across the school and to allocate resources appropriately. Pupil Progress meetings are held three times a year and are attended by the above group as well as the Reading Intervention Lead and the class teacher.
11. What training have members of staff had to be able to support my child?
Mrs Bennett, our SENCo, has over 15 years’ experience in the role. Training for other school staff has included:
- Dyslexia Awareness
- Autism Spectrum Awareness
- Identifying and supporting speech and language difficulties
- Narrative Therapy
- Therapeutic Storywriting
We are lucky to have an experienced team of TAs, all of whom have worked with children with additional needs across the school. Some are also trained to deliver specific programmes across a variety of year groups. Some of our TAs have particular experience with working with children with speech and language therapy needs and autism. We work closely with many of the specialists listed below, taking their advice and ensuring our training is up to date so we can deliver the best support for your child.
12. What specialist services and expertise are available for my child?
We have excellent relationships with a variety of services including:
- Educational Psychology
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Special Educational Needs Support Service
- Behaviour Support Service
- Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- School Nurse
- Social Care
- Sensory Impairment Service
These services advise and support our staff by delivering training, assessing and monitoring children individually and by recommending support programmes for children with additional needs.
13. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
When a child starts at Bellefield, the SENCo will note any SEND which has already been identified and liaise with any previous settings they may have attended. If your child has had support from other services, the SENCo will also liaise with them.
During their time at Bellefield, we will monitor your child’s progress through observations, class teacher assessment and Pupil Progress Meetings.
If your child has a statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan (sometimes called a `My Plan’ in Wiltshire) we will use the information contained in this document, together with any additional information from you as parents/carers, other services and previous settings to ensure the appropriate support is in place when your child starts at Bellefield.
14. How are parents/carers involved in the assessment and review of their child’s needs?
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), your views will have been sought by SEND Lead Worker and other professionals during the assessment process. You will also be involved in the review processes and kept informed of any developments noted by the services involved with your child. This could include being invited to review meetings, completing questionnaires or just discussing your child with the professionals who help to support you and them. Your views are very important.
If your child has been identified at school as having additional needs and he or she has worked with services (such as those named above) you will be invited to attend assessment and review meetings with the school and these services.
If the school is the only service working with your child then your child’s class teacher and sometimes the SENCo will meet with you either at parents’ evening or at another other mutually convenient time to discuss your child’s needs and your views about how they are progressing. The SENCo is available at all parents' evenings for an informal chat if needed.
We use one page profiles with our children with additional needs as a way of capturing your child’s views about what is important to and for them.
15. How will my child be involved in the assessment and review of his/her progress and needs?
We encourage all children at Bellefield to be aware of themselves as learners and where their strengths and needs lie. We have one page profiles for children with additional needs. These profiles are one way of providing children with the opportunity to think about what they are doing well, what helps them to learn and what support they may need. These are updated annually and they provide your child with the opportunity to express their views about their progress, as well as hearing about how other people think they are doing.
If your child has an Education, Heath and Care Plan (EHCP) or `My Plan’ their views about school and their progress will always be sought and recorded as part of the annual review process
16. How will my child be included in activities and events outside the classroom e.g. school trips?
We want all the children at Bellefield to have the same educational opportunities and to feel included as part of our school community.
Every effort is made by the whole staff to ensure that all children are integrated into all aspects of the school.
If your child has his or her own Teaching Assistant working 1:1 with him/her, then they will usually accompany your child on school trips. We may also increase adult to child ratios on trips where we feel the children in a particular class would benefit from more adult support.
We also have a School Council which consists of representatives from each class in the school from Year 1 upwards. Members of the School Council visit the younger classes to talk to them about whole school issues. The council also has a regular assembly slot.
17. What types of SEND do you provide support for?
We support children with a wide variety of needs at any one time. The list below is not exhaustive, but is designed to give you an idea of the range of needs we work with:
- Autistic Spectrum Conditions
- Speech and Language Difficulties
- Social and Emotional Needs
We also acknowledge that some children may have learning needs which may not have a label or diagnosis, but who still benefit from having extra support in school. We aim to treat each child as an individual and respond to their needs accordingly.
18. How do you support children to develop socially and emotionally?
Our PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) Programme is supplemented by support from our School Nurse and by a Time to Talk Counsellor. The Time to Talk Counsellor is in school once a week and is open to all of our older pupils (with parental permission). Younger children can also be offered this support, if required. We also have two Family Link Workers/Pastoral Managers who can work with you as a parent or carer, if things at home are challenging. This support can be invaluable for your child too as it provides an additional link between home and school. Our Pastoral Managers, Tracy Shelley and Debi Brewer, are always around. Both can be contacted via the school office or by seeing them directly. You do not need an appointment.
We have a very positive Behaviour Policy, with lots of individual and class rewards. We have targeted support for children who have additional social and emotional needs or who may need help to join in. This can include social skills groups, games and support at playtimes.
19. How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children with SEND?
Towards the end of each term the Maths and English Subject Leaders, Deputy/SENCo, Reading Intervention Lead and Head Teacher meet with each class teacher individually to review the progress and provision made for all pupils, including those with SEND. These meetings are called Pupil Progress Meetings. The SEN Policy is also reviewed annually and contains further information on how the school monitors the effectiveness of provision. The interventions we use to support children with SEND are evidence based and we monitor their effectiveness through our school tracking system and Pupil Progress Meetings. As a result of these meetings, provision can be adjusted and varied to meet individual needs on a very regular basis.
20. Who can I contact for further information and how?
In the first instance, please speak to your child’s class teacher. If you are a prospective parent please contact the school office (email@example.com or ring 01225 753530) to arrange a tour or to speak to the Acting Head Teacher Ben Rees or the Deputy/SENCo Kay Bennett.