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At Charlton-on-Otmoor C.E. Primary School we value children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Some of our aims as a school are to:
- Create a happy, supportive and safe environment where children can become friends and learn to help each other.
- Set high expectations to enable children to become motivated, enthusiastic, independent learners.
- Encourage children to value their own, and others' successes.
- Treat children and others fairly, and with dignity and respect, to maintain an inclusive school culture.
- For children to show kindness, care and concern, and exercise goodwill toward others
These feed into our attitude towards children who have additional needs. We are an inclusive mainstream Local Authority Church of England Primary School that fully complies with the requirements outlined in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) which can be found here:
Our SEND Policy outlines our aims and all our arrangements for SEN coordination and management, including identification, assessment and provision. It can be found here:
What is SEN?
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 of compulsory school age or a young person 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 facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions
What is the SEN Register?
Although the government’s Code of Practice (CoP - 2014) does not require schools to keep an ‘SEN register’ as such, it does say, ‘Every school is required to identify and address the SEN of the pupils that they support’ (6.2). At Charlton-on-Otmoor primary school we keep a register that all teachers have access to and it contains pertinent information about the children who have difficulties or particular barriers to learning and in are in receipt of additional more targeted support or educational provision. All children in this school receive Quality First Teaching and this includes children who are on the SEN register. Some children will require support that is additional to or different from universal Quality First Teaching, as these approaches are not sufficient to meet some specific special educational needs. These pupils will require more focused intervention and support and these are referred to as targeted interventions. A few children will also require specialist interventions in addition to targeted interventions and Quality First Teaching (or high quality teaching). When progress is made then your child can be removed from the SEN register. Parents are always asked before their child is put onto the SEN register.
Who is in charge of SEN in this school?
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is Mrs Jane Rawson. She works in collaboration with the Head teacher and class teachers, assisting in the development of inclusive classrooms and teaching practices and the day to day management of SEN in school. She will meet regularly to assess the progress of all children in the school and review whether a child needs additional support. There is a SEN link governor as well.
Early Identification and Parental Input
The Code of Practice (5.5) says, ‘All those who work with young children should be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early. In particular, parents know their children best and it is important that all practitioners listen and understand when parents’ express concerns about their child’s development. They should also listen to and address any concerns raised by children themselves.’ We believe that knowing the children we teach is vital and we understand that the child and their parents are the centre of the process.
How will I know if my child has SEN?
A child does not automatically have a special educational need because they are making slow progress or are not doing as well as their peers. The focus is on children who need teaching that is ‘additional to or different from’ (CoP) their peer group. Identifying SEND needs early is crucial and parents know their children best so we have regular meetings with parents and rely on the information they provide us in helping us to identify if a child or young person has SEND. Regular reviews are also carried out with teachers where the possibility of a child having SEND could be discussed. Further checks can be carried out, for example, detailed lesson observations by the SENCo and a review of interventions the child has been part of so far. We will also consider whether a further, more specialist, assessment for SEND is needed for example from another service provider, e.g. from an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Advisory Teacher.
If a child is falling behind, or not responding to inclusive teaching, we will bring together all the information we have about the child’s needs and difficulties and share this with parents. The school uses Oxfordshire County Council’s SEN guidance and assessment descriptors (2017) as way of identifying if there is a special educational need and what levels of support should be offered. The handbook helps us to make sure we are offering the provision expected from all schools in Oxfordshire. There are four broad areas of SEND:
- Communication and Interaction Needs
- Cognition and Learning Needs
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs
- Sensory and/or physical needs
Following further consultation with parents, and if a child meets the descriptors in the handbook, and after all the checks on teaching and learning have been carried out, then the child will be placed on the schools SEN register. This is shared with the local authority.
The OCC descriptors can be found here:
What provision is offered?
The Code of Practice (CoP) specifies the use of a ‘graduated approach’ – see diagram below – where the cycle of Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR) is described.
For pupils with SEND the school offers a ‘graduated’ approach; from a little support to a lot. Once a child is placed on the register then appropriate plans are put in place to support them. All children are unique, regardless of the category of SEND they have, so it is important that we respond to their individual need. Some children will respond well to seemingly minor adaptations to our inclusive teaching offer, others will need more specialist support and input. We work closely with outside agencies to help us to design the most appropriate package of support for children on our register. Adaptations can include:
- Use of individual, pair or small group teaching
- Individualised or small group interventions for specific skills and learning needs
- Visual aids and multisensory resources to support understanding and participation
- Adaptations to the physical environment to help with accessing learning
Children on the SEN register have a Pupil Profile which describes their strengths, the needs and individual barriers to learning. It also describes the provision that they will be receiving and will track progress through both formative and summative assessment. This will be reviewed three times a year as part of the APDR cycle.
What is an EHCP?
An EHCP is short for an Education, Health and Care Plan. These are for children who have the most complex needs. They are created by the Local Authority in collaboration with parents and the school and the describe in great detail the particular needs that the child has. This is reviewed annually in addition to the SEN reviews that take place three times a year. External agencies may also be invited to these annual reviews – for example if the child has speech and language therapy, the speech and language therapist will be invited. It is vital that both the child’s voice and the parents’ views are central to this meeting and where appropriate the child can attend – especially for the first part of the meeting where the child’s strength and achievements are celebrated.
How do you make provision for children with SEN at this school?
At Charlton-on-Otmoor we provide support with small group and 1:1 with phonics; Write from the Start; fine motor skills games; catch up Maths; turn taking social skills games; Read Write Inc.; Spirals (a social skills group); Power of Two (maths); 60 second Readers; Play Therapy; Lego Therapy; Language for Thinking; visual timetables; now and next boards; 1:1 reading; pre-teaching vocabulary; and Social Stories to help with transitions and social situations.
We monitor our provision through reviews with parents, data analysis, work scrutiny and lesson observations. We often buy in consultants and outside agencies to help us do this. We monitor pupil progress through Class Reviews and review the success of interventions and provision maps. The school is committed to providing high quality professional development for staff and this is the best way of making sure our teachers can offer inclusive practice. We access a lot of our training through external support services such as SENSS – the Special Education Needs Support Services.
How can I support my child?
There are lots of ways you can help. The best way to help is to talk to the teachers and ask questions if you have them. Don’t be afraid to share information that might be useful to the school, for example, share any worries your child may have. If you need to, ask your child’s teacher for their advice and support, they can arm you with lots of ideas and tips. It helps if your child comes to school ready to face the day, and if you have concerns be quick to bring them to the school’s attention, that way they can be dealt with more swiftly.
Who can support me with my child’s SEND?
Having a child with SEND can be worrying and exhausting. The school recognises this and we want to help parents by working closely together. We also have access to other specialists. There are also lots of local and national support groups who have parent groups and networks and lots of useful tips. The SENCo is always happy to talk to you to help you identify which direction to go in to access more help.
Who do I talk to if I am worried about my child or the provision offered?
A parents first point of contact is always the class teacher; most concerns are easily addressed this way. If you would prefer, you can talk to the SENCo or the Head Teacher. The school encourages parents to share their concerns quickly. If you need more support we can put you in touch with SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Services) who will be happy to help.
Oxfordshire’s Local Offer can be found here:
This is the link for SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Independent Advice and Support Service):