Special Educational Needs
At Simmondley Primary School the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is Mrs Kathy Collyer.
At Simmondley Primary School we embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the educational needs of every child are different. We strive to support all children to enable them to achieve their full potential at school. In order to do this many steps are taken to support them through their learning journey.
Quality teaching is vital; however for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets. This may be an indication of a special educational need (SEN), or may be a short term need.
The SEN Code of Practice defines Special Educational Needs as follows:
"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 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 or mainstream post-16 institutions."
Please see Simmondley Primary School's Special Educational Needs (SEN) policy
In September 2014 the Government made changes to the law for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). For a summary of the latest reforms please see New Arrangements For Supporting Children And Young People With Special Educational Needs (Sen) And Disabilities
What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer is a description of all the services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This information should set out what is normally available in schools to help children with SEN as well as highlighting what support is available for families who need additional help to support children with more complex needs. Please access the Derbyshire Local Offer.
Simmondley Primary School has carefully considered the following questions, frequently asked by parents and carers. Below are our responses to these questions.
1. How does Simmondley Primary School know if your child needs extra help?
We know a pupil needs extra help if:
- Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
- Limited progress is being made
- There is a change in the pupil's behaviour or progress
If you have any concerns about your child's progress the initial point of contact is your child's class teacher. You can also contact the SENCO, Mrs Kathy Collyer.
2. How does Simmondley Primary School support a child with special educational needs?
All teachers at Simmondley match the curriculum to the needs of the individuals in their classes. The children are taught from their own starting points and set personal targets.
If a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily. They may be given an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which will identify manageable next steps in learning for the pupil. Targets will be set and monitored by the class teacher. IEPs will be shared with parents termly and a copy given to them.
Teaching Assistants (TAs) may be allocated to work with a pupil in a 1:1 or small group to target more specific needs.
If more specific areas of education are identified on a child's IEP, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy or literacy skills, then the pupil may be taught in a small group. This will be run by a teacher or a teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need. These interventions will be recorded on the school provision map. If you have any queries about the intervention please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or SENCO.
Occasionally, a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency, such as Speech and Language Therapy or Occupational Therapy. A referral will be made, with your consent and sent to the relevant service. After further assessments, a programme of support may be given to the school and parents/carers.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to meet my child's needs?
Teachers at Simmondley Primary School aim to meet the learning needs of all pupils by using a range of different teaching styles. These include: practical, hands-on activities; use of the interactive whiteboard; multi-sensory provision; outdoor learning; collaborative group work and reflective independent working.
The curriculum will be differentiated accordingly to suit each pupil's individual needs. This may include additional general support by the class teacher or by a teaching assistant in class. Pupils may also be supported by differentiated resources within school.
If a child has an IEP (see above) he or she will be supported in working towards the outcomes identified on their IEP, wherever possible within the classroom. Some smaller group work may take place in other quiet, purposeful spaces across school.
4. How do the teachers know how well my child is doing?
On a daily basis, teachers at Simmondley review the teaching and learning in the classroom and plan next steps in learning accordingly.
The interventions provided on the school provision map will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.
Pupil progress meetings are held each term. This is a meeting where the class teachers meet with the Head teacher, Deputy Head teacher and SENCO to discuss the progress of pupils in their class. This shared discussion may highlight any potential problems and allow for further support to be planned.
On some occasions more formal assessments may be carried out to ascertain how much progress has been made and to inform the next steps in planning for your child. Such assessment may include reading or spelling age assessments. Your child's teacher will explain any assessments they have used with your child.
5. How can I work with Simmondley Primary School to support my child's learning?
You can work with us by:
- reading at home regularly - listening to your child and reading to them
- supporting any additional activities that are sent home, either by school or other agencies
- sharing information about your child's strengths and areas for development
- attending any parents information evenings or progress meetings that are held in school
- contributing to your child's IEP
- being positive with your child and recognising the small steps of progress they make
- encouraging regular attendance: "every school day counts, and every minute matters!"
6. What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?
The school offers a variety of pastoral support for children who are experiencing emotional difficulties.
- Members of staff such as the class teacher and Teaching Assistants (TAs) who are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns
- Nurture group sessions
- Playtime and lunchtime support for those who find these times challenging
- Access to Forest Schools sessions (again where deemed appropriate)
The SENCo may also contact outside agencies for further advice and support.
7. What support is in place for behaviour, avoiding exclusions and increasing attendance?
Simmondley Primary School has believes that everyone has the right to learn, the right to feel safe and the right to be treated with respect. These rights are taught throughout school and continually revisited and reinforced.
In order to promote British values and prepare our children for life in modern Britain, a character strength, such as perseverance or tolerance, is introduced in assembly. The children are then involved in identifying peers to be awarded certificates for modeling that strength.
Teachers follow a positive behaviour policy, rewarding good behaviour wherever possible. Please see our behaviour policy. Children are rewarded for exemplary behaviour through our star charts, whereby they are able to win star points for their team. Each week the winning team is announced in our celebration assembly, and every half term the overall winning team is rewarded with a treat within school.
In addition the school may access support from the Behaviour Support Service (BSS). The BSS is available to advise staff on behavioural needs, observe children in class and work with children individually or in small groups. If we are accessing the support of this service for your child we will inform you. Where individual work is felt appropriate for a pupil we will ask for parental consent.
This service will provide support for families, pupils and the school if a pupil is at risk of exclusion.
Where there are attendance concerns the Education Welfare Officer will work with schools and families to support improved attendance.
8. What specialist services or expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
There is a wide range of services available to provide teachers with more specialised expertise. The main agencies used by the school are:
- Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
- Occupational Therapy (OT)
- Sensory Support Service (SSS)- to support pupils with hearing/visual impairment
- Behaviour Support Service (BSS)
- Educational Psychology (EP)
- Derbyshire Inclusion Team
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Autism Outreach
- Multi Agency Autism Team (MAAT)
- School Nurse
There may be other services used dependent on the specific needs of a pupil.
9. How will my child be included in activities outside of the classroom?
Simmondley is a fully inclusive school and we will always do our best to ensure that all children can take part in all activities within school. Activities may be adapted or extra support provided to ensure that all children can participate. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to allow all children to participate. Parents will be asked to contribute to discussions about how best to support their child in these activities. If it is deemed that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during an activity.
10. How accessible is the school environment?
Simmondley Primary School is fully accessible to anyone with physical needs including full wheelchair access. We also have 2 disabled toilet facilities.
As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.
11. How will the school prepare my child for joining the school and transferring to a new school?
Prior to entry, we will arrange additional visits and taster sessions to Simmondley to familiarise your child with the environment and the staff who will be working with them. Staff from Simmondley will also meet with you and any Pre-school staff to discuss your child's needs and help to plan for a smooth, successful transition.
For children who find change a challenge we also organise transition sessions at the end of an academic year in preparation for a change of teacher and classroom. These involve talking about how things will change, how things will stay the same as well as visiting new classrooms and teachers. All children in the school have a "class swap" session where they meet their new class teacher.
When children transfer to a new school, information about their educational needs is always shared with the receiving school and records passed on. At the end of Year 6 staff from the receiving secondary school will usually visit the pupils at Simmondley and talk to them and their teachers about their individual strengths and needs. Extra transition work may be carried out by school staff or the Behaviour Support Service teacher to support those children who are more vulnerable at transition time. Additional visits to the secondary school may be arranged if necessary.
12. How are the school's resources allocated and matched to pupils' SENs?
The SEN budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual's needs.
Support can take many forms and our guiding principal is providing the highest quality education to all children. Support may include (but is not restricted to):
- 1:1 teaching sessions
- Small group teaching
- Additional teaching resources or practical apparatus
- Teaching others in small groups to allow your child to be taught in a smaller group by the class teacher
- Accessing additional support from specialists
Additional support will be discussed with parents and the aim of the support explained
13. How are decisions made about how much support my child will receive?
The type and level of support will be discussed by the class teacher, SENCo and Head teacher at pupil progress meetings. Provision will then be discussed with parents. We hope to work in partnership with parents to achieve the best possible outcomes for all our pupils. Where necessary, the SENCo will contact external agencies, such as Speech and Language Therapy, for specialist advice as to how best to support your child.
14. How will I be involved in discussions and planning for my child's education?
The provision and its impact will be shared with you at termly meetings. The Autumn term and Spring term meetings can be combined with the school's parents evenings, although a longer appointment will be necessary. You can always make an appointment to discuss your child's progress at other times of the year by contacting your child's class teacher and/or the SENCO. Your own views of your child's progress are very important to us.
15. How will my child be able to contribute their views?
Where appropriate to the child, they will be asked to contribute ideas about what they feel is working or otherwise when individual plans are reviewed termly. Their views may be gathered in an informal discussion with the child and from parental contributions. Pupils may be asked; what's working, what do you like, what helps you to learn/prevents you from learning?
The children at Simmondley Primary School regularly evaluate their own progress and so for a pupil with special needs this will be an extension of this process.
16. Who can parents contact for further information?
If you wish to discuss your child's educational needs prior to starting Simmondley Primary School, please contact the school office on 01457 852721 to make an appointment with the SENCO.
If your child is already a pupil at Simmondley Primary School, the first point of contact should be his or her class teacher. If you have further questions or are unhappy about something, please contact the SENCO.
If you require information about the services available to young people and families in Derbyhire please refer to the Derbyshire Local Offer.
We hope these have answered any queries you may have but do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any further questions.