All SEND provision is overseen and managed by the Inclusion Leader (SENDCo), Karen Hague. If you have any concerns about your child’s educational needs please contact Karen Hague (01937 583379 or SEND@spherefederation.org).
At the heart of the work of every primary school class is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment which takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the children. The majority of children will learn and progress within these arrangements. Those children whose overall attainments and achievement in specific subjects fall significantly outside the expected range may have Special Educational Needs (SEN).
At St James’ CE Primary School, we provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils based on three principles:
- setting suitable learning challenges;
- responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs;
- overcoming potential barriers to learning.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
- have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age. This may relate to impairments in communication and interaction, cognition and learning, behavioural, emotional and social development, or sensory or physical needs.
For children who have a specific learning difficulty or a disability, our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) policy outlines the educational support we provide – this is often referred to as our ‘SEND Offer’, detailed below. This provision is alongside the Leeds Local Offer.
- Read the 2022 Information Report
- Read the 2021 Information Report
- Read the 2020 Information Report
- Read the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
You might also like to read our Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan.
If you’re not happy with the any of the arrangements in place for your child, we would always recommend that you initially speak to the Inclusion Leader in school. Our aim is to work together for the best outcomes for your child. If a resolution isn’t possible, you may wish to follow our complaints procedure. If you’re unhappy with anything in relation to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment or an EHC plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 378 5256.
In addition to the formal support processes set out above, parents and young people can seek advice and support from Leeds SEND Information Advice Support Service who will be able to offer support. You can email email@example.com or call the Helpline on 0113 378 5020.
How we support children with SEND
We have an inclusive ethos and work in partnership with children, parents and other agencies to provide the best possible educational outcomes. We have high expectations of all our children. We assess their attainment, progress and needs regularly and put support in place at the earliest possible stage where needed. All children in our school are treated equally, regardless of Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. We have an inclusive ethos – no children are treated in a disadvantaged manner.
We use the Department for Education’s definition of what Special Educational Needs (SEN) is:
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
THE ROLE OF THE CHILD
Every individual child and their learning is at the heart of all we do. With great teaching, support and guidance, we expect all children in our school to achieve their full potential. Children’s role is to participate fully in the teaching and learning process. They should listen carefully, contribute ideas and answers, try their very best in their independent learning and seek help when they need it. Children should also follow our school rules – this applies to all children, all the time.
THE ROLE OF THE PARENT / CARER
Parents are vital partners in the child’s journey through school and are invited to attend review meetings of their child’s progress. For example, this could be a parents’ / carer’s evening appointment or a meeting with the class teacher and Karen Hague, the Inclusion Leader (a role often referred to as SENCo – SEN Co-ordinator). Where the child has more complex needs, parents / carers are also invited to annual reviews which may involve other professionals. We expect parents / carers to engage with school and to support their child’s learning at home. Central to this is hearing their child read on a daily basis, making sure their child learns spellings and tables and helping with homework tasks.
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER AND TEACHING ASSISTANT
All our children are treated as individuals and the class teacher, alongside support staff, plan an appropriately differentiated curriculum for children. This ensures high quality teaching and learning with effective support and resources. When needed, we put in place targets, plans and appropriate provision to meet the additional needs of children with SEN. We review these regularly. Assessments are carried out to ensure children are on track to meet targets and that planning accurately addresses their needs. Progress and plans are regularly reviewed and evaluated to inform next steps.
Many staff in school are trained, and have worked alongside other professionals, to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in specific areas of SEN. For example, we have staff who have developed high levels of expertise in the delivery of speech and language therapy and we run several groups to further develop the language skills of our children. High priority is given to the emotional and social wellbeing of our children and we offer nurture groups and 1:1 support for children who may benefit.
Staff ensure that their classrooms are stimulating and provide prompts and challenges for all pupils. Children with SEN benefit from the ‘learning wall’ displays and the posters around class which remind them of spelling rules, writing genres, vocabulary etc.
THE ROLE OF SCHOOL LEADERS
All SEN provision is overseen and managed by the Inclusion Leader, Karen Hague. Together with other school leaders, she monitors, reviews and evaluates all SEN provision on a regular basis throughout the year. They set high expectations for all pupils and staff.
Within the governing body, the Pupil Support sub-committee is responsible for SEN provision. They oversee how individual needs are being met and how SEN funding above £6,000 is being spent. Funding may, for example, be spent on additional services such as additional speech and language therapy or learning resources.
Leaders ensure that the school’s physical environment is as appropriate and accessible as possible, within the means and confines of the school building – see Accessibility and Equality information.
THE ROLE OF OUTSIDE AGENCIES
With the needs of the child at the heart of what we do, we may seek support from other agencies. This would be when we need specific or substantially greater help such as advice from Educational Psychologists, the School Nurse and the Complex Needs Team. We work with other schools in a cluster who can provide services such as Family Outreach Workers, Counselling and Therapeutic Services.
Frequently asked questions from parents / carers
WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD MAY HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS?
You should contact your child’s teacher initially or arrange a meeting with the Inclusion Leader, Miss Hague. We will listen carefully to concerns and put appropriate actions in place. This may involve suggesting other professionals who might be able to help. Because we closely monitor every child’s attainment and progress, it’s likely that we will have already spoken to you about any concerns we have.
HOW WILL SCHOOL SUPPORT MY CHILD?
The class teacher will plan specific targets and the support needed to meet those targets. This is likely to include lots of extra practice of a specific aspect of learning over the course of the week as well as differentiated tasks within lessons. This will be overseen by the Inclusion Leader and any other professionals involved with the child. Any alternative provision will be delivered by teachers and support staff and will be reviewed regularly by teachers and the Inclusion Leader. Any plans or targets will be shared with you at parents’ evenings or at review meetings with the Inclusion Leader.
HOW WILL THE CURRICULUM BE MATCHED TO MY CHILD’S NEEDS?
As well as individual plans and targets, which would usually be delivered on a one to one basis, we make sure that all children have access to a curriculum which is differentiated to challenge and meet individual needs. We might also group children so they access targeted support or specific resources together – this group work often helps with their learning and social needs.
HOW WILL I KNOW HOW WELL MY CHILD IS DOING AND HOW WILL YOU HELP ME SUPPORT MY CHILD’S LEARNING?
In addition to normal reporting arrangements, there are parents’ evenings and review meetings where there will be opportunities for you to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. The Inclusion Leader is always available on these evenings for further discussion and to support you with any concerns you may have. You can be involved in supporting your child’s education in consultation with the class teacher. This may involve special homework tasks or reinforcement of classroom strategies in the home. We will always try to offer parent training or learning events to help this process and we welcome suggestions from you if there’s anything else that you would like support with.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR MY CHILD’S OVERALL WELL-BEING?
St James’ has a caring and supportive ethos. We are an inclusive school. We make sure all our children have the highest levels of pastoral care possible. We have close partnerships with outside agencies. This ensures support is available for families who may need additional support. We also have members of staff trained to support using Early Help Plans which can provide support to families in need. All our staff are trained in child protection procedures and there are two members of staff, the Inclusion Leader and Head of School, who are specially designated to ensure the safeguarding of all children.
WHAT SPECIALIST SERVICES AND EXPERTISE ARE AVAILABLE OR ACCESSED BY THE SCHOOL?
Our open door policy ensures you can feel confident when you approach school with a problem. You can tell us your concerns and we will access a range of services to provide support. This may involve referral to targeted services such as counselling or family support. Where education is the issue, the Inclusion Leader has access to specialists such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapists, Complex Needs Team and the STARS team (specialists in autism). We recognise the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and have close links with the Early Years Team .Similarly, we work closely with the School Nurse, who is available to train staff when children have specific medical issues and links with many other support agencies.
WHAT TRAINING ARE THE STAFF SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH SEN HAVING / HAD?
Our Inclusion Leader has over 20 years of experience of working with children in schools and has specialised in SEN for a substantial part of this. In her time at St James’ CE Primary School, she has transformed SEN management and provision. Many staff have become trained and specialised in the development of speech and language groups and the delivery of individual programmes of study. One-to-one support staff are skilled in behaviour management. Through in-house training and input from outside providers, we also have high levels of expertise in the understanding of behavioural difficulties and have robust systems in place to support and monitor children whose barriers to learning lie in this area. Staff have attended extra training to support their own learning and have become specialised in areas of need such as phonics, dyslexia and specific learning support programmes.
HOW WILL MY CHILD BE INCLUDED IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM?
We ensure all children with SEN are able to access all activities and school trips enjoyed by their peers (although these may have be adapted for those with specific needs). We consult with parents / carers when planning activities to ensure safety and inclusion when it will help meet the child’s needs. Some children with complex needs will receive extra funding and this will be used where possible to employ staff on a one-to-one basis to promote independence but to also support inclusion at all times.
HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE SCHOOL?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the confines of the building and is adapted where possible with additional funding if necessary. Most of the school is accessible for wheelchairs but space in some classrooms is severely limited. Children who need additional specific equipment and facilities will have their needs met to the best of our ability, sometimes through an application for additional funding.
HOW WILL THE SCHOOL HELP MY CHILD MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PHASE OF EDUCATION?
Transition arrangements are firmly established in the school. You and your child, where appropriate, will be involved in any decisions made. Social and emotional support is planned to ensure all children make transitions smoothly and confidently.
HOW ARE SCHOOL RESOURCES ALLOCATED AND MATCHED TO THE CHILDREN’S SEN NEEDS?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. Blocks of £6,000 are allocated depending on the number of children who meet the criteria and who are on the school’s inclusion register. The school can apply for a ‘top-up’ if we feel that a child’s needs are greater than what can be provided through the £6,000 block. We would use the additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of your child. This may take the form of a one-to-one support worker to support the child to access a personalised timetable, develop independence and access all areas of the curriculum. However, do be aware that there are strict criteria for additional funding to be granted.
HOW IS THE DECISION MADE ABOUT WHAT TYPE AND HOW MUCH SUPPORT MY CHILD WILL RECEIVE?
The Inclusion Leader will take advice from all professionals involved with the child alongside the views of you and your child. The best possible package of support will be put in place. We will regularly monitor the support and update where necessary.
HOW ARE PARENTS INVOLVED IN THE SCHOOL AND HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED?
Parents are kept informed about teaching and learning through regular newsletters, the news page for each class on our website, parents’ evenings and other events. We have learning workshops to show parents our methods of teaching phonics, reading and maths. Teachers are happy to meet with parents, often on a drop-in basis, to discuss ways to support your child at home. If you want to be more involved, you could consider joining the school’s active PTA or the Governing Body.
HOW CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
If you’re considering applying for a place, contact the office, who will direct you to our Inclusion Leader, Karen Hague, for further information and help with your application.
If you want to discuss something about your child, contact the class teacher in the first instance.
If you want information about other support services, ask the Inclusion Leader, Karen Hague.
If you want information about the local authority’s Local Offer, visit their website or ask the Inclusion Leader, Miss Hague.
You might find it helpful to look at some summaries of key policies.