SEN Information Report
At Offa’s Mead Academy, we embrace the fact that every child is different, and, therefore, the educational needs of every child are different; this is certainly the case for children with special educational needs. Please see the questions detailed below for information on how we support children with Special educational needs.
What are the kinds of special educational needs that Offa’s Mead provides?
1. Class teacher input, via excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).
For your child this would mean:
- That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
- That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
- That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical equipment.
- That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo) are in place to support your child to learn.
- Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
2. Specific group work intervention which may:
- Operate within the classroom or a group room.
- Be organised or administered by a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA).
- Consist of specialist groups run by outside agencies, e.g. Speech and Language therapy, Local Authority central services and the Educational Psychologists (EPS)
What could happen?
You will be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional, e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and you to understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively in school.
The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support.
3. Specified Individual support
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.
This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching.
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups
Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team, Behaviour Support or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).
The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child requires this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
After the reports have all been sent in, the Panel of Professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
The Statement or EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long- and short-term goals for your child.
The additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.
How does the school know if children need extra help?
At Offa’s Mead Academy, children are identified as having SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) through a variety of ways, which may include some of the following:
· Liaison with previous school or pre-school setting
· Child performing below ‘age expected’ levels or equivalent (e.g. standardised scores or percentile ranking)
· Concerns raised by a parent
· Concerns raised by a teacher: for example, if behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
· Liaison with external agencies e.g. for a physical/ sensory issue, speech and language etc.
· Use of tools for standardised assessment such as: Language for thinking, Salford reading, Irlen assessment etc.
· Children with a Statement / EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) already have many of their needs clearly identified. Their placement at our school is a decision that is made by the Local Education Authority.
For additional information on Offa’s Mead Academy’s identification procedure please see the identification flow chart attached.
How do I raise concerns if I need to?
Talk to us –Initially contact the child’s class teacher about the concerns. If you feel that you would like to speak to a senior member of staff, ask to arrange an appointment with the SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or Key stage leader (KS2 Miss Davies/ KS1 Miss Hall). Appointments can be arranged in person, by phone or by email.
How will the school support my child?
Who will oversee, plan and work with my child and how often?
The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that appropriate progress is made in every area . Our SENDCo and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) oversee the progress of any child identified as having SEND. There may be a TA (Teaching Assistant) or HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) working with the child either individually or as part of a group specifically working towards the child’s individual targets. All work carried out in these sessions are planned for and evaluated by the class teacher. Regular monitoring takes place to ensure the child is receiving a high level of teaching. The content of this support will be discussed at My Plan review meetings as part of the child’s bespoke programme of learning.
Who will explain this to me?
The class teacher and the SENDCo will meet with you formally on at least a termly basis to discuss the child’s progress and the support that they are receiving. Individual targets for the child to work on according to their needs are made at these meetings and then a copy of the child’s My Plan will be sent home. Class teachers are always happy to discuss the child’s needs if you have questions or concerns between formal meetings. Please speak to them directly to arrange this or ring the office to schedule an appointment. An appointment can be made with the SENDCo to discuss support in more detail if required.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the Academy ?
We are an inclusive Academy; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring and understanding team of staff who will nurture and support the child in their individual school journey.
The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the Principal/ SENDCO for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services, and/or the Behaviour Support Team
At Offa’s Mead Academy we say STOP to bullying. Start Telling Other People and have a clear definition of what bullying is - Several Times On Purpose. Regular assemblies are held about being kind and caring to one another and we regularly promote our family ethos. We take part in national Anti-bullying week every Academic year and every classroom has a visual STOP bullying display up. Weekly ‘bin it’ and ‘bag it’ sessions are carried out in class and special arrangements are made for children who require additional pastoral support as and when required. Drawing and Talking intervention also occurs in our Academy and children are directed to this by their class teacher with consent from their parent or guardian.
What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?
As an Academy we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear Ladder Of Intervention that is followed by all staff and pupils. All children have the opportunity to earn weekly Golden Time by following the Academy’s golden rules and in some instances children are put on daily golden time to encourage and praise good behaviour. Positive reinforcements are used in all classrooms. Incidents of concern are recorded and discussed regularly. Children for whom we have a high concern are discussed at staff meetings. If a child has behavioural difficulties an Individual Behaviour Plan is written in conjunction with the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets. After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour. Social stories and thought provoking activities are used to reduce the likelihood of recurring behaviours. Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and any concerns are addressed by the Principal and / or the class teacher.
How will the curriculum be differentiated to match my child’s needs?
At Offa’s Mead Academy all learning activities within class are planned and differentiated at an appropriate level, so that all children are able to access learning and achieve according to their specific needs. The class teacher, alongside the SENDCo will discuss a child’s needs and what support will be appropriate and Children with SEND will have access to the appropriate resources needed in order to help them to make progress e.g. phonic mats, coloured overlays, practical maths packs, feelings cards, play buddies, behaviour charts etc.
How will we know if this has had an impact?
At Offa’s Mead Academy we constantly assess, review and then act so that each child is progressing in their learning. We track the child’s progress academically against age related expectations (or equivalents) and aim to diminish the difference between them and their peers. This is assessed using standardised tests on a regular basis and then reviewed at My Plan meetings. It is also measured through verbal feedback (pupil voice) from the child, the parent and teacher to build a wider picture. If a child has made sufficient and sustained progress they will be removed from the SEN register – parents will always be informed if this has taken place.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress?
You are welcome to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENDCo at any time throughout the year and discuss how the child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help to support the child at home.
The child may have a My Plan that will have individual/group targets. This is discussed with you on at least a termly basis and parents are provided with a copy. The conversation will also provide suggestions as to how you can support the child’s learning at home. All parents are offered a termly opportunity to participate in a learning conversation. When the child’s My Plan is reviewed, comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made and advice is then given on how further progress could be obtained.
On some occasions it may be necessary for the child to be seen by an Advisory Teaching Service ( ATS) to offer further advice and support to ensure continued progression. You will be contacted prior to this happening and a form of consent will have to be signed before an external agency will work with the child.
How does the academy know how well my child is doing?
As an Academy we track and analyse the children’s progress in learning against national expectations and age related expectations on a half-termly basis. The class teacher continually assesses each child tracking where they are improving and where further support is needed. As an Academy, we track children’s progress from entry at Year R through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods. Pupil Progress Meetings are held each half term between each class teacher, the Principal and/or Key Stage leaders. In these meetings, a discussion takes place concerning children who are not making expected progress and possible actions are discussed. Where specific needs are apparent, the Academy has a range of assessments which can be used to explore a child’s strengths and difficulties in more depth, for example various standardised assessments, such as Single Word Reading and spelling. The Principal and SENDCo report regularly to the Governing Body to inform them about the progress of children with SEND and how resources are being used. Information provided will never name individual children in order to maintain confidentiality at all times. We have a governor who is responsible for SEN, who meets regularly with the SENDCo and attends briefing sessions. They also report back to the Governing Body.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including academy trips?
All children are included in all parts of the Academy curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on Academy trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful and may discuss this in advance with parents. It might be appropriate for a parent/carer to accompany a child on a Academy trip, depending upon the child’s individual needs. A detailed risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety is not compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities that will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided within the Academy environment, wherever possible. A variety of after Academy clubs are provided during lunchtimes and after Academy . We aim for these to be as inclusive as possible and may provide additional staff or sessions in order to achieve this. Our Midday Supervisory Assistants (MSA) and Learning Support Assistants (LSA) support the children during lunchtimes and any further support is considered on an individual basis, dependent on the specific needs of the child.
How will the Academy prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
We encourage all new children to visit the Academy prior to starting. For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings. We write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult. When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits, supported by Teaching Assistants if appropriate. At our ‘feeder’ secondary schools they run programmes specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils. We liaise closely with Staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood. If the child has complex needs then a Statement review or an Education and Health Care Plan review will take place. This will be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the academy ?
At Offa’s Mead Academy we have a culture of sharing good practice and expertise; this enables us to ensure our staff have as much knowledge as possible within the field of supporting children with SEN. The environment is designed to support children with individual needs e.g. visual timetables, individual workstations, task boards, ear defenders, weighted scarves, coloured overlays etc. As an Academy we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to supporting individual children’s’ needs within our Academy including but not limited to: Advisory Teachers, Educational Psychologists and Play Therapists.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please speak to the class teacher in the first instance. However, general information relating to SEND can be found on the Academy website, more specifically within the SEND policy. This can be found on the policy page of the Academy website.
Further information is available from the SENDCo, Principal or key stage leaders; in exceptional circumstances, the SEN Governor. The Academy has a complaints policy, which is available on the Academy website.
You might also wish to visit the following websites: Gloucestershire County Council’s website which outline services available for children and young people who have SEND.
Our aim is to be inclusive and to adapt the environment and provision to meet the needs of pupils who attend our school. We have experienced and well-trained staff who provide for all pupils' needs across the school.
We ensure that we:
· Monitor the progress of all pupils; some children and young people with SEN can be identified at birth, other difficulties only become evident as children grow and develop
· Provide appropriately for all pupils with any kind of Special Educational Need or Disability
· Listen to the pupil
· Listen to parent/carers
· Are able to distinguish between pupils who may need some support within the classroom and within the differentiated curriculum, and pupils with Special Educational Needs and/ or disabilities
· Identify barriers to learning using their knowledge and understanding of the four primary areas of need; the areas of need are:
- Communication and Interaction (C+I)
- Cognition and Learning (C+L)
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
- Sensory and/or Physical (S+P)
Click here for more information on each.
Please click here to see our SEND Graduated Response at Offa’s Mead Academy
Details of the local offer can be found here
Useful links click here