Frequently Asked Questions
How does the school know if children need extra help?
Every child is an individual and they all develop and learn at different rates. This means that different teaching styles will be used in the classroom to support individual children with their learning and/or appropriate arrangements will be made to help with medical conditions and/or disabilities that are affecting your child’s schooling. Most children will benefit from these different approaches and will make appropriate progress, whilst other children may require more support for special educational needs (including learning difficulties, medical conditions and/or disabilities).
On-going monitoring takes place by class teachers to identify pupils who are not making progress or who have behaviour needs which are affecting their ability to engage in learning activities.
After discussions with key staff and parents, additional support may be put into place through resources/ targeted small group and / or individual support to help overcome any difficulties.
In consultation with the Inclusion Manager and parents, short term measurable targets are agreed to address key areas of learning/ behaviour. Where external agencies are involved, their advice and recommendations are included. Actions agreed take into account each pupil’s strengths as well as their difficulties.
In some cases additional teaching assistant support may be allocated. This support is deployed to ensure pupils can engage in lessons and wider school activities and to facilitate independent learning.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you have concerns about your child you should speak to your child’s class teacher first. You may then be directed to the Inclusion Leader.
How will the school support my child and how will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Teachers aim to adapt teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class. Daily planning takes into account individual pupil’s needs and requirements. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.
Grouping arrangements are organised flexibly with opportunities for both ability and mixed ability groups to maximise learning opportunities for all.
How can I find out about how well my child is doing?
Regular reviews may be held to monitor progress. Parents, relevant external agencies and when appropriate, pupils are invited to reviews. The impact of support offered is considered along with the progress towards targets set. Support arrangements will be updated and revised accordingly. If not involved already, this might include referral to external agencies. If a child is continuing to have significant difficulties, further external expertise may be requested.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Regular liaison and communication takes place with parents and professionals. This may include parent meetings, multi-agency meetings and the sharing of reports. Home/school communication books may also be used.
What support will there be for my child/young person’s overall well-being?
Strategies to reduce anxiety and promote emotional well-being of children include access to Learning Mentor support and Family Liaison support.The learning mentor uses the school’s Nurture room for interventions and mentoring sessions.
The school also accesses outside agencies such as the Family Link Worker and the Play Therapist. Small group social skills groups and self-esteem groups may also be used. Behaviour support plans may also be used to address any additional behaviour needs.
What specialist services and expertise are accessed by the school?
The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met. These include:
Educational Psychology Service (EP)
Learning Inclusion Advisory Teachers
Social Communication Team
Sensory Support Service
Speech and Language Therapy
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
Family Link Worker
Parent Partnership Service
Primary Mental Healthcare Worker
Individual healthcare plans for those children with specific medical needs.
What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND, had or will be having?
School staff undertake training both in school and from external agencies including:
Access to advice/ support from school nurse ( including individual protocols for children with significant medical needs and allergies)
Support and advice from the speech and language therapist.(TAs deliver planned Speech and language programmes, devised by a Speech and Language Therapist.)
Additional adults are used flexibly to help groups and individual pupils with a long term goal of developing independent learning skills.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All pupils receive the broad, balanced and individually differentiated curriculum to which they are entitled including activities outside the classroom and school trips.
Additional support may be made for individual children as necessary.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school building is fully accessible and is all on the ground floor.
Weighted blankets/back packs/wedge cushions (sensory processing difficulties)
Specialist equipment such as Sloping boards for motor difficulties and ear defenders to reduce sensory processing difficulties (ASD students)
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and transfer to a new school?
The school liaises carefully with pre-school settings and secondary schools to ensure smooth transitions. There may be extra visits and meetings for some Year 6 and EYFS pupils and their families to help with transition to and from school.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
Parents are involved as soon as there is any concern about a child's learning and are seen as partners in meeting their child's educational needs.
Parental involvement in a child's education is highly valued at Portfield Primary Academy. Parent's views are sought whenever possible and parents can make a contribution by:
a) Ensuring regular school attendance.
b) Informing the school of any problems or concerns and helping school to understand their child’s needs through sharing their unique knowledge of their own child.
c) Involving themselves in school activities and generally supporting the school.
d) Helping children cope with school life e.g. bringing necessary equipment and supporting children with homework.
e) Attending all meetings concerning their children.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you have concerns about your child you should speak to your child’s class teacher first. You may then be directed to the Inclusion Leader and SENCo (Mrs Madisson).