SEND / Local Offer Information. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School

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1 SEND / Local Offer Information St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School Welcome At St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School we believe that each individual is created by God and is unique and equal to others regardless of sex, nationality, colour, creed, class, wealth or intellectual ability. We believe that education is a moral transaction between one generation and another. It takes place in communities, the home, the school and the parish. Every child in our school is valued and encouraged to achieve human wholeness spiritually, morally, emotionally and academically in a happy, secure Christian environment which aspires to the highest expectations of behaviour and academic standards. Our Catholic beliefs permeate all decisions concerning Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

2 At St Thomas Aquinas School we believe in achievement, ambition and progress for all children. We aim to meet the needs of individual children through highly effective teaching and learning There is an emphasis on early identification of needs through supportive strategies which reduce barriers to learning. We work in a flexible way to develop effective partnerships with children and their parents/carers and with specialist teaching staff both within the school and external professionals in order to ensure that the school can meet a range of special educational needs. We undertake a rigorous system of monitoring children s progress, supporting academic and personal achievement by removing barriers to learning and we use a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of life long learning for all children. Definition of SEND: (Code of Practice 2014) A child has special educational needs if he/she has a learning difficulty which calls for special provision to be made. A child has a learning difficulty if they have: a significantly greater learning difficulty than the majority of children of the same age. a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of the kind generally provided for children of the same age in mainstream schools. A child with additional needs is NOT considered to have SEN if: the language spoken at home is different from the language used in school i.e. English is not their first language. the child has exceptional abilities i.e. is gifted and talented The term SEND is used across the 0-25 year age range.

3 LOCAL OFFER - Questions and answers for parents and carers. 1. How does the school know if children need extra help? At St. Thomas Aquinas School children are initially identified as having special educational needs through a variety of ways including: Liaison with the child s previous school or Early Years setting Concerns raised by parents/ carers Concerns raised by the class teacher, school staff or SENCo Concerns raised due to behavioural difficulties or poor self-esteem which is affecting academic performance Liaison with external professionals e.g. Speech and Language therapist A medical diagnosis Early identification is vital. Triggers for concern will be evidenced and will show that, despite differentiated learning opportunities, the child: - has made little or no progress even though areas of weakness have been identified and targeted. - has difficulty in Literacy or Numeracy skills which results in poor attainment in other curriculum areas. - presents persistent emotional and /or behavioural difficulties not dealt with by behaviour management techniques used in school. - has communication and / or interaction difficulties which require specific individual intervention in order to access learning. - has physical or sensory problems and who continues to make little progress despite personal aids or equipment. The class teacher makes an initial Record of Concern and informs the SENCo and parents at the earliest opportunity to share concerns and enlist their active support and participation.

4 2. What should a parent/carer do if they think their child may have special educational needs (SEND)? Parents and guardians are important educators of their children and we value the partnership that we have in fully developing the child that has been entrusted to us. We have an open door approach which allows parents and teachers to meet informally to discuss the children s progress and needs. Parents evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms to formally discuss progress, targets and any concerns or needs. Alternatively, should a parent or guardian be concerned with their child s progress at any time, an appointment can be made to speak with the relevant staff.

5 3. How will school staff support the pupil who has been identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities? Pupils who have special educational needs or disabilities will be supported in their learning on a daily basis, by differentiated teaching practices, levels of support from teacher and teaching assistants and resources implemented by the class teacher who must offer planned, targeted support to ensure academic progress. Each child s progress will be discussed during termly Pupil Performance Reviews. The SENCo will coordinate provision and liaise with colleagues in line with the school s policy, managing a range of resources, human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with special educational needs. She will seek advice from outside specialists who visit the school to assess pupils and will ensure their recommendations are put into place. The SENCo will regularly meet with the parents of children with special educational needs to discuss concerns and progress. She will manage school-based assessment and the completion of any documentation required by outside agencies and the LA. She will oversee the records of all children with special educational needs, attend relevant meetings and liaise with other schools to ensure the effective transfer of pupils with SEND. The SENCo will monitor and evaluate special educational needs provision within the school and will report to the governing body. The Head teacher must ensure every child receives outstanding teaching every day and that all teachers and support staff are aware of the importance of providing for children with special educational needs or disabilities. He will track and monitor the progress of children and evaluate the impact of interventions ensuring that all children receive their full educational entitlement to access the whole curriculum. The headteacher will ensure that there is sufficient funding for SEND provision including opportunity for staff training. Our Governing Body aims to secure the necessary provision for any pupil identified as having special educational needs. They monitor the success of the school s policy for children with special educational needs, consult the Local Authority and other schools when necessary and report annually to parents on the success of the school s SEN policy. The Governing Body at St. Thomas Aquinas School have identified a governor to have specific responsibility of the school s SEN provision. This governor may ask for up-to-date records, data analysis, pupil tracking information or test results for individuals or for groups of children. The governor will monitor Value Added data for pupils on the school s SEN register, evidence from OFSTED inspection reports and development plans.

6 4. How will the curriculum be matched to pupils who need extra support or who have SEND? At St Thomas Aquinas we respect the fact that children: have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations require different strategies for learning acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences. Teachers take account of this by looking carefully at how classrooms and lessons are organised, by careful choice of books and materials, strategic allocation of resources and additional adult help, appropriately levelled questioning and task differentiation. Through clear target setting we ensure that all children, regardless of ability, know and are able to achieve the next steps in their learning and therefore experience success. This will ensure that barriers to learning are reduced and access to the school and its curriculum is adequately supported so that all children are able to succeed.

7 5. How will school and the parent know how the pupil is progressing? How will the school help the parent to support the pupil s learning? At St. Thomas Aquinas School regular and accurate assessment of progress is key to ensuring that pupils develop to their fullest ability. Children s progress is assessed through a wide range of formal and informal methods throughout their time in school. We monitor and report progress on a daily, weekly, termly or annual basis including: Annual report to parents including progress against the national expectation of similar aged children End of Key Stage 1 and KS 2 SAT tests and optional SATs for years 3, 4 and 5. Year 1 Phonics test Termly teacher assessments for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Maths and Science and RE. Standardised reading age and spelling age tests twice a year Weekly spelling tests, reading records, homework checks. Parents information via reading record books, curriculum forecasts and informal meetings. Individual pupil targets are set and reviewed regularly (target cards) for all pupils IEP targets for SEN children are set, reviewed and discussed with parents at least once per term. Intervention logs completed by support staff are discussed and shared with class teacher and SENCo who review progress made by SEND children and implement next steps Daily and lesson-by-lesson review of progress and learning styles including Assessment for Learning, plenary, discussions, quizzes, games Q and A sessions, 1:1 feedback Reviews with specialist teachers or other support agencies regarding individual children with special needs to which parents are invited. Self evaluation by pupils and future target setting The class teacher and/or SENCO are happy to meet with the parents/carers of children with identified educational needs to discuss rates of progress, test results, future targets and support strategies for home and school. Please make an appointment.

8 6. What support is offered from the school to ensure the well-being of any pupil who requires extra help or has special educational needs and/or disabilities? As a Catholic community the care, guidance and support for our pupils is at the heart of the work of our school. It is our aim to ensure the well being of all of our staff and pupils. Teachers endeavour to give each child the opportunity to reach his or her full potential while also recognising that while all children are special; their needs may not necessarily be equal. The school has an established pastoral care and chaplaincy team to support children and families. Several staff have been trained by Rainbows Support GB who guide children and young people through life s storms and this programme is offered regularly to families. PSHE is taught to all children via the SEAL programme. Internet and online safety is taught each half term to all children at an appropriate level. All staff hold current First Aid certificates and attend annual training up-dates for epi-pen administration. Events and activities organised by the Local Authority for pupils with SEND are publicised. All staff, teaching and non-teaching are regularly made aware, when confidentiality allows, of any child concerns. Daisychain Children s Centre offers support and advice to families with young children. Parish support groups are available to families with SEND children at our school. Attendance is regularly monitored Clear school rules and expectations are in place. A clear system of rewards and sanctions support the staff and children in adhering to these so that boundaries and behaviours are clear. Individual support can be put in place to encourage correct behaviour choices. Children with special educational needs or disabilities often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and through discussions, they will be encouraged to contribute to some decisions regarding their needs, support and progress.

9 7. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? When necessary the school will request the support of other professionals to observe, assess and offer advice in order to ensure the continued progress of SEND pupils. We are currently working alongside several MK services including: Specialist Teaching Team (SENDIS) for: - Learning and Cognition - Communication and Interaction including ASD - Primary Behaviour Support Educational and Child Psychologist Speech and Language Therapist School Nurse and Specialist Nurse (for diabetes and epilepsy) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) If necessary advice can also be gained from medical services e.g. physiotherapy or occupational therapy and from Children and Family Services.

10 8. What training has been provided or what are you planning to offer for staff to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities? The SENCo at St Thomas Aquinas school attends regular training in order to ensure best practice is embedded into all teaching and to ensure the best possible outcomes for the pupils. She will monitor provision and to ensure the best responses to children s needs including sourcing and providing professional development and specific training for staff as necessary. Recent training has included: - strategies to support children with communication difficulties including ASD all teachers and some teaching assistants - medical support for 2 children with different medical needs all staff - a named teaching assistant has completed an accredited Speech and Language course - a named TA and SENCo have completed the Numicon Maths Intervention Course - advice and strategies to understand and support children with dyslexia all staff - TeamTeach de-escalation techniques with restraint and removal procedures 6 named staff 9. How will pupils be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips? All pupils at St. Thomas Aquinas School have an equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The school welcomes many visitors and specialists who enhance teaching and learning and there are frequent school trips to local places of interest. Residential visits are also offered. We support children in a way that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. In order to do this, additional adult support or equipment may be required and the school will endeavour to provide this so that pupils with special educational needs can maximise their participation and learning. Close consultation with parents/carers will be undertaken to ensure any child with special educational needs is adequately catered for both within and outside of the classroom and during visits or trips so that the most is gained from the educational opportunities offered.

11 10. How accessible is the school setting and environment? St Thomas Aquinas School was built in 1967 and has been extended. There are ten classrooms over two floors which means that the building is not fully wheelchair accessible at present. There are disabled toilet facilities on site. All classrooms have interactive white boards to assist with learning and children have access to laptops and ipads. The school is well resourced with equipment, games, books and ICT to support learning for SEND children across the curriculum and across Key Stages. Approximately a fifth of children at St. Thomas Aquinas speak English as an additional language and every effort is made to ensure that parents/carers of all pupils, including those with additional needs are fully involved in the decisions made regarding their child s educational provision.

12 11. How will the school prepare and support pupils who need extra help or have SEND to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education? All children joining St. Thomas Aquinas School in the Reception Year are invited to a meeting in school, along with their parents/carers, to meet the class teacher and Foundation Stage Manager (and the SENCo as required.) Those children who have a highlighted special need will also be visited in their current setting so that school staff can liaise with current caregivers. Due regard will be paid to all information coming from parents and any pre-school setting. As children move through the school each year, medical and educational information is shared with relevant staff during a hand over meeting which ensures a smooth transfer for the pupil. Parents and children are also involved in this transfer. When moving on to secondary school, teachers from both schools (and the SENCo if required) meet to discuss all pupils and to gain an understanding of any special educational needs or disabilities. Year 6 pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Need or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be invited to a Transition Review meeting, which involves staff from primary and secondary schools, parents and outside specialists. At this meeting a plan for transition is compiled and acted upon by all to ensure as smooth a transition between schools as possible. This will often include visits to the new school and opportunity to meet new staff and explore new surroundings. All written and electronic records will transfer with the pupil to their new school.

13 12. How are the school s resources allocated and matched to the needs of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities? The Headteacher is responsible for the management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the school, including the provision for children with statements or with EHCP. The Headteacher and the SENCo confer with other staff during Pupil Performance Reviews to determine the level and type of SEN intervention and resources required. This includes the allocation of funding directly related to named pupils. The school provides for: Additional learning support via specialist teachers and teaching assistants Non-contact time for SENCo SENCo responsibility points Material, resources and equipment as required Assessments by specialist service e.g. Educational Psychologist Courses and training for staff The Headteacher informs the Governing Body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.

14 13. How are decisions made about what type and how much support a pupil with special educational needs or disabilities will receive? When a situation arises which makes it difficult for a child to work towards his or her fullest potential, it is deemed to be a special need and as a school we will do our utmost to meet this need. Children may have special education needs either throughout, or at any time during their school career. The SENCo and the class teacher, in consultation with parents and other relevant adults or specialist teachers, will decide on the action needed to help the child and to enable his or her special educational needs to be met, in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice and the Milton Keynes Special Educational Needs Handbook. - The level of support for children with additional education needs requires a graduated response which includes: - Quality First teaching with differentiated learning opportunities. - Individual and group interventions where pupils specific difficulties are addressed. - Individualised education programme which is different from and additional to the differentiated curriculum which is in place as provision for all children. - Involvement and consultation with outside agencies e.g. educational psychologist, speech and language therapists, specialist teachers. - Regular monitoring and termly reviews involving school, parents and specialist agencies. - A move toward a Statuary Assessment of Educational Need involving consideration by the Local Authority, working co-operatively with parents, the school and other agencies, as to whether a the child s special educational needs require a Statement of Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan. All decisions made about the level, type and amount of provision that a pupil with special educational needs or disability receives will be made with within the legal framework and with the Christian belief that every child is precious and unique and has the right to a varied and creative curriculum in which they can experience success and contribute positively to the community..

15 14. Who can a parent/carer contact for further information at your school? Executive Headteacher is Mr. Robert Mundy SENCo is Mrs. Karen Hackett Governor for SEND is Mr. Jonathan Grendelmeier If a parent has any worries or concerns about their child in school they should meet initially with the class teacher to discuss these concerns. The SENCo can also be contacted to discuss a child s learning and will willingly meet with parents / guardians to discuss progress, targets or reports received from other professionals. Staff at St. Thomas Aquinas School are happy to meet with any parent who is considering sending their child to the school in order to discuss specific needs, levels of support and to tour the school. All members of staff can be contacted by visiting the school office in person, by phone or by . Tel: Information about Milton Keynes Local Offer can be found at: Further advice and support: Milton Keynes Parent Partnership, which offers support for the parents of children with Special Educational Needs. Tel Advice Line: Galley Hill Education Centre Stony Stratford Milton Keynes MK11 1PA

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