Special Educational Needs at St Stephen’s CE RSA Academy
The changes in the Children and Families Bill in 2014 affected the way that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are supported in schools. The new approach placed pupils at the centre of planning.
The key principles of the new legislation were:
1. Young people and their families will be involved in discussions about the support they need, so they can share their knowledge and feed back to the school on the young person’s progress.
2. Education, health and care plans (EHCP) will replace statements of special educational needs. New assessments for additional educational needs will follow the EHCP guidance from September 2014.
3. Children who need extra specialist support will be placed on a SEND register as will be know as children needing SEND support.
The local offer from Worcestershire County Council can be found at:
St Stephen's CE RSA Academy: Local Offer
The local offer for SEND at St Stephen’s CE RSA Academy upholds the children’s right to education and recognises the diverse educational needs within it's community. We acknowledge those needs may change and require a range of provision. We believe we have a duty to offer that provision where we can, to foster inclusion and provide full educational access. We value and respect each individual within our school. We strive to embed our Christian values throughout our daily learning, offering a caring, peaceful and stimulating learning environment that reflects our vibrant school community.
Some children need increased support to access learning because:
1.They have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
2. They have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by children of the same age.
We will try to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our school are removed or overcome. We monitor and track progress of all children so that the support provided is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and where necessary seek support and advice from specialists outside school to ensure we develop and maintain a range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all children.
These agencies may include, the Learning Support Team, (LST) Speech and Language Therapy, (SALT) Occupational therapy, (OT) Complex Communication Needs, (CCN) Behaviour support team, (BST)
Parents are always consulted first if there is a problem. Parents are fully involved in the consultation process and are kept informed if their child is improving or needs more support.
How we support children with SEND to access the curriculum:
Staff teams in all classes know the profile of their class and the individual needs of each child. Learning activities are planned to match children’s learning needs and difficulties.
The environment is stimulating, supportive and well resourced. Teaching is interactive, creative and focused. Displays provide prompts and reminders to encourage children to learn and achieve independently.
Each class has a teacher and a teaching assistant. If children have an Education, Health and Care Plan, (EHCP) there may be additional teaching assistance for that child so that specialised support is available.
Classes are well resourced and for children with additional needs, specialised equipment such as writing slopes, can be arranged.
We will ensure that all staff know and understand the needs of all pupils through careful tracking and provision mapping for SEND children. December and a mid year review is then shared with parents.
All staff have access to training, advice and resources to enable them to contribute to developing fully inclusive practice and Quality First Teaching.
SEND support for English and Mathematics.
Strategies and interventions are in place to support English and Mathematics. Teachers and teaching assistants make sure the classroom environment is full of language and have well- organised wall displays to support learning in all areas of the curriculum.
For children with specific learning needs we can deliver a range of interventions that are suitable for the learning needs of the pupils. There are lots of opportunities for reinforcement and pre-teaching in small groups. In addition we have specific programmes for literacy and numeracy such as Numicon, Rapid Maths, First Class at Number, PM Benchmarking, Rapid Reading, to name but a few.
Support for speech and language development.
Teachers make sure their classes have lots of language support and activities. Many of our staff are trained to provide specific interventions such as phonics. We work in partnership with speech and language therapists to plan and deliver support for children with specific difficulties.
As an RSA school there is strong focus on developing oracy skills in the classroom which further helps to develop language with children who have speech and language difficulties.
We promote positive behaviour.
Our behaviour policy describes the high standards of behaviour and conduct expected in school. In each class there are shared and displayed expectations about the rights and responsibilities of everyone in the class. We make sure all staff know and understand the reasons behind any difficult behaviour and how to respond. In class, the teaching assistant may support targeted children to stay on task and focussed on learning. In the playground, staff will involve targeted children in specific activities. Some children who find good behaviour a challenge may need additional help from the SENCO.
Where difficult situations have occurred, staff talk calmly through the event with the child helping to identify what went wrong and what actions could be taken if a similar situation happens again.
Support for children’s emotional well being
Emotional well-being is supported by making sure that children who find “change” difficult are well prepared for any changes or transitions. When they are about to change class they are helped to make their own transition book, which they can revisit during the summer holidays. To promote positive friendships, we use our values curriculum in our whole school and class assemblies to reinforce compassion. love, peace, hope, and forgiveness. These are our core Christian values. We are fortunate at St Stephen’s to have strong links with St Stephen's CE Church.
Support for children’s physical needs
Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists provide specific advice and guidance for target children. They also provide training for staff. Teaching assistants follow up any recommendations by providing specific interventions to children with physical difficulties. At St Stephen’s all of the learning spaces are on one level so they are accessible to all. There is a disabled toilet available.
Support for children’s medical needs
The school nurse visits school to carry out checks with children and to provide advice and training to staff. In school we have four members of staff who are in charge of First Aid and manage the medical area for use by children and adults who are hurt or unwell. We accommodate all pupils where possible despite their medical needs as part of our inclusion policy and our Christian ethos.
We support children during unstructured parts of the day
Lunch and playtimes are staffed to ensure safe adult and child ratios. There is a range of equipment available and different activities are led by staff. The lunchtime staff have also been trained through the ' Happier Lunchtimes' initiative. There is a quiet playground with an activities planned every lunchtime as well as a MUGA and Trim Trail.
We work in partnership with parents and carers
Our open door policy encourages partnership working with parents/ carers. We ensure that all review meetings, structured conversations are arranged at times which allow parents and carers to attend. We listen to what parents/ carers tell us about their children and use that information to make sure everyone who works with a child fully understands their needs.
We work in partnership with other agencies
As previously stated St Stephen’s CE RSA Academy has links with, Speech and Language Therapy, Complex Communication Needs, Learning support team and Behavioural Support Team. Other agencies are bought in, if and when required.
The SENCO Mrs Barrett co-ordinates children with special needs and has achieved The National SENCO Award in line with The SEN Code of Practice. We have an extensive knowledge of services to support children and families in the local community.
We monitor children’s progress
We have a system to track and monitor all children’s progress using an electronic database and progress tracker. Through day to day teaching and learning, children are continually assessed and teachers’ planning responds to this. For particular children more in depth assessments may be required. Some of these can be carried out by the SENCO and sometimes we ask external agencies to carry these out. (This is particularly in the case when applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan).
If you have any questions regarding any of the above or any concerns regarding your child please contact school.
Principal: Sarah Callanan
Vice Principal and SENCO: Sarah Barrett