This report is written in accordance with the Children and families Act 2014.

For more information see our special educational needs introductory page and our special educational needs policy

1. The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at this school and admission arrangements with special educational needs or disabilities

Wiveliscombe Primary is a mainstream setting. Within the school there is a range of special needs. Whatever the need of the child we endeavour to full include them in all aspects of school life through a broad and balanced curriculum. The needs for which provision is made comes under the following broad categories:

  • Moderate learning difficulties-MLD
  • Severe learning difficulties- SLD
  • Specific learning difficulties-SPLD
  • Social, emotional and mental health-SEMH
  • Physical disabilities-PD

A close liaison is maintained between SENCO and the early Years Area SENCO. Any children with specific needs are identified prior to their entry to school and are made known to the school’s SENCO. A school entry plan meeting is held at least one term before the child starts school so that any necessary provision can be put in place.

Applications from parents with special circumstances will be given careful consideration and we will seek to meet parental wishes as far as is practicable and in the best interest of the child.

If a child with SEN or a disability joins the school, the SENCO initially has a meeting with the parents to discuss the specific needs and what will need to be put in place to enable full access for the child. The SENCO then enlists the support and advice from the professionals involved. This will often involve training for staff ( particularly when there is a medical need) prior to the child starting school.

2. Information about the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with special educational needs

The identification of SEN is built into the school’s approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils. The aim is to identify those children who are making less than expected progress.

It is recognised that early identification of any delay in learning and development is essential. The EYFS profile provides parents and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. It is particularly helpful for children with SEN, and the EYFS coordinator uses it as the basis for her regular meetings with the SENCO. A decision is made at the end of the reception year as to whether a child requires SEN support.

There are four broad areas of need and support:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical needs.

In deciding whether to make special education provision, the teacher and SENCO consider all the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside the national data and expectations of progress.

To inform any decisions a variety of assessment tools are used:

  • Dyslexia checklist
  • Language and communication checklist.
  • Boxhall profile- KS1 developmental behaviour audit.
  • Phonological Assessment Battery-PhaB
  • The British Picture Vocabulary Scale-BPVS

Where a decision is made that a child needs SEN support, it takes the form of a four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review:

  1. Assess- The class teacher and SENCO carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs drawing on the teacher’s assessment and the previous progress and attainment in comparison to national data.
  2. Plan- The teacher and SENCO agree, in consultation with the parent, what support and intervention should be put in place. The support is always based on a full understanding of the pupil’s strengths and needs.
  3. Do- The teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the intervention involves group or one to one teaching they work closely with teaching assistant and SENCO to assess the impact of the intervention and how it can be linked to classroom teaching.
  4. Review- The effectiveness of the intervention and its impact on the pupil’s progress is reviewed on an agreed date. This feeds back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. The teacher and SENCO revise the support in the light of the pupil’s progress and development. Parents will have clear information about the impact of the intervention.

All SEN children will have a plan of work which follows the graduated approach. Parents will be fully involved in this process and will be able to share in the target setting and the reviews.

3. Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans

a) how the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils

The school has a robust system for monitoring the progress of all the children and within the principles of quality first teaching; the class teachers track the progress of the children in their class using School Pupil Tracker, which is the school’s assessment system. With this information the teachers are able to plan differentiated next steps for every pupil. At the end of each term the Senior Leadership Team analyse the data to see that all children are making appropriate progress and specific cohorts; such as SEN; will be highlighted. The head teacher and the SENCO also hold regular pupil progress meetings with class teachers where the cohort data is further analysed. Built into the whole process are lesson observations and a work scrutiny so that a detailed picture is gathered about all the children.

b) the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs

There are two parent’s evenings during the year where the class teacher discusses the progress that the children are making. The SENCO will also be present at these interviews.

Each term the SENCO meets with the class teacher to discuss what targets will be reasonable to set for a child with special educational needs. At this point the parent carer is invited in to talk about the targets set for the forthcoming term. Their input to the setting of the targets is invaluable. Each child is closely monitored and their academic progress plotted termly using the schools assessment programme. Other needs might be addressed by on-going involvement from outside professionals, who will come to review and assess a child’s progress.

In addition to these formal meetings the SENCO operates an open door policy, whereby any parent who is concerned about their child’s progress is able to make an appointment to speak to her.

c) the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs

Each class has access to an assistant to support some part of the curriculum. Through Quality First teaching, the class teacher will decide how to best utilise the teaching assistant by placing him/her strategically with small groups of children. The emphasis throughout the school is on a ‘can do’ policy so that the children, whatever their level are prepared to have a go and not worry about making a mistake.

In School, there is a team of well- trained teaching assistants who have a wide range of expertise. The SENCO line manages the teaching assistants and will direct them to work with some children on a 1 to 1 basis using specific programmes to meet there needs. A timetable is put in place so that the child concerned receives regular support.

If a child has severe learning/social needs, they may have externally funded 1 to 1 support and the assistant supporting that child would be guided in their work by the SENCO who would often be following recommendations made by the professionals involved.

There are 3 waves of provision which provides a graduated approach to SEN support.

  • Wave 1-Inclusive teaching in the classroom which meets the needs of the children by having high expectations for all. The teachers provide differentiated tasks for children using the multi-sensory resources available. All classes have ‘HELP’ boxes with a variety of visual resources and in addition all the staff have an inventory of resources which are available from the special needs area
  • Wave 2- When a child is not making adequate progress they are given additional support through small group intervention within the lesson or as an extra activity.
  • Wave 3-The child requires an intensive period of 1 to 1 support in order for them to make progress.

Wave 2

A focus for the work is chosen by the class teacher who then either teaches the group themselves or provides activities for the teaching assistant to teach the group. This will either be during the lesson or the School ‘Intervention Half-Hour’ time.

Wave 3

Specific individualised programmes are followed and are organised by the SENCO. These are normally carried out by the teaching assistants.

All Wave 2 and 3 Interventions are monitored by the SENCO through the school’s assessment system.

Where, despite a relevant graduated response, the child has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care Assessment (EHC). In making their decision with regards to an EHC, the local authority will use evidence provided by the school and the parents and will consult closely with everybody concerned. Once a pupil is in receipt of an EHC plan the school will ensure that arrangements are made to meet their needs, making sure that the child and their parents are at the centre of decision making.

For those children with social emotional needs, these can often be addressed by the class Circle Time which is held weekly. However, if there is a more substantial need, the school runs Social Skills groups uses ELSA for 1 to 1 support and well qualified teaching assistants as mentors.

d) how the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs

The school is a communication rich environment. STC is widely used around the school through pictorial symbols and signage.

All classes are well resourced to cater for all learning styles/difficulties. Every pupil with SEN has a provision map detailing strategies and resources which have been used.

Teachers take note of any specific difficulties which children might have and will sit them strategically in the class. Eg a child with a hearing problem will be seated so that they are always facing the speaker and are in close proximity.

Well trained teaching assistants are used as mentors to ensure the well- being of the child during unstructured sessions.

Through the use of a friendship post, children are encouraged to be aware of vulnerable children during playtime and lunchtime and to be their ‘buddies’.

e) additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs

  • Every class is resourced to cater for a variety of learning needs, including visual timetables and differentiated ‘HELP’ sheets for literacy and numeracy.
  • Every member of staff has a detailed inventory of SEN resources and programmes which are available in the school.
  • The school structure enables the children to be grouped so that their needs are supported, by an additional adult in the class, who provides differentiated tasks which are appropriate to their needs
  • The school dedicates a specific time each day so that children with specific needs are withdrawn from class for small group/1 to 1 support. In this way we are able to ensure that no child misses any part of the curriculum. During this time their needs are being addressed through specifically targeted programmes.
  • If a child fails to make appropriate progress after significant intervention, the SENCO will meet with the parent carer to suggest that their child requires extra specialist support from a professional outside of the school.

f) how the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs

When organising any trips or activities, the school takes due note of their duties under the Equality Act 2010 (see Accessibility Plan 2014-2017). Where necessary, parent carers of children with SEN are consulted with regards to a specific activity. This is particularly relevant with regards to residential trips. In these circumstances, a detailed plan and risk assessment is made prior to the trip. Within the school, support is provided by teaching assistants. The accessibility plan is reviewed regularly.

g) support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with special educational needs

The school has a flourishing school council and children with SEN are encouraged to offer their views and to play an active role on the council. A teaching assistant has been trained as an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and children who are experiencing social and emotional problems are referred to her by the class teacher.

The ELSA then carries out a programme of work with that child. Teachers are kept informed about children who are not in their class, but whom they need to be aware of and the strategies which are best employed with them through an information sheet which is regularly updated and through specific discussions at staff meetings. For those children whose difficulties are seriously impacting on their lives the school employs the services of a Parent and Family Support Advisor ( PFSA) who visits the school weekly. Some children will require the intervention of CAMHS ( Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

The school recognises the importance of close links with the parent carer in these situations and will maintain regular contact with them both verbally and through a home/school communication book.

4. The name and contact details of the SEN co-ordinator

SENCO: Mrs Maxine Geary
Tel: 01984 623325
Email: MGeary@educ.somerset

5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and about how specialist expertise will be secured

Teachers receive inset training to be made aware of specific SEN areas. In the past this has included; becoming a dyslexia friendly school, attachment disorder, characteristics of children on the autistic spectrum.The SENCO disseminates information from training courses to teachers, at staff meetings and teaching assistants at the fortnightly assistant meetings.

Teaching assistants

There are 13 teaching assistants, 2 of which are funded through high needs funding for 1 child. Because of the intensity of the job, this child 2 assistants and they share the daily responsibility. There are 4 HLTA’s and 3 who have degrees.

The assistants meet fortnightly with the SENCO to discuss specific problems and to receive training. This includes a regular refresher of STC. The assistants also have external CPD, for example in 2015 they are received inset on questioning skills and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

They have also completed attachment disorder training. In addition, some of the assistants have received CPD on the New Curriculum; teaching phonics; teaching maths to children who are struggling and working with Polish children. All the assistants disseminate what they have learnt to their colleagues at the meetings.

The SENCO has a consultation meeting with the educational psychologist and a representative from the learning support team and specific children who might require support from an outside agency are discussed. If necessary, visit dates are arranged From this meeting other agencies such as CAMHS can also be alerted.

6. Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured

Due to the nature of the school grounds, the accessibility for children with physical disabilities is limited. The school hall has been sound proofed because this was recognised as being a problem. The school has a disabled toilet and there are baby changing facilities.

If the school requires specific equipment for a child this will be obtained after an assessment of need by PIMS ( the Physical Impairment and Medical Service) or SENITAS (Specialist IT equipment).

7. The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child

The SENCO meets regularly with the class teachers and if a teacher is concerned about a child’s progress they will seek the advice of the SENCO. After lesson observations and individual assessment tests, a decision will be made as to whether a child needs support as measured against SEN criteria.

If a child requires additional help, the SENCO will write to the parent carers and invite them in to talk to her. During this meeting the plan of support will be discussed and the parent carer’s role in this. It is recognised that parents are the primary source of information about their children and need to play a major role in any support that is being provided. The parents of children with SEN are invited in each term to discuss the targets on the children’s support plans.

8. The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education

When a young person is recognised as requiring SEN support, a teaching assistant will fill in an SEN passport with them, which will explore how they feel about themselves and whether they are aware of the difficulties they are having and how they can improve them.

At the beginning of each term the SENCO meets with each child individually to discuss the targets for that term. At the end of the term the child and the SENCO look at the work they have done that term. This gives the child the opportunity to reflect on what they have done and whether they think they have achieved their target. They then completes a review form using smiley/sad/unsure faces. This is a very visual self-assessment for the child and the teacher.

Where it is appropriate, the pupil will be involved in an Annual Review.

9. Any arrangements made by the governing body or the proprietor relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school

Any complaint about SEN provision within the school should initially be directed towards the class teacher or SENCO. If the parent is not satisfied by the response that she receives, they should take the matter to the head teacher. Should this remain unresolved after discussions with the head teacher the matter will be referred to the governing body of the school. The parent will be made aware of the parent partnership service which can provide support for them and a meeting will be arranged between the chair of governors, head teacher and parent. If there is an intransigent point on which all parties cannot agree, the parent will be signposted towards the local authority’s complaint procedure.

10. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils

The school liaises and employs the services of a number of outside agencies and professionals on an individual case basis. This is organised by the SENCO who is a co-opted governor.

To ensure that the governing body is aware of how special educational needs is organised in the school there is a named governor with SEN responsibility. The SENCO meets regularly with the governor. There are also half termly governor education committee meetings and SEN is always on the agenda.

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with section 32

In the school foyer there are various information leaflets giving details of different agencies which offer support to parents of children with special educational needs. The school makes regular use of outside agencies and professionals. Such services include, but are not limited to:

  • The Educational Psychology Service- Somerset Direct 0845 345 9122
  • The Learning Support Team- Somerset Direct 0845 345 9122
  • Autism and Communication Team- Somerset Direct 0845 345 9122
  • The Speech and Language Therapy Service- Somerset Direct 0845 345 9122
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)- Somerset Direct 0845 345 9122
  • The Parent and Family Support Advisor- 01984 629051

12 The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education or in preparation for adulthood and independent living

When a child transfers to another school, the SENCO will speak to her counterpart in the receiving school and give her a verbal report on the child’s needs. She will then send over all documentation referring to the child. Assessment details will also be transferred electronically. If a child with special educational needs moves from another school, a similar process will be used.

Prior to a pupil’s transition to secondary education, the inclusion manager has a detailed meeting with the SENCO. All records are passed on at this time. If necessary a longer transition programme is organised which is put in place in the Autumn term of year 6.

13. Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published

See Somerset’s local offer from Somerset County Council website.