Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
East-the-Water Primary School supports inclusion for all of our children. We will do our best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs and disabilities (henceforth SEND) and that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school, academically, emotionally and socially. We are proud of our thriving reputation and wide experience in enabling children with a wide range of learning and physical delays, difficulties and disabilities to succeed.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (henceforth SENDCo) is Mrs Deana Smith.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
A child or young person has Special Educational Needs (henceforth SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:
(a) Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. (taken from the SEN Code of Practice (2014, p 4).SEND Policy 2021-2023
To view our Special Education Needs Newsletters please click the link below
Definition of Disability
There are 3 areas in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 that point to someone being disabled:
- The medical condition itself
- Its effect of the condition on the person’s daily life – it needs to be substantial
- Its length – it needs to last for a year or more
There are also two more groups but they do not have to prove their condition has a substantial adverse effect on their lives:
- Those whose treatment control the effect of the condition e.g. those on medication for epilepsy which is necessary to control the fits
- Those with cancer, HIV infection, severe disfigurement and conditions such as muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis
What sorts of things does the law ask schools to do in regards to those with disabilities?
What sorts of things does the law ask schools to do?
- Make sure those with disabilities have the same opportunities as those without
- Take into account a disability, even when that involves treating the person with a disability more favourably than others
- Do not tolerate any harassment of disabled people that is related to their disabilities
- Promote positive attitudes towards disabilities
- Assess and monitor the impact of activities on disabled people
- Improve outcomes for disabled people
In school, we have produced a 3 year Accessibility Action Plan 2022-2024. This specifically focuses on improving access to the curriculum, improving access to the physical environment and improving access to information for children, parents/carers, staff and all involved in the wider school community with disabilities.
The school have made the following improvements as part of this Action Plan over the last year:
- A greater use of transition books and social stories provided as a consequence of lockdown
- Oops card used extensively throughout the school
- Steps and entry/exit points have been painted or marked to support children with visual impairments
- Assemblies continue to raise children’s awareness of different disabilities and how to be supportive and inclusive of them. As one child commented ‘the kids don’t have a disability, they have a different ability.’
We have identified that the following aspects of the school need to be improved:
- Check signage in school and replace it when required eg toilet signs
- Ensure Soundfield systems are fully working in each class termly
- Senior Leaders to investigate ‘talking parent app’ and newsletters being read out by the School Council
Lots of specialist words and terms and abbreviations used in documents about SEND are unfamiliar to many parents and carers. This glossary will hopefully help clarify some of these. If you feel something is missing from this list, please contact Deana Smith who will add it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Differentiation||Adaptions and changes teachers make to learning for children based on differing levels of need and learning levels|
|Educational Psychologists (EPs)||A professional who supports the school to develop its SEN provision as well as assessing and identifying individual children’s needs|
|Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)||The Local Authority may grant an EHCP when a child’s needs are severe and/or complex – this means the child’s progress remains extremely limited or the amount of support needed to ensure progress is significant. It will outline your child’s needs, the help your child will receive and outcomes for them to achieve. There may be educational, health and social care outcomes.|
|Intervention||Support programmes that target a specific gap in learning. These may be in a group or on a 1-1 basis depending on the need.|
|SEND Policy||The document that reflects the statutory (legal) requirements of special educational needs and disabilities and how the actual practice of the school meets them.|
|Speech and language therapists||Professionals from the Health Service who identify, assess, support, monitor, offer advice to children, schools, families for children with communication, social and/or language needs.|
SEN Information Report (updated 06.07.2022)
A school must publish a SEN Information Report on its website. By law, the following information must be included. This SEN Information Report is East-the-Water Primary School’s ‘Local Offer’ – that is the provision that our school provides for SEN pupils. Devon also has its own Local Offer which can be accessed via this hyperlink: Devon County Council Local Offer. Further information about this is given under our SEN Information Report.
Please click on any of these questions below to find out more about East-the-Water Primary School’s Local Offer:
What kinds of SEN are provided for at East-the-Water Primary School?
East-the-Water Primary School is a mainstream school in Bideford, Devon. We support inclusion for all of our children, whatever their needs. As laid out in the SEN Code of Practice in 2014 (the most recent legislation relating to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) setting out duties, policies and procedures that schools in England must comply with), the four broad ‘areas of need’ are identified as:
- Communication and Interaction (this is when pupils have difficulty in communicating with others – they may have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they may not understand or use social rules of communication. This also covers children with Austistic Spectrum Condition)
- Cognition and Learning (this is when children may learn at a slower pace than other children and may have difficulty developing literacy or numeracy skills or understanding new concepts)
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (this covers a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which may include children becoming withdrawn or isolated, or displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained)
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs (covers children with a vision or hearing impairment, a physical disability or a multi-sensory impairment)
All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at East-the-Water Primary School are available to pupils with or without SEN. Clubs change termly and are run by teaching staff. The SENDCo supports staff with risk assessments to ensure Send pupils can participate in clubs, trips and activities and will seek advice from the SEN Helpline if or when required. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity.
We ensure that pupils with SEND are represented on our School Council.
East-the-Water Primary has a wide range of children with SEN covering all these four areas. In particular, we have a high level of children with Communication and Interaction Needs throughout the school. In June 2015, East-the-Water Primary proudly celebrated being awarded the highest level of the Devon Inclusion Award for our work with children with Communication and Interaction needs.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special needs?
All of our teachers teach children with additional needs and SEND. All of our staff recognise the importance of identifying these early on and making effective provision quickly. The identification and assessment of additional needs and SEN is built into our school’s approach of monitoring the progress of all pupils.
We assess each pupil’s skills and levels of attainment (attainment is the expected standard of pupils’ work on entry or at the end of the year – what is expected nationally from children in the same year group) when they first come to the school. This builds on any information from the child’s previous early years setting or school, and provides us with information we need to monitor their progress. It also ensures that we discover any areas of difficulty early on. Where children already have their SEN diagnosed or identified, we will work closely with the family and other services to make sure we know as much about the child as possible before they start at the school.
Teachers and senior leaders in the school then monitor pupil progress at least termly. This helps us to see any children whose progress is significantly slower than their peers or whose progress has slowed down and is falling behind.
When we see a child is not making adequate progress, either socially or academically, we will look at ways a teacher can adapt lessons to support a child’s learning and progress in class. Teachers use Devon’s Graduated Response Toolkits for Early Years, KS1 and KS2 to support them with this. In addition, the school runs interventions (support programmes that target a specific area of learning) to boost children’s progress.
If we continue to be concerned about a child’s progress, we will work with the family to carry out an analysis of the child’s needs. There can be many reasons children fail to make progress (eg a significant change in family circumstances, periods of absence, emotional or confidence issues). However, less than expected progress can mean a child has an underlying special educational need as some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching and strategies being targeted at their areas of weakness. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will further assess to determine the cause of the learning or behavioural difficulty. In some cases it may be necessary to seek assessment by or advice from an external professional such as a specialist teacher or educational psychologist. In these cases, parents will be invited to a meeting with this professional.
The school uses a range of different assessment tools and systems to help identify and assess pupils with SEN. When considering if a child needs SEN support , the school takes into account:
- The pupil’s previous progress and attainment (compared to peers in school and nationally)
- The teacher’s assessment and experience of the child
- The views and experiences of parents/carers (this can include a developmental history or a family history of difficulties)
- Pupil’s own views
- Advice from external support services where appropriate
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress.
Any parent/carer who feels that their child may have unrecognised SEN is strongly encouraged to contact their child’s class teacher in the first instance.
How does East-the-Water Primary School plan and review the support for pupils with SEN?
Most of our children who we identify as needing support to accelerate their progress have their needs met as part of high quality first teaching. This may include teachers adapting what they do and having different approaches to meet different needs within the class, alongside a range of interventions normally provided by the school.
If a pupil is identified as having SEN, his/her teacher and the SENDCo will consider everything we know about the pupil to determine the support that is needed and whether it can be provided by adapting teaching in class or whether something different or additional is required.
Where provision for SEN is needed, we work with pupils and their families to create:
A My Plan – this will probably have 3-4 targets that your child will work on for a term. These children will have a bookmark (Y2-Y6) with these targets written on to help them to practice using them each day. Please click here to see an example My Plan.
My Plans will both be reviewed by the teacher, parent and child at the end of the term (we are happy to meet sooner if parents request it). New My Plans may then be implemented. If the child is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify them as having SEN. If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources he or she will no longer be identified as having SEN. When any change in identification of SEN is changed, parents will be notified.
To find out more about Education Health Care Plans, please see the glossary.
How will staff teach and support my child?
‘High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37).
This year, staff have been trained and supported to use Rosenshine’s 10 Principles of Instruction within their classes to improve quality first teaching. In addition, the school are reviewing how Teaching Assistants are used throughout the school to best support children’s learning. One initiative has been to introduce the ‘Scaffolding Framework’, this taken from the EEF Report ‘Making the Best Use of Teaching Assistants’. This Framework supports children to develop independence in learning within a supportive environment. Both Rosenshine and the Scaffolding Framework will continue to be key focuses into the next academic year.
The class teacher is responsible for the progress of all the children in the class but lots of children need some additional support to help them progress during their time at school. This additional support may be provided by trained teaching assistants through adapted resources and interventions or through assessment and advice from specialist services. We are regularly supported by the Educational Psychology Service; Speech & Language Service; Occupational Therapists, Speech, Language & Communication Team and the Social, Emotional and Mental health Team (formerly Behaviour Support Team).
How will the school and parent/carers know how children are doing?
A meeting to review the My Plan will be held termly with the class teacher, parents and child present (based on the child’s maturity and/or agreement). They will discuss progress made the using assessment information available. If the child does not want to attend this meeting, they will meet with the teacher in advance of this meeting so that their views are represented at it. For pupils with an EHCP, there will also be an annual review of the provision made for the child led by the SENDCo, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision over the year. If parents are unable to attend the meeting, home visits and telephone calls can be arranged.
The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
- Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
- Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
- Fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress i(attainment is the expected standard of pupils’ work on entry or at the end of the year – what is expected nationally from children in the same year group)
- Widens the attainment gap
The school ensures that the impact of any support is measured to see if it is working or not. Consequently, adaptations to provision may be made in light of these findings. The SENDCo monitors My Plans to ensure targets are specific and measurable each term.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
The class teacher will provide teaching and learning activities to match the levels of learning of all children in the class. Sometimes, additional resources will be provided to support children’s learning (e.g: writing slopes, pencil grips, iPads, lap cushions, signs or symbols).
Teaching assistants often assist the class teacher in meeting all the children’s needs but we always strive to help children work independently or with other children rather than become dependent on adult support. For a very few children with EHCs with complex needs, we may plan parts of the curriculum differently to the rest of the class to ensure the children make progress. Parents and carers would always be involved in these decisions. This provision is specified in their EHCP.
How are resources allocated and matched to my child’s special educational needs?
The school budget, received from Devon Local Authority includes money for supporting children with SEN.
The Head Teacher, the Deputy Head Teacher, the SENDCo and the class teachers discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including the children getting extra support already, the children needing more support and the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected. From this information, the school decides what support is needed and given each term. These resources may include providing a child with a small group or individual intervention led by trained staff or providing additional resources (e.g: iPad, writing slope). If a child is allocated resources through an EHCP, then this provision is specified on the child’s My Plan and reviewed annually at a formal Annual Review Meeting.
The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case. In very few cases a very high level of resource is required. The Devon funding arrangements require schools to provide a certain amount of financial resource for pupils with high needs but above that amount, the Local Authority should provide ‘top up’ to the school if they agree there is a need.
In order to provide day-to-day resources, the SENDCo has an annual budget that allows for the provision of specialist resources such as iPads and writing slopes. Outside agencies will often loan equipment for periods of time, for example, for physiotherapy or toileting needs. There are also charities that school can apply for funding for specific and costly resources such as individual iPads.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Supporting children’s wellbeing is our most important job and on a day-to-day basis, the class teacher teaches children about rights, responsibilities and choices, how to work together and how to be mindful through ‘Chill Skills’ strategies and mediations. A weekly class assembly covers the RSE curriculum. In addition, we have a very supportive pastoral team consisting of the SENDCo Mrs Smith, Ms Servaes and Ms Moon who provide daily support when required for children and parents.
For our children who need additional support, we provide:
- Weekly 1-1 and small group pastoral support (Chill Skills) to help children with their anxiety or anger through adopting a mindfulness approach
- Lunchtime and playtime support through planned activities and groups, for example, in door lunchtime club, cycling, quiet area
- Adults to meet vulnerable children and settle them in school
- Calm Corners and Soft Start and Ends to the Day if required
- Support for medical needs including toileting and administration of medicines
- Relational Support Plans and Co-Regulation Plans
- Talking and Drawing programme that encourages children to talk through events and feelings
- Comic Strip Conversations (aims to unpick an incident or issue that is upsetting a child)
If your child still needs extra support with their wellbeing, with your permission the pastoral team will access further help through the Right for Children process and set up a Team Around the Family meeting. This may involve inviting organisations that can support you and your child, for example, Family Support Workers who may support you at home with an issue with your child such as sleeping routines, keeping your rules, etc.
What expertise and training do staff have to help them support children with SEN?
Teachers have had the following training in the last academic year:
- Update on the SEND Code of Practice
- Expectation for Inclusive Provision in mainsteam schools
- Dyslexia and autism
- Scaffolding Framework
Teaching Assistants have had the following training in the last academic year:
- Scaffolding Framework
The following have the identified enhanced and specialist training:
- 2 x Pastoral Teaching Assistants to support children and families in the school (non-class based). They are trained in the ‘Expect Respect’ Programme and in supporting families with grief
- A variety of Teaching Assistants throughout the school are trained in the use of Comic Strip Conversations (designed to support issues that may arise or have arisen for children)
- 1 x Teaching Assistant and 1 x Pastoral Teaching Assistant runs Chill Skills sessions
- 1 x Pastoral Teaching Assistant has extensive autism training
- Most Teaching Assistants in Reception – Year 6 have been trained in Read Write Inc or Fresh Start to support phonics/reading
Any cost of training is covered by the SEN budget in school.
Who do I contact in the school if I have a concern as a parent or I am not happy about something?
For any queries or concerns about anything to do with your child’s learning, emotional, medical, behavioural or social needs or any family issues that may be having an effect upon your child, please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Your child’s class teacher may arrange a further meeting with Mrs Deana Smith (SENDCo) to discuss issues and plan to resolve them. Mrs Smith, is a qualified teacher and has been accredited by the National Award for SEN Co-ordination in 2011. Mrs Smith works Monday – Thursday.
Our pastoral & safeguarding assistants.
Ms Julie Servaes works Monday – Friday.
Ms Etelka Moon works Tuesday – Friday.
If no one is available to see you at that time, one of them will call you back when they can.
If you have any concerns or complaints about additional support and provision for your child, please contact Deana or the headteacher Adam Buckeridge. The governor for SEND is Julie Servaes and she can be contacted via the school office as detailed above.
If you wish to make a formal complaint, please ask for a copy of the School’s Complaint Policy at the office which will outline the various steps to make.
There are some circumstances, usually for children who are being assessed for an EHCP where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.
How does the SEND Governor support children and families of children with SEND in the school?
- The SEN Governor Julie Servaes is responsible for making sure that the necessary support is given for any child with SEN who attends the school
- A minimum of 1x meeting a term are arranged between the SENDCo and Governor to discuss the provision of SEND in the school
- The Governor ensures that the SENDco has adequate time to undertake SEND duties within school
The governing body have engaged with the following bodies:
- A Service Level Agreement has been set with the Educational Psychology service for support throughout the year
- School has access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for pupils who require direct therapy or advice
Are there any support services that can help me as a parent of a child with SEN?
Devon Information Support and Advice is an organisation that provides information, support and training for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They offer a confidential, free and impartial service. Amongst other things, they can:
- Listen to what you have to say and talk through your options and decisions
- Describe what support the school can offer
- Explain the meaning of documents, reports and letters
- Support the development of good communication between you, the school and other services
If you would like to find out more about the Service, either ask Mrs Smith for a leaflet, contact them directly on 01392 383080 or check out their website at www.devonias.org.uk
How will you prepare and support my child with transitions?
We recognize that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.
If your child is joining us from another school:
- The SENDCo will visit pre-schools when possible
- If your child would be helped by a transition book to support them in understanding their move, then one will be made for them
- Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for a taster session if this is appropriate and desired
- The SENDCo may meet with the parent and child in advance of the starting date to discuss needs and set up a transition plan if required. This may also involve inviting outside agencies
If your child is moving to another school:
- We will contact the school SENDCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. Where possible, a planning meeting will take place with the SENDCo, parent and child from the new school
- We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible
- We will help to arrange visits in advance of starting if that is required
When moving classes in school:
- Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place between the old and the new teacher. My Plans will be shared with the new teacher
- If your child would be helped by a book/leaflet to support them in understanding their move, then one will be made for them
- Your child will where possible, be invited to visit their new classroom and class teacher in advance
In Year 6:
- The SENDCo will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of the child’s Secondary School
- In some cases, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the SENDCo from the new school. Your child will also be invited to this
- Your child will participate in focused learning relating to aspects of transition, to support their understanding of the changes ahead
- Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions, and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school
- If your child would be helped by a book to support them in understanding their move, then one will be made for them
What is the Local Offer?
Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs aged 0-25. This is called the ‘Local Offer.’ The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.
Parents/carers are encouraged to visit the Devon County Council Local Offer website at www.devon.gov.uk/send.
Parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENDCO for support to gain the information they require.