Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.
Early Identification of Need
In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we: we use a model of early intervention for the needs of children with e.g Speech, Language and/or Communication Needs. The needs of the children are then assessed by an Independent Speech and language Therapist (SLT) and intervention is planned and delivered by school staff or in conjunction with outside agencies.
We also offer;
- Teaching support, to ensure children with additional needs are well supported in all lessons
- A family ethos, where each child and their needs is understood by all of the school community
- A curriculum, tailored to the needs of the child with staffing, differentiation, teaching style, and resources.
Often children may join New Brancepeth with parents having a clear understanding of their child’s needs and as a school, we see parents as partners in their child’s educational journey.
Sometimes, however, school staff may initially identify a concern. If this were the case staff would liaise with the parents at the earliest opportunity to discuss such concerns and agree ‘next steps’. For some concerns, we may discuss the involvement of specialist support, for example, Education Psychology, SENDIASS (support for families) or Occupational Therapy.
It is important to understand that the involvement of professionals does not always seek to ‘label’ or ‘diagnose’ children but to seek advice or strategies to help them to reach their full potential.
Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.
This means that we will:speak with parents to ensure they are fully aware of any concerns we may have and to seek their views. We see this process very much as a team with both school and parents coming together to support their child. From this initial conversation, a plan will be put in place to see if this has a positive impact on the child. This will then be followed by a period of time (at least half a term) before a review meeting is put in place.
- Assess a child’s special educational needs
- Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
- Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
- Review the support and progress
As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child/YP (where appropriate) views are integral to the this process.
A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.
An EHCP assessment would be thought appropriate for a child if, after two rounds of support plans, there was need for further assessment and support from outside agencies.
Support that already goes on in school is as follows;
- Some individual teaching, following dedicated programmes to address specific needs.
- Small group focus work to address shared issues, e.g. fine and gross motor skills groups; Durham Schools Movement Service supports us through assessment and targeted advice.
- Additional resources to enable better access to the curriculum, e.g. pencil grips, writing slopes, coloured overlays etc. Professional advice taken from Educational Psychology or the Cognition and Learning team.
- Specialist interventions, e.g. Occupational Therapy, or Speech and Language Therapy tailored to the unique needs of individual children.
- Skilled and dedicated Teaching Assistant support within classes, in order for the work to be further differentiated to meet exact/additional needs.
For more detailed information see the Local Offer
Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN
- There are a number of different forms of assessments that are used to identify SEN and the area/s of need. Firstly our teaching and support staff are trained to identify children that may have an additional need. From that initial form of assessment we would then look to put plans in place to support and develop the needs of the identified child. If the needs of the child were still not being met we would seek the advice of outside agencies (with the authorisation of the parent).
- To record all of our information/assessments on children we use a secure web based system named CPOMS. This allows staff to collate all SEND information centrally.
- Like all children in school, children who require additional support are assessed against the curriculum of their year group. If this is to challenging for the children, then they will be assessed against the place they are working within the EYFS/National Curriculum (PScales if appropriate). They will also have shorter time frame assessments based on the advice from outside agencies as part of their reviews.
- If a parent has any concern regarding their children we ask them to first approach their child’s class teacher, if they feel that this has not helped we ask that they speak to the SENDCo, Deputy Head or Head Teacher.
All children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum as identified in the Teaching and learning Policy. Staff use the Durham SEND Toolkit and quality first teaching document to ensure SEND children have the relevant small steps curriculum they need or access to the correct resources to support their inclusion. SEND Support plan targets are also developed using the planning toolkit. Targets are developed using a small steps approach. The targets are incorporated into the SEND Support Plan and this is shared with parents.
Support plans are reviewed at least twice yearly (depending on the need they can be termly). Parents are encouraged to be part of this process. Support is allocated dependent upon the needs within their SEND Support Plan and provision may be allocated as a group or individually. This may be delivered by a Teacher, Teaching Assistant or supported by peers. Progress will be evaluated against the specific targets within the plan which could be in relation to the EYFS framework, National Curriculum expectations, P Scales or achievement of specific SEND targets identified within the plan. AFL is key to assessing SEND children as detailed in our Assessment Policy.
Children with SEND may need reasonable adjustments to ensure access to the curriculum and the SENDCo and SLT are committed to making this happen. All staff have accessed CPD in relation to SEND to facilitate inclusion. Where children take statutory test etc, they may be entitled to additional time, a reader, a scribe or be dis-applied altogether if school feel it would be detrimental to their wellbeing.
For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.