Special Education Needs School Offer
At St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School Christ is central and evident in everything that we attempt to do, our first task is to ensure that we recognise and respect the gifts and needs of every individual. In the bible we are reminded that “Children are a gift from the lord; they are a real blessing.” (Psalm 127: 3-5) and with this in mind we are committed to the inclusion of all pupils and provide a broad and balanced creative curriculum that is made accessible to all. Our pupils have a variety of needs and aspirations, and we recognise that any learner may at some time during their educational journey have special educational needs. At St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School our mission states that “The Purpose of our school is to educate each child to develop and achieve their potential within a caring, Catholic community, governed by Gospel values.” Our mission statement reflects very simply what we hope to achieve, we want to raise the aspirations and expectations for all pupils with SEN and enable them to overcome difficulties that they may have. In order to do this we need parents as partners in their child’s education journey. We have high expectations for all our children and as such want to provide for them a happy and holy school where care and respect is evident in all that we do.
Special Educational Needs is the responsibility of all teachers at St Augustine’s with Miss Wright overseeing provision as our Inclusion Leader and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. The senior leadership team are continually monitoring, reviewing and evaluating SEN provision throughout the year. In accordance with the Code of Practice the Governing Body of St Augustine’s has appointment Mrs D Fella as the governor responsible for Special Educational Needs. An annual meeting will be held between SEN Governor and SENCO to evaluate progress and provision and to discuss an action plan for the coming year. This report will then be fed back to the Governing Body.
Schools are funded based on a national formula per pupil. In addition to this blocks of £6,000 are allocated depending on the number of children who are on the Special Educational Needs register and other demographic factors. Higher needs top up funding is available for children who meet the criteria. School will apply for this money and the amount received is worked out based upon the needs of the individual. This money will then be used to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of the child. Parents can seek further advice regarding top up funding from the SENCO.
On our school website you will find the following policies which reflect our commitment to educate each child to develop and achieve their full potential.
Teaching and Learning
Health and Safety
Curriculum Teaching and Learning
All of our children are treated as individuals and the class teacher alongside support staff plan appropriately differentiated work for all children to ensure that they receive high quality teaching and learn with effective support and resources. Children with additional needs have pupil passports and provision maps that clearly identify strengths and areas for development as well as listening to the child’s voice and the parents. These passports are regularly reviewed and we use a cycle of assess, plan, do and review, to ensure that children are continually progressing and are having their needs met.
At St. Augustine’s we gather assessment information every half term and this is closely analysed by both teachers and management at pupil progress meetings. Children who are having difficulties are identified and appropriate strategies, resources and provision is made to meet their needs. If required our specialist Literacy and Numeracy teachers, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Speech and Language therapist can complete more detailed assessments to pin point the exact area of difficulty. Appropriate provision can then be made to meet the needs of the individual.
Many staff within our school have received training in order to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise in Special Educational Needs to enable them to meet the needs of the children. Our staff have expertise in Autism, ADHD, Speech and Language therapy, Intensive Interaction, working with hearing impaired children, Dyslexia as well as other general learning difficulties and complex needs. All our staff within Early Years have received basic Makaton training and throughout school staff have been trained by a Speech and Language therapist to assist in the development of communication and language skills.
Parents are vital partners in their child’s journey through school and are encouraged to take an active part in their education. Parents are invited to two Parent Consultation evenings to discuss their child’s progress. As well as this, children with additional needs will have review meetings. The frequency of these will depend upon the individual needs of the child. At St Augustine’s we encourage our parents to communicate through any means they find most appropriate whether this be by email, phone or at the door when dropping off or collecting their child. Shared information and knowledge is vital in helping to meet the needs of each individual child.
Within our school we provide children with an appropriate and accessible learning environment and use best endeavours to adapt to meet the needs of individuals where possible. The whole school is accessible by wheelchair with the exception of one playground but contingencies have been put in place should this need to be amended. Within the school there is also a hygiene suite with a disabled toilet, shower facility and physiotherapy bed. Accessibility is always of prime importance whenever we are considering building alterations. Where possible school will make best endeavours to meet the needs of the children and staff.
High priority is given to the emotional and social wellbeing of our children and as such we have two Learning Mentors within the school that run our nurture groups. As well as this we have a trained Social Worker and Counsellor from Catholic Care that helps children in school and at home so that they remain focused on their educational needs by offering them personal support. The Catholic Care worker is also available to work with parents should they wish. The ethos of Catholic Care is to foster and influence a vision of how people can live together in Christian charity, love and justice.
When necessary additional support is sought from other agencies in order to meet the needs of individuals and maximise their learning experience. We regularly engage with the Complex Needs Team, Specialist Teachers of Autism, Speech and Language Therapist, STARS, Educational Psychologist, Behaviour Support Team, Child and Mental Health Services and the School Nursing team. In addition to this we also have services within the Inner East Cluster that we can access such as Attendance Support, Family Outreach Workers, Behaviour Support Workers, as well as Counselling and Therapeutic work.
Frequently asked questions from parents and carers
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Within school, a child’s progress both academically and holistically is closely monitored by both teachers and management. If any areas of concern become apparent the first point of contact will always be the class teacher. A variety of strategies may be available to be implemented to support your child at this stage. After an agreed period of time, if these strategies fail to address the concerns then a discussion will be held with the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator to assess the child’s needs and see how we can best meet them in school; if we require the assistance of more specialist professionals then the appropriate referrals will be made.
Parents are always advised to speak to their class teachers as their first contact, however if they would like to arrange a meeting with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Miss Wright, they are advised to contact the school on 0113 2930350 to arrange a meeting. At the meeting we will discuss your child’s needs and try to put a plan of action together and decide whether additional professionals need to be involved. If we require the assistance of more specialist professionals then the appropriate referrals will be made with parental consent.
How will school support my child?
Within each class, children with Special Educational Needs have their own Pupil Profile that identifies their strengths as well as their areas of development. This is written in partnership with parents so that targets can be agreed together. As well as this, each child has their own provision map which identifies the additional provision that has been put in place to assist the child’s learning. Similarly a child with behavioural difficulties will have an Individual Behaviour Plan that will once again identify strengths and targets. Both of these documents will be overseen by the Class Teacher and reviewed regularly with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and will be reviewed regularly at meetings which parents will be invited to attend.
In October 2014 we were rated “good” by OFSTED with them commenting that “Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs are carefully monitored and receive well-tailored individual support which enables them to make good progress.”
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
As well as children having a Pupil Profile or an Individual Behaviour Plan all class teachers ensure that work is appropriately differentiated to match the needs and challenges of each child. Children will also work within groups for targeted support and in upper Key Stage 2 children are set by ability for numeracy.
How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
During the summer term a formal report will be written by class teachers to parents/guardians. In addition to this there are also two Parent Consultation Evenings where there will be the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress. On these evening the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is available for further discussion and to support any parents who may have concerns about their child.
Parents/carers are encouraged to have an open dialogue with class teachers and share relevant information that they feel will be important to their child’s wellbeing. We believe in parent partnership and encourage parents to be involved in completing homework tasks and using classroom strategies within the home. Information regarding classroom strategies is available on request. During the academic year curriculum meetings will take place as and when the need arises.
Whenever possible, school will try to offer parent training or events that they can attend to aid the development of their child.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
At St Augustine’s we strongly believe in the development of the whole child. Our school ethos states that the purpose of our school is to educate each child to develop and achieve their potential within a caring, Catholic community, governed by Gospel values. We pride ourselves on having a strong pastoral team that is made up of our learning mentors, Attendance Officer, RE co-ordinator, Deputy Head teacher, Child Protection officer, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and our Catholic Care social worker. In our recent OFSTED it said “The school provides a safe, inclusive and harmonious environment, with a strong focus on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils are well cared for and feel safe in school. The school’s extensive pastoral arrangements ensure that all pupils are given every opportunity to fully engage with school life.” The support that we offer may include nurture group sessions with the learning mentor, time in our quiet sensory area or access to our lunch time club.
In addition to this we have a close working partnership with Catholic Care who ensure that the children are given support and an emotional outlet. We have also developed a whole school approach to the teaching of SEAL (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) and also run Circle of Friends groups. Our cluster services also give us the benefit of being able to access many other professionals should they be required. When thought necessary, school will complete a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for a child. The CAF is a way of working out what extra support your child may need. It involves meeting with practitioners to make sure you only have to tell your story once and that help is provided as quickly and effectively as possible. With your agreement, practitioners have a conversation with you to identify your child's needs and strengths. All of our staff within school are trained in Child Protection procedures and we also have a designated Child Protection Officer and two other senior members of staff who are specially trained to ensure the Safeguarding of all children.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
As a school we pride ourselves on ensuring that parents feel confident and comfortable in being able to approach us with a problem. If this happens a meeting will be called and relevant staff within the school will attend. Once the needs of this child have been determined then a referral will be made the appropriate professionals if necessary. This could include targeted services within our cluster such as Counselling or Family Support. Alternatively if there is a specific educational need then we will refer to the Complex Needs Team, Speech and Language therapists, Educational Psychologists or the STARs team (autism). Early identification and intervention is very important and as such our Foundation Stage staff work very closely with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator in highlighting any children where there may be concern, if felt appropriate then the Early Years Support team will also become involved. We also work closely with the Catholic Care team to help any children who are having emotional or mental health difficulties.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEN having/had?
Our SENCO is currently completing the national award in Special Educational and is experienced in a variety of needs that may present within the classroom particularly Autism. Due to the employment of our own Speech and Language Therapist many staff have received training in the development of language skills and the delivery of individual programmes of study. All of our Foundation Stage staff have received basic Makaton training.
Our learning mentors are both skilled in behaviour management and have training on helping children to deal with trauma and loss. Through in house training and input from outside providers, we also have expertise in understanding behavioural difficulties and have put robust systems in place to support these children.
Within our staff we have a specialist Reading Recovery (literacy) teacher and a Number Count (numeracy) teacher. Both of these staff run interventions and offer in house support and training for other staff.
Staff have also attending training in the following areas:
Autism Spectrum Support for pupils, Managing Conflict and Confrontation, Diagnostic Assessment, Dyslexia, Every Child Counts, Intervention, Targeted Emotional Literacy, Behaviour Management, Hearing Impaired, Every Child A Talker, Intensive Interaction, Makaton, Supporting Children’s Speech, Numicon, Phonics, Memory Matters, Supporting Children with Literacy Difficulties, Picture Exchange Communications System.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
At St Augustine’s we aim to ensure that all children with Special Educational Needs are able to attend the same school trips and activities accessed by their peers. Parents/carers are invited to be involved in the planning of activities and trips to ensure that safety is paramount. Most children with complex needs will also receive higher needs top up funding and this will be used where possible to have a member of staff 1:1 on trips and certain activities with the child.
How accessible is the school environment and what are the facilities?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the school building and is adapted where possible with additional funding if necessary. Within the school we have a ramp to access our After School Club and all of our classrooms are on one level with easy access to outside.
Children who need additional specific equipment and facilities will have their needs met to the best of school’s ability through an application for additional funding.
We also have a hygiene suite in school with a disabled toilet, physiotherapy bed and a shower.
How will the school prepare and support my child when transferring to a new school or on to the next phase of their education?
Transition arrangements within school are very rigorous. When entering our school we arrange an initial meeting with parents to discuss their child then a visit to see the new pupil at their setting or home will be made. The involvement of parents in this process is very important as you are the best source of information for helping us to know your child’s needs. Within school we have a ‘Meet the new teacher day’ at the end of the year so children can familiarise themselves with new staff. For children with SEN we also build in additional time within the final half term of school so that a bond can be built between pupil and teacher, this will involve story times, talking about their favourite things or playing a board game together. When children are moving on to go to high school or moving to a new school we arrange meetings with Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators to ensure that new schools are made fully aware of the additional needs of the child. If required, a visit will be planned to ensure a smooth transition.
How are the school resources allocated and matched to a child’s SEN?
In collaboration with parents school will decide how to use additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of a child. This could be in the form of specialist resources, equipment or training and does not always mean that a teaching assistant will be assigned to a child.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and parents, alongside other professionals will work together to identify the best package of support for the individual child. This will obviously vary from child to child and this will then be discussed with the Senior Leadership team and implemented accordingly.
How are parents involved in the school and how can I be involved?
Parents are invited to join our Governing Body as a Parent Governor to act as a link between school and parents. Curriculum newsletters are sent out half termly to keep parents informed of the topics that will be covered in each class and to encourage them to contribute with additional work at home. In addition to this we also send out Learning Logs every half term with mini projects set for the children to complete at home with parents. As a school we also hold information sessions about the curriculum and have class assemblies and various performances which parents are invited to attend. As a Catholic School we celebrate feast days as well as Christmas and Easter by attending St Augustine’s Catholic Church and invite all our parents to join us on these occasions.
Who can I contact for further information?
Who would be the first point of contact if,
I am considering applying for a nursery/school place? Contact the office and speak to Mrs Hebbron.
I wish to discuss something about my child? Arrange an appointment with your child’s class teacher.
I want information about other support services? Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Miss Wright.
I want information about the local authority’s local offer? Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Miss Wright.
“The school provides extremely high quality teaching and learning in a safe environment whilst providing stability and support to enable all pupils to overcome any barriers to their learning and achieve their best.”
Section 48 RE Inspection November 2013
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