Special Educational Needs
Support for your child
Parents and Carers
St. James’ has a Christian foundation and we aim to create a school where:
1. Everyone feels cared for, valued and respected.
2. Everyone works in a warm welcoming and supportive environment.
3. Everyone reaches their full potential and celebrates their own and each other’s achievements.
4. We build positive relationships with each other and are encouraged to develop spiritually.
5. We understand and respect each other’s faiths and cultures.
6. There are strong links with the home, the family, the church and the local community.
We understand that children learn at different rates and every child at some time in their school life may need special educational help for any number of reasons. We believe that every child should achieve the very best they can at school and we will work with you to make sure that happens.
Children and young people with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help from that given to others.
If you have concerns about your child then come into school and share them with your child’s class teacher initially. You can also speak to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENdCo) Miss Parnell who oversees SEN support across the school.
|Teaching and Learning||Keeping Children Safe||Health|
|Transition||Extra Curricular Activities||Working Together|
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All pupils receive quality first teaching. Appropriate curriculum learning challenges (objectives) are set for all and class teachers utilise a wide range of inclusive teaching and learning styles, equipment and resources in order to pitch work at the right level for the children to make progress. This is known as differentiation. Every class has a teaching assistant who works with the class teacher to support specific groups and individuals throughout the school day. This is usually within the classroom/learning area and this is our universal provision for all children. If children need more support, whether long term or for a short period of time, we begin our graduated response which we call HD provision (higher differentiation).
HD provision is an additional planned intervention for small groups or one-to-one to provide specific targeted help where gaps in learning/understanding or concerns about progress or engagement have been identified. They seek to remove barriers to learning, promote independence and increase self-esteem and confidence.
Examples of HD provision:
- One-to-one reading (Miss Somers, Mrs Mutch, Mrs Dodd)
- SSA (special support assistant) literacy support (Mrs Cooper)
- Phonics and spelling support (Miss Wood and Miss Rigby)
- Maths Recovery (Mrs Kousar and Miss Parnell)
Every half term, through our pupil progress meetings, class teachers discuss the progress of all children with the headteacher (Mrs Marsh) and deputy headteacher/SENdCo (Miss Parnell, who has achieved the PgCert National Award for SEN Coordination). During this meeting the HD provision is reviewed and evaluated so that plans can be made for the next half term dependent on the needs of the individuals/groups.
Class teachers will work with parents/carers and children with SEN to decide on the desired outcomes (‘What do I want to be able to do in…?’) and the steps to success (‘What do I need to do?; ‘Who will help me?’) ; review and next steps are also built into this process (‘How did I do?; ‘What’s next?).
Staff are supported with relevant training and professional development and we have access to a range of external agencies and professionals who can give us advice and guidance, assess individual children and make recommendations for future support: for example Speech and Language; Educational Psychology, School Nurse and Pupil Support Services. If this is appropriate we will make a referral with your support and consent to the most appropriate agency. We may also consider completing a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) to support the family as well as the child where a multi-agency approach is beneficial.
If a child has very complex SEN needs which require a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available to our school we would consider asking the local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. This assessment could lead to your child getting an EHC plan. An EHC plan brings your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document (previously known as a Statement of SEN). More information about this process forms part of Tameside’s Local Offer www.tameside.gov.uk/localoffer/professionals.
Graduated Response for SEN support
Quality first teaching
Teaching assistant support
Short term group support
Longer term individual support
With school SSA
Longer term personalised individual support
With school SSA
from external agencies/
Individual support from
(Educational, Health and Care Plan)
←------------------------------- CAF completed with family (if appropriate) ---------------------------→
During tests and SATs we ensure that children with SEN are supported with appropriate access arrangements (in line with DfE guidance). This may involve taking the test in a private room, having rest breaks or use of a scribe or reader. We may also apply for additional time or a modified script.
We have high expectations for attendance and good behaviour from everyone at our school which helps to keep all members of our school community safe. Our ‘Good to be Green’ behaviour policy, underpinned by our Mission Statement and the Christian ethos of our school, is understood by all and reinforced through our PSHCE/SEALs curriculum and collective worship.
In consultation with parents/carers, a personalised approach is used if a child has specific needs which mean that achieving these expectations is more difficult. This may involve seeking advice/support from external agencies (e.g. BLIS) and carrying out specific risk assessments.
St James’ is a small school and we work hard as a family to support our young people. Class teachers and/or teaching assistants are in the playground before and after school for supervision and also so that parents/carers can talk to staff and share information. Teaching assistants, who the children know well, supervise lunchtime and this ensures that children with SEN are supported appropriately at all points of the school day. Children know who they can go and speak to if they need to.
All members of staff have child protection and safeguarding training and they are all subject to enhanced DBS checks.
We have procedures in place if a child needs medication during the school day (see policy). The majority of our support staff have current first aid certificates and all staff have had asthma awareness training. Individual healthcare plans may be drawn up and more specialised training sought when children have very definite medical needs, for example diabetes, and we work with families and the school nurse in these situations.
In a medical emergency we will assess the situation and we will not hesitate to ring 999 if required. We will contact you immediately.
All new children are given a warm welcome to St James’ and invited to visit before starting. This is a good chance for parents/carers to ask any questions or share any concerns about their child’s learning. In nursery and reception, families are invited to a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the summer term to get to know each other. If children move schools during their school career we use the records from their previous setting to help us understand where they are up to. We understand that it can be a daunting time so we help them to settle in and make friends by giving them a ‘buddy’ from their class.
We recognise that change can be challenging. In the summer term we have a ‘moving up’ day for each year group to become familiar with their new September classroom and teachers. As we are a spilt site school this is particularly important for our reception class moving into year 1. Throughout the last term the children and staff visit each other regularly. Picture books are made to take home and look at and talk about over the summer holidays with children who find this transition particularly difficult.
Through our PSHCE curriculum, we follow a planned programme for our Year 6 children and their transition to high school. This will involve the Year 6 teacher liaising with high school staff and SENCOs to ensure that all relevant information is passed on successfully. Pupils will visit their high schools and where appropriate for children with SEN additional visits (often with parents) will be arranged. We invite past pupils to come and talk to Year 6 to reassure them and dispel any myths. To build relationships during the year we actively take part in inter-school competitions and events and work with 5 other local primary schools through our Hallé SHINE Saturday School.
St James’ Breakfast Club opens at 8am each morning. Parent/carers can find out about places (which have a small cost) by contacting the office.
All children are welcome to attend any of our extra-curricular clubs (places permitting). There is lots to choose from and something happening every night of the week (and some mornings too) and they are all free. Most clubs are run on a term by term basis and letters are sent home with details so that parents/carers can fill in permission slips. Clubs are run by school staff and visiting specialists. Our Monday Activity Night clubs offer a wide range of activities from sports to crafts and are purposely inclusive and open to all children from year 1 to year 6.
We have a School Council and Play Leaders in order to give children the opportunity to ‘have their say’ about school life. If children have an idea for a new or different extra-curricular activity they can suggest it to their School Council member.
We know that successful partnerships between parents/carers and school are vital to ensure that every child is nurtured and supported to achieve the very best that they can. Good communication is key to getting this right.
Early in the autumn term you and your child are invited to an important 'Getting to Know Year...' meeting to find out more about the topics and the change in routine for your child in their new class. Every half term you will receive a Record Card for your child with their attendance figures and effort grades for their learning, homework and behaviour. In the spring term you will be invited to discuss your child's progress with their teacher and at the end of the summer term you will be given your child’s end of year report with their attainments in all subjects and reflections on their achievements during the year.
You are welcome to come and discuss your child’s progress at any time during the year; class teachers and support staff are usually available on the playground at the beginning and end of each day and appointments can be made if more time is needed. We will also contact you if we have any concerns about your child's learning and we will keep you involved if and when SEN support strategies are put in place. There are regular points during the year when you are very welcome to come into class and look at your child's work/books and discuss their progress and next steps - for example, following Friday Class led assembly and 'Stay and Play' sessions.
Communication is a two way process and we value your feedback and suggestions. We update our school website regularly to keep you informed and up to date and we have just launched our school news app too. Parents/carers are invited to complete annual questionnaires; you can become members of our governing body and we always welcome help and support for school events (such as the Christmas and Summer Fairs). We can signpost you to additional help and support where needed (for example SENDIASS, formerly Tameside Parent Partnership, www.tameside.gov.uk/sen/parentpartnership which is for any Tameside parent whose child has or may be identified as having Special Educational Needs).