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SENDIAS

 

The Parent Support Partnership people have been renamed as SENDIAS. These are the people who can help you if you or a member of your family has a Special Educational Need or Disability. They can help you to understand the jargon used, work out the forms you have to fill in, or navigate the meetings you have to attend.

It's often helpful to have a third person to help you remember what you wanted to ask, or to give you confidence to ask the things you don't understand.

The FIND Newsletter

 

The Family Information Directory Network is a really useful source of information, ideas and encouragement for families of children with Special Educational Needs. Their latest newsletter is now out. 

St Laurence's Local Offer for children with SEN or Disabilities 

 

Posted: 21st Nov 2014

SEN INFORMATION REPORT

Please see below for details of what the schools offers for children with SEND. If you need more specific information please contact the Headteacher at the school head@st-laurence.lancs.sch.uk or telephone 01257 262940.   Thank you.

Accessibility and Inclusion

 

Our school is built on one level so no one has to use stairs. The main entrance  has no step and we have two parking spaces for disabled drivers or passengers. Within the building, all teaching areas are accessible to wheelchairs and we have a toilet which is accessible for wheelchair users. This area also contains and shower and is suitable for nappy changing.

 

Our policies are available on our website or by asking in the office, where our friendly receptionist answers the telephone and welcomes visitors. Signs and notices are often enhanced by pictures to assist understanding. We have a genuine commitment to personal service, which means we will assist any visitor with her/his specific request.

 

All our parents, including those who have or whose children have special needs, are encouraged to speak to us as soon as they have any concern about their child’s happiness or security.

We use pictures, symbols and Sign Along signs, to help children identify and understand resources, and we teach our children to support one another.

Our children use specialist equipment where appropriate, such as springy scissors, writing slopes, adapted chairs, splints, Kaye walker, etc.

 

Teaching and Learning

 

Our children are assessed formally each term for reading, writing and mathematics and, where a child does not make the progress expected, we investigate the reasons, although often a teacher will raise a concern before or between assessments. Concerns are discussed with parents and with the SENCo and then specific interventions might be introduced. In more complex or unusual cases, specialist advice will be sought from a specialist teacher, or educational psychologist. In some cases, we might advise parents to  ask their GP for a referral to a health professional.

 

Our teachers use a range of teaching tools and methods to maximise understanding and learning from all children. Lessons are differentiated in a variety of ways to allow all children to learn as much as possible. 

Our committed and experienced team of Teachings Assistants (TAs) offer a range of interventions under the direction of our teaching staff. Usually, a child who has been placed on the SEN register will be given a short, specific, time slot daily to work towards a target. These include Word Shark, LifeBoat, Toe by Toe, fine and gross motor skills exercises, paired reading, behaviour management strategies and specific programmes advised by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. We use age old technologies such as sand to write in as well as the more modern ‘apps’ available on computers.

 

Teaching staff and TAs are regularly briefed by the SENCo about the needs of children within school are trained to enhance the learning and/or safety of the particular children who are coming into their care. Our SENCo completed the SENCo Accreditation training programme via Edge Hill in 2012 and attends termly SENCo Cluster meetings to stay updated about developments in the world of SEN.

Where necessary, we adapt the curriculum to allow individuals to participate. For example, a child might need support in a PE lesson if her/his gross motor skills are poor. Alternatively, s/he might perform a balance on the floor rather than on a bench. In a music lesson, a child with stiff or damaged fingers might be offered a keyboard or trombone rather than a flute.

 

When assessing children we use a combination of professional judgement and experience, and formal testing. Formal texts include the Salford reading tests, QCA style tests and past SATs papers, with PIVATs for some children. In Y6 where appropriate, children with specific needs are given the permitted extra time or scribe. Younger children are given more time, asked to complete tests in small chinks, offered a reader or scribe, or asked to read back their work later to an adult. Our aim is always to allow the child to show what s/he can do independently and to find out what the child needs learn next.

At present our written provision map shows the allocation of TA(s) to a class and the SEN children within that class. Teachers record the work done each week towards each target and the interventions used. These records are reviewed each half term by the teacher, TA and SENCo to inform our next steps. Our TAs do not work exclusively with SEN children, but provide extra, small group activities as directed by the teacher each week.

 

Reviewing and Evaluating Outcomes

 

Children with Statements have an annual statement review as dictated by the Code of Practice. Their Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are updated and reviewed three times a year and their progress is measured by the class teacher, termly. Results are placed on a tracker, which is scrutinised by our assessment manager and the SENCo as well as the class teacher. Parents are invited to the IEP review as well as the Statement Review, but they also know that they are welcome to contact school at any time and raise concerns.

Children who do not have a statement are also given an IEP which is reviewed three times a year. Parents are invited to these review meetings as well as to our ordinary Parents’ Evenings, which take place twice each year.

Our provision is assessed via the termly trackers primarily. We review the progress of the children and the effectiveness of their interventions three times a year at the IEP review. Most of our SEN children make very good progress and they are happy and secure. We monitor the participation of SEN children in extra-curricular activities and their participation on School Council. We are alert to signs of bullying or unhappiness and we ask parents for their views at the IEP Review Meetings.

 

Keeping Children Safe

 

An annual review of classroom risk assessment is undertaken and assessments are also undertaken following an incident.

Risk assessments are undertaken whenever there is a change of setting, or a proposed visit which involves an outing from school. Usually they are completed by the member of staff who is organising the trip. When there is a transition, such as between key stages, or when a child has a change of ability (eg after surgery or after an accident) it will be undertaken by the SENCo and the child’s physiotherapist.

 

In the case of school trips, the venue is visited in advance wherever possible, and parents may be invited to visit too. The child’s needs are discussed in advance with the setting if it is an outdoor activity trip. Individual arrangements are made where appropriate, such as a child being transported by car to a venue if the walk there is beyond the child’s strength.

 

At the start and end of the school day, we encourage parents and children to be as independent as possible. Where liaison is appropriate, a TA or the child’s teacher will be available to liaise with parents or carers. For younger children or where communication is a challenge for the child, we use a home-school diary or email to communicate with the parent/carer.

 

The school has a car park which has two designated spaces for disabled drivers/passengers.

We have a team of welfare assistants who supervise the children at lunch times and at break times, a member of the teaching staff supervises the playground. In the few cases where a child needs additional support at these times, a TA is provided.

 

In the resource areas outside the classroom, the children may be supervised by an adult, sometimes ‘remotely’ by a TA who is engaged on a task nearby. PE lessons or outdoor sessions, such as art or a science investigation are supervised by the class teacher, sometimes with a TA.

Details of our anti-bullying policy can be found on our website, but parents are encouraged to contact the school direct if they have concerns. Ours is a genuinely welcoming school.

 

Health (including Emotional Health and Wellbeing)

 

If a child needs medication during the school day, the medication will be delivered by the parent or carer with written instructions from the doctor. It will be stored in the head’s office or in the staffroom fridge. The child will be allowed to take the medicine in the presence of the head teacher.

Inhalers are kept in the classroom with the child. In KS1, they are kept in a designated place but in upper KS2 children are encouraged to store and control their inhalers themselves.

 

Care plans are usually drawn up by the health care professional looking after the child. It is shared with the staff at staff meeting and kept in the SEN file and in the teacher’s file. Children who have conditions such as diabetes have a designated TA who works with the teacher to ensure that whatever necessary injections or test are completed. Where appropriate, a diary of health information is kept and shared with parents and child.

 

All staff are trained in first aid for the relevant age group and training is updated as required by the recommendations. In the summer term, the staff who will be working with a particular child from September will be trained in the necessary procedures.

 

Children are visited in school by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists or counsellors as appropriate.

 

Communication with Parents

 

Parents of the new Reception class are invited in the preceding May to a meeting at which they are introduced to all staff, including the SENCo. The staff list is also published on the website. In the summer term there is an informal meeting for parents of children in R to Y5 to meet the child’s new teacher for September.   

Parents and carers are welcome to drop in before or after school for a brief, informal chat to staff, but where an issue is likely to need more than five minutes, we prefer the parent to ring and make an appointment so that we can give the time it deserves. This will almost always be within 48 hours. The head is readily available to meet parents both in the morning and the afternoon.

 

We have two parents’ evenings each year and one full, written report. In addition, we have a celebration worship each week, to which parents and carers are invited.

Rather than specific Open Days, we invite prospective parents to visit the school on a convenient date and make a tour of the school with the head teacher.

 

Parents can offer feedback to the school through formal questionnaires, such as the pre-inspection questionnaire. In addition, parents’ feedback is invited informally at Parents’ Evenings and on many occasions when they visit school. Parents of children with SEN are asked for their views on their child’s educational experience at the IEP review meetings and at Statement Reviews.

 

Working Together

 

We have a School Council in KS2, which allows children to offer their views in a formal situation. However, there are also feedback/suggestions boxes in classrooms and there is an ethos of free communication, with all parties encouraged to value and respect others’ contributions.

Parents can speak to the child’s teacher or the head teacher at any time to voice concerns or satisfaction with their child’s education. They are invited to do so quite explicitly, usually by the head teacher, at most of the meetings throughout the year and whenever they set foot in the building!  We genuinely value the thoughts and feelings of our families.

We have the usual quota of parent governors on our governing body. In addition and perhaps more importantly, we have many parents, former pupils and grandparents who come into school on a regular basis to help in the classrooms or library. Parents also accompany us on trips and offer transport and support for sporting fixtures and choir events.

 

We welcome the support and advice and expertise of a range of health professionals. We also make sure that the parents of SEN children are aware of the Parents Support Partnership.

In general, we use individual education plans rather than contracts, to liaise with parents. In very rare circumstances, we have made formal agreements with parents, in connection with behaviour issues. These have, in our experience, very quickly been successful.

 

What help and support is available to the family?

 

Support is available for our parents in whatever form they might need it, on an individual basis. In almost every case, we build relationships based on mutual trust and respect, so that parents feel ready to ask for our help if it is needed. This help would be provided by the person who has dealt most with the parents, usually the SENCo, TA or class teacher. 

 

When a parent asks the SENCo or teacher for advice, we do our very best to offer that advice in an informed way or to direct the parent to the body which is best placed to help them. Parents usually approach the class teacher or SENCo for such information.

 

At present we have no children with travel plans. Most of our children live very locally and those who have mobility issues are brought to school by their parents.

 

Transition to Secondary School

 

As the school is all on one site, transition tends to be straightforward until the end of Y6. We have a Moving Up day in July and we make sure that children meet a range of staff during the course of a year, particularly on days of special input, such as Messy Easter. TAs maintain an involvement with particular children over transition when this seems appropriate.

 

As a statemented child approaches secondary school, we ensure we have a Statement Review in the final term, so that the SENCo from the receiving school can attend and find out about the child’s strengths and barriers. There are visits to our main receiving schools during Y5 and Y6 and sometimes staff from there come into school here, to work with the choir or to offer dance tuition for the Summer Production. A representative of the receiving school visits us in the summer term and speaks to the class teacher (and SENCo where relevant) to find out about the children and to meet the new intake and answer any questions they may have.

In July, there is a Moving Up day, when children visit their new school. In addition, the secondary schools offer an induction evening for the Y6 children and their parents. During the summer tem, our Reception class teacher visits all  nursery providers to meet the children who are to start school with us in September

 

Extra Curricular Activities

 

We have two local childcare providers who look after children off site before and after school and in the holidays.

There is a range of activities after school. Some, such as choir (KS2)   and sports training Y5 and Y6) are offered free of charge, and others, such as dance and fencing or judo, incur a small cost. There are also other sports activities during the year, provided by the Chorley Schools Sports Partnership.

At lunch times, Y3 children have access to recorder club or Jigsaw Club, free of charge. There is also a Spanish Club.  The Y6 class provides a Play At Lunchtime facility to promote structured play for younger children.

 

All children are encouraged to attend the relevant clubs. We do not audition, and all children are welcome to all clubs for their age, regardless of ability.

Our staff and children model friendly behaviour consistently. Children are praised for caring behaviour and when new children arrive in school, they are allocated a buddy to help them settle in. When friendships struggle, children are encouraged to talk through their differences with an adult present, and to understand each others’ point of view. Friendship and courtesy are also promoted through worship and PHSE or Circle Time.

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