What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
We have an open door policy, and staff commit to discussing any questions, suggestions or concerns within a 48 hour period.
Your first point of call is your child’s class teacher. It is particularly useful to share information about what you see at home and talk to staff about your concerns. The class teacher will seek appropriate support from the SENCO or other members of staff as appropriate. Alternatively, the SENCO, Mrs MT Cornes, can be contacted directly via the school office. Whenever appropriate, external agencies will also be engaged to support any concerns raised.
If your child is pre-school age speak to your Health visitor or Nursery/Pre-school staff.
If you are concerned that your child may have a medical need your GP will also be able to offer support.
We have three formal opportunities for parents to discuss their child’s learning per year.
How does St John’s support children with special needs and disabilities?
The process of SEN identification and provision is cyclical: assess the child’s needs; plan support and intervention; put (do) the planned provision into action; and review progress.
Identification & Provision
Where a child appears behind expected levels, or where their progress gives cause for concern, teachers will observe and monitor the child’s learning and we will talk to parents/carers and the child (as appropriate) to gather information.
Initially children will receive high quality first teaching, targeting their areas of weakness and differentiated to meet their needs. If a child’s progress continues to be less than expected we will review their needs.
In order to support individual learner’ needs, Personalised Learning Plans (formerly IEPs) are created to provide specific, targeted support. These are overseen by staff in collaboration with the SENCO, and indicate the support a child may require. This support is provided by Learning Mentors, Teachers or other agencies as appropriate. The plans identify the area of need: communication and interaction; cognition and learning: social, emotional and mental health difficulties; or sensory and/or physical needs.
The school has a SEN/Inclusion Link Governor (Sue Ridge) to help to oversee provision.
We constantly review our practice, and relentlessly pursue the most effective provision for our children.
Personalised Learning Plans will be reviewed at least termly, but are also a working document and embedded into classroom reflection. Provision Mapping Plans target are reviewed every 7 weeks, identifying the most effective support possible for each individual learner.
If additional support beyond that available in school is required pupils may work with professionals from a range of agencies: a specialist teacher, the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist etc. These specialists may work with individuals or groups; carry out assessments; meet with parents; or offer specialist advice to home and school.
For a small percentage of pupils, whose needs are significant and complex, the special educational provision to meet their needs cannot be provided from within the school’s own resources and a request may be made to the local authority to consider completing an Education and Health Care (EHC) needs assessment. The school, along with the other professionals working with the child, parents and children will contribute to the assessment. If successful, the local authority will issue the EHC plan.
Where a child has medical needs the school, in conjunction with the school nurse, will put in place a care plan to identify any addition provision needed and who will be responsible for ensuring that the child’s medical needs are met.
Parent views are central to the provision provided. Parent/carers will be invited to attend PLP review meetings at least 3 times a year. This is an opportunity for those who have been working with your child to share their opinions and identify the next steps to best support your child.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child?
St John’s is committed to differentiating learning to meet each child’s individual needs. This begins with Quality First Inclusive Teaching, using a range of different approaches and a continual assessment of need to target and personalise every learning episode. This augments formal differentiation of learning, which is planned for every lesson.
In addition, personalised curricula are developed according to need; these are carefully planned and quality assured through the monitoring process.
To further support access to the curriculum, a wide range of interventions are used and targeted to individual needs. They are evaluated and adapted regularly. Progress is recorded, monitored and analysed on the provision maps; if an intervention isn’t suited to the needs of the learner it is swiftly changed.