Special Educational Needs Information Report
You can read this report here or download a copy of this report from the Latest Reports page of the website. There is also a copy of the school's Equality Objectives to read here, or to download from here.
St Paul’s Walden School is a community school situated in the village of Whitwell. We shape and develop provision for all of our learners ensuring achievement for all. This SEND report declares our annual offer to learners with SEND, but to be effective it needs the views of all parents, learners, governors and staff. To engage with our annual process to ‘assess, plan, do and review’ SEND provision, please contact colleagues below.
SENDCo – Mrs Stephanie Smith
Headteacher – Mrs Nancy Adshead
SEND Governor – Mrs Asha Quinlin
- 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?
At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice 2014 defines SEND as:
“A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age: or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.”
Our teachers and teaching assistants are able to identify children who need extra help through monitoring children’s learning and progress. Teachers, Teaching Assistants and the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) meet regularly to discuss the learning needs of children in the school. We pride ourselves in working in partnership with parents, collaborating with them and the pupil to plan appropriate provision based on the child’s needs. We will always make time to discuss any concerns. If a parent thinks that their child has special educational needs; they should speak to their child’s class teacher in the first instance.
- How will school staff support my child?
We are an inclusive school committed to ensuring that all learners have access to learning opportunities. For children with SEND, we are able to provide interventions that are ‘additional or different from’ our usual differentiated school curriculum. Some interventions may be offered to all children and some may only apply to children with more complex needs. The interventions that we provide are intended to overcome the barriers to learning. St Paul’s Walden School is a community school, we can shape and develop provision for all of our learners ensuring achievement for all.
For children with SEND, our range of interventions include:
- How will I know how my child is doing?
There will be opportunities for parents throughout the school year to explore their child’s progress. During Autumn, Spring and Summer terms, parents are invited to meet their child’s class teacher and the SENDCo to set and review pupils SEND plans following the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. This will be to discuss progress and plan next steps collaboratively, to ensure we maintain a person-centred approach, pupils will also collaborate with the class teacher enabling them to have a voice in their learning journey. Half termly parents will also receive an update from the class teacher on their child’s progress ahead of the next review meeting.
Annually, in October and February parents are invited to formal consultations with the class teacher. In July, parents will also receive an end of year report detailing their child’s progress, strengths and next steps and they are also offered the opportunity to meet with the class teacher to discuss their child’s transition into the next year group.
- How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
Monitoring progress is an integral part of teaching and leadership at St Paul’s Walden School. Parents, children and staff are involved in reviewing the impact of interventions for learners with SEND. We follow the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model and ensure that parents and children are involved in each step. Before any additional provision is selected to help a child, the SENDCo, Teacher, parent and learner, agree what they expect to be different following this intervention. A baseline will also be recorded, which can be used to compare the impact of the provision. Children, parents and their teaching and support staff will be directly involved in reviewing progress. This review can be built in to the intervention itself, or it can be a formal meeting held at least once a term, where we all discuss progress and next steps. If a learner has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) the same termly review conversations take place, but the EHC plan will also be formally reviewed annually. The SENDCo collates the impact data of interventions, to ensure that we are only using interventions that work. Progress data of all learners is collated by the whole school and monitored by teachers, Senior leaders and governors. Our school data is also monitored by the Local Authority and Ofsted.
- What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
We are committed to supporting every child’s wellbeing at St Paul’s Walden School. We praise all children’s successes and understand progress that may seem slight can be a huge step forward for some. We aim for our pupils to become confident and resilient so they can achieve their best. We teach a tailored PSHCE scheme which is planned by staff for the pupils in our school to cater for their needs. Additionally, we have dedicated mental health leads who provide training for staff and support for pupils.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
We access a range of specialist expertise depending on the child’s individual needs. These include:
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Educational Psychologist
- Child Development Clinic
- Autism Advisory teacher
- Hearing Impairment team
- Visual Impairment team
- Occupational Therapist
- The Leys SpLD base
- School Family link Worker
- Hitchin behaviour support service
- Woolgrove outreach support
- What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having?
Our staff are experienced practitioners in the identification of children’s individual learning needs and delivery of intervention programmes and strategies, regularly updating their training. Our SENDCo has completed the National Award for SEND coordination which makes our school an accredited SENDCo school. Staff training is delivered by the Hitchin Partnership and specialist services that we work with. We are continually seeking to train in new programmes to meet the individual needs of the children in our school.
- How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Informing parents of how they can support their child’s learning is integral to the way in which we support a child with SEND. For children with SEND, the following strategies are used:
- Half termly curriculum information for parents
- Personalised strategies based upon the child’s ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model that are adapted as and when needed to ensure that every child makes progress
- Personalised Provision Plans with home and school agreements
- Coffee mornings to network with professionals and other parents
The class teacher and/or SENDCo will discuss with you your child’s learning needs and will develop your child’s targets with you regularly. We will also suggest ways that you can help your child at home. Our school offers a range of workshops or meetings that parents are invited to throughout the year.
- How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
Parents/ guardians and pupils will be involved in every step of the provision made for them. If a member of staff believes a pupil may have SEND, then parents/ guardians will be invited to discuss this with the class teacher in the first instance. Following this the SENDCO will arrange an observation and discuss what provisions the school will make with the parents/ guardians and pupils and whether or not a Personalised Provision Plan needs to be in place. For pupils with a Personalised Provision Plan or an Education Health Care plan, parents/ guardians, pupils and staff will meet regularly to discuss targets and review progress. Parents/ guardians are invited to attend a coffee morning once a term for an informal discussion with members of staff and given the opportunity to celebrate work or accomplishments their children have made.
- How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All learning outside the classroom, including school trips, takes place after a full risk assessment by the class teacher. They ensure that all activities are fully inclusive and will make adaptations or changes to ensure any additional risks identified for children with additional needs are minimised appropriately.
- How accessible is the school environment?
The school is fully compliant with the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments are made for all children with SEND where necessary. Most of the school is accessible to children with physical disability via ramps and we have disabled toilet facilities. We have an accessibility plan which sets out further changes we wish to make to the school environment over time to make it even more accessible to those with disabilities and have SEND. We ensure that specialised equipment is provided where appropriate for children with SEND and that advice is sought from the appropriate professionals to ensure all children’s health and physical needs are catered for within the school environment. The school has staff trained to support children with a range of needs.
- Who can I contact for further information?
The school has a SENDCo who can be contacted by telephone or email (please see details at the top of the page) and is available to meet with parents should any concerns arise. You may feel it is more appropriate to speak with your child’s teacher in the first instance.
- How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
We recognise that ‘moving on’ can be difficult for a child with SEND/and or disabilities and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If your child is starting at this school:
We will first invite you to visit the school with your child to have a look around and speak to staff. If other professionals are involved, a team around the Family (TAF) meeting may be held to discuss your child’s needs, share strategies used, and ensure provision is put in place before your child starts. Your child’s key person may make a home visit and also visit your child if they are attending another provision; this will automatically happen if your child is starting in Reception class. We may suggest adaptations to the setting to help your child to settle more easily but these will be agreed with you in advance. If they have not already visited, your child will be invited into school in advance of starting to meet the staff they will be working with and their peer group. The class teacher will arrange an early meeting with you to review your child’s learning, following the settling in period. If your child has been allocated a place in our Reception class via the local authority and they have a special educational need and/ or disability, please contact us as soon as you receive the offer as we may not have details of their needs at this stage.
If your child is moving to another school:
We will contact the new school’s SENDCo and ensure s/he knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
When moving classes in school:
Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in all cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All Pupil Provision Plans will be shared with the new teacher and parents will be invited to meet with the new teacher and SENDCO towards the end of the summer term to prepare for the change. Training needs are identified for new staff and courses attended as soon as possible. Physical changes are made in the new class during the summer holiday. Your child will also engage in transition activities with the whole class. A bespoke transition will be planned for some pupils which takes into account their individual needs.
When moving to a secondary school:
The SENDCo will meet to discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of their secondary school. Your child will attend a small group in school, to support their understanding of the changes ahead. This may include creating a ‘Personal Passport’ which includes information about themselves for their new school. Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in many cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school. Your child will also engage in transition activities with the whole class.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 and current restrictions transition may be different this year. For more details, please contact the school office.
- How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children with special educational needs?
The school budget, received from Herts LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Head Teacher decides on the budget for Special Educational Needs in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of the needs of the children currently in the school. The Head Teacher and the SENDCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
- the children receiving extra support already;
- the children needing extra support;
- the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected; and decide what resources/training and support is needed. The level of support is dependent on the type and degree of need additional to and different from peers in the class. Support may be given in a variety of ways and is sometimes designed to encourage the child to develop the skills of independent learning and build confidence as well as supporting their maximum progress; your child’s individual support will be discussed with you regularly. All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.
- How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
The amount and type of support offered to a child is determined by a detailed analysis of a child’s needs, barriers to learning, stage of development, parental views, their own views and consultation with the class teacher and SENDCO. The progress made and support given is reviewed regularly with the SENDCo. Interventions typically last between one and two terms with the emphasis on early identification. Parents are regularly involved in the decision making process.
- How can I find information about the local authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities?
You may wish to look at the Hertfordshire Local Offer detailing the County's wider provision which can be found at:
SEN – Special Educational Needs
SEND – Special Educational Needs and Disability
SENDCo – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator
Ofsted – Office of Standards in Education
SpLD – Specific Learning Difficulty (dyslexia/dyscalculia)
BST – Behaviour Support Team
SLT – Senior Leadership Team
SENDCo – Stephanie Smith