Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator
At Belswains Primary School are proud to be an inclusive community that welcomes, supports and celebrates all pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Miss Cave, our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) supports parents/carers and ensures that all children achieve their full potential. We believe in creating inclusive environments which allow children to thrive through a range of universal, targeted and specialist strategies and support.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does Belswains Primary School identify children with emerging additional needs?
Children are identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) through a number of different ways, including:
- Concerns raised by parents/carers, teacher or other staff working with the child or from the child themselves
- Limited progress is being made over time with no other known cause
- Assessment and observation of specific areas of learning or behavior
- Liaison with previous setting e.g. nursery, pre-school, previous school
- Health diagnosis from pediatrician or other relevant medical professional
- Liaison with other professionals e.g. educational psychologist, advisory teacher/specialist
Where a pupil shows significantly slower progress than that of their peers or fails to match previous rates of progress, despite high quality teaching and specific, targeted intervention then that pupil may have SEND. You will be included in all discussions regarding your child. Collaboration between home and school is at the core of supporting with with possible SEND.
What should I do if I have concerns about my child?
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s learning, please speak to the class teacher in the first instance. The class teacher will involve Miss Cave (SENDCo) when it is appropriate.
How will my child be supported if they are identified as having SEND?
When a child joins Nursery or Reception they are assessed in each area of learning. If your child moves to our school later in their school career, we will contact their previous school to ensure a thorough handover. Throughout their time with us their attainment will be regularly assessed and their progress monitored. We will discuss their attainment and progress with you and make collaborative decisions for next steps which following the 'Waves of Intervention' Model.
What is Quality First Teaching?
Please see the document at the bottom of this page under the 'Useful Documents' sections for examples of QFT for each area of need.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child ‘s education?
All parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s learning and education. This may be through:
- Discussions with the Support Staff, Class Teacher, SENDCo, Headteacher etc.
- Parents evening discussions and targets setting (Miss Cave offers appointments for parents of children with SEND)
- Written feedback
- Discussion with other professionals e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist etc.
- If a number of different professionals are involved in your child’s education then an EHM (Early Help Module) may be opened and regular TAF (Team Around the Family) meetings will take place to allow everyone to share success and work together to support the child and their family.
How will I know how my child is doing?
- Parents are invited to attend parents evening twice a year. Teachers will discuss your child’s attainment, progress and effort and share their targets for moving their learning forward. They will also discuss any concerns you may have.
- At the end of each academic year you receive a written report about your child detailing their attainment, progress and effort in each subject. At each of the parent’s evenings you receive short written report including attainment, progress effort and targets.
- Your child’s class teacher will be available to discuss concerns will you. You may need to make an appointment with them if you feel it requires a longer discussion.
- You can make an appointment to speak to the SENDCo (Miss Cave) about your child’s progress. Contact can be made through the school office.
- School staff will request a meeting with you if they have concerns.
- Regular supportive communication.
How is the teaching and learning provision matched to my child’s needs?
At Belswains we believe all children should be taught at a level that is both challenging and realistic to their needs. Generally this takes place within the usual classroom environment. However, in some cases additional provision may be necessary, this may include:
- help and advice from external professionals
- additional adult support in class or away from class in a small ground or 1:1 environment
- additional resources provided or ICT used
- additional provision made within the class room e.g. length of time concentrating, pre-teaching vocabulary
- Additional resources such as specialist writing equipment, ergonomic cutlery etc.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We place great value on all round development of each individual child and recognise that we need to encourage a range of skills including assertiveness, co-operation, tolerance and empathy. We seek to develop these skills in a variety of ways including:
- PSHE lessons
- Circle time
- School council
- Workshops and themed weeks e.g. Anti-bullying week
- The Zones of Regulation (visit the Wellbeing Page for more information)
Our policies including teaching and learning, behavior, anti-bullying, equal opportunities, children looked after and special educational needs all contribute to an environment where children feel happy, safe and valued.
In addition, some children may be invited to participate in social skills/friendships groups. In some cases play therapy can be accessed through referrals to external agencies to support emotional well-being.
How does the school support children with medical needs?
- All staff receive basic first aid training
- Foundation stage staff receive paediatric first aid training
- All staff are epi-pen and asthma trained annually
- Appropriate staff have diabetes training
- Depending on an individual child’s needs further training would be delivered as necessary
Miss Cave coordinates the support for all children with complex medical conditions where are care plan may be needed. If your child is flagged as having significant medical needs in their admissions (that can't be supported through epi-pen or asthma training etc), Miss Cave will contact you to make an appointment to make a care plan. If your child develops a medical condition during their time at Belswains, please contact the office in the first instance and they will book an appointment with Miss Cave if necessary.
How does the school know if the provision is effective?
At Belswains we value feedback form our parents and pupils about their experience of our school. We gain feedback from you in many ways:
- Informal discussion with class teachers or other members of staff
- Discussion during meetings between parents and school staff
- Discussion at parents evening
- Annual parent questionnaire
- Annual pupil questionnaire
- Parents Forum held termly
- Parent workshops
- Parent Surveys
In addition, staff endeavor to be self-critical and look for areas to develop. To do this we evaluate our practice regularly, opportunities for this may include:
- Pupil progress meetings
- Lesson observations
- Work scrutiny
- Pupil voice – teacher led pupil discussions/questionnaires about a particular aspect of the school
- School improvement plan
- Monitoring of the school environment
- Recording and monitoring incidents
What specialist services and expertise are available to the school?
Following consultation with parents it may be agreed that seeking advice from an external professional might be helpful. Some of the professionals we can access are:
- Communication Autism Team
- Child Protection Support Team
- Educational Psychologist
- CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Heath) including Step 2
- AIO (Attendance Improvement Officer)
- Social Services
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Family Support Worker
- School Nurse
- DESC (Dacorum Education Support Centre)
- Play Therapy/Art Therapy
- SpLD Base (Specific Learning Difficulties)
On occasions it might be useful for parents to gain support directly from other professionals. These may include:
- Your GP
- Hertfordshire SENDIASS provides information advice and support which is accurate and confidential in ways that is accessible for young people and parents. We aim to promote independence and self-advocacy to enable you to participate in making informed decisions
What training have the staff , supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
Different members of staff have received a range of training relating to different SEND needs. These include:
- How to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- How to support children with Speech and Language needs
- How to support children with ADHD
- How to support children with Specific Learning Difficulties
- How to support children with Social Emotional and Behavioural Needs
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- Class teachers will discuss any concern you have
- Parents are invited to Nursery Stay and Play sessions or to participate in some teaching activities in Reception
- Curriculum Newsletters and Meet the Teacher Sessions
- Teachers will send home information leaflets about what your child is learning in school
- Parents are invited to transition meetings for Reception
- Parents are invited to discuss progress and targets at parents evenings
- Parent workshops
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
Risk assessments are carried out for all off site activities and procedures put in place where necessary to ensure all children can participate.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school is happy to discuss any individual access requirements. Please contact the office and ask to book an appointment with Miss Cave.
How will the school prepare and support my child joining the school, transitioning between classes and moving to a new school?
Many strategies are in place to support children’s transitions and make them as smooth as possible.
- Opportunities for children to visit the school before starting.
- Discussion between previous/receiving schools if joining or leaving.
- In July children spend time in their new class with their new teachers. Teachers also meet to discuss the pupils.
- Secondary staff visit Year 6 pupils in school prior to them joining their new school. They also meet with the Year 6 teacher.
- School SENCDo will liaise with SENCDo from previous/receiving school where necessary.
- In some cases additional visit to new classes can be arranged.
- Social Stories for all major transitions
How are the schools resources allocated to children with special educational needs and disabilities?
The SEND budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
These decisions are made in consultation with the parent, child, class teacher and senior leadership team.
Decisions are based upon observations the child, progress data discussed at pupil progress meetings and advice from external agencies. Support may be needed both short and long term.
Support may be enhanced through:
- Local High Needs Funding which can provide specialist resources, equipment and/or learning support staff.
- Some children with special needs may receive pupil premium grant.
- Some children many have a Team Around the Family (TAF) to support them.
- Some children may have support put in place through an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan).
How does the school contribute to Hertfordshire’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?
- Miss Cave chairs regular cluster meetings for local SENDCos where information and advice is shared.
- Miss Cave is a representative sitting on panel for Local High Needs Finding applications.
- The school office returns data about children with SEND to the local authority through the annual census, which informs the authority and enables local strategic planning of SEND support and produce information for the National SEND Report.
- The school receives and shares information provided by Dacorum Specialist Provision Locally panel and the Dacorum Extended Schools Unit
What if child is a looked after child (CLA)?
All the above procedures will also apply to any CLA who attends Belswains Primary School, if they fall into the SEND category.
In addition all CLA, with or without of SEND, will have an ePEP (Electronic Personal Education Plan) set up which will give specific individual targets, and monitor their progress throughout their time at Belswains. For further information see the CLA policy on the school website or request a copy from the school office.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you wish to discuss any aspect of your child’s needs in school please contact your child’s class teacher and arrange a meeting with them. If you wish to discuss your child’s needs further a meeting can be made with the school SENDCo, Miss Cave, through the school office.
ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
ASD- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
AIO- Attendance Improvement Officer, works with schools and families to improve attendance where necessary.
CAMHS- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, an NHS department who work with children and young people with mental health issues.
CLA- Child Looked After, a child cared for by the local authority.
DESC- Dacorum Education Support Centre, specialist advisory teachers who work to support children and schools where necessary.
EHCP- Education, Health and Care Plan, a document that describes a child’s needs and support required when needs are complex.
EHM- Early Help Module, a way to share and record information from a number of people working with a child/family.
LHNF- Local High Needs Funding, additional funding the school can apply for to support a specific need.
ePEP- Electronic Personal Education plan, an electronic form to record targets and support provided for a looked after child.
GP- General Practitioner, your family doctor.
ICT- Information, Communication Technology, electronic resources that may be used by a child e.g. laptop, iPad.
LSA- Learning Support Assistant, works individually with a child to support their specific needs.
PSHE- Personal, Social and Health Education, a planned programme to help children develop as individuals and as members of a community.
SENDCo- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator, supports and monitors SEND provision throughout the school.
SEND- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SpLD- Specific Learning Difficulties, a difference or difficulty with a particular aspect of learning.
TAF- Team Around the Family, regular meetings attended by professionals and the families they are working with.