Special Educational Needs
Special Educational Needs
St. Matthew’s is proud of its inclusive ethos and is fully committed to ensuring all pupils, regardless of their background, additional educational needs, race or gender are able to fulfil their potential.
Inclusion Leader: Miss Sarah Lumley
SEND Governor: Mr Mike Smith
How does the school identify and assess children with Special Educational Needs?
All children are assessed when they start at St Matthew’s, whether that takes place in Reception or further up the school. Every child in Reception is assessed using Speech Link and Language Link, to identify any difficulties with their speaking and understanding of English. Intervention support is then put in place, as appropriate, to address these needs. In Years 1-6, children new to the school are assessed in Reading, Writing and Maths. If class teachers have concerns, they are discussed with the Inclusion Leader and further tests may be carried out. This may lead to a child being identified as having Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) and appropriate support will be put in place.
Children are regularly assessed by teachers and all children are discussed at termly pupil progress meetings. If a child is attaining below age related expectation or struggling behaviourally or emotionally, further assessments may be carried out to determine any additional support that may be necessary. Teachers may also raise concern that a child is not making as much progress as they should be or if there are other factors affecting their performance.
Parents may raise concerns about their child. If necessary, referrals to outside agencies may be undertaken with parental consent.
What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
St Matthew’s will try, where ever possible, to meet the needs of any type of SEND.
Needs generally fall into one of four categories:
Communication and Interaction – this may include difficulties in expressing themselves and understanding what is said.
Cognition and learning – difficulties acquiring basic skills.
Social, emotional and mental health – this may include difficulties with relationships, anxiety and/ or behaviour difficulties that may include ADHD
Sensory and/or physical needs– this may include visual or hearing impairment
St Matthew’s will liaise with outside agencies, as needed, to ensure that the best support is given. If necessary we will follow advice to apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan.
What additional support is available for improving Social and Emotional development?
St Matthew’s has a strong pastoral team who work with class staff to support children with their social and emotional needs. Our Pastoral Leader, Mrs Odell, provides Talk Time for children who have worries and need allocated time to talk through their anxieties. Reading Dog and Lego Therapy interventions also give children support with social interaction and well-being. Play therapy and counselling are also available for children who have been identified as needing a higher level of emotional support. Our Family Liaison Officer, Mrs Jan Aspinal, works closely with parents to provide support in a range of situations.
We have a programme of lunch clubs for children in KS1 and KS2 who need support to have successful lunch times. These are small group activities including pottery, construction, computing and outdoor games, where children are closely supervised and encouraged to develop positive social interaction skills with each other.
What provision is available to support children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities?
Through quality first teaching, work is differentiated to meet children’s needs, so they are able to access learning successfully. We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice developed by Kent County Council to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice. This advice also recommends how the curriculum should be adapted to meet pupils’ needs. Support may also be given in the form of additional resources or equipment. The learning environment may be adapted as necessary to meet an individual’s needs; this may be by changing seating position in the classroom, the addition of a workstation, or using additional aids such as a writing slope or visual prompts. Some children may need to have tasks broken down into smaller steps to enable them to achieve successfully. The use of technology may be used where appropriate.
Additional support in the form of literacy, maths, speech and language or social and emotional work may take place in a small group or one to one with a teaching assistant if necessary.
Provision is reviewed regularly and amended as needed in order to provide the best support possible in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice 2015.
How is the effectiveness of provision for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities evaluated?
The Senior Leadership Team regularly carry out observations of teaching, look at books and carry out termly pupil progress meetings to discuss children’s needs.
Interventions are regularly reviewed and the progress of children is evaluated as to whether further or a different intervention is needed.
How will the school let me know if they have concerns about my child?
At St Matthew’s, if we have concerns about your child, we will contact you to discuss them with us. Your child’s teacher or the Inclusion Leader will contact you to arrange a meeting. This will take place in addition to Parent Consultations and written reports.
What should I do if I have concerns that my child might have Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND?)
If you have any concerns, please speak to your child’s class teacher and / or the Inclusion Leader. You can make an appointment by phone, or by coming into the school office.
How will my child be able to communicate and contribute their views about their learning and needs?
At St Matthew’s, the views of our pupils are important to us. Pupil voice discussions and questionnaires are carried out as part of our reflection and evaluation process about learning and well-being. The School Council are very active in the school, meeting regularly to discuss ideas for how to develop our learning opportunities and make improvements to the school environment.
Children with SEND are encouraged to share their views about the provision put in place to support them. This can be very useful in identifying which strategies will be most successful for them.
How are staff trained to support children with SEND?
The Inclusion Leader is currently completing the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. She has many years’ experience of teaching in mainstream education and also in a special school for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Speech and Language needs. She attends termly meetings of the Local Inclusion Forum Team and local Additional Educational Needs updates to keep up to date with good practice. This information and experience is used to provide staff training.
Our Teaching Assistants take part in a programme of training within school, but also have the opportunity to complete more specialised training courses locally. These include play therapy, social stories and managing challenging behaviour needs.
How does St Matthew’s involve outside agencies to support children’s needs?
The school works with a number of outside agencies to provide the best support possible. These include an external counsellor, Speech and Language Therapy, Specialist Teaching and Learning Service and Educational Psychologist. The Inclusion Leader will make the appropriate referral in order to secure support as needed, with parental consent.
How will the St Matthew’s prepare and support my child when joining the school or transferring to Secondary school?
Our Reception teachers and the Inclusion Leader communicate with nurseries and pre-schools to discuss new children joining the school in September. Visits are carried out and the Inclusion Leader will be involved with these as much as possible, particularly if children already have support for SEND.
If a child joins the school mid-year, information is sought from parents and if necessary, additional transition can be arranged before starting.
When transferring between year groups at St Matthew’s, some children may have additional transition, such as meeting with their new teacher, visiting their new classroom or spending extra time with a new 1:1 Teaching Assistant.
For Year 6 children transferring to secondary school, additional transition can be arranged with the receiving school. Information about any Special Educational Needs is shared between SENCOs and Inclusion staff. Many secondary schools run their own transition programmes and parents are advised to contact the secondary schools directly.
What are the arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND?
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at St Matthew’s are used for complaints about provision made for Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns firstly with the class teacher who is responsible for the provision made for the children in their class. After that, the Inclusion Leader or Senior Leadership Team can be consulted to resolve the issue before making the complaint to the Chair of the governing body.
Where can I obtain further information?
Please speak to your child’s class teacher first. Further information is also available from the Inclusion Leader.