How does the school know if child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

In order to fulfil our vision of ‘A Place to Become’, at St Margaret’s we recognise the critical importance of working in partnership with parents/carers.  Early nursery and reception home visits (which are also attended by the Pastoral Leader), help us work closely with parents of children with identified SEND to ensure their child has the best possible start to school life. 
 

Regular formal and informal opportunities are provided to meet your child’s class teacher (twice yearly parents evenings, termly open evening and workshop afternoons), which enable concerns to be discussed.  If you are worried about your child in any way, by speaking to their class teacher as soon as possible, we can investigate as appropriate and provide timely additional support as required.  If we are concerned about your child we will discuss this with you in order to gather your views and ensure we take into account both how your child presents in school and at home. 

In July 2013, school was awarded the Achievement for All Accreditation in recognition of it’s commitment to excellence in partnership working with parents and carers.  Additionally, School has been certified as a Families And Schools Together (FAST) School in acknowledgement of the highly successful programmes school runs, bringing parents, children, teachers and the wider community together, to make sure children get the support they need to fulfil their potential.      

How does the school know if child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

After a concern is expressed, the teacher will monitor your child’s progress carefully and complete a provision map (see next page).  This will enable them to review their Quality First Teaching (QFT), ensuring that we are offering your child the best possible conditions for learning.  This may involve the class teacher setting up some additional or different approaches to help target your child’s area of need, for example extra phonic/reading sessions; individual timetable and reward system; targeted work with the learning mentor.  This will be monitored over at least a six week period and if concerns around progress remain it may be agreed by home and school that the child goes on the school’s SEND register.  This is when the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will become involved (if not already involved).  This is Mrs Sue Ferris at St Margaret’s CE Primary School.

How will the school support my child? How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? 

?St Margaret’s is committed to person-centred ways of working which means that what is important to and important for both you and your child will be at the heart of any decisions made.  All staff are trained to assess using P Levels and PIVATS which enable children who are working below, or making slower progress than their peers, to have their strengths clearly identified and areas for development prioritised.  St Margaret’s strives to provide the highest quality teaching which ensures that all children are included in the classroom and that the class environment is adapted to enable all to excel.
?For children who require additional targeted work we use carefully chosen, evidence-based interventions.  Where possible interventions/extra support takes place within the classroom or just outside.  Intervention times are rotated so that your child will not miss our on the same lesson each week.  At the beginning of any support, outcomes are identified and time scales are set (usually between 6 and 20 weeks).  Progress is carefully monitored during the intervention (rather than just at the end), to enable adjustments to be made.

 

How will both you and I know how my child is doing?

Staff are skilled at assessing exactly where each child’s strengths and areas for development lie.  Furthermore, staff meetings are used regularly to get teachers to assess an anonymous piece of work to check our judgements are in line (moderating). 

?We have a rigorous tracking system in place that highlights children with SEND.  Staff monitor progress of these children more closely and action more support/changes to support to accelerate progress where needed.
?We check how well each pupil understands and makes progress in every lesson.
?For pupils with identified SEND, we are committed to termly meetings with parents in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice, 2014.  The SENCo will be present for at least 1 meeting per year and person-centred approaches will be used for all meetings. 

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

?St Margaret’s operate an open door policy – should you ever have any queries or concerns about your child’s learning please don’t hesitate to come into school either at the beginning or end of the school day. 
?At the beginning of the school year we hold an open evening which enables all parents to meet their child’s new class teacher, look at the work done so far and ask any questions.
?Workshops are planned into the school year focusing on different aspects of learning, for example phonics, which enable you to see exemplar sessions, receive valuable information and ask any questions of staff.
?Half-termly class newsletters are sent out to inform parents of what each class will be studying over that period to keep parents fully informed. Furthermore, guidance on expectations for year groups and links to recommended websites are available on stmargarets.oldham.sch.uk/
?If your child is participating in an intervention we will endeavour to contact you before this begins with any relevant information.  Furthermore, we will keep you informed through postcards home  of your child’s progress.
?Stay and Play sessions are offered for children attending our school nursery on a Friday morning.  Parents are invited to attend Nursery for the first hour with their child where our highly trained staff offer high quality structured and unstructured play opportunities.  Sessions also offer you a chance for you to meet other parents and provide opportunities for you to speak to staff. 

 

?How are parents involved in the school?  How can I be involved? 

St Margaret’s is committed to partnership working with parents and as a result there are a number of ways we seek to involve you as fully as possible in school life:

•  Termly parents evenings and end of year report in July.
•  Parents are kept informed about teaching and other events through text messages, half termly newsletters, year group curriculum meetings and weekly stay and play sessions (Nursery),
•  Open invitation to weekly celebration assemblies and regular class assemblies.
•  Half-termly mass in church open to all parents.
•  Weekly parenting support – informal sessions with the pastoral lead and school nurse
•  We are also looking at establishing a Parent Teacher Association during the academic year of 2015/16.

Furthermore, we seek to gather parental views about the school on a regular basis in order to identify any further ways we can better support the children and families of St Margaret’s.

For more information about any of the above or to enquire about becoming a parent governor, please contact Mrs Sue Ferris. 

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school? 

?The SENCo, whilst new to this role in September 2016, is an experienced SENCo.  The pastoral lead has completed a range of courses to understand child development including a psychology degree and a counselling course.  She has a particular interest in developing relationships between parents and their children and securing positive relationships between home and school.
?
?All staff have been trained in Autism (AET – Level Two) and received dyslexia friendly school training.  In addition a number of early years staff are qualified to Level One in Signalong and this is used as part of daily provision in Nursery and Reception to support all children’s early communication and language skills.  Please see for further details about staff training undertake

Additionally, specialisms have been developed amongst Teaching Assistants in response to school’s data and support is deployed where data indicates it is needed most (as opposed to being spread evenly amongst classes).  For example, given that almost 50% of children on the SEN register have some kind of speech and language need, school have developed a highly skilled TA who works with children, parents and teacher to impact in this area.

We seek support from specialist teachers for accessing the curriculum and extra work on SEND related needs (speech, language and communication; hearing impairment, visual impairment; behaviour related needs; severe learning difficulties; autism).  Furthermore, we receive support from speech and language to train our staff, advise on strategies and programmes and we refer pupils for assessment if we believe they need further assessment. In addition we have strong links with our school nurse and community paediatrician, both of whom play an active role in supporting school life.  We also access both occupational therapy and physiotherapy for pupils who require further assessment/support. 

?How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?

At St Margaret’s we aim for all of our children to be fully included in all aspects of school life, including visits and trips.  We recognise the valuable contribution visits and visitors make to our curriculum and choose those on a basis that they are accessible to all.  No child is excluded from a trip because of SEND, disability or medical needs.

Children enjoy regular swimming lessons in Years Three and Four.  Children in EYFS enjoy regular visits to the library.  Additionally, visits both in the local area and beyond are used to enhance the curriculum wherever possible, as are visitors. 

Furthermore, where we can see that a child may benefit from activities outside the classroom we seek to provide this if possible.  For example, a child with a physical impairment having access to weekly swimming sessions throughout KS2 in order to further support their physical development, balance and self-esteem . 

How accessible is the school?

School have produced an accessibility plan (updated August 2016) which complies with the statutory guidance set out in the Equality Act (2010).   Regular audits are undertaken which look at identifying and removing barriers in the following areas:

Physical Access
?Ramps both inside and outside school coupled with a  lift in the KS2 part of the building, ensure access for all. 
?Further adaptations are made in accordance with pupils’ needs and advice is sought from relevant specialists as necessary.  In the last twelve months the following adaptations have been made:
- sensory tents for calming down
- handrails to support children walking on steps
- a quiet dedicated space for children who require support with their personal care

Additionally, physical aids such as writing slopes, pencil grips, cushions to support active sitting, fidget toys are also used when necessary. 

Delivery of Written Information

School are conscious of the availability of written materials in alternative formats.  We are familiar with using enhanced print for pupils with visual impairments.  Also we customized materials using dyslexia friendly fonts and coloured backgrounds to minimise visual stress for children with diagnosed and undiagnosed difficulties, where appropriate.

In addition, we are able to make available school brochures, newsletters and other information for parents in alternative formats when specifically requested. 

Curriculum Access

School is constantly seeking ways to become more inclusive and holds a number of additional accreditations in recognition of this including Achievement for All; Families and Schools together certification; dyslexia friendly status and Autism Education Level Two accreditation.  ?Furthermore we work hard to ensure that teaching is of a high quality and is differentiated and personalised to meet the individual needs of the majority of children.  As part of our high quality teaching we aim to consistently provide.

?General Provision – daily high quality teaching on offer for all children
 
?High quality literacy and mathematics environment

Access strategies planned and utilised to include all children (differentiated questioning; use of alternatives to questions; interactive and multi-sensory approaches)

Opportunities to address earlier linked objectives from the literacy and numeracy frameworks for children working above/below ARE

Provision of a range of alternatives to written recording

Focused group work with teacher

TA support for targeted pupils

Differentiated activities which enable all chn to work independently

Effective use of the plenary to assess, secure and reinforce learning

Use of key visuals, including signalong in EYFS environment;

Scaffolds and prompts to support learning

Supportive learning environment

Teaching strategies – explicit teaching and focused learning through:

Modelling; Demonstration; Discussion; Guided talk, listening, reading and writing; Joint composition; Co-operative learning techniques; Use of technology; Investigating

Classroom organisation – flexible use of space to accommodate:

A variety of tasks (provision for a quiet area); A variety of pupil groupings; A range of media including computers

Classroom management – use of TAs to assist pupils through:

1:1 support; Small group support; Scribing; Reading support

Use of other children assisting pupils through:

Peer tutoring; Buddy systems; Co-operative learning

Teacher presentation of information – use of a variety of modes and styles:

Auditory; Tactile; Visual kinaesthetic

Student display of knowledge – opportunities to respond by:

Speaking; Writing; Drawing and painting; Constructing and manipulating; Sorting and labelling; Acting and role play

Classroom scaffolds – use of:

Visual aids; Working walls; Table top prompts; Whole class word banks and dictionaries ; Concrete apparatus; Technology; Regular routines

Available equipment – access to:

Audio tape recorders/Dictaphones; Calculator; Concrete apparatus; Computers 

?How will you prepare my child to join the school?

?Early nursery and reception home visits (which are also attended by the Pastoral Leader), help us work closely with parents of children with identified SEND to ensure their child has the best possible start to school life.   Also in the Early Years, during the Summer term our new Nursery and Reception children are invited to attend the Stay and Play session on a Friday morning alongside our existing Nursery children to familiarise children with the environment and give them time to settle. 
?For children entering the school at other points, we will work together with the previous school to implement a transition plan as appropriate to prepare and familiarise both the family and child with the new setting.  This may involve several visits to the classroom to get to know the teacher/TA. 
?As part of the preparation we will endeavour to gain as much information as possible about each child regarding their optimum conditions for learning and their present levels of achievement.  This information will be documented on a one page profile and shared with the family. This information can be incorporated into lesson planning and delivery.

?What procedures are in place to support my child to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life? 

?School will provide support to both children and their families to ensure positive transitions.  We will ensure our planning is family-centred and provides the support that the family feel is necessary to make the transition supported and successful.
?We will share detailed information with the receiving school to ensure that this can be incorporated into the child’s provision in the new setting. 
?We have developed close relationships with our local secondary schools and begin transition planning in Year Five for those children who require this.  One off visits to secondary schools begin in Year Five and take place weekly during the last half-term of Year Six. 

What support will there by for my child’s overall wellbeing? 

?St Margaret’s provides a supportive ethos for all children, regardless of their need; diversity is celebrated and everyone is respected and valued.  Furthermore, support is provided for children in a manner which suits their need with pupils health, safety and well-being
?Our curriculum aims to build self-confidence, independence and resilience.  Moreover, we take every opportunity to engage all children in the evaluation of their own learning and agree next steps.  The development of all children’s learning and thinking skills are prioritised as part of our whole school BECOME work.  Children are encouraged to be Brave, Energetic, Creative, Open and Motivated in everything they do leading to them becoming Empowered.  This focus on good learning habits of all children provides inclusive opportunities where each child can be acknowledge as valued members of the school community. 
?In addition to carefully monitoring the progress children make in their academic subjects, attention is paid to the progress they make in developing personal and social skills and in becoming more independent. Furthermore, pastoral support systems are in place to support pupils social and emotional needs across the school community.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had/are having?

?Yearly audits of staff skills/expertise are undertaken
?and training needs identified and prioritised from these. 
?Whole staff training related to SEND in last two years:
?Moving and Handling and Feeding training
?Autism Education Trust (AET), Level Two
?Memory Training
?Person-Centred Practices
?REAL training
?Lego therapy training
?Solihull training
?In addition, all members of school staff are trained in Team Teach 

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

?School receive funding for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.  The Local Authority may contribute if the cost of meeting an individual pupil’s needs is more than £10,000 per year.  If the assessment of a pupil’s needs identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated.  Parents will have a say in how this is used and be told if this means they are eligible for a personal budget which must be used to fund the plan. 
?As a school we have focussed on making every lesson, every day, high quality for all.  All staff recognise and accept that the vast majority of pupils’ progress comes out of good teaching and learning on a day to day basis.  Consequently a major drive for pupils’ becoming more independent in their learning and on thinking skills has ensued (see next slide).  Furthermore, as a whole staff, research from Sweden and New Zealand has been looked at and innovative ways of working with outside agencies have been developed.  By collaborating with specialist teachers, class teachers have been able to develop skills and strategies to adapt their teaching for individuals, thus making it more accessible to all (rather than relying on extra interventions).  The class teacher as the ultimate agent of change is a view that St Margaret’s fully subscribes to; altering and adapting practices to ensure all children can succeed is at the heart of what school is about – each child becoming. This is a model which other schools are now beginning to adopt. 

Reviews

?Half termly progress reviews ensure a thorough analysis of underachieving pupils, moderation of judgements and checking that outcomes for different groups. Where interventions are used, achievement data is used rigorously and frequently to check whether these are working.  By evaluating data on a very regular basis (rather than simply at the end of the intervention), adjustments can be made quickly and success maximised. 
?Engaging in the ‘Great Classrooms Project’ has enabled staff to become familiar with the Sutton Trust Toolkit (EEF, 2011).  In conjunction with evidence from teachers, this was used to devise the whole school vision of ‘A place to BECOME’ which focuses on children developing their learning and thinking skills. 
?As a school we are constantly seeking ways to maximise impact for children with special needs.  TAs are deployed where data indicates they are needed most (as opposed to being spread evenly across classes).  Additionally, specialisms have been developed (for example, the school now has a speech and language TA who has been trained to a high level and works across school with children, parents and teachers).  This is in response to our national data which indicates that almost half of the children on the SEND register at St Margaret’s have some kind of Speech and Language difficulty.  Other specialisms include: literacy; guided reading and mathematics.  Regular audits of staff needs ensure training is kept up to date and that TAs are able to fulfil their roles.  Careful deployment of TAs has ensured that strengths with different subjects and age groups are maximised and built up.

Who can I contact for further information?

Applying for a place – Admissions 0161 770 4213

I wish to discuss something about my child – the Class Teacher, SENCo (Mrs Sue Ferris), Pastoral Lead  (Mrs Shelley Greenwood) or Headteacher (Mr Daniel Whittle)

I want information about other support services – the Pastoral Lead, SENCo or School Nurse

Oldham’s parent/carer forum is called POINT (Parents of Oldham in Touch).  This is an umbrella organisation for all parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  The work with Oldham Council, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families.