The Special Educational Needs Leader (SENCO) is Mrs Charlotte Gillies
In St. Gregory and St. Patrick’s Catholic Infant School we believe every child is unique and endeavour to meet the needs of those who have difficulties, whatever they may be. Every child is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which will create opportunities for them to fulfil their potential. Whilst identifying children with particular needs, we recognise that all children are unique with their own requirements and every child is valued equally.
As a school we believe...
- All children have entitlement and access to the full curriculum
- All children are individuals and as such all children learn in different ways and at differing speeds
- All children are offered a broad and balanced curriculum, tailored to meet their own specific needs
- we offer children a varied provision in order to ensure their needs and learning styles are acknowledged
- parents play a vital role in all children's education and parents are encouraged to work in partnership with the school
- All children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) whether or not they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are welcomed in the school providing this meets with their parent’s wishes and expectations.
- Every teacher is a teacher of children with Special Educational Needs
- that we confidently recognise and sufficiently support all children who may show signs from any of the four broad areas of need.
The four broad areas of need:
communication and interaction
- Speech, learning and communication (SLCN)
cognition and learning
- Specific learning difficulty (SpLD)
- Mild to moderate learning difficulty (MLD)
- Severe learning difficulty (SLD)
- Profound multiple learning difficulty (PMLD)
social, emotional and mental health
- Children and young people with SEMH may have the following mental health difficulties: anxiety, withdrawn or feeling isolated, having challenging and disturbing behaviour, self-harming, depression, eating disorder, and substance misuse.
sensory and/or physical
- Visual Impairment (VI)
- Hearing Impairment (HI)
- Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
- Physical Disability (PD)
Identification of Special Educational Needs
The school regularly monitors and tracks the progress of all children and those who are not making expected progress are quickly identified and appropriate support put in place. Often, we will place children into small intervention groups to help them catch up or access a particular part of learning they are finding tricky.
In some cases we feel we may need to involve outside agencies, such as health services, Speech and language therapy or Educational Psychology may also help to assess and identify particular difficulties in order to help us as a school support children in the best way we can. for this to happen we will start an "Early Help" process. Parents are informed and involved at all stages in the process and given guidance on how they can give support at home. We encourage parents to talk to us if they have concerns about their child’s learning to help enable identification of needs and to assist us in putting appropriate support in place.
We hope to form a good home school relationship in order to achieve the best outcomes for all children
Who will support my child?
As a school we pride ourselves on the fact that we have a highly experienced staff, not only teachers, but TAs and other support staff throughout the school. We work as a team; all staff are valued and all acknowledge their part in supporting each and every child in their care.
Class teachers will provide first quality teaching for all pupils. They are responsible for ensuring that all pupil make sufficient progress and support pupils in meeting their own individual targets. Class teachers are the staff you should contact at first if you have any issues or questions surrounding your child's provision. Each class teacher will plan and teach lessons that are adapted to suit the wide range of needs within each class. In lots of cases additional support is provided through small group intervention, which teachers will plan for but is normally carried out by one of our highly qualified support staff. In some cases, some pupils will require more support and may have a staff member who supports them on a one-to-one basis for some part of the day. An adaptive curriculum will be provided to support your child’s learning and their individual needs with advice sought from outside agencies and specialists when it is required.
In St Gregory and St Patrick’s Catholic Infant School we have access to specialist Senior Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants who have training in a range of areas including, specific literacy difficulties, autism awareness and nurture provision focusing on Social and Emotional needs. Included in what our school can offer is continued support with Speech and Language difficulties through regular meetings and working alongside Speech and Language Therapists. We have highly skilled staff who work supporting children with EHCPs; these staff members have supported children with a range of needs and are continually gaining further training and can be specifically trained to meet the needs of individual children if necessary.
The school SENCO's role is to support pupils with additional needs, their families and the staff the children are working with. The SENCO ensures that provision for all of our SEND children is effectively managed across the school. She will liaise with a wide range of professionals in order to ensure each child's need is being met. if you wish to discuss any queries or concerns with the school SENCO contact the school office so a phone call or meeting can be organised.
If your child has specific behavioural needs staff may introduce home/ school book in order to share positive behaviour so this can be praised and focused on. Staff will liaise with parents regularly on a one-to-one basis, we can also support to with your child’s behaviour at home. All staff are made aware of the actions to be followed if a disruption takes place in order to ensure consistency for our pupils.
How will I be informed of the support my child is receiving?
- Information about the provision in class can be discussed with the class teacher. There is an autumn and spring term opportunity for this through an appointment system at parents’ evening, but teachers will be happy to meet with parents/carers at any point in the school year to discuss pupils’ progress.
- Teachers and Support Assistants may give individual advice to parents as to how they can support their child at home eg with handwriting, reading, spellings if they feel this is something that would benefit the child.
- If an outside agency is involved, review meetings may be arranged and are attended by the outside professionals, parents/carers, class teachers, one-to-one's and the SENCO. These multi-agency meetings are to ensure a holistic and joined up approach to a child’s provision
- Where 1:1 support is in place daily updates will take place with parents on drop off / pick up either verbally or via a Home/School Communication Book
- if we are concerned about a child's speech we will discuss with parents/ carers that we would like to send a referral to the Speech and Language team, who will then contact you in order to arrange screening.
Our School Sensory Room
A sensory room is a specially designed room which combines a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses. These can include lights, colours, sounds, sensory soft play resources, all used within a safe environment that allows the person using it to explore and interact safely.
Lots of children struggle to focus and have sensory or emotional difficulties which prevent them from fully engaging with daily life. Our brains are designed to produce and regulate our body’s responses to sensory experiences — things we touch, see, smell, taste and hear as well as the pull of gravity and movement around us — a process called sensory integration. For many, this is second nature, but for those with a developmental disorder like autism, the process can be a cause of stress, anxiety and discomfort. For some, the brain can overreact to sensory stimuli and in others, it may not react enough.
This is why we have developed our own sensory provision. Access to this provision is used as part of children’s additional provision or at times of heightened emotion, the sensory room is situated near our Nursery provision but is accessible for all children who require it throughout school.
Transitions between other settings
As we are only an Infant school we know that the transition between Year 2 and Year 3 is a big one, and can be a worrying time for parents of all of our children but especially those with SEND. We plan carefully for this transition depending on the needs of our pupils. Our transition period begins from Easter term, so we can prepare our children for the changes ahead. Each year we identify a small group of children who may require extra visits to their chosen Junior School, so they are more confident with their new surroundings. this group of children often have differing needs and the extra visits are discussed with parents first, who we also provide ideas for supporting this transition from a home point of view. all children are visited in class from their new class teacher and we organise several event days where children can go for a PE session or to have lunch etc. For some children we feel it is necessary to visit on a more regular basis, often these are the children who have one-to-one support staff so they may visit once a week to get to know who will be supporting them on the next part of their learning journey. We have close links with all local schools and towards the end of Summer term, SENCOs and Year 2/ Year 3 teachers carry out hand over meetings to ensure all information is passed over.
For some of our children, our provision may not be enough to fully support their needs and sometimes children continue their learning at other settings parents feel can support their children best. In this case we work closely with these other settings to ensure children have a smooth transition. For example if a child is moving to Mayfield school, their new teacher will visit school, partake in review meetings and observe the child in our setting. All reports, records and learning plans are passed to the receiving school. Parents are encouraged to build relationships with the new school and share information about their child.
Staff visit pre-schools and nurseries to meet children and speak to staff where there are children with pre-identified Special Needs who are due to transfer to St Gregory and St Patrick's School and the SENCO will arrange to meet with parents prior to children starting school, parents are encouraged to bring their child into the setting prior to starting with us so they are more familiar with their new surroundings. staff also provide children with a booklet full of photos of key areas and items in school for parents to share at home with their child.
St Gregory and St Patrick's School offers a welcoming environment and we always would want to talk to parents in the first instance to resolve any worries. If there are any concerns about a child we would always contact parents so that the school and the home can work together to ensure the best outcomes for the child. If you have any concerns about your child the first point of contact should be their class teacher. The SENCo can also be contacted to discuss issues around identification of needs, progress, support or transition.
Further support can be found at...
Having a child with a disability can be overwhelming and you may not know where to go or who to ask for advice. There are many organisations that can help answer your questions or direct you to those who can. Here are some links to websites that may be helpful in supporting you and your family:
lots of support, articles and information regarding EHCPS, Early Helps and how you can further support your child's needs.
Contact a Family – Cumbria, North West
Contact a Family provides support, advice and information to families caring for children and young people with disabilities or additional needs across the North West region including Cumbria. For more information please contact the team manager Karen Robinson on 01706 220 578 or email Karen.Robinson@cafamily.org.uk. You can also find out more on our website http://www.cafamily.org.uk/inyourarea.
The National Autistic Society (NAS)
Advice for parents if you have a child with Autism or concerned your child is displaying signs.
ican is a charity that can give support to families with children with communication difficulties. There are helpful hints and tips for helping your child communicate effectively and how you can help.
We work closely with medical professionals when we are informed of serious allergies. We regularly update our first aid training and are trained in the use of adrenaline pens when a child has an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
New laws are now allowing schools to hold additional pens in school. Click on the link below for additional information.
Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8AJ